For the past few years I have been working with more home-buyers than ever before, some of them buying for the first time and some very experienced buyers. For those first-time buyers, this market is confusing because of all the new regulations, lending requirements and a marketplace that is filled with foreclosures, short-sales and traditional sellers. It is often hard to know where prices are and even more discouraging when the home you like has 10 other buyers writing offers to purchase it!

Moreover, the approach in buying a foreclosure is very different from a traditional home on the market and of course the situation is further complicated if you look at trends in the low-end and mid to high-end. Every month we are getting updates on the housing market with NATIONAL HOUSING TRENDS that many buyers and sellers follow but national statistics are almost always different than your local area.

Many buyers and investors have been going outside their hometown or area of expertise and especially to places like Arizona, Florida, Nevada and parts of California where they hear they can get a “good deal”. Some very smart accomplished people are making some very big mistakes when buying real estate today. Here is the problem, if you live in a high-end area where 800,000 buys you a 3 bdrm 2000 square foot no frills home and you see that you can buy a newer larger home with some nice upgrades in Phoenix Arizona for 100,000 – that buyer may think he/she is getting a great deal by comparison to what that home would go for in their hometown. The deal may or may not be good so my advice is, no matter how convinced you might be, to have an experienced Realtor or someone you trust, advise you and not just with words but with facts taken from, for example, the Multiple Listing Service. Since real estate is costly, wise decisions require good information and careful consideration. Lastly, find the right Realtor that works for you and please ask for references! If you need help finding a Realtor anywhere in the U.S., just call Connie. An experienced Realtor can help you find out what is happening in your area of interest so that you do not over-pay for a home or miss out on a home because another buyer knew the market price.

Additional thoughts to Buyers:

1. A trick to get a good deal in a great neighborhood where there are few or no foreclosures and little inventory: if you can be flexible then go after the homes that are well over-priced. Most Sellers eventually reduce and most Buyers will not write offers or even want to see homes that are priced too high. The process may take time but if you have someone experienced handling the negotiations, time will be your friend and the Seller will also have an opportunity to get to know you so even if another buyer shows up many Sellers would rather work with someone they feel they know. Many Buyers, if there is no action on the home, think they have time and so they do nothing. This quiet time is the time to get to work and charm the Seller. In our contracts it is often written “time is of the essence”- that statement is so true and using it wisely could save you thousands or hundreds of thousands on your next purchase! Want more details or assistance, just call Connie Ph 310 913-1184

2. Most buyers really do need to prepare months in advance before obtaining a loan. Today’s smart buyer finds an excellent mortgage broker or lender to assist them in obtaining a loan and also in the careful preparation before so that loan approval will occur.

3. Buyers today face a fluctuating marketplace, new regulations and requirements so it is vital to have someone experienced work with you. An example of something many buyers may not be aware: Lenders can, right before funding, run another credit check on a borrower they formerly approved for a loan (and who has already removed his/her contingencies and probably has movers on the way). If that borrower did what many home buyers often do, went shopping for new furnishings etc., and if their debt to income ratio changed and now falling below the limited amount. then that buyer will be out of luck! I have heard stories of moving trucks leaving a home that a seller thought was going to be funded that day only to find the lender decided not to fund! It is important that you know what to do and what not to do before it is too late and that’s where experience will be your friend. Find someone to assist you that is truly experienced.