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Buying or selling a home?

Buying a home is an intimidating event for most people. However, with a little up-front planning, it isn't too complicated. I like to furnish buyers with an overview of the entire deal so they understand exactly what they can expect. These are my nine steps to buying a home. If you have questions regarding any of this information or if you're ready to get started, just contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Get ready to buy
Before you start searching for a home, there are several things you need to consider. It's likely that you'll want to assemble a checklist of features you want, get a feeling for what school districts you'd like to live in, and begin working on your budget. A good rule of thumb to go by is that your mortgage payment should be around 1/3 of your net monthly income.

Step 2 – Contact a real estate agent in Alhambra
That's where I come in. I'd be more than happy to book a time to meet with you and communicate with you regarding why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your future plans. We'll talk about the mortgage industry, other economic factors that could affect your buying decision today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and school districts in the Alhambra area.

I can also assist you in getting started on your loan. There are some great mortgage professionals in Alhambra, and I work with a lot of them, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They will help you choose which kind of loan is best for you, as well as help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Start your home search
After our initial meeting, I'll begin looking for available homes on the market that best suit you. I'll research most of the homes and throw out the duds, and then we'll book appointments to view the houses whenever it's most convenient for you.

When we tour homes, I'll show you the positive features, as well as bad ones. And I'll ask you about things you like and don't like. Usually, buyers change their must-have list as we view houses and some features become more important than others. If that's the case, I'll go back through all the listings one more time and trim it down to the house you've been dreaming about.

Step 4 – Comprehend the housing market
My awareness of the Alhambra market is a necessary aspect in your home search. I am conscious of all the neighborhoods and school districts, and I will let you know what areas are "hot" and demand immediate action and others that are "cool" and allow for careful consideration.

When we view homes, I'll make sure to communicate if the list price has room for bargaining or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, trust your instincts and make sure you ask plenty of questions. Every REALTOR will claim to know the home market. If things don't add up, just call me at 626-278-2289 or e-mail me at , and I'll be more than happy to answer your questions. My market knowledge will keep you a step ahead through the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the home of your dreams
We'll find the home of your dreams in the Alhambra area, and when that happens, I'll thoroughly create your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be made to fit your needs and the home. We'll include many contingencies, such as getting financing, completing the inspection, and a clear title.

When we turn in your purchase offer, most likely you'll want to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to a seller to secure an offer to buy the property, and it's often put towards the closing costs. If the offer is accepted, we should close on the home about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows necessary time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Unfortunately most deals aren't closed on the initial offer. It's really common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this alarm you. We'll consider whether or not to accept the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and move on.

How aggressively we negotiate the contract depends on market circumstances. We'll also work within your budget. And when it's all said and done, we'll assemble a contract that's best for you.

Step 7 – Get financing
Once we sign the final sales contract, you'll start working with your lender to close the loan. It won't take long at all if you've been pre-qualified, but you need to stay in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll deal with all the property information your lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) outlining your closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of accepting your application. The estimate is based on the loan amount. RESPA requirements require that it has to involve all closing costs and fall within a close range of accuracy, and I'll examine the estimate and let you know if it all looks adequate.

Then we'll close on your house. This will likely happen at a title company or escrow office and is often a smooth and comfortable event.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, just call me at 626-278-2289 or e-mail me at .

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