1 Determine How Much You Can Afford

How much house you can afford is largely dependent on how large a mortgage – basically, a home loan -- you can handle. Start your research by using the simple mortgage calculators we have on our website to see whether you can afford to pay the monthly mortgage on the kinds of houses you have in mind.

You may even apply for a mortgage at a lender before you start looking for a home. This is called getting pre-qualified for a loan; it will tell you exactly how much you can afford and may make the closing process go faster.

But, remember that owning a home involves more than a monthly mortgage. You’ll also have to consider money you’ll need to have at hand when you make an offer, when you close on a home and on a monthly basis after the home is yours.

Payments you may have to make when you submit an offer and at closing include:

Earnest Money

Usually 1% to 5% of the cost of the house, which you pay as a deposit on the house when you submit your offer. It’s your proof that you’re a serious buyer.

Down Payment

The down payment of buying a home is usually as low as 3.5% down payment, however, many people that can afford to put more than 3.5% down on the total purchase price, go up to 20% down to avoid property mortgage insurance (PMI)

Closing Costs

Usually up to 2% of the purchase price of the property.

This includes:

  • Utilities

  • Homeowner or condo association dues

  • Property taxes

  • City or County taxes

Buying Tip

Don’t forget the day-to-day expenses you may incur once you own that home.

3 Work with an Agent from Oak Brook Realty

While you’re not required to use a real estate professional, it is a good idea. Our professionals have access to a network of contacts and can draw from extensive market knowledge to help pinpoint the right house for you quickly.

Our professional agents can help you structure your deal to save money, explain the advantages and disadvantages of different types of mortgages and guide you through the paperwork.

Buyer's Guide

A home is probably the biggest financial investment you’ll make in your life. Before you get started, do some homework. This handy Buyer’s Guide will show you some things to keep in mind as you’re hunting for that home of your dreams.

2 Shop for a Home

House hunting can be both exciting and frustrating. Most homebuyers see roughly many houses before buying one. To make the search easier and faster, nearly half of all house hunters today begin by browsing for properties on the Internet, using web sites like this one.  Please go to our home page and click on the "Search For Homes" link and you will have access to the same data as Realtors in the areas from Burbank to Thousand Oaks in Los Angeles County.  For Ventura County Property information click on the other link "Here" on our homepage.  This information is up-to-date and accurate.  Other sites on the internet do not provide up-to-date data and lag behind our site.

The Internet is a quick way to see whether the houses that are currently available meet the following critical criteria: in the right location, with the right features and at the right price. If you find after your search on our website that few properties meet with your expectations, you may want to readjust your criteria – change the location, features, price – to increase your chances of finding a house that works for you. If you have any difficulties in this initial search, feel free to contact us for assistance. Homes can become available instantly and I'am always the most current resource for literally up to the minute new home listing information.

Once you know what you want, where you want it and what you can afford, it’s time to see the houses for yourself. To help stay focused, bring with you a checklist of things that you’ve decided ahead of time are important qualities of your future home.

Important qualities of a future home:

  • Is there enough room for you to grow in?

  • Is the house structurally sound?

  • Is the house in move-in condition or will it need work?

  • Is it close enough to everyday needs, such as grocery stores, schools, work?

  • Will you feel safe here?

  • Do the appliances that are part of the sale work?

  • Is the yard right for your needs?

  • Do you like the floor plan?

  • Is there enough storage?

  • Will you be happy in this house in winter, summer, spring, fall?

You may also want to take some exterior and interior photos of each house you visit so that you can keep track of its pros and cons.

Seamlessly transition into your next living space.

See what our team can help you achieve.