New year, new home: How to get ready to buy a home in the Sacramento region

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With the new year comes new goals. For many, that means looking to buy a house.

There are so many little-known tricks people can use to get into a new home that most buyers simply do not know about. CEO and President of Catalyst Mortgage Brandon Haefele will share the details on four big first steps future buys need to know.

February has become the new April. More people are now looking online at home listings in February than the first full month of spring, which has been traditionally the official kickoff to the homebuying season, according to

The Sacramento region, one of the strongest markets in the state, is no different.

How to get in a new home for 2020

  • Check your credit score and see if there are some things you can do to improve the score. Perhaps pay off a credit card (or cards) or those last few payments remaining on the SUV.
  • Determine how much home you can actually afford. Near-record-low mortgage rates are allowing consumers to buy more house – or stay below their maximum price limit and enjoy smaller monthly payments (definitely a smart move). Consumers should talk with their mortgage professional who can help them determine how much home they can afford based on a number of factors, including the down payment, their income and debt load.
  • Get prequalified and preapproved for a mortgage, which shows real estate agents and homeowners that you’re ready to buy.
  • Also, consumers should remember that down payment assistance programs are available, allowing them to become homebuyers with very little money out of pocket. And income limits are higher than many people may think. For example, the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) has a $165,5000 income limit for the Sacramento region – more than twice the average household income.



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