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Tips for First-Time Home Buyers In LA

Perhaps you feel completely ready to buy a home and want to make an offer on your dream home in Los Angeles. However, you have a few steps to go through before you buy something massive with an expansive lawn.

Think About the Price Tag

The typical house for sale costs about $200,000 for a three-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom house of 1,800 square feet. You need at least a 3% down payment for a home purchase, but 10% proves more common.

You also need fantastic credit unless you save the cost of the home and can purchase it outright. Doing that also lets you have any credit you want, but chances are that if you saved that kind of money, you have pretty awesome credit.

Consider Your Credit Score

Check your credit score before you start looking into purchasing a home. You need at least a 700 for most home purchases, but you can likely obtain a mortgage with a 640, too. Anything lower than that means you need to spend time raising your credit score first.

You can do that easily with six months of timely payments to your creditors. You can also use apps like Truebill and Level Credit to monitor and improve your credit score by sending rent, cell phone, and utility payments as creditworthy payments to a major credit bureau.

Use an online mortgage calculator to determine what you need to save for the down payment and how much you would pay per month in mortgage payments. You do this with the cost of various homes to provide yourself with a range of minimums so you can start saving money.

Remember that buying a home includes more than just the home’s cost. You also have closing costs, insurance, and more. Plan for these types of expenses, too.

Purchase What You Actually Need

Your first-time home purchase provides a learning experience. A single person doesn’t need the Taj Mahal. Two bedrooms and two bathrooms provide a rather ideal starter home since you can have your bedroom and bathroom plus room for a guest.

Prepare yourself for the maintenance as well. Once you purchase, there’s no landlord to call. If something breaks, you fix it yourself or you have to call in a professional. You can expect to pay about $2,000 per year in repairs for a $200,000 home. That might sound like a lot, but homeowners spend an average of 1-4% of a home’s value annually on maintenance and repairs. That amount grows as the house ages.

Don’t Overspend On Upgrades

You do need a home with a good resale value, so if you purchase a house with just one bathroom, then add a second bathroom. It raises the home’s value by 54-55% of the cost of the bathroom. If you spend about $30,000 on the bathroom, you’re getting back about $15,500 of that. Savvy home flippers know the importance of the second bathroom, and they help keep the $450 billion home remodeling market hopping.

On the other hand, the updates you probably don’t need include remodeling the interior or buying all new furniture. While you might want to upgrade from the IKEA furniture immediately, you need to focus on paying down the mortgage first and building equity in your home. Hold off on the maple cabinets and just strip off the old paint or varnish the current ones. You can repaint them and add new pulls and handles for a cost of less than $100. That updates the room’s personality to your own without too much expense. The same goes for the bathrooms. Change the hardware for less than $100 and obtain a whole new look.

Buying your first home in Los Angeles is a big deal, and it’s certainly an exciting step in your adult life! Before you purchase the first big beautiful home you see, consider all of your options in Los Angeles while keeping your finances in check. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to slowly create the home of your dreams.


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