My husband and I are first time buyers and we are looking to buy a home in Southern CA in the next year or

Asked by Jacqueline, Irvine, CA Fri Nov 14, 2008

so. What should we be doing, other than saving, to prepare?

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Thom Colby, Agent, Irvine, CA
Fri Nov 14, 2008
You've already talen the first step by setting a timeframe when you will be buying. Make sure that you keep your credit in good shape. DON'T obtain new credit, DON'T buy a car, or any other big purchase. Also, don't close credit accounts that you have had forf a long time. Long established credit accounts are a big factor in determining your overall credit score. Save as much money as you can for your down payment and closing costs.

When you are ready to start looking at properties, contact a REALTOR who lives and sells in the area you want to buy.

Hope this helps -

Best of luck,

Thom Colby
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Jeremy Lehman, Agent, Garden Grove, CA
Sat Nov 15, 2008
All great advice so far. The other thing to focus on is the neighborhood you would like to live in. Are you looking in Irvine or somewhere else? Now would be the time to learn about the schools and other things that are important to you about the area. One other point is expect to put down a larger down payment next year, most likely over 5% if not more.

You can start your home search on my website at There are several resources for you to use.

Jeremy Lehman
Century 21 Beachside
0 votes
Eric Israel, Agent, Orange, CA
Fri Nov 14, 2008
Educate your self as much as you can. Keep your credit good or work on upgrading it if isn't so good. Read good articles on the many aspects of real estate and being a home owner. Start to pin point an area or cities of interest. Then start studying values through sold homes and homes currently on the market in those areas. Go to as many open houses in those areas as you can and ask lots of questions. Be an expert on values in the area you eventually want to buy. Then interview agents to see whom you best "connect" with. After all that, you will be ready to buy. Here is a great site to visit for loads of extremely relevant information, and this is also very good reading which will help educate you,

Good luck and contact me when you are ready to go.
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Linsey Plane…, Agent, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Fri Nov 14, 2008
Hi Jacqueline,

I have to congratulate you on your proactive approach to planning and strategizing early. Thom has given some very wise. I would even suggest talking to a lender (an exceptional one that looks at your long term strategy) and find out if there are ways to improve your credit over the course of the next year.

I would also get clear on the things that are most important to you in your new home and zero in on the city(s) and neighborhoods that interest you most. Over the course of the year, I'd be monitoring the inventory in those areas. Watch the market, prices, and conditions so that when you are ready - you are well educated and informed.

Don't hesitate to call me if you ever should have a question.
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