You are choosing to enter the market at a very exciting, yet challenging time. While prices are rising, interest rates have remained at record lows in addition to housing inventory. With all these factors in play, it is vital to work with an agent who will inform your family of the newest listings of interest in a timely manner. The reason is that there is an excess of buyers and a minimal amount of homes on the market, so competition is intense. You will also want an agent who knows the market you are interested in moving to, as properties are going for or above market value. If your agent is unsure of a home's value, it is hard to recommend an offer that works for the buyer and gets approval from the seller.
The loan market is also pretty strict in its guidelines, so it is imortant to choose an experienced and detailed loan agent who considers the whole loan file before providing an approval letter. A good place to find lenders is through your realtor, as they have a list ot trusted lenders who have completed previous loan files for their clients in a way that was pleasing to the realtor and his/her client. You will always want to speak to at least 2 or 3 of these preferred lenders so you can shop for the best combination of fees and interest rate.
Finally, it is important to have your realtor provide you with an online resource for searching property. When looking for a home, your realtor is a valuable team member, but you are the best judge of which homes best suit your needs. A realtor can follow your criteria and send you all applicable listings. However, you may want to go outside the box to supplement the offerings, and using a current and easy-to-use website makes that search easier.
One benefit of the site that I provide to buyers is that it gives access to every listing in Southern California, including the Valley to the north of Santa Clarita, called the Antelope Valley. A number of people who consider Santa Clarita end up in Antelope Valley if their top end price criteria is $250,000 or less. The Antelope Valley has their own listing service, so you have to use a site that gives access to both the Antelope Valley and the rest of Southern California.
Should you have any additional question on the process of home buying or financing, please feel free to give me a call. I wish your family the best of luck.
"Finding You The Home Of Your Dreams With A Payment That Won't Keep You Up At Night"