Do you have access to everything on the market? Yes, no matter where the property is located or what website you may see it on, I have access to it. I typically have access to some off-market properties as well.
How many properties can I see in one day? We can see as many properties as you would like. I recommend seeing no more than 5 per day as you will forget what you have seen if trying to tour more.
Do I need to pay you anything for helping me buy a home? No, you will never need to pay me anything. We are compensated by the seller and only when a transaction closes. We work for free most of the time.
What do you need to make an offer on a home? Some basic information is needed to fill out the purchase contract. This includes: full legal names of all buyers, purchase price, down payment amount, loan amount, length of escrow, time-frames for contingencies, and any other terms that may be needed. A pre-approval letter and proof of funds are also included with the offer to the seller.
How much are property taxes? They are roughly 1.2% of the purchase price (which is referred to as “assessed value”). They are paid annually in two installments, and vary slightly by city. Carlsbad=1.10%, Chula Vista=1.12%, Coronado=1.04%, Del Mar=1.07%, El Cajon=1.21%, Encinitas=1.10%, Escondido=1.16%, La Mesa=1.17%, La Jolla=1.23%, Oceanside=1.11%, Poway=1.12%, San Diego=1.23%, San Marcos=1.08%, Santee=1.19%, Solana Beach=1.07%, Vista=1.10%
What are the most important things to focus on during the home buying process? There are 4 things. Getting pre-approved with full document review, getting an offer accepted, ensuring the home is in satisfactory condition, and getting final loan approval. If you check these 4 boxes you are ready to get the keys and move in.
If I decide not to buy the home after having an offer accepted can I get my deposit back? In most cases, yes. Your initial deposit is fully refundable until you have removed all of your contingencies.
What is private mortgage insurance? Also referred to as “PMI” this is an insurance policy on your mortgage and is usually required if you are putting less than 20% down.
How much do I need for a down payment? Some loans, like VA for military members, allow you to buy a home with no down payment. Other loans start with a minimum of 3% down and you can put down any amount above that if you are looking to keep your monthly payments lower. HFA (Housing Finance Assistance) loans provide the down payment to you via a second loan.
What options do we have if the appraisal comes in below the purchase price? There are 4 options. Cancel the contract, ask the seller to reduce the purchase price to the appraised amount, make up the difference in cash, meet somewhere in the middle with the seller on a new purchase price. This is important because banks use the lesser amount between the appraisal and the purchase price for the loan.
Can I make an offer on a home before selling mine? Yes, you can. If you need the money from the sale of your home to buy the next property it is a bit more challenging. This is referred to as a "contingent offer" as the purchase is contingent upon your home selling first. In a competitive market a seller may not want to accept a contingent offer. If you need to sell your home first, have it on the market and in escrow makes you a stronger buyer.
What is a supplemental tax bill?It's a separate property tax bill you will pay the first year you own a home. The county assessor's office has a delay in updating the assessed value (the sales price) of your home upon a sale. So the first property tax bill will reflect the old assessed value (what the previous owner was paying in taxes) which is almost always less. As a result, the supplemental tax bill will make up the difference in taxes paid from the previous owner and you as of the date of closing.
What is a short sale? It’s a home that is on the market with a listing price that is less than the amount owed on the current mortgage. A bank must approve this sale and it can take months to get an answer and they don’t always agree to sell the home.
What is a foreclosure? It’s a home that has been repossessed by the lender. This happens when an owner cannot make their mortgage payments for an extended period of time. The lender will then hire a realtor and sell the home like a regular sale.
What is the minimum credit score to get a mortgage? A minimum FICO credit score of 580 is typically required.
Can I get pre-approved with more than one lender? Yes, some buyers will talk with multiple lenders and compare interest rates and fees before making a decision.
Are homes sold in their current "as is" condition, or is a seller obligated to make repairs? Yes, homes are sold "as is" per the purchase contract. After completing inspections a buyer can ask a seller for items to be fixed, a credit to fix these items after closing, a price reduction or a combination of these. The seller does not have to agree and this is negotiable.