Buyers Roadmap

Deciding
Whether
to Buy
Preparing
to Buy

Choosing a
Real Estate
Agent
Time to
Go Shopping
Escrow
Inspection
& Appraisal

Moving In


Deciding Whether to Buy


Homes for Sale in the Communities of Santa Clarita

Buying a home is likely the biggest financial decision you will ever make.  Whether this is your first purchase or you are an experienced buyer, I can help you make your decision carefully and thoughtfully, so that you are assured the best possible outcome.

Why Do You Want To Buy a Home?

Are you tired of paying rent?  Have you decided that you’d rather pay a mortgage of your own instead of your landlord's?  Have you outgrown your current home?  Would you like a larger yard?  Are you looking for a rental property?  Are you looking for an investment portfolio?  Would you rather live in a different area?  Do you want to shorten your commute?  When you have a clear sense of your reasons for buying, I can help you choose the right property.

Has Your Income Grown?

Real estate ownership is an excellent investment, whether you are looking for your dream home, rental property, or to expand your income property portfolio. Real estate is one of the least risky ways to build equity, or to obtain a greater return on your investment.

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Preparing to Buy


Before you start shopping for property, it is a good idea to plan ahead.

Build A Green File.

A “green file” includes all your important financial documents. You will need these items on hand to secure financing.  A typical green file would contain:

Check Your Credit Rating.

Your credit rating will have a huge impact on the type of property you can buy, and at what price.  We recommend that you first check your credit rating with an experienced lending institution so that we can determine what you can afford.  The lender will research your credit ratings from the three credit reporting agencies Equifax, Experian and Trans Union.  We can recommend experienced, knowledgeable lenders in the residential, commercial, and investment real estate areas.

Be Careful With Your Finances.

You probably don’t want to make any sudden career changes or large purchases right now because of the impact they will have on your credit score. And, if you need help, we can make suggestions that will help you approach your property purchase from your best position of financial stability.

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Choosing a Real Estate Agent


Purchasing a property requires important financial decisions, understanding complex issues and completing a lot of paperwork. It helps to have an expert like me in your corner when undertaking such a large purchase. With over 20 years of experience, we can guide you smoothly through this process. We can also provide you with property listings, often before they hit the market.

Factors to consider when choosing your real estate agent:

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Time to Shop for a Home


Once the above preparations are out of the way, it is time to look for the best property for you.

Take a Drive.

It helps if you get to know the neighborhoods, complexes, and subdivisions, which are of interest to you.  Drive around, especially in the areas you are attracted to, so you can get a feel for what it would be like to own a property in each of the areas that are of the area. This will also give you a sense of the properties available in those areas.

Narrow Your Search.

Select a few properties that interest you and have your real estate agent make appointments to visit them. Also, be sure to ask your real estate agent about the potential long-term value of the properties you have in mind.

Time to Buy.

Once you have selected a property you want to purchase, we can help you make an offer that the seller will accept. A good agent investigates the potential costs and expenses associated with the new property, and can also help you draft your offer in a way that gives you the advantage over any other offers that may be pending.

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Escrow, Inspection & Appraisal (The Buying Process, Step-by-Step)


Your Initial Agreement and Your Deposit.

The initial agreement is a legal contract between you, a potential purchaser, and the property's seller.

Here are some important tips to bear in mind that will help you streamline the process:

Keep written records of everything.

It will be extremely useful if you transcribe all verbal agreements, including counter-offers and addendums, and convert them into written agreements to be signed by both parties.  We can assist you in drafting all the paperwork for your purchase to make sure that you have copies of everything you need.

Stick to the timeline.

Now that you have made an offer, you and the seller will be given a time schedule for every stage in the process of closing your real estate purchase.  Meeting the time requirements ensures a smooth flow, so that each party involved is not in breach of the agreement.  During this process, we will keep you updated, so you can always be prepared for your next step.

How to Hold Title.

We recommend that you consult an attorney or tax advisor for the best way to hold title.  The different methods of holding title have different legal, estate and tax implications, especially when you go to sell or in case of the death of a title holder.

Inspections.

Once your offer is accepted by the seller, you will need to have a licensed property inspector inspect the property. It needs to be done within the timeframe agreed upon in your contract to purchase.  Also, you can have different inspectors who specialize in a specific area inspect the property (for example: roof, heating, plumbing, structure).  We can recommend several different inspectors.

Depending on the outcome of the inspections, one of two things can happen:

  1. Each milestone is successfully completed and the contingencies will be removed, bringing you one step closer to closing, or
  2. After reviewing the property and the inspection reports, you may request a renegotiation of the terms of contract (usually the price).

Appraisal and Lending.

It is very important that you keep in close communication with your lender. He or she will let you know which documents are needed to approve your loan application and fund your loan.  If your agreement is conditional upon financing, the property will be appraised by a third party to determine the value for the lending institution.  Appraisers are specialists in determining the property values. The appraisal is based on a combination of square footage measurements, recent sales of comparable properties, operating income, etc.  When you near two weeks before closing, check with your lender. You want to be sure your loan will go through smoothly and on time.

Approvals from a Homeowners Association.

If you are purchasing a property that has an association, request a copy of the rules, regulations, covenants, and other important documents from the seller. Make sure that the application documents and processing fees are submitted to the appropriate person at the association by the required time, and fill out all of the information completely and legibly so there is no delay in processing the application.

Insurance on the Property.

You will be required by your lender to purchase insurance on the property.  The amount of insurance will depend on your lending institution and the purchase price of your property.  Be sure to shop around. You may be able to save hundreds of dollars a year on homeowners insurance.  You can also save money with these tips:

Ask for a Higher Deductible.

By increasing your deductible by just a few hundred dollars or more, you can make a big difference in your monthly or yearly premiums.

Ask About Discounts.

Your insurance agent may be able give you a lower premium if your home has safety features such as dead-bolt locks, an alarm system, storm shutters or fire-retardant roofing materials. If you are over 55 years of age or a long-term customer, you may also be offered some discount.

Insure the Structure, NOT the Land Under It.

After any sort of disaster, the land remains there. Be sure to subtract the value of the land when you decide on how much homeowner’s insurance to buy, or you might pay quite a bit more than you'd like.

We will be happy to recommend experienced knowledgeable insurance agents for every property type.

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Moving In


Closing Day

Now, it’s almost time for the congratulations, but not yet.  Please remember to tie up these loose ends:

Final Walk-Through.

Though this is more of a formality than anything else, your final walk-through inspection takes place a day or so before the closing. At this time, you will visit the property to verify that everything is in working order and the same as when you last viewed the property. This time also give you the opportunity to assure that there are no extra items left behind, and that everything included in your purchase contract is still at the property.

Home Services and Utilities.

We can provide a list of phone numbers for the activation of your utilities and phone service after the closing occurs.

Be Prepared.

We can assist you should any unforeseen problem pop up, even at this stage. If something at the property breaks down, or you discover some other minor detail, there’s no need to worry. Over our 25 years of experience, we have encountered every problem you’re likely to encounter, so we know how to handle them in a stress-free and efficient manor.

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