Buying a home in South Bay & Palos Verdes

With a little up-front planning, purchasing a home isn't that complicated, but the event is intimidating for many people. I like to provide buyers with an outline of the whole deal so they'll know exactly what to expect. Below are my nine steps to buying a home. Should you have questions about any of this information or if you're prepared to get started, just contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Get ready to purchase
There are many things you need to consider before you start searching for a home. When you start your search, you'll want to assemble an outline of items you want, get a plan of what neighborhoods and school districts you want to live in, and start working on your budget. A good guideline to follow is that your mortgage payment should be 1/3 of your net monthly income.

Step 2 – Talk to a real estate agent in South Bay & Palos Verdes
That's where I can help. We can set up a time to get together so we can talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your future plans. We'll discuss neighborhoods, school districts in the South Bay & Palos Verdes area, the mortgage industry, and any additional economic factors that could affect your buying decision today or in the future.

In addition, I'll help you start the loan process. There are some excellent mortgage professionals in South Bay & Palos Verdes, and I work with a lot of them, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They'll help you determine which type of loan is best for you, as well as help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Start looking for a house
Following our initial meeting, I'll start searching for houses on the market that best suit you. I'll preview many of the homes and exclude the bad ones, and then we'll set up appointments to view the houses whenever it's convenient for you.

When we tour the houses, I'll call attention to positive features, as well as bad ones. And I'll ask you about things you like and dislike. As a rule, buyers change their list of must-haves as we view houses and some things become more important than others. If that happens, I'll search the listings another time and trim it down to the home you've been dreaming about.

Step 4 – Get a grasp of the housing market
My knowledge of the South Bay & Palos Verdes home market is an imperative agent in your home search. I'm conscious of all the neighborhoods and school districts, and I will communicate what areas are "hot" and demand immediate action and some that are "cold" and allow for careful examination.

As we view houses, I'll let you know when the seller's list price has room for negotiation and when I trust the house is "priced to sell." Any real estate agent will tell you they truly understand the housing market, but keep an eye out, and make sure you ask plenty of questions. If it seems like they don't know everything, just call me at or e-mail me at , and I'll be happy to answer your questions. My understanding of the market will keep you a step ahead throughout the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the home you've been looking for
We'll find your dream home in the South Bay & Palos Verdes area, and when we do, I'll carefully develop your purchase offer. The offer will be tailored keeping your needs in mind and the home, including a lot of contingencies. A few examples are getting financing, finishing the home inspection, and a clean title.

When turning in your purchase offer, you'll likely want to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to the home seller to secure an offer to buy the property, and it's most often applied to the cost of closing. If the offer is accepted, we should close about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows ample time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Most deals aren't closed on the initial offer, and it's really common to receive a counter offer. But don't let this intimidate you. We'll talk over whether or not to consent to the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and move on.

The state of the market determines how aggressively we negotiate the contract. We'll also work within your financing constraints. And when it's all said and done, we'll put together 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. This shouldn't take very long at all if you're pre-approved, but you'll need to stay in close contact with your lender. And I'll care for all the property information your lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining your closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of getting your application. This estimate is formed from the loan amount, and RESPA requirements dictate that it has to include all closing costs and be within a narrow range of accuracy. I'll analyze the estimate and let you know if it all looks permissible.

Then it's time to close on your house. This will most often occur at a title company or escrow office and should be a smooth and stress-free occasion.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, be sure to contact me at or e-mail me at .