Buying a home can and should be fun! Exploring neighborhoods, discovering new parts of the city, and imagining you and your family living life in a new home are exciting activities!
Don’t let predictable, avoidable issues get in the way of getting the most out of the experience. Keep these tips in mind as you venture out looking for a new place to plant your flag in the ground.
1. Find a real estate agent who you connect with. Buying a home requires sharing some pretty personal information about your family and your lifestyle. Make sure your Realtor is not only highly skilled professionally, but also a good fit for you personally.
2. There’s no wrong time to buy. If you find a home now, don’t try to second‐guess interest rates or the housing market by waiting. The property probably will not be there by the time you come back around. The sooner you invest, the more time you will have to grow equity and claim appreciation – not to mention that it will be yours!
3. Don’t ask for too many opinions. It’s natural to want reassurance for such a big decision, but too many ideas from too many people will make it much harder to make a decision. Focus and address the wants and needs of the people you will be living with – if they’re happy, you’ll be happy.
4. No house is ever perfect. Even new houses and condos have issues. If you find a property that has 80 out of 100 things you want, grab it! Make a list of your top priorities and focus in on things that are most important to you. Let the minor ones go.
5. Don’t try to be a killer negotiator. Negotiation is definitely a part of the real estate process. Keep in mind that the most effective negotiations result in a “win/win” result – the seller is not your enemy, other buyers are. Playing hardball or trying to win at the other side’s expense may cost you the home you love. Successful negotiations require give and take.
6. Expect issues. There is no straight-forward real estate transaction in San Francisco. There is almost always something that goes a little screwy and creates the potential for anxiety. Keep focused on the goal and trust your Realtor and Lender to guide you thru the process. Remember that all parties in the deal want to get to the finish line as much as you do, including the seller.
7. Plan ahead. Don’t wait until you’ve found a home and made an offer to get approved for a mortgage, investigate home insurance, and consider a schedule for moving. Presenting an offer contingent on a lot of unresolved issues will make your bid much less attractive to sellers.
8. Factor in maintenance and repair costs in your budget. Even if you buy a new home, there will be costs. Don’t leave yourself short and let your home deteriorate.
9. A little buyer’s remorse is inevitable – it will pass. Buying a home, especially if it’s the first time, is a big financial commitment that also yields big benefits. Don’t get freaked out or psych yourself out. If you’re feeling doubt once you’re in contract, think back to why you wanted to buy a home and what made you fall in love with the property you purchased.
10.Choose a home first because you love it; then think about appreciation. The housing market has had a rocky decade. Although the market is recovering, remember that a home’s most important role is to serve as a comfortable, safe place to live.
Group, Level Up. “Keep Calm and Buy a House.” Level Up Group – Top San Francisco Real Estate Agents, 1 Jan. 1970, www.levelupgroupsf.com/4018960.