Everyone knows buying a house is not an easy task. Suppose it’s in another city, the stress doubles. Countless steps, from getting your finances straight, finding the right property, to moving day, can be overwhelming, but there is enjoyable stuff along the way too. Once you find “the one,” many things you’ve dreamed of will become more near and realistic. So if you are looking for your dream place in the city of Salinas, read on. We have made the ultimate homebuyers’ guide to Salinas, CA, with 10 steps to make the process less stressful for you.
A bit about the city of Salinas, CA
The city was ranked 10th best to live in California, with the ideal mild climate, perfect for farming and or living. It proudly promotes itself as the “Salad Bowl of the World” due to its abundant farming field that produces tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, strawberries, broccoli, grapes, and flowers.
Even if you are not into the agriculture business, this city has a lot to offer. Old Town or Mainstreet is the heart of the city. The feeling of a warm community is another trait that describes Salinas. Its community is extremely proud of the lack of chain stores. Instead, the city is filled with privately owned mom-and-pop businesses.
Before jumping into our step-by-step guide to home buying, let take a closer look at some Salinas, CA features.
The weather is best described as mild Mediterranean climate due to Pacific ocean air and fog from Monterey Bay. The pleasant climate is present throughout the year, with little temperature variation. The average high in the winter months is 63 degrees, while it’s around 75 degrees during the summer.
Victorian architecture and a mixture of bars, boutiques, ethnic dining options, and culture characterize Oldtown Salinas.
Other neighborhoods are North, South Salinas, and East Salinas, Harden Ranch, and Creekridge. East Salinas has been known for gang-related crime, so be sure to research all the neighborhoods before purchasing a house.
It would be a good idea to turn to people in the area to help you choose the right neighborhood for you and your family.
Culture life and sports
The city has a vibrant art scene that includes music, live theaters, and galleries. Those fond of music can find live music at the Fox Theater Salinas downtown, Sherwood Hall, and Hartnell College. The Valley Art Gallery is the oldest one in the city, displaying a range of socially aware artistic pieces. Murals and sculptures are also common.
California Rodeo Salinas attracts thousands of people for 4 days in July. The rodeo is held in the Sports Complex, used as a concert venue, and for car and motorcycle racing and monster truck shows.
Education in Salinas
In our homebuyers’ guide to Salinas, education was one of the most important things to research. We are happy to say that Salinas offers a great educational system. It has seven separate school districts.
The largest school district is the Salinas Union High School district, which offers grades 7-12. It is comprised of 10 campuses educating 13,600 students. The Salinas City Elementary School District is the largest grammar school system in Salinas, with 13 facilities and 8000 students.
Homebuyers’ guide to Salinas, CA – things to consider
If you are looking to buy a house and have chosen the city of Salinas to be the perfect location for you and your family, take a look at this how-to guide before you jump in the process. Most home sales involve these steps:
- getting your finances straight
- down payment
- mortgage approval
- finding a real estate agent
- looking for a house
- making an offer
- closing the deal
1. How much can you actually afford?
When purchasing a house, it is important to set a budget. First, look at your current income and debts and consider a reasonable mortgage price for your financial situation. This is an important step, which will help you keep your feet on the ground.
Another thing worth checking is your credit score—the higher the credit score, the lower the mortgage rate.
2. What about the down payment?
There’s a common misconception that down payments are always 20%. Actually, there are many ways options for those who cannot afford 20%. For example, there are conventional loans for only 3% down.
However, there are advantages to making a larger down payment. This typically means you will have more mortgage options, a lower monthly rate, and a lower interest rate.
3. Mortgage approval
This step is essential to take before you start seeking houses to buy. Then, when you apply for the mortgage, you will get a preapproval letter saying how much you are approved based on your financial situation.
4. Hire a reputable real estate agent
Since there are multiple parts involved in getting a mortgage and buying a house, hiring a real estate agent can help. He is your representative throughout the process and will look for your best interests that meet your criteria while also helping you negotiate and write offers.
5. House hunting
Your real estate agent will help you hunt for houses that fit your budget. It’s a good idea to make your top priority list with the things you are looking for in a home. Some of those can be the price, square footage, the number of bedrooms, swimming pool, property taxes, and so on.
Bear in mind that only you can decide which property is the best for you. Make sure you create a showing list from the most to least important houses to see. Once you visit the potential homes, remember to take photos with your phone to help jog your memory when deciding whether to make an offer.
6. Make an offer
Making an offer must be submitted through a letter in writing. Again, your real estate agent can be of tremendous support in this aspect since they can provide you with comparable sales information, as well as any intel on the sellers you might have overlooked.
The seller might reject your offer, and then you can walk away or make a counteroffer. But, again, your real estate agent is there to help you with the negotiations.
7. Close the deal
You have made it to the last step! The seller will provide you with a Closing Disclosure at least 3 days before the actual deal closes. It would help if you compared it with your Loan Estimate to see if any closing costs have changed. This will let you know how much total cash you’ll need.
The cost of living in Salinas, CA
This is one of the essential aspects to consider when relocating to another city. According to local relocation specialists at Mod Movers California, California is around 30% more expensive than the national average. In addition, healthcare is 15% higher, while transportation costs are 10 percent above average. However, other costs, such as groceries and utilities, are in range with the national average.
Real estate prices drive the high cost of living. For example, the average price for a median home is 620,350$, which is still more affordable than other Californian prices.
All the steps you need to take when buying a house can be a longer overall process. Remember to take a look at our homebuyers’ guide to Salinas, CA, to help you along the way. Finally, nothing beats the feeling of getting the keys to the place your will from now on call home. So take your new set of keys, enjoy the first time entering your home, start unpacking, and slowly building your new life inside its walls.