Southern California is a beautiful, diverse and vibrant region and calling it home is something many people dream of. Whether you are hoping to buy in Southern California for the first time or you are relocating within the area there are some things you should think of before you start your hunt for a house. Because it is such a popular place and there are a lot of other people searching for a home as well you must do your research and be prepared to commit.
Southern California has many great neighbourhoods and it is important to narrow your search area quickly. Talking to your realtor can help you to create a focus so you will not find the whole process overwhelming. Just try to remember you are looking for a home to buy in Southern California if you can try to relax and enjoy the experience. With the vast variety of areas and homes you should be able to find something you love. Here are a few tips to follow.
- Know Your Wants and Needs
You need to know what you want from a home before you head out on any tours. Knowing how many bedrooms are necessary, whether you want a pool, or if a view is important to you should be decided before you contact a realtor. This way they can start to narrow down areas that fit with what it is you want and need in a home. Also be aware that some neighbourhoods are more child-friendly and others cater more to older buyers.
- Decide on a Neighbourhood
As Southern California is such a large geographic area you may have more than one neighbourhood that suits your needs. However it is important to spend some time researching the different options so you can start your hunt in a place you are interested in living. Some neighbourhoods have greater walkability while others offer more privacy. You may also want to consider whether or not you want to live in a gated neighbourhood.
- Take an Honest Look at Your Finances
When house-hunting in any area it can be easy to slowly start looking at homes above your price range. This can be especially true when looking to buy a home in Southern California. When it seems like just a little bit more to get that view, or the pool for the kids, or to buy in the more expensive neighbourhood you love, you may find your budget suddenly being thrown out the window. Instead take a good look at what you can afford and find the perfect house within it.
- Try to be a Flexible House Hunter
While it is important to know what you want, it is equally as important to be flexible when you are looking to purchase a home. You may have your heart set on the neighbourhood your best friend just bought in or the style of home you just have to have. While this is understandable there is a chance the houses in the neighbourhood you want do not meet your needs, or the style you want is more expensive than expected. Be open to what your realtor has to say.
- Consider Up-and-Coming Neighbourhoods
Though this can often be a tough sell for house hunters who want to buy in the trendy neighbourhood or the one with the very best schools you may find a better house for a better price in a neighbourhood on the rise. Though the first few years it may not be the “it” area that does not mean it will not be in the not-so-distant future. When buyers take this route they often find their home to have far greater equity in the long run than if they bought trendy right away.
- Be Ready to Jump
There is nothing more devastating than finding a home that you love and that ticks all your boxes only to realize you aren’t as organized and ready to move forward as you thought. Make sure your financing is in order and that you have easy access to your downpayment. You do not want to lose a home due to disorganization.
- Always Get an Inspection
Once you have found the home you want it can be tempting to put an offer on it without insisting on a home inspection. This can be one of the biggest mistakes you will ever make. A house can look like it is in perfect condition but have issues and damage hiding behind the walls. Always get an inspection.