First 5 questions to answer when buying a home.

We all have very different needs in a home. For some, the most important thing about a home is the school district, for others it is the size of the backyard. Before you start your house hunt, I always recommend answering these 5 questions to determine the best match for you:

  1. Which cities are you interested in? While this may seem like a simple question, many of my buyers have never really explored the cities they think they are interested in. I recommend checking out the  Lake Forest city website and looking for some ways to visit and experience Orange County before deciding to live here.
  2. Big House vs Big Yard? Of course, with the right budget, you can have both. But, for those on a smaller budget, you will usually get one or the other. It is important to know whether you want to spend a lot of time in the backyard or if you will spend more time inside. Large backyards are harder to find, especially in Orange County, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get it if you want!
  3. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you have to have? You may want a 4+ bed and a 4+ bath, but do you really need that? It is often best to start what you absolutely have to have, and then work up. This gives you more options and can help you stay within budget.
  4. What style home are you looking for? Lake Forest and the other areas of Orange County have a wide variety of home styles to choose from. We have everything from one-story farm homes to 3 story Mediterranean estates. Knowing the type of design you like can help narrow down the home search quickly.
  5. And finally, what is your budget? This is the most important question, but rarely is it answered properly. The way to determine what you can purchase is not by what you can qualify for, but what you can afford. To determine what you can afford, the simplest method is to divide your total net income (what you have after all taxes are taken out) and divide it by 3. That is the most you should spend for your mortgage plus homeowners association.

Of course, these are just the questions you need to start with. For more detailed questions, you will want to contact a Lake Forest Real Estate Agent like myself!

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