Darlene Streit understands the service you require to find that special home in the land of enchantment. A home or property is a lot more than a wish list of features or a spec sheet full of amenities. Any given property has history, certain key values, and has a neighborhood or surrounding area. All of these aspects can become factors that figure into the decision-making processes to buy a home that you’ll be truly happy with today and tomorrow.
We understand those subtleties, and we do our homework to make sure we know your needs so that we can help you find that special home. At the end of the day, finding that special property to fulfill your happiness is part of our job, our passion – and sharing what we know with you enables and empowers you to make every decision in the process.
The process of buying or selling a home involves a dizzying amount of information about locations and valuations, financing and inspections, staging, showing, and closings. It’s an information-rich process, one that requires intelligence to sort through it all and to present it to you, the buyer, in a way that makes sense – and that guides you to the purchase you really want to make. That kind of finesse requires experience, and a little something we call intuition – as well as a database of information about thousands of properties throughout the Santa Fe area.
As your broker, we help you pre-qualifying – that means we have a professional confidentially analyze your financial situation so that you do not worry about the financing of your purchase. Then we listen to you to uncover your needs in a new home, and to prioritize those needs based on what you would like to invest in a new home. We follow that process by identifying properties that meet your qualifications and needs, and we keep you informed and frequently updated during the process of buying a home. Last but not least, we continually communicate with you about the process and all of your options.
We believe there’s something for everyone in the Land of Enchantment. In fact, we stake our reputation on it. Below is a document that gives you some information that will help you in buying a new home. Our service to you begins from the moment we first communicate with you, from now until you complete the purchase of your new home.
A home is probably the biggest financial investment you’ll make in your life. Before you get started, do some homework. This handy Buyer’s Guide will show you some things to keep in mind as you’re hunting for that home of your dreams.
1. Determine How Much You would like to Invest in You New Home
We will help you estimate the costs involved and help you determine an approximate monthly cost for a property you may be considering.
You may even apply for a mortgage at a lender before you start looking for a home. This is called getting pre-qualified for a loan; it will tell you exactly how much you can afford and may make the closing process go faster.
Payments you may have to make when you submit an offer and at closing include:
- Earnest money, usually 1% to 3% of the cost of the house, which you pay as a deposit on the house when you submit your offer. It’s your proof that you’re a serious buyer
- Down payment, usually 10% to 20% of the cost of the house, which is required at closing
- Mortgage insurance, paid by borrowers making a down payment of less than 20%
- Closing costs, usually 3% to 4% of the cost of the house, to pay for processing all the paperwork
Don’t forget the day-to-day expenses you may incur once you own that home:
- Homeowner or condo association dues
- Property taxes
- City or County taxes
2. Shop for a Home
House hunting can be both exciting and frustrating. Most homebuyers see roughly 5 – 10 houses before buying one. To make the search easier and faster, nearly half of all house hunters today begin by browsing for properties on the Internet, using web sites like this one.
The Internet is a quick way to see whether the houses that are currently available meet the following critical criteria: in the right location, with the right features and at the right price. If you find after your Internet search that few properties meet with your expectations, you may want to readjust your criteria – change the location, features, price – to increase your chances of finding a house that works for you. If you have any difficulties in this initial search, feel free to contact me for assistance. Homes can become available instantly and your agent is always the most current resource for literally up to the minute new home listing information.
Once you know what you want, where you want it and what you can afford, it’s time to see the houses for yourself. You probably have decided ahead of time what important qualities you want in your future home…Such as –
Is the house structurally sound?
Is there enough room for you to grow in?
Is the house in move-in condition or will it need work?
Is it close enough to everyday needs, such as grocery stores, schools, work?
Will you feel safe here?
Do the appliances that are part of the sale work?
Is the yard right for your needs?
Do you like the floor plan?
Is there enough storage?
4. Research Different Mortgages
There are a variety of mortgage types available today, each with advantages and disadvantages depending on how long you plan to live in the home, the financial marketplace and what investment you would like to make in your new home.
A fixed-rate mortgage is the most common. In a fixed-rate mortgage, your interest rate and payment stay the same for the life of the loan…either a 30 year or 15 year loan…perhaps an adjustable rate mortgage.
5. Make an Offer
When you’ve found a house you really want, it’s time to make the offer. How much you offer may depend on a number of factors:
What price should you offer for the home.
Is the house in good condition? Is this house in move-in condition or will it need a lot of work? Take any costs of improvement into consideration when deciding your offer price. Once you’ve determined how much you’d like to offer, work with your real estate professional to submit the proper information. This includes:
The amount of earnest money you’re paying
The down payment and financing details
A proposed move-in date
The price you’re offering
A proposed closing date
This can be just the beginning of the negotiation process. The seller has three options: accept your offer, counter your offer or reject your offer. We will advise you on the best way to present your offer for a good outcome.
6. Begin Contingency Period
When your offer has been accepted, the contingency period begins. This is time that allows you to obtain financing, perform inspections and satisfy any other contingencies of your purchase agreement.
Obtaining financing might include loan approval, which will include an appraisal of the property. Also be prepared to make your down payment, which is usually due several days before the close of escrow.
Now is the time to schedule a professional inspection of the property; it is one of the best safeguards you can take before buying. A home inspector should check (and may give you a rough price for repairs on) the electrical system, plumbing and waste disposal, the water heater, insulation and ventilation, water source and quality, pests, foundation, doors, windows, ceilings, walls, floors and roof.
Keep in mind that the inspector isn’t there to tell you whether you’re getting a good deal. He or she is there to give you an educated opinion on whether the house is structurally and mechanically sound and fill you in on any repairs that are needed.
7. Buy Homeowner’s Insurance
A paid homeowner’s insurance policy is required at closing. Often a real estate professional will help make sure your insurance company and your title officer are working together to put your policy in effect by the close of escrow. But, if you get your insurance agent involved early in your home-buying process, he or she may also help point out ways to help keep your insurance premiums lower.
8. Complete Settlement or Closing
When the property you’re buying has been inspected and you’ve had your final walk-through of the property to see that all contingency conditions – such as final repairs made by the seller — have been met, it’s time to face the paperwork. You will be signing loan documents and closing papers, paying the balance of your down payment and closing costs. This is the day you get the keys to your new home. Congratulations!
Sea Coast Exclusive Properties for all your San Diego real estate – Carlsbad real estate – Oceanside real estate – Encinitas real estate – Del Mar real estate – San Marcos real estate and surrounding areas needs.
Feel free to contact us if we can be of any service!