If you are a home buyer in San Diego, there are a few things you should know. Whether Rookie or Veteran, you will need to wear 2 hats. Under hat #1 is the excited home buyer. Under hat #2 is an emotionless investment professional. Both angles need to be present to ensure a win/win when it’s all said and done. Here are a few tips to follow after you determine you want to buy a home in San Diego.
Tip #1 – Select a qualified San Diego mortgage lender.
Choose someone with at least 10 years of experience who works for a Company you have heard of before, but not a big bank like Chase, Wells Fargo or Bank of America. The person you’re working with should be accessible from the start to the finish of the transaction. You don’t want someone who is passing you off to their under-studies. Make sure your lender has awards and accolades that qualify them to be the person in charge of the money involved in your biggest investment. Let the less qualified lenders work with the less-educated home-buyers. You deserve the best, so settle for nothing less. I personally recommend Jon Jerotz with Guaranteed Rate. He’s been top 1% in the nation 2 years in a row and works closely with all clients. It’s very important to create a mortgage strategy when buying a home. If you mention the words “mortgage strategy” and your lender doesn’t react like they know what that means, head for the door.
Tip #2 – Select a qualified San Diego real estate agent.
Make your selection based mostly on localized experience. Your agent should have extensive knowledge of the area where you want to buy and should be able to discuss properties they have recently sold in that neighborhood. If they haven’t regularly been selling properties in your desired area for at least 5 years, take a pass. It’s all about neighborhood specialists these days to get the best representation. If an agent focuses heavily on a particular area and does business there regularly, then give them a shot at earning your business. Make sure to mention the words “real estate strategy”. If they don’t know what that means or act like it’s not important, run for the hills. When we’re buying or selling real estate, there MUST be a specific strategy in place. Do you think Wal Mart buys property without a strategy? Of course not, so why should you? Make sure you extensively interview every potential candidate. If they make you feel comfortable enough to talk about “anything”, then it’s potentially the right fit. Any other feeling won’t work. Be picky. There are tons of agents to choose from. Take the time to choose the right one. If you need help with this, contact me and I’ll point you in the right direction.
Tip #3 – Be 100% committed.
Buying real estate is a long-term decision. It’s important to do it correctly the first time. If you aren’t 100% committed, you are not ready yet. Determine your MUST-haves right out of the gate. Do it on two separate pieces of paper. Think about it like this… Anything you can get from your LIKE-t0-have page is a bonus. If you set these lists up properly and provide a copy to your real estate agent, it can save a lot of time. Don’t settle for anything less than ALL of your must-haves. If you have to be very patient to achieve this, that’s ok. The longer you wait, the more sure you will be when the right house comes along.
Tip #4 – Take the time to learn your local market inside and out.
There is only one way to really learn the local market you wish to live in…see as many homes as possible. Your real estate agent will hate me for saying this, but they also know it’s true. You should look at every home for sale in your desired location. Not just the ones that fit your price range, but anything even close. It’s important for you to understand what value the market is placing on certain items like a 3-car garage vs. a two-car or a pool vs. no pool. Ideally, you will become a real estate expert within the market you wish to live. If you do this, then it will be easy to spot the right house or best deal without second-guessing yourself or your decision.
Tip #5 – When you find the right home, go for it 100%.
At this point, you’ve been patient, you are pre-approved by a great lender, you have a great agent in your corner and the right house has fallen in your lap. Do everything you possibly can to get that home. Make your best offer, put down a bigger deposit and send a love letter to the seller with pictures of your family and reasons why you would like to buy their home. Don’t leave any “in the clip”. Go after that home purchase with everything you can think of and then some. This market is tough and chances are, there are a number of other families who want the same home you do.
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