Tips for Buying a Vacation Home in San Diego

splash_large03

If you have ever thought about purchasing a vacation home in San Diego (who hasn’t?) there are many things to take into consideration before pulling the trigger. For those who don’t know where to start, or are just looking for some extra pointers, here are a couple very important tips to help guide you through the process and make it as easy as possible!

Google: Using Google search and/or Google Maps, look around and get to know the different areas of San Diego. Think of all the reasons why you want to buy a home here, and make a list of all the areas that offer you exactly what you want out of your vacation home.

Market Research: Now that you have your short list, research what the markets are like in each of the areas you have selected. Some examples of things to look at are:

Short-term rental demands and occupancy rates

Tourism demographics (i.e. is it growing? declining?)

Average sales price for vacation homes (also research how the market has grown over time)

Number of vacation homes for sale

If there are any new housing developments

What people say about the community (using websites such as TripAdvisor)

Advertisements

Becoming A Homeowner As A Millennial

Minneapolis a Top City for Millennial Homeowner Growth

If you are stuck with student debt you may feel like you have a ball and chain attached to your foot and think you may never be able to afford a home.  A study showed that close to 70% of millennials are waiting to become homeowners due to their student debt.

A student loan is only part of your overall financial profile so it is unlikely that will affect your ability to get a mortgage.

You will want to have a handle on the debt you already have so you can see how much more you can reasonably take on.

The biggest impact on your monthly payments will be how much you put up for a down payment and the interest rate on the mortgage.  There are calculators offered by Zillow, Bankrate, and others to calculate mortgage payments and affordability.

Downsizing: What you need to know

1140-Downsizing-Ditch-these-10-items-big-house.imgcache.rev0ddb2ba91f41ad4fa641d034ec583004.web.945.544

It probably feels like it was just yesterday that you moved into your new home, ready to start a life, a family. We all know how quickly time flies, and by now your youngest kid is off to college, or maybe starting their first job in the “real world.” And once you realize that they are really gone, that is when you start to think about what to do with all that space.

Some couples enjoy finally being alone in their homes, but for others, it’s just way too much space. In the past and even to an extent in the present, societal constructs have dictated that the home is as much of a status symbol as it is a place of dwelling, and because of this many people don’t want to downsize. However, a lot of people these days view downsizing as a step forward, rather than a step back. There are many benefits to downsizing, and this article will help explore whether or not this may be something for you.

How to know when to downsize

Many people choose to downsize simply because their home is just too big for them anymore. This happens most often when when children grow up and move out. But other factors can play in, such as wanting a home that is easier to maintain, or closer to a more urban area with lots of fun things to do. Sometimes downsizing isn’t even a choice, due to things like an unexpected financial setback.

A couple of questions to ask yourself

Will you miss your more spacious home?

You really have to ask yourself and visualize how your life would change were you to move into a smaller home. For instance, some people like having more spacious rooms, or higher ceilings. They like having a large yard, pool, spa, etc. If you move into a smaller home, you wont have many of these things, but you also don’t have to do any of the maintenance work required with having them either. For example, those who might have spent 8-10 hours or more of work each week cleaning the home or the yard in their larger house now only spend about an hour or two, maybe even less.

How will unexpected life events affect your smaller home?

One of the more common issues that can happen after you downsize is adult children moving back into your home. One way to prevent this from happening is to make sure they are comfortably settled into their new life before pulling the trigger on downsizing a little too soon. With the job market as terrible as it is, especially for young college graduates, you shouldn’t assume that your child will have an easy time finding, and keeping, a job after they graduate. Having an extra bedroom at your new place just in case, either for kids, relatives, or guests, is never a bad idea.

Hidden costs

It may seem very cut and dry, moving to a smaller, less expensive home means more money for you. Sometimes this is true, however there are a few factors to consider that you may not be thinking about.

A major component of downsizing that many people don’t think about is what to do with all of your belongings.

Home-Buying: How To Find The Right Seller

The best seller is one who is highly motivated. A highly motivated seller is more likely to sell at a price that is less than his or her house is actually worth. And it matters that you find out why. Learning the reason why can help you get the price you want and help the seller get what they want: a timely sale.

When given the opportunity to meet with sellers, ask them why they are selling. The reason could be anything, such as a job change to a new location or financial problems. If you can solve their problem, whether it is cash related or time related, do so. For example, if the sellers are highly motivated because they need to move quickly, give them a fast sale – and a lower price. If you can make an offer, even a low one, that gives them cash in a short time, they are more likely to accept.

Image result for home seller

There are also some sellers that you should avoid. Not every seller is as genuinely motivated as they make themselves to be. Some possible hints:

  • they stall on having the home appraised or inspected
  • they are unable to clear up liens against their property
  • they do not own 100% of their property
  • they push back the move-out date
  • they do not have a replacement property or back up plan
  • etc.

It is impossible to find the perfect seller. But it is possible to find out which sellers are legit and which ones aren’t.

Deadly Homebuying Pitfalls

Buying a home is a huge deal for everyone. Unfortunately, there are many big mistakes and pitfalls that buyers often make. These mistakes complicate the home buying process and can cost you tons of money and time correcting the mistakes.

Many buyers get caught up in the excitement of purchasing a home and let their emotions make decisions, only to find out they missed an important step. This post will explore some of the biggest pitfalls buyers make when looking to purchase a home.

Deadly home buying pitfalls:

1 – Not Getting Proper and Professional Help

It’s important to remember that while you may be able to learn a lot about purchasing a home on the internet, it is impossible to learn everything. Real estate is a constantly evolving market and something you read just last year could now be useless.

There are many aspects of purchasing a house that buyers don’t even know exist. From the buyers and sellers agent, to appraisers,to inspectors, to attorneys and mortgage bankers. Each one of those jobs have professionals that perform those tasks 8 hours a day, every day of the year, and have perfected the profession. Trying to save a few hundred dollars by skipping out on an inspection or attorneys is foolish and almost always returns to haunt you.

2 – Not Getting Pre-Qualified Before Looking at Homes

Most people enjoy looking at new homes, but do not enjoy talking about the money aspect. Obtaining a proper pre-approval will save you tons of stress later in the process.

Getting a proper pre-approval allows you to know exactly how much money you are capable of spending on a house and helps you narrow down the market to what you can afford. Additionally, some buyers are able to use their pre-approval as a negotiating tool to help get the price down.

3 – Thinking Too Short Term And Ignoring The Long Term

When looking to purchase a home people tend to think about the next 4-5 years of their life, instead of the next 8-10, which is where they should be thinking. Yes, 5 years is a long time and a lot can change from job and marital status to children, but selling your home does have a cost. If the market does not appreciate quick enough you can stand to not get your moneys worth from the original purchase.

Obviously there are many circumstances that no body is able to predict, but spending time thinking through just some of the basic scenarios can save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

4 – Not Understanding The Full Costs Involved

There are many costs involved with purchasing a home that many buyers don’t realize. It is not just pay the listing price and it is yours. There is inspection costs, moving costs, closing costs, escrows, and more. Professionals can explain and walk you through all these extra costs, ensuring there are no surprises at the very end.

5 – Not Understanding Fair Market Value

One of the biggest issues when buying a house is buyers not understanding the market price of a home. People get caught up with what their parents think it should cost, or what you can afford in total, or with personal opinions about the price of a home which often is far different than the market value. There is a very organized process to determine the market price of a home that involves reviewing similar comparable homes that sold within the nearby vicinity.

It is important to know what the market value is because a house can be listed over, under, or exactly at market price. Being able to recognize the difference between the listing price and the market price can save you lots of stress and money and help you formulate a concrete offer.

 

 

 

What Dog Owners Should Know When Buying or Selling a Home

(Guest Blog By Medina James at DogEtiquette)

 

Untitled
Image via Pixabay

 

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, if you’re a dog owner, there are some special preparations and precautions you must take. It may be one of the last things on your mind during this busy and stressful time, but real estate dog etiquette is extremely important. Here are some tips for both buyers and sellers who have to deal with canine friends throughout the process.

For sellers – your house smells more like dog than you think

When we live with certain smells for years, we get used to them. We all know that everyone’s house has a particular scent – and if you’re trying to sell your house you don’t want that scent to be eau de pooch. The natural way to get dog odor out of carpets and furniture involves baking soda and vinegar, but there are also plenty of sprays, shampoos, and other products you can purchase to help. Plug-in air fresheners work for the final touch. Also remember to pick up any dog poop in your yard. Here is a good article about removing pet odors from a house.

For sellers – make arrangements to have your dogs out of the house

This goes for scheduled showings and for open houses. You’ll want to make arrangements to have your dogs out of the house – and not just out of the house and in the backyard. You’ll want your dogs to be completely gone. Either board them for a day or ask a friend or neighbor to watch them for a few hours.

For buyers – ask ahead for dog visits

Some pet owners want to take their dog to a potential new home to see how they interact with it. Older dogs with mobility issues may have trouble with certain design elements of a home, and you may want to see if they can handle stairs, decks, porches, etc. before committing to purchase. If you want to do this, you need to ask. It’s rude to bring a dog into someone’s home without first clearing it. People have allergies, fears, and even other pets you must consider.

For both – think about moving day

Moving day is stressful for your pets, so it may be best to board them (here are some tips on that) or have them stay with a friend. If you can’t arrange this, it’s smart to put them in a “safe room” in your house and instruct the movers to move that room last. This is simply safer for the movers and for your dog.

For both – it’s best to leave your dog out of the process (no matter how cute)

You love your dog. Strangers may also love your dog. Most everyone you meet may love your dog. But somewhere there is someone who just doesn’t like dogs. Maybe they’re afraid or maybe they’re allergic. Whatever the case may be, some people just aren’t dog people. So why take the risk that a potential buyer/seller is in this small minority? Even if your dog is incredibly well-behaved and cute, it’s best to leave them out of the process altogether. Ask a friend to watch your dog, or hire a dog walker if the dog just needs to be out of the home briefly for a single showing.

Even dog lovers don’t really want to deal with other people’s animals during the home buying process. It’s not only considerate of others to leave dogs out of the process, but it’s better for your dogs too. Many dogs are stressed out by tons of strangers and new environments, so it’s best to protect them from the chaos that is buying or selling a home.

How to Know If You’re Ready to Buy Your First Home

Buying your first home is a big endeavor; it’s an exciting and fun time. If buying is something you’re thinking about, think about these next few considerations to determine if you are ready!

a127163f-6de8-4119-8008-02d859ee94cc.1.10

Consider your Finances

A home is an important investment. Annual income should be the first consideration in buying a house. Most lenders will recommend a budget between three to five times your annual income if you plan on putting down a 20% down payment. There are also a few other financial factors to consider. Existing loans or debts, as well as poor credit scores, can make the buying process more difficult. If your financial state is stable and can handle the event of purchasing home, you are ready to buy.

 

Consider the Cost

Many consider the price of the monthly mortgage when considering buying a home, but many forget about the other costs involved. Property taxes, insurance, HOA Fees, and utilities will all add to the cost of owning a home. You will also need to make sure you have money leftover after all of that as an “emergency fund” to pay the repair man in case your roof starts leaking, your pipes burst, or your refrigerator breaks down. If you are able to manage those costs as well as the monthly mortgage, you are ready to buy.

 

Consider your Lifestyle

Most experts agree that buying a home makes financial sense if you know you’re going to stay for a minimum of 5 years. A lot of different factors can influence where you call home. Do you have a secure job? Does your company transfer often? Do you have an expanding family? If your employment situation feels secure and you are content with the size and location of the home you would be purchasing, you are ready to buy.

 

The process of buying your first home is more time-consuming than it may seem, but the end result is worth all of the efforts put in!

Keys-to-the-New-House