Advice for Buyers
Buying a home requires you to make an intelligent and informed decision. BE OBJECTIVE! Buying a home is both an emotional and business decision. Try to make a sensible evaluation of all factors before proceeding with an enormous commitment of time and financial resources.
Representation by an experienced real estate professional is the best way to avoid mistakes in purchasing a home. Hire a real estate agent that exclusive represents you as a buyer to avoid potential conflicts of interests.
If you are active military or a Veteran relocating contact one of our Tomea Real Estate Military Relocation Specialists to help you. We have a thorough Understanding of the processes and procedures involved in a military relocation and how these impact you, your family and housing choices including VA financing options and disabled VA financing options.
Owning vs. Renting
Benefits of Renting – More flexibility in length of occupancy and location of residence, landlord is responsible for most repairs and maintenance
Benefits of Ownership – Build Equity through gradual principal reduction and appreciation, tax advantage of being able to deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from income taxes. Tax benefits alone may make more financial sense than renting depending on your income level and tax bracket. If you rent your rent may be increased over time, but if you finance your home with a fixed interest rate loan then your payment will remain exactly the same for the term of the loan, usually 30 years.
Why Should You Hire a Buyer’s Agent?
A buyer’s agent exclusively represents you and your interests. We are there working side by side with you from the moment you begin your search to the day you get the keys to your new home. We take the time to learn about you, to analyze your needs in a home or investment property, and make recommendations based on that information. A buyer’s agent is an expert on the local market and can advise you on neighborhoods, trends, and values. We can help you understand what you are able to afford, what kinds of homes suit your needs, and what might be the best value for you now and in the long run.
What Does it Cost to Use a Buyer’s Agent?
It costs a buyer NOTHING to use a buyer’s agent – buyer’s agent services are FREE! Any fees are paid by the seller. Not only is it free, but a buyer will actually generally save money using a buyer’s agent because a buyer’s agent only represents their interests. Therefore, your agent will be looking out for you, negotiating the best possible price for you, and saving you time and money along the way. A good buyer’s agent will also have referrals to trusted, and fair-priced, vendors.
Why Should you Hire a Tomea Real Estate Agent?
A Tomea Real Estate Agent is a total real estate solution. The buying process can be very complex. It takes an experienced professional to help you navigate the maze of distressed properties, multiple offers, fixer-uppers, tenant problems, and financing challenges. A Tomea Real Estate Agent can help you through the process from beginning to end. The Southern California market is incredibly competitive right now, and you need an aggressive and experienced agent to help you make a successful purchase. That is exactly what we bring to the table.
Our team members cover a wide geographic area, and we have experience selling everything from condos and starter homes to rental properties, vacant land, and multi-million dollar estates. In 2016 we were awarded the Circle of Excellence Award and are in the top 5% of Realtors. Because of our sales volume we have excellent relationships with many banks, vendors, and other agents – which are all crucial in helping your purchase offer get the attention it deserves.
Determine Your Needs
- Narrow your search by separating reality from fantasy.
- Create a basic requirements list of true needs and a wish list of wants.
- Needs = number of bedrooms and bathrooms for size of family, one story house if accessibility is a factor, good schools for children, enough parking for vehicles
- Wants = pool, updated design, large rooms, extra space, fancy landscaping, etc.
- Check Local Schools and their Ratings here
Consult a Lender
- Mortgage lenders will want to review your credit report.
- Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union sell your credit report to banks so they can review your loan applications.
- Credit Score –indicates your ability and willingness to repay a debt based on your record. Your credit score will be an important factor in determining whether you are approved for a loan.
- Mortgage Brokers will help you find a loan that you qualify for
- A written pre-approval letter from a lender will impress a seller and help avoid the disappointment of trying to purchase a home that you cannot afford. Costs for pre-approval are generally low and are often included in closing costs.
Building Your Credit
- Pay your bills on time.
- Always pay at least the minimum balance due.
- Keep overall balance low.
- Don’t apply for too many loans or credit cards.
Affordability and Costs
- Down payment generally ranges from 3% to 20% of the purchase price. If you put less than 20% down, then you may be required to have Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI Homeowner’s Insurance)
- Closing Costs generally range from 2% to 7% of the purchase price. It includes points, taxes, title insurance, financing fees, escrow fees, and other settlement costs. The lender will give you an estimate of total costs after you are approved.
- Moving Costs
- Purchase of major appliances and other home furnishings
- To calculate an estimated mortgage payment click here
Organize Your Search
- Highlight maps of area of interest.
- Keep a file of properties of interest.
- Use a pen and notepad as you search.
- Use a digital camera and/or video camera to take many photos of properties and neighborhood.
- Learn as much as possible about your area of interest: School info, crime statistics, shopping, parks & recreation, transportation, employment, politics, and any other info that will be pertinent to life in your future home.
Making an Offer and Closing Escrow
Your real estate agent should guide you through most of this process, but be aware of the following:
- Include inspection and financing contingencies in written offer.
- Have home inspected by professional inspector.
- Request a second walk through prior to the close of escrow to make certain no major changes have taken place.