Things to Think About When Buying a Home

So you’re gonna do it. You’re jumping into the homeownership game. Well, it’s not a game, really, it’s one of the most important decisions anyone makes in their life. It’s an investment and, if done wisely, will add to your overall financial value with growth in equity.

That being said, there are some things to think about when you are in the process of looking for, and then buying, a home.

Let’s start with looking:

I’m going to assume you’ve done the right thing and consulted with a mortgage lender to pre-qualify for a home loan. This is THE FIRST THING you will do. Why? It makes sense to know exactly how much house you can afford. Another great reason is that it shows the seller you’re serious about your commitment to purchase when you make an offer on their home.

The wrong way:

Getting in the car and driving around to look at “For Sale” signs on the lawns of houses not only wastes time (and gasoline, which isn’t cheap these days), but can frustrate you in the sense that the signs do not tell you whether the home is actually still active on the market, or if it is in escrow, or being pulled temporarily from the market for unknown reasons, or if the listing is about to be cancelled.
While driving around neighborhoods might give you a sense of where you might want to live, you’ll drive yourself crazy calling sign after sign to see if the home is available for sale.

The right way:

The best thing to do is to sit down with a realtor like myself. Why? I can map out the best active listings in the areas you desire that fit your price range. I know the ins and outs of the neighborhoods in the Santa Clarita Valley, and know what to look out for (Along with your best interest!). This isn’t about the hard sell, this is about you making the best use of your time, and using a realtor like myself to help you find the home of your dreams without expending a lot of unnecessary time and energy.
I also have access to agent information that may not be available on public MLS (Multiple Listing Service) websites that may affect your decision to purchase a particular property. This is crucial in steering you in the right direction in finding exactly the home you’re looking for.

Location, Location, Location:

Yes, this phrase, no matter how overused, still rings true. Keep in mind that homes on busy streets, or lacking true privacy, or “fixers” may be offered at a lower price (Sometimes, but not always. Listing prices are ultimately up to what the seller thinks he or she wants for their house), but if you ever want or need to sell a property such as this, you will most likely end up selling it at a reduced price as well.
The value of location can’t be underestimated. Consider all the factors of the neighborhood and location when looking for a home. Is it located on or near a really busy street? Does the home offer the type of privacy you’re looking for? Thinking ahead, does the home fit criteria that will insure its value increases rather than decreases over time.

Don’t Dawdle!

Many buyers kick themselves for “hemming and hawing” on making the decision to make an offer on a property because they thought they had time to wait. You never know how many other potential buyers have seen the home you’re interested in, and offers can come in at any time. Sellers are not obligated to wait for any buyer to finally make an offers, they will usually take the best one that comes in. They can only accept one offer, but they can view as many as come their way. If you want it and it feels right AND you already have your loan prequalification in place, go for it! You don’t know how many times I’ve had buyers come to me with remorse over not jumping on a property that they really liked.

Follow Through

Finally, once you have made your purchase offer on a home and the seller has accepted it, follow the escrow process and meet all of the purchase contingencies within the time frame laid out in the contract. I will help guide you and give you plenty of reminders of what those contingencies are and when they are due. You do have options within a certain time frame if you decide not to go through with the purchase, but those options have a short window. Keeping up with contingencies and the escrow instructions will make sure your home purchase goes without a hitch. Again, I am there with you every step of the way all the way until you get your keys (And beyond. I’m just a phone call or email away if you have questions).

Are you ready? Do you have questions about the home buying process? Call me direct at 661-964-1256, or go to http://scvresourcecenter.com for more information and to begin your home search. You can also contact me to send me a message by clicking here. 

I’m at your service, and it is my pleasure to serve you!

Cheryl Lichen-Hooper

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