There are four main points to learn, and I spell them out very in a very basic form below. However, these four points can take MONTHS to get to the point where you're confident enough to buy.
While you're going through these, I strongly encourage you to reach out to me with any questions. I promise it's a lot easier than "googling it".
Do you know what you're actually looking for? The difference between something you "need" in a home vs. what you "want" in a home.
Equally as important is what you absolutely DON'T want!
A good starting point is figuring out how big of a home you need. Number of beds and baths, square footage. Do you want a pool? Which neighborhoods do you like? Why do you like them?
For a detailed list of questions to ask yourself, download my Buyer Questionnaire.
Once you know what you like and don't like, it's time to find out if you can afford it.
Determining your budget the right way might show that you can actually afford more (and get a cooler house). Especially with interest rates as low as they are.
Pro Tip: Figuring our your budget is not as simple as it seems. Consider the following:
-How much of a mortgage payment can you afford?
-What are you planning for a down payment?
These two points can affect each other in very big ways, so it's crucial you are comfortable with the numbers or have someone that is, and you're comfortable with them!
And just in case you didn't know: You don't need 20% down anymore. If you want to know all your options, I'm just an email away.
We call this crucial time period "From Contract to Close".
-Do you know how Buyer's Agents get paid?
-When should you give your landlord notice?
-Did you know that after you open escrow, you're allowed to inspect the property to make sure nothing is wrong with it?
Fun Fact: When it comes to Los Angeles Real Estate, 1 out of every 3 accepted offers never close. Most of these cancellations can be attributed to mishandled surprises during the escrow process.
Being comfortable with the whole process before you write your first offer can:
1.) Help you win offers when competing against other buyers.
2.) Minimize surprises, or at least make sure that they don't kill the deal.
Smart buyers have agents who teach them the process early before they open escrow and start the "mad dash" towards their closing date.
Who is going to be your agent?
This is the #1 Thing that scares buyers and stops them from buying.
They are scared to death of over-paying for a house... What do they do instead?They stay at home, look online for years and talk about the next real estate bubble. Know anybody like this?
Here's One Way to Get Confident:
Do you know what good real estate agents do? They look at a LOT of houses! I know what's a good listing, what's bad, what's overpriced, and what's a serious deal. Once you get the hang of it, you can smell one from a mile away.
There are many reasons to do this, but I'll just tell you my favorite reason:
Most buyers only look in their price range for one type of house. Good agents look at everything in every price range.
In this sense, we can contrast and compare different homes, different neighborhoods in all sorts of price ranges, fancy bath tubs, and the best hardwood floors money can buy (or create in a laboratory).
Imagine you go into an open house and say, "This $800,000 house is identical to the million dollar house we saw last week. We need to buy this before someone else finds out!"
By the way: I'm full of great ideas like this...