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What to Expect from the Home Buying Process, Part 1

First time homebuyers are often unsure of what to expect during the home buying process. Even if you have purchased a home before, local laws may have changed. There are a multitude of variables and, of course, each home purchase is unique. Contact us if you are looking around for a new home, we never too busy to answer any of your questions.

Here’s first part of the home buying process:

To prepare, be sure to do your research since “knowing is half the battle”. Creating a list your wants makes it easier to find your dream home. We will meet to discuss your needs, parameters, and our approach.

Note where you want to live and which areas or neighborhoods appeal to you. Drive around a neighborhood and see what styles catch your eye. We are happy to drive you around the different Marin neighborhoods, after discussing what you are looking for, to narrow down the search area. Continue adding to your list which features you must have in a home, including the number of bedrooms and bathrooms.

Do you cook at home most nights? What size kitchen is best for your family? Are you planning to grow your family? Think about your desired yard size and what school district’s appeal to you. What other amenities are nearby and how are your commute times? It is also important to know what features you want to avoid. What are your deal breakers that would make you pass on a home? Do you have any safety concerns or mobility issues?

Next, take everything your list and start to prioritize each item. While doing this, consider what you would be willing to give up or compromise on your list. Would you want more seclusion and nature even if it is farther from the grocery store? Would you consider no pool as long as the home is in an amazing school district? These are a few ideas to keep in mind while brainstorming for the perfect home.

Determine how much you can afford and get your finances in order. Getting a preapproval letter at this point will be a great help, putting you ahead of the game. There are online mortgage calculators that will help you get a general idea on what your monthly mortgage payments are. I suggest using a local direct lender who has a good reputation and can closing quickly.

Get a copy of your credit report and check your score. If you see any errors, you will want to get those taken care of before applying for a loan. During this time, it is a good idea to avoid opening new lines of credit and making large purchases. As tempting as it is to go out and buy new furniture or a home theater system, wait until after the sale closes. These actions will negatively impact your finances.

Now we can start a more focused home search! We will continue discussing your options and you will learn about market conditions. Having your list of must haves/must avoids will help narrow down what properties to view in person. We will spend time together on home tours, mapped out with properties that interest you and fit your needs. If necessary, we can schedule showings to take an up-close-and-personal look. With my network of professional agents, I am confident we will be able to help you find your dream home.

Stay tuned for the next steps of the process. As always, if you have any questions about the local, current market, contact us and we can meet for coffee.

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