Homeowner To-Be Checklist

For the most part, pretty much everyone has the goal of one day becoming a homeowner, and with good reason. Real estate is among the top investments one can make since real property generally appreciates in value and can be very lucrative over time. However, some potential buyers can see homeownership as a shackle, possibly preventing them from doing things in life they would otherwise be able to do if it were not for the ‘dreaded’ mortgage.

In this post, we are going to cover some of the assessments you should be making when considering a home purchase to ensure you are ready for the endeavor. Its not easy, but it is certainly possible!

#1 Evaluate Your Financial Situation

  • Assess your credit score and financial health to determine if you are in a stable position to afford homeownership. You should have decent credit, money saved for a down payment, and ideally two or more years working the same job or within the same field if financing the purchase. How much you will need to close on a home will vary depending on your specific situation and needs, but be sure to have at least 3-5% of the property value available for a down payment.
  • Calculate your budget, factoring in mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, maintenance costs, and other expenses associated with owning a home. Also keep in mind that owning a home comes with TAX DEDUCTIONS, which can make a huge difference in the amount of taxes you pay.
    For the first two years of homeownership, things are a bit tight moneywise. But as time passes, your salary will likely increase and your mortgage payment will stay the same (assuming you have a fixed rate), unlike rent, which increases every year.
  • Consider your long-term financial goals and how buying real estate fits into your overall financial plan. Typically, we suggest planning on 5 years at your new home, but you can sell after 2 years with no capital gains tax if you wish to move sooner.

#2 Determine Your Housing Needs

  • Identify your specific housing needs, including the desired location, size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, amenities, and proximity to schools, work, and other essential facilities.
  • Consider your lifestyle preferences and future plans, such as whether you need space for a growing family or prefer low-maintenance options like condos or townhouses.

#3 Research the Local Real Estate Market

  • Study the current state of the local real estate market, including trends in property values, inventory levels, and market conditions. Determine if it is a buyer’s or seller’s market, as that will determine how much leverage you have.
  • Understand the historical appreciation rates in the area and the potential for future growth in property values.

#4 Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

  • Meet with lenders to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This process will help you understand your borrowing capacity, interest rates, and monthly payment estimates.
  • Compare mortgage options, rates, and terms from multiple lenders to ensure you secure the most favorable financing.

#5 Find a Qualified Real Estate Agent

  • Engage the services of a reputable and experienced real estate agent who specializes in the local market. Looking in the South Bay of Los Angeles? San Pedro? Rancho Palos Verdes? We specialize in that and can provide valuable guidance, negotiate on your behalf, and help you find suitable properties in the area.

#6 Research the Neighborhood

  • Explore the neighborhood to evaluate its safety, proximity to amenities, schools, parks, and other facilities that align with your needs.
  • Research local development plans and zoning regulations to understand how they may impact the area’s property values and quality of life.

#7 Consider Long-Term Investment Potential

  • Evaluate the long-term investment potential of the property. Research the area’s economic growth, job market, and future development projects that may affect property values positively.

#8 Calculate the Total Cost of Ownership

  • Factor in additional costs beyond the mortgage, such as property taxes, homeowners insurance, utilities, maintenance, and potential renovations or upgrades.
  • Calculate the overall cost of ownership and ensure it aligns with your budget and financial goals.

#9 Trust Your Instincts

  • Lastly, trust your instincts. If something feels off or doesn’t align with your vision, it’s essential to listen to your intuition before making a significant financial commitment, but don’t let fear take the wheel!
  • Review your housing needs and make sure potential properties can satisfy those needs.
  • Most homeowners who suffer from ‘buyers-regret’ are common in that situation because they did not take the time to consider if the property would be a good fit for them and their lifestyle.

Remember, buying real estate is a significant decision, and conducting thorough research, seeking professional guidance, and being realistic about your financial capabilities are key to determining whether it is the right choice for you, and none of this costs you anything but time until you are ready to for escrow.

Ready to get started? Contact us today!

Who is The Prestige Team?

Rancho Palos Verdes Realtor Broker Associate Karen Anderson, along with her Real Estate Team, The Prestige Team, has been selling residential real estate in the South Bay, including Rancho Palos Verdes, San Pedro, and far beyond LA County for over 27 years and is ranked in the top 1% of realtors in Rancho Palos Verdes.  We specialize in transforming homes into impeccably presented real estate listings that command top dollar in the shortest amount of time!  

Learn more about us below!

Before After

For our Buyers:

Added Benefits When Working With Us

Contract Knowledge

The Residential Purchase Agreement is 10 pages of terms and conditions that stipulate every aspect of the purchase, and we know exactly how to use them to your complete advantage!

Expert Negotiators

As experienced Full-Service Realtors, we know how to leverage you buying and bargain power. Whether competing to get your offer accepted or negotiating repairs, our goal is to get you a great deal!

Team = Always Available

The added benefit of working with The Prestige Team is that one of our Real Estate Professionals is always available to help. No missed opportunities!

On Every Listing:

Need Additional Assistance? We Specialize in that!

Decluttering & Emptying Properties

Need help with decluttering? Whether you need a few boxes and an extra set of hands, have a house full of items that need to go, we have the resources in place ready to assist with your needs!

Schedule Management

Schedule Management is crucial if you have a time frame in mind for the sale of your home. Let us use our experience to ensure every aspect of preparing your home for the market stays on schedule!

Team = Always Available

The added benefit of working with The Prestige Team is that one of our Real Estate Professionals is always available to help. No missed opportunities!

Latest Posts