You are already ahead of your peers. By searching for and finding this page, you have completed the first step—seek information. Anyone can buy a home at any age. You can never be too young. All you need is a plan, and the ability to stick to it.
Step 1 – Finances
Unless you can afford to buy a house with cash, the first sep is financial. The easiest way to create your financial plan is to contact a mortgage broker.
You are free to use any mortgage broker you like, because the mortgage broker and the real estate agent work together as a team, but from your perspective, they are “independent components,” which means that you get to pick and choose your team members as you want.
The mortgage broker provides free advice about how much money you should save. When money is short, they discuss strategies with you about how to find more. The mortgage broker is constantly looking for ways to find you money, and because they are on your team, you can be completely honest with them.
Your goal with the mortgage broker is to get a plan for your savings account and then to get a pre-qualification letter.
Here are two recommendations for mortgage brokers who have served me well in the past:
Mortgage brokers can provide you what you need from anywhere in the state, but it’s always nice to meet in person. I list the city next to the broker’s name.
Michele Cooper – Bakersfield – 661-900-2358
Alan Grigorian – Los Angeles – 818-389-4315
The Pre-Qualification Letter
The mortgage broker provides you a pre-qualification letter. Without the pre-qualification letter, you cannot make offers. The only exception to this rule is if you can afford to buy with 100% cash.
The letter is simple. It is a statement from a licensed mortgage broker stating that they have talked with you and that based on the conversation that the bank is willing to give you money. The letter also says how much the bank is willing to give you.
Step 2 – Find the Property
Once you have the pre-qualification letter, you can start looking for a property. The Real Estate Agent needs to know how much money the bank will give you to buy a home. If you don’t have a pre-qualification letter, be ready to show the Real Estate Agent a copy of your bank account to show that you can pay 100% cash. From this point forward, the conversation becomes what your wish list is and not what you can afford.
The real estate agent will help you find houses based on your criteria. Together you will pick the number of beds, baths, square footage, neighborhood, schools and more based on your price range.
When you have your first list of properties, it will be your job to drive through the neighborhoods. Determine which properties are out and which properties are “maybes” based on this drive. The real estate agent will help you see any “maybe” property that is allowing internal viewings. Not all properties allow internal showings before they are in contract.
Your real estate agent will point out the things that you should look out for. And, he or she will also point out the things that are normal, even though they are scary.
When you find the one that feels right, then the agent will help you make an offer.
Selecting your agent
Agents abound. There are over 3,000 agents in Bakersfield. Some are better than others, but often it comes down to a matter of personality. Who do you like?
If you don’t have a name jumping to the top of your list, then I invite you to call me.
Step 3 – Buy the house
Once the pre-qualification and the offer are accepted, you begin the exciting journey of buying the house. Your mortgage broker and real estate agent will go into overdrive to make sure the transaction closes and that you are taken through the process step-by-step.
Do you have questions? I have answers. Call me at 610-360-9558, and lets arrange to talk in person at my Bakersfield office. There, I will answer all your questions, and get you on the path toward home ownership.