Home-Buying: How To Find The Right Seller

The best seller is one who is highly motivated. A highly motivated seller is more likely to sell at a price that is less than his or her house is actually worth. And it matters that you find out why. Learning the reason why can help you get the price you want and help the seller get what they want: a timely sale.

When given the opportunity to meet with sellers, ask them why they are selling. The reason could be anything, such as a job change to a new location or financial problems. If you can solve their problem, whether it is cash related or time related, do so. For example, if the sellers are highly motivated because they need to move quickly, give them a fast sale – and a lower price. If you can make an offer, even a low one, that gives them cash in a short time, they are more likely to accept.

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There are also some sellers that you should avoid. Not every seller is as genuinely motivated as they make themselves to be. Some possible hints:

  • they stall on having the home appraised or inspected
  • they are unable to clear up liens against their property
  • they do not own 100% of their property
  • they push back the move-out date
  • they do not have a replacement property or back up plan
  • etc.

It is impossible to find the perfect seller. But it is possible to find out which sellers are legit and which ones aren’t.

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Deadly Homebuying Pitfalls

Buying a home is a huge deal for everyone. Unfortunately, there are many big mistakes and pitfalls that buyers often make. These mistakes complicate the home buying process and can cost you tons of money and time correcting the mistakes.

Many buyers get caught up in the excitement of purchasing a home and let their emotions make decisions, only to find out they missed an important step. This post will explore some of the biggest pitfalls buyers make when looking to purchase a home.

Deadly home buying pitfalls:

1 – Not Getting Proper and Professional Help

It’s important to remember that while you may be able to learn a lot about purchasing a home on the internet, it is impossible to learn everything. Real estate is a constantly evolving market and something you read just last year could now be useless.

There are many aspects of purchasing a house that buyers don’t even know exist. From the buyers and sellers agent, to appraisers,to inspectors, to attorneys and mortgage bankers. Each one of those jobs have professionals that perform those tasks 8 hours a day, every day of the year, and have perfected the profession. Trying to save a few hundred dollars by skipping out on an inspection or attorneys is foolish and almost always returns to haunt you.

2 – Not Getting Pre-Qualified Before Looking at Homes

Most people enjoy looking at new homes, but do not enjoy talking about the money aspect. Obtaining a proper pre-approval will save you tons of stress later in the process.

Getting a proper pre-approval allows you to know exactly how much money you are capable of spending on a house and helps you narrow down the market to what you can afford. Additionally, some buyers are able to use their pre-approval as a negotiating tool to help get the price down.

3 – Thinking Too Short Term And Ignoring The Long Term

When looking to purchase a home people tend to think about the next 4-5 years of their life, instead of the next 8-10, which is where they should be thinking. Yes, 5 years is a long time and a lot can change from job and marital status to children, but selling your home does have a cost. If the market does not appreciate quick enough you can stand to not get your moneys worth from the original purchase.

Obviously there are many circumstances that no body is able to predict, but spending time thinking through just some of the basic scenarios can save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

4 – Not Understanding The Full Costs Involved

There are many costs involved with purchasing a home that many buyers don’t realize. It is not just pay the listing price and it is yours. There is inspection costs, moving costs, closing costs, escrows, and more. Professionals can explain and walk you through all these extra costs, ensuring there are no surprises at the very end.

5 – Not Understanding Fair Market Value

One of the biggest issues when buying a house is buyers not understanding the market price of a home. People get caught up with what their parents think it should cost, or what you can afford in total, or with personal opinions about the price of a home which often is far different than the market value. There is a very organized process to determine the market price of a home that involves reviewing similar comparable homes that sold within the nearby vicinity.

It is important to know what the market value is because a house can be listed over, under, or exactly at market price. Being able to recognize the difference between the listing price and the market price can save you lots of stress and money and help you formulate a concrete offer.

 

 

 

What Dog Owners Should Know When Buying or Selling a Home

(Guest Blog By Medina James at DogEtiquette)

 

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Image via Pixabay

 

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, if you’re a dog owner, there are some special preparations and precautions you must take. It may be one of the last things on your mind during this busy and stressful time, but real estate dog etiquette is extremely important. Here are some tips for both buyers and sellers who have to deal with canine friends throughout the process.

For sellers – your house smells more like dog than you think

When we live with certain smells for years, we get used to them. We all know that everyone’s house has a particular scent – and if you’re trying to sell your house you don’t want that scent to be eau de pooch. The natural way to get dog odor out of carpets and furniture involves baking soda and vinegar, but there are also plenty of sprays, shampoos, and other products you can purchase to help. Plug-in air fresheners work for the final touch. Also remember to pick up any dog poop in your yard. Here is a good article about removing pet odors from a house.

For sellers – make arrangements to have your dogs out of the house

This goes for scheduled showings and for open houses. You’ll want to make arrangements to have your dogs out of the house – and not just out of the house and in the backyard. You’ll want your dogs to be completely gone. Either board them for a day or ask a friend or neighbor to watch them for a few hours.

For buyers – ask ahead for dog visits

Some pet owners want to take their dog to a potential new home to see how they interact with it. Older dogs with mobility issues may have trouble with certain design elements of a home, and you may want to see if they can handle stairs, decks, porches, etc. before committing to purchase. If you want to do this, you need to ask. It’s rude to bring a dog into someone’s home without first clearing it. People have allergies, fears, and even other pets you must consider.

For both – think about moving day

Moving day is stressful for your pets, so it may be best to board them (here are some tips on that) or have them stay with a friend. If you can’t arrange this, it’s smart to put them in a “safe room” in your house and instruct the movers to move that room last. This is simply safer for the movers and for your dog.

For both – it’s best to leave your dog out of the process (no matter how cute)

You love your dog. Strangers may also love your dog. Most everyone you meet may love your dog. But somewhere there is someone who just doesn’t like dogs. Maybe they’re afraid or maybe they’re allergic. Whatever the case may be, some people just aren’t dog people. So why take the risk that a potential buyer/seller is in this small minority? Even if your dog is incredibly well-behaved and cute, it’s best to leave them out of the process altogether. Ask a friend to watch your dog, or hire a dog walker if the dog just needs to be out of the home briefly for a single showing.

Even dog lovers don’t really want to deal with other people’s animals during the home buying process. It’s not only considerate of others to leave dogs out of the process, but it’s better for your dogs too. Many dogs are stressed out by tons of strangers and new environments, so it’s best to protect them from the chaos that is buying or selling a home.

How to Know If You’re Ready to Buy Your First Home

Buying your first home is a big endeavor; it’s an exciting and fun time. If buying is something you’re thinking about, think about these next few considerations to determine if you are ready!

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Consider your Finances

A home is an important investment. Annual income should be the first consideration in buying a house. Most lenders will recommend a budget between three to five times your annual income if you plan on putting down a 20% down payment. There are also a few other financial factors to consider. Existing loans or debts, as well as poor credit scores, can make the buying process more difficult. If your financial state is stable and can handle the event of purchasing home, you are ready to buy.

 

Consider the Cost

Many consider the price of the monthly mortgage when considering buying a home, but many forget about the other costs involved. Property taxes, insurance, HOA Fees, and utilities will all add to the cost of owning a home. You will also need to make sure you have money leftover after all of that as an “emergency fund” to pay the repair man in case your roof starts leaking, your pipes burst, or your refrigerator breaks down. If you are able to manage those costs as well as the monthly mortgage, you are ready to buy.

 

Consider your Lifestyle

Most experts agree that buying a home makes financial sense if you know you’re going to stay for a minimum of 5 years. A lot of different factors can influence where you call home. Do you have a secure job? Does your company transfer often? Do you have an expanding family? If your employment situation feels secure and you are content with the size and location of the home you would be purchasing, you are ready to buy.

 

The process of buying your first home is more time-consuming than it may seem, but the end result is worth all of the efforts put in!

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What You Actually Need to Buy a Home in San Diego

Have San Diego’s perfect weather, delicious Mexican food, beautiful beaches, and amazing sunsets convinced you to stay? Are you dreaming about buying a home in sunny San Diego? These eight steps will help make that dream a reality!

 

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Step 1: Become Familiar With The Real Estate Market

According to an April 2016 article from Time Magazine, San Diego is predicted to be one of the hottest real estate markets over the next five years. Home prices are expected to increase modestly over the next few years. Low inventory has us in a competitive seller’s market, meaning that buyer’s have to compete for the few available homes, especially in the entry-level price ranges.

 

Step 2: Build Strong Credit

Simply put, the better your credit, the better rate you’ll get on your mortgage. A great credit score is evidence that you are a “good investment” for the bank.

If your credit is less than stellar, you will want to work to improve it.

  • Pay your bills on time.
  • Don’t take out more credit cards than you need.
  • Don’t max out your available credit on the cards you do have each month.
  • Pay down credit card debt.
  • Check your credit report for inaccuracies and get them corrected.
  • Raise your credit line when able. This increases your debt-to-credit-limit ratio.

 

Step 3: Save for a Down Payment

Very few people have enough cash to buy their first home without a mortgage. Most need financing to afford today’s home prices. But there are many different mortgage programs out there. As a first-time home buyer you can buy a home with less than the standard 20% down, sometimes as low as 3.5-4% down, but you may have to pay Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) to the lender on top of your mortgage. For some people, that will require a budget adjustment or to wait until they can save up for a larger down payment. There are many different affordability calculators online that can help to determine an individual budget more closely. You can take a look at ours here, which will give you a rough idea of what you can afford.

 

Step 4. Choose a Real Estate Agent

Who you work with matters. Not only is it important to select an agent who is knowledgeable in the area(s) you wish to buy in, but you also want to choose someone whom you trust and who makes you feel comfortable. In most cases, your home purchase will be your largest purchase to date. When selecting a real estate agent, you’re also picking someone who will be the custodian of that transaction. You will want to interview a few agents to determine who is your best fit. Ask the agents you’re interviewing if they have reviews from buyers like yourself and/or if they can provide you with a list of their past clients. Nobody knows a real estate agent better than the people who have hired them!

At Coastal Premier Properties, we will hand-pick an agent that will be a great match for you and your real estate needs.

 

Step 5: Research & Get Pre-Approved for a Loan

Your real estate agent can point you in the direction of some great lenders who can look at your finances and determine how much home you can afford. Not every mortgage program is the same, so it’s important to talk to a few different people and look at different programs and loan types before deciding what will be best for you.

Your lender will provide you with a Pre-Approval Letter, which is key to getting a home in a challenging market place. The letter is a note that states how much home you can afford. When sellers are choosing between competing buyers, having that Pre-Approval Letter is an extra assurance that you are a legitimate buyer and if they go into escrow with you, that you have the funds to purchase their home.

 

Step 6: Narrow Down Your Search

Now that you know how much horse your can afford, where do you want to buy? Explore different neighborhoods and find the one that best fits your needs. Explore shops and dining, research commute and traffic information, look up pictures of houses in the area, and see which one feels like your perfect fit! What kind of house do you want? Create a wish list of your wants and needs for your future home. List the amount of bedrooms and bathrooms you want, a preferred house style, ideal yard size, or any specific property features you are looking for.

 

Step 7: Begin Viewing Properties

This is the fun part! Start viewing properties that fit your criteria. See what’s available! Your ideal choice may change during this process, as you explore the different options and see the market up close. Take your time and look at as many options as you want! Buying a house is a big decision, so you want to be well informed on what is available.

 

Step 8: Put Together an Offer and Buy That House!

Once you have decided on your dream home, you will need to put together an offer. Your agent will help you come up with the best offer strategy. Try to look at recently sold houses in the same neighborhood that are comparable to the one you’re looking to purchase for an idea of the price you will need to pay. Once an offer is accepted, the contract will be drawn up, and after the closing date comes, that dream house will be yours!