So...You want to buy a house?


By Sara W.Peterson

So your loan is underwritten and approved subject only to an appraisal of your new home, your house if any in escrow, and your cash in hand, the hunt begins in earnest...

If new construction fits your profile, even before your loan is approved, we will take some time to register you at all the new home sites that fall into your categories. That way, when the urge bites to go "Look At Houses" you can go day dream in the model homes. We register you with the builders even though your agreement with us covers how we are paid because some of the old-line builders aren't always up to speed on Buyer's Brokerage and this helps smooth the way in negotiations if you do happen to choose a just, or to be built home.

First, we'll discuss how you like to explore areas and neighborhoods. Buyers generally fall into two categories. There are the "Independent" types that prefer to travel alone, armed with detailed information and maps and explore on their own. Then there are the "You're the professional. We want you to go with us to answer our questions" types that prefer to travel together with their agent, armed with detailed information and maps.

We work whichever way works best for you. Let's get to the "armed with lots of detailed information and maps" part. For however many areas and neighborhoods that you want to evaluate, a book is created. These initial books contain a map page where each house has been annotated on the map along with a detailed printout of the active listings in the neighborhood. If there are pictures of the house that can be obtained, those are also included in the book.

And remember what we said about this being an evolving process. You may begin with one set of criteria and wind up buying something completely different from what your original intentions were. This isn't because you don't know what you want. It's because when you began the journey, you had a certain set of concepts that you thought would suit your family's needs. As your level of information increases and you are made aware of the different potentials that are available to you, you can reassess what you know now in light of what your family may benefit from with the new information. So don't be afraid to say out loud that you do want to see that two-story instead of the split-level. And perhaps you do want a yard that could take a pool later. As you are presented with information, you are entitled to modify your desires to suit that new factor. We like to think that our clients invest at least as much time in determining what they want in their new home as they would in buying a new car. After all, you're going to have the house a whole lot longer than you are going to have that new car.

From these initial books, the lists of houses are whittled down. You can do a slash-and-burn, ripping out pages for homes that have been dropped from the list. Or you can keep all the information. Or you can do something in between. The books are tools like a pencil. They are yours to use in the best manner that works for you. We have, or can create, duplicates of everything that you have so don't be concerned if you've ripped something out and later change your mind. We can replicate it for you.

This part of the search is generally done without appointments as a drive-by, and the goal is to identify a neighborhood or lifestyle for more intense scrutiny. For the independent types, we are not there to facilitate their entry into the unit. For the others, we can call from our cell phone to gain access to the unit. But not having a set of appointments allows maximum flexibility. It can be accomplished after work, on weekends, anytime that works for you. Whatever area you want to look at, as long as it is in the State of California, we have access to that information and can develop a book for it. And if it isn't inside California, we can still probably get it for you. It just will take a little longer. After the search process has narrowed down a bit, we get into what we call "The Tour."

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