HomeBuyer Expert - What home can I afford?

Welcome to another top question that comes from us often from those who are looking for the local real estate expert. Wanting to ensure that they are helped directly and not placed onto a lead generation list.

As a home buyer, you may have searched on Zillow, Trulia and on the other real estate syndication websites. All is good in the world until you give up who you are. Your name, or email address, and or phone number - those personal items will have your phone and email blowing up.

Your personal information will be sold to many real estate agents, big box stores, home improvement warehouses and made part of databases everywhere. There is money in your info, you don't get any of it though, you just get annoyed.

This homebuyer expert is local to Santa Clarita Valley CA. I serve my real estate clients needs in the Los Angeles Metro area, plus Santa Clarita and elsewhere, depending on my being able to provide a knowledgeable foundation for my home buyers.

Before I get into the question that most buyers have of "What home can I afford", I will take you on a bit of a journey that will assist you with the buying of Santa Clarita real estate.

There are two different real estate systems for a home search. You have the multiple listing service - MLS, and you have the real estate syndication websites. By Syndication Websites, I'm meaning those who are monetizing your personal information.

Some will do this at any cost. They will fight tooth and nail, built up mediocre real estate information and listings in order to get you to give up who you are. Don't do it at any cost.

Go to a local website - go to my website - SCVnest.com and do your home search there. It's my site, It's encrypted and I am the only person who sees who you are.

Furthermore - don't sign anything when visiting open houses. Don't give up any of your personal info, name, email or phone when visiting a new house or new home builder community. Even if they hand you an iPad as you make it through the door, don't you dare give up who you are in any way. By doing so you give up your FREE right to have your own agent on your side throughout the entire new home buying process. And negotiation? You don't have a top agent versed with expertise in buying new homes and the "right ways" to negotiate so you get your best deal!

My business is to represent you as a home buyer. I want to keep you safe and protected throughout the process. Join with the others that have used me, Connor T. MacIvor to buy homes and real estate. I promise to be there for you.

Home Buyer Experts | What home can I afford?

This is going to depend on a number of factors.

In the beginning, I will have you speak with a real estate lender who is located close to the city of your interest. If you are wanting to buy a home in Valencia, then I will have a lender that operates, has a good reputation and operates in that area. The second thing after contact is made with the Valencia home broker, you will be asked for all sorts of personal information and documentation to finish up your pre-approval.

It does not happen by chance. Back in the day lenders may pre-approve over the phone - but that was more of a pre-qualification. That process was without any verification related to employment and salary. Tax returns were not looked at either at that point.

You will want to get a strong approval. You want to ask the right questions and find out what your payment will be at your approved amount.

It could be that the amount the real estate lender approves you for is outside of your comfort zone. Then ask them to scale it down a bit and re-evaluate that your payment will be at a lower amount.

After you get that number dialed in, you are going to want to check with your lender whether or not they factored in any homeowners association fee. If they did factor in a $100.00 a month HOA fee, then that is what you have to work with. Look on SCVnest.com to see that those HOA Fee's are to see if you are in the right place.

The lender may say you are qualified for $500,000.00. They will tell you that will either include or not include a $_____.__ HOA fee and maybe supplemental taxes like mello roos.

After you get that payment amount, you can then adjust for the HOA and mello roos, if necessary.

Once you get the "payment" at your comfort amount and with the additional fee's, if they exist, you are now good to go to start having me start looking for the perfect home/condo/town-home for you and yours.

Other costs besides your mortgage payment

It's going to depend on your lender and the structure of your loan if some of the other "fees" per month or year are included in your payment or are things that have to be paid separately. Those two need to be factored in so you are not surprised.

If you are going to be using a loan program of either the FHA or VA variety, it will be that your taxes and home insurance will be impounded.

Impounded means "will be included".

Therefore, your payment each month to pay your mortgage will include your principal, the interest, the taxes, and the home insurance.  There are a lot of my home buyers that like it this way. This is because they don't have to worry about making any additional payments throughout the year, twice a year for the property taxes and once a year to the home insurance company.

Homes and houses will also need maintenance fee and re-occurring work amounts to be allowed for. These items are going to be things like having a gardener, pest control people and pool service person.

Some times these amounts can be an additional $300.00 a month or more. Depending on whom you hire and the cost of the services they provide for your home.

You may not be able to make your payment at max finance approval

When you go do a lender that we are sending you to, they will give you your maximum number. One of the things I have my clients do is to ask for another approval amount with payment schedule at $50,000.00 to $100,000.00 less than the maximum number.

This gives our homebuyers an idea of how much those payment amounts differ when it comes to approaching homes that are for sale.

It may be that the lender's max is nowhere close to where you will be comfortable in making a monthly mortgage payment.

They don't just throw out arbitrary numbers. The good lender's approval is something that has been vetted by multiple entities within the lender's organization.

When they tell you that you are qualified at 1/2 a million, $500,000.00 dollars, they have looked very closely at what you make, that you spend and your debt to income ratio (DTI).

They have also included what you are paying out in taxes and also what your taxable income after write-offs happens to be.

It's complicated and accurate.

However, be that as it may, you may not like the look of that payment because you love eating sushi 4 times a month or love your Disneyland Dates!

No worries, have the lender adjust the amount on the home you are going to have me search for to something more reasonable and comfortable for you.

Do me a favor. Don't make yourselves mortgage poor. Don't overspend when it comes to buying real estate. It will make you hate your home, I promise.

Figuring out where to live and the type of home you will buy

In this section from the Santa Clarita Home Buyer Experts, you want to consider those who are close to you, those that will be making the move with you.

If you are alone and will be moving all by yourself, there may be less to consider. However, maybe you like being close to areas of commerce, restaurants, entertainment centers, churches - etc. - then you are going to want to ask us about the residences closest to those areas which you like and wish to walk to.

I have an awesome search engine for Santa Clarita and Southern California homes and real estate for sale located at SCVnest.com - use it and you can find some of those areas that you will love.

The best way is always to ask me directly so I can show you those homes that fit best.

If you have some others in tow - elderly, kids, etc - you are going to want to think of other local options. If you are caring for elderly parents, considering where their doctor and the hospital is located in proximity to the home you are buying will be a must. Thinking about what pharmacy you are going to be frequenting will be equally important.

The style of home, maybe something with a full downstairs bedroom and bathroom will also be necessary to save the knees and keep them with their self-respect.

If kids are part of the move, and if those kids are not going to be working age soon, maybe you want to check out the schools in close proximity. Just ask me and I will direct you to the best location online to research schools to see if they have high marks or not.

You may be someone that doesn't mind if their kids walk to school. If that is the case, you will want to have me search for a home that is close to safe Valencia CA paseo system or is located where the kids will be walking in large numbers to keep safe.

Special Needs, Children and the elderly, all those will be part of your consideration when wanting to buy a home and I will help you throughout the process.

Think 5 years in the future

When buying a home, stepping back and considering what your life may look like 5 years in the future may be prudent. We often have our clients do this and if part of their "future desires" is starting a family, buying the home now that will conform to that is definitely an option.

Consider the best ways in which you can choose wisely. We always approach our expert Santa Clarita buyer representation business by asking the "future questions".

Will the home that they are buying appreciate well in value? Does the area have any issues that will prohibit optimum growth? Are there great reasons to buy in this particular neighborhood - like blue ribbon schools, close proximity to higher valued homes, close to centers of entertainment and or freeway access - etc?

First time or expert play investor

When we have our sit down talk with any home buyer that is coming to us to make the decisions about buying real estate, I always explain to them to approach everything as if they were the best real estate investor.

For example, in our Santa Clarita housing market, buying a three bedroom is more advantageous than buying a two bedroom. The cost is not prohibitive and the return on investment (ROI) is much better all around.

For example, if the home is a three bedroom and is going to be rented as a future investment property, the three bedrooms will bring substantially more income than a two bedroom would.

If the home in question is going to held to sell, the three bedrooms will appreciate much better than a two bedroom home. It makes the higher mortgage amount worth the struggle in the beginning.

A couple of other items that I check, for fun and because I love my job, is what are the current rents going for in the neighborhood? Not that the home buyers are buying to rent it out - they are buying to live there. But now they have a baseline and can see how much of their mortgage will be covered as well as the other "costs" of owning the home.

This is the bottom line. If you are buying a home in the Santa Clarita Valley, save my number in your cell phone as your Realtor / Real Estate agent.

Program now:

Connor Macivor - Realtor - Real Estate - Agent



That way if you have anyone who wants to buy or sell a home, if you are ready and want to buy or sell real estate, I'm already in your phone just a couple of buttons away from being on your side 100% throughout any real estate endeavor.

I'm Connor with HONOR and I am here to be your local Home Buyer Expert. Save my info and I'll be there for you 100%. As I have been for thousands of others in Santa Clarita and Surrounding areas.