Home Buying in Pasadena>Question Details

SHL, Home Buyer in Pasadena, CA

I am a first time home buyer with good credit score. I need help. Thank you.

Asked by SHL, Pasadena, CA Sun Nov 2, 2008

I am a first time buyer interested in buying a house in Sierra Madre or Monrovia, CA. I don’t have any debt and my car will be paid off in June 09. I checked my credit score a year ago and it was around 760. My questions are:

1. Like other home buyers I searched for houses online and found a house. I went to the open house hosted by Prudential and I liked the house very much. Could you please recommend a good, responsible agent that is willing to help me negotiate the price down?
2. I’ve heard about upfront mortgage brokers and lenders, who disclose all their costs and fees beforehand. Is it a good idea to go through them? If I already have good credit, should I just go through a direct lender such as Wells Fargo or Bank of America instead of a broker? I would appreciate any advice.
3. Which fees and costs are negotiable with my agent and lender? I’ve heard that some are willing to give rebates. Would these people provide less services or hidden fees?

Help the community by answering this question:


Thank you guys for all your answers. I really appreciate it!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 15, 2008
Eunice, 439 Highland in Monrovia was sold in June of 2003 for $375,000. The LA tax assessor lists this property as 1 bedroom and 2 baths. The current sellers could have legally converted the walkway, but you or your agent will need to request to see copies of "signed off" city permits to confirm.

The assessor lists this property as having 845 sq. ft. The recent sold homes in the 1/2 a mile radius of this home have averaged $413/sq. ft. This home is listed at $439. It's not unusual for smaller homes to run a little higher than average for price per sq. ft. Although, the average sold price per sq. ft. for Monrovia, overall, has been running around $350.

I strongly recommend that you hire a professional and experienced real estate agent to represent you in this transaction. Trying to buy a house with suggestions over the net is a risky situation. Monrovia market report is attached for your information in the link below.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 4, 2008
Everything is always negotiable. You should have a buyer broker than can assist you in getting the information and making an offer based on what todays values are. in most cases you can negotiate with a buyer broker so that it does not costs you jmanything out of pocket as the buyer agent gets paid at closing from the listing broker the fee offered in MLs. This way you have someone looking out for you. good luck with your purchase.
Web Reference: http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 4, 2008
Thanks for the input. Now, I would like to know more details (other than those already listed) about this property: http://sgv.yahoo.prucalonline.com/details/photos.aspx?vip=Cl… Any honest opinions/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also, is this property priced correctly?

I have been to this house and it seems that there is only 1 bedroom. But in the description Prudential said there are 2 bedrooms. As far as I know they actually converted the walkway/room between the living room and the master bedroom to an additional room, which means you have to walk through that additional room to the master bedroom (please refer to photo 7 and 10 on the listing). The bed with red blanket in Photo 7 is a master bedroom and the black blanket in Photo 10 is the additional room. You can see the master bedroom from the additional room.

There is no back yard; instead there is a steep hill at the back of the house. Also, the house is located at the end of a T-junction (please refer "street view" from Google Maps).

Correct me if I am wrong. Thank you so much!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 4, 2008
1. I would be more than happy to represent you. I have been working the Pasadena area for some time now. I will run some comps for you to determine the best price for the property. Condition and location are sometimes used to negotiate a lower price.

2. Using a mortgage broker gives you more programs to choose from. Also, just because you have good credit does not mean you will qualify. The amount of your down payment and income will also play a factor.

3. Real estate agents may provide rebates whereas lenders do not. I can recommend a mortgage broker that will work with you to educate you on what is available.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Gary Gukassian
Beverly Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 3, 2008
Let me know if I can help! You usually do not pay a commission when you are buying a home; the seller will take care of that. You need a full-sevice, full-time Realtor to help you negotiate the best price & terms for a home. I can also recommend a mortgage broker that can explain all the products out there to get the best loan for you. Sounds like you are in good shape so far!
Eileen Lanza
Keller Williams
Los Angeles
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 3, 2008
Hi Eunice,

You have been doing your homework!

To address your questions:

1. There are a lot of excellent real estate agents working in Pasadena. You can do a couple of things. First, ask your friends and family for a recommendation - if they had a great experience with an agent most likely, you will too. Also, use the power of internet to learn more about the agent, or just google pasadena real estate agents, see who comes up and explore their sites. Also, interview your potential agent candidates to ask them about their experience, how they work with consumers, what their specialty is - residential, income, first time buyer, etc. See who you feel more comfortable with.
2. The best way to get a loan is to go through a referral from the agent that you pick. Real estate agents have established relationships with credible and reliable lenders and mortgage brokers. For example, I have a list of several lenders/mortgage brokers that have consistently provided great rates and service to my customers. Most importantly, there were no surprises or last minute changes. That's critical, especially, in today's real estate market.
3. As a buyer, you are in a great position. The seller will pay commissions for you. As far as rebates are concerned, you might be able to find an agent that will give part of their commission back, but if they're willing to give you a portion of their salary, I'm not sure that they would be the ones to negotiate on your behalf. An experienced, full service real estate agent, will not consider that.

Hope this answered your questions. I am putting a link to my website below and it has a lot more information and articles about buying a home in Pasadena and surrounding cities like Sierra Madre and Monrovia. Also there are posts about how to find a great agent.

Good luck,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 2, 2008
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