Buying or selling a home in Santa Barbara? Goodwin & Thyne Properties can help.

Purchasing a home intimidates most people, but it's not too hard with a little up-front planning. I like to supply buyers with a road map of the whole deal so they'll know exactly what they can expect. Here are my nine steps to buying a home. Should you have any questions regarding this information or if you're ready to get started, simply contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Get ready to buy
There are plenty of things you'll want to contemplate before commencing your home search. When you begin your search, you'll probably want to make an index of features you want, plan for what school districts and neighborhoods you want to live in, and begin planning around your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is less than or around a third of your monthly income is a good rule to go by.

Step 2 – Communicate with a real estate agent
This is where I can help. I'd love to schedule a time to meet with you and communicate with you regarding why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your future plans. We'll talk about neighborhoods, schools in the Santa Barbara area, the mortgage industry, and any additional economic factors that may affect your buying decision today or in the future.

I'll also help you facilitate the loan process. There are some very good mortgage professionals in Santa Barbara, and I partner with a lot of them, so you'll be in great hands. They can assist you in choosing which kind of loan is best for you and help you get approved.

Step 3 – Begin house-hunting
After we meet, I'll start finding houses on the market that are good for you. I'll get a sneak peek of many of the homes and ignore the duds, and then we'll schedule appointments to view the homes at a time that's convenient for you.

When we view houses, I'll point out positive features, as well as negative ones. I'll also ask you about things you like and dislike. For the most part, buyers change their wish list as we tour homes and some features become more crucial than others. If that happens, I'll search the listings one more time and trim it down to the house you've been waiting for.

Step 4 – Know the market
My understanding of the Santa Barbara housing market is a leading component in your house search. I am familiar with all the neighborhoods and schools, and I will alert you to what districts are "hot" and call for prompt action and the ones that are "cool" and allow for thoughtful analysis.

As we view houses, I'll make sure to communicate when the list price has room for negotiation and also when I think the house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be careful and make sure you ask plenty of questions, as every REALTOR will convince you they truly understand the market. If things don't add up, just call me at 805-899-1100 or e-mail me at , and I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you might have. My understanding of the market will help you stay a step above the rest through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the house you've been waiting for
We'll find your dream home in the Santa Barbara area, and when we do, I'll thoroughly develop your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored exactly to your needs and the home, including several contingencies. A few examples are obtaining financing, completing the home inspection, and a clear title.

Upon turning in your purchase offer, you'll likely need to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to the home seller to secure an offer to purchase the property. The amount is usually put towards the cost of closing. If your offer is accepted by the seller, we should close on the property about 30 to 60 days after. This allows plenty of time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
A lot of deals aren't closed on the beginning offer – it's very common to receive a counter offer. But don't let it alarm you. We'll talk about whether or not to take the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and go on.

How aggressively we negotiate the deal depends on market circumstances. We'll also work within your financing budget. And when it's all said and done, we'll compose a contract that works well for you.

Step 7 – Secure financing
After we sign the final sales contract, you'll start working with your lender to close the loan. This won't take much time at all if you've been pre-approved, but you need to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll take care of all the property information your mortgage lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your lender will furnish you with a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining closing costs within three days of getting your loan application. You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining your closing costs from your lender within three days of getting your application. This estimate rests on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements order that it has to involve all closing costs and be within a precise range of accuracy. I'll analyze the estimate and let you know if everything looks all right.

Then it's time to close on your home. This will most often occur at a title company or escrow office and should be a smooth and comfortable event.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you need anything or have any questions, simply contact me at 805-899-1100 or e-mail me at .

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