When I bought my first home, I expected my monthly mortgage payment to be $2500 ($400k loan at 6.75%) but after insurance and property taxes (combined together in a monthly escrow payment on top of my mortgage payment) I was shocked to see that I had a $3400 monthly payment! That did not include all the other home expenses like gas, electricity, telephone, landscape care...etc.
My realtor and or mortgage broker should have informed me of that extra $900/month that I had no idea about!
I tell all my clients now to be sure to set realistic payment goals and take into account a possible loss of income or emergency money.
One thing that can be a possible deal breaker is the home inspection. Buyers are advised to have a property inspection done within 17 days of acceptance of an offer. A home that looks great to the eye could be hiding all kinds of issues. A profession al home inspector will uncover any items that need repair. If the home inspection yields some issues the buyer is not willing to accept and the seller is not willing to repair, the deal could fall apart. But since this is done prior to closing escrow, it is not really a " surprise".
Your buyer's agent is your number one advocate in the transaction. She will make sure your interest are very well taken care of.
The only "surprise " you would have is the "surprise" house warming your friends and family give you.
Best of luck to you!
Kawain Payne, Realtor
Sometimes the surprise is that things break and you have just become the person you call. I always recommend a home warranty. My current house had the garage door opener quit just one week after moving in. Of course I was already late to work.
The water heater blew up in my last house, also covered by the home warranty.
Probably the biggest "surprise" is all of the paperwork and fees to get it done. Nearly 2% of the price of a home is fees and paperwork all designed to make sure it really is your house. People really do break in to vacant houses and try to rent or sell them. A good agent will know who the owners really are and save you a lot of hassle.
When looking at the coast, the closer to the beach or in the Naples area of Long Beach, there is probably going to be a little more regular maintenance on the house too because of the salt water. I don't mind the work because I get hop on my bike and be at the beach in minutes. That makes living here along the SoCal coast worth the extra work.
Good luck finding the perfect home, if you need an agent in the area, I am pretty easy to find.
Kelly Bourquin - Agent
One firstime home buyer that I know was able to reduce his tax liabilty by $24,000.00 at the end of the year! That was a welcomed surprise! And it was really worth doing all the things that he called his Landlord up to do such as mowing the lawn, painting every 10 years, etc.....
Fred Sweezer Sr.
Certified Home Inspector
FHA Approved 203K Consultant
FHA Approved Compliance Inspector