Top 7 Tips on Buying a House in Santa Clara
Top 7 Tips on Buying a House in Santa Clara
If you're looking at buying a house in Santa Clara, that's excellent news. Santa Clara is an amazing city that's centrally located to other staples of California, like San Fransisco, Santa Cruz, and San Hose. It also has perfect weather nearly all year round.
But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let's talk about the home buying process. Do you have a house shopping strategy lined out?
If not, don't worry, that's what we're here for. Keep reading for seven important tips for buying a house in Santa Clara.
1. Get Pre-Approved for a Home Loan
The cost of living in Santa Clara is high, like most other cities in California. If you didn't already know, the median home cost is just under $1.4 million.
Before shopping for a house in Santa Clara, talk to your bank and other lenders to get pre-approved for a mortgage. You need to know how much money you can get approved for. Getting pre-approved will also help you learn about your potential mortgage payments and the interest rates you're eligible for.
Remember, some lenders have better rates and are willing to lend more money, so shop around for the best home loan options. Then, you'll know exactly what price range you should be shopping under.
2. Save Up for a Down Payment
If you've previously rented homes or this is your first time buying a house in Santa Clara, it's important to understand all the costs involved with buying and owning a home. For example, most home loans require saving for a down payment.
For jumbo home loans (anything over $650K) a minimum of 10% is required. However, some lenders prefer 25-30%. Putting money down on your house will help lower your monthly payments and your interest rate.
Use this mortgage calculator as part of your house shopping strategy to learn more about your potential home loan costs.
3. Don't Make Any Changes to Your Financial Status
Making financial changes is one of the biggest mistakes made by home buyers. Any alteration to your financial status could negatively impact your home loan eligibility. Even if your days out from closing, you could disqualify yourself and lose the house.
Things to avoid include:
- Taking out personal loans
- Adding charges to a credit card
- Buying a new car
It's also important not to make any career changes, even if your new job pays more. If you get a new job, you'll be required to provide six months' worth of paystubs to verify your income, which could restart the home-buying process. If possible, wait until after you close on the home before changing jobs or making any other changes that could affect your mortgage eligibility.
4. Hire an Experienced Real Estate Agent
Whether you're moving to Santa Clara or have lived here your whole life, working with a real estate agent is highly recommended. It's especially important, however, if you're new to the area.
A realtor has the experience and expertise you need to find ideal homes for families of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds. They can also help you find the best Santa Clara neighborhoods based on your needs. They have hometown experience and in-depth knowledge of the area.
Real estate agents will also prove valuable in your house shopping strategy when it comes time to make an offer. They have important negotiation skills that will help you get the best possible price for your new home.
5. Identify the Best Santa Clara Neighborhoods for You and Your Family
Now, let's talk about finding homes for sale in Santa Clara in the right area. What neighborhoods are best for you and your family?
If you have kids, look into the local school districts. The location of your home will determine which schools your kids have access to as they grow up. You'll probably also want a home near parks and playgrounds.
Conversely, if your lifestyle is more work/nightlife oriented, you'll want a home closer to the heart of Santa Clara. You might appreciate a shorter commute to work and being closer to the city's expansive nightlife and entertainment.
6. Determine Your Wants and Needs
When looking for a house in Santa Clara, identify your priorities. What are you looking for in your new house? What amenities and features are at the top of your list?
On the practical side of things, ask yourself:
- How much interior space do I want?
- What size property do I need?
- How many bedrooms and bathrooms do I want?
Additionally, think about comforts and luxuries. This includes things like hot tubs, pools, fire pits, outdoor kitchens, updated kitchens, luxury bathrooms, and more.
7. Invest in an Inspection and Appraisal
Finally, when you find a house in Santa Clara you want to buy, make a contingent offer. Your offer should be contingent on the home's inspection and appraisal.
The home inspection will uncover any issues or damages to the property. If there are any red-flag issues, they'll need to be remediated before you buy the house.
In many cases, lenders won't approve offers for homes with these types of problems. If the damages or issues aren't deal-breakers, you can request repairs or use them as leverage to lower your offer.
Finally, make sure the home is appraised at or above the seller's asking price. If the appraisal comes back low, you have grounds to lower your offer to meet the appraisal value. You should never pay more than the appraisal price unless you're in a bidding war for a house you can't pass up.
Looking for a House in Santa Clara?
If you want to buy a house in Santa Clara, we hope this article gives you the insight you need to optimize your house shopping strategy. Follow our guide to find the right home for you and your family without going over your budget or making any other mistakes.
And if you're ready to get started, we're here for you. Contact us today to get in touch with an experienced Santa Clara real estate agent. We would love to work with you and your family to help you find the perfect home in an ideal neighborhood.