Is 2019 the year you hope to buy a North County San Diego home? If so, there are plenty of things you can do as 2018 comes to close in order to be more prepared. Here are some of the steps you can take to get your ducks in a row to be ready to buy next year.
Check your credit report
One of the very first things you should do when you’re getting ready to buy a home is to check your credit report. Your credit determines the kinds of loans you will qualify for as well as interest rates – the higher your score, the better deal you’ll get. Shoot for a score of at least 700 if possible. Order a free copy of your report to see where you are and to check for errors. This will give you plenty of time to have the errors removed and to begin repairing your credit to achieve a higher score.
Save for a down payment
When you purchase a North County home, you’ll need to have anywhere from 3 – 20 percent of the purchase price ready as a down payment. The amount will mostly depend on the type of loan you receive. For a $300,000 home, you’ll ideally have at least $60,000 saved for the down payment. If you haven’t already done so, start putting away money each week or month. Create a plan and stick to it.
Determine what you can afford
You should also spend some time figuring out how much you can afford. This will determine the price range of homes you should be searching for next year. Check out this online calculator to quickly find out what reasonably fits within your budget.
Make a list of needs and wants
Which features are important to you in a home? Bust out a pen and some paper and start making a list. First, list the features that are must-haves for you – this could be a home office or a house in a great school district. Then make a wish-list of items that would be nice to have but aren’t deal-breakers – anything from a backyard pool to a man cave. Ideally, you’ll want a home that satisfies most of your needs and some of your wants.
Now that you know what you want and what you can afford, research North County communities. Each of the cities and neighborhoods in North County has its own character and personality, from the laid-back beach vibe of Oceanside to the rural, family-friendly community of Fallbrook.
Get pre-approved for a mortgage
Finally, when you’ve got your financials in order and know what you’re looking for, get pre-approved for a mortgage. This is an essential step of the home buying process that signals to a seller that you are serious and ready. You should never begin your home search in earnest without it.
Work with a North County expert
Whether you’re looking for a coastal or inland property, the Cristine Clark and Jamie Gilman Team can help! Our agents are experts in North County San Diego real estate, and we’d love to help you find your new home. Click here or call 760-758-1211 to chat with one of our dedicated agents.