If ever there was a place to live, Southern California is it. Located along the coastline, residents enjoy beautiful beaches, fine dining, great shopping, and plenty of fun and entertainment for all ages. Not to mention, there’s plenty of real estates ripe for the picking. From luxury condos to beautiful family homes, there is no shortage of places for you to call home.
If you’re interested in moving to Southern California, here are a few steps you want to keep in mind to make the home shopping experience a success.
Know What You Can Afford
Before you start looking at ideal homes it’s good to know what you can afford. This prevents you from getting your hopes caught up or buying too much house and getting into financial trouble later. To get an idea of what you can afford you need to factor in how much you earn, your outstanding debt, and how much you have saved for a down payment. You’ll also need to consider your monthly expenses like utilities, car note, groceries, gas, etc.
Create Your List of Must Haves
Now that you know what you can afford to pay for a house in Southern California it’s time to get down to the specifics. What kind of house are you looking for? What features do you want the property to have? Would you prefer a large 5 bedroom, 2 bathroom house with a revamped backyard complete with a deck, outdoor cabinets, stove, pool, and seating area? Or, are you more interested in a 2 bedroom condo with hardwood floors, an updated kitchen, and a large master bathroom? Keep a list of your needs and wants to narrow down your house search.
Find a Realtor
While you can go shopping for houses in Southern California on your own if it’s your first time, it is best to hire an expert to assist you. Real estate agents know the lay of the land and can help you find properties within your price range with all or most of the features from your list. Try to choose a realtor who’s located in the area you’re most interested in buying. For instance, if you want to look at San Clemente real estate, you’d want to find a real estate company that services the area for the best results.
View More Than One Property
There are so many gorgeous properties for sale in Southern California. It can be very easy for you to look at one property and get hooked. Even if you feel like you’ve found your dream home, it can’t hurt to look at more than one. This ensures that you’re getting the best property for the investment and that it definitely has everything you want. Consider looking in different parts of town or in different style homes to give yourself options.
Look at More than Aesthetics
Again, it can be easy to get wrapped up in the glitz and glam of the properties but you don’t want to judge a book by cover. As you’re looking over properties for sale, it is important to look past the aesthetic appeal. Ask to see the entire house from top to bottom. Check for cracks, holes, uneven floors, foul odors, signs of rodents, foundation issues, and other red flags.
Make an Offer
After you’ve looked at a few houses in Southern California it’s time to make a decision. Based on your budget, needs, and wants, which property is best suited for you? Once you’ve decided, you’ll need to talk with your real estate agent about putting in an offer. When making an offer, though you want to get the best deal possible, going in too low (especially if it’s a bidding war) may result in a rejection.
Buying a house in Southern California or anywhere, for that matter, is exciting and stressful all at once. If you want to find the house of your dreams and do it without too many hitches along the way, you need to plan efficiently. Getting a budget and list of must-haves in place, working with a realtor, and viewing properties from the inside out will ultimately lead to you finding the right one. If your offer is accepted, it won’t be long before you’re moving in and turning your house into a home.