For many California couples, purchasing their first home will be the largest single investment they will ever make. Many of them rely on the Internet as well as recommendations of friends and family members to find available properties. It can be an exciting time, but first-time buyers should avoid falling prey to some prevailing myths about the process.
Some people think that it will be cheaper for them if they don't enlist the services of a real estate agent. This is not the case as the commission comes out of the seller's proceeds and is customarily split equally between the agents for both parties. Real estate agents can be of value to a prospective buyer because they may be aware of properties that have not yet been listed. They will likely have more knowledge about sources of mortgage financing as well.
Another myth is that home prices are continually on the rise, forcing some people to make spur-of-the-moment purchases because they are afraid that they will not be able to afford that home in the future. However, one look at what happened to the home real estate market in California and other states starting in 2008 shows that this is not necessarily the case.
Many people have been cautioned not to buy an old home because the cost of renovation is too high. In reality, these types of homes often present the best bargains, with their value increasing after refurbishing well beyond the cost of doing so.
In addition to having a trusted real estate agent, many buyers will want to have the assistance of an attorney when they are close to making a decision. A real estate attorney can often spot problems with the title to the property as well as potential zoning issues that may arise, and an attorney can also help by reviewing both the purchase agreement as well as the mortgage documents to see if there are any troublesome provisions.