Big Block Realty was recently named the fastest growing real estate brokerage in America. We have achieved this amazing honor by providing superior customer service, offering cutting edge technology, and building the trust of our clientele. Buying a home is a crucial decision and the largest investment most of us will make in our lives. Hiring the right agent that puts you and your needs first is imperative. This is where experience and customer service matter. My team and I are dedicated to putting your best interests first and finding the best possible home in your price range.
Getting pre-approved is an important early step in the home buying process. Talking to a lender will allow you to determine how much you can afford and what your monthly payments will be. Remember, it's not only your mortgage you are paying every month, but also property taxes, home insurance, utilities, and possibly HOA dues. We have a network of great lenders available that have helped past clients. The following documents are typically required for ALL borrowers:
Below are the most popular mortgage options. Down payments can range from zero money down to paying 100% cash.
It's always a good idea to start "house hunting" early. I recommend 3-6 months before you are ready to purchase. This gives you enough time to ensure you are buying the right home, in the right neighborhood. Are schools important? What will be your new commute time to and from work? There are many factors to consider before buying.
After finding the perfect home it's now time to write an offer. Offers from multiple buyers is common in this market, I have a very high acceptance rate when competing with other buyers. I work with all my clients to ensure they fully understand the California Association of Realtors contracts we use, there is a sample contract at the bottom of this page that can be downloaded. Writing an offer is quick and easy, but there is a lot of time that goes into carefully constructing it to give you the best chance of having it accepted. With electronic signatures getting documents signed can be done quickly from any location.
Successful negotiating is a delicate combination of being aggressive and personable. I am a firm negotiator and have plenty of experience winning for my clients. We want the best home at the best price. Negotiations often happen before agreeing to price and terms with the seller. There may be additional negotiations after a buyer has completed their inspections if there are some findings that are unsatisfactory to the buyers.
A typical escrow is 30 days long. If you are doing an FHA or VA loan it's usually a bit longer, around 40 days. If you are buying a property with all cash (no loan) it can be closed in as few as 7 days. Here is a timeline for a typical escrow:
During the escrow period buyers have the opportunity, and we always recommend, to do inspections. This includes, but is not limited to, home, pest/termite, roof, sewer lateral, chimney, structural, and soil. Most home buyers do 3 inspections, home, roof, and pest. Some condominium and townhouse buyers only do a home inspection as the roof is often covered by the HOA. We have a network of licensed, professional inspectors we have worked with over the years. We are happy to provide recommendations and advice to ensure our clients are protected.
A typical buyer's offer is contingent upon a number of factors. This means certain tasks need to be completed, and approved, by the buyer before the transaction moves forward and ultimately closes. The prominent contingencies built into the contract include: a physical inspection of the home, reviewing the seller's disclosures and HOA documents (if applicable), reviewing the preliminary title report, having the home appraised, and receiving final loan approval. If one, or more, of these is not successfully completed, the buyer has the right to cancel the transaction and retain their full initial deposit. Some buyers will remove certain contingencies from the contract to strengthen their offer. For example, removing the appraisal contingency is one a lot of sellers will look for in a multiple offer situation, so buyers may leave it out of the contract. All cash offers don't involve a bank and therefore have fewer contingencies.
Below are rough estimates of the closing costs and prepaid expenses based on a price of $500,000, $1,000,000, or $2,000,000. Your purchase price will be more or less than this amount, but this gives you a general idea. With a strong offer a buyer can ask a seller to help pay for closing costs. There may be additional costs and they will vary with every transaction.
$500K=$750 $1M=$1,500 $2M=$3,000
$500K=$3,500 $1M=$7,000 $2M=$14,000
$500K=$700 $1M=$1,050 $2M=$1,750
$500K=$1,200 $1M=$2,100 $2M=$4,000
$500K=$700 $1M=$1,100 $2M=$2,000
$500K=$500 $1M=$650 $2M=$800
$500K=$500 $1M=$750 $2M=$800
$500K=$500 $1M=$650 $2M=$800
$500K=$1,500 $1M=$1,500 $2M=$1,500
The buyer will sign the loan documents and closing paperwork at the escrow company's office or by using a "mobile notary" that can come to your house or office, if that is more convenient. After the loan documents are signed they go back to the escrow company and then the bank for final review and funding. The loan will then fund, which means the money is wired to the escrow company. At this point the escrow company will have the loan funds, down payment, and closing costs. This is everything they need to complete the transaction.
Before closing escrow it's important to change the utilities and service subscriptions into your name. The water, garbage, gas, and electricity should now reflect your name as of the day after closing. You may also want to set up telephone, internet, and cable TV subscriptions at your new home. We provide the contact information for the utility companies one week before closing.
The title company will go to the county recorder's office to record the Grant Deed, the document that transfers title from seller to buyer. After the paperwork is recorded with the county the money is then distributed from escrow to the seller. This is the final step in closing the transaction.
There is not a more exciting time during the transaction than picking up the keys to your new home. I meet the buyers at the property at their earliest convenience so they can pick up their new keys.
At this point the transaction has been completed. It's now time to celebrate and enjoy your new home. We are with you every step of the way to ensure things go smoothly. We know it's a long process and we look forward to helping make your dream home become a reality. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding the home buying process.