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Deciding to Buy

Purchasing a home may be the single largest financial investment you will make, whether this is your first home or you are an experienced homeowner so having the right team of professionals to assist you is paramount.

What is prompting your decision? Are you tired of paying rent? Are you ready to build your own equity rather than your landlord’s? Have you outgrown your current home? Do you need more space, a fenced yard or a garage…Or is your home an empty nest and you are ready to downsize? Has your income grown and your are ready to make real estate your investment tool? Having a keen sense of reason for your purchase will assist you in making the best decisions when selecting your new home. Bay Area Elite Properties makes it their goal to understand your needs and help you achieve your goals when making your purchase.

Be Prepared

This is not only the motto of The Boy Scouts of America but good words of advice when buying a home. It is never too early to prepare for your home purchase. Good money management, good credit behavior and good record keeping will make your home purchase a smooth process.

Part of good money management is being careful with your finances and lines of credit. Do not over extend yourself or your wallet. Be sure creditors are being paid timely, credit card balances are being kept to a minimum and no new credit is being generated immediately prior to or during your purchase process.

Your credit rating has a huge impact on your ability to obtain financing. In today’s mortgage finance world your credit score(s) directly affect the cost of financing. You can easily keep up with what is reported on your credit profile by visiting sites such as www.FreeCreditReport.com or www.AnnualCreditReport.com . Your credit profile is comprised of reporting from the three major credit reporting agencies Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

Keeping good records for a home purchase include making a documents file which will include:

  • Recent Paystubs
  • Most Recent Tax Return(s)
  • Recent Bank Statements
  • Recent Financial Statements for all assets: stocks, bonds, 401K, life insurance, etc
  • Detail on any real estate properties you may already own
  • Copies of Leases for any rental properties you may own
Choosing a REALTORŪ

Did you know that as a homebuyer you have the choice to your own representation? Do you know the benefits of “Buyer’s Representation”? At Bay Area Elite Properties our Buyer’s Agents work hard to ensure that you are properly represented, putting your needs and your goals first in all negotiations and providing you “the buyer” the highest level of customer service. Not all agents represent the buyer…Knows that your agent is working for you!

Take the time to interview your agent and ask good questions…

  • Do you represent buyers?
  • Are you a full-time agent?
  • What services do you provide a buyer that offer extra benefit?
  • Are there any extra fees for representation?
  • Do you have a team of professionals that work with you?
Get PreApproved

Getting “PreApproved” is different than “PreQualified”. A PreApproval means that a lender has reviewed both your financial and credit stability; it’s like sending you out the door with money in your hand! By obtaining a mortgage preapproval prior to your home search you are ready to make an offer when you find the home of your dreams; you will also have a better negotiation position with the seller over others.

In addition to knowing how much home you qualify to purchase and knowing you have the money in hand meeting with a mortgage professional prior to selecting your home will remove any pressure and allow you time to understand all your mortgage options. There are many financing options in today’s real estate market and you need to know which is best for you and your needs. Our mortgage partners will take into account your family goals and future financial plans…not just look at your position today. We will look at things like which mortgage option will allow you to purchase the home you want while still maintain a savings for your child’s education, or that wonderful vacation you have planned. Selecting the right mortgage option is more than just getting you into your home today…it’s helping you keep your home and the lifestyle you’ve come to know and enjoy.

Time to Go Shopping

You’re almost ready! One final step before getting into the homes, take time to drive the neighborhood. Visit the area, drive through a few subdivision streets, stop at the park, have lunch at a local eatery, get a feel for what it would be like to life here…is this the place you want to call home? Once you have decided on the subdivisions or neighborhoods that feel best to you it’s shopping day! If you have followed each of the previous steps than you and your agent will enjoy viewing possible properties and selecting your dream home. Our buyer’s agent has prepared you for what to expect and how the process will go. The excitement has been building and now the fun will begin!

Escrow, Inspections & Appraisal

The period of time from an accepted purchase offer until closing of the sale is called escrow. During this period of time there are several steps you will need to take to complete your home purchase. The first step is to have a home inspection completed. Although a mechanical, structural or pest inspection is not mandatory it is an important step so that you know what you are purchasing. You need to be completely aware of the condition of the property you are purchasing so that there are no surprises after you move in. Once inspections have been completed you will have the opportunity to review these findings with your agent and discuss any options you may have under your contract terms.

If you will be purchasing your home with third party financing your lender will require an appraisal of the property. An appraisal is an analysis of the subject property compared to similarly sold properties within the neighborhood to determine its market value. Your lender will arrange for the appraisal to be completed.

You will also need to arrange for homeowner’s insurance. You may select to work with any insurance professional and often insurance companies will provide discounted rates for multiple policy coverage (auto, home, life, etc) so be sure to ask your carrier about these discounts. Depending on the area in which you purchase you may need multiple policies, for example flood coverage, or windstorm coverage, for assistance in understanding your insurance options be sure to ask your agent for any property detail that may assist in this process. Homeowner insurance is similar to most other insurance you purchase, the overall policy cost will vary based upon the type of coverage and deductible limits your elect to carry. Be certain to discuss with your mortgage professional if your lender has any particular requirements that must be taken into consideration.

The final steps of the purchase process, title search, encumbrances, association by laws, etc. are happening behind the scene. Bay Area Elite Properties has an experienced team of professionals to ensure your transaction is smooth and seamless.

Moving Day

The big day is just around the corner. But before you can move in there are just a few final loose ends to tie up:

  • Final Walk-thru Inspection: usually completed within 48 hours prior to closing of escrow your agent will arrange for you to walk thru the property one final time before you call it yours. At this time you will be able to confirm that any negotiated repairs have been completed, the property is in the same condition as when you negotiated the purchase, and if there are any special amenities such as in-ground pool or sprinkler system this is a great time to ask the seller to demonstrate to you how the equipment operates. If the home you are purchasing is in a neighborhood with mail cluster boxes you will want to identify where your property mailbox is.

  • Home Services and Utilities: if you haven’t already made arrangements for the utilities to be connected you will need to do so now. Be certain you have the name of the correct service providers in the area of the property being purchased, not all companies cover all areas.

  • Residential Service Warranty: your agent should have discussed with you your option to purchase a Residential Service Warranty to cover many mechanical breakdowns that may occur during home ownership. Be certain that you have selected a service provider and have a confirmation number for coverage

  • Keys/Locksmith: in addition to the front door key be certain to collect garage door remotes (often forgotten on the car visor) and mailbox key. Do you remember growing up…how many people did you share your key with? It’s always hard to track down every key that someone had to the property…keep it simple…have all the locks changed upon move in. It may even be more convenient to have all your doors keyed to the same key. Of course, we have a service provider that we use frequently and are happy to refer to all our clients.

  • Title Company: Your closing documents will be signed at the title company designated in your purchase contract. Your REALTOR® will provide you with a copy of your settlement statement and the amount of funds needed for your purchase within 24-hours or more of closing. You must bring “certified funds” payable to the title company. You will also need to bring your valid photo ID to your closing.
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