Do Your Due Diligence When You Buy a New Home

Doing your DUE DILIGENCE when you buy a new home is critical. This is tru not only about the home itself but the location.

They say location, location, location.

It really is true, particularly if the location leaves something to be desired, at least as far as the buyer is concern.

Would you want to be near a pig farm? A sewage treatment plant? A Dairy farm? A nude beach?


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How to Dispute Errors on Your Credit Report

A good friend and mortgage broker, George Souto, in Connecticut, wrote a great article on how to dispute errors on your credit report.

Errors are actually pretty common and you may find some when you are going through the credit approval process as a FIRST TIME HOME BUYER.

If you do find some errors, George’s article may be a big help. And even in you are not going to buy right away, fixing your errors for the future makes a lot of cents (pun intended). Here’s the link


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One of the things you are likely to encounter in this market after you make your offer is a COUNTER OFFER.

A COUNTER OFFER is a response from the seller, in writing (on a California Counter offer Form) where the seller proposes a change in your offer – it could be a different PURCHASE PRICE (most commonly), or a different CLOSING DATE.

But there may be other terms and conditions that the seller may propose changing – inspection time frames, who the title and escrow will be, who pays for the termite inspection, an increase in the deposit, and so on.

Keep in mind that terms and conditions proposed in your offer remain in effect if they are not addressed in the counter. As in the original offer that the seller counters, you have the right as the buyer to ACCEPT the new terms and conditions, PROPOSE other terms and conditions, or even end the negotiations right there if you want. Your COUNTER OFFER back to the seller must be in writing.

The process continues until both parties agree on all the terms and conditions and all the offer documents and counter offer forms are signed, or you agree to negotiate no further.

Keep in mind that a verbal counter really means nothing – terms and conditions must be in writing and signed by both parties to the contract.

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North San Diego County Down Payment Assistance Programs

My friend CRAIG GRIFFIN at Guild Mortgage is an expert on DOWN PAYMENT ASSISTANCE programs for first time home buyers in the North San Diego County area.

He has a new down payment assistance website that is worth checking out if you are in the market.

If you like, I can provide an introduction so you can learn more when we are working together to help you find that first home.

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Are You Ready to Move into Your New Home?

Are you ready to move into your new home?

No doubt you will be when the time comes.

But sometimes delays in closing happen, no matter how well things have gone beforehand. If you don’t have contingency plans, you might be in a pickle.

Read more about what you need to know – Are You REALLY Ready to Move into Your New Home?

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Buyers – Here are 5 New Year’s Resolutions


If buying a home is on your list of to do’s, there is lots of work to do.

And to be effective you really need to be serious, and you must be a prepared buyer.

I have 5 New Year’s Resolutions for you, if your interested. Read more…

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10 Reasons for Buying a Home in Today’s market

John Mulkey from The Housing Guru shares his thoughts on why it’s a good time for buying a home in today’s market.

That’s not to say that everyone should. But for many, it IS a good time and these are some darn good reasons, which are true in general, not just right now (except for interest rates).

Take a look.

10 Reasons for Buying a Home in Today’s Market

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What Does a Prepared Buyer Look Like

Do YOU know what a prepared buyer looks like? I do


They are pre-approved, or have the cash wherewithal with proof of funds

They know their budget, vis-à-vis what the bank will loan, and can tell their REALTOR what they want to spend, and perhaps their absolute max. Saying “we’re flexible” is too vague

They know what they want. Sure it can shift some but overall they have a good idea of the things that are really important and what they can flex on. And they can articulate it. “We’ll know it when we see it” is probably too vague, even though you may have those feelings when it happens.

They’ve done their research on-line and have a good sense of what the market is doing, but they still need  input, data, and perhaps a reality check from a qualified REALTOR.

The prepared buyer asks good questions, and plenty of them. They know they need information, and seek it out from their REALTOR. They listen to what their agent has to say, ask for clarification, and share their thoughts and opinions for a response.

A prepared buyer typically makes decision quickly. If they are wishy washy, well, how serious are they?

A prepared buyer tends to be organized. They keep paperwork in order. Perhaps they bring a clipboard, camera, measuring tape, etc. to tours of homes. They know what information they have, but also what they don’t

They tend to respond quickly, with answer to questions, asking questions, signing documents, and making decisions. Life is busy but they make their home buying a priority and work with their REALTOR to meet deadlines and keep things moving.

What a pleasure it is to be a prepared buyer, whether going at it for the first time or not.

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FHA Rules are Changing in October and It Will Cost You More

Buyers, listen up.

If you are planning to use an FHA loan, you should know that some new changes in FHA loans have now been approved and this will cost you more money.

If you are planning to use the FHA loan you may want to consider getting off the fence and getting a home under contract BEFORE the October 4th, 2010 date.

READ MORE about the new FHA changes and how they will affect you from my friend and FHA-loan expert, Jeff Belonger

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Buyer Presentations (Part 1 of 2) | The Value of a Buyer Presentation

This is the first in a 2-part series on buyer presentations:

Part 1: Why you should have one
Part 2: What you should expect from a presentation

If you are a first time home buyer, you need to learn a lot about the process of buying a home. And you need to decide who you want to work with in the purchase process. There are lots of agents out there, some good, some not.

Here are some thoughts on the value of having a buyer consultation with the agent you are considering.

If you were selling your home, you would have a signed contract to list the property. That means there is a defined relationship with an agent who has fiduciary responsibility to look out for your interests as the seller.

The same is true if you are buying a home – doesn’t it make sense to have a similar type of relationship with the agent you ask to help you with your purchase?

And even if you are experienced at buying, with the competition in the market and all the legal issues to consider, wouldn’t you prefer to have someone represent YOUR interests in the transaction?

DO NOT skip having a buyer presentation. It’s fine to meet an agent at an open house and spend some time talking, or hunt one down on-line – there’s a lot to be learned on-line or by Googling someone. But do your homework, and make sure the agent you hire is one you are really comfortable with, and feel will represent YOU in the purchase.

DON’T expect to just jump in the car and start touring homes without some work upfront. It will be a waste of time and you will not do a good of buying.

Know that a good agent, who takes the role of representation seriously, will want to spend the time to get to know you too, answer your questions, qualify you, and make sure everyone is comfortable working together before starting the process. If they don’t want to do this, you have the wrong person. Next!

A Buyer Presentation is also a way to learn about the purchase process (I also provide my buyer clients with an extensive Buyer Handbook) AND the agent you are considering hiring. Think of it as a job interview – a big part of the presentation is for you to learn more about the agent and decide “do I want this person to help me, or not?” As the CEO of your company, FIRST TIME BUYER, INC,. you have the most critical hiring decision to make. Keep in mind the agent (your potential employee) will be doing the same thing. You are going to be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, or more.

Part 2 will focus on the presentation itself and the things you should inquire about, whether you are a first time home buyer or not.

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