The Process Of Buying A Home In California

by Shai Prasad 09/25/2018

If you’re ready to buy a California home, it can be an exciting, yet confusing time for you. Especially for first-time buyers, common real estate terms are really important. With some preparation, and consulting of experienced professionals, you’ll be able to buy a home in California with knowledge on your side. 

What Are Your Needs?

The first thing you should do in the process of buying your California home is make a wish list. This list should include things like where you want to live, the neighborhoods that you prefer, the size of the home, nearby activities and amenities, and what size home you’re looking to buy. 

A good place to start is online home searches. Once you see what’s available, you’ll be able to narrow down exactly what you’re looking for and pinpoint what you’re looking for. 

What’s Your Mortgage Budget?

A mortgage shouldn’t be more than one-third of your monthly income. It might be smart to do a budget before you even start the house hunting process. This way, you can see how much you’re spending on food, entertainment, utilities, and other bills. You’ll then know where you should make adjustments and how much you can afford for a home. If the cost of the homes that you’re looking at exceed what you can afford, you should go back to your wish list and make some adjustments there. 

Talk To A Realtor And A Loan Officer

If you talk to two of the main people that you’ll be working with in the home search process way ahead of time, you’ll be off to a good start. Agents will be able to give you the inside scoop on the California real estate market and loan officers will be able to help you get pre-qualified so that you’ll know how much house that you can afford. As a bonus, you’ll also have an upper hand when it comes to the home buying process.  

On The Hunt For The Perfect Home

When people think of the home search process, they usually think of the most enjoyable part of the process: touring houses. By working with your realtor and taking some time to search online for homes, you’ll be able to avoid wasting time in this process. There’s only so many homes that you can tour. You’ll be able to limit your home search to places that meet your needs and desires.

Making An Offer

Unlike many other states, making an offer on a home doesn’t obligate a buyer in California to purchase the home. Along with the home offer, you’ll find contingencies that protect you as a buyer. These include:

  • A clear title on the home
  • The home must pass inspection

Your agent will help you to make a good offer on the home. In competitive markets, you may have to actually offer above the asking price in order to get  home you love.  


Once your offer has been accepted, congratulations, you’re well on your way to being a home owner in California! Your realtor will be more than happy to guide you through the final steps of negotiations, closing, securing insurance, and getting into your house. While sometimes you end up having to go back to the beginning if one part of the process falls through, you’ll understand the basics of buying a home in California.

About the Author

Shai Prasad

I am a Realtor®, and pride myself in providing you with the quality experience you expect for all your real estate needs. My goal is to provide first class service and help you achieve your real estate goals.