Castro Valley, CA (PRWEB) January 01, 2015
In early October, the California Association of Realtors® (CAR) released its 2015 California Housing Market Forecast.(1) The general expectation is that prices will stabilize in 2015, making it a good time for home buying. As we enter the New Year, many – renters and homeowners alike – want to know how best to prepare for entering the real estate market. For prospective buyers Castro Valley, CA Realtor® Murline Monat offers invaluable steps to becoming financially and emotionally equipped to buy a home. “I find that the buying process is much easier for people who enter the process prepared,” Ms. Monat noted. “So, I put together these steps as a checklist for potential homebuyers.”
“A good credit score is vital for getting a mortgage, so I encourage everyone to manage, to understand, and to improve or repair their credit.” Ms. Monat, who specializes in homes for sales in Castro Valley Neighborhoods, is quick to point out that there is only one free source for credit reports – annualcreditreport.com – and they do not provide a score. Additionally, for people who want to hire a company to fix their credit, Ms. Monat warns that many companies claim to fix credit, but few of them are reliable. Choose to work with your lender instead of a credit repair company; your lender will have appropriate budget suggestions.
“I work very closely with clients to make sure that the home they desire and the home they can afford are in alignment. This is why,” Ms. Monat explained, “I encourage buyers to have a great relationship with their lender. Their lender helps them understand what they can afford and helps set their expectations appropriately.”
“Interview several lenders well before you start shopping for a home,” advises Ms. Monat. Lenders determine how much buyers can spend, the down payment, loan closing costs and appropriate debt-to-income ratios. Often Ms. Monat asks that the lender speak to the seller’s agent on the buyers’ behalf; consequently, “it is important to interview and select a lender you like and trust.” It is important that the lender knows the client as well.
“To qualify for a mortgage, buyers need to demonstrate to the lender they can pay back the loan. Buyers need to establish a monthly budget before buying a house and consistently spend less than they earn.” Ms. Monat does not suggest deprivation, but rather reduce and consider or low-cost forms of entertainment.
Also, a separate, “untouchable” bank account for the “Home Fund” allows buyers to save – and watch their savings grow – for their down payment.
Ms. Monat also recommends depositing any “windfalls” – such as tax refunds, inheritance, or gift money – directly into the “Home Fund” bank account. “While many people consider this to be play money, it will have a much more lasting impact contributing to the purchase of a home.”
For current renters, Ms. Monat suggests resolving any rent vs. own questions before getting too far in the process. “Homeownership does not work for everyone’s lifestyles. For some, such as people with jobs that may relocate, renting may be the better option – for now.”
Finally, Ms. Monat encourages all buyers to relax, breathe deep and remain focused on their goal. “Finding and buying a home can be stressful; spending time with friends and loved ones, enjoying a glass of wine, or curling up with a good book are all great ways to ease the tension.”
A long-time Bay Area resident, Murline brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her realty career – including an M.S in Industrial Psychology, building her own home, and group facilitation. Her background makes her an excellent champion for her clients. By ensuring her clients are appropriately informed throughout the purchasing or selling process, coordinating all the parties involved, and negotiating the best deal, Murline’s reputation in the community and realty industry is impeccable.
Before becoming a realtor in 2009, Murline Monat spent her time analyzing sales trends for both large corporations and small businesses. The difference between retail sales trends and real estate trends are minimal and she is able to support her clients in one of the most important lifestyle choices they will make. These decisions “bring great comfort and satisfaction to individuals and to families. I love being a part of that process.”
A Bay Area resident since the age of 5, Murline and her husband made Castro Valley their home because of its central location for both of their careers at the time. While a practical choice, the decision to live in Castro Valley has always been a happy one.
Empire Realty Associates, Inc.
Danville, CA 94526