San Diego Home Buyers Guide
Your San Diego Home Buyers Guide is FREE to view online, or it can be downloaded as a PDF.
1-The first step in home ownership is simply making a decision to buy a home. I know this seems simple, yet it’s important to understand that along with home ownership comes responsibility. No longer will you be able to call your landlord to come out and fix a problem. As a result, any issues that arise in your own home will be your own responsibility.
2-The second step to purchasing a home is to speak to a lender. You will want to learn about how much home you can afford. Most importantly, I would not suggest looking at homes until you know how much you can afford.
3-In the third step you are now sure of how much home you can afford. Armed with this knowledge, it’s recommended that you try and figure out what areas you might like. You will also want to consider whether a condo or a detached home will be better for your lifestyle. I recommend that you drive through the neighborhoods that you like, and get out and talk to the neighbors.
Above all, once you find the home of your dreams, you will quickly discover that purchasing a home in today’s market is a rather difficult task. Due to a current housing shortage, you will find that there is a lot of competition from other buyers. You might just find yourself in a bidding war up against 10+ buyers who all want YOUR dream home! Our team is experienced at winning multiple competitive offers, yet not by necessarily having you bid the highest dollar amount.
Most importantly, we can help you through the complex San Diego home buying process by educating you in preparing you to actually win an offer that you place on your dream home. San Diego Home Values at Keller Williams Realty is proud to bring you our Spring Home Buyers Guide for 2018! Our San Diego Home Buyers’ Guide will help you navigate through the complex home buying process and help you get into the home of your dreams.
Finally, with the help of one of our experienced Keller Williams REALTORS’, you will be better prepared to navigate the purchasing process and get into the home of your dreams.
Here are a few simple steps to help you get started
Calculate How Much You Can Afford
Get a Pre-Approval for a Mortgage Lender
Research Your Target Neighborhoods
Contact Us to be Connected With a Keller Williams Agent Near You
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Creating Your Home Wish List
Before the home search begins, your real estate agent will want to know as much as possible about the features and amenities you desire. To help your agent better serve you, analyze what you want and what you need in a home’s features and amenities.
- Age: Do you prefer historic properties, or newer ones?
- Style: Do you have a special preference for ranches, bungalows, or another style of construction?
- Bedrooms: How many?
- Bathrooms: How many? Are they updated?
- Living and Dining Areas: A traditional, formal layout, or a more open, contemporary plan?
- Stories: How many?
- Square feet: How much space?
- Ceilings: How high?
- Kitchen: How big? Recently updated? Open to other living areas?
- Storage: Big closets, a shed, an extra-large garage?
- Parking: A garage or carport? Room for how many cars?
- Extras: Attic or basement?
- Play/exercise room
- Security system
- Sprinkler system
- In-law suite
- Hot tub
- Wooded lot
- Patio, deck, or porch
- Laundry room
Deciding how much house you can afford
Your lender decides what you can borrow but you decide what you can afford.
Lenders are careful, but they make qualification decisions based on averages and formulas. They won’t understand the nuances of your lifestyle and spending patterns quite as well as you do. So, leave a little room for the unexpected – for all the new opportunities your home will give you to spend money, from furnishings, to landscaping, to repairs.
Historically, banks use a ratio called 28/36 to decide how much borrowers could borrow. An approved housing payment couldn’t be more than 28 percent of the buyer’s gross monthly income, and his or her total debt load, including car payments, student loans, and credit card payments, couldn’t be more than 36 percent. (In Canada lenders apply similar formulas to determine how much a buyer can afford. The Gross Debt Service ratio, or GDS, is not to exceed 32 percent of the buyer’s gross monthly income, and the Total Debt Service ratio, or TDS, is not to exceed 40 percent of the buyer’s total debt load.) As home prices have risen, some lenders have responded by stretching these ratios to as high as 50 percent. No matter how expensive your market though, we urge you to think carefully before stretching your budget quite so much.
Deciding how much you can afford should involve some careful attention to how your financial profile will change in the upcoming years. In the long run, your own peace of mind and security will matter most.
Updated June 5th, 2020CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED
Eight steps to buying your home
1. Decide to buy.
Although there are many good reasons for you to buy a home, wealth building ranks among the top of the list. We call home ownership the best “accidental investment” most people ever make. But, we believe when it is done right, home ownership becomes an “intentional investment” that lays the foundation for a life of financial security and personal choice. There are solid financial reasons to support your decision to buy a home, and, among these, equity buildup, value appreciation, and tax benefits stand out.
2. Hire your agent.
The typical real estate transaction involves at least two dozen separate individuals-insurance assessors, mortgage brokers and underwriters, inspectors, appraisers, escrow officers, buyer’s agents, seller’s agents, bankers, title researchers, and a number of other individuals whose actions and decisions have to be orchestrated in order to perform in harmony and get a home sale closed. It is the responsibility of your real estate agent to expertly coordinate all the professionals involved in your home purchase and to act as the advocate for you and your interests throughout.
3. Secure financing.
While you may find the thought of home ownership thrilling, the thought of taking on a mortgage may be downright chilling. Many first-time buyers start out confused about the process or nervous about making such a large financial commitment.
From start to finish, you will follow a six-step, easy-to-understand process to securing the financing for your first home.
4. Find your home.
You may think that shopping for homes starts with jumping in the car and driving all over town. And it’s true that hopping in the car to go look is probably the most exciting part of the home-buying process. However, driving around is fun for only so long-if weeks go by without finding what you’re looking for, the fun can fade pretty fast. That’s why we say that looking for your home begins with carefully assessing your values, wants, and needs, both for the short and long terms.
Questions to ask yourself
- What do I want my home to be close to?
- How much space do I need and why?
- Which is more critical: location or size?
- Would I be interested in a fixer-upper?
- How important is home value appreciation?
- Is neighborhood stability and priority?
- Would I be interested in a condo?
- Would I be interested in new home construction?
- What features and amenities do I want? Which do I really need?
5. Make an offer.
When searching for your dream home, you were just that-a dreamer. Now that you’re writing an offer, you need to be a businessperson. You need to approach this process with a cool head and a realistic perspective of your market. The three basic components of an offer are price, terms, and contingencies.
6. Perform due diligence.
Unlike most major purchases, once you buy a home, you can’t return it if something breaks or doesn’t quite work like it’s supposed to. That’s why home owner’s insurance and property inspections are so important.
A home owner’s insurance policy protects you in two ways:
Against loss or damage to the property itself
liability in case someone sustains an injury while on your property
The property inspection should expose the secret issues a home might hide so you know exactly what you’re getting into before you sign your closing papers.
Your major concern is structural damage.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Things that are easily fixed can be overlooked.
If you have a big problem show up in your inspection report, you should bring in a specialist. If the worst-case scenario turns out to be true, you might want to walk away from the purchase.
The final stage of the home buying process is the lender’s confirmation of the home’s value and legal statue, and your continued credit-worthiness. This entails a survey, appraisal, title search, and a final check of your credit and finance. Your agent will keep you posted on how each if progressing, but your work is pretty much done.
You just have a few pre-closing responsibilities:
- Stay in control of your finances.
- Return all phone calls and paperwork promptly.
- Communicate with your agent at least once a week.
- Several days before closing, confirm with your agent that all your documentation is in place and in order.
- Obtain certified funds for closing.
Conduct a final walk-through.
- On closing day, with the guidance of a settlement agent and your agent, you’ll sign documents that do the following:
8. Protect your investment.
Throughout the course of your home-buying experience, you’ve probably spent a lot of time with your real estate agent and you’ve gotten to know each other fairly well. There’s no reason to throw all that trust and rapport out the window just because the deal has closed. In fact, your agent wants you to keep in touch.
Even after you close on your house, you agent can still help you:
Handle your first tax return as a home owner.
Find contractors to help with home maintenance or remodeling.
Help your friends find homes.
Keep track of your home’s current market value.
Attention to you home’s maintenance needs is essential to protecting the long-term value of your investment.
Home maintenance falls into two categories:
Keeping it clean: Perform routine maintenance on your home’s systems, depending on their age and style.
Keeping an eye on it: Watch for signs of leaks, damage, and wear. Fixing small problems early can save you big money later.
Buying Your San Diego Home
Home Buying Tips
In our experience, a house is not a dream home because of its size or color. It’s about how you feel when you walk through the front door – the way you can instantly see your life unfolding there. This is about more than real estate. It’s about your life and your dreams.
Meeting Your Criteria
That’s why it’s so important that the agent you choose to guide you through this journey is your trusted expert and advocate. Keller Williams has a team of experienced, qualified real estate professionals ready to help you find homes for sale that meet all of your criteria.
Size of home
How many bedrooms and bathrooms are ideal? What lot size would you like? What size floor plan are you looking for?
What sort of proximity to your work, schools, outdoor-space and entertainment venues are you looking for?
What kind of community are you looking to move into? What about schools? Recreational facilities? Security?
What are the local price and valuation trends? Are there other taxes or maintenance fees to consider?
Do you do a lot of entertaining? Do you need a guest room? Do you have pets that need a large yard?
Your specialized KW Agent will walk you through each step of the buying process.
Tracking Your Wants and Needs
Regardless of where you’re searching for properties, we can help you find the perfect home. Here are some things to think about as you begin looking at homes for sale.
- Do you have a preference for when the house was built?
- Do you want a house in move-in condition, or are you willing to do some work on it?
- When people come to your home, what do you want your home to say about you?
- Do you want to have a swimming pool or hot tub?
- Are you looking for any additional structures such as a greenhouse or shed?
- What type of home are you looking for – single-family, condo, town house, multifamily?
- Approximately what size house are you looking for?
- How many stories?
- What architectural styles do you prefer?
- What type of exterior will you consider?
- What size lot would you like?
- What kind of landscaping are you looking for?
- Do you want a porch or a deck?
- What are you looking for in terms of parking – driveway, garage, carport?
- What other exterior features are important to you?
- What kind of style do you want the interior of you home to have – formal, casual, cozy, traditional, modern or eclectic?
- What kind of floor plan do you prefer – open versus walls between all living spaces?
- What kind of lighting do you prefer?
- Do you have flooring preferences?
- In general, what are you likes and dislikes for the interior of your home?
- Are there specific room needs for your kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms or other living areas?
First Time Home Buyers
We can certainly understand that buying your first San Diego home can seem like a scary or daunting task. Having worked with many first time home buyers in the past, we also realize that there are going to be a lot more questions and a lot of more hand holding. We actually enjoy helping people buy their first home. It’s all completely worth it when we are able to be a part of the excitement that comes with buying your first home. You will only buy one first home in your life, and we would be honored to be a part of this important life event.
Having an experienced Realtor who understands the needs of a first time home buyer is critical. Some of the topics that we cover with first time home buyers during our initial Home Buying Consultation include the following:
- Your first home “wish list”
- Needs versus wants analysis
- Goals and reasons behind wanting to own a home
- The mortgage and loan process
- The overall home buying process
- Appreciation trends for various neighborhoods and areas
- Central Texas school accountability ratings
- A live MLS search to help identify housing criteria
We also provide all of our first time home buying clients a FREE best selling book (Your First Home). This is a must read for anyone aspiring to buy their very first home. Your First Home is packed with inspiring stories and the wisdom of thousands of successful first-time home buyers. Not only does it educate readers of the home ownership process in eight simple steps, it also teaches readers ways to overcome less-than-perfect credit and how to implement successful creative financing strategies. Feel free to read a few excerpts from the book below.CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED
Buying a Home
Finding and purchasing a home in San Diego that will meet your needs is a significant and often stressful time. Our goal is to make this transition as smooth as possible. We are experts. Once we learn what it is that you’re looking for, finding your dream home is simple.
Before you start looking for a home you should ask yourself a few questions:
- Where do you want to live? Are there particular neighborhoods or communities you like?
- What kind of house would you like (need)? Are you looking for a particular style? How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you want?
- Is a home office a necessity? Do you need a bonus room or flex-room?
- Do you entertain often? Is a home suitable for entertaining something you’re looking for?
- Do you want a yard, pool, gated or guard gated community?
- Have you determined your price range or consulted a lender to determine the best price range?
Searching for your dream home can be a confusing and time-consuming experience. For us it’s Clients First. We’ve put ourselves in your shoes as we’ve worked out our home buying systems. When we meet with you we’ll ask you these questions and more. We’ll want to learn as much as we can about your budget and your home needs and wants. By asking lots of questions we’ll be able to pinpoint what you are looking for faster and much more efficiently. Our goal is to help you find the right home at the right price and to help save you time, money and energy in the process.CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED