If you’re thinking about buying a home in California, there are several important things to keep in mind. As property rental prices continue to increase in areas such as Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks, investing in a home now may be a wise choice. At American Dream Realty Inc., we’ve helped thousands of first-time home buyers find and buy their dream home at an affordable price. With more than 17 years of experience in the California real estate market, our realtors have the skills and expertise needed to guide you through the home-buying process in a stress-free and seamless manner. Before you start browsing the internet for your perfect home, apartment or condominium, consider the tips below for first time home buyers.

dreamstime_xxl_50468363Who Is Considered A First Time Home Buyer?

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines a first-time home buyer as anyone who meets the following conditions:

  • A single parent who has only owned a home with a former spouse while married.
  • An individual who has not owned a principal residence for three years.
  • A displaced homemaker who has only owned a home with a spouse.
  • A person who has only owned a principal residence that was not affixed to a permanent foundation in accordance with applicable regulations.

Can You Afford A Home In California?

One of the first things a new home buyer should consider is how much they are able to afford on a new home. A general rule of thumb is that you should spend no more than 30 percent of your gross monthly income on housing costs. When it comes to the down payment of a California property, this number can range from 3.5 percent to 20 percent for conventional loans. The more you can afford to put down initially, the better interest rate you’ll receive for your home-buying loan.

At American Dream Realty Inc., we’re proud to offer mortgage and lending services to our California real estate clients. With no upfront costs and competitive rates, our lending experts can help create a customized mortgage loan that fits your budget and needs. Contact us today to learn more!

What Type Of Home Are You Looking For?

When choosing a residential property in California, there are a variety of living options to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a traditional single-family home to accommodate a growing family, or you’re interested in owning a townhouse or condominium, each type of property has its own pros and cons. When you work with a licensed realtor, you’ll be able to discuss your future homeownership goals to determine the best type of structure for you.

Research California Neighborhoods

Whether you’re looking to purchase a single-story home in Studio City or a condo in Simi Valley, it’s critical to do some research on the vast array of California neighborhoods to get a good idea of where you’d like to buy. Some things to consider when scoping out potential neighborhoods may include:

  • The average price of homes in the area
  • The local schools and their ratings
  • Proximity to important amenities such as the grocery store and work
  • The crime rate in that neighborhood

At American Dream Realty Inc., our real estate agents have more than 17 years of experience in the California real estate market and are well versed in the various neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles.

Preparing Your Finances For A Mortgage Loan

Did you know that purchasing a home is one of the biggest financial transactions you’ll ever make in your life? The last thing you want to do is find your dream home, only to discover that you’re not financially qualified to buy it. In order to guarantee that you’re ready to purchase your first home, you’ll need good credit, a verifiable income and cash to close the deal. If you’re looking for ways to improve your credit score, try to pay off any existing credit card balances before applying for a loan.

dreamstime_xxl_42277632Know Your Mortgage Loans

When you apply for a mortgage loan, you’ll have the option of choosing between a fixed-rate mortgage and an adjustable-rate mortgage. A fixed-rate mortgage will give you long-term predictability with your interest rate, meaning you will owe the same amount of money month after month. An adjustable mortgage rate, on the other hand, will typically start out with a lower interest rate but may increase over the course of time. If you need help choosing the best mortgage loan for your California home, contact the mortgage and lending experts at American Dream Realty today!

Get Pre-Approved Before Shopping

Before you team up with a professional real estate agent, make sure you get pre-approved for your mortgage loan. When you take the time to get pre-approved, your lender will carefully review your finances to ensure you are eligible for the loan amount.

Finding A California Real Estate Agent

Once you have an idea of how much money you can afford to spend on a home, get together with a local real estate agent to discuss your purchasing options. An experienced California realtor will be able to help you weigh in on some important home buying factors, including:

  • Your dream home’s asking price
  • Recent home sales in the neighborhood
  • Current market conditions
  • The overall condition of the home

If you have already been pre-approved for a mortgage loan, you’ll have an incredible advantage over most shoppers. Sellers will appreciate that you’ve jump-started your home loan process and they will be much more willing to accept your offer knowing you can afford the property.

When you work with American Dream Realty Inc., our real estate professionals will prepare all of the necessary paperwork and documents to make your offer official. A few common items that may be discussed during the bidding process are:

dreamstime_xxl_2444924The Purchase Agreement

The purchase agreement is a binding document that indicates the amount of your initial offer. It may also include details such as which appliances will stay in the house and which items will be taken by the seller.

Earnest Money

Some first-time home buyers will write a check out to the sellers to prove that they are serious about purchasing a home. This earnest money is a small percentage of the initial deposit that your agent will hold on to until the offer has been accepted by the seller.


A counteroffer is the seller’s response to your offer, which is often used to negotiate towards a purchase price agreement. When you certified real estate agent present the seller with your offer, they can agree to your offer, decline your offer or make a counteroffer that suits their needs. Most sellers will counteroffer with their desired amount within 24-to-48 hours.

Real Estate Agents in Woodland Hills

If you’re looking for a dependable and experienced real estate agency near Los Angeles, contact realtors at American Dream Realty, Inc. today! With more than 17 years of experience in the real estate market, we can help you find the home, condominium or apartment of your dreams. From home buying to home selling and everything in between, we’re proud to be a leading provider of real estate services throughout California. Search some of our properties online or contact us today!