We recently closed on a Townhouse in San Jose, CA. Yay. Our first home.
We had been in the market for a while. First, it seemed like 2014 was not the year we make the move. Bay area housing market is on fire. For every home, there are at least 12-15 offers on average and every offer is over the listing price by good 10%-15%. Thank you IPO millionaires, investors from other states and foreign cash buyers.
In January, we got pre-approved from a mortgage company in a different state. We did that to gauge our finances and the market. Also, we didn’t have a Realtor at that time. We figured, let’s just use Redfin, Zillow, Trulia etc to search and if something peaks our interest, we can find someone to represent us.
Things were going nowhere, really. We were passive in our approach, we got active and things started to fall in place.
We decided to get bit more counselling about loans and understand the financial side of things more. That’s when I called Ben at Land/Home Financial, who I was referred to 3 years ago. At that time, we just wanted more information and he really helped us understand the entire process of buying a home from A to Z.
This time when I reached out to him, he once again, gave me his honest opinion about the market, explained the process and told me what to expect. We got the ball rolling with the mortgage paperwork and had the pre-approval letter within a weeks time.
Then, during one of the open homes we toured, my wife clicked with this really honest Realtor named Jo-Ann, an agent with Coldwell Banker. She was easy-going, not pushy at all and was open to listening before she gave us her opinion. We scheduled a meeting later that week and had her on board as part of our team.
When I say things started falling in place, I really mean that.
2-3 weeks later, we made an offer. The offer was accepted and we were in escrow. According to the contract, we were supposed to close the escrow in 21 days and we did. That’s when I realized what a great team I had. Everyone did their part, everyone was on top of their game.
Moral of the story: Buying your first home can be challenging, unless you have a great team.