Getting Ready to Buy?
There seems to be a common misconception about owning Santa Barbara Real Estate. Many people believe they can’t afford it, or their credit score isn’t good enough, or that Santa Barbara is just too expensive. Even in a changing market, with a little effort and some good advice, it’s a dream that could be a reality for many people.
Here are some steps to take to position yourself in the right place to buy:
- Speak with your accountant or tax person.
They will be able to help you determine how the tax benefits of home ownership can enhance your net monthly income, making home ownership more feasible then you might have thought.
- Meet with a competent, local mortgage lender.
Not only will they be able to check your credit and help figure out how much you can afford, a good lender will find ways to increase your credit score for a better interest rate and will understand the needs of our local Santa Barbara market.
- If there is one main piece of advice I can offer, please interview Realtors so that you have someone you are comfortable working with.
A Realtor dedicated to your needs will help you understand exactly what type of home will fit your needs and your budget. They won’t pressure you to buy something that isn’t right for you. And they will spend as much time as you need helping you make the right choices for you. Once you’ve found a home, your Realtor will help you through the process so you understand exactly what you’re buying. Using the Realtor who has the listing does not mean you will get a better price on the home – remember, they were representing the seller first, and it is their fiduciary responsibility to do their best for the seller.
Home Buying Steps:
After meeting with your CPA and mortgage lender, the lender should be able to provide a pre-qualification or pre-approval letter stating to what level you are able to purchase a home. This will help your realtor focus in the right direction and make your eventual purchase offer stronger.
- Interview Process:
A good realtor will take the time to understand what you want. While market offerings may not currently fit your needs precisely, we can keep you informed of what is available as it comes on the market. This way, we won’t spend your time showing you homes that won’t work for you.
- Home Shopping:
By helping us understand your needs, the homes we show you will fit what you’re looking for. You might find, as you look, other wants and needs and you should always express what you do and don’t like about each home. Keep in mind, sometimes you have to see what you don’t want in order to determine what you do want.
- Negotiating An Offer: When you’ve found a home you’d like to purchase, your Realtor plays a crucial role in the negotiations and can substantially impact the real value you receive. Your Realtor will be able to advise you on the best plan of action to help you get that home. Offer price, contingencies, down-payment, and many other options all come together to make an offer strong and acceptable to a seller. Your Realtor will present your offer and include research to emphasize the value of your offer to the seller and/or their agent. Counter-offers are often a part of the negotiation process which your Realtor will help you through.
During this time, often 30 days or longer, many important events take place which you may or may not be aware of:
- Your lender will put your mortgage together.
- The title company will make sure the home is free of liens and advise of issues affecting the property.
- The Seller and their Agent will provide all of the necessary disclosures and reports required to make you aware of the condition of the home.
- Your Realtor can help advise you on what types of inspections should be done in order to have a full understanding of the condition of the home. You, as the buyer, should participate in a home inspection with a qualified home inspector as well as other necessary due diligence.
- Contingency removal – Your Realtor will advise you on when and which contingencies should be removed, getting you one step closer to home-ownership.
- The escrow officer will complete the paperwork and obtain signatures and funds to transfer ownership of the property to you.
Keep in mind, this is a very limited description of what is involved in purchasing a home. If you would like a more detailed description, please give me a call or email to schedule a time to review the process or to receive a brochure with more information.