Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions - both financially and emotionally - you will make in your lifetime. If you're a first-time buyer, you're probably thrilled about making the jump from apartment renting to owning your own house. While you're excited, however, you also may be a bit overwhelmed by the procedures involved. Relocating or move-up buyers have the advantage of past experience, but still might need a refresher course on the intricacies of the process.

Whether you're a first-time or experienced buyer, I can assist you in realizing your goal of homeownership.

HOW TO BUY A HOME IN 10 SIMPLE STEPS

1.  WHAT AND WHERE?  Determine what you would like to buy and where.  New Construction or Traditional?  Which area?  Each neighborhood has its own personality so it might be helpful to rent and explore for a season.

2.  HOW MUCH HOUSE CAN YOU AFFORD?  Is it a vacation home or a primary residence?  Everyone has an individual collection of financial circumstances that make up the answer to this question.

3.  FINANCE OR CASH?  If you plan to finance, first meet with a mortgage broker to get pre-qualified, and then pre-approved, for a loan.  If you plan to buy in cash, be prepared to verify your assets before going into contract.

4.  THE SEARCH:  Call me at 310.770.7179 and let’s discuss your dream property.

5.  SHOWINGS:  This is the fun part, time to see it in person.  This may take one tour or several, but remember, this is a super-competitive market for everyone so when you find THE ONE – act decisively!

6.  THE OFFER:  Consult your real estate agent and he/she will submit the offer and terms.

7.  OFFER ACCEPTED:  Work closely with your real estate agent and perhaps hire an attorney to handle the contract to ensure a smooth and speedy process.  Schedule a home inspector to produce an engineer’s report, conduct relevant water quality, mold, sewer, chimney, roof tests and termite inspections.

8.  IN CONTRACT:  A good real estate agent will hold your hand throughout the contract process. The contract commonly includes:

  • purchase price
  • amount of down payment
  • mortgage contingency
  • date and place of closing
  • description of the property
  • list of all personal property, fixtures, and appliances included in the sale
  • clauses of property ownership and permissible use
  • responsibilities of buyer and seller

9.  MORTGAGE (IF NECESSARY):  With the fully executed purchase contract, you can now secure a mortgage commitment.

10.  CLOSING: Your real estate agent will attend the closing to help guide you through the transfer of title and disbursement of necessary funds from escrow.  It is customary for the seller to pay the real estate broker’s commission.