If you’re a surfer here in the South Bay, you’ve learned to be prepared for those special days when the waves are really good – boards are waxed and ready, schedules cleared, and your wetsuits are dry and ready to go. It’s not much different for the real estate market in the South Bay – you need to be ready for that diamond in the rough. Sure, if your are looking for a home over $2 million, there are many houses that have been on the market for months; in that case, time is on your side. However, most of the best deals in any neighborhood require you to be ready to take immediate action. If you’re thinking of buying a home this year, or any time for that matter, here are some steps to get yourself prepared to score a deal in today’s market.
1. Get prequalified for a loan. Meet with a mortgage banker or broker and find the type of loan and amount of loan that’s best for you. Be prepared with recent tax returns, pay stubs, and bank statement.
2. Identify your needs. Do you need to upgrade or downsize? Are you a first time home buyer or are you looking for an investment property? A real estate professional can help you identify the type of property you are looking for.
3. Match your needs with your price range and find a target neighborhood.
4. Know the market. Have your Realtor update you on new listings and visit open houses in your target neighborhood.
5. Write an offer. Once you’ve found a house that meets your needs and affordability, it’s time to identify your price and write an offer.
The bottom line is you need to establish some goals for finding a home and take action once you find that house. Don’t be like the surfer who spends all morning checking out the surf on the webcams. In order to catch a wave, you need to be willing to get wet. Get out there and see what’s on the market and with a good plan, you’ll have a new place to call home.