Establish A Budget

When buying a home in California's Bay Area, your first step must be to sit down and set a realistic budget based on what you can comfortably afford. Looking for a house that is beyond your means promises nothing but disappointment and future financial woe. Conversely, just because you can afford a more expensive house doesn't necessarily mean that you should buy one.

In setting your budget, be prepared to factor in the down payment and expenses associated with the transaction, including closing costs. You will also want to consider what your monthly mortgage payments will be, as well as insurance and property taxes.

Your down payment will depend on the type of loan you have. A conventional loan typically requires a substantial down payment, usually 10-20% of the purchase price; while FHA (Federal Housing Administration) and VA (Veterans Administration) loans, which are backed by the government, require a much smaller down payment — generally 3.5% for an FHA loan and as little as no down payment for a VA loan.

Closing costs vary, depending on the circumstances and conditions surrounding the purchase agreement, but usually include title and escrow fees, appraisal and inspection fees, hazard insurance, and notary fees. Additionally, they may include loan points, mortgage insurance, reserves for impounds, and up to one month's pre-paid mortgage interest.

After establishing a budget for your East Bay home purchase, the next step in the process is to get pre-approved for a loan so you can begin searching for your East Bay home with confidence. You can proceed to this next home buying step now by visiting Step #2: Get Pre-Approved: Secure Funding So You Can Shop With Confidence.

5 Tips for Homebuyers Who Want to Make a Competitive Offer

Today's real estate market has high buyer interest and low housing inventory. With so many buyers competing for a limited number of homes, it's more important than ever to know the ins and outs of making a confident and competitive offer. Here are ...

Read More

Your House May Be High on the Buyer Wish List This Holiday Season

Around this time each year, many homeowners decide to wait until after the holidays to sell their houses. Similarly, others who already have their homes on the market remove their listings until the spring. Let's unpack the top reasons why selling ...

Read More

Don't Let Buyer Competition Keep You from Purchasing a Home

This year's record-low mortgage rates sparked high demand among homebuyers. Current homeowners, however, haven't put their houses on the market so quickly. This makes finding a home to buy today challenging for many potential buyers. With an ...

Read More

Is it Safe to Sell My House Right Now?

In today's real estate market, the buzz is all about how it's a great time to sell your house. Buyer demand is high, and there simply aren't enough homes available to buy to meet that growing need. This means now is the time to make a move so you ...

Read More

Why the 2021 Forecast Doesn't Call for a Foreclosure Crisis

As the current forbearance mortgage relief options come to an end, many are wondering if we'll face a foreclosure crisis next year. This is understandable, especially for those who remember the housing crisis that began in 2008. The reality is, ...

Read More