CalDRE License # 02022916
The Ultimate Home Buying Guide
Step One:  Watch this video review I made for you (or read the summary bellow)
Step Two:  Schedule a free consultation to discuss how we can help

Schedule a free, no obligation strategy session and we will walk you through a clear plan of action when buying your home as well as answer any additional questions and/or concerns you have. 
If you are watching or reading this and you are not in Los Angeles area or not in California but still would like to get help. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We have a network of agents around the country. We will direct you to the best agent in your area!
1. Get your finances in order.

This is the most important step!

Before you start looking for a home, you will need to know how much you can actually afford. Start by getting a full picture of your credit. Obtain copies of your credit report. Make sure the facts are correct, and fix any problems you find. That includes improving your credit and stop applying for new credit a year before you apply for a mortgage.

Also you want to build up your savings as much as possible. The lender wants to know that you’re not living paycheck to paycheck. If you have three to five months worth of mortgage payments set aside, you’re are going to be a much better loan candidate.

This also goes hand in hand with saving for down payment and closing costs. You’ll need between 3% and 20% of the house price for a down payment.

For example, with an FHA loan, the down payment requirement can be as low as 3.5%. Home loans backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs require no down payment.

For closing costs, it varies from area to area. Closing costs are fees associated with your home purchase that are paid at the closing of a real estate transaction. In California on average you can expect to pay about $2,225.

Buyer closing costs may include one time fees for lender, escrow, and title. Planning for these expenses ahead of time will make the process easier.

How can home buyers avoid closing costs?

You can avoid closing cost fees on your loan by getting a no closing cost mortgage, in which you don’t pay any of the closing costs when you close on the mortgage.

Typically, when a lender offers a deal like this, it does end up costing you in the long run. The lender may charge you a higher interest rate on the loan for not paying closing costs, or the lender may wrap the closing fees into the total mortgage owed, in which case you end up paying interest on the closing costs.

You can use The Home Loan Toolkit to help you plan your purchase.

After you got all that in order, next step is to find a suitable lender and get pre-approved for a loan. This will put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house and will tell you the price range of the homes you should be looking at.

2.  Find a house you can afford.

A general rule of thumb when it comes to buying a home: two-and-a-half times your annual salary. There are also a number of tools and calculators online that can help you understand how your income, debt, and expenses affect what you can afford. Don’t forget, too, that there are lots of considerations beyond the sticker price, including property taxes, energy costs, etc.

Unless you’ve done the steps above, DO NOT proceed to the next one. Don’t even look at homes, because you have no idea what you can afford, you might be wasting your time.

3.  Hire a professional.

While the Internet gives buyers unprecedented access to home listings and resources, many aspects of the buying process require a level of expertise you can’t pick up from surfing the web. That’s why you’re better off using a professional agent than going at it alone. If possible, recruit an exclusive buyer agent, who will have your interests at heart and can help you with strategies during the bidding process. 

Real Estate agents can also provide you with helpful information on homes and neighborhoods that isn’t easily accessible to the public.

And best of all, it doesn’t cost you anything to use an agent – they’re compensated from the commission paid by the seller of the house.

4.  Shop for your home and make an offer.
Once you find an agent, the house hunting process will begin. You will be looking as well as the agent. He or she will be sending a lot of properties your way that meet your criteria. Before doing so, a good real estate agent will ask YOU a lot of questions to make the whole process as smooth as possible, addressing YOUR needs and desires.
5.  Do your homework.

Before making a bid, do some research to determine the state of the market at large. Is it more favorable for sellers or buyers? Next, look at sales trends of similar homes in the area or neighborhood.  Look at prices for the last few months. Come up with an asking price that’s competitive, but also realistic. Otherwise, you may end up ticking off your seller. 

A good real estate agent will help you with this by running comparable sales analysis to figure out the market value of the house vs. just looking at what the price tag is. In addition he or she should be helping with negotiating the price and terms for you.

6.  Escrow process. 

Once you and your agent write an offer and assuming that seller accepts, that will start an escrow process. That is when you have to put your earnest money deposit (generally 3%). That just ensures that you play by the rules of the contract. But basically escrow is where all final loan processing and approval takes place, as well as a number of inspections and negotiations. A good realtor will coach you and guide you through this.
7.  Think long term.

Obviously, you shouldn’t buy unless you’re sure you’ll be staying put for at least a few years. Beyond that, you should buy in a neighborhood with good schools. Whether you have children or not, this will have an impact on your new home’s resale value down the line. When it comes to the house itself, you should hire your own home inspector, who can point out potential problems that could require costly repairs in the future.

And the last thing I want to say is that these are just general guidelines, there are multiple scenarios that might come up at any stage of the buying process. That’s why it’s best to use a local realtor that can take you by the hand and help you find and buy your new home.

So if you are considering buying a home, we’ll be happy to help and guide you personally through all these steps as well as writing an offer for you completely, so you won’t have to lift a finger...well except for the signature;). 

So here’s how the process works:

We will be focused on a specific and custom tailored strategy and execution to help you find your dream home.

This strategy sessions will take around 30 minutes and you will be speaking with me personally and I’ll be helping you find exactly what you are looking for, and if you are not sure that’s ok too, we’ll look at some homes in the system and then will go and visit them, when you find one, we’ll draft up an offer and from there we’ll negotiate with the seller if needed, open escrow and finally get the keys, pop open a bottle of champagne to celebrate;)

And one more thing…

Knowing that we’re a good fit is crucial because I like to get ALL of my clients results.

The truth is that there are some people who I can not help and if that’s the case I will be 100% up front with you and suggest somebody else or an alternative, I’m only looking for those who are a good fit and who I am certain I can get results for.

So, The first step is to complete an application for a private strategy session below and this application is necessary to determine :

1. that I can help you and I’m the best person to help you and

2. that you’re ready to commit, take action and let us do the required work to find you a home.

Now once I receive your application you will be able to schedule a time with me to conduct your strategy session and this is where we will really start working together to figure out what you want and how to make it happen in the fastest time possible and with predictability.

And then at the end of the call 1 or 2 things will happen, you’ll either be a fit and I will extend an invitation to work with us as one of our clients or if it's not a good fit that’s totally ok too and there’s no hard feelings or obligations or anything.

So if you feel like this is right for you go ahead and apply right now and then go ahead and follow the instructions on the next page.

Hope this video helped and if you have additional questions please don’t hesitate to schedule a quick call with me, i’m always looking forward to connecting and helping people like yourself. Hope to hear from you soon. Have a great day.


Vadim Zhenar

Keller Williams Realty Downtown LA
700 S. Flower St., Suite 2900
Los Angeles, CA 90017

Keller Williams Realty, Inc. is a real estate franchise company. Each Keller Williams office is independently owned and operated. Keller Williams Realty, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer and supports the Fair Housing Act.
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