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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.

“I had the best experience with CSMC Mortgage. Buying a home is very stressful with all of the paperwork that has to be filled out. Faye was amazing! I have given several people her contact info, who are scared to take the step to homeownership. She took ALL of the stress away for me. I honestly, didn’t have to do much. She accommodated my crazy work schedule and help me get things done in a timely manner. She made me feel so comfortable and at ease. There were no surprises when it was time to sign and pay. I highly recommend her to anyone in need of her services and guidance. I can’t thank her enough.”

- Lisa M.

“With this being my first home purchase, my loan officer was very good at explaining everything to me and helping me with all my needs. Thank you for having such great people in the right place!”

- Cathleen H.

“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.

“These folks are conscience and easy to work with. The “calm” as the “storm” of home loans rolls through! I would not use anyone else. They make sure ALL your questions are answered, be that what competitors may have offered, or ads you may have heard or seen. What a pleasure to do business with. Thank you team CSMC.”

- Michael G.

“David Honda and his team rocked!! They had great technology that took so much of the pain of home buying away. They were attentive to our specific needs and were on top of our loan process! David was always available, even when he was in Hawaii, and super responsive! Thanks David, Melissa and the team for an easy and great home buying experience.”

- Raymond F.

“Baret Grigorian was amazing!! From start to finish Baret was there to help in every way. I never felt like I had to call him to follow up on my loan transaction and he always kept me informed. He was able to get me great financing rates, a lower payment AND money back! Thank you Baret!! I look forward to working with you again in the future!!”

- Kenny D.

“CSMC Mortgage took great care of us and our home buying needs. Tony was more than we could have ever asked for, he went above and beyond for us and we couldn’t have been more grateful for all his hard work. CSMC Mortgage has a great and friendly staff, I would highly recommend them to anyone looking into buying a home.”

- Jannet A.

“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.