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First Time Home Buying Tips from Ling Wang of A Gem Home

20 Feb 2023 7:59 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • Purchasing a home for the first time can be an exciting but overwhelming experience, especially in the Bay Area where the real estate market is known to be competitive and expensive. The good news is that the local market today is a lot more buyer friendly and presents good opportunities for families who are looking to buy a new home. Home prices are down from last spring. In our San Mateo County, single family homes’ median sales price is 21% lower in January compared to a year ago. The mortgage rates also have started to improve since last November. With lower rates, your ability to buy your gem home greatly improves. And we will see more homes becoming available for sale as the Spring season starts. That means right now is a sweet spot if you’re in a good position to buy.

    Here are some tips for first-time homebuyers in the Bay Area:

  • 1.    Get your finances in order: Before you start house hunting, it’s essential to get your finances in order. You’ll need to have a good credit score, stable income, and a clear understanding of what you can afford. Work with a lender to get pre-approved for a mortgage and get a clear understanding of the costs involved in buying a home, such as closing costs, property taxes, and homeowner insurance.

  • 2.    Start saving for a down payment: Start saving as early as possible to ensure you have enough money for the down payment, closing costs, and other expenses associated with homeownership. There are first-time home buyer assistance programs available, and you can purchase home with less than 20% down payment.

  • 3.    Determine your priorities: Do you want a spacious backyard, a pool, or a convenient location close to your workplace? Before you start house hunting, make a list of your must-haves, your wants, and your deal-breakers. This will help you focus your search and make it easier to find the right home for you.

  • 4.    Work with a real estate agent: A good real estate agent can help you navigate the competitive Bay Area real estate market, find the right home, and negotiate the best deal. They have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is a database of homes for sale that only real estate agents can access. A good agent will also be able to help you understand the various neighborhoods in the Bay Area and find the one that’s right for you.

  • 5.    Be prepared for a competitive market: The Bay Area is a competitive market, and homes can sell quickly. Be prepared to act fast when you find the right home. Be ready with a pre-approval letter, proof of funds for the down payment, and a contingency plan if the deal falls through.

  • 6.    Don't be afraid to make an offer: In the Bay Area, many homes can be sold above the asking price, and it's not uncommon for homes to receive multiple offers. Don’t be afraid to make an offer, even if it’s above the asking price. Just be sure to work with your real estate agent to determine a fair offer that takes into account the current market conditions and the value of the home.

In conclusion, buying a home in the Bay Area can be a challenging and complex process, but with the right resources, preparation, and support, it is possible to become a homeowner in this sought-after region. To help you take advantage of the current market, I am kicking off a workshop series on homeownership and real estate investment with a group of experts. RSVP to our next workshop in San Mateo and you will automatically receive notifications of the related expert sessions and their recordings. Can you think of anyone who may also be looking for their gem home? Do share this invitation with your friends. And let us help you reach your homeownership dreams!

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