Low interest mortgage rates are encouraging buyers from across the nation to buy a home now in the luxurious beach city of La Jolla, CA. If you have always dreamed of living in a top-notch home that is just blocks from the best beaches in San Diego County, now could be a great time to buy a residential home if you are in the right position.
However, before you start browsing all of the best listings in the MLS and get your heart set on a property, you need to ask yourself very important questions to avoid common and major home buying mistakes. Here are 5 mistakes that all buyers should avoid and tips on what to do to prevent making these mistakes:
1. Don’t Go Over Budget Because of the Glitz and Glamour
As you start to view houses in La Jolla, you will quickly find that the standards in the area are high. You will find homes with expensive upgrades, luxury materials, and a lot of open space, but remember your budget. It is easy to compromise and look at a house that is above your budget, but doing this will set your expectations high. No house in your price range will ever feel perfect to you once you find the expensive home you love.
What You Can Do: Before you start looking for homes with your La Jolla realtor, take time to get pre-approved. This will show you how much the banks feel you can afford so that you do not go over the upper limit and over your budget.
2. Don’t Forget to Add Up the Added Costs
Your mortgage payment is not the only payment you will be making as a homeowner in La Jolla. In addition to mortgage payments, you will need to pay for insurance, property taxes, maintenance, utilities, and more. As a homeowner you earn equity, but you also have more financial obligation that you cannot overlook.
What You Can Do: You can calculate the costs and add them into your budget by doing some research. Ask a current homeowner in La Jolla or your real estate agent what the bills would average per month. You can also get property tax estimates and homeowners insurance quotes, which can be very accurate for the current year.
3. Don’t Buy If You Aren’t Planning to Stay
If you are planning to relocate in the near future, or you could receive a great job offer elsewhere, it might be best not to buy. When you buy a home, you do not have the luxury that renters do to pack up and leave after a lease is up. You should be ready to stay put for at least 5 years if you are going to buy, and if not you should stick to renting.
What You Can Do: You can check to see if the area is showing strong trends in the rental market. In La Jolla, rental markets can fluctuate and so can the rates. If the information is not positive, stick with your own rental.
4. Don’t Put the Minimum Down Payment
Believe it or not, you can still buy a home with a very small down payment if you choose a less than strict lender. When you pay a down payment lower than 20%, you must pay PMI insurance until your equity exceeds 20%, and this adds up. If you do need to move in the future, you could be stuck with a home that you have no equity in, which is less than ideal.
What You Can Do: If you do not have a sizable amount to put down, you may want to reconsider buying now. By waiting, you can avoid paying PMI premiums and have more equity in the home.
5. Don’t Let Looks Fool You
If a house looks like it is in pristine condition, you might think that an inspection is not necessary. You should always have your future home inspected for serious problems that could be expensive and damaging in the future. This gives you power to negotiate your offer as well.
What You Can Do: Ask your realtor for some names of local La Jolla inspectors who do a thorough job. Arrange the inspection before the home closes so that you can back out if necessary.
Buying a Home in La Jolla, CA
La Jolla is a beautiful beach city with beautiful properties and endless things to do. If you are tired of being a renter and paying someone’s mortgage, it is time to really determine if you are ready to be a homeowner. Weigh your options, avoid mistakes, and make a responsible choice.