Here Are 8 Things You Should Know Before Buying a House in California

May 5, 2022

Did you know that nearly 100 million Americans plan to buy a home in the next five years? Besides the pride of ownership, owning a home comes with a sense of security and tax benefits.

Are you planning to purchase a house in California? While California promises pleasant weather, high quality of life and economic opportunities, it's harder to buy a home there than in any other U.S. state.

Here are a few important things you should know before buying a property in the Golden State. Take a look.

Get Pre-Approved For Mortgage

Unless you have a million dollars lying around, you need to get a mortgage to purchase your dream home. We urge you to shop around and get pre-approved for a mortgage.

If you just graduated from medical school or started your residency, it's possible that you won't get approved for a traditional bank loan because of your large debt-to-income ratio. Fortunately, you can access mortgages specifically for physicians.

With a regular mortgage, you'll be expected to pay 20% of the purchase price as a down payment. But that's something you don't have to worry about with a physician mortgage loan.

Know Your Requirements

You need to look beyond the aesthetic appeal of a property. If you have kids, you should ideally look for a neighborhood with good schools in the vicinity. Moreover, consider how far the neighborhood is from your place of work. You should also look at the crime rate in the area.

Choose a Suitable Neighborhood

Your choice will depend on a number of factors. In addition to the previously mentioned requirements, you also have to take your budget into consideration. After you get your pre-approved letters, start viewing different neighborhoods within your price range. In addition to a decent neighborhood, it's also important to choose a place that will yield you greater returns in the future.

Consult a Real Estate Agent

Buying a house is complicated and time-consuming, and you need someone familiar with the ins and outs of the process. Look for a reputable real estate agent for a stress-free experience.

Make Your Offer Stand Out

As mentioned earlier, buying a house in California is not easy. To make your offer stand out, we suggest writing a thoughtful letter to the seller urging them to accept your bid.

Be Prepared For Lengthy Escrow

You'll be in escrow after the seller accepts the offer but before you get the house keys. This process essentially involves transferring real estate documents, funds and other things of value to a neutral third party. All these funds, documents etc., will be transferred once all the conditions of the real estate agreement are fulfilled.

Lightspeed Escrow can help you with that, where document transferring goes much faster.

Earlier, you could close escrow in 30 days in California. But unfortunately, that's no longer the case. You can expect the escrow to take anywhere between 30 to 45 days.

Don't Skip Inspection

Skipping a meticulous home inspection is an expensive and risky mistake you don't want to make. It's imperative that you hire professionals to inspect the structure, plumbing, electrical system and major aspects of the house. If you find any issues, you can use them to negotiate a better offer.

Avoid Rushing Other Purchases

Understandably, you likely feel excited about owning a home. But don't let your emotions get the best of you. It would be wise to avoid buying furniture, home decor and other expensive items before the sale is closed and the seller hands over the keys.

The Bottom Line

Buying a home is not only a major financial decision but also an emotional one. As a first-time homebuyer, you are probably looking for a place to put down your roots and raise a family. Hopefully, the aforementioned tips will help you make an informed decision.


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