Buying a home marks an important period in your life. Brad Wilkinson, your go-to specialist on Sonoma County real estate, has plenty of tips to help you purchase your dream home in Wine Country.
Preparation is key
Doing your homework is the best way to jumpstart the whole home buying process. Here are some of the things you need to do:
- Create a timeframe.
- List down what you need and want in your next home.
- Determine where you want to live (city, the exact neighborhood, etc).
- Determine how much home you can afford.
- Start looking at the different types of loans available in the market.
- Hire a real estate agent.
In the first step, you determine how much home you can afford. This time around, you will shop around for a mortgage plan that works for you and get pre-approved.
Getting mortgage pre-approval is important in shopping for a home. It signals to sellers that you are a serious buyer. Some sellers also require buyers to submit a pre-approval letter along with their offers. Lastly, it gives you a realistic price range, as you have a better picture of home much you can afford.
It’s time to shop for a home
You know where you want to live, you have a local real estate expert on your team, and you’ve obtained a pre-approval letter. Now, it’s time to look for your dream home.
Remember to bear in mind your price range and your list of needs and wants. Concentrate on non-negotiables and learn to compromise on other features. Take note of the whole neighborhood and the schools in the area.
Asking about the neighborhood and the property’s history also gives you a more in-depth look on the home.
Making an offer
When you’ve found the home that suits your needs and budget perfectly, making an offer is the next step to take. Having your real estate agent do a comparative market analysis allows you to set an offer price that will be hard to say no to.
There are many ways to package your offer. Aside from showing your pre-approval letter, slipping in a personal note to show your intent and enthusiasm in buying the property can also help.
Writing an “earnest money” check completes an undeniably attractive offer. If your seller accepts it, the money will become a part of your down payment and placed into an escrow account.
The closing process
Once your offer is accepted, you enter the tail-end of the home buying process. A closing date will be agreed by you and your seller. This date can be four to six weeks from the day you signed the purchase and sale agreement.
On closing day, everyone involved in the sale will meet to do a final walkthrough of the property, make sure all obligations are met, sign documents, and pay the closing costs. By the end of it, you will have the keys and title to your new home.