Are you considering buying a first home in Mill Valley, California, but not certain you’re ready? For first-time buyers, it can be an overwhelming process because there are so many things to consider, from getting pre-approved for a mortgage to choosing the neighborhood. Beth Brody assembled the questions below to help determine whether you are indeed ready to buy a luxury home in Mill Valley, California.
Why do you want to buy a house?
Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your lifetime. To ensure it is the right decision, ask yourself why you want to buy a home. There are many reasons people buy a house, particularly the first home. Some people relocate due to a new job or to be closer to family and they want the stability that buying a house affords. For others, they need to buy a house because of a changing life circumstance, such as the birth of your first — or third — baby. Still others want to buy a first home to fulfill a lifelong dream of homeownership. Whatever the reason, you need to know the why to determine which type and size of home matches your lifestyle.
Why do you want a Mill Valley home?
There are many beautiful and affluent cities in the Northern California region, but you are drawn to the Mill Valley area for some reason. Consider what aspects of this city you love and what draws you to it. Do you love that Mill Valley is just seven miles north of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge? Or love the thriving downtown area in Mill Valley, which is full of an eclectic assortment of shops and restaurants? Owning Mill Valley, California, real estate means you are just twenty minutes away from the beach and mountains. Living in Mill Valley is a magical experience, and many are drawn to this town's high quality of life. If all of these reasons sound appealing, then buying a home in Mill Valley might be the right decision.
What is your credit score?
Before getting pre-approved for financing, be sure you know your credit score. For example, if you apply for a conventional loan, you need a minimum credit score of 620
. However, that can vary depending on which mortgage loan you apply for. It’s recommended that you request a credit report from one of the three main credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion. In addition to getting your score, you should review the report to ensure that it is accurate and there are no discrepancies. If necessary, you can then work to raise your credit score or fix any discrepancies in the report. Taking care of your credit early can ensure your first home-buying process goes smoothly.
What is your budget?
To determine your budget, work with a financial advisor who can examine your income, assets, and other investments to help you learn what you can afford. In addition, a financial advisor can advise you on how much to set aside for the down payment, monthly mortgage costs, annual property taxes, and other housing expenses you would be responsible for. For example, the median price for homes for sale in Mill Valley is $2,250,000
, with many luxury properties priced well above that figure. By knowing how much you can afford before you begin the search for property in Mill Valley ensures a more efficient house-hunting process.
Have you explored mortgage loan options?
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
If you plan to apply for financing, shop for mortgage loans. There are many different kinds of mortgage loans available. Many home buyers apply for a conventional loan. However, home buyers can apply for a jumbo loan
for luxury properties that exceed the limits of a conventional loan. The requirements are often more stringent, with a low debt-to-income ratio, high credit score, and a minimum of a 20% down payment. There are also other loan options, such as VA loans
for military veterans and their spouses. After deciding which mortgage loan best suits your needs, research the different lenders because they often offer different rates and loan terms. You can then choose and apply for the mortgage loan that fits your situation.
Have you hired a premier real estate agent?
Photo courtesy of Pexels
An experienced real estate agent can offer guidance to streamline your search of homes for sale in Mill Valley. From offering insights specific to Mill Valley to helping you negotiate a solid offer, an experienced real estate agent is an invaluable partner.
If the answers to the above questions indicate that you’re ready to buy your first home, schedule a consultation with esteemed Mill Valley real estate agent Beth Brody
. She can provide expert guidance throughout the real estate transaction. Ranked in the top 1% of agents in the area, Beth can help you find the perfect luxury property that aligns with all your must-haves.
*Header photo courtesy of Unsplash