Dan, Home Buyer in San Diego, CA

I am out of the area for the next couple months. What are the first steps I can take before I return to begin the buying process?

Asked by Dan, San Diego, CA Tue Jun 26, 2012

Help the community by answering this question:


Stay in contact with a realtor and do not let up on your search so that you can keep your finger on the pulse of the market.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 14, 2014
Get pre-approved as soon as you can so you and the realtor know what you can afford. We are not-for-profit financial institution and have offices in San Diego for that person touch you need when buying a home.

Hope this helps.


Kinecta Federal Credit Union
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2012

I completely disagree with the other comments.....

OK, just kidding as the comments below from my fellow Realtors is completely correct. I have a PDF flyer I could send you that better explains the buying process in case you'd like a copy.

Besides getting your ducks in a row with financing, I would also start educating yourself about the various neighborhoods and what you can buy for your money in each. On my website I have a free search tool that you are welcome to check out.

Go to http://www.GreaterGoodRealty.com and click on the Orange Bar below the photos. Once you set up your search criteria you will start to receive daily updates whenever a new listing hits the market. So, it's a nice way to let the info come to you verse having to check each day.

By the way, I am the co-founder of Greater Good Realty. In addition to providing valuable information about the San Diego real estate market, my company donates 10% of our commissions to local charities and non-profit organizations throughout San Diego.

We hope to make a difference for those in our neighborhoods!

Good luck on your search.

David Stone
Greater Good Realty
Cell: 619-206-1551

CA DRE#01888818
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 27, 2012
Hi Dan:

There's certainly a right way and a wrong way to go about buying a home. In my opinion, financially vetting yourself before you expend any other investment in time is definitely the first step!

As such, be aware "financial vetting" has different levels of quality. For example, there are key differences between a "Pre-Qualification", "Pre-Approval" and what I call a "True Pre-Approval" as described 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 for your True Pre-Approval.

Here's why: "Retail Banks vs. Mortgage Broker/Bankers"

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 27, 2012
Thanks Dan, I'm glad you found it informative.
Flag Wed Jun 27, 2012
Good link, helpful article on pre-qualification vs pre-approval.
Flag Wed Jun 27, 2012
I agree with the others who have responded. You should get your pre-approval completed first. It's hard to go house shopping when you don't know what your budget is going to be!

That said, there is no harm in learning about neighborhoods, driving around, attending open houses, etc - these are all great ways to figure out where you want to live in San Diego.

Once you have a budget with a lender, you can then get more serious about specific homes.

Please let em know how I can assist you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 27, 2012
Hello Dan~

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I agree with the agents who have been so kind to share their advice. Getting Pre-Approved upfront and well in advance, allows you to get a financial snapshot of what the costs are in purchasing a Home. By determining what the down payment and closing costs will be for the different loan products, you will then know where your comfort zone is. It's also good to have a professional look at your credit report months in advance, in case any errors are are your credit report, or if any boo-boos need to be cleaned up! The better your score and your debt to income ratio is, the better your rate and terms will be.

I reccommend finding an agent that you feel comfortable with upfront as well. By working with a team of professionals, you will sail through the process much smoother. There are always going to be some choppy waters, but a good captain will show you the ropes and keep the ship from capsizing!

Once I know your desired price range and discuss your wants and needs in a home, I will set up a customized search for you that has interactive communication tools, which are great when you are out of area. As you "save your favorites and possibilities", I can add additional notes to those listings, that will provide you with more information.

Working with an agent will save you so much time and provide you up to the minute data on houses directly from the MLS. Home Buyers searching on their own, usually have to sift through listings that have been off the market for months, and drains valuable time from your schedule...who needs that? I would like to interview for the postion of being your agent, and determine if we are a good fit. It is good to talk to a few and make a genuine connection with someone!

Good Luck Dan~

Chris Gorno
Windermere Real Estate SoCAL
Web Reference: http://www.ChrisGorno.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 27, 2012
Stepping in as the lender here:

If you have been out of the market for a while, be prepared to over document your loan file.

You will need to provide:

-previous 2 years complete federal tax returns (all schedules, complete)
-previous years W2s
-current paycheck stubs reflecting past 30 days employment
-current savings and checking statements (all pages no internet snapshots)
-letters of explanation on all inquiries in the past 6 months
-letters of explanation on derogatory credit, if any

Keep all this in a file. When you are ready to go, the only items needing updating would be bank statements and paychecks.

Happy House Hunting!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 27, 2012
Hi Dan,

The best thing to do is talk to a few lenders to see what loan program will best fit you, and to know how much you can pay. Then you can hone in on the properties you can buy while you search online. An agent can also send you listings in your criteria, and you can go through those. Listings from the MLS are current, and you know what the status of the listings are when you get them.

You can meet with Realtors when you return. For both, you can start email or phone conversations, while you're out of town. One lender red flags - they're happy to TELL you how fast and easy things will go, but reluctant to back it up in writing. I interview all my buyer's prospective lenders and ask tough questions. The Realtor can also give you some lenders to talk to that they have experience with and trust to close escrow. And, your Realtor SHOULD be involved. You can't be expected to follow every deadline in a complicated contract and expect to know every single thing that should have happened by that day.

Go for a full pre-approval with the lender you choose- full documentation. This reduces greatly the chances of unwanted surprises in escrow, AFTER you've paid out-of-pocket for an appraisal and inspection, and often HOA documents if you buy a property with an HOA.

If I can answer any further questions for you, don't hesitate to contact me.

Warm Regards,

Cory La Scala, REALTOR
Independence Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 27, 2012
Use a local lender that your Realtor trusts the most and have your application meetings face to face so you can review and ask questions. Get pre-approved, then pull an updated credit report when you get back. This will allow you time to fix any issues that may need attention. Good luck,

Jim Simms
NMLS # 6395
Financing Kentucky One Home at a Time
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 27, 2012
Hi Dan,

Yes, getting pre-approved by a reputable lender is always the first and best place to start. Once you've launched the pre-approval process, I can start sending you listings in your area(s) of interest to help you get up to speed and then track the market until you're ready to start touring properties. The more informed you are about your area of interest and the market in general, the better decisions you will make when it comes time to make an offer. I have a fabulous lender, and a stable of other trade professionals that I have collected during my 20+ years representing home buyers. I'm happy to share their contact info with you. Let me know how I may be of turther assistance.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 27, 2012
As others have said the first step is to get preapproved by a lender. This will determine what kind of loan will work best for you and also establish the price of the home we will be looking for.
After that is determined then I can set up a custom search that will keep both of us informed of homes that are on the market that meet your needs. When you return we can visit the homes and make the offer. I will walk you through every step of the way.
This is a link to lenders that I work with on a regular basis. They are very good and easy to work with.

I am never too busy for your referrals

Jerry Heard
Your Broker
The San Diego Property Shop
Direct 619-920-9796
Office 619-269-5545
Fax 619-269-9168
CA DRE # 00648687
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 27, 2012

The first step is to get pre-approved by a lender. Then you email a Realtor that you are comfortable

working with and they will in turn start sending you properties in your price range, style and area that

you chose. This is critical because when you start looking at homes with a Realtor and want to move

forward with an offer you will be positioned to get accepted. In certain zip codes and properties around

San Diego there can be multiple offers out on the property and you need to utilize every leveraging

aspect you can to get your offer accepted.

I hope this helps Dan.

Feel free to contact me with any other concerns or questions.

David R. Indermill
Re/Max Hall Of Fame
Re/Max Associates La Jolla
Cell 858-414-5478
Email david@sandiegohomestore.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 27, 2012
You need to be pre-qualified by a good lender that you can trust. I have that lender. You also need a letter of approval with loan amount to start looking for a home. I also need your criteria for a home and then I can send you by email many homes with pictures for you to pick from. Do you know the area you want? I will also need your email address. Thanks Dana & Eva
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 27, 2012

You need to gather the following items to give to a lender:
1. Tax returns for 2011 and 2010
2. 2 months of bank statements
3. 30 days of pay stubs
4. Driver License + social security card.

Once the lender approves you, we start looking at homes.

Hector R. Gastelum
Realty Executives Dillon
REALTOR #01382940
(619) 954-2225
efax (619) 270-2516
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 26, 2012
Hi Dan,

Your first step is to speak to a lender, if you are seeking a loan, to see what you qualify for and to determine what type of loan you will be looking for. I will be glad to help you out and start a search for you. Please give me a call or send me an email and we can talk futher. I live and work in the Del Cerro/Allied Gardens/San Carlos areas and would love to help you out. I work all over San Diego so if you are interested in other areas as well not a problem.

Quality First Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 26, 2012
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer