By following these easy steps you will set yourself for success while getting the best deal and having the best buying experience:
1) Get Qualified - Too many people wait to get qualified for a loan. That is one of the worst things you can do! It causes buyers significant stress since they don't always know what they can afford and they may have missed some details (such as property taxes in Temecula), that can impact their buying power. It is a horrible thing to walk in a home, love it, and then later learn you can't even buy it. It also impacts your ability to negotiate and in the cases of mulitple offers, can kick you out of competition.
2) Interview Agents - Meeting the right agent can make all the difference. I have often heard horror stories about my clients previous agents. They never took the time to interview a few and find a fit in personality for themselves. An agent for a young family is often different than one for an investor-trust me. Also, by interviewing you will learn more about what you can expect in service and also get several perspectives of your search from experienced agents.
3) Drive Neighborhoods - This will help you enormously. Don't do all the work and start calling signs of other agents. And also don't just expect your agent to read your mind. The right balance is in between where you can learn more about what you like and what communities stand out for you. You will be the one living there and by focusing on learning what community feels right, you won't get sidetracked by a "good deal" and later wish you had looked more. Then inform your agent, get prices of what you are looking for and make sure it fits within your qualified range.
4) Learn Local Issues - This goes hand in hand with Step 3. By learning a local communities, additional expenses such as Home Owners Association, additional property tax, commute times, upcoming political issues all matter. When you learn the local communities, you will find out about things like future schools, hospitals, gravel pits, etc. In Temecula homes , special assessments for property taxes can be a surprise and often surprise buyers unfortunately.
5) Find Your New Home - Now that you are qualified, on the same page with your agent, learned what areas you like and what local issues affect those areas, you can be very specific in your search. This will also allow your agent to make the extra phone calls that can make all the difference. Often, when I have a strong idea of what works for my clients, I can stop searching broadly and start calling other agents, attend MLS meetings, and put out feelers for that special property that may not even be on the market! Believe it or not, it works and can save you thousands when you are the first offer and don't have to compete with the market.
By taking the time to do things right, you will save yourself stress and enjoy buying your Temecula or Murrieta home so much more. And while you are enjoying your search, you will be protecting yourself as well!
By Stefan West