When you are looking to purchase a home in Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, or anywhere in Orange County for that matter you need to make sure you are prepared. Your first step is to find out what is the maximum payment you are comfortable with paying each month. Next you need to know exactly how much you have available for down payment and closing costs. When buying a home in Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, or anywhere in Orange County it is safe to assume 1%-2% in closing costs, assuming you aren't buying down your loan rate. (Closing costs consist of loan cost, title, escrow, taxes, insurance, recording fees, etc.) Once you have established what you are comfortable paying and you know exactly how much you have available for down payment and closing costs its time to get pre-approved from the lender of your choice. When shopping for a loan don't apply to more then 3 as it will negatively affect your credit score. You can check online or call your local bank to see what their rate and and cost would be BEFORE you actually apply for it. A good tip is to go off a referral from a friend or your realtor that way you know someone who has had a good experience with your loan officer. Once you have selected who you want to go through, its time to apply for your loan. You should have a few documents ready at this point. Some documents they will need are: 2 years full tax returns, 2 years W2's, 1 month current pay stubs, and a couple of months of bank statements. With this information you can be sure you are getting an accurate approval. Now you know exactly what you qualify for and what your payment would be (approximately) and now its time to start looking for a home. I usually take my clients through and exercise of creating a list of their must haves. I must have 2 bedrooms, I must have a single family residence, I must have a garage, are some examples. Now your search will include homes with 3 bedrooms or more but we know that we can eliminate anything with a 1 bedroom as an example. At that point I want to get a list of all the cities that my client is open to living in. Once we have this information it's pretty much all about finding the right home. Remember not to get too attached to the home until you are through your contingency period. This allows you to negotiate better and sets your expectations at a reasonable place.
Dave helped us buy our first home this year and we wouldn't have been able to do it without him. He made the entire process much easier on us than it should have been. Dave is extremely responsive, a great negotiator, and real knowledgable about the OC real estate market. In mid 2013 he got us our home for lower than the listing price which was unheard of during that time. I've referred several friends to Coastal Real Estate Group and wouldn't hesitate to use him for my next home purchase. - Jonathan S.