Buying a home or investment property is one of the most significant financial decisions a person can make. With an ever-changing real estate market, it is important to have a knowledgeable and local Realtor® guide you through the home-buying process. As a professional Realtor®, I will assist with every step of the home buying process, from screening current properties to negotiating the best deal. While the buyer receives all the benefits of using a local Realtor®, it is the seller who pays our commission!
STEP 1: FINANCING
The first step in buying a home is figuring out how much home you can afford. How much are you able to qualify for? How much can you really afford? There are many lenders available to “pre-approve” you for a loan. I have worked with numerous loan brokers over the years and can help point you in the right direction. In order to qualify for a loan the lender is going to want to know how much money you make and what your credit score is. It is important to know and follow your credit score as this is a big key to qualifying for a loan. CreditKarma.com is a great free site for checking your credit. There are many great Convention Loan programs currently available as well as government loans such as 100% Financing USDA loans, FHA, and VA loans. Here is a list of some local lenders that I have worked with in the past:
KD Capital Mortgage – Kim Rivas
1305 Vine Street
Paso Robles, CA 93446-2269
KD Capital Mortgage – Christa Abma
Licensed Loan Officer, Ca Bureau of Real Estate, Lic#01953307
7090 Atascadero Ave
Atascadero, CA 93422
Phone: 805.226.5550 / 805.610.4387
Spinnaker Financial- Kay Otis
724 Spring Street, Suite B
Paso Robles, CA 93446
Connect Home Loans
725 Creston Road
Paso Robles, CA 93446
There are also many great traditional lenders such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America.
STEP 2: FINDING A HOME
Now that you know how much you can afford it is time to start looking! You may already be looking online and have the perfect home picked out. If not, you can contact me through email, phone call, or text message to discuss exactly what kind of property you are looking for. I will start sending you properties that match your criteria and you can start narrowing them down to the one that you want to see. You will receive the properties as they become available so you will never miss out on a new listing. Feel free to also search sites such as Realtor.com, Zillow.com, and Trulia, there can have varying information so please feel free to ask about anything you see.
If you see a property that you are interested in just let me know and I will take care of making appointments, gathering listing information, etc. I have strong local knowledge of this current market!
STEP 3: WRITE AN OFFER
After you find the right home, I will work with you to write an offer to purchase and begin negotiations with the seller. Here are some key items when writing an offer.
Purchase Price – The purchase price is the most significant part of the offer and is largely dependent on market conditions. In a competitive market, buyers may actually offer a purchase price that is higher than the home’s listed price to ensure they get the home. In a slow market, buyers have more leverage and may be able to buy below a home’s list price.
Closing Date – This is the date that the home would officially be purchased by you from the seller. Typically, the closing date is 30-45 days from the day you write the offer to purchase. During that time a number of things happen. You finalize your financing, make arrangements to move, and secure homeowner’s insurance. The seller makes any agreed upon repairs and prepares to move. The escrow company prepares all the paperwork to transfer ownership from the seller to you.
Closing Costs – If the house you select is at the top-end of your budget, you may want to include a request for the seller to pay some or all of the closing costs. Like the purchase price, the request for closing costs and their amount are largely driven by market conditions.
Contingencies – Most offers are written with some contingencies. First, it is standard practice to make a purchase offer contingent upon you obtaining a mortgage. Other contingencies include a home inspection, pest inspection, septic inspection, well inspection, structural inspection, among others.
Keep in mind that market conditions influence how these items are handled from a buyer’s perspective. If there are a lot of homes on the market, you will have a fair amount of negotiation leverage. However, if there are many buyers and few available homes, you will have less room for negotiation.
STEP 4: OPEN ESCROW
Now that you have found a home, written and offer, and have a fully signed purchase contract, we open escrow. You will send in your “initial deposit” directly to escrow.
Some great local Escrow and Title Companies:
First American Title – Shelley McGill
504 1st Street, Suite B, Paso Robles, CA 93446
Main Office: 805-238-7747
Fidelity National Title
806 9th St # 1B,
Paso Robles, CA 93446 – 805-227-1100
Here are a few things that the buyer should expect during the escrow period:
1 Day – Make sure that the lender has all of your paperwork and signed loan application. With todays lending regulations, there can be delays, so we want to make sure the loan paperwork is ready to go and the appraisal is ordered asap.
within 7 Days – The seller has 7 days to provide the buyer with all reports and disclosures.
within 17 Days – The buyer has 17 days to complete all inspections including but limited to a home inspection, pest inspection, septic inspection, and/or well inspection. As soon as we open escrow we will order a home inspection. The home inspector will thoroughly inspect the home and provide us with a detailed report. The buyer also needs to approve all seller disclosures and title paperwork.
After all inspections are completed and there are some things that you would like the seller to fix, then we would submit a buyer “request for repairs”. The seller can agree or disagree with your request and we re-negotiate these repairs.
within 21 Days – Within 21 days of acceptance we will need to have full loan approval. Appraisal will be completed at value with no corrections.
Contingency Removal – We should now be fully signed off on all contingencies including inspection contingencies and loan/appraisal contingencies.
10 Days prior to Closing Escrow – Buyer should have Homeowners Insurance at least 10 days prior to closing.
5 Days prior to Closing Escrow – Within 5 days prior to close of escrow the buyer will make a final inspection or “Verification of Property” condition to verify any repairs and to make sure that the home is in the same condition as when they made the offer.
Prior to close of escrow, and after loan docs are signed, the buyer will need to bring in or wire their down payment; this will coordinated directly with escrow. The loan should fund 24 to 72 hours after the signing of the loan documents. Once the loan funds, then it is sent off for offical recording with the County Clerk. Once it record, it is officially your home!
STEP 5: CLOSED
I will hand you the keys to your new home.