Potential homeowners in the San Francisco Bay Area have many things to look forward to, including a vibrant art scene, proximity to well-paying jobs, and beautiful scenery. However, it is an expensive area to buy. In fact, research shows that half of the most expensive housing markets are in the Bay Area.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when looking for a home in the Bay Area:
Define Your Minimum Requirements
If you plan to stay in a house for a period of 5 to 7 years whilst you build equity, you need to ensure that it is habitable. You should come up with a list of must-have requirements that you cannot live without. Make sure that you consider their proximity to your workplace, schools, public transport; a number of bedrooms; as well as the quality of the house.
For instance, if you are considering Kapilina beach homes in Ewa beach, you should look at your list of requirements. With these minimum requirements, you should be able to live in any home happily without feeling uncomfortable.
Search Online but Work with a Realtor
According to research, most homebuyers start their searches online. When you start your search online, you will get an idea of how many homes are available. However, you should work with a real estate professional to get a feel of the area’s housing market.
Moreover, a real estate agent can help you to make the best offer on the house. Online searches might turn up dream homes such as Admirals Cove luxury apts for rent in Alameda in Bay Area townhomes with your dream neighborhood but you might not be able to make a good offer. Sellers in the Bay Area set low asking prices in the beginning because they know that once bidding starts, the prices will increase. A qualified real estate professional can help you to navigate this process easily.
Set a Realistic Budget
If you would like to own a condo in SOMA, you need to make a cash offer and add 10-20 percent to the original price. Unless you can do this, you should set realistic budget expectations. You should figure out how much you can save for a down payment as well as how much you can afford to pay monthly for the insurance, HOA, mortgage, and property tax.
Your minimum requirements and budget should be your guide. Do not let your home-related costs go over 28 percent of your gross income. Moreover, when you factor in other debts such as car loans, your debt-to-income ratio must not go beyond 38 percent of your gross income.
Develop Criteria for Making Offers
You should work together with your real estate agent to come up with a plan of when to make an offer. Make sure that the property meets your minimum requirements before making an offer. You should figure out how many disclosures were made.
If twenty disclosures have been made, there might be up to 10 offers. At this point, you have to choose whether you want a tenancy – an ownership structure where several parties share an ownership interest that is transferable. When you choose a criterion for making offers, it takes some anxiety from the issue.
Be Flexible on Location
Your money will have different degrees of buying power in various neighborhoods within San Francisco. This means that some areas are much cheaper than others are, so you should be flexible. If you stick to your guns, you might end up paying more.
The above tips will come in handy if you want to purchase a home in the Bay Area.