A few rules for home buyers

Whether you are buying your first home, moving up to your dream home, or downsizing your home and your life after the kids have gone, it is important to have some rules in order to be successful buying a home.  Making the wrong decision can have long lasting and devastating effects, while making a wise decision can greatly enhance your life and the overall value of your home purchase as an investment.  If you are looking at Sacramento real estate, or searching for homes for sale in Sacramento, you should know that there are few purchases in life that carry the financial and psychological weight of buying a home. 

Rely on a Realtor like me to learn about the home buying process and mortgages before setting out to purchase the home of your dreams.  Fortunately, I have excellent relationships with mortgage lenders, home inspectors, title companies and other professionals involved in the home buying process to help you flatten out the learning curve a bit.

Buying a home is a very emotional experience, however it is often best to use a more systematic approach to ensure that your decisions are based on information and reason, rather than impulse or emotion.  Yes, purchasing a home is emotional, nevertheless it is imperative to keep your emotions under control and not allow them to cloud your judgment.

There are a few basic ground rules when it comes to buying a home and shopping smart.

Get your financing before you get your home

There are few things that will break your spirit like losing out on the home of your dreams because you failed to get pre-qualified for a mortgage prior to finding the home of your dreams in Sacramento.  It’s natural to want to hit the streets of Sacramento and start searching the homes for sale, but it is vital to line up the financing you will need before you start shopping for a home.  Fortunately, I work with some excellent mortgage brokers and lenders in the Sacramento area and would be happy to put you in touch with someone experienced, knowledgeable, and competitive. 

Lining up your financing ahead of time has a number of important advantages, including knowing how much house you can afford.  This will prevent you from wasting your time looking at unaffordable properties or may empower you to look at homes you thought were out of your price range.  Additionally, in today’s market, most sellers will not even look at your offer unless you have a pre-qualification or pre-approval letter from a lender.

Look at the community, not just the home

Rather than simply focusing on a single home, look at the entire community and specifically, find a neighborhood you like.  This can be particularly important if you are new to the Sacramento area, since you will be unfamiliar with the area generally, and specifically the school districts, freeways, grocery stores, parks, etc.   

Remember the three most important things about a property; location, location, location.  Buying a house in the wrong area can be a big mistake, and it is important to choose the community and neighborhood as well as the home.  I’m happy to drive you around the various parts of Sacramento and find you a community, neighborhood, and home that are perfect for you and your family.

Be fair with your first offer

Trying to really low-ball a seller on the first offer can backfire, as can paying too much.  In order to fairly determine the amount of your offer, carefully evaluate the local Sacramento real estate market and compare the asking price of the home with what similar houses in the neighborhood have sold for and what similar houses in the neighborhood are actively listed and priced to sell today.  Comparing the sales of comparable homes, what are known as “comps” in the industry, is one of the best ways for us to determine what is fair and to make sure that you get your offer accepted. 

Do not alienate the sellers of the home

Many real estate deals have fallen apart due to the personal animosity of the buyer and the seller.  It is important to avoid alienating the seller of the home during the process, and to avoid nitpicking every little detail during the sale.  Clearly, there are plenty of things that are discovered or occur during the escrow process that are worthy of pushing back on or calling out.  However, as a general rule, keeping the good will of the seller will help the transaction go smoothly, and it will provide you a smooth transition into your new home.

If you are interested in searching homes for sale in Sacramento, please call me and allow me to find you the home of your dreams.