Shirlyn Skarra-Gallagher

Realtor® BRE# 01951421

(831)227-7033

shirlyn@sccountyrealty.com

5435 Scotts Valley Drive

Scotts Valley, CA 95066

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Buyers Resources

Home Buying Process- Santa Cruz County, California and surrounding areas

 

Buying your new home is a serious venture. It can be an absolute pleasure or a massive headache. Your house is not just your home, it is a major investment in a dwelling, your lifestyle, the area and your future.

When buying a home – you’re certain to have many questions. For example, “In what area can I find a home that suits my needs?”, “How much money will I need to afford the monthly payments?” and “How long will the home buying process take?”

Below are some articles that you might find useful in the home buying process.

Advice for Buyers

  • Pre-Qualification: Meet with a mortgage broker and find out how much you can afford to pay for a home.
     

  • Pre-Approval: While knowing how much you can afford is the first step, sellers will be much more receptive to potential buyers who have been pre-approved. You’ll also avoid being disappointed when going after homes that are out of your price range. With Pre-Approval, the buyer actually applies for a mortgage and receives a commitment in writing from a lender. This way, assuming the home you’re interested in is at or under the amount you are pre-qualified for, the seller knows immediately that you are a serious buyer for that property. Costs for pre-approval are generally nominal and lenders will usually permit you to pay them when you close your loan.
     

  • List of Needs & Wants: Make two lists. The first should include items you must have (i.e., the number of bedrooms you need for the size of your family, a one-story house if accessibility is a factor, etc.). The second list is your wishes, things you would like to have (pool, den, etc.), but that are not absolutely necessary. Realistically for first-time buyers, you probably will not get everything on your wish list, but it will keep you on track for what you are looking for.
     

  • Representation by a Professional: Consider hiring your own real estate agent, one who is working for you, will represent your best interests, not the sellers.
     

  • Focus & Organization: In a convenient location, keep handy the items that will assist you in maximizing your home search efforts. Such items may include:

    1. One or more detailed maps with your areas of interest highlighted.
       

    2.  A file of the properties that your agent has shown to you, along with ads you have cut out from the newspaper.
       

    3. Paper and pen, for taking notes as you search.
       

    4. Camera to help refresh your memory on individual properties, especially if you are attending a series of showings.
       

    5. Location: Look at a potential property as if you are the seller. Would a prospective buyer find it attractive based on school district, crime rate, proximity to positive (shopping, parks, freeway access) and negative (abandoned properties, garbage dump, source of noise) features of the area?

Visualize the house empty & with your decor: Are the rooms laid out to fit your needs? Is there enough light? Don’t be overwhelmed by sellers choice of paint colors or décor.

Be Objective: Instead of thinking with your heart when you find a home, think with your head. Does this home really meet your needs? Your agent will help you determine your needs. Houses don’t linger on the market as they did in previous years, so quick informed decisions are key.

Be Thorough: A few extra dollars well spent now may save you big expenses in the long run. Don’t forget such essentials as:

  1. Include inspection & mortgage contingencies in your written offer.
     

  2. Have the property inspected by a professional inspector.
     

  3. Request a walk-through to take place within 24 hours of closing.
     

  4. Check to see that no changes have been made that were not agreed on (i.e., a nice chandelier that you assumed came with the sale having been replaced by a cheap ceiling light).

 

Click here to contact me about Buying A House today!