6 Steps to Take If You’re a First-Time Home Buyer in and Around Torrance, CA
1. Figure Out Your Budget
Before you do anything else, you have to figure out your budget. Local real estate can be extremely expensive, with the average house now selling for over $800,000. If you want to buy a luxury property, you will have to spend more than $1 million. Have a look at your finances and determine whether you have enough money for a down payment and the monthly mortgage payment.
In the current financial climate, it’s a good idea to have an extra cushion because it’s likely that interest rates will rise in the future. Right now, you can expect to pay around 4-5.5% interest on your mortgage, which is much higher than it was a year ago. To prevent financial trouble, you should either get a 30-year fixed mortgage or, if you get a variable rate, make sure you can pay more should the interest increase significantly.
2. Hire a Great Real Estate Agent
If you’ve never bought a home before, the process can be daunting and confusing. This is especially true because there is a chronic housing shortage in Los Angeles, so you might be fighting with several other parties for the same property. To increase your chances of finding what you’re looking for, you should hire a highly competent real estate agent.
Teresa Mack has over 15 years of experience selling property in the local area. This gives her a great advantage over her competitors because she can quickly and accurately assess whether a property is a good deal. What’s more, she has the relevant network connections to find properties before they even go on the market. First-time buyers who would like to benefit from her expertise should get in touch or sign up for the mailing list.
3. Have a Look at Some Areas to Consider
Buying a home is a long-term plan, and you might be living in your new property for a decade or more. Make sure that you are happy with the local area and amenities. Visit every neighborhood you’re willing to consider to see whether it is suitable. Ideally, you should walk through the areas in the morning, in the afternoon, and at night to get a better feel for them.
You could also speak to some locals, for example in shops or cafes, to find out what they think about the location. Then, you can rank the Los Angeles neighborhoods in order of preference and let your real estate agent know your top two to three choices. With this information, the realtor can help you find what you’re looking for more easily.
4. Choose a Property and Make an Offer
Whenever a new property comes on the market, your realtor will let you know and ask whether you want to arrange a viewing. When looking at a property, it can be tempting to just consider the first impression. But you should examine the house or condo thoroughly before making a decision. Walk through the whole home and check for issues such as damp, structural problems, old or broken features, and cracks in the walls or ceiling.
You should also consider how easy the property will be to live in. Are the rooms big enough for your needs? Is there enough storage space? What are the surroundings like, and is it easy for you to get to work and the local shops? Once you’ve found a property that ticks all the boxes, your realtor can help you put together an offer.
5. Have the Property Inspected
The inspector will walk through the entire home and check the foundation, the outside structures, the inside, the HVAC system, the electrical system, and the plumbing. Then, they will write up a detailed report that lists all the potential issues. If there are problems with the property, you must decide whether you’re still willing to buy it. In some cases, you can negotiate with the seller and get a better price that factors in the necessary repairs.
6. Complete the Sale
After you’ve signed the paperwork, you have to pay all the closing costs, which are made up of the title and escrow charges and lender fees. There might be additional charges related to the inspection, natural disaster certification, and other issues unique to your property.
For a first-time home buyer, purchasing a property in Torrance, CA can be overwhelming. But fortunately, there are plenty of people available to help. Your real estate agent will help you find homes and make an offer, but they can also connect you with inspectors and other professionals who facilitate the process. Call Teresa Mack now to book an initial conversation and benefit from her longstanding expertise.