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Path to Home Ownership

Path to Home Ownership/

 Home ownership is the American dream. The path to home ownership has many twist and turns. The path to home ownership graphic is simple overview of the road to achieve the dream.  Housing Sacramento provides more in-depth information just a click away.

Before searching for a house:

1.  Before doing anything else, go online and do a few minutes of research.  Start looking at the average prices for the type of home you want and see if it’s within (or at least close to) a price you’d be willing to pay.  If so, keep going.  If not, you need to be prepared to accept a smaller or less extravagant home than you were hoping for. Use HousingSacramento.com property search to find homes for sale in the Sacramento and Northern California Foothill areas.

2.  Get your credit report and research loan programs.  Getting your credit score will help you figure out how big of a loan you can qualify for.  Armed with this information, it is time to narrow the search on your future home.

For more information about credit scores, follow this link: Understanding credit score

3.  Get prequalified for a loan.  Mortgage prequalification simply means that a lender has briefly looked over your information and is willing to try to do business with you.  The lender is saying that they are willing to loan money to you, but they need to look at your information in more detail before they know exactly how much.  They can give you an estimate once you are prequalified. For more information about Mortgage prequalification and apply for one click  Housing Sacramento Mortgage prequalification

 4.  The next step is loan preapproval.  At this stage, you lender can tell you exactly how much they will lend to you.  But they need to see the home you plan on buying before they’ll give it to you.  For more information on preapproval and prequalification click Housing Sacramento Loan Preapproval

Since you now know how much a lender will loan to you, you know the maximum amount you will be able to pay for a house.  Don’t even bother looking above that price unless you have additional personal finances. 

During the home search:

5.  Find a real estate agent.   Choosing a Real Estate Agent is an important decision.  Getting the right person who fights for the good of their clients, and has the skills and knowledge to do it effectively, is essential.   Read More at  Hire a Professional Real Estate Agent

 6.  Begin looking at listings, in person and online.  Your agent can help you greatly with any questions or problems that you have at this point.   Tell them some specific things that you want your home to have and then they will help you search.  This is one of the big advantages of using a real estate agent.  They have tools that the general public doesn’t have access to that allow them to search for homes easily.

Found a home:

7.  Keep finances in line.   Don’t do anything to upset your finances.  No new loans, no expensive purchases, keep your credit card well below its max, things like that. 

 8.  Research Neighbors.  After finding a house that you want, go to the surrounding neighborhood and talk with some of the people in the community.  Ask them questions about the neighborhood: Are there community amenities like a pool?  Are there community events like potlucks or a Christmas party?  Are there dogs in people’s back yards that bark at night?  Crime rate?  Are there HOAs or CC&Rs


9.  Have your agent check for unpaid property taxes and liens.  If the price of a home ever seems too good to be true, it probably is.  Homes can have huge amounts of debt attached to them.  You need to know about this before you offer to buy the house.

Make the offer:

10.  Determine offer price.  Determine how much the house is worth to you.  Work with your agent to strike a good offer.  If the offer is high you have a better chance of getting the house, but you’re spending a lot of money.  If your offer is low, you may be outbid by someone else.  It depends on how much you are willing to spend and how much you want the home.  Be very honest and clear with your agent so they can help you decide on an offering price.

For more infomation on setting the price for your offer: Housing Sacramento real estate making a offer to buy home

Offer accepted:

11.  Your offer was accepted!  Now it’s time to hire a home inspector to make sure that everything in the house is up to par.  The inspector will check the systems in the house (heating, running water, electrical, etc.) and look for anything out of the ordinary.  Doing this will alert you to any issues before you buy the house.

12.  Get the home appraised.  The appraisal is not free, that is why it comes near the end of the buying process.  You want to have the home appraised to be sure it is worth the asking price.  If the appraised value is less than the asking price, your lender will likely not agree to loan you the funds to purchase it.  Who pays for the appraisal can change from purchase to purchase.  An appraisal usually costs $300-$600, so it’s worth asking your lender who is going to pay for it.

13.  Make purchase funds available.  A down payment is often necessary for purchasing the house.  If you have to liquidate some assets or move money from one account to another, this is the time to do it.  Get the money ready to leave your pocket.

14.  Complete final walk through


15.  Sign the closing documents, bring ID and a cashier’s check to pay the closing costs.