If you are ready to become a first time home buyer in San Diego, you’ll want to consider these tips to help you along your quest to homeownership. If you follow these tips, you’ll be better prepared to navigate through everything from financing, house hunting, to ultimately buying the home of your dreams the very first time!

Tip #1: Get a Preapproval Letter

I cannot tell you how many buyers begin house hunting prematurely. Having a preapproval letter in hand does two things: It establishes your purchase limit and it increases your offer’s validity. This tip is very important in building up your purchasing power. An offer without a preapproval is regarded as less attractive and will often times be dismissed entirely. You can obtain a preapproval online from e-approval.com.

Tip #2: Find a Good Real Estate Agent You Can Trust

Finding a good San Diego real estate agent is the most important factor in going through the buying process smoothly and comfortably. If you have a bad feeling towards your agent, walk away. And NEVER sign a contract to use one agent exclusively- you may tie yourself to an agent who may offer you less service if they know you are bound to them. There are a lot of agents that put their commissions in front of their buyers’ best interests these days and buyers are left holding the bill for a property that was a less-than-perfect-fit or less affordable than they deserve. If you are ever unsure of who to use, I have a list of trusted real estate agents I have worked in the past that I know personally and trust- just ask.

Tip #3: Apply for a First Time Home Buyers Grant

How does $15,000 back for closing costs sound? Many people are unaware of the grant programs being offered right now but the San Diego Housing Commission is offering up to $15,000 to eligible first time home buyers in San Diego. The grant never has to be paid back if the buyer occupies the property for six years. To apply for the $15,000 first time home buyer grants visit San Diego Housing Grants at www.sdhg.org or call (619) 663-SDHG.

Tip #4: Know your Finance Options

Did you know? There are FHA programs that will also cover rehabilitation work on a run-down foreclosure saving you thousands. This loan program is called a FHA 203K and it is currently saving A LOT of people A LOT of money when purchasing a property that needs work. 203K loans will cover everything to new roofing, new flooring, paint, stucco, and just about anything else you can imagine! And if you’re a veteran, you can get a VA Loan with 0{cf291cfc7269490771c2e5c8f8cab8cac79ddb0009ca0d6c13a6d788af335a8c} down so that you can use your saved money in other ways- like new furniture!

You can find out more information on the FHA 203K program by calling Mortgage Services of America (888) 619-4858 ext.12.

Tip #5: Find your Home!

The internet is everywhere. Use it! There are a number of websites that allow you to access live San Diego Real Estate MLS listings so that you can do your research from the comfort of your own La-z-boy recliner. A few great sites to start house-hunting are San-Diego-Houses.com, SDLookup.com, and Redfin.com.

With the combination of these tips and a little bit of legwork, you should be ready to embark on your journey towards homeownership! If you are looking for a good agent in San Diego, let me know- I’ll be sure to put you in touch with a local hero. Also, if you ever have any questions regarding financing options for your home purchase, feel free to call me (858) 848-LOAN.

Good Luck and Happy House Hunting!!

Constantine K.

San Diego’s Home Loan Expert

(858) 848-LOAN