Family First: Picking Your First Home

Family First: Picking Your First Home

Martín Di Felice

Palm Springs, CA

For those looking to buy a home, some experts say now is the time to buy. There are a lot of houses on the market, but picking your first home can be overwhelming. Claudia Ried of Palm Springs said she remembers searching for her home in the Coachella Valley. Ried said she knew what she needed and wanted in a home. “Definitely the look and feel of mid-century, definitely location,” she explained.

Related: Family First: Saving For Your First Home

Jeff Fishbein is a realtor with Coldwell Banker in Palm Desert. Fishbein said it is important to distinguish your wants versus your needs. “You need to find the right location. Do you want to be in an HOA or not? Are schools important to you?

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Realtor and economist John Paul Valdez said each client needs a different type of home. “The best house isn’t the best house for all people. It’s whatever house is appropriate for that particular buyer,” Valdez explained.

In Ried’s case, it’s just her husband and her cat, Asia, so they did not need extra space. “We looked at some places and they were very large, and we thought, ‘What would we do with this room?'” Ried explained.

Related: Family First: Saving Your Pets Life in a Medical Emergency

Valdez said there is more to picking a first home than finding one online. “People like to look and buy the house online, but really they should be looking at their credit file prior to that, so that when that moment does occur, and they have the financial ability to buy the house, they’ll get the best rate,” Valdez explained.

Fishbein said with a good credit score, clients don’t need to put as much money up front as they might think. “There are programs out there with good credit, where an individual or a couple can put 1% down on the home price. Imagine putting $3,500 down and being able to get into a house,” Fishbein said. Fishbein said he wants to remind buyers it’s important to pick a home that fits needs first and then wants. “If a pool is important to you, then certainly that’s a part of the property, but I wouldn’t pick a home because the pool is phenomenal,” he said.