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Housing Partnership Marks 30th Year With 30 Home-buying Tips

Understanding purchase process is key to unlocking the door

The Romeros are among the families who have worked with Coastal Housing Partnership to buy a home.
The Romeros are among the families who have worked with Coastal Housing Partnership to buy a home. (Courtesy photo)

For 30 years, Coastal Housing Partnership has been making the dream of home ownership possible. The local nonprofit has helped more than 10,000 employees become homeowners through home-buying education and savings on home-buying costs.

To help more local employees live where they work, Coastal Housing Partnership is sharing 30 tips to help you start on your own path to home ownership.

“While it is certainly more challenging to purchase a home in our high-priced community, it’s definitely possible,” said Corby Gage, Coastal Housing Partnership executive director.

“Coastal Housing Partnership is here to help. We provide home-buying education and financial assistance benefits to make buying a home more achievable,” Gage said.

To help potential home buyers, here are the first 10 tips. Look for 10 more on Noozhawk tomorrow.

Looking for more advice? Stop by Coastal Housing Partnership’s Home Buying Fair, 5-8 p.m. Sept. 19 at the Deckers Rotunda, 6601 Hollister Ave., Goleta.

RSVP at homebuyingfair2017.eventbrite.com/?aff=noozhawk or find out more at homebuyingfairs.org.

Part One

» Analyze if buying a home is the right step for you now

Understand the obligations and benefits of homeownership. Analyze the pros and cons of renting vs. buying. How will buying a home affect your lifestyle?

» Determine your goals for buying a home

What is important to you? Not having to worry about dealing with a landlord? Being able to do what you want with your home? Stability in a community? How long would you plan to own this property?

» Attend a home-buying seminar

Learn the steps to buying a home from the lending process to working with a real estate agent. Take the time to become a more informed home buyer.

» Understand tax consequences/benefits of owning a home

Meet with a tax accountant to determine how your income tax obligations will be impacted if you become a home owner and take on a mortgage loan.

» Get your credit score in shape

Establish good credit behavior. Pay your bills on time — at least the minimum amount due on every credit card or credit obligation you have each month. Don’t max-out credit limits on credit cards. When talking to a mortgage lender, ask his/her advice on how to improve your credit.

» Get organized

You will need to provide various documents to the lender in order to get pre-approved including:

Two previous years of federal tax returns and W2s

Paycheck stubs for the last 30 days

Proof of other ongoing income such as pension, Social Security, etc.

Two months of most recent bank and brokerage statements (all pages)         

Your loan officer will let you know what you information he/she needs.

» Money for down payment

Do you have a plan for saving for a down payment? Will you be borrowing money from your 401k or other retirement account? Understand the implications of borrowing from your retirement account. Are you receiving a gift from parents or other relative?

» Get pre-approved – find out how much of a loan you can afford

Before starting to look at homes, meet with a loan officer to obtain a pre-approval — provided free of charge.

Once you determine the amount of your down payment and the loan amount for which you are approved, you'll have a good idea of your price range and can more efficiently begin looking for a home.

» Listen to local real estate professionals

Rather than relying on internet generalities, talk to local real estate professionals about the real estate market, loan requirements and options.

» Low down payment loans

You don’t need a 20 percent down payment to buy a home. Determine whether it makes sense to buy now rather than waiting to save the entire 20 percent down payment. If you have less than 20 percent, make that one of the first questions you ask a lender in your initial conversations:

What kinds of low down payment loan programs do you offer?

Angel Pacheco for Coastal Housing Partnership.


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