Buyers Checklist for South Redondo

Rae Lord November 22, 2022
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If you’re planning on buying a home, you’re probably going to need some help at some point along the way. Being prepared can give you a big advantage, but there’s more to buying a home than first meets the eye. Everyone’s financial health, personal life, and future plans vary, so it’s a good idea to get personalized input on home buying from a local real estate agent too. Below, expert agent Rae Lord covers all the steps for buyers looking at South Redondo homes for sale with a basic checklist. Let’s get started!

Be clear about your budget

The first step for home buyers to acknowledge at the beginning of the journey is to determine how much they can afford honestly and plan from there. Arriving at a realistic budget means making a few calculations rather than relying on intuition about your future finances and family plans. Some of the more common ways to budget for a home include:

  • Calculate your debt-to-income ratio (DTI), or the relation between monthly expenses and your income. Make sure to include all your regular bills in the calculation.
  • Gather up a list of your debts. Include monthly bills, loans, car payments, and anything else that counts as an expense month to month.
  • Include the hidden costs of buying a home, like furnishings, new paint, landscaping, and other expenses for maintenance and repairs.
  • Check out a home affordability calculator for more precise tools to measure your readiness.

Make a down payment

Next, you should start saving for a down payment. The more you can put down initially will often reduce your interest rate on your mortgage loan. For instance, down payments above 20% can exempt you from paying private mortgage insurance. The average down payment on a home varies from 13% to 8% for younger buyers in 2022, while many buyers put down quite a bit less.

Find a lender

Once you’ve planned a budget, it’s time to find a mortgage lender and get pre-approval on the loan. At this point, you’ll want to ensure your credit score is up to par and decide with your chosen lender about the terms and length of your loan, from 15 to 30 years or more. Consulting with a real estate agent can be helpful, too, since they’ll have more insights about local lenders and more than likely be on speaking terms with them.

Find a local real estate agent

One of the most important steps for new home buyers is to locate a reliable local real estate agent. These professionals not only serve as an invaluable backup for when you’re wondering about the neighborhood housing prices. They can also help guide you through the process faster and more enjoyably by:

  • Inquiring with sellers about flexible pricing
  • Delivering a summary of a home’s pros and cons
  • Filling out paperwork and managing the close of the sale
  • Helping with negotiations and bidding wars
  • Much, much more

Start the hunt

Now comes the time for the fun part: house hunting. Since this step can be daunting for some buyers, we recommend casting a wide net initially so that you don’t limit your options later down the line. Consult with your realtor, and be sure to let them know about your priorities. Do you need to be close to local schools, a new job, or in a specific neighborhood with amenities, shopping, and grocery store options? Let your agent know. They’ll be able to narrow down what fits your needs by using a multiple listing service (MLS) or other means.

Work out offers

Now that you’ve got an assortment of housing options picked out, it’s time to plan for an offer. As always, a real estate agent is critical to have at this point because they’ll be able to make the smartest offer given your finances. They’ll help determine:

  • Housing market trends in your neighborhood
  • Other competing offers on the home
  • The health of the market and whether it favors buyers or sellers
  • Additional costs and terms of the sale that can make your offer more desirable
What’s more, you’ll want to know the details behind a purchase offer. It will likely include an earnest money deposit (which is usually 1-3% of the total value) as well as several contingencies that you’ll need to meet, like whether or not you need to sell your previous home before the offer is accepted and you get final approval.

Inspect and appraise the home

In South Redondo real estate, the next step for home buyers to check off is the inspection phase. Schedule a home inspection and appraisal as soon as possible after you’ve received final approval on your offer. A quick look around your new potential home might not reveal the deeper issues hidden in a home’s foundation, roof, or surrounding landscape.

That’s why an inspection is vital. If the inspection does reveal a need for repairs, you may be able to use this information to bargain for a lower purchase price.

Close the deal

Now that you’ve come to the end of the home-buying process, it’s time to close the deal. Your agent and loan officer will fill out all the appropriate paperwork, but it’s usually up to you to complete a few last-minute tasks. These can include:

  • Making a final walk-through of the property
  • Reviewing the closing disclosure at least three days before closing
  • Producing your down payment check and any final closing expenses
  • Providing proof of homeowners insurance and ID

Get in touch with a local real estate agent today

If you have any more questions about buying South Redondo real estate, contact Rae Lord today, an experienced South Redondo real estate agent with all the answers you need. Rae is looking forward to helping you find your dream home.

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