For those buying a home – here are some considerations…
I like to sit down with potential clients from day one. Buying real estate takes much more than “I saw this house and I want to buy it”. On the San Francisco Peninsula, where currently we are in a sellers market – buying a home takes patience and knowledge. Here are 7 thoughts for a buyer to consider…
* Get pre-approved for a home loan… APPROVED – not qualified!
This is the true first step in buying real estate and the one step so many buyers over look. There was a time when getting a home loan was simple. Those days are long gone and for good measure. The bank takes the time to evaluate each candidate very carefully, before and during the purchase process. This can take a few days to a few weeks depending on how quickly the client provides all the necessary documentation to the bank. Doing so gets a buyer pre-approved – chatting with a lender and providing no documentation is just a pre-qualification and truly means nothing when trying to buy a home.
* Get to know the home loan process and time frames and provide necessary documentation ASAP
Getting a home loan has changed over the past few years – and it is for the better though it is a bit more tedious. Find a lender you feel comfortable working with and provided them with all the necessary documentation they’ve asked for early on so they can complete your home loan approval. The further along the process, the strong a buyer you become.
No down payment – does not mean – no cost to buyer. Closing costs are expenses that are part of the buyers’ journey. There are several and each county is different. Please make the time to sit with your Realtor and discuss this. Knowledge is power!
Once we are in contract we make sure to remind our buyers that our journey has truly just begun. Finding the home is one thing – getting the home is another. So be pennywise throughout the journey – never pound-foolish.
* Make a wish & a hate list…
One of my favorite parts of the homeowner journey is coming up with the wants and needs list. The hate list is a great tool as well. You’ve got to be honest and truthful with your Realtor throughout the journey. The more we know about you – the easier it will be for us to find what you are looking for.
* Don’t lack vision or buy into a staged vision
Oh the power of staging! It works wonders – but remember to look past it – the house is what you are actually buying!
* Read and understand the HOA documentations…
There is so much important information in the HOA documentation. From day-to-day rules to future cost analysis. I have a great resource to assist buyers in reviewing their HOA documents.
* Make your offer in accordance with current market conditions – be aware
This is so true and is constantly changing. By the time you hear something on the news – the real estate market has changed. The Caton Team are full time Realtors, we are in the trenches day in and day out and make a point to connect with the other Realtors involved in the transaction so we can better inform our buyers on what they should and shouldn’t do in their offer. So please, make the time to discuss this with your Realtor.
* The inspection report may not be as bad as it seems…
The Caton Team has read hundreds, if not thousands of inspection reports. We’ve dealt with numerous home-related issues with clients and with our own homes. If we don’t have an answer – we know someone who will! So read them first, ask questions and we will connect our clients with the best inspectors and resources to understand these documents.
* Be patient…
Buying a home on the San Francisco is not easy or fast. You need to be patient. You need to be prepared. You need to be flexible. If you are selling and buying, have a plan. Don’t get caught up on homes you cannot move forward on until you are ready. So in review, get approved for a home loan, understand the time frames the bank has and connect your Realtor with your lender, make a wish list and a hate list and share this with your Realtor. Don’t get caught up on the pretty décor, look through it at the actual home, read read read all the inspections, disclosures and HOA docs. YOU are buying the house. YOU need to understand what you are signing – and if you have questions ask us – your Realtors! Heed the advice we dispense when writing offers, often times you may not like the truth about the market – but the market sets the bar. As your Realtors we know what it takes to get a home.
If you have any real estate related questions, comments or concerns – we’d love to hear from you! Email or comment on our blog. THANK YOU!
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Thanks for reading – Sabrina
The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties
Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008