Home Buying in Santa Clara>Question Details

Polly, Home Buyer in Santa Clara, CA

Hi, we are currently looking for a good realtor. I work in North San Jose and husband works in Palo alto. Loc should be within reasonable distance.

Asked by Polly, Santa Clara, CA Sun Nov 11, 2012

We currently have a budget of 750K with 20 % down and an excellent credit history. We are new to the bay area looking to find a house in a good elementary school district. Willing to compromise on square footage for a good location. Haven't taken pre-approval yet since we don't know how much time it is going to take us to find the perfect home. We are ready to wait for the right home. Pls contact us if you would like to work with us. Thanks

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Polly ,

It is imperative you have a pre approval when submitting an offer for any home in the Bay Area and this is why....all other buyers who will compete with you for the home you submit an offer on have pre approval offers; some paying in cash. That is why it is imperative to have a pre approval.

And, your biggest competitor will be the buyer who will pay cash. How can you compete against such a buyer? Get a loan approval, one with a loan number and closing conditions. A loan approval can compete with cash buyers because you can close as fast as a cash buyer and have an approval which is a sure to close,

If you are interested give me a call (408-316-0793) or email (rpabalza@comcast.net) so we can get started in getting you the loan approval.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 14, 2012
Hello and welcome to Silicon Valley. I have invested in a program I think you'd find interesting-it enables you to actually search by desired school districts within your budget, area and description.

I'm happy to provide you with a free, no-obligation buyers consultation to learn more about what you want and share data and knowledge with you about prices, homes and trends. This includes a free homebuyer toolkit. Just Call 408-252-8900.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 14, 2012
Hello Polly,

Welcome to the Bay Area. As you go through the process of picking out an agent. I do have one question and some suggestions. First the question. I was a little confused by your comment that you haven't taken pre-approval yet. Is that to mean you haven't gotten a pre-approval. If that is the case, I suggest you go through the process as it might change your budget, either to the downside or upside. It is better to know what your actual budget is before searching than to find out it is different after you have already been searching for awhile.

My guess is that you will get lots of recommendations from people on locations because of the great schools. This is good but sometimes restricting your search to one area could mean a long wait for a house to show up within your price point or other criteria. Instead I suggest looking at everything within a reasonable distance to your places of business, picking out some choice properties, and then researching the schools those properties are attached to. I find this method works better and is also a good way to find out more about neighborhoods.

Good luck to you. Let me know if I can help in any way.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 12, 2012
Hi Polly,

Congratulations on your choice to find a great home in Santa Clara County. Although I'd love to help you, I am currently working with several active and repeat buyers and can't take any new clients on at this time.

But, I'd like to throw in my endorsement for:

Steve Ornellas - I've known Steve since I joined Trulia in March, 2010. He's a great broker, smart, savvy, good negotiator. I think he's really on the mark when it comes to judging home values and locations. He's also just an all around good guy with great ethics. So, if you need a recommendation, he's a good starting guy.

Terri Vellios - I've never spoken with Terri personally, but I know of her work from other transactions and also from her answers here on Trulia.com. She's a great agent with a lot of knowledge of the South Bay. She's an excellent Realtor and a good choice if you're interviewing agents.

Allyson Alessandrini - Allyson is also a savvy, excellent agent. Her areas of expertise include the south bay and south bay housing. She's also had a good deal of work in new housing, and, from her Trulia answers, I like how she thinks.

Charles Butterfield - Charles did not answer your question this time, but you'll find him to be extremely knowledgeable and very good at finding homes in the Santa Clara County. I've known about Charles for years and he has made Santa Clara County his "stomping ground" of choice. Charles is also an excellent choice.

If you're thinking of a home in the northern part of Santa Clara or San Mateo County, then I would wholeheartedly endorse my pal, Flavio Tejada. Not only is Flavio a broker with lots of time spent in San Mateo County, he is also--like me--a discount broker and he will provide you with a sizeable rebate (as much as, for example $11,000 on a $750,000 home with 3 percent going to the buyer's agent) when you close escrow.

So there you have it...FIVE excellent agents from which to choose. Good luck and happy house hunting!

Grace Morioka
Allison James Estates & Homes
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 12, 2012
Hi Polly,

Welcome to the Bay Area. I would also like to work with you and your husband to find your new home. As far as your post, let me dissect/comment on each of your needs and questions (upfront apology on the length; but nonetheless, you and your husband are taking a very important step that deserves a detailed response):

>"...we are currently looking for a good realtor."

I would advise you meet with at least three Realtors®; however, you should keep interviewing until you are satisfied you have found the right Realtor®; there's no reason to rush your decision. Access each Realtor's® Trulia profile for those that interest you and read a few Client testimonials; and don't be shy about asking for contact info of prior Clients! Here are some links you may find quite useful as you move forward in identifying a Realtor® that meets your representation needs:

CA Dept. of Real Estate licensees are NOT bound to a Code of Ethics; only Realtors® take that oath. The one page version can be viewed here: http://docs.Steven-Anthony.com/RealtorCOE.pdf

You can check to make sure an Agent is a Realtor® by going here: http://www.realtor.org/rofindrealtor.nsf/pages/FS_FREALTOR?O…

You can check the status of a DRE Licensee and their Broker (and past violations) here: http://www2.dre.ca.gov/PublicASP/pplinfo.asp

You can check for Desist and Refrain Orders, and Unlicensed Activities here: http://secure.dre.ca.gov/publicasp/unlicenseddnr.asp

While not required to receive excellent representation, consider searching for a Realtor® who is also an Accredited Buyers Representative here: http://www.rebac.net/MembershipDirectorySearch.aspx

>"I work in North San Jose and husband works in Palo alto. Loc should be within reasonable distance."

The operative phrase here is "reasonable distance"; you and your husband may have different definitions so you can save some time and effort by nailing down an area that meets this need. Also, you might consider adding "reasonable commute time" (which can be estimated via Google's mapping feature).

>“We are new to the bay area looking to find a house in a good elementary school district.”

As far as vetting schools I suggest you take a peek at http://www.SchoolAndHousing.com Based on property address, this site provides attendance area schools (Public, Private and Daycares) along with useful statistics and other information about each school. Before making an offer you should call the School District to CONFIRM the schools the property will feed to!

In addition to Schools, many of my clients also want to know how good an area is. I would recommend you use http://www.crimereports.com as Realtors® typically do not comment on "crime & safety" due to Federal/State anti-steering law exposure. Once you enter an address go to the "Incident Layers" tab to select what type of information is important to you. Next, choose the duration of time you want to look at under "Date Range" (now limited to a 6-month view).

If the area you are looking in is not covered by crimereports.com try these alternate sites:

>"Willing to compromise on square footage for a good location."

Depending on how you define your commute criteria/needs, this could increase the number of areas to consider, and thus, possibly getting more home for your money AND a good location!

>"We currently have a budget of 750K with 20 % down and an excellent credit history."
>"Haven't taken pre-approval yet since we don't know how much time it is going to take us to find the perfect home."

Congratulations on collecting a 20% down payment. As a former Mortgage Broker/Banker, in my opinion, it is a mistake to first focus on finding a property instead of being 100% sure what you can conservatively accomplish financially. For example, while you currently have a budget of $750K I assume if interest rates changed and allowed you to look at $760K homes with the same payment you would be open to this, right?

When it comes to "financial vetting" there are different levels of quality as detailed here: http://www.Steven-Anthony.com/GettingStarted In regards to where I would suggest you obtain your "True Pre-Approval": While there are occasional exceptions in service level, I would recommend avoiding the Retail banks (Wells, BofA, Chase, etc.) for your True Pre-Approval.
Here's why: "Retail Banks vs. Mortgage Broker/Bankers" http://tinyurl.com/6qln6nd
If you would like a referral for a professional Mortgage Broker/Banker feel free to contact me via email.

>"We are ready to wait for the right home."
100% agree! That's a financially healthy attitude; and in fact, the supply of "on market" homes in many areas are well below current demand with some areas having less than one month supply.

Best Regards, Steve
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 12, 2012
Hello Polly,

I have been assisting relocation clients over 15 years. Your preapproval will be good for 90 days and its easy to extend an approval by only submitting a few documents if you have not closed on a home by then. I can also refer you to a lender that can explain the loan process to you. I also suggest meeting and discussing the real estate market, your wants and needs regarding the good school ratings etc.

If you are interested in discussing your future home purchase please contact me.

Stephanie Wedge
Intero Real Estate
Top 1% Realtors Nationwide

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 12, 2012
Hi Polly,

It is always good to get a pre-approval in advance and I can help you. I do not charge a dime for this service. Everything can be done on-line. No waiting in lines no driving in traffic. Click on link below and apply (Short Form).

Why get pre-approval?

1) Realtor and you will feel confident that you would qualify for X amount of dollars.
2) In case there are some errors on the report, I will ehlp you to correct the same and thus save tons.

NMLS 327086
Web Reference: http://onewallstreet.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 12, 2012

I invite you to contact me so that we can meet in my office. I have a 80 page book I go over with potential clients which they get to keep, it will give you an over view of what to expect. We get to know each other to see if it is a good fit. I'll ask you a lot of questions you may not have considered and then we mutually decide if we want to work together.

Have an an amazing day.
Web Reference: http://www.terrivellios.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 12, 2012
As you can see there are quite a few of us agents here. It might be best for you to look over our profiles and contact the agents you feel you could work with. Please include me in your search, I have extensive experience working with buyers and getting them the home they want.
At your service,
Certified Distressed Property Expert
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 12, 2012
Absolutely. Let me know if you have some time to meet in my office. I can give you a good overview of the current market & what you can expect within your budget. Would like to keep expectations real.

Please let me know a time that's convenient for you & we can take it from there. No pressure. If you like what you hear from me & you think I am worthy of your business, we can move forward.

I look forward to hearing from you.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 11, 2012
Polly here are the Elementary School scores in the South Bay Area http://bayareaconnect.com/school-search/

That is my blog on real estate in the bay area with monthly market reports of how homes are selling in the surrounding area, new listing photos, interest rate updates and more.

Please give me a call at (408) 840-3852 or Thomas.Feng@gmail.com to see how I can help you get into your dream home.
Web Reference: http://BayAreaConnect.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 11, 2012
I would love to help you find your dream home Polly. To provide effective help we need to meet, discuss your goals, and review how to best achieve what is most important to you.

Until I know more, I can't really recommend a home. However if you think you might want to try to live in Palo Alto take a look at 1104 Trinity Ln, Palo Alto.

Best wishes,

Juliana Lee MBA LLB

Top 3 agent nationwide at Keller Williams Realty
Over 20 years experience
Over 1,000 home sales completed in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.
Web Reference: http://julianalee.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 11, 2012
Hi Polly

Call (408-316-0793) or email (rpablaza@comcast.net) me so we can tak about how I will help you find a home wirhin your search criteria.

I am very experienced.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 11, 2012
Call me at 650.714.4784 and let's discuss your options.
Web Reference: http://talisrealestate.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 11, 2012
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