Are you considering buying a home in the Thousand Oaks area, but feeling overwhelmed by the process? Look no further, I’m here to help!
Whether you’re a first time homebuyer, or you’ve bought and sold a dozen times, it can be hard to know WHERE to begin. That’s where I come in: As a residential Realtor specializing in the Thousand Oaks area, I’m here to guide you through the home-buying process.
Whether you’re a local or relocating from another town, state, or even country, the home-buying process can be daunting. That’s why I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the 10 key steps to purchasing a home in Thousand Oaks – and I’ll even reveal a secret step that many Realtors don’t mention, so be sure to stick around!
#1 BUYER CONSULTATION:
The first step towards finding your dream home is to get in touch with a Realtor. Don’t have one yet? No worries – simply shoot me an email and give me some background on your situation, including where you’re moving from and your timeline. From there, we’ll set up a Zoom call.
I’m a big proponent of video communication, so I like to start with a face-to-face Zoom call as our initial meeting. During this time, we’ll discuss your preferences and I’ll help narrow down the areas that would work best for you. If you’re a local resident of Thousand Oaks, we can even arrange an in-person meeting.
As part of our initial meeting, I will provide you with a copy of my comprehensive Buyers Guide, which includes important information to keep on hand throughout the homebuying process. Together, we’ll go over Step #2 to get you started on your journey towards finding your perfect home.
#2 GET PRE-APPROVED:
One of the most important first steps in the homebuying process is to get pre-approved. It’s essential to have this step completed before we start looking at homes in person, and even before browsing online. Without a pre-approval, it’s easy to get carried away and look at homes outside of your budget, which can be disappointing and discouraging in the long run.
To avoid this, I can connect you with some excellent lenders who will show you all of your options and help you determine what your mortgage payment will look like. Of course, if you have your own preferred lender, that’s great too! The most important thing is to get pre-approved before we begin the home search, so you can shop for homes with confidence and peace of mind.
#3 SEARCH FOR HOMES:
Once we have determined your pre-approval amount and comfortable mortgage payment, I will begin creating a personalized home search based on the criteria we discussed. You’ll receive daily alerts, along with me, whenever a home that fits your requirements hits the market. It’s important to communicate any likes or dislikes you have about the homes we view, so I can better understand your preferences.
Although it’s important to have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, I also like to cast a broad net during the search process. Sometimes, buyers may have a “dealbreaker” in mind, but when they view a particular home, it suddenly becomes a non-issue. Therefore, I keep an open mind and show you everything that fits within your price range, giving you the opportunity to explore and ultimately find the perfect home for you.
#4 EXPLORING HOMES:
This is where the excitement begins! If you are currently living out of town, I may suggest planning a weekend visit so we can tour the area and view some homes. While it can be difficult to truly grasp the essence of a locality through online research alone, I assure you that by embarking on a Conejo Valley tour with me, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the neighborhoods you prefer and where you envision yourself living.
#5 MAKING AN OFFER, NEGOTIATING, & ACCEPTANCE:
When we finally discover your dream home, we’ll create a compelling offer that stands out! Even in a “buyer’s market,” homes in excellent condition and prime locations can receive numerous offers and sell for more than the asking price. I’ll work closely with you to devise a strategy that makes your offer irresistible to the seller. Typically, there will be some negotiations before both parties agree on the terms, and once your offer is accepted, we’ll initiate the escrow process.
As a side note, if you’re a first-time buyer who isn’t familiar with escrow, it’s a neutral third party that safeguards all funds until both the buyer and seller fulfill their contractual obligations. At that point, the funds are released to the seller, and the property’s title is transferred to you.
#6 INSPECTIONS (AND FURTHER NEGOTIATIONS):
During the 30-day escrow process, we’ll schedule inspections to ensure the property is in good condition. I suggest conducting a general inspection, termite inspection, sewer line inspection, pool inspection (if applicable), and possibly a chimney inspection. As the buyer, you’ll need to cover the costs of these inspections upfront, which typically total around $1000. If you don’t have your own inspectors, I can refer you to trusted professionals.
Once we receive the inspection reports, we’ll review them carefully and determine the necessary repairs or credits based on the home’s condition. I’ll provide my recommendations on what we should ask for, but I highly recommend requesting repairs or credits only for issues that affect your health, safety, or the home’s systems. Any other issues are typical of purchasing a pre-owned property.
For instance, if there’s an issue that could potentially affect your health or safety, we’ll ask for repairs. If the problem falls under the home’s systems, such as the electrical or plumbing system, we’ll request a credit.
Before you close on the home, you will get the opportunity to do a final walkthrough to ensure the home is in the same condition it was when you made your offer, and to make sure that any agreed-upon repairs have been completed.
During the escrow period, your lender will order an appraisal of the home to ensure that it’s worth the amount you’re paying for it. You’ll need to cover the cost of the appraisal, but it will be handled through escrow, so you won’t have to pay for it upfront. The appraiser will evaluate the property and compare it to similar homes that have sold in the area over the past six months to determine its appraised value.
If the appraisal comes in higher than the purchase price, congratulations! You now have instant equity in your new home. However, if the appraisal comes in lower than the price you offered, there may be an opportunity to renegotiate the purchase price.
#8 YOUR LOAN FUNDS:
While I’m handling inspections, appraisals, and negotiations, your lender and escrow company will be diligently working on your loan. Once we receive notice that you’re clear to close, you’ll sign your final loan documents and receive your keys. However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that until your loan funds, the bank can (and probably will) conduct one final credit check, employment verification, and verification of funds.
It’s essential not to take any actions that could affect your credit, employment, or bank account until after the loan has closed. This means refraining from purchasing furniture or a car (unless you want to end up living in it), avoiding additional credit inquiries, refraining from changing jobs, and avoiding significant deposits or withdrawals from your bank account without first consulting your lender.
After your loan has closed, you’re free to do as you please, but until then, it’s best to remain patient and wait.
#9 PLANNING YOUR MOVE:
Whether you are doing a short local move, or you’re moving from across the country, I can provide you with recommendations for reliable moving companies based on positive feedback from my clients. In addition, make sure to transfer all utilities to your name starting on the possession date and update your address with all financial institutions and the post office to ensure a seamless transition.
#10 SETTLING IN TO YOUR NEW HOME:
As you begin to make your new home truly yours, remember that I am always here to help. Whether you need to find a reliable plumber, painter, or handyman, simply give me a call and I’ll be happy to assist you. As your Realtor for Life, my commitment to you extends beyond the transaction closing. Don’t hesitate to reach out whenever you need anything – I’m here to support you every step of the way.
BE SURE TO READ MY NEXT BLOG
If you need to sell your current home before purchasing a new home, be sure to read my blog: “Selling your home in Thousand Oaks? 5 steps to prepare!”
If you’re considering purchasing a home in the Thousand Oaks area, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me to begin the process. Whether your home search is a quick or a lengthy one, know that I’m here to support you every step of the way. As your ally and guide through the homebuying journey, my priority is to ensure that you feel confident and informed throughout the process. So, take your time and rest assured that I’m not in a rush to close a transaction with you.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Aviara Real Estate