First-Time Home Buyer in Coronado: 5 Things to Know

The Clements Group

Coronado has been a favorite travel destination for over a century. Situated in San Diego Bay, this island has a vibrant history dating back to 1886. From pristine sandy beaches to water sports and sunken ships, there is something for everyone here in the Crown City.

The historic Hotel Del Coronado has a vibrant 130-year history, cementing the site as a National Historic Landmark. Coronado offers residents an urban, suburban feel with many restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and parks. A small beach community with a unique island feel, Coronado is surrounded by San Diego Bay and the Pacific Ocean. It provides a distinctive lifestyle that residents and visitors enjoy. Coronado Beach is a must-see for any visitor or resident, as its glittering waters are a wonderful place to swim or enjoy s’mores around the campfire behind the Del!

Thinking about buying your first home is exciting, especially in a place like Coronado. But, even when you are ready to buy a house, it can take time to know where to begin. Here’s what you need to know as you start your journey to homeownership.

Figure out what you want

Going into the homebuying process prepared will save you some headaches and allow you to examine what’s important to you, even before you begin working with a realtor. In this step, consider what location you want to live in. This can include the importance of walkability, public transport, property, nightlife, or parks in the area. Once you find some neighborhoods you’d like to live in, it’s time to consider what you want and need in a house.

Creating a list of must-haves will help you remember what you need and avoid getting swept away by amenities you might not use. Must-haves can include the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, a garage, a front porch, or a yard. It would be frustrating to find the perfect house with breathtaking views and a serene backyard only to find out it doesn’t have enough bedrooms. Knowing how many bedrooms and bathrooms you want in a home will save you and your realtor time, as they won’t show you houses that don’t meet your non-negotiables. Housing websites also tend to have filters for the number of beds and baths in a home, so you can get more insight into how much real estate in Coronado is selling for and how much you could expect to pay.

Find an expert real estate agent

An excellent real estate agent is vital to making your home buying journey smooth. Working with a real estate agent ultimately saves you time and money and eases the stress in the process. A realtor will work with you to find your perfect house and look at homes that fit your criteria before passing it on to ensure the property is a serious contender. They also know the market trends for the area and can help you negotiate when it’s time to make an offer for a house.

Your realtor will negotiate with the seller on your behalf, advise you on a counteroffer, and whether you need a home inspection before closing the house. They can also advise you on financing options and can recommend good movers or other professionals you may need. When interviewing real estate agents, ask about their experience working with first-time homebuyers in Coronado and how they might help you find a home.

Don’t assume you need to put down 20%

A 20% down payment can help you steer clear of mortgage insurance. Lenders will require private mortgage insurance (PMI) on loans that cover more than 80% of the home’s value. However, not all buyers are comfortable putting that much cash down. The median down payment for a home is 13%, and 6% for first-time homebuyers. Saving and waiting for a 20% down payment could constrain you from reaching other financial goals, such as adding to your emergency fund or retirement savings account. Instead, consider other mortgage options, as many will allow you to put down a lower down payment.

Check out available loans and homebuyer assistance programs

Once you begin working with a realtor, they can advise you on mortgage options, but it’s a good idea to go into the process with an understanding of your options. Various mortgages are available with varying down-payment and eligibility requirements, such as FHA loans, which the Federal Housing Administration insures and allows down payments as low as 3.5%.

There are also conventional mortgages and USDA loans, which sometimes don’t require first-time homebuyers to pay a down payment. There are also options when it comes to the mortgage term. If you plan to stay in the home for a short term, then considering an adjustable-rate mortgage may be the way to go (rather than a fixed 15- or 30-year mortgage rate). Considering your plans in your new house is an integral part of the homebuying process, especially as you begin touring properties.

Additionally, numerous states provide first-time homebuyer programs, combining low-interest-rate loans with down payment and closing cost assistance. Sometimes, tax credits are also available through some first-time homebuyer programs. It’s also vital to ensure you are pre-approved for loans or homebuyer assistance programs before you begin searching for houses in earnest, as you won’t know how much you can spend. This information is typically available on local, state, and federal housing authority websites.

You’re ready to become a homeowner. Now what?

Now that you’re ready to find your perfect home, it’s time to begin searching for homes for sale in Coronado in earnest. There is much to consider, and The Clements Group is here to answer any questions. Reach out to Jan Clements today and begin the journey to finding your perfect home!

*Header photo courtesy of The Clements Group


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