Buying? Call us and let us assist you!
Are you looking to buy in Southern California? We specialize in San Diego County but also have experience in LA, Riverside County and beyond! We work to make your experience as simple, easy and stress free as possible. We pride ourselves on always being available to our clients and providing service with integrity. We will always be transparent and support you throughout the entire process. Our priority is your satisfaction when the transaction is closed!
For detailed information on the process of buying a home and financing a home loan, please read our helpful guides below!
HOME BUYERS GUIDE
Buying a home in San Diego can be an exciting but also overwhelming process. We strive for it to be a positive and life-changing experience. Purchasing a property is most likely the biggest financial decision you will ever make. Whether this is your first purchase or you are an experienced buyer, this decision must be made carefully. It is very important for potential home buyers to be prepared long before the search begins. The initial steps should include making sure that all financials are up to date; reviewing credit reports and taking action to correct any discrepancies; and choose a mortgage lender and have them provide a pre-approval letter. Once these steps are complete the buyer will have a good understanding of their price range and where to begin their search. We can provide information of the areas of interest and the current state of the market every step of the way.
Why Do You Want to Buy?
Property ownership is an excellent investment. Whether you are looking for your dream home, a rental property, or to expand your investment portfolio, owning real estate is one of the least risky ways to build equity or to obtain a greater return on your initial investment.
Are you tired of paying rent? Have you decided to pay your own mortgage and not your landlord’s? Have you outgrown your current home? Are you looking for an investment portfolio? Are you looking for a rental property? Would you rather live in a different area? Do you want to shorten your commute? Having a clear sense of your reasons for buying will help you choose the right property.
Build Your Profile
First you will need to secure financing for a property before you begin your search so you know what you can afford. Your mortgage lender will request that you gather your important financial documents. Your file should contain:
- Bank statements
- 401K statements, life insurance, stocks, bonds, and mutual account information
- Credit cards
- Auto loans
- Recent pay stubs
- Tax returns for two years
- Copies of leases for investment properties
- Credit report
Your credit score will have a huge impact on what loan amount you will be approved for and ultimately what type of home you can purchase. It is first recommended to check your credit rating with an experienced lending institution so that we can determine what you can afford. The lender will research your credit ratings from the three credit reporting agencies Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. We will be happy to recommend experienced, knowledgeable lenders in the residential, construction, commercial and investment real estate fields.
It is very important to purchase your property from a position of financial stability. Be very careful when making big decisions regarding career changes and large purchases.
Begin Your Search
There are many different considerations to take into account when purchasing a home or investment property. Prices in San Diego can vary significantly from one area to another. Some of the key factors that affect the price of a home is the reputation of the local school district, distance from the beach or entertainment, square footage of the property and size of the lot, plus much more. We can provide available information on neighborhoods, access to homes for open houses and tours, and supply advice on making an offer to the sellers.
Making an Offer
Buyers and investors in the San Diego region are very motivated. There is often limited inventory in some desirable neighborhoods and it is not uncommon for sellers to receive multiple offers. Once you have found a property you are ready to make an offer on we can research the history on the property and analyze any potential expenses. We’ll draft an offer that makes the most sense to meet your needs and have an advantage over other offers. It’s possible the seller will want to negotiate and will respond with a counter offer. The buyer’s agent and seller’s agent can then work together to find a middle ground that with benefit all parties.
Once an offer has been accepted, escrow will open and a deposit will be collected from the buyer. For the sake of clarity, all counter-offers and addendums must be converted into written agreements to be signed by both parties. We will assist you in drafting all the paperwork for your purchase and make sure that you have copies of everything.
Both buyer and seller will be given a timeline to mark every stage of the process. Meeting the requirements on time ensures a smoother flow of negotiations so that each party involved is not in breach of contract. During the process we will keep you constantly updated, so you will always be prepared for the next step.
A title company will research the complete recorded history of the property to ensure that the title is free and clear of encumbrances by the date of closing and that all new encumbrances are properly added to the title. Some properties are subject to restrictions which limit various activities such as building or parking restrictions. There may be recorded easements and encroachments, which limit the rights to use your property. You may wish to consult an attorney or tax advisor on the best way to hold title. Different methods of holding title have different legal, estate and tax implications, especially when selling or upon death of the title holder.
Once your offer is accepted by the seller, you may choose to have a licensed property inspector inspect the property. You may elect to have different inspectors inspect the property, if you wish to obtain professional opinions from inspectors who specialize in a specific area (roof, HVAC, structure, etc). Depending on the outcome of these inspections, either each area is successfully inspected with the desired outcome or the buyer, after reviewing the property and the papers, requests a renegotiation of the terms of contract (usually the price). We will support and advise you through this process from start to finish.
Appraisal and Lending
It is important to have consistent communication with your lender who will let you know when additional documents are needed to approve your loan application and fund your loan. If the agreement is conditional upon financing, then the property will be appraised by a licensed appraiser to determine the value for the lending institution, via a third party. This is done so that the lender can confirm their investment in your property is accurate. Appraisers are specialists in determining the value of properties, based on a combination of square footage measurements, building costs, recent sales of comparable properties, operating income, etc.
If you are obtaining a loan, you will be required by your lender to purchase insurance on the property. You may be able to save by shopping around for insurance. Consider these tips:
- Consider a higher deductible. Increasing your deductible by just a few hundred dollars can make a big difference in your premium.
- Ask your insurance agent about discounts. You may be able get a lower premium if your home has safety features such as dead-bolt locks, smoke detectors, an alarm system, storm shutters or fire-retardant roofing materials. Persons over 55 years of age or long-term customers may also be offered discounts.
- Insure your house NOT the land under it. After a disaster, the land is still there. If you do not subtract the value of the land when deciding how much homeowner’s insurance to buy, you will pay more than you should.
Signing Loan Documents & Disclosures
If you are obtaining financing, you will have to sign all pertinent documentation required with a notary public. The notary will be a neutral third party that verifies the identity of all parties signing and can walk you through the process of signing all your loan documents.
You will also be asked to sign many disclosures in your real estate contract that will be kept by your agent, the seller and the seller’s agent. We will explain all disclosures and answer any questions you may have and you will receive copies of everything.
Final Walk Through
The final inspection takes place a day before, or the day of the closing. You will visit the property to verify that all is in working order, everything is the same as when you last viewed the property, there are no extra items left behind and everything included in your purchase is still at the property.
We will support you in making arrangements to receive the keys and anything else expected at closing. We can also provide a list of useful numbers for the activation of home services and utilities after the closing occurs. Escrow will furnish all parties involved with a settlement statement, which summarizes and details the financial transactions enacted in the process. Once the deed is recorded with the county recorder you are officially the owner of the property!