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Steps For Buying A House

Buying a coastal San Diego home

Buying real estate property should be a methodical process.  It involves certain steps in order to make sure the purchase a success.  When approached with a clear understanding , and a plan in mind, it can even be enjoyable. The following are typical steps the buyer must take to achieve their goals: 

1. Its a good idea to check with a mortgage company, bank or real estate agent to pre-qualify. This helps to determine the amount of property you can afford before you start looking for one. Some banks and mortgage companies can also offer you a pre-approved loan.  It is a good idea to get pre-approved because you usually only have to pay for the credit check and it will oftentimes give you an edge in later negotiations.  You can also get a rough idea of how much you can afford by using the San Diego MLS search function on

 2. If you can not find the San Diego property you are looking for on your own, you may want to select a real estate professional to help with the property search process. Your agent should be able to narrow your search to the property that fit your purchase price, your wants and needs, and the locations you desire.

3. Once you find a property you are interested in purchasing, you will need to make a written offer to purchase.  The offer to purchase can be written by either your San Diego lawyer, or a helpful San Diego real estate agent. You need to have someone who is helping you look after your interest in the transaction! Negotiations over the price, terms and conditions of the offer to purchase are done in this phase. It is important to make sure that you have adequately written contingencies to protect your interest and cover all important areas such as your ability to obtain financing, results of an inspection, closing date, clear title, etc.

San Diego residential real estate sellers are able to offer a home warranty package.  This an insurance policy that usually covers replacement or repair in case of major appliance failure and most structural failures for a stated period of time.  If not already offered by the seller, you could include it in your offer to purchase. 

4. If the offer is accepted by the seller, a contract of sale is created.  The next step is to take the offer to a loan officer. If you have been pre-approved, they will help you to move to the next stage in completing the financing for the purchase. If you have been prequalified, go to your chosen bank or lending institution to get the formal process started. 

5. If you are buying a home or other building, you should have the building inspected by a professional building inspector. The inspection cost usually runs about $300 and should be one of the contingencies in your offer.   Most contracts give you a set amount of time in which you must give a written response to the seller listing items which you want corrected. 

6. As you satisfy the contingencies in your offer to purchase, you may have to remove them through an amendment to the contract of sale. Consult your contract for specifics.  If you have questions, consult your agent or attorney.

 7. Once all of the contingencies have been resolved and your loan has been approved, you are ready to close on your loan and purchase the property. The date is usually specified in the offer to purchase and the contract of sale. 


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