Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your life, and there are lots of variables to take into consideration – as such it’s not one you should take lightly. San Diego can be a particularly tricky one, as it’s a competitive market – so if you want to get your dream home you need to prepare. We’ve put together a list of some of the things you should consider when buying a home in this area.
Select the Neighbourhood Carefully
Make sure you research your neighbourhood carefully. They all have their own individual characteristics and will suit different tastes. There are some great neighbourhoods to check out such as Imperial Beach, South Oceanside and Mission Valley. Make sure you look into the school options, the activities and amenities there are and ensure they meet your requirements. You also need to see what’s available there and whether or not it is realistically affordable.
Be Aware that Homes Sell Quickly
Homes sell incredibly quickly in San Diego, so you need to be quick off the mark if you see something that you like. Make sure you do the adequate preparation and get a mortgage approval by the bank as this is necessary according to the California Purchase Agreement. Be aware that the fastest selling homes are usually between $250,000 and $500,000 as this is the most popular price range.
Select A Reliable Estate Agent
As the market is so competitive – you need a skilled estate agent to work on your behalf. Make sure they are completely familiar with the neighbourhood you are looking to buy into, so they have insider knowledge. They will also be able to give you a better idea as to whether or not the asking price is reasonable. Do your research when it comes to finding an estate agent to represent you. Have a look at their website to find more info on their accreditations and experience and see if they have any client testimonials.
Do a Credit Check on Yourself
If you have a good credit rating, then you will qualify for better interest rates for your mortgage. As such, you would then be able to afford a higher value property if you would like. There are online sites that allow you to check your own credit rating to see what your score is. There are also simple things that you can do to improve your credit score such as taking care of any bad debt and making sure you pay your bills on time.
The Size of the House
Think carefully about the size of the house that you choose. Are you planning on having children and filling up more rooms? Will you be having lots of family stay? Make sure you take all of this into consideration before deciding on anything. It could be that the home you look at doesn’t have enough rooms at the moment, but there is a potential to build an extension or top perhaps di a loft conversion.
Don’t get Too Emotional
One of the biggest mistakes people make when buying a new home is that they think with their hard and not their head. It’s easy to become emotionally attached when you walk into a house and instantly fall in love with it. The only problem with that is, you can make a choice that isn’t practical. When you take a logical approach, you are more likely to find a home that fulfils your requirements.
Don’t Feel Pressured
As the San Diego property market is a competitive one – it does mean that there is usually less time to make a decision as to whether or not you want a property. The only thing you need to be careful of is that you don’t feel pressured and rush into a decision. You need to make the right decision for you, so don’t worry too much about any 3rd party pressure pushing you for a decision when you haven’t quite had the chance to think it through.
Is the Building Structurally Sound?
Make sure you are on the lookout for any big cracks, you may see some hairline cracks but those are usually nothing to worry too much about. If there is an extension, or there is an end of terrace wall, make sure you check these walls out first. Bay windows are also good to check. This will mean you can ask the owner of the property or their estate agent any questions you may have, or get a surveyor to check it out at a later date.
Check the Side the House Faces
If it’s a little full and cloudy it can be hard to tell which side a house faces at a viewing – but it is an important factor. It could mean that your garden is cool and dark in the summer as opposed to bright and full of sunshine. This is where the doors and windows also come into play. Do they allow enough light into your home? Unlike the facing of the house, windows can be replaced. This replacement window company may be useful if you are in a situation where you love the house but want to change the windows to let more light in, or if you happen to find cracks in the window or the double glazing isn’t up to scratch. Make sure you use the best window replacement company you can to make any changes.
How Old is the Roof?
Replacing a roof is an expensive task. That’s why it’s critical you find out how old the roof is. It’s important to know that new roofs only tend to last for around 15-20 years depending on the materials that have been used. Also have a look to see if the roof is flat, or nearly flat – as these types of roofs that tend to cause the most issues.
Check to see if there are Signs of Damp
Damp is a major problem, so you need to ensure that when you purchase a house it’s damp-free. If you walk into a home and find a musky or mouldy smell or see watermarks when you look at the walls or ceiling – then there could be cause for concern. The ceiling and the skirting boards is where you should pay close attention to. If the house has recently been repainted – then this could also be a clue. It could be due to trying to hide damp.
Check the Storage Space
Storage space is something that is often overlooked – but is incredibly important. You need to think about where you will put your towels, your linen, your vacuum and such like. Ensure that there is enough space for all of your item, particularly in new build homes where there tends to be less storage, and rooms are also typically smaller.
If you are buying a new home in San Diego, then make sure you take a look at our checklist before you make a purchase. Do that, and you will be sure to find your dream home in the sun.