home buying

5 Mistakes Home Buyers Make

Home buying is a complicated process. You must consider your budget, budgeting tips, home buyer requirements, lender requirements, and many other things. There are many ways to approach buying your next home. In fact, there are so many factors that you need to consider in making your decision. Below are some of the main aspects that you need to take into account when buying a home.

home buying

How to Buy a Home: One of the most important parts of any successful home-buying process is planning. Before you even start on the actual home buying process, you need to plan your first steps. This is an essential part of the process. The Plan Before You Buy can determine your success and the outcome of your home-buying experience. When looking at different home plans, be sure to evaluate each plan on the basis of factors such as: home size, location, square footage, neighborhood, budget, and other details that may make a huge difference to your home’s success. Also, if you find out how much the home will cost at closing, it will help you in your decision-making process.

How to Price Your Home: It’s important to know the final price of the house before you make any commitments. If the final price of the house is far higher than what you can afford, then you might end up losing a lot of money in the transaction. Also, the real estate agent will also have an influence in determining the price of the property you’re interested to buy. You must understand that you’re also responsible in determining the price of your home. By doing this, you can avoid paying more than you can afford, thus minimizing the amount you will spend in the transaction.

Where to Buy a Home: Home buyers always need to think where they should buy their next home. The location of the new home will largely depend on your financial capability and your preference. If you are willing to compromise, there are several locations that you can choose from. You can live in a different part of the city or state if you prefer or you could choose from a different neighborhood if you prefer. However, do take into consideration the size of the neighborhood you choose. and the proximity of schools, hospitals, grocery stores, shopping centers, etc.

How to Fix Up your Home After Buying: One of the most important aspects of home buying is the condition of your home after you’ve made a deal. Make sure that your new home is in its best condition and that all parts are working properly. In case there are any problems with your home after purchase, make sure to fix them before you sign the contract. Also, if you would like to have a warranty on your home, it is best to have it included in the contract. In case you don’t have a warranty, consider getting one. This way, if there are problems, you won’t have to pay for repairing it after you sell it. Also, if there is a defect, you will be able to claim it from your insurance company.

Home Inspections: Home Inspections will determine the condition of the house you want to buy before you make any commitments. It’s important to ensure that there are no problems on the exterior and roof. Be sure to get a home inspection every six months. Be sure to bring with you all materials, tools, manuals, and information for your home inspection. Prior to your inspection, make sure you ask the professional for information and help. regarding what they have to check, what they found, and what it is the price range they’re talking about.

Financing a Loan: Loan Refinancing: Home buyers often get loans from banks to purchase their home. Once the deal is completed, the bank has the right to repossess the home. In order to prevent this from happening, home buyers typically refinance their home loans with a private lender who gives you an equity loan (which is equal to the difference between the price of your home now and the price of the home when you bought it). You can also get a home loan with a lower interest rate by having a better credit rating.

What Not To Do Before You Buy Your Next Home: Don’t buy your home without doing research on home buyers and their rates. Check out various lenders in your area and compare the different terms, interest rates, fees, and closing costs. Prior to making any final decisions, try to look at the different lenders in your area to see what they have to offer.

Finding a Realtor

How to Find the Right Realtor

The home selling process is often a lengthy one, and sellers need to ensure that they select the best agent to serve their interests. Choose a competitive price: Getting your house sold quickly is all about competitive pricing. A good realtor will not only make you competitively priced for your house, but they can help you negotiate a sale and close it quickly as well. Find a Realtor with experience in home sales and a proven track record

Finding a Realtor

If you have never had a home sold, it is important to use a Realtor who has a proven track record. A realtor who has sold homes before can guide you through the process and assist you in choosing a home. It is always beneficial to have a Realtor that understands what type of property is being sold. They will also understand the needs of sellers to make a quick sale.

Find a Realtor who specializes in either single family homes or commercial properties: Professional home builders are well versed in the buying and selling both homes and businesses. They are also familiar with zoning laws that vary from city to city.

Find a Realtor who has experience selling homes in your area: One of the keys to successfully selling your home is knowing how to market it. Find a Realtor who is familiar with the neighborhoods in which you live. By having knowledge of the neighborhood, they can offer a more tailored approach to selling your home.

Find a Realtor who offers free marketing assistance: Home sales are usually handled by different agents. However, finding the best agent will save time and energy. It may also cost more money. Realtors who offer free marketing services to their clients can save on marketing expenses as well. This includes advertising, design, marketing, and placement services.

Find a Realtor who understands the dynamics of the housing market: Real estate markets change so quickly that you need an experienced Realtor who can help you understand this dynamic. A Realtor that understands how the real estate markets operate can better predict future price trends. and be helpful in determining what the home will sell and what won’t. They can also advise you on the types of properties that will sell and those that will remain vacant.

Find a Realtor who can offer guidance and support: An experienced Realtor can offer advice and support when dealing with the lender. Find a Realtor who understands the complex financial issues of the lending institution. Real estate brokers often work with lenders on behalf of their clients. They can explain the complicated processes associated with financing and sell your house. A Realtor who understands the ins and outs of the real estate market will provide you with more detailed information about loan modification, mortgage modification, and refinancing options.

A professional Realtor can help you get the best financing terms: Find a Realtor that knows how to negotiate the best possible deal for you. Your financial future depends on how well you negotiate. Make sure you have an experienced Realtor negotiate your home loan.

Finding the right Realtor can save you money: If you are looking to sell your home quickly, then finding a Realtor can save you money. There are many Realtors out there who can help you save thousands of dollars. on your home mortgage. Find a Realtor who can get the best deal possible, not just the cheapest deal.

Find a Realtor who will provide you with referrals: Many Realtors offer referrals when you sell your home. Find a Realtor who provides referrals for other Realtors. This can save you valuable time and energy.

These are just a few tips on how to find the right Realtor. No matter how busy you are, finding the right Realtor can save you time and money.

Getting a Real Estate License

If you think you have a future in real estate business and want to obtain the proper credentials to maximize your potential, you need to know about certain vital concepts when it comes to getting a real estate license. For one, you should know that the requirements, the requirements for eligibility in obtaining a license in real estate, application process and the fees involved differ by state. On the other hand, you are obliged to get a pre-licensing education and pass the appropriate state exam in all states. The type of pre-licensing education, however, the number of hours to be completed as well as the passing scores of the exam required varies by state. So, before you take any courses on real estate make the time to learn the requirements set forth by your state.

In obtaining your pre-licensing education, ensure that you get to enroll in an accredited institution that is duly licensed by your state. If you had taken your real estate course in another state, you need to ascertain whether such a course will be accredited in the present state you are living in. If it’s not, you need to take proper measures to complete the required course before you are allowed to take the state exam.

After finishing your real estate course, you are now ready to file your application to obtain your license. You will have to know the fees and the process involved in the filing. Majority of the states have information on the expenses involved, the process as well as the forms on websites dedicated to your state’s government real estate.

You should know that most states subcontract the real estate exams to independent testing centers. Thus, it is vital that you verify the testing center provider in your place since states may alter their budgets which can mean change of testing provider.

After verifying your states’ testing center provider, ascertain the date of the exam and prepare for it. Since testing centers deliver and score exams differently, you should also ask them their methods of providing the test as well as their scoring system so that you can prepare for it.

Before you can obtain your real estate license, you will be required to pass a background check and be fingerprinted successfully. You will have to pay corresponding fees for the background check and fingerprinting, which depends on your state.

After getting your license, you should know that you will not be allowed to work independently for the first 2 or more years (depending on your state) of your real estate career. For the period as mentioned above, you are required by the state to work with a managing broker. A managing or sponsoring broker is someone who is licensed to manage the people working for his brokerage company. If you want to become one of the best (if not the best) real estate broker in your state, you should find a managing broker whom you think can bring you to places in your chosen career.

It is worthy to mention that many states require licensed real estate agents to obtain errors and omissions insurance to lessen the risks to the brokerage firms they represent against possible litigations. Some states, however, require this insurance from people who have applied for the license and are just awaiting its activation.


Bay Area Real Estate Trends in 2015

Knowing the trends in the real estate industry is important for those who want to keep up in the business or what to get into it. A real estate trend is generally characterized by a pattern or shift in the nuances of the real estate industry that will cause changes over the course of time. For instance, one of these trends could be an increase in mortgages as a result of a shift in a country or place’s economy. The Bay Area in San Francisco is particularly susceptible to these real estate trends, as it is the 43rd largest urban area in the world, with a population of around 7.44 million people.


Some of the bay area real estate trends that have occurred recently in the year 2015 are:

• An increase in the spending of home remodeling (November 12, 2015) – as a result of rising home prices, homeowners were spending more and more on kitchen and bathroom remodeling to increase their property values.

• Decrease in homeowners selling their houses without the help of a professional (November 11, 2015) – many homeowners discovered that the process of selling a property by themselves requires a lot of work and are thus turning to the help of real estate agents and companies. Though some argue that it’s cheaper to try to sell their properties by themselves, the majority have seen that the legwork and time required to pull off a solo sale is more than hiring a real estate company to handle things for them.

• A majority agreement by Americans that owning a home is a good decision (October 16, 2015) – most Americans agree that owning a home is a good financial decision because it allows them to build equity, choose the neighborhood they live in, and allows for a safe environment. There was reported an increase of the number of renters who considered buying their own homes (from 32% to 39%).

Home sales in the Bay Area could be stifled, despite the predicted increase for the rest of California (October 13, 2015) – because of the Bay Area’s limited supply of houses for sale on the market, experts have predicted that while the rest of California will see an increase of home sales and house availability, the Bay Area’s sales will drop.

• An increase in the demand for housing within the United States (August 20, 2015) – as more Millennials age and start their own lives, more and more are demanding extra housing. Experts predict that around 16 million additional households will be built by 2024.

More trends are expected to pop up as the New Year approaches, such as mortgage drops and an increase in the installation of gadgets within households. Experts are still trying to look at potential patterns and predict where markets will accordingly. California in particular, as one of the most populated states, will feel the effects of these real estate trends more than the other states. Thus, those living in the Bay Area and are into real estate should stay vigilant and regularly check for any changes in the trends.

Understanding the Importance of Staging your Home for Sale

If you are planning to relocate to another place soon and want to establish a new domicile there, you might also be embarking to sell your old home, fast. Unless you are just renting out your old place, you will definitely want to dispose your old house the soonest possible time so that you can start to focus on your new place of residence. If you want to sell your old home fast, it would be good advice to embark on staging your home for sale. Why do you need to stage your home for a quick sale? What is the difference between selling it as it is and staging it to be able to close a fast sale?

Staging your Home for Sale

If you are planning to relocate to another place, you cannot afford to delay the process of selling your old home so that you can start anew in your new domicile. That is why it is important that you will be able to sell your property at the soonest possible time. With the number of residential properties for sale in the market, it would be hard to dispose your property without doing anything that will give your house the edge over other available for sale properties. Hence, staging your home for sale is a must so that you can assure a quick sale for your property.

When you stage your house for a fast sale, you will be selling a lifestyle which potential buyers would definitely love to own. This means that as much as you are proud of your own style, it does not necessarily mean that you will set your home in such style to all potential buyers. This is actually the difference between staging a home and decorating it. When you are decorating a home, you are marking it with your own definite taste and style. Staging, on the other hand, is more on setting your home in a neutral ground that will cater to diverse tastes and styles of would-be buyers.

If you want to successfully stage your house for a quick sale, you need to fix your home in such a way that it will look fresh and gives off a warm-welcome-vibes to people. If you want to attract buyers asap, you should strive to create an atmosphere that lets potential buyers with varying taste feel that they can make it their own home if they buy the property. Most people would want a domicile that exudes warm welcome, structured, well-designed and serene. Thus, you should tailor your house in such fashion if you want to sell it quick but at your own asking price. Staging your home for sale means that you should ensure that your home should be free from clutter and is well-organized, even if it means disposing some of your furniture and accessories beforehand.

It also means that you need to set up your home from patio up to the bathroom in such a way that will entice people to explore the whole house. It also means that you need to repaint your patio, plant some blooming plants and flowers, clean the windows and clean all the clutter. You need to strike a balance between having your house look like it hasn’t been occupied yet to make it to a magazine’s cover.

Staging Your Bay Area Home for Sale

The process of selling homes in the Bay Area can be long and complicated. It is as competitive and as complex as the home-buying process itself. Luckily, there are ways to make your Bay Area home for sale endeavor succeed through home staging. Home staging is the term used by homeowners to refer to the process of getting their house ready for promotional purposes in the real estate marketplace. Technically, homeowners have the discretion on the design and how they would like their homes to look like. However, getting professional help may even give you a better and faster chance of getting Bay Area home for sale snapped up quickly. This is even extremely needed in Bay Area where buyers are crowding to get the best house possible. Home staging is important for three reasons: first impression, higher value, and a greater chance of selling.


It has been said that first impressions last. That is why in the real estate industry, it is believed that the greatest factor in getting your home sold is making the first right impression. The moment potential buyers see your house, more often than not, they have already formed a decision whether or not to buy the house. The rest of the offer will determine their final decision. But as Coldwell Banker Burnet Realty Representative Jan Van Horne said, a home should be presented at its best form the first time around to achieve the greatest possible outcome. Therefore, staging your home before presenting it to prospective buyers is important to present a good first impression.

The overall quality of your house will determine its value and price range. Obviously, you cannot price your house higher if it is not worth it, especially if its appearance does not justify the high price. However, if you have staged your home properly, making it look more organized, presentable, and eye-catching in a good way, then you may even price it at more than its true value. That is the intent of home staging.

It is a fact that the one who prepares more gets a higher chance of a positive outcome. Therefore, it is most likely that if you have prepared the physical look and quality of your house, you have the edge over someone who has just decided to sell his house and put up a signage to indicate that the house is for sale. As mentioned previously, the Bay Area home for sale industry is crazy enough that you should give everything you’ve got to attract as many buyers as possible and have a greater chance of selling against your competitors.

How much should you spend on home staging? Hiring a professional home stager is not an indispensable factor in home selling, but surely, you would like to be one step ahead of other homeowners who have put their houses for sale just like yours. So hiring a professional is your best option. The cost of the entire home staging process is relative. However, looking at the competition in the Bay Area, it would probably cost you higher compared to other areas. Other factors that will determine the home staging cost is the extent of the needed enhancement, the reputation of the home staging company, and the size and location of the house, among others. It is important to bear in mind that your expenses would be minimized if you do your own research first regarding the best home stager in town that you could talk to. You can ask for some referrals or consult your real estate agent for suggestions or a list of expert home staging companies. Additionally, before agreeing to a particular home stager, evaluate beforehand the possible price of your home. Of course, you would not like to spend more than what you will receive in return.

How can your agent help you? Your agent is the one who can assess how much the house will cost and sell. He should know how to connect you with prospective buyers. He should also know very well if your house needs a home staging service. If it does need one, then setting an ample amount to cover this service is a wise investment. He should calculate the entire cost of the house and secure that everything will be to your advantages. Lastly, before your property can be included in the Bay Area home for sale list, it should have a high quality — worthy enough to be one of the best houses in Bay Area.

How Home Inspections Work

Home inspections are the objective examination of the condition of the structure and systems of a home from its roof to its foundation. This is usually done in connection with the purchase of real estate. A home inspector, who is trained and qualified to carry out such checkups, does home inspections. After the procedure is done, the home inspector gives the client a detailed report or checklist of the findings. The client then uses the given report to create decisions about his/her potential purchase. People sometimes confuse home inspection with the term real estate appraisal. While a home inspection is a checkup of the condition of a house, a real estate appraisal is an assessment of the value of the house or any property.

Purchasing a house is one of the biggest investments a person can make. To avoid unexpected problems and difficulties, the client has to understand the systems of the newly built or existing house before purchasing it. The home inspector will help in determining the major repairs the client has to make. The inspector can also give some advice on how to maintain the house to keep it in top-notch shape. If the client is already a homeowner, then the inspector can help identify existing problems and suggest methods that might help the owner prevent costly future renovations. If someone wants to sell a house, then a home inspection can offer a person an opportunity to fix damages, which can place the house in a better selling price and condition.

Home inspectors differ in skills, ability, and experience, but a good one should be able to examine some elements of the house and can provide a detailed report showing his or her verdicts. The usual home inspection lasts for around two to three hours. The presence of the client is essential so that they can get a direct explanation of the findings and if needed, ask questions as well. Everything will also make much more sense if the client personally sees the inspector instead of depending on the photos and explanations in the report.

The detailed report given to the client must at least have the following notes:

Problems grouped into different categories ─ major and minor deficiencies, and safety issues
Things that need to be repaired or serviced and those that need replacement
Items that can still be used, but need to be regularly checked
Though it is very difficult for someone to list everything a home inspector can observe, the following are the elements that he usually examines.

Exterior part of the house: foundation, garage, exterior walls, grading and roof
Interior part of the house: bathrooms, laundry room, fire safety, water heater, kitchen appliances, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), electrical wiring and outlets and plumbing
The client has to keep in mind that the home inspector can’t examine everything that might cause damage because he only makes an assessment using visual cues. For example, a slanted floor might be a result of a cracked foundation. It is difficult to prove this by just looking at the floor. Unless the inspector can pull up the flooring of the house, and then he or she can’t assure the client if it’s really there. Additionally, home inspectors do not check for problems such as mold contamination, termite damage, engineering issues and other specialized problems.

Once the home inspector finished the report, the client will have different options to make. If the damages are too costly to repair, the client has the liberty to back out from the purchase, as long as the contract contains a home inspection contingency. The client can also ask the seller to repair the problems or lower the price of the purchase. If neither of the options is applicable, then the client can just directly estimate the cost to fix the problems and come up with a strategy for repair once the property is bought.

The cost of a home inspection for a normal one-family house differs geographically. The cost may also vary depending on different factors such as the age and size of the house, and other possible services like radon, septic, and well testing. Furthermore, prices differ depending on the home inspector’s qualifications such as training, accomplishments, and experience. A home inspection can cost a client more time and money, but this will surely benefit him in the long run. The knowledge acquired and assurance of safety from a home inspection that can make a house as safe and sound as possible is worth the cost.

Reasons Behind the San Francisco Bay Area’s High Property Costs

The San Francisco Bay Area (commonly known as the Bay Area), circling the San Francisco Bay in the northern part of California, is a geographically wide and diverse populated region. It is the home to over seven million residents in cities including Oakland, San Jose and San Francisco, alongside minor urban and rural areas such as San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Solano, Napa and Sonoma. The Bay Area is popular for its high-tech industry, liberal politics and lifestyle.

The Bay Area is a good place to live in, but most buyers cannot afford the cost of housing because of its expensive price. Housing costs have relatively decreased in some parts of the United States over the past years, but San Francisco Bay Area real estate properties have been able to maintain their value. The average rent in the Bay Area costs around $1,500 a month. That rate is higher than any major city in the US.

Despite the recession, real estate properties in the Bay Area have retained their value for different reasons. Since San Francisco Bay Area is located on a peninsula, the size of land available for potential inhabitants is limited, thus making every land more expensive and valuable. There is rather only one way for the region to increase the number of housing units: by building more units vertically.

The Bay Area will be able to fit more residents if more houses are added and rents are lowered, but that is impossible to achieve since the state and local government enforce strict land controls and regulations, hence decreasing the housing elasticity in the area. Some of the boundaries imposed by the government are the following:

  • Some mandates made it easier for residential areas in San Francisco to avoid development of tall properties. This effectively puts a stop on major expansion plans outside the downtown area.
  • Majority of the residents in the Bay Area are afraid to lose the iconic views of the region. To preserve them, the residents started passing mandates that created Sunset Zoning. This mandate outlaws any tall building creating shadows on any public square or park for more than an hour before the sunset and an hour after the sunrise.
  • To preserve the history of some structures in the Bay Area, the government prohibited development of historic buildings. One example of this is the situation in the South Market area. Many old buildings there used to be warehouses for San Francisco’s finest industries. While they are good to look at, warehouses demand lots of space, thus making it impossible to build more housing units.

Another reason why rent is so expensive is the Bay Area’s enticing amenities. The San Francisco Bay area is a densely populated region and the competition for real estate properties can increase prices of services even if the values across the US are decreasing.

Lastly, since the residents and families in San Francisco have been able to preserve a good amount of income even when the recession came, there has been no basis for real estate costs to lower. The increase in the average income of the families in the area makes it possible for the Bay Area residents to afford high housing rates.

During the recession, several people hoped for a decrease in San Francisco’s property values to make way for high return investments. Still, property costs remained higher compared to the prices in other parts of the US. Despite the high value, San Francisco Bay Area real estate continues to be appealing to buyers for several reasons. The Bay Area is a very diverse community that is why majority of the buyers will mostly find at least one property that fits their needs. Several buyers are also able to find great investment opportunities that assure a significant amount of yield when the market goes back to its normal state.

Property values in San Francisco may not be affected by the recession, but this does not mean that people cannot find great bargains and deals in the area. Real estates in the Bay Area are famous for their flexibility and long life so it is safer to make an investment there rather than buying real estates in other locations. Buyers can also enjoy an increase in the cost of a certain property if they ever decide to sell it. The cost of San Francisco Bay Area real estate may become increasingly expensive over time so if someone is interested in buying some properties in the Bay Area, then it is better to do it as early as possible.