What to Do After You’ve Found a Home You Love

What to Do After You’ve Found a Home You Love

  • Peter Colbert
  • 02/27/23

Finding the home that’s the one is an exciting milestone for buyers. In cities like Calistoga, prime neighborhoods next to a range of amenities make many properties perfect for families, retirees, and professionals. However, there are steps a buyer should prepare for to ensure the best shot of securing the property. Follow these tips for navigating the home buying journey. But first, here’s what to know about local market trends as a buyer.

Napa County cities like Calistoga are currently experiencing cooling trends. This is good news for buyers, as it gives them more opportunity to secure a great deal. Single-family home sales have dropped 44% compared to last year. This means there’s less buyer competition on the market. Active listings have risen 39.8%, creating more options for buyers. Now is a great time for buyers to start their search.

Secure your financing

Ideally, it’s best to secure your financing before searching for Calistoga homes for sale. If you’re financing with a mortgage, get pre-approved by a lender. This process takes time since lenders must check your financial standing. To increase your chances of qualification, have a high credit score, a stable income, and a manageable debt-to-income ratio. Pre-approval shows you how much home you can afford. It also strengthens an offer. If you’re not financing with a mortgage, prepare documents showing your proof of funds.

Schedule a home showing

Learn more about the property by scheduling a home showing. Online listings can help buyers understand the facts and features of a home. But only by visiting in person can a buyer get a true understanding of the home’s condition and environment. To plan a home showing, reach out to a Calistoga realtor. They can help you request a showing time and accompany you. While at the showing, a realtor can point out any potential red flags with the property.

Attending a home showing also gives buyers the opportunity to view the neighborhood. Take your time to walk down the street and observe the other house fronts. If there is anybody out on their front porch or on a walk, ask them questions about living in the neighborhood. They may have insights that a realtor might lack from living in the area daily. Calistoga’s neighborhoods are surrounded by great wineries, hot springs, and luxury resorts.

Create a great offer

When you’re sure about the property and surrounding area, work with your agent to write an offer. An offer will include things like the purchase price, your lender information, an earnest money deposit, contingencies, and a closing date. Having proof of funds, like a preapproval letter, shows sellers you’re serious about closing on an offer. Being flexible with aspects like a closing date and contingencies can also appeal to sellers.

Get ready to negotiate

Most offers undergo negotiations before both sides come to an agreement. A seller may choose to accept, reject, or make a counteroffer. They can request changes to all aspects of the offer. As a buyer, enter negotiations with an open mind. Both sides will have to be flexible to come to an agreement they like. However, it’s also important not to compromise your position. Know what your limits are so you don’t make a decision you may regret.

An agent is a valuable resource to have when entering negotiations. They act as an objective third person. This can decrease stress and frustration between the buyer and the seller. An agent will also provide valuable advice to buyers during negotiations. They are well-practiced in the process and know how to voice your goals while thinking of solutions that everybody will be satisfied with.

Order an inspection and appraisal

When you’ve come to an agreement with a seller, order a home inspection. Some buyers may forgo the home inspection in the negotiation process to appeal to sellers. However, this isn’t advisable. Many major issues a home can have aren’t immediately apparent. This can leave buyers with repairs they must pay for. On top of mortgage payments and utilities, the extra costs can become unmanageable.

To finalize a mortgage, buyers must also order a home appraisal. This assesses the true value of the home. Based on the assessed value, a lender will finalize the amount you qualify for. Buyers can include protections like home inspection contingencies and home appraisal contingencies into their offer. This allows them to reenter negotiations if issues arise.

Finish finalizing paperwork

Next, finish finalizing paperwork to close on your Calistoga real estate. Review the Closing Disclosure with your agent. This is paperwork that explains what you owe and your loan details. The closing process may also be referred to as going into escrow. After a final walkthrough of the property, you’ll sign finalizing paperwork and pay for the property. Buyers can rest assured the property is theirs.

Prepare for closing costs

Buyer closing costs in California average about 2-5% of the sales price. Using the median price of $849K, buyers can expect to pay between $16,980 and $42,450. These expenses include a loan application fee, appraisal fees, attorney fees, escrow fees, homeowner’s insurance, and other costs. Many lenders also require buyers to pay a year’s worth of property tax in advance. In Napa County, the property tax rate is 0.58% of a home’s assessed fair market value.

Ready to buy the perfect home?

Finding the perfect home is only the first part of a long journey toward homeownership. Be sure to assess the property and surrounding area thoroughly. A home and neighborhood should provide everything needed to support your lifestyle. Working with a local agent is the best way to stay on track. They can point out potential issues with a property, help you make a strong offer, and represent you in negotiations. When you’re ready to buy the perfect Calistoga home, contact trusted local agent Peter Colbert to guide you through the process.

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