Buying or selling a home in Souhern California?

Buying a home intimidates most people. However, with a bit of up-front planning, it's not all that hard. I like to give buyers an overview of the entire deal so they know exactly what they can expect. These are my nine steps to purchasing a home.

When you're ready to get started, you can contact us here or send e-mail to ingrid.davis@gmail.com. We are happy to answer any questions you have about this information.

Step 1 – Prepare to buy
There are a lot of things you need to contemplate prior to starting your home search. When you begin your search, you'll want to create a list of must-have features, plan for what school districts you'd like to live in, and start working on your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment less than or around 1/3 of your net monthly income is a good rule to follow.

Step 2 – Contact a real estate agent
This is where I can help. I'd be happy to set up a time to get together with you and communicate with you about your real estate needs and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll talk about everything from neighborhoods, schools in the area, the mortgage and housing industries, to any other economic factors that could affect your purchase today or in the future.

I can also assist you in getting started on your loan. I work with some of the Greater South Bay's finest mortgage professionals, so you'll be in great hands. They will assist you in determining which kind of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Begin looking
After our initial meeting, I'll start looking for available homes on the market that are good for you. I'll preview many of the homes and remove the duds, and then we'll book appointments to tour the homes when it's most convenient for you.

When we view houses, I'll identify good features and bad ones. I'll even ask you to talk about things you like and dislike. For the most part, buyers update their wish list as we tour homes and some items become more substantial than others. If that's the situation, I'll search all the listings another time and trim it down to the home you've been waiting for.

Step 4 – Get a feel for the market
My understanding of the California Southland home market is a crucial advantage in your home search. I'm familiar with all the neighborhoods and schools, and I'll communicate what districts are "hot" and warrant immediate action and the ones that are "cool" and allow for careful analysis.

As we tour houses, I'll let you know when the list price has room for negotiation and when I know the house is "priced to sell." Any Real Estate agent will claim to truly know the home market, but beware, and make sure you ask your agent plenty of questions. If it seems like they don't know everything, contact me at (310)961-8478 or e-mail me at ingrid.davis@gmail.com, and I'd be glad to answer any questions you have. My market knowledge will keep you a step above the rest through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find your dream home
We'll find the home of your dreams, and when we do, I'll thoroughly develop your home purchase offer. The offer will be made exactly to your needs. Whenever necessary, I never forget to make contracts contingent upon items like obtaining financing and the results of the home inspection.

When presenting your offer, you'll probably want to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to the seller to secure an offer to purchase the property and is usually applied to the cost of closing. If your offer is accepted by the seller, we should close on the property about 30 to 60 days after. This allows enough time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
A lot of deals aren't closed on the initial offer – it's widely common to receive a counter offer. But don't let it alarm you. We'll consider whether or not to take the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and move on.

The state of the market will play a role in how aggressively we negotiate the contract. In addition, we'll work within your financing budget. And at the end of the day, we'll create a contract that's best for you.

Step 7 – Secure your loan
Once the deal is finished, you'll start working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. It won't be a long process at all if you've been pre-qualified, but you need to stay in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll handle all the property information your mortgage lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal 
Your lender will supply you with a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) outlining closing costs within three days of receiving your loan application. You'll get a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) detailing closing costs from your lender within three days of accepting your loan application. This estimate rests on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements require that it has to include all closing costs and fall within a close range of accuracy. I'll review the estimate and let you know if everything looks okay.

Then it's time to close on your house. This will likely happen at a title company or escrow office and will likely be a smooth and stress-free affair.

Step 9 – Move in
You made it! It's time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, be sure to call me (310)961-8478.

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