Are you ready to be a homeowner? Once you’ve made that all-important decision to buy a home, take the time to fully understand the home-buying process and prepare yourself for the exciting but challenging journey ahead.
Buying in San Francisco – San Francisco Real Estate
- Find the right real estate agent to work with. Don’t make the mistake of doing it on your own, especially in the competitive San Francisco market. The guidance of a professional will be invaluable in helping you find the perfect home at the shortest possible time.
The agent you choose should have the skills and experience to negotiate strongly on your behalf and the commitment to help you land your dream home.
- Find out how much home you can afford. Get mortgage pre-approval. While not binding, pre-approval will help you determine how much mortgage you can actually qualify for, which you can use in setting your budget.
Mortgage pre-approval is also very important in getting the trust of sellers, as it shows your commitment to buy as well as your ability to pay. Most home sellers will only show their property to buyers with mortgage pre-approval.Bernie and Mike can guide you in finding the best loan agent to fit your needs.
- Start your search for a new home by identifying what you’re looking for. Come up with two lists – one for your “needs” and the other for your “wants.”
The first list will include the features that you absolutely must have, such as the number of rooms, parking and storage space, proximity to schools and offices, type of neighborhood, and so on.
The second list will be for the “extras” and creature comforts that will make life more enjoyable. This may include a patio or balcony, an entertainment room, a swimming pool, and similar amenities.
In searching for a home, find one that fulfills your “needs” list first, then check it against your “wants” list. Determine how badly you want the extras, and if you’re willing and able to spend more to get them, if necessary.
- Once you’ve found a home you love, it’s time to write an offer. Your real estate agent’s expertise will come in very handy at this point. Using market trends and figures, as well as their experience in similar properties, your agent will help you come up with a competitive offer price and draft the offer letter that will include all contingencies. Your agent will also advise you on how to make your offer more attractive, such as giving up some contingencies or increasing your earnest money deposit.
- Once the seller accepts your offer, escrow starts. Several things need to be accomplished at this time, including finalization of your home loan, the property assessment, and home inspections. The process often involves a ton of paperwork and, possibly, some important decisions on your part. You can be assured that your agent will do most of the legwork, and will provide you with everything you need to make informed decisions.
- The title is transferred to your name and escrow closes. Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of your new home.