Purchasing a home, whether for the first time or umpteenth time, is a big decision.
Buying your first home is an exhilarating feeling, and at the same time can be stressful. As a new home buyer, you will have many questions. We are here to guide you through the process.
And, as a move up buyer...there are a different set of challenges. We are specialists in making that happen, and want you to be abundantly enriched by the experience!
8 Steps to Successfully Buying a Home
Decide to buy
Hire your agent
Secure your financing
Find your home
Make an offer
Perform your due diligence
Close the escrow
Protect your investment
Step One to Buying Your Home: Decide to Buy
Since you are reading this, you have probably already decided to buy a Santa Clarita Valley home! You may be a first time home buyer looking for a condo in Valencia, or a "move up" home buyer with the need for more space, something newer, something nicer, a Valencia or Sand Canyon home overlooking a golf course, or something closer to family, etc. Or perhaps, the move has been Thrust upon you by a career relocation to the Los Angeles area.
Home is where the heart is; and it is also where the wealth is!
If you are a first time Santa Clarita home buyer there are many solid reasons to support your decision to buy a home - such as, equity build up, tax benefits, value appreciation. One of the advantages is being able to fully pay off your home someday, thereby eliminating a mortgage payment. What better way to have financial independence in the future.
Some people are fearful of taking the first step to buying a home.
Fear that they can't buy a home now
Fear that it is the wrong time to buy a home....thinking they should wait until the "market gets better"
Afraid they don't have the money for a down payment
Afraid their credit is not good enough
Think they should wait until they get married
Don't think they can buy their dream home
Afraid that the whole process is too complicated
Stick with me, and you'll feel better about the home buying process...especially in Santa Clarita Valley, California...one of the top places to live!
Step Two: Choose Your Real Estate Agent Wisely
A good Santa Clarita real estate agent will put their clients first. This is your dream - this is the home you and your family will create many wonderful memories; a good agent works as your fiduciary and your advocate to make your dream come true!
A good agent will:
Be an Educator - educate you on the current market conditions and how that affects you as a home buyer, as well as the neighborhoods with regards to your wants and needs
Be a Consultant - listen and analyze what you need and want in your next home
Be a Manager - co-ordinate the work of other needed professionals throughout the buying and escrow process
Be Your Guide - guide you to neighborhoods and homes that fit your needs, wants, and budget
Be a Negotiator - use skills on your behalf to get you the best deal, including price and terms
Be a "Systems" Analyst - check and double check contracts, paperwork, and deadlines for your protection
Be a Trouble Shooter - inform, discuss with you, and suggest solutions for any challenges that may surface during the transaction
As a home buyer, how can I be sure I have the best agent for me?
Are you concerned about being "taken", or having some pushy real estate agent rush you into purchasing a home that you really aren't sure about? Are you in first place - you know, #1 - in your agent's mind? That's a reasonable concern...
When I first started selling real estate in the Santa Clarita Valley MANY years ago, the top agent in my office said that he would sit across the table from the buyers (I find it difficult to refer to these unfortunate people as "his clients"), and literally see a bag of groceries instead of the buyers! Through the years, I have heard other similar things from other agents.
This attitude always seemed foreign to me... perhaps it was because I was blessed to have discovered the Lord just before I entered the field of real estate. Oh, I have surely grown in my faith walk since then; however, for some reason - from the very start of my real estate career - I just believed that if I did the right thing for my clients first and foremost, my needs would be taken care of. And this has always been true.
One way I put my clients first is that I point out the good and the bad about properties to them as we are looking at homes. A truism that has stuck with me is "you make money on a home when you buy it - not when you sell it!". And this is something that I always share with my clients. If you choose your new home wisely, when it's time for you to sell it and move on, your house will be much more desirable than if you had rushed to purchase something without considering the various factors at play in purchasing.
For instance....Does the house back up to a busy street? Is it noisy location? Hey, maybe that is okay with you, because, the possible counter point could be that you don't have neighbors looking down into your backyard, and you can go skinny dipping in your pool if you so choose! But don't you want your trusted real estate adviser to point those things out? It's all about the home buyer making a good decision based on ALL the known information. And there are many things to consider.
Good communication is important in any relationship. And the relationship between a Santa Clarita home buyer and their real estate agent starts with an in depth consultation about the wants, needs, and desires of the client - what their goals are, how long are they planning on living in this next home, what is their lifestyle and kind of activities they enjoy, etc.
The importance of a Home Buyer Consultation
The initial consultation between the home buyer and their real estate agent is the beginning of their possible relationship. I say "possible relationship" because, frankly sometimes the parties just don't "mesh". Buyers may have expectations that the agent just can't meet...and vice versa. Purchasing a home is stressful enough as it is. You want to have a relationship built on good communication and trust - from there the team of buyer and agent is a beautiful relationship! This is when the whole transaction together goes well, and is fun!
It is wise to have this initial consultation well before you are even ready to start looking for a home. This gives the home buyer a plan to be ready when just the right home comes along. And in my case this includes homes in Valencia and the entire Santa Clarita Valley.
And to paraphrase what Humphrey Bogart said to Claude Raines in Casablanca..."this looks like the start of a beautiful relationship".
Ready to have a chat about buying a home in Santa Clarita Valley? No obligation or cost! Contact Tricia LaMotte or call 661-212-2896
And if you selling your Santa Clarita Valey home and relocating out of the area I can connect you with one of my many great associates throughout the United States and many international countries! Just ask me!
If you are not paying all cash for your purchase, then to make the home loan process be a pain-free as possible your real estate agent will introduce you to the local preferred lender. There is a reason for using this lender, and it is NOT that for any fraudulent reasons or kickbacks! it is in your best interest.
Step Four: Find Your Home
Yes! This is what you wanted all the time, right? Well, the first steps were essential to get to this step! Now that you have your trusted advisors working for you, you're ready to start your home search. However, this part can be overwhelming. This is why that Buyer Consultation is so important.
Buyers that think they can start here, by just finding a home on the internet that has pretty pictures, calling any agent to "just show them the house", are making it difficult on themselves. These are the "buyers" that can never seem to find the right house or get their offers accepted.
However, since YOU are a Smart Home Buyer, using these time tested steps for successful home buying in Santa Clarita, you will be happily settled in your new home long before the buyers that do not follow and understand these vital steps.
Step Five: Make an Offer on the Home!
Your agent - your trusted advisor will give you information that help you determine the best price to offer; the current listing price, the rate of absorption, an analysis of sold prices of comparable properties, the current market trend, and any other pertinent facts about the property. A good agent will explain and guide you through the process.
Step Six: Perform Your Due Diligence
In the Santa Clarita Valley area, the majority of the time you will have 17 days after the acceptance of your offer by the seller to do your due diligence. The seller will provide "Seller Property Disclosures", many of which are mandated by the state of California or the local Board of Realtors. These are all for your protection. Your agent will review these with you. During this time, you can hire a property inspection, and any other inspections you feel are necessary to ascertain the condition of the property. Once again, your trusted Realtor will guide you through this process for your protection.
Step Seven: Close the Escrow
During the escrow process, which normally take approximately 30 days, there are many things happening behind the scenes, with title work, loan processing, property disclosures, and the mountains of paperwork that have to be processed. Fortunately, much of what the agent does can now be done in a paperless manner!
It is extremely important during this time to stay in communication with your real estate agent, loan officer, and escrow officer to be prepared to submit any needed documents in a timely manner. It is also imperative that you do not use your credit cards in any way that is out of the ordinary, And PLEASE, do not go out and buy a car, or furniture, or other "big ticket" items! There are many sad tales of buyers who could not get their loan funded and the escrow fell apart at the last minute...all because they couldn't wait to buy a car until they CLOSED the escrow! That is not a happy ending to the long awaited day of moving into a dream home!
Step Eight: Protect Your Investment
Congratulations! Now it's time to start creating those happy memories in your new home!
It's also the time to think about a maintenance plan for your home. by regular maintenance, you can avoid costly repairs in the future. This protects your investment and will provide a better return for you when you do go to sell your house in the future.
And just because the sale process has ended, it doesn't mean our relationship has ended! I can provide information about local service people who can assist you in the maintenance of your home. And will certainly track your home's current value, and keep you informed on market trends.