Buying a home, whether it’s your first home or your tenth…is a BIG deal. If you’re buying a home in Silicon Beach you happen to be investing in one of the hottest markets on the planet! So what are some of the most important guidelines when it taking that step?
Fortunately times have changed from the days when the real estate agents held all the cards. The process is much more transparent in this day and age of the “internet of things”. There are tons of real estate websites with easily accessible data at your fingertips. Zillow, Trulia, Redfin etc… make the searching for the home of your dreams much easier than it was even 5 years ago. That being said, you still need to build a good team around you to make the process as efficient and pain free as possible. There are many pitfalls that wait the unexperienced.
Here are 3 simple steps to get you started on one of the greatest journey’s of your lifetime:
1. Find a good agent that you trust to have your best interest at top of mind. They should be an expert in the area that you are looking in. It helps to have a good report with the person you will be working with for the next month…or several. Communication is extremely important and remember there are no dumb questions. Your agent is paid to guide you through the steps from A-Z, so lean into their expertise and trust the process.
2. Find a good lender or mortgage broker that has competitive interest. Do your homework and shop around. Sometimes your agent has great referrals so don’t be afraid to ask if they have someone to recommend. Work on getting your credit scores up as high as possible as this will save you a lot of money in the long run. Talk to a credit counselor if necessary. Your lender will ask for your last 2 years of tax returns, so have those available. They may also ask for pay stubs from your current or most recent employer to establish your income history so it doesn’t hurt to pull those to have on hand if you really want a headstart.
3. Put pen to paper or fire up your iphone and make a list of must haves and absolute deal killers so when you start touring open houses you have solid idea of your general parameters. I say general because it’s not uncommon to walk into a house that doesn’t fit neatly into your parameters and know that this is the ONE immediately! Trust your gut. Now the fun part…start shopping!!! Get out and see some homes that fit those requirements ASAP. Getting a good headstart is key. The pieces to the puzzle don’t always come together right away and getting ahead of the game often pays dividends. Don’t be shy to put your agent to work. This is what your agent does – find the home of your dreams, steer you through the process, negotiate favorable terms and make sure that you get it!