This is Part 1 in a series to help you understand the process of buying a home in Los Angeles.
Getting Ready to Buy
Before you even start the process of buying a home in Los Angeles, right after you find your Los Angeles Realtor®, you will need to talk to a lender.
If you don’t have a lender your Realtor® will be happy to provide you with recommendations. People who understand the Los Angeles market.
Why do you need to talk to a lender? Because you will not be able to make an offer on a property without a pre-approval letter from one. It will not be accepted. Also, even though you may think you know what you can afford, you may be surprised. You may not be able to afford as much home as you think or maybe you can afford more. Also, you need to be a hundred percent ready to go because in this low inventory market chances are you will be in competition with other buyer, some of whom are likely to be be cash buyers.
Your lender will sit down with you and discuss the various loan options available and help you decide which one is best for you. You can put more money down which will give you less monthly payments. Put less down which may incur mortgage insurance payments (less than 20% down).
Do you know what your total monthly payments will be, including tax and insurance? What about closing and moving costs?
After talking with a lender you will have a much better understanding of the type of home you will be looking for. Just because you qualify for a certain amount doesn’t mean that you are willing to pay that much. So find your comfort level. Also understand, that the “pre-approval” you get from your lender does mean that you are actually approved. It is more of a pre-qualification based on the information you have provided. The actual pre-approval process will start once you are in escrow and the lender starts the loan application. Many a loan has fallen through because the borrower ended up not qualifying.
Getting solid financial information before you start looking for a home will help make you a more educated and successful buyer.
Buying a Los Angeles Home – The Series:
Step 1: Getting ready to buy
Step 2: Why use a Realtor?
Step 3: Define your criteria
Step 4: Start your search
Step 5: Make your offer (about the purchase contract)
Step 6: Be prepared to negotiate
Step 7: Go through the escrow process
Step 8: Taking Title
Step 10: Prepare for your new home
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