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Buyer's Articles

Buying your new home is a serious venture. It can be an absolute pleasure or a massive headache. Your house is not just your home, it is a serious investment in the dwelling, the area and your future.

When buying a home - you're bound to have many questions. For example, "In what area can I find a home that suits my needs?", "How much money will I need to afford the monthly payments?" and "How long will the home buying process take?"

Below are some articles that you might find useful in the home buying process. Please feel free to click on one of the links below to read more.

Buyer Articles


Advice for First-Time Buyers

  • As experienced Realtors we have a tried and true list of experienced and licensed mortgage professionals that we can refer you to. Please call or email any of us under our 'Agents' button on the home page. We'll be glad to help.

    Pre-Qualification:
    This is when you contact a mortgage broker and find out how much you can afford to pay for a home.
       
  • Pre-Approval: While knowing how much you can afford is the first step, sellers will be much more receptive to potential buyers who have been pre-approved. You'll also avoid being disappointed when going after homes that are out of your price range. With Pre-Approval, the buyer actually applies for a mortgage and receives a pre-approval letter  from a lender. This way the seller knows immediately that you are a serious buyer for that property.
       
  • List of Needs & Wants: Make 2 lists. The first should include items you must have (i.e., the number of bedrooms you need for the size of your family, a one-story house if accessibility is a factor, etc.). The second list is your wishes, things you would like to have (pool, den, etc.) but that are not absolutely necessary. Realistically for first-time buyers, you probably will not get everything on your wish list, but it will keep you on track for what you are looking for.
       
  • Representation by a Professional: Consider hiring  a Realtor -  one who is working for you the buyer.  Fees for representing a buyer in a transaction are normally paid by the seller at closing and are set forth in a Buyer Agency agreement. 
       
  • Focus & Organization: In a convenient location, keep handy the items that will assist you in maximizing your home search efforts. Such items may include:         
    1. One or more detailed maps with your areas of interest highlighted.         
    2. A file of the properties that your agent has shown to you, along with ads you have cut out from the newspaper.              
    3. Paper and pen, for taking notes as you search.             
    4. Instant or video camera to help refresh your memory on individual properties, especially if you are attending a series of showings.              
    5. Location: Look at a potential property as if you are the seller. Would a prospective buyer find it attractive based on school district, crime rate, proximity to positive (shopping, parks, freeway access) and negative (abandoned properties, garbage dump, source of noise) features of the area?
             
  • Visualize the house empty & with your decor: Are the rooms laid out to fit your needs? Is there enough light?+
       
  • Be Objective: Instead of thinking with your heart when you find a home, think with your head. Does this home really meet your needs? There are many houses on the market, so don't make a hurried decision that you may regret later.
           
  • Be Thorough: A few extra dollars well spent now may save you big expenses in the long run. Don't forget such essentials as:         
    1. Include inspection and mortgage contingencies in your written offer.     
    2. Have the property inspected by a professional inspector.              
    3. Request a second walk-through to take place approximately 24 hours prior to closing.
    4. Check to see that no changes have been made that were not agreed on (i.e., a nice chandelier that you assumed came with the sale having been replaced by a cheap ceiling light).
       
  • All the above may seem rather overwhelming. This is why having a Realtor represent you and keep track of  the myriad of details is highly recommended. Please feel free to email or call any of our Brokers Associates to discuss further and help with any questions.

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How to Negotiate with Sellers

Buying a home is one of the most important purchases most people will make. In order to make the right decision the first time, potential buyers need to be prepared. Consider the following before starting negotiations:

As the potential buyer, you want the advantage. While you want answers to all your questions to the seller, reveal very little about your circumstances. The professional advice of an experienced Realtor is invaluable in negotiating the best price and getting the home you want. 
Keep your emotions in check.

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Types of Mortgages

Fortunately for buyers, there are a variety of mortgages to choose from. It is in your best interest to investigate each of them to determine which is the best for your situation. You probably won't qualify for all of them. In fact, you may only qualify for one. But if you do qualify for more than one, you may save yourself money (and worry) in the long run if you do your homework before signing on the dotted line.

Fixed Rate Mortgages

Consider a fixed rate mortgage if either of the following describes you:

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