What are some tips for first-time home buyers?

Asked by Trulia, San Francisco, CA Sun Mar 4, 2012

Can you share some of your top advice or tips for home buyers?

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Crystal Shep…, Agent, Santa Clarita, CA
Mon Mar 5, 2012
In my humble opinion, the first step is always to speak to a lender. Confirm that you (1) qualify to buy with current lending guidelines and (2) that you have selected the right price range to search in.

When you are pre-qualified with a lender, you're ready to begin your home search. Many people try web-based searches before contacting a real estate professional, but the information online is rarely up to date, and many homes that you research there are in fact already in escrow or sold. So it's best to make your second step the identification of a seasoned, full-time realtor who specializes in buyer representation in this area and has real-time access to current listings that meet your criteria. You'll need professional guidance when dealing with the current market climate, as short sales and foreclosures dominate real estate in virtually every market in the US. An agent who knows how to manage these types of transactions will save you time, money and heartache.

So some helpful hints:

1. Be realistic about your price range and the home that fits in your budget. If you're considering a fixer, be sure that you have the time and resources to make that fixer house into your home.

2. Research additional expenses associated with your purchase, beyond the mortgage, i.e. do the taxes in a certain neighborhood include special assessments, or are there HOA fees?

3. If you have children, identify their prospective school(s) of attendance and research test scores.

4. Always choose a local real estate expert to assist you in your search and investigations.

5. Don't ever feel pressured by any party when searching for a home. Take your time and trust your instincts.

If you're searching in the Santa Clarita Valley, I would recommend calling Mike Meena at Augusta Financial to discuss your pre-qualification...661-260-2970. He's a local direct lender who can get you on the right track, and his programs can't be beat. When you're pre-approved and ready to jump in the car to see some of the great homes (and great deals!) that our valley has to offer, be sure to give us a call. Our brokerage offers 100% service with 0% pressure, and first-time buyers are our specialty.

Happy House Hunting!
Crystal Sheppard, Broker
Sheppard Properties
1 vote
Carol Perdew, Agent, Manteca, CA
Mon Mar 5, 2012

For most of us, buying a home is the biggest single investment we’re likely to make – and we’re only likely to do it maybe once or twice in a lifetime. The process is, by nature, filled with checks and balances – and many complex details. Traditionally, agents were legally obligated to protect the interests of the home seller. More homebuyers are choosing to have their own real estate agent, known as a buyer's agent, to legally represent them.

A buyer’s agent represents you, the buyer, not the seller, and has full fiduciary duties, including loyalty to you. By definition, the buyer’s agent has your best interests in mind throughout the transaction. The benefit of buyer representation is the dedication of a buyer’s agent to the home buyer. The buyer’s agent and homebuyer establish a mutual agreement, known as a buyer agency agreement that will entitle the homebuyer to, but is not limited by:

Loyalty - The real estate agent must act in the best interest of the buyer.

Confidentiality - Any discussions, facts, or information that should not be revealed to others but does not include responsibility of fairness and honesty in dealings with all parties.

Reasonable Skill and Care - Arriving at a reasonable purchase price and advising the buyer of such, affirmatively discovering material facts and disclosing them to the buyer, investigating the material facts related to the sale. With a buyer agency, the interests of the homebuyer will be represented in the purchase of the home.

Carol Perdew
Prudential California Realty
(209) 239-7979
DRE 985176
0 votes
Felicia Grady, Agent, Santa Clarita, CA
Sun Mar 4, 2012
Congratulations on jumping in when the market conditions are favorable! Great prices and historic interest rates are the buyer's "friends." :-) Tony is correct -- first, you choose a Realtor; and second, get pre-qualified for financing. As to the Realtor, be sure he or she has plenty of years of full-time, local experience (I have over 20 years), and that after talking with them, that you have a good gut feeling that they understand your needs and are a good personality fit for you. It also helps if the Realtor is a member of one or more of the local networking groups in the area as well, because they can give you information on homes not yet on the market. The Realtor will be able to refer you to a knowledgeable lender who can explain the various financing options and help you get the loan that will be the best for you. Now, armed with that information, your Realtor can guide you to the homes that will fit your needs and your financing. Here's a tip for comparing lender rates: get the companies' various quotes on the same day. This is because rates can change quickly and same-day comparisons will allow you to compare "apples to apples." There are some other first-time buyer tips I'll be happy to share with you -- please feel free to contact me. Thank you.
0 votes
Tony Lewis, Agent, Valencia, CA
Sun Mar 4, 2012
First time buyers are really buyers that need to learn and understand the buying process. The first step is to find a Realtor that you feel comfortable with and is professional. You should always work with a Realtor that knows the community and has the much needed experience to walk you through the entire process. Next is to settle on a lender and again knowledge and experience is a major advantage to you. All buyers will need to learn the new changes in the buying process as the foreclosure and short sales are dominating the current market. Call, text or email with any specific questions or concerns or to have a referral to a lender or Realtor in another community. I work and know the Valencia, Stevenson Ranch, Saugus, Newhall, Castaic, Canyon Country & Santa Clarita, California communities. I bring 32 years of local knowledge and a strong commitment to my client's success!
Web Reference:  http://www.TonyLewis.com
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Home Buying in Santa Clarita Zip Codes

Email me when…

Learn more