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How to get your dream home in California

California is known for its highly competitive housing market. To land the home of your dreams here, you must come to the negotiation table prepared. This is where the services of an experienced Realtor prove invaluable.

Work with your agent through these steps to make the buying process as pain-free as possible:

Evaluate your finances

Assess your financial standing by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Have I had a steady and verifiable source of income over the last two years?

  • Do I have a healthy credit score?

  • Can I pay off any excess or delinquent debt?

  • Was I able to pay housing costs on time over the last 12 months?

If you answered “yes” to most or all of these questions, then you are in good financial position to buy a home.

Get pre-approved for a loan

In a highly competitive housing market like that of California, homes in coveted locations receive multiple offers at a time. Short making of making a substantial cash offer or a high down payment, a mortgage pre-approval can help you stand out from the crowd.

A loan pre-approval, which comes in the form of a letter from your lender, shows the seller that you have the ball rolling on your mortgage application and that you have the means to secure financing for your purchase.

More importantly, pre-approval lets you know exactly how much you can realistically spend for a home. It is based on a thorough analysis of your present financial records.

If you want to strengthen your position as a buyer, get pre-approved with multiple lenders to prove your credit-worthiness. This early evaluation will also come in handy when it’s time to choose the right lender to work with for your mortgage.

Find houses in San Diego, California

The San Diego housing market is a treasure trove of choices. From single-family homes, to townhomes and condos, you’re bound to find one that fits your lifestyle to a T. Prominent architectural styles here include Ranch, Craftsman, and Mediterranean, with a selection of newer Contemporary homes.

The variety of neighborhoods also provides plenty of options. If you are looking for exciting city life, an array bustling entertainment venues and urban conveniences can be found at the Gaslamp Quarter. For scenic beachfront living, La Jolla and Pacific Beach offer relaxing vibes. If you want a mix of fun and relaxation, check out Carlsbad or Bankers Hill.

Make a strong offer

When you find the right property, show the seller how serious you are about buying by crafting a strong first offer. Going over the asking price can really catch the seller’s attention, but it’s no guarantee that they will choose your offer.

Consult your agent on how you can make your offer package compelling. For example, you can waive certain contingencies to prove that you are willing to close quickly.

Exercise due diligence

Once your offer is accepted, there will be a short window of time for you to practice due diligence. A typical escrow period takes 30 to 60 days, but that timeline could be considerably shorter if you and the seller agreed to close the sale quickly. Your Realtor will help you stay on top of paperwork and meet all your deadlines.

Get a home inspection

Before closing the deal, it’s best to first have the home inspected. A professional inspection will reveal any problems that you might not have noticed during your earlier viewings. Unless the issues found are serious enough to become total deal-breakers, use them in your favor to negotiate toward a better final price.

Be present during this important step as much as possible. Being there during the inspection allows you to consult the inspector about any long-term concerns and preventive measures you can take to keep your future home in great shape.

Get home insurance

Once your lender approves your loan, protect your investment by acquiring homeowner’s insurance. Coverage differs depending on the provider, but you can expect a standard insurance policy to cover interior and exterior damage, loss or damage to your personal property, or any injury incurred while living on the property.

Extreme weather events like hurricanes and tornadoes are often covered by basic insurance policies. But if you choose a home located at a waterfront area, look into special coverage for flood damage. Earthquakes also typically require a dedicated insurance policy.

Prepare for closing

Make sure that everything is in order before you claim the keys to your new home. Do a final walkthrough of the property before signing all the required documents.

It’s best to have at least six months’ worth of expenses prepared as an emergency fund in case anything needs to be repaired, replaced, or added when you move into your new home.

Ready to buy a home in San Diego? Count on me, Lisa Betz, to help you find the best San Diego real estate options. Call me at 858.705.8844 or email LBetz(at)BHHSCal(dotted)com today.