Home Buying in Eureka>Question Details

Colleen Chal…, Renter in Eureka, CA

is it advisable to rent a home first, as you search for a home to buy? I am planning to relocate.

Asked by Colleen Chalmers, Eureka, CA Fri Jan 21, 2011

I have never bought a home before, and hope to be able to purchase in Eureka preferably. My friend purchased a Craftsman w/ no down payment, on B street about 2 years ago. I love Eureka and Arcata.
Thank you very much

Help the community by answering this question:


Yes, Rent first and get a feel for the area first. You may find out that you like one area over another much more. There is plenty of houses for sale, and will continue for a time. Hope this helps,
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
Hi Theresa,

I am a Realtor/Broker in Eureka and Arcata and work with first time home buyers. Feel free to contact me and I can point you to lenders who can help you get into a home with little or no money down. I sold a house on B Street a couple of years ago to a person who used the Eureka First Time Homebuyer's program.


Don Chin
Community Realty
Web Reference: http://www.donchin.net
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
Hello Theresa,
If you are planning to relocate to Eureka, I would say it is advisable to rent first. That way you can get a feel for the area and spend more time researching the areas that appeal to you.
If you already know the areas you like, then you can avoid the hassel of moving twice.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
Hello Colleen, yes you should study RENT vs BUY options as you may qualify to buy with minimum out of pocket expenses and pay less than rent in many cities. Your fico scores can be raised within 3-4 days in most cases to qualify for programs, rates and terms as necessary.

You may qualify to buy with minimum out of pocket expenses and pay less than rent in many cities. The purchase in Eureka start from 119k for 1bd 1ba condo, 135k for 2bd 2ba condo and the single family homes start from 150k for a fixer 3bd 2ba home which is as low as $750 down payment with a minimum 640 fico score @150k.

Beware of the many rental scams out there these days on all sites. The scams are on all of the rental listing sites except one that us agents/broker use such as mls, multiple listing service.

You should not give anyone any funds or personal information without confirming with a licensed agent/broker or management company to find out whom you should be dealing with and the status of any address of interest.

You will need to be pre-approved if you decide to buy and to be able to meet an agent to view and submit offers on any homes of your choice. Your qualifications will be determined by your credit profile, debt to income ratios, fico scores, loan program and how much you want to invest into the down payment and closing costs.

If you figure out what cities/zip codes you are considering, minimum number of bedrooms and the maximum payment you are looking to achieve you can be emailed listings to study and compare. Your fico scores can be raised within 3-4 days in most cases to qualify for programs, rates and terms as necessary.

You may qualify FHA from fico scores between 500-579 with 10% down or minimum 580 fico score may qualify FHA 3.5% down or as low as .5% half percent down payment program from a minimum 640 fico score up to 417k. You may consider 3% down conventional from a minimum 620 fico score or even 5% down conventional with NO Mortgage insurance (Lender paid MI) up to 417k.

It only takes a few dozen questions to qualify, go over your options and email you listings to study and compare. Here are some links to study as well as web reference links to many loan program pages offered...

Sheryl Arndt, Real Estate Broker - Sr. Loan Officer CA only
Veteran & VA/CalVet Loan Specialist
REO & Short Sale Specialist
Credit Repair At No Cost
ALL Loan Programs Available
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BRE# 01140252
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9am till 5pm by phone Monday thru Saturday, Sundays by appt., EMAIL ANYTIME 24/7
Under640FicoScoreLoans@gmail.com or HomeLoans4U@live.com

If my response was helpful, consider clicking Thank, Link or Best Answer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 23, 2015
Since buying a house is a long term investment, I recommend you look for a month-to-month rental, while you look for your house, so you don't feel pressured to buy. I am doing that just right now. Right now the inventory is very low. Given the size of the town, I assume that is the standard all year around. You can rent a decent place for $1000 to $1200. Or a mediocre place for as low as $600. In my opinion it is worth it.

I've only been here since June 30th, and I can tell you that I've been able to discern which areas are better than others. Which streets to avoid. The fact that the town is full of beautiful old homes, can cloud one's perception of a neighborhood. Specially if you are moving from a larger town, like I am. Some of the streets have lots of traffic others lots of strange looking individuals. Best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 23, 2015
Most homes you rent require a large deposit and usually require a year minimum to lease. That's alot of money going to waste. I work for a large real estate company that is nation wide and even in other countries. We have a great relocation department. What i do when I know someone is moving to another city or state is get ahold of my relocation department and pass along the name and phone number. The company matches you up with what your needs are. If they know you are a first time home buyer, they will link you up with someone that specializes in working with people such as yourself. You can select gender, age, etc of the person you wanna work with. That person calls you, finds the right person in the area you are moving to that is familiar with the area.

That's my suggestion. Have your work done before it's time to move to make it a smooth transition. Save your money!

If you need more info feel free to email me at swillard@cbtulsa.com

Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
Best to rent OR extended stay hotel and become familiar with area.

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
Theresa, both Lance and Spirit are correct - it's not an "either or" argument, it's about being aware that there is risk in rushing (not finding the right home) and waiting (interest rates increase).

The negatives of rushing into the wrong home are fairly easy to imagine. However, the affect of a rising interest rate must be quantitatively examined to understand its impacts.

For example, a 30-year loan for $100,000 at 5.000% amortizes a total of $93,255.79 in interest. Assume you wait until the end of the year and rates bounce up to 6.000%. In this case you would pay a total of $115,838.19, a difference of $22,582.40. Just my $0.02!

Best, Steve
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
I disagree with Lance, yes rates are shooting up and again this is just a preference & an opinion but a first time home is more than just an investment. It is more than just buying a property at a good rate, it is finding your home. I would personally rather pay a slightly higher rate and live in the right house, the right neighborhood than lock in a rate & be miserable there, hate the commute and etc. Yes, rates have been down to historic lows and they are coming up now. Buyers have been spoiled but believe there is a lot more at stake here than the interest rate.

Best of luck to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
Theresa, I absolutely agree with Lance, there is certainly interest rate risk in waiting. The FED’s “QE2 stimulus program” started on 11/3/10. The very next day a troubling trend began. While the QE2 stimulus program theoretically was designed to lower mortgage rates, it had quite the opposite effect This means waiting for the price of homes to drop further, or generally delaying your purchase, may cost you more in actual dollars spent in the long-run due to the increased cost of a higher interest rate!

Most mortgage professional believe 5.5% - 6.0% is the range we will be seeing by year's end.

Best, Steve
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011

If you know the area well, renting first could cost you because interest rates will almost assuredly be higher as they have been ridiculously low.

If you don't know the area well or haven't been there in a while, you may want to rent first to figure out if you want to be there or what part of town you want to live in because things have changed. Taking a shorter term lease makes sense because you can take advantage of deals or move quickly when you find something you like.

Yes, it will cost you a bit more in terms of moving twice and/or storing your belongings, but in the end you will probably feel better that you took the time to make sure it was right.

Best Regards,

Lance King/Owner-Managing Broker
DRE# 01384425
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
Please click on my newest Blog, what to expect as a first time home buyer to help with that.

Far as renting first, I have heard arguements either way and there are pros & cons. You should write them down to help you decide, but really it is an opinion question. I deal with a lot of clients who are relocating to Tucson, AZ. Some will rent for say 6 months, put majority of their stuff in storage (which costs & of course the cost of 6 month lease) BUT by doing that, they can scope out the neighborhoods, subdivisions and what is on the market. This helps them get a feel for schools (if you have children) and different areas of town. You MIGHT think you are ok with a certain commute until you realize it takes you 1 1/2 hours each way. You will find a lot out up front BEFORE you buy by renting. Since the housing market is down, not like it will cost you more by renting and finding exactly what you want or need. It is more work than just buying a place over the weekend, as some do.

If you can't tell, if it was me relocating, I would rent for 6 months to help us find not only the "prefect" home at the right place, but the right neighborhood for us as well.

BEst of luck.
Spirit Messingham
Tierra Antigua Realty
Tucson, AZ
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
Hi Theresa,

You most certainly should re-acclimate yourself to the Eureka area, a lot can change in 2 years. I would agree renting is the best way to do this, I just have a twist to what has been suggested below:

Rent a room month-to-month, this will be more flexible and less costly even considering any storage costs for your personal belongings. There may be some discomfort living in someone else's home but this is probably better than having to bypass a perfect home because you are locked into a lease and need to decide between breaking the lease (and still owing remaining rent) and buying a home.

Best, Steve
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
If you are unfamiliar with an area that you are moving to, it may not be a bad idea at all, as you may discover things about a particular area that you were not aware of, and may also find a more desireable location to meet your needs. I have had several clients who have done just that and were happy they did.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
If you are going to be living in the area as you search for your new home, you will most likely need to rent a place for at least a few months. Even if you already have a loan pre-approval, your down payment saved up and are able to find your dream home on the first day you go out looking at homes, and manage to get seller acceptance right away, you would still be looking at an escrow of about 45 days. A more likely scenario would be that it may take a couple of weeks to find the right home and get an offer accepted. If it is a short sale that you put an offer in on, it could and probably will, take months before you get the keys. I don't mean to sound all doom and gloom, I am just trying to prepare you for what is the more likely timeline.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 21, 2011
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