Buying a Home

Get the Home You Want at the Best Price...

And with the least amount of headache and hassle. When you decide to buy a home those really are the most important things, arenít they? Finding a home that you truly love, Getting the best possible deal, And doing it without losing all of your hair or ending up in psychiatric counseling! Are those your goals? OF COURSE! Unfortunately, sometimes buying a home ends up being anything but a happy experience. For many, it turns into a terrible, stressful ordeal. In addition, making the wrong decisions can end up costing you thousands of dollars! It doesnít have to be this way!

Knowledge is the key!

Arm Yourself with Information Before Buying Your Stockton or Lodi Home. There are lots of factors to consider, such as the effect that buying a house will have on your long and short term goals. I have seen situations where buying a house was not in the personís best interest at that time.

Once you are sure that buying a home is the smart choice for you, itís time to get busy.

In the book 'Home Buying for Dummies: Tested advice for buying a home the current market'. - Buyers looking for a new home might be enticed by the combination of reduced home prices, lower rates of interest, and federal tax breaks to start looking for a home. When you do, and specifically if you reside in a heavy regulation region such as California, this book and others like it are extremely valuable tool.


Family with three children searching for a Stockton California Home

Family with three children searching for a Stockton California Home

There are lots of people out there that are only too happy to take your money if you are not savvy enough to ask the right questions or make the right choices.

Itís not that there is a lack of information out there about buying a home itís just that a lot of it is a bit misleading. Ask the same question from two different so-called "experts" and youíll get two different answers- and probably a bunch of technical mumbo-jumbo that you donít even understand!

The key is to remember that you are entering into a complex business transaction, one that can effect your financial situation for years to come. Just try to keep as focused as possible on the dollars and cents, and donít allow yourself to "get caught up in the moment", and make foolish decisions that you will regret later.

Having a step-by-step plan will make the entire process much easier to handle. Here is the basic 9-step home buying plan that has saved thousands of dollars for many people like yourself looking to buy real estate:

The only way to properly create your own home buying plan is to examine your personal financial situation AND your goals for the future. The next step is entirely up to you, but if you are serious about buying a home and avoiding the mistakes that can cost you thousands of dollars, hereís what I recommend, in about a half-hour, we can determine what the best course of action is for you to take.

Hire a real estate professional

An important first step is selecting a home buying professional to help you find your dream home and fine-tune your financial expectations. Working with a buyer agent is worth consideration because he or she is legally responsible for representing the buyer's interest in a real estate transaction. Before making a decision, however, have a REALTORģ explain the pros and cons of using a buyer agent versus a dual agent. Your real estate agent can guide you through every step of home buying.

Shop for mortgage rates and terms

We are going to spend a lot of time discussing financing, because that is where the major share of mistakes are made. Mistakes can end up costing you $10,000 to $30,000 or even more when you buy a home! A difference of even half a percentage point can mean a considerable savings over the life of a loan. For example, the difference in the monthly payment on a $100,000 mortgage at 8 percent vs. 7.5 percent is about $35 per month. Over 30 years, that's $12,600.

Prequalify for a loan

Early on your home search, you'll want to get prequalified for a mortgage loan, which determines how much you can afford. It allows you to move swiftly when you find the right home, especially when there are other interested buyers. It also indicates to the seller that you are serious about home buying and can afford to buy the property.

Once you thoroughly understand real estate financing and have been pre-approved by the bank for your loan, itís time to do the leg work necessary to find your home and get the best possible price on it.

Determine the neighborhood, home style, size price, etc

The next step in home buying is to create a realistic idea of the property you'd like to buy. What features are most important to you? Make two lists: one of the items you can't live without and one of the features you would enjoy. Refine the lists as you house-hunt. It is also helpful to search online to see what is currently available on the market. Your real estate agent can then show you houses that meet your expectations.

Visit Homes

Now you're ready to visit houses. Ask your agent to help in your home buying process by arranging showings. Be sure to keep track of the properties you've seen. Each time you venture out to see more properties, revisit your notes to immediately eliminate any that clearly do not meet your standards.

Know the features that help or hurt resale.

In some areas, a swimming pool actually detracts from a home's value and makes it harder to sell. In neighborhoods with two-car, attached garages, a single-car or detached garage may affect the home buying prospects and future value. Your agent can point out features that hurt or help resale value.

Rate the houses you tour.

After touring each home, write down what you liked and didn't like. Develop a rating system that will help narrow the home buying field. For example, pick the house you like best on day one and compare all other houses to it. When you find a better one, use the new favorite as the standard. Avoid trying to track more than four top choices at any given time since this can quickly become overwhelming.  

Once you have a home that you are interested in, you need to find out more information. There are several questions that you should ask the seller before you start any negotiations. You need to know as much as possible about the sellerís position and motivation.

If everything looks good, you may want to proceed in the process. The next step is to write up an offer to purchase the home you found. This is where the information you learned from questioning the seller can be quite useful.

Make an offer

Once you've pinpointed your dream house, it's time to get serious about the financial and contractual side of the purchase. Let your agent guide you through this sensitive home buying process. Because you and the seller have different goals, rely on your agent's experience and expertise to bring order and calm to the process - and help both parties reach a favorable outcome. After all of the terms and conditions of the contract have been mutually agreed upon by both you and the seller, you still need to stay on your toes

Arrange for home inspections

After your offer is accepted, it's time to order inspections. Set up a home inspection. It's common to find problems, including leaky roofs, cracked walls, insect infestations and foundation problems. If the seller has not ordered roof and wood destroying pest inspections, your real estate professional can help find reputable inspectors, and will negotiate to get you the most for your money once the inspector's report is final. If you negotiate repairs as part of the purchase, ask for a "walk through" before finalizing the home buying paperwork. Ask your real estate expert about home protection plans, which may save you money in the near future.


Before your closing date, make sure you've made all necessary deposits and completed the paperwork - including mortgage, title, homeowner's insurance and any other paperwork required by local or state governments when home buying. Your agent will be there to help you complete that closing checklist and avoid any last-minute snags. You deserve to enjoy every moment of the home buying process.

Prepare for life in your new home.

Before rolling out the welcome mat, consider some moving basics: arranging for an alarm company, turning on electricity, water and gas, cleaning or replacing the carpet, and notifying your local post office of your new address. The best time for renovations is often before you move in.

Buyer agency

With the advent of "Buyer Agency" (Buyer Brokerage) in the early 1990s as opposed to seller agency, a real estate Agent/Broker agrees and contracts to represent the Buyer in her purchase of a home/property. Buyer Agency Agreements were developed to set out the terms and conditions of this representation. They are similar to the written "Listing Agreements", required between Listing Agents and Sellers (property owners). Buyer Agency Agreements set out the main conditions of the relationship between the Buyer Agent and her Buyer Client including such things as the duration of the agreement, the commission to be earned/paid, and the various rights, duties and obligations of the parties.

Fiduciary duties

The Buyer Agent owes fiduciary duties to the Buyer under this relationship and agreement, including fidelity, honesty, dedication to purpose, acting in the Buyer's best interests, etc. The commission to be paid to the Buyer's Agent in the Buyer Agency Agreement, though ultimately the Buyer's obligation, is generally offset against the share, or "co-op", commission offered by the Listing Agent through the Multiple Listing Service ("MLS"). An exclusive buyer agent is a real estate agent who is not representing a seller in any transaction while representing the particular buyer. He/she or the firm may have listings separate from the homes shown to the buyer or, in some areas, work with a firm that only works with buyers and does not list property. Exclusive buyer agents (and their clients) avoid the conflict of interest of working with an agent who promotes their listings or their firm's listings. It is beneficial to a buyer to have representation because the agent is responsible for acquiring information on the property and advising the buyer based on that information. Without an agreement, the agent does not have an obligation to work with the buyer's best interests in mind.

The Realtor, when working for both parties, can have a conflict of interest, possibly breaching their duty to their clients.

Buying Slideshow

See also

External links

Buying Tips

Suggested Buying Real Estate Books