Buying your home
The process of buying a home or investment generally starts with determining your buying power; that is, your financial reserves plus your borrowing capacity. If you give a Realtor some basic information about your available savings, income and current debt, he or she can refer you to lenders well qualified to start helping you get the financing lined up.
Once you know how much you can and want to invest, the next step is to find the properties that most closely fit your needs. This is the time to choose a real estate licensee. When picking a real estate agent look for one who is also a REALTOR®. A REALTOR® is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, a real estate trade association, and all members agree to abide by a Code of Ethics. A REALTOR® has many resources to assist you in your search. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market. It will take some investigation by your agent to find all available properties.
Your most important job is to make the final selection of the right property for you. This is when excitement and emotion run high. Your Realtor can assist you in the selection process by providing objective information about each property. Agents who are REALTORS® have access to a variety of information resources. REALTORS® can provide local community information on utilities, zoning, schools and other information. Be sure to have open, candid discussions with your agent on all your wants and needs to be sure the property is right for you.
With a negotiated agreement in hand, it is time to complete the evaluation of the property. Depending on the area and property, this could include inspections for pest, dry rot, asbestos, faulty structure, roof condition, septic tank and well tests, just to name a few. Your agent can assist you in finding qualified, responsible professionals to do most of these investigations and provide you with written reports. You will also want to see a preliminary report on the title of the property. Title indicates ownership of property. The title to most properties will have some limitations; for example, easements (access rights) for utilities. Your agent, title company or attorney can help you resolve issues that might cause problems at a later date.
As soon as you are reasonably sure the property is right for you, the process of tying up the financing begins. Your agent can help you in understanding different financing options and in identifying qualified lenders.
Finally, there is the closing, or settlement, as it is known in different parts of the country. Every area has its own unique customs. In Tehama County the Closing transactions are handled by a Title & Escrow Company. Again, your Realtor can guide you through this process and make sure everything flows together smoothly.