The home of bold dreams, buzzing neighborhoods and breathtaking natural wonders, the Golden State is one of real estate’s most sought-after destinations — luring in everyone from artists to celebrities with its eclectic appeal and spirited charm.
Home buying can be a daunting process. You can spend hours on Zillow or Realtor.com – only to still not know where to start. It’s my goal with this post series to inform, educate and answer questions that you may have about where to start.
Douglas Elliman Real Estate and I have crafted this Buyer’s Guide Series to help you navigate the nuances of the Los Angeles real estate process and gain an edge in the market. Backed by DE’s reach and expertise as one of the nation’s leading brokerages, I will work hand in hand with you to find a home that fits your budget, needs and lifestyle.
Outlining Your Objectives
What is your motivation to buy?
Do you need to move by a certain date for a job? Are you looking to switch from renting to owning?
What price range are you considering?
This is the MOST important aspect of preparing for your home purchase. Will you need to finance your purchase? Will you be financing via all cash?
What is your timeline to move?
Do you have time to wait for a home that fits all of your requirement? Or, do you need to move within a month?
What are your ideal features and “non-negotiables”?
Are you looking for a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom? Do you want an infinity pool over looking the Pacific Ocean? Do you need an accessory dwelling unit?
What are you looking for in a neighborhood?
How close do you want to be to a supermarket? A park? Your favorite hiking trail? Do you need ample street parking?
Planning and Preparation
Discuss objectives and process with your REALTOR®
Discussing your objectives and processes with your real estate agent will offer you an overview of the process.
Select a lender and begin loan approval process
There are two methods for affording a house: cash and financing. If you are using financing, your loan approval is the first step toward knowing how much house you can afford. This step is incredibly important, as you will identify your rate and range of monthly payment.
Obtain a loan approval letter
Once in hand, your loan approval will inform you of the maximum price you can offer for your home.
Research neighborhoods of interest with your REALTOR®
Now, the process begins. Remember, finding your home is a marathon, not a sprint.
Understand the Market
Analysis of active, pending and sold transactions
During the active process of showing, writing and submitting offers, your real estate agent will also show you up to date, comparative market analysis on properties in your focused neighborhood. This will allow you to stay informed and current of market trends and conditions.
Review contracts and timelines
You’ve written your offer and it has been accepted by sellers. Congratulations! Once you are in escrow, your agent will work with you to understand the contract, contingencies and timelines required to close escrow.
Answering these questions will assist you in clarifying your must haves, your list of negotiable and prepare you for the process. Above all – again -you must remember that buying a home is a marathon, not a sprint. It can be an emotionally volatile process – with an incredible result. Remember, proper research, realistic goals and preparation will ensure that you will be well informed and understand all aspects of the home buying process once in escrow.