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Buy a Home

First-Time Homebuyer

Deciding to Buy a Home For The First Time?

If you’re a first-time homebuyer, the process may seem intimidating. So in addition to the video guides on this page, we’ve put together a list of 5 simple steps for success that can help you prepare to buy a home for the first time. Read on to get all the details!


1. Make Sure Your Finances Are In Order

First, you need to make sure that you’re financially ready to buy a house as a first-time homebuyer. Chances are that this is the largest purchase you’ll ever make in your life, so it pays to be prepared! Before making a purchase, make sure your finances are in order by:

2. Determine Your Budget

Before you start looking for a home, you need to determine how much you can spend on a mortgage. As a rule, it’s recommended that you keep your housing payment under 28% of your gross (pre-tax) monthly income. This should include not only your mortgage but also property taxes and homeowner’s insurance.

The right amount to spend on a home may vary based on your income and budget, but this is a helpful “rule of thumb.” You can play around with a mortgage calculator to see how much you can afford to pay based on different down payments, loan lengths, interest rates, and more.

3. Explore Your Loan Options

There are a lot of different loan types available for your first home purchase – including conventional loans, jumbo loans, FHA loans, VA loans, and more. Not sure what the difference is between these types of loans? Click here to get a quick overview from the team at CSMC Mortgage, and to see which type of mortgage might be right for you.

4. Get Pre-Approved

Once you’ve determined how much you can spend on a home, you can get pre-approved by a lender like CSMC mortgage. Basically, this means that your lender will take a look at your finances, and determine how much it would be willing to lend you to buy a home.

Having pre-approval will help you throughout the process of shopping for a home, because it indicates that you’re serious about buying a house, and lenders believe that you are qualified to do so.

Note that pre-approval does not guarantee a loan. Once you have chosen a home, you will need to go back to your lender to confirm that you can take a loan out on the property you’ve selected.

5. Start Shopping For Your Dream Home

Once you’ve gotten your finances in order, decided on a budget, chosen the right type of loan for you, and obtained pre-approval, you’ll be ready to start shopping for the home you’ve always wanted.

And remember, if you need help or guidance, CSMC Mortgage is here for you. We specialize in working with first-time home buyers, and can help you make the right decision for your financial situation! Contact us now to get the expert guidance you need.

“Laura Hertz is the best lender I've ever worked with in my 25 years as a Realtor. I never have to worry that she has things handles and she always performs in the best way possible. I also know that she is an advocate for my buyers and not only does she meet their expectations but she exceeds them! She is my lender for life!”

- Paula K.

“CSMC is always our go to lender. Denise Bizzy is fabulous. She really went the extra mile trouble shooting solutions to problems our client had. I do not believe another lender would have been able to pull this off. Five stars for the A+ service from Denise Bizzy and CSMC Mortgage!”

- Mark L.

“ My experience is always fantastic & seamless. Mayen Grigorian is a true professional. He’s honest, he goes above and beyond, he’s efficient, always available and knowledgeable. I never have to call for updates he beats me to it and sends updates regarding the loan. Our clients are very happy and we’re very happy! Five star service, I can’t say enough good things about Mayen as a person and a professional. Hands down! He’s The Best!”

- Taline S.

“This review is about Mark and Darci Richardson from CSMC Mortage in Simi Valley. This team is the BEST! For the past 12 years our home was "underwater" due to the "crash" in 2007, and unable to do anything with the mortgage except pay it. These two kept on top of things and finally the house qualified to REFI. We just completed everything and it closed last week... and they saved us over $900 a month!! That's a huge savings for a couple of senior citizens! We are SO happy now and finally can breathe. Thanks to Mark and Darci and CSMC Mortgage for following through, jumping through all the hoops necessary and helping us out! I can't recommend them more... they are the BEST!!!”

- Shari S.

“Faye helped me purchase my first home last year. She was very professional and worked very quickly to help me procure financing. She made herself available around my schedule and took the time to explain my options for financing to help me get the lowest rate possible. Would highly recommend her to anyone looking for someone that is professional, highly knowledgeable, polite, and responsive.”

- James Z.

“ Mario provided excellent service. Not only was he professional and helpful, but the personal support and reliability was something hard to find these days. I will not be using anyone else and have confidently referred him to friends and family.”

- Heather C.