Hi, I’m Warren Oberholser. I’m a realtor in the East Bay Tri-Valley area in Northern California. My goal is to help both buyers and sellers get maximum results for one of their biggest investments, their home.
Buying your first Tri-Valley home is exciting.
Actually, it’s not. In fact, it can be quite stressful.
What is exciting is when your property finally closes and you get the keys and you can move in.
So if you’re like most new home buyers, you probably have numerous questions, anxieties, and possibly some fears. Even seasoned or repeat home buyers have the same emotion.
In fact, according to Kelsey Ramirez from housingwire.com, “approximately 40% of American states buying a new home is the most stressful event and modern life” (who is Kelsey Ramirez). And 33% of those surveys said they were reduced to tears at some point during the housing buying process.
So why are home buyers so stressed? Well, I think it all boils down to a lack of confidence, the same malady that affects all of us when learning a new process. Now there are some events in the home buying process that are more stressful than others.
In this BLOG, I’m going to discuss what they are, and most importantly, give you some solutions you can apply to handle them straight on, so you can minimize your stress and maximize your success when purchasing your home.
Tip #1: Learn all you can about the mortgage process.
According to the National Realtor Association, 90% of all homes purchased are financed. Surveys show most consumers know very little about home mortgages.
For instance, “many people believe that if you don’t have at least 20% down, you can’t buy a home”, according to rocketmortgage.com, which by the way is a myth.
There are many home loans on the market with only a 3% down payment requirement, and there are some that have zero down payment requirements.
Rules for qualifying for a home mortgage are also misunderstood. Many consumers are under the impression that the qualification process is stricter than it is, yet when asked about qualification standards such as debt-to-income ratio, about half of the buyer survey didn’t know anything about them.
If you don’t think you can afford a home, you may be stressing under some common misconceptions. You see, clarity is power. When you have a better understanding of the mortgage application process, you’ll be more confident and less stressed. To help you with this, please visit:
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
- Rocket Mortgage
- Motley Fool
- The Mortgage Reports
- Freddie Mac
- Buying a House With Cash vs Getting a Mortgage: Pros and Cons
- California Housing Fin ace Agency
These websites can help you learn about the lending process, so you can get up to speed. So once you’re familiar with this process, you should start searching for a lender that best suits your needs.
Probably the best way is to reach out to a friend, family member, or colleague who recommends a lender they’ve had a great experience with.
And of course, please feel free to reach out to me if you need a good recommendation.
Once you’ve established your lender, they will now guide you through the mortgage process. Before I leave this section, I want to recommend watching my first-time homebuyer mortgage video.
In this video, I feature Brian LeBars from Vintage Home Mortgage. Brian breaks down the whole mortgage process and discusses a variety of loans that are out there.
Tip #2: Don’t get stressed about your down payment.
Remember the 20% down payment myth? Many home buyers are purchasing homes with as little as 3% to 5% down. However, for some home buyers, even a 3% down payment is a fortune. So what happens if you don’t have enough for a 3% to 5% down payment? Well, there are a few solutions.
Two, the US Department of Agriculture also offers a no down payment mortgage for those who wish to purchase properties in certain eligible rural areas. (To learn if the home you have your eye on is considered “eligible,” enter the address here.) USDA Eligibility
Before I leave the subject on down payments, I want you to know some municipality, state, and federal organizations may have down payment assistance programs. To help you research this- Go to the California Housing Finance Agency.
Tip #3: Hire the right realtor.
Okay. This is not going to be a shameless plug for using my services. Rather, it’s going to give you some tools or tips on how to find the right realtor that fits your needs.
First, interview your realtor carefully to ensure you find the right one who fits your needs. After all, your real estate agent will be your advocate during the home buying process. Therefore, it is crucial that you have a good working relationship with them.
And second, ask for references. And if possible, see if you can interview those references themselves. Get them on the phone, send a text, send an email, ask how the experience was. Even if the realtor was great for that reference, it may not be the right one for you, just from what they describe. So get as much information as you can.
And of course, please reach out to me. I’m happy to be interviewed, and I definitely will provide references for you. Warren
It’s been said that knowledge is power. So the more you know about the home buying process will empower you and hopefully reduce your stress when you buy your home.
I hope you enjoyed this article. Please let me know if you have any questions. Warren
Hello…I work with both buyers and sellers in the Tri-Valley area of Northern California. The Tri-Valley is comprised of 6 cities: Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, San Ramon, Danville, and Alamo. To better understand what each city has to offer, I have created a Pros and Cons video and BLOG for each – (Pros & Cons for Pleasanton, Pros & Cons for Livermore, Pros & Cons for Dublin, Pros & Cons for San Ramon, Pros & Cons for Danville and Pros & Cons for Alamo). If you are thinking about purchasing or selling a home, please reach out to me by text, phone, or email. If it is convenient, I can schedule a Zoom chat so we can discuss your home goals. Wishing you all the best on your home journey. Cheers!
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