“How do I go about buying a home?”
“There is a lot of conflicting advice what to do first.”, “It feels like all the Realtors are just trying to sell me something now.”, and “I thought the real estate market was terrible, where are all the bargains?” were typical statements uttered at the open house.
The truth is that the easiest and most intuitive first step is to look at houses- and I think it is the worst first step you could take.
I have seen logical rocket scientists fall head over heels in lust for homes that did not serve their purposes and I have seen savvy business people bamboozled by skilled (and slightly amoral) salespeople. No one is immune to great marketing but simple ground work can prevent you from making a big mistake.
Here are the steps I counsel for my buyers in their most strategic and logical order.
Pick the Best Realtor
- I am shocked at how little thought most buyers put into this crucial step.
- Take a look at what a great Realtor can do for the buyer
- Caveat- if you are not sure “where”, hold off. You need a Realtor who is an expert in your chosen area.
Make sure you know WHY you want to buy a home.
- Ask yourself, “What will buying a home do for me?”
- How long do you anticipate living in this home?
- What will happen if you DON’T buy a home?
What are your main priorities?
- Everyone wants price, safety, convenience, prestige, pretty or (?) – but which one is the most important?
Figure out the Money
- What do you want to spend? Think about down payment and your monthly budget.
- Get pre approved for your mortgage
- Consult with your financial advisor or tax advisor
Narrow Down the Neighborhoods
- With priorities and budget in mind, use the internet to find the neighborhood that best suites you.
- Search Glendale, La Canada and La Crescenta by clicking on these links.
- Drive the neighborhoods. Use my website on your mobile device and it will automatically ask you if you want to see the mobile version. Click on “Nearby” and my website will tell you what homes are available for sale close to where you are (slick, huh?)
Pick the Best Realtor
- Interview the neighborhood experts
- Find out if they represent buyers or have a buyer rep on their team
- Make sure you know what kind of commitment you are getting