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Buying a home is a huge commitment, not to mention the expense, but it’s also the most exciting for new homeowners. The housing market in California is one of the toughest to navigate in the country. Here, our CEO Mayer Dahan shares five things you should know before purchasing a home in The Golden State.

 

  • Finding a good agent. Finding a good real estate agent is essential to help you navigate the housing market. If you are new to the area and can’t get references from friends or family, ask the agent for references from previous buyers or owners. Buying a home is a huge investment and it is vital that a new homeowner is getting good, objective advice.
  • Higher Real Estate Costs. The real estate market is significantly more expensive in California. The current house sells for more than than $440,000, which is 2.5 times higher than the average price of a home anywhere else in the United States. New homeowners need to be aware of the bigger loan and mortgage repayments that are necessary to purchase a home in California. Do your research and never be afraid to ask questions!
  • Climate Concerns. The drought in California may greatly affect where you choose to live. The Governor has recently instituted a mandatory rationing of water, which can mean a reduction in water usage between 8% and 36%, depending on the city.Wildfires have also become a huge issue for residents. In Northern California especially, the effects of wildfires are intensified by the overall dryness of the air and vegetation. This has meant that the number of wildfires have been much worse this year than previous years. When buying a home in areas where there is a high percentage of thick vegetation, it may be worth investing a little bit more money in extra home insurance to protect yourself and your family.
  • Earthquake Preparedness. California has several hundred earthquakes each year that are greater than 3.0 magnitude. It is important to ensure that your new home is properly equipped to handle the kind of pressures an earthquake can inflict on your home. Terms that you want to listen out for when speaking with your agent or builder is seismic design, foundation, bracing, bolting, etc. While these are only a few of the things you want to hear them talking about, do some of your own research so you can ask some of your own questions and know exactly how the home was built. Again, having your home properly insured is also ideal for these types of things that are out of your control.
  • Escrow. An escrow is a contractual agreement between the buyer and seller whereby a third party holds all funds and documents, and disburses them as the terms and conditions are agreed to and carried out by all parties. Money that is held in escrow tends to be property taxes and hazard insurance. The home is technically not yours until escrow is closed, however it protects you and your money, ensuring it is used for the correct purposes.

There are many more elements to buying a new home, however this gives you a brief understanding of the particular things you want to look out for. Prime Five Homes always follows these 5 principles when selling their houses. You can see more images and read more information about our houses in the Projects section of our website, as well as on our Facebook page.

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