couple_in_fordIf you’re like most California renters, you’ve been dreaming of moving into a home of your own. One of the best benefits of home ownership is knowing that your monthly payment is going towards a long-term investment. In addition, there are so many bonuses to having your own home, including tax deductions and the ability to make whatever changes you want to your home.

With interest rates still at all-time-lows, the possibility of home ownership for Central Coast renters is within reach.

What Lenders Want to Know

In order to become a homeowner, you must first answer the question, “Can I afford a home?” and learn what it takes financially to buy one. Before you start deciding which Central Coast city best suits you and which neighborhoods appeal to you, you’ll need to take a good look at your finances. Here are some things you’ll be asked to gather paperwork on:

  • Any financial assets
  • All debts
  • Current financial investments
  • Employment history and current income
  • Credit history and score

Lenders want to feel secure that as a first-time home buyer, you are a stable, financially responsible person who will pay back a mortgage loan on a home in the Central Coast of California. Examining your financial and credit history and employment background gives them the information they need to make decisions on how much to lend you and under what conditions.
You want to find a reputable lender who will help you to pre-qualify for a home loan. After assessing your total income, credit history and how much of a down payment you can make, they’ll be able to give you some real numbers. A good lender will give you some options and help you find the best mortgage rates for your situation. Once you know how much you can qualify for as a first time home buyer, you’ll be able to take that information to your real estate agent.

Finding a Real Estate Agent

If you haven’t found a real estate agent already, consider how to choose a realtor on the Central Coast. A good real estate agent will really listen to what you want in a home and match properties to your specifications, including the amount you are pre-qualified for. They should be able to provide you with plenty of information about the real estate market in San Luis Obispo County or Santa Barbara County, including how to search real estate property listings and how to find a neighborhood that is the right fit for you.

Mortgage Calculator Tools

If you’re hoping to get a general idea of what your costs will be before you meet with a lender, take a look at our mortgage calculator tools. Although these tools can’t replace the thorough assessment of a good lender, they will give a general idea about whether you can afford a home in San Luis Obispo or Santa Barbara County.

  • How much your monthly payment will be
  • What you should be earning in order to meet your house payment and other expenses
  • How much difference will a loan be if you pay discount points
  • Plus more!

Central Coast of California Real Estate Market

Perhaps you are interested in living closer to the coast in Morro Bay, Pismo Beach or Los Osos or hoping to find where you can get the most house for your money on the Central Coast. Maybe you want a location closer to work or in a neighborhood that has a kid-friendly park nearby. Weather, wind and fog may be considerations for you as well. Both Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo county offer a diverse range of areas to live and plenty of homes to choose from for first-time home buyers. Ask your real estate agent to compare local real estate values and trends between the different communities so you can make an informed decision on the type of home to buy. Check out our Compare Central Coast Cities page to learn more about your options here.
Whether you are considering a home in a new development, a fixer-upper, a renovated classic or hoping to find a deal among foreclosure listings, your real estate agent can help you as a first-time home buyer in your search for the perfect California Central Coast property. Sign up to receive just listed alerts via email when a property comes on the market that meets your exact specifications. Hopefully, the answer to your questions, “Can I afford a home?” is YES! and in no time, you’ll be making your new California house into the home of your dreams