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Applying for A Mortgage In Today's Market, Real Estate Tips for People That Want to Apply - Local Records Office

NORWALK, CA- We all want the secrets to success and the easiest way to buy a home says the Local Records Office. For first-time homebuyers, the whole home buying process may look a bit daunting.

You’re going into what could be the biggest purchase of your life with no experience to fall back on. The good news is a little preparation can go a long way and help you approach this major decision with confidence.

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Many things have changed in recent decades about the way Americans buy and sell homes, but one adage still matters, a lot: location, location, location.

While you may be happy living in any of several neighborhoods in your city, you won’t be happy if you choose the wrong location. And that’s where your research should start: deciding exactly where you want to live.

Talk to friends and co-workers, drive around town, visit restaurants and stores and talk to neighbors in areas you’d consider calling home. Go to open houses so you can view some houses. Look at homes on the Internet, evaluating style, size, price and how long they stay on the market.

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You can find a real estate agent while you’re still working on this process. However, your choice of agent also depends on where you want to live, because a neighborhood expert often can find you the best house at the best price. “You want people who have worked and have experience directly in the areas you’re looking in,” says Peter Hens, from LA Realtor Firm in Norwalk, California.

If you’re a buyer, there is no reason not to use a real estate agent. It costs you nothing, and the agent’s job goes far beyond finding the house. In fact, it’s after you’ve found the house that you’ll most need the agent, both to structure and present the offer and then to troubleshoot issues that arise between contract and closing.

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Here are 12 tips for buying your first house:

Make sure you’re ready to buy, both emotionally and financially. If you expect to relocate in a few years, this may not be the right time for you to buy. If you don’t have cash for a down payment, closing costs and other expenses, you may be better off waiting. Look at your life, your career, your finances, and your future expectations, and determine whether buying a house is the right move at this time.

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Find the right team. The difference between deals that close and deals that don’t are the professionals involved. You want to make sure you find a real estate agent who will move quickly when a new listing goes on the market, as well as an agent who will advise you honestly on preparing your offer.

You also want a mortgage professional lined up before you start looking. “The lender is the most important person to closing on time,” Hens says.

Get your finances in order first. Some real estate agents won’t even show homes to prospective clients who don’t have a mortgage pre-approval.

You definitely should meet with a mortgage broker or banker (better yet, several) at the start of the process to find out how much house you can afford and how much cash you’ll need to close. Do the entire math. Just because a bank says you can borrow $300,000 doesn’t mean you should. If you have credit issues, realize that this part of the process could take several months.

Calculate each and every cost. The purchase price and the mortgage payment are just the beginning. Don’t forget homeowner or condo fees, homeowners insurance, and real estate taxes. Plus, you’ll need to budget for utilities, repairs, and maintenance.

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Don’t spend all your cash. Avoid emptying your bank account for your down payment and closing costs. There will always be unexpected repairs. Plus, it costs money to move, change locks, put down utility deposits and buy things you never needed before, like a lawnmower.

When you look at houses, focus on the right things. Don’t be distracted by the owner’s odd décor, paint colors, dirty carpet or anything that is easy to change. Granite countertops and stainless steel appliances are easy to add later. You can’t easily add another bedroom, a better location or a more functional floor plan.

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If you’re buying in a condo or homeowners association, know the rules. How your association is run can make a big difference in how much you enjoy life in development. You’ll want to know about all rules and restrictions, from pet ownership to who can use the pool.

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