Before looking into houses, who do you talk to for general advice and other questions. WIthout necessarily going to a realtor.

Asked by Boakes1, Chula Vista, CA Wed Jun 20, 2012

Young couple, "unmarried", looking to buy first house/condo, one has good credit/one is high risk, budget is 110k

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Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Thu Jun 21, 2012
Realtors are pretty knowledgable about Car Repair and Macrame:

If you want to be advised about Real Estate, I would recommend a Cardiologist.
1 vote
Roger Ma, Agent, Chula Vista, CA
Wed Jun 20, 2012
You talk to your cat. Or a Realtor. Your choice.
1 vote
Gerry Carril…, Agent, San Diego, CA
Wed Jun 27, 2012
The best advice I can give you is this, ask some of the people in your circle of trust (friends, family and co-workers) for a Realtor recommendation. Who have they worked with that is professional? Knowledgeable? Know the area you wish to purchase in? Is experienced (has been in the real estate industry at least 5-7 years)? Google that agents name. Do not go with the first agent that you speak with. Ask your friends why would they would recommend that agent? What is it that they liked? I hope this is helpful.

I am available by email, text or phone if you would like to ask more questions...without feeling pressured or committed.

Gerry Carrillo
0 votes
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Thu Jun 21, 2012
Again, that's great if that's the lifestyle you prefer. Some folks like that sense community.
0 votes
Kari Shea, Agent, San Diego, CA
Thu Jun 21, 2012
Hi John & The Potential Buyer,

Also a condo in various parts of San Diego County.

I show 54 condos available in SD County under $115,000


Mark & Kari Shea
0 votes
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Thu Jun 21, 2012
LOL!! Ron, Thumbs up for your brilliant sense of humor:)

Young couple, in all honesty I'd start out with something like a newer (10 to 15 years old) manufactured home in a resident owned development in a nice area of SD County. Your price point limits your options rather significantly.

A single family home at that price point isn't even available in the worst neighborhoods. If you're thinking condos or even town homes they've taken a real beating and I don't think anyone has the crystal ball that can predict when they'll come back. Additionally, you'll be sharing walls with people which I'm not particularly fond of albeit lot's of folks don't seem to mind it.

A late model MH in a resident owned "Family Community" is a plausible solution in that you would still own real estate, would have all the benefits therein and would have a little breathing room around you i.e. a yard, carport, maybe even a garage, a deck, patio and many other important creature features you wouldn't realize how much you missed in a condo environment.

Lastly, your budget is a very realistic and affordable fit for a MH. I'd be happy to show you some MH's anytime. Please feel free to call me at 760 815-6977 or email me at
0 votes
Marcie Sands, Agent, Poway, CA
Thu Jun 21, 2012

You realilze you are asking REALTORS this question :) I would suggest you consult a mortgage broker or direct lender to first identify what you will be qualified for or if there are other things you need to do to prepare yourself for home ownership. Consulting a REALTOR is a good idea as well as they can inform you on what to expect in the process and what you can get for the amount you are qualified for. It won't cost you anything to have a consultation or a phone conversation. Good Luck!

Kind Regards,

Marcie Sands, REALTOR
SImply The Best Real Estate Co., Inc.
0 votes
Kari Shea, Agent, San Diego, CA
Thu Jun 21, 2012

Here is what we can offer in plain and simple terms:

1. Talk to friend that have been first time home buyers in the past two years. The more recent the better.

2. Talk to some lenders, ask your friends for references. We suggest you talk to a national lender ( Wells Fargo, B of A or Chase) and a direct lender. They seem to be the best solution today as the whole process is done in house. If you e-mail us, we will send you a couple of names.

Best of luck,

Mark & Kari Shea
Shea Real Estate
Serving Greater San Diego
0 votes
Cindy Davis, Agent, San Diego, CA
Thu Jun 21, 2012
Why not go to a Realtor? A Realtor is the best source of advice you're going to experience! Talk to several! They will talk to you without charing you a nickel! They know the inventory, the neighborhoods and the lending environment. Who better?
0 votes
Maria Esparza, , Chula Vista, CA
Thu Jun 21, 2012
Hi Boakes1,
My advice to you is to talk to friends and family and get a referral to a knowledgeable Realtor that specializes in the area you want to buy in. After discussing your specific needs, a Realtor can refer you to the right lender. This is very important because banks are going thru many changes.. We work with many lenders and know who can get the job done. It does not cost you anything to speak to a Realtor. Buying a home is very challenging so you want to get the right answers to your questions. We are licenced thru the state of CA and some of us are certified in many areas. I have taught First time homebuyer classes and can answer all your questions. I would be happy to discuss your Real Estate needs and make a plan that meets your specific criteria.
Thank You
Maria Esparza
Coldwell Banker West
0 votes
Christopher…, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Thu Jun 21, 2012
Hi, The very first step is getting yourself pre approved for a mortgage. You will need to have a clear picture on what a bank is willing to lend you otherwise you are shooting in the dark. It's also important for you guys to discuss what is most important to you when purchasing. Make a list of must haves, wants, and things you can compromise on. Your expectations will help determine what you will be able to find in your price range. I think you should speak with an agent, this is what they do on a daily basis and can help you get focused so you enjoy the process.

Christopher Pagli
Accredited Buyer Representative
Licensed Associate Broker
William Raveis Legends Realty Group
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Thu Jun 21, 2012

When purchasing a home one of the most important pieces is understanding your own personal finances. This is why we always recommend that people in your situation audit their monthly budget accounting for all income and expendatures. This will help with the next important step in the process....

Consulting a lender(s) is the next important step before actually beginning your home search. It's essential to find out if you can qualify for a loan and what the best programs and rates are for your buying needs. With these two steps out of the way, you should have a clear appreciation of the purchase price you can target and eventually the locations in which you can consider.

Hope this information is helpful.

0 votes
Bill Hays, Agent, Cardiff, AL
Wed Jun 20, 2012
If you were thinking of buying a car, who would you talk to? Maybe a friend who recently purchased one. Colleagues at work. It seem like you are concerned about the pushy salesy side that comes with some agents. Go to some Open Houses and just check them out. The agent won't bite you (hopefully) and you might be able to talk to one or two or three that can help you with some of the advice you are looking for.

In the end, I would for sure find an agent that is referred to you by someone you trust. Don't just sign up with the local agent with the most bus stop bench ads or the most open house signs on the street corner. The slickest marketers don't necessarily make the best consumer advocates and/or advisors.

Good luck!

DRE CA 01775528
0 votes
Daniel Shi, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Wed Jun 20, 2012
Before even starting house hunt, I advise you:

-- First talk to a Loan Officer and get pre-qualified, and determine how much you can borrow? Down-payment amount? and your price range?
-- Start checking on neighborhoods: you may drive around and get a feel, see if you like it or whether it fits your life-style? Talk around with a few residents, and get some ideas from them; they may share pros & cons with you about the community.
-- Once you narrow down which communities or neighborhoods you want, then find a local Realtor that specialize in these areas, start your house search and visits, etc.

Daniel Shi
1.888.785.8818 ext.100
0 votes
Cory La Scala, Agent, San Diego, CA
Wed Jun 20, 2012
Asking advice and your preliminary questions to Realtors is the best way to find one you really like and trust. Ask the same questions to a few, and soon, you'll have narrowed down your choices for when you do need one. If you feel pressured by anyone, let them know. If you still feel pressured, let that one go and choose one of the other ones. A good one will be happy to guide you.

Warm Regards,

Cory La Scala, REALTOR
Independence Realty
0 votes
Sinead McAll…, Agent, Oceanside, CA
Wed Jun 20, 2012
Lol. What questions do you have? If you're looking to get your financing sorted out, you should talk with a lender. Contact me directly and I can refer a great one to you.
0 votes
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