What 7 Things Long Beach First Time Homebuyers Aren’t Told

What 7 Things Long Beach First Time Homebuyers Aren't ToldFirst time homebuyers in Long Beach are told many things –

Save your money,” of course, parents advise.

Location, location, location!” their friend’s friend or friend of a realtor.

Reasonable advice, absolutely. But there some important steps of the home buying process which typical Long Beach first time homebuyers doen’t usually hear. In no particular order, I’ve listed 7 of the most important ones:

1.  Mortgage Rates You See Advertised Aren’t Usually What You Get

The banner ads are everywhere online: “3.2% rates!” “No money down!” But the truth is, mortgage rates vary greatly and sometimes day to day. The only way you’ll know what rates you actually qualify for is to go through a complete homebuyer assessment including credit pulls and income verification. Another point to consider: online mortgage calculators, while handy, can be deceptive if you do not factor in the real cost of tax, insurance and PMI when you’re looking at an FHA-loan.

2.  Every Tiny Bit of Debt Counts

Think that $1400 left on your Visa isn’t going to matter? Think again. Every bit of debt weighs in when your credit is scored. What many Long Beach first time homebuyers aren’t told is that when you apply for a mortgage, nearly every element of your financial history is going to be analyzed with a fine-toothed comb. All debt will be factored in as the bank figures out how much it is willing to lend. Standards have stiffened, so the earlier you dispose of even small issues, the better.

3.  Your Choice of Agent Makes All the Difference

Let me guess: your friend’s friend also has an agent to recommend (she carpools with his sister’s next door neighbor). There’s no reason you shouldn’t interview her: maybe that’s the right fit for you. But without a solid personal referral, don’t just sign up with the first agent you find: this is a working relationship that can shape your family’s future. Your agent’s connections, experience, and market knowledge will be key — and can well make the difference between your writing an offer that gets accepted or not.

4.  Remodeling Costs More Than You Think

You’ve found a fixer: your energy is to be applauded. But before you write that offer, if you are one of our Long Beach first-time homebuyers, be certain to have penciled out the bottom line cost of bringing the home up to the standard you want to be move-in ready. You may well be able to live with some items that you will fix over time, but in all areas, budget 20% more than your estimate.

5.  What Matters is What the Bank’s Appraiser Thinks the House is Worth

Getting a loan approved isn’t as simple as having great credit and a down payment. Your offer also has to pass the bank’s approval process before they will okay the loan.

6.  Getting inspected doesn’t mean there won’t be problems

Should you skip the inspection process? Of course not. You need to know if the home is structurally sound. But owning a home involves continuing expenses — and problems can pop up even on the first day of ownership. Set aside funds to be on the safe side.

7.  Buying Your First House Can be Stressful…Really Stressful!

One of the absolute best pieces of advice I can give is to relax — expect the unexpected! Buying your first house is scary only if you allow it to be. Since it is all but certain that there will be a peeks and valleys, allow the possibility that may not get any particular house. Veteran homebuyers come to understand the cost of overly emotional involvement — when you do, too, you will be better able to roll with the punches…and to make financially sound decisions.

If you would like to talk story about any of these item in my list, get in touch with me – or just call me at 562-257-5008! I’ll fill you in on everything Long Beach first time homebuyers need to know.

About Ric Dizon

Ric Dizon is a mortgage consultant (NMLS 230093) with iMortgage, a premier mortgage banker in Long Beach, California. He's in love with four things in life...being a dad, his Ku'uipo Pamela, Hawaii and finding you the right home loan. More about Ric. Connect with Ric on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter and check out his Instagram photos.