Buying or selling a home in Bakersfield?

Buying a home is a stressful event for many people, but with some up-front planning, it isn't very confusing. I like to provide buyers with an overview of the entire deal so they know exactly what to expect. Here are my nine steps to buying a home. If you have questions about any of this information or if you're ready to get started, simply contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Get ready to purchase
There are plenty of things you should do prior to commencing your home search. When you start your search, you'll want to put together an outline of features you want to have, get a feeling for what school districts you want to live in, and start planning your budget. A good rule to follow is that your mortgage payment should be 1/3 of your monthly income.

Step 2 – Communicate with a real estate agent
That's where I come in. I'd be more than happy to schedule a time to meet with you and communicate with you about your real estate needs and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll discuss neighborhoods, schools in the Bakersfield area, the mortgage industry, and any additional economic factors that might affect your buying decision today or in the future.

In addition, I'll help you get started on your loan. There are some very good mortgage professionals in Bakersfield, and I work with a lot of them, so you're in great hands. They will help you figure out which type of loan is best for you, as well as help you get approved.

Step 3 – Begin your search
After our initial meeting, I'll begin finding houses on the market that best suit you. I'll research most of the homes and remove the duds, and then we'll set up appointments to tour the houses when it's most convenient for you.

When we view houses, I'll point out positive features, as well as bad ones. I'll even ask you to talk about things you like and dislike. Generally, buyers amend their wish list as we view homes and some features become more necessary than others. If that's the case, I'll go back through the listings another time and narrow it down to the house of your dreams.

Step 4 – Get a grasp of the housing market
My understanding of the Bakersfield home market is a fundamental component in your home search. I am conscious of all the neighborhoods and schools, and I'll communicate some areas are "hot" and require immediate action and some that are "cool" and allow for more examination.

When we view houses, I'll let you know if the list price has room for negotiation or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be careful and be sure to ask a lot of questions, as every real estate agent will tell you they truly know the market. If it appears they don't know everything, just call me at 661-205-5475 or e-mail me at , and I'll be glad to answer any questions you may have. My market knowledge will help you stay a step ahead throughout the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the home you've been waiting for
We'll find the house of your dreams in Bakersfield, and when we do, I'll meticulously create your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored with your needs in mind and the home, including some contingencies, such as obtaining financing, carrying out the home inspection, and a clear title.

Upon sending in your purchase offer, you'll want to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to a seller to secure the offer to buy the property and is typically applied to the closing costs. If your offer is accepted, we should close on the property about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows enough time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Most deals aren't closed on the initial offer. It's widely common to receive a counter offer. Don't let it alarm you. We'll talk about whether or not to agree to the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and go on.

The state of the market will play a large role in how aggressively we negotiate the contract. We'll also work within your financing budget. And at the end of the day, we'll put together a contract that is best for you.

Step 7 – Obtain financing
After we sign the final contract, you'll start working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. It won't take long at all if you're pre-qualified, but you'll need to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll look after all the property information your mortgage lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) of closing costs from your lender within three days of getting your application. The estimate is formed from the loan amount, and RESPA requirements mandate that it has to contain all closing costs and fall within a precise range of accuracy. I'll review the estimate and let you know if everything looks all right.

Then we'll close on your home. This will probably take place at a title company or escrow office and is often a smooth and peaceful affair.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything or have any questions, simply call me at 661-205-5475 or e-mail me at .

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