If you have any questions about selling or buying a home in Ventura, California, feel free to reach out to Ventura County Homes by Ainslee by filling out one of the forms on this page, by email at AinsleeCharles@gmail.com, or by call/text to 805-232-8503.
8 Tips For Buying A Home In Ventura County
Buying a home in Ventura is exciting, but it can also be a challenging process. This is especially true for first-time homebuyers, but the process can still be difficult for those who have purchased more than one home. To help make the process a little easier, here are 8 tips for buying a house in Ventura.
1.) Get pre-qualified with a Mortgage Lender.
The first thing that I advise clients is to get pre-qualified with a mortgage lender. This will give you an idea of how much your lender will lend to you. A pre-qualification is not as robust as a pre-approval, so you need to make sure you are providing accurate data to your lender in order to get an accurate pre-qualification. In my opinion, a pre-qualification is only a part of the equation and should not be taken into account without tip #2.
2.) Look at your finances and determine what you can really afford.
Just because you’re pre-qualified for a certain amount, it doesn’t mean that you should buy a house in Ventura for that amount. For some people, taking out the maximum loan amount can leave them financially stretched. You should sit down and really examine your current monthly budget. Decide on a monthly payment that you’d be comfortable making, while still living within your means. The last thing you want to happen is to buy a home that you really don’t want to afford. What you can afford and what you want to afford are two different things.
3.) Determine your wants and needs.
Before you begin looking at houses, you should decide what you want in a house, and what you really need in a home. Depending on the market conditions in Ventura at the time, you may or may not be able to find a house that fulfills all your wants and needs. There will be some things that you absolutely need in a home, but there are other “wants” that may need to be sacrificed when push comes to shove. You might have to give up some of your wants in order to fulfill all your needs.
4.) Pick an area of town.
Is there a specific area of Ventura that you prefer to live in? Maybe near downtown? Or maybe near Ventura College. Sometimes it helps to narrow down your search to a specific neighborhood within the city. If you want to be in a specific school district, this should definitely be taken into consideration. Just be mindful that the more specific you are about location, the more limited houses you will find that meet your criteria.
5.) Consider using a Ventura Real Estate Agent.
A great Ventura real estate agent can be worth his or her weight in gold. Their main job should be to help you find the best home that meets most/all of your criteria, and to help you negotiate the best price and terms. Your realtor should also be able to set you up with MLS searches that send you a list of homes that match your criteria, so you don’t have to spend hours looking through hundreds of homes that you are not interested in. And since most commissions in Ventura County are paid by the seller, it shouldn’t cost you any money out of your pocket to use a realtor when buying a home.
6.) Have a fair understanding of the offer process.
Although you don’t have to be a real estate expert, it helps to have a small understanding of the offer process. Just because a house is listed at a certain price, it doesn’t mean you have to offer that price. Variables such as Days on Market (DOM), market conditions, and comparable homes should factor into your offer. Again, this is where a knowledgeable real estate agent should be very helpful.
You should also be familiar with different contingencies, such as loan contingencies, appraisal contingencies, inspection contingencies, etc. In most cases, you will be asked to put down an Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) once your offer is accepted. Contingencies will help protect you in the case where unforeseen issues happen with your loan or with the condition of the house, so that you can receive your EMD back if the transaction does not go through. Knowing how long to ask for contingencies and if/when to forego contingencies can be a very powerful negotiating tool. Not to beat a dead horse, but this is another area where a realtor can help.
7.) Plan for closing costs.
Although it’s typical that the seller will pay for all realtor commissions, there will still be closing costs that the buyer will have to pay. When buying a house in Ventura, these costs are based on the purchase price so they will vary from home to home. These costs are on top of your down payment, so make sure that you are setting aside money to pay for these as well.
8.) Ask a lot of questions.
Unless you are a professional real estate investor, you probably don’t sell or buy a house in Ventura too often. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Buying a house in Ventura is normally the biggest transaction a person makes in their life, so you want to make sure you are comfortable with your decisions. Especially when it comes time to close on the house, there will be a lot of paperwork to sign. Please make sure that you are not doing or signing anything that you don’t understand throughout the home buying process.
Buying a Home in Ventura
Ventura County Homes By Ainslee can help you with any and all of your Ventura real estate needs. If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Ventura, I will be happy to help. To set up a free, no-obligation consultation, or if you just have questions about the Ventura real estate market, feel free to reach out to me at any time. I can be reached by email at AinsleeCharles@gmail.com or by text or phone at 805-232-8503. You can also fill out one of the forms on this page and I will get back to you just as quickly as possible.