Buying or selling a home in Santa Barbara?

For many people, buying a home is a stressful event. However, with a bit of planning ahead of time, it isn't that difficult. I like to furnish buyers with an overview of the whole deal so they'll know exactly what they can expect. Below are my nine steps to purchasing a home. Should you have any questions regarding any of this information or if you're ready to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Prepare to purchase a home
There are plenty of things you'll want to consider before beginning your home search. When you begin your search, you'll probably want to make a checklist of items you want to have, get an idea of what neighborhoods you want to live in, and start planning around your budget. A good principle to go by is that your mortgage payment should be 30 percent of your monthly income.

Step 2 – Communicate with a real estate agent in Santa Barbara
This is where Goodwin & Thyne Properties comes in. I'd like to schedule a time to get together with you and speak with you about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your future plans. We'll discuss neighborhoods, school districts in the Santa Barbara area, the mortgage industry, and any additional economic factors that may potentially affect your buying decision today or in the future.

I'll also help you get started on your loan. There are some great mortgage professionals in Santa Barbara, and I work with a lot of them, so you'll be in great hands. They'll help you determine which type of loan is best for you, as well as help you get approved.

Step 3 – Start house-hunting
After we meet for the first time, I'll begin finding available homes on the market that meet your needs. I'll research many of the houses and ignore the duds, and then we'll schedule appointments to view the homes whenever it's convenient for you.

When we tour homes, I'll call attention to good features, as well as bad ones. And I'll ask you what things you like and don't like. It's widely common for buyers to revise their list of must-haves as we view houses and some features become more crucial than others. If that happens, I'll go back through all the listings again and narrow it down to the home you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Know the market
An agent's understanding of the Santa Barbara market is a necessary element in your home search. And I assure you I'm familiar with all the neighborhoods and schools, and I will communicate what areas are "hot" and warrant prompt action and others that are "cold" and allow for thoughtful examination.

As we view houses, I'll make sure to communicate if the seller's list price has room for bargaining or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, trust your instincts and make sure you ask lots of questions. Every REALTOR in Santa Barbara will convince you they know the housing market. If it appears they don't know everything, just call me at 805-899-1100 or e-mail me at , and I'll be happy to answer your questions. My understanding of the market will keep you a step above the rest through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the home you've been looking for
We'll find the house of your dreams in the Santa Barbara area, and when that happens, I'll meticulously develop your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored to suit your needs and the home, including several contingencies. A few examples are getting financing, completing the home inspection, and a clear title.

When we present your purchase offer, you'll 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 closing costs. If the offer is accepted by the seller, we should close on the property about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows enough time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Most deals don't close on the beginning offer – it's very common to receive a counter offer. Don't let it discourage you. We'll figure out whether or not to take the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and move on.

The state of the market will play a part in how aggressively we negotiate the deal. In addition, we'll work within your financing budget. And when it's all said and done, we'll assemble a contract that works well for you.

Step 7 – Secure your loan
Once the deal is finalized, you'll start working with your lender to close the loan. If you're pre-approved, it won't be a long process at all. However, you need to stay in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll take care of all the property information your mortgage lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your mortgage lender will supply you with a Loan Estimate (LE) detailing your closing costs within three days of accepting your loan application. You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining closing costs from your lender within three days of accepting your application. This estimate is based on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements mandate that it has to contain all closing costs and be within a precise range of accuracy. I'll go over the estimate and let you know if it all looks okay.

Then we'll close on your home. This will probably take place at a title company or escrow office and will most likely be a smooth and pleasant occasion.

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, just contact me at 805-899-1100 or e-mail me at .

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