Mammoth Lakes Realty Tips: Advice for First Time Home Buyers in Mammoth Lakes, CA

January 10th, 2019

Are you looking to buy a first-time home in the Mammoth Lake area in 2019?

Navigating the world of mortgages and home-ownership can be incredibly intimidating. 

The are many details to consider in your search for the perfect home, and taking the right first steps is an essential part of this journey.

Buying a home is not a decision or action to take lightly, especially because this will often be the biggest purchase you ever make.

Therefore, ensure that you have a great game plan in place for exploring potential homes and lending options.

Read on to learn more about the best way to buy a home, with five tips from Mammoth Lakes Realty.

Mammoth Lakes Realty: Advice for First Time Home Buyers

In terms of quality of life, Mammoth Lakes boasts one of the highest in California.

With its size, activity options, and general friendliness, it's no wonder that first-time homeowners love this region.

Here are five pieces of advice for first-time home buyers looking to settle into this beautiful area.

1. Pay Off Debt

Owning a home is an expensive endeavor, and starting off mortgage payment while you're already in debt is not a good idea.

When a home is yours, there is no one else responsible for any and all maintenance and repairs. 

Therefore, make a deliberate effort to pay off or consolidate as much debt as possible in the years leading to your ultimate down payment, as this is a smart money move whether you are buying a home or not.

2. Determine a Solid Budget

Once you have eliminated as much debt as possible and developed a healthy emergency fund, it is time to begin establishing a budget.

Start with a budget before you see any homes, or talk to any realtors, as these can lead you to sway your decision prematurely. 

Your ultimate monthly payment should not exceed 25% of your total monthly income, and it should include any taxes or HOA's fees that come with owning the home.

For example, if your monthly combined income is $4,000, multiply this by 25% to find out the ideal maximum payment, which would be $1,000. 

Then, if you choose a standard 15-year mortgage with a 4% interest rate, for a grand total of $187,200. As well, consider what the down payment would be.

3. Start an Emergency Fund

Again, prior to touring any homes or speaking to any agents, it is best to evaluate your emergency fund. 

Ideally, you should have between three and six months of expenses saved up in case any emergencies occur, especially considering what could go wrong in the first few months or year of ownership.

4. Consider Alternative Down-Payment Solutions

The best option for a down payment would be savings accrued over years of careful savings. 

However, if this is not possible, consider an alternative solution, such as family gifts or loans, government assistance, or mortgages available to active military or veterans. 

Additionally, 20% is not always a requirement. You may be able to negotiate with a lender for 15%, 10%, or even 5%.

5. Explore Lending Options

The final step once you look into the above is to begin meeting with lenders. This should occur before you look at houses, but you should still have a good idea of what the housing market in the area is like.

Avoid only speaking to one or two lenders, as the most offers you get the better your chances are of finding the right one.

Find the Best House in Mammoth Lakes

All and all, it doesn't have to be a difficult feat to invest in the best home in Mammoth Lakes.

However, it does take careful planning in the years and months leading to the big purchase.

Paying down your debt, saving for rainy days, exploring lending and down payment options, and establishing a realistic budget is all part of the process.

Interested in making the next step with Mammoth Lakes Realty? Explore our property offerings today.