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How to Start Searching for a Home

2020 was an unprecedented year, and one that revealed to many Californians just how important it is to live in a residence they can enjoy. Buying a home can be an exciting journey as you search for the perfect fit for your family, but keep in mind that this process takes a lot of time and energy. How you begin your property search can help to build a foundation for success, and working with a professional real estate agent can help to optimize the results.

Jamie Lennon is here to serve as your trusted Realtor® across Silicon Valley, combining her passion for real estate with her love for people to create an enjoyable experience for all. She focuses on the human connection and personalized attention to forge new relationships in a comfortable setting.

Keep reading for five steps to help you start searching for your new home, and be sure to get in touch with our team to begin the process!

Get a Feel for the Market

It pays to do some research before you plunge into the homebuying process. We recommend checking online for real estate listings in your area. You can take notes on how long properties are on the market and how much they sell for over/under value to help you determine if you are in a seller’s market or a buyer’s market. In the former, supply is low and demand is high, giving sellers the power to improve their results. The latter sees slow-moving houses and fewer buyers, who can offer below asking price in many cases.

Determine Your Budget

This step is crucial in the homebuying process, as it determines how much you can afford and how you can afford it. Your finance company will require your income, tax statements, and employment history to help establish your available credit and the expected monthly payments.

Don’t forget that there are ways to lower your mortgage payment or decrease your loan amount. Buyers can apply more money to the down payment, sell their current property to utilize existing equity, or work with their finance officer to find a more effective payment option. Placing a 20% down payment on a $700,000 house, for example, will result in a monthly payment hundreds of dollars cheaper than if you were to put 5% down on your home.

Set Your Search Area

While it may sound more practical to cast a wider net (more area equals more opportunities to buy, right?), in reality your agent will be better able to focus on more select neighborhoods to maximize success. It can help to narrow down your search area or to clearly define where you want to look. Some buyers do not realize the importance of geography until it comes time to close and their commute is more than an hour each way!

Get Prequalified (and Preapproved) for Financing

You will need to secure financing in order to show sellers that you are serious about making an offer and to determine the actual amount you can spend. Lending agents can help to prequalify you with some basic financial information in order to determine your available loan amount. The next step when looking to buy a home is to get pre-approved, where your loan company will require your financial documents to verify your loan specifics.

Find a Professional Real Estate Agent

While a real estate professional is not needed to buy a home, they certainly can help to improve the process and simplify your life every step of the way. Buying a home includes many steps, including organizing and browsing property listings, speaking with the buyer’s agent, making an offer, coordinating with other services to complete the closing process, answering any questions, and more. Ultimately, your real estate agent will take a complex process and streamline it to minimize any hiccups while helping you secure a home you’ll love. Best of all for buyers and sellers, agents do not get paid until they successfully sell their client’s home. 

You can turn to trusted Realtors who are professionally licensed by the National Association of Realtors®. These agents are held to a higher ethical standard and are expected to provide top-quality results to clients at the highest level. 

Find a Home With Our Silicon Valley Realtor

Jamie Lennon focuses on the human connection and personalized attention to detail to optimize the homebuying process for her clients. As Silicon Valley’s trusted Realtor, Jamie is here to help you find your dream home in an enjoyable and exciting way. Get in touch today to get started!

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