California may rank as among the best places to live in the United States. However, according to an Owners.com report, Virginia Beach was ranked as the top location to call home. Homes there sell for an average of 3 percent less than their list prices while rent in the region has only increased by an average of $7 in the past year.
For most people in California and throughout the country, the process of buying a home starts months before the house search does. Ideally, a prospective buyer will get his or her finances in order and ready to be scrutinized by mortgage lenders. In addition to the mortgage payment, a buyer will need money for a down payment and other up-front costs due at closing. Individuals who are looking to buy a home may also need to improve their credit score.
Homebuyers in California have struggled with affordability for years, and real estate insiders do not expect 2019 to bring any relief. Mortgage interests rates, which had already increased throughout 2018, will continue their upward climb this year. Economists are saying that people shopping for homes will face higher borrowing costs.
The price that a buyer will pay for a home in California is partially dependent on local market conditions. However, there are some steps that a seller can take to get the most for a property. One important step is to create a reasonable list price based on what similar homes have been listed at or sold for. A real estate agent can do market research to determine what that price is for a given home.
There are many ways in which having student loan debt can impact a person's ability to buy a home. For instance, each time a student loan payment is made, the money going to a lender can't be used for a down payment. Furthermore, the debt itself will likely count toward a person's debt-to-income ratio. That ratio is one metric lenders look at when making a home loan decision.
In recent years, buyers in California markets have had to contend with bidding wars and other issues that arise during a seller's market. However, in some parts of the country, market conditions are beginning to change. For example, only 21 percent of homes listed for sale in November 2018 in Seattle saw multiple bidders. Real estate agents who are trying to attract clients and sell homes in a buyer's market will need to be creative to do so.
Those who are looking to sell a home in California or elsewhere may find that it is beneficial to stage it first. Doing so may help a prospective buyer picture him or herself living in the property. It can also help a home come off as clean and neat. As the winter months tend to be slow in the real estate market, proper staging is vital during this time of year.
First-time home buyers in California should do a lot of research about what to expect during the process since they will be investing in an asset that they are likely to keep and live in for many years to come. There are several things home buyers should expect to negotiate when buying a home.
Buying a home can be beneficial for anyone who can afford to do so. However, research says that California residents and others should aim to buy a home by age 34. This enables an individual to have maximum equity in the property when that person is in his or her 60s. On average, a person who bought a house between ages 25 and 34 had $148,625 in total equity by their 60s.
People in California considering entering the residential real estate market may have better opportunities to pursue first-time homeownership. Real estate prices have been on the rise since the end of the recession sparked by the 2008 financial crisis. While many homes dropped in value during the recession itself, for many, it was a poor time to seek a mortgage and invest in a new home. However, as people saved for down payments and prepared to apply for mortgages, real estate prices have continued to climb, putting homeownership outside of the reach of many younger people.