Most people want to purchase a house, but with housing costs soaring across the country – particularly in California – it might seem hard to achieve this ambition. We’re here at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices to help you choose the ideal property and to provide you advice on how to start saving for your dream home.

Find out more about your financing options

Take the time to find out what financing choices are available to you before deciding you can’t afford to purchase a home. You’ll learn what mortgage programs you qualify for, how much of a down payment you’ll need, and who can lend to you in this phase. The best place to begin is to determine your FICO credit score, and then research the minimal FICO criteria of various lenders.

Take a look at your bank account to see how much money you have

The fact is that if you don’t make enough money to save money, you probably won’t be able to afford a home. Even if you receive a gift to cover the down payment, you will need money in your savings account in case of an emergency. Consider that the typical household income for renters is $37,500, whereas the median household income for homeowners is $75,000. If you fall more into the former category than the latter, the first move for you will most likely be to improve your income.

Save money, although you may not require as much as you believe

Yes, you’ll need to save some money, but it might not be as much as you think. The ideal is to put down 20% because this eliminates the need for private mortgage insurance, but this may be a significant barrier for many people. In reality, only one out of every five recent purchasers put down 20%, and more than half put down less than 50%.

Be adaptable – but only to a point

This is a difficult task that may be made much easier with the assistance of an experienced real estate broker. You should be adaptable, but not overly adaptable. If you’re a couple looking for a lifetime home and want to have a family, you don’t want to be too flexible and buy a one-bedroom condo. However, you don’t want to lose out on the home of your dreams because the carpet isn’t the perfect color — you can always change it.

If you want further assistance in your search for the ideal house, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices can assist you. Simply call us at (310) 373-0021 with any inquiries, and we’ll be happy to help you get started right away.