Tips for First-Time Fresno Home Buyers
Buying a home for the first time is usually a stressful process- but it doesn’t have to be! By making some preparations and knowing what you need and want in a home, buying a home for the first time will practically be a cakewalk. These tips aren’t just limited to Fresno- they’ll come in handy whether your first property is Fresno real estate, Clovis real estate, and practically any real estate in Central California.
Getting Started – Tips for First Time Home Buyers in Fresno
Step one: Get pre-approved for a mortgage or home loan.
It’s an extremely wise idea to be pre-approved with your mortgage before you even start looking at homes. That way, you already know how much you can spend and be competitive with bidding- without worrying about going over budget. Share the amount you’ve been approved for with your Realtor, this will avoid the potential heartache of finding the perfect home, only to discover that it is over your budget.
Another note on mortgages: just because you’ve been pre-approved for a certain amount, it doesn’t necessarily mean that number will actually be feasible for your income. Take a good hard look at your monthly finances and determine just what size of a mortgage you can reasonably afford. Remember, just because you’ve been approved for a certain amount, doesn’t mean you need to (or should) take the whole thing.
Separate your Needs from your Wants.
While it’s fun to dream big, you should also let your Realtor know about certain items that you would like, but could also live without. This can help you avoid a bidding war over a dream property when a more realistic, affordable, or easily attainable option may be available.
Build up some post-purchase funds.
It’s best to be prepared- after you purchase or move into your home, you will likely have some purchases to make, even if the house is deemed move-in-ready. A faucet may need fixing or replacing. You may discover that the living room needs a rug, or that some of the furniture you already own just doesn’t fit the space. You may decide to re-paint an entire room. Whatever the reasoning may be, have some money set aside so that you can make your new home truly yours.
While Hunting the Fresno Housing Market
Many experts recommend that you hunt for the right neighborhood, and then the house. It is well worth it to spend extra for location-based benefits, such as a safer neighborhood, a closer location to work, or inclusion in a better school district if applicable.
Practice your commute.
Tying in with location considerations, it’s not a bad idea to drive your route to work from the home you’re considering. You may find that the distance is too far and will cost you extra in gas over the long-term, or that the route suffers from terrible traffic during peak times. An inconvenient commute may very well be a deciding factor while house hunting.
Tour the home with the sellers, if possible.
If they’re willing, ask the sellers to tour the home with you, in addition to a tour with a real estate agent. While your tour with the agent is best for confirming that everything is in working order and in good condition, an additional tour with the sellers is great for getting more “personal” details of the home. What areas in the yard receive the most shade or sunlight? When were major appliances (if included with the home) last replaced?
Continue searching on your own.
Even after you begin working with an agent, we encourage you to continue searching on your own. You may come across a property that the agent missed, or a property that peaks your interest, despite not being exactly what you’re looking for.
Consider closing costs.
Avoid surprises and ask up-front about closing costs. This way, you can make a better-educated offer without risking breaking your budget.
With these tips in mind, go out and start browsing homes in Fresno! Make use of our handy search tools, and find your dream home.