Buying a Home 101
Real Estate in Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills, Newbury Park, Calabasas
Do you want to buy a home? Whether it’s your first real estate purchase or you are already experienced in these types of transactions, there is some information that every home buyer should know. Our team has helped many families and individuals find the property that meets their needs and lifestyle. Lydia Gable is an experienced and personable Westlake Village Realtor® whose past corporate experience helps her negotiate for top dollar on behalf of her clients. Here are some of the top things you should be aware of if you’re looking to buy a home in LA or Ventura County!
Find out what mortgage you qualify for.
Early on in the home buying process, you should consider getting pre-approved. This means learning what kind of mortgage you are eligible for by speaking to a trustworthy mortgage representative or having your income, debt, and expenses appraised by a financial institution. The less unsettled issues you can bring to a home offer, the more likely your bid will be accepted.
Do the calculations.
Don’t forget to plan for any other increased fees such as property taxes, insurance, and home maintenance or repair.
Enlist a good real estate agent.
A knowledgeable real estate agent can make all the difference in your search for that perfect home. Look for a real estate agent who is dedicated to client communication and uses technology to facilitate that interaction. You want a real estate agent who has the credentials to give you confidence as you move forward. Also, pick a real estate agent with a personality you can live with! You’ll be spending a lot of time with your real estate agent, so you want to make sure he or she is someone who you connect with and who hears and respects your needs when it comes to the real estate you want. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Finally, it’s best if your agent is a local in the area you are looking to settle down in. This way, he or she can answer your specific questions about the neighborhood and will know the best places to search!
Narrow it down.
Figure out your price range first. Do whatever number crunching needs to be done to come up with an honest budget! One piece of conventional wisdom suggests that your house should be about two and a half times the amount you make in a year. From there, examine other important questions that will affect the place you choose to live. For example, if you have children, your ideal neighborhood should be located in a good school district such as Westlake Village – in fact, both Westlake High School and Agoura High School regularly place among the nation’s top schools. Other questions you might consider include what architectural styles you prefer; whether you want a one-story or multiple-story home; how much renovation you are prepared to undertake; whether you or someone in your family has special needs that require particular amenities; whether you need a fenced yard for pets; and how close you want to be to major shopping centers or airports or other public areas. Are there any major preferences or requirements you have, such as hardwood floors, air conditioning, granite countertops, a fireplace, good views, or a swimming pool? Be sure to discuss these things with your real estate agent. Make a wish list and prioritize the things that matter the most to you and your family.
Assess the community.
You aren’t just committing to a home, you’re also going to be affected by the community you move to as well. As you visit the neighborhoods of the various homes you visit, ask yourself questions like these: How far is my commute to work? Is there a lot of pollution or litter? What is the crime rate? What kinds of stores, libraries, banks, gyms, police stations, and other facilities are in the area? Is your church or place of worship represented in the community? Are the neighboring homes well maintained?
Remember: It is impossible to find a home that is flawless. There will always be some little things that you wish you could change about any home. At the end of the day, however, you can find the home that is right for you. Don’t ask too many people for opinions, as this will confuse your final decision. Instead, choose a few trusted friends and professionals, and use their advice to make a choice that you can live with. Don’t try too hard to drive an impossibly hard bargain – it could lose you the home you want. Listen to your real estate agent’s advice and stay practical and realistic.
Hire a home inspector.
Don’t make any kind of a decision without enlisting the services of a reliable home inspector who can check your home for any potential problems and make sure it is worth the money you will be paying. A home is a huge investment! Protect that investment with a thorough home inspection.
Make an offer.
Your real estate agent can help walk you through the process of making an offer. You will need to assess a number of different factors including offering price, down payment, financing details, and move-in date. If you make a bid, the seller may accept it or offer a counterproposal. If you are able to come to an agreement, both you and the seller will sign a sales contract.
Do a final walk through.
Make sure that any repairs you asked for have been completed, and ask for photocopies of paid bills and warranties. If any items such as light fixtures or window dressings or furniture pieces were included in the final price of the home, make sure that they are still there, along with all necessary instruction manuals, remotes, and garage door openers. Check that everything is still in working order, including appliances, alarm systems, hot water heaters, and air conditioning.
Call us for answers to your questions about the home buying process!
Our helpful staff is eager to help clients navigate the buyer’s market and find a house that meets their needs and budget. Lydia Gable is a skilled negotiator with a background as a vice president of marketing, and her clients know her as a warm and outgoing Realtor® who will listen attentively to their needs and aggressively pursue their best interests. If you are looking for a home in Westlake Village or a surrounding area, Call Lydia Gable Realty Group today!