Realtors and new home consultants with Trumark Homes hear it all the time. “I want to buy a home in California, but… can I afford to buy new and is it the right time?”
First-time homebuyers have a lot of questions and insecurities. As a rookie home buyer in the San Francisco Bay area, you can avoid costly pitfalls and buyer’s regret. If you think you can’t afford to buy a new construction home or aren’t sure what size of a home is right for you, work with an experienced new home builder such as Trumark Homes. According to an article by U.S. News & World Report, home buyers should check their credit report and score, get preapproved for a loan, create a long-term budget and budget for all the expenses of home ownership before diving in. If you are relocating to Silicon Valley for a tech job or want to buy a home in California because of high rent, sidestep the most common rookie home buyer mistakes.
- Thinking you can’t afford new
One major mistake first-time homebuyers make is thinking they can’t afford a new construction home. In terms of saving money, new construction often comes out ahead compared to fixer upper homes. With a new home, you often save on utility and maintenance bills due to new, energy-efficient features.
- Running up debt after preapproval
According to an article by bankrate.com, another mistake homebuyers make is getting a new credit card or car loan before closing. Experts warn potential buyers not to take out car loans between the day you apply for a loan and the day of closing. Changing jobs and charging up credit cards are also big mistakes after receiving preapproval on a mortgage. In other words, if you want to buy new furniture for your beautiful new home, wait until after the closing.
- Buying as a couple at the wrong time
Whether you want to buy a home with a partner before you get married or after you get married, it’s all up to you. However, don’t make the rookie home buyer mistake of buying a home with someone else unless it’s the right step to take in the relationship.
A recent report by The Associated Press, advises young couples to create a financial plan before living together. U.S. Census Bureau reports show the number of couples living together is up 1.7 percent to 7 million compared to last year. Experts recommend unmarried couples buying a home together hire an attorney to draw up a purchase contract that outlines the amount of money each person will contribute and a plan in case of a breakup.
- Choosing the wrong mortgage
Another common mistake homebuyers make is choosing a mortgage they later regret. Some of the popular mortgage options include a 15-year fixed rate or a 30-year fixed rate as well adjustable rate mortgages that start with a 5-year fixed rate.
Consider how many years you intend to stay in the home as well as your age and financial goals. A recent piece by Investopedia suggests homebuyers who belong to Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980) consider a 15-year mortgage so they pay off their mortgage by retirement. Ask your lender to crunch the numbers for you so you can compare and contrast the mortgage payment and interest savings on various mortgage options.
Other tips when you want to buy a home in California include looking into special first-time home buyer programs that require a low down payment. If you can’t afford to put down 20 percent, don’t feel afraid to ask parents for help because a lot of your peers are doing the same thing. Finally, to sidestep buyer’s remorse, avoid buying the smallest floor plan available to save money. In a few years, you will likely appreciate the added square footage or spare bedroom.
At Trumark Homes, we have a variety of exciting floor plans in trendy new communities in California. Many of our urban infill projects draw homebuyers looking for a “walk-able” lifestyle that’s close to work and where they want to dine. For more information about our progressive approach and our hot inventory of new homes in the Bay area, please contact us.