CHOOSE A NEIGHBORHOOD

neigh-changing

Where do you want to be? A phrase coined by RE/MAX International, and used by so many REALTORS®. When searching for a home in a small community it is not such a difficult decision, but when searching for a home in a large city or an area that is spread out into a number of smaller communities, then you must think about the “where” before you can even begin your home search.

Many factors play into the decision about “where” to live. Here are a few for you to ponder.

1. How close is it to my work?

2. If living in a bedroom community like Tehachapi, how much time will it add to my commute?

3. Where is it in relationship to the kids schools?

4. What school district is the home located in?

5. Can the kids walk to school or will it require busing?

6. How much time does the bus ride add to the day?

7. Are there other children in the neighborhood?

8. Are the kids involved in after school sports or programs that will require extra driving time?

9. Is it a gated community and do you want to pay the additional fees?

10. If you are located in a large city, will your commute be with the traffic or against the traffic?

11. Are there CC & R’s or other restrictions that may not be what you desire?

12. If you are a senior would you prefer a development with no children?

13. Are the lot sizes compatible with your time and desire to care for a yard?

14. Does the neighborhood appeal to you?

If you are searching for your home and have the time to research areas online you can find very helpful demographics such as the average age of the homes, average income of the homeowners, crime rates in the area, school district ratings and and so much more. It is wise to make the time to do this as you wouldn’t want any surprises after you have an accepted offer.

Once you have narrowed down the search it is advisable to drive the neighborhood. Not just during the day but at night, in the evenings, in the early morning hours and any other time you can just cruise through. Those drives will tell you a lot about the neighborhood and the habits of it’s occupants.

Need more insight on where to find demographics? Feel free to call “The Team” at RE/MAX Tehachapi. (661) 822-8888. Ask for Diana or Laura Lynne.

Happy House Hunting!

FOLLOWING A BUDGET

So you have been pre qualified through a reputable lender for $250,000. That’s easy enough. Now it is time to go out and find a house for $250,000 and place an offer on the house.

Maybe Not! It is wise to review your budget before making any decisions on how much to spend on a house. Sometimes just because the lender says you can afford a payment, it doesn’t mean you really feel comfortable with that payment. Lender’s qualifications are based on specific amounts that will allow you to pay for utilities, groceries, auto insurance, gasoline and other essential items. They also take into consideration that a family will spend a certain amount of money for extras, such as eating dinner out, taking vacations, paying for your children’s gymnastics, karate or other things. Unfortunately, they use an amount that is straight across the board.

Here are some things you may want to consider when deciding whether or not to spend the full amount you qualify for:

1. Do you commute to work and therefore use more gasoline than other families?

2. Do you have jobs that are odd hours which makes life easier if you eat out more than once a week?

3. Do your children do more than normal extra curricular activities?

4. Do you own an RV or a boat and like to spend weekends playing at the lake?

5. Do you give charitable gifts that are over and above the national standard?

6. Do you have a child or children in college that is not funded through other means?

7. Do you eat healthy and organic foods only that may cost more than the normal amount a family spends on groceries? (By the way, good for you if you do!)

8. Do you have commitments to care for elderly parents in your monthly expenses?

9. Are you looking in a gated community that has Homeowners Fees?

All of these items and more can affect your ability to repay a mortgage. They are things you should consider before making a final decision on your purchase price.

Then the next thing is to set your price and stick to it. It is so easy to say “If I just raised my price by $25,000 I could get so much more.” It is a trap that many fall prey to during their search. The problem is that could raise your payment by as much as $200 a month depending on your interest rate. If you decide to do that you MUST look at your budget and determine which of your “extras” you can give up. Don’t let someone else talk you into spending what you are not comfortable with spending. Not a lender, not a family member and definitely not your REALTOR®.

The last thing I want to say about this process is a quote I have heard many times.

“You don’t want your house to OWN you; You want to own your house”.

Happy House Hunting!

CalBRE Lic. --- Jack Williams #00419592 --- Diana Williams #00986318 --- Laura Lynne Wyatt #01443357