The first thing we recommend is find yourself a good, local real estate agent. A good real estate agent doesn't just write a contract, they can SAVE you money. The next thing you will need is a good lender. Your lender will tell you the amount you qualify to spend on a home.
Now you are ready to ask your agent for a tour of the area. Even if you have lived in a place your whole life it is quite likely your real estate agent knows a few neighborhoods you haven’t seen. Lastly, ask for a sample copy of the Purchase Contract you will be asked to sign. Ask your agent to walk you through the contract, review it and become familiar with what you are saying by signing that contract.
In the current, crazy Seller's Market your best source is anywhere you can find information. There are numerous sites that allow you to look at homes for sale. We recommend you look at them all until you find the search engine (zillow.com, trulia.com, realtor.com, etc.) that fits your style.
Looking at homes, especially in the Silicon Valley, is a unique experience. You must decide quickly in our competitive market or you might lose the home to someone else. With home prices going up on a weekly basis the pressure can be relentless. Pre-planning can help calm things down.
Click here for My Home Buying Wish List. Take the time to fill this out and share it with your agent.
To present the offer to the seller your agent will need to have your pre-approval letter from your lender, proof of funds – that is the money you will be using for your Earnest Money Deposit as well as they money you will be bringing in to close escrow (all money other than your loan). If the home has been pre-inspected, be sure you have read and understand all of the inspections.
Next, have your agent contact the seller’s agent and find out if there is something special the seller is looking for. Knowing what is important to the seller and including them in your offer gives you an advantage.
Finally, put yourself in the shoes of the Seller. What would you want to know about someone making an offer on your home? Plan to write a compelling letter to the seller about yourself and your family. Tell them about you and why you want to purchase their home. We have seen this swing the deal in more than a few situations.
There are a few major milestones for a Buyer once you are under contract:
1. You put your initial deposit into the escrow account
2. You get to know what you just said you wanted to buy
3. Lender satisfies themselves about making a loan
4. You release your contingencies
5. You signoff on the dotted line
6. You take possession
YES! There are tons of reasons why you should talk with a bank and get pre-approved before looking at homes. First and foremost, talking with a bank before looking at homes can help you understand exactly how much you can afford. There is no reason to look at homes that are listed for $750,000 if you can only afford up to $700,000.
When buying a home, it’s strongly recommended you have a Realtor. Attempting to buy a home without a Realtor can really make the home buying process more difficult.
The easiest way to understand a short sale is the sale of a home in which the proceeds from the sale are less than the balance of debts secured by liens against the property and the home owner cannot afford to pay the liens in full.
Before purchasing a short sale, you should consider things such as the time it can take for a short sale response, the fact that a foreclosure is still possible, and that many short sale properties are in disarray. Short sales are not impossible to buy but you must be patient and be in no immediate rush to move.
Believe it or not, foreclosures can actually be a smoother transaction than a short sale. A foreclosure, sometimes referred to as a REO, is a property that is owned by a lender. If you’re considering the purchase of a foreclosure, it’s important to understand that most are sold “as-is.” Foreclosures, if not purchased by an owner occupant, are often purchased by investors, fixed up, “flipped,” and sold to a owner occupant.
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