Buying real estate in Silicon Valley
The adage, "location, location, location" is that much more evident in our wonderful area, referred to as Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley is filled with micro areas that have distinctions affecting demand with regard to real estate.
There is a vast difference not only from city to city, but even within areas of the same city. Each of these areas has particular factors which affect the desirability of homes.
One thing that is always true with real estate in our area is the professional, thorough, detailed way it is handled provides a huge advantage to Buyers.
When working with me, I'll walk you smoothly through each of the steps necessary to make your buying experience efficient, pleasurable, and lucrative.
Loan Application and Pre-Approval
Use the best lender. Step one for successful real estate purchase in Silicon Valley is to talk to an experienced lender and get your pre-approval.
What TO DO:
Get a pre-approval for a loan from a well-known lender
Go and see homes,
Decide what you like,
Make an offer,
Get your offer accepted because you were ready!
What NOT to do:
Go and see some homes,
Decide what you like,
Make an offer,
Talk to a lender.
Not having your pre-approval in-hand when making an offer is the kiss of death.
If you're paying cash, we can use your proof of funds to show the Listing Agent that you are real. If you're not paying cash, a pre-approval is a must! When we work together, I'll introduce you to my super amazing lenders.
Finding Your Home - Search Efficiently
We have a shortage of housing in Silicon Valley in any market. It is highly likely that if the home you like is in a good location and priced well, you will be competing with other Buyers for the home.
Here's the good news! Since 2001 I have NEVER had to make more than three offers for my Buyers to be successful with their purchase. I do not know another Realtor with a record for Buyers that is that efficient. You're in the right place.
My success rate is unsurpassed.
Call me today at 650-483-2055. Let's start down the road to your dreams. It'll be fun. You'll love it!
Still Want to Know More?
Making Our Offer - Make the Seller Feel Good
Making an offer can be looked at from several points of view, the most important of which, is that of the Seller. ("What?!" You say? Allow me to explain.) When an offer makes a seller happy, the buyer has an advantage to getting their offer accepted.
To make a comparison and drive the point home, imagine you are the Seller, sitting across the table from Buyer A and Buyer B.
Buyer A has Agent A fill out an offer for her. Buyer A doesn't feel like learning a whole lot more about the home, other than if she can buy it for a certain price. Agent A, agrees, and hastily writes an offer for Buyer A. Looking a little disheveled, contract folded in half and tucked under her arm, Agent A walks into the room. The seller is with his agent. Agent A unfolds the offer and stumbles over the offer amount and no other details. The seller's agent (known as the listing agent) thanks Agent A and dismisses her.
Agent B spends time with Buyer B explaining disclosures and reports that seller has painstakingly filled out to inform the Buyer about the condition of the home as the seller knows it. Buyer B acknowledges having read all disclosures and reports by initialing each one.
Agent B knows the contract inside and out and walks Buyer B through each of the paragraphs, its importance and significance depending on how they are filled in.
Buyer B has had a chance to thoroughly look over the closed sales near the home the Buyer is making an offer on. Buyer B has also spoken with his lender to know what loan amount she qualifies for and, combined with closed sale information, can chose what she wants to offer. She hands her agent a copy of her pre-approval letter (a letter of promise from the lender that they do qualify for the requested loan), which her agent will present with her offer.
Based on understanding the condition of the home from the seller, understanding the contract, understanding comparable sales, Buyer B completes her offer.
Agent B has already established a professional relationship with the Seller's agent, either over the phone before offer presentation, or through years of experience in the field. Agent B is well dressed, organized, and ready to present an offer to the Seller. Agent B walks in politely and compliments the seller on the home. She presents all of the appropriate pre-offer documents to the Seller, including the agency disclosure, signed reports and disclosures, and the pre-approval letter. She then goes over her Buyer's offer in detail with the Seller and the Seller's agent, and being able and poised to answer any questions the seller may have about the offer or Agent B's client.
All things remaining the same, the second scenario has a much higher chance of actually closing escrow. Completing documents correctly with all necessary signatures can be very tedious after entering into contract.
Now, imagine this! Because the second agent was so much more organized, polite, well put together and thorough, the offer Agent B made, WHICH HAPPENED TO BE THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS LESS THAN OFFER A, was accepted despite the fact that it was not for as much money.
Thank goodness You chose Agent B! (Or should I say Agent "D"?)
So your offer gets accepted, What comes next?
Offer Acceptance and Contingencies
Imagine this: I'll buy your home, Mr. and Mrs. Seller, "if" the appraisal comes in at or above the asking price. That "if" is the contingency.
When I represent you, you'll have every opportunity possible to have the "if's" in your contract. There are many places where contingencies are possible within the contract. However, because Silicon Valley historically has multiple offers on homes, there will be situations where having contingencies will hurt your ability to be the accepted offer..unless you have a phenomenal negotiator on your side.
Good news is, I'm right here!
So let's assume your offer is accepted, you've done your due diligence, and you have removed all of the "if's". At this point, the remaining tasks will be funding the purchase and transferring ownership from the Seller's name to yours. We call that process escrow and title.
Funding the Loan and Changing Ownership to Your Name
Escrow refers to the monies that get transferred between the Buyer and Seller to close the sale.
Title refers to the process of changing the ownership from the Seller's name to the Buyer's name.
Title is whose name belongs to the property and at how much of an interest. Be familiar with the details in this link to choose most wisely.
Here is some more information about Escrow and Title:
Escrow: What each party does Title insurance info
Escrow terms and phrases What is escrow?
Now, this page will always be here for a reference point for you. More importantly, I will be here too!
Paying Property Taxes
Now that you are a homeowner, you are obligated to pay property taxes. These taxes are paid to the county tax assessor's office twice a year in California. Added to the general property ownership tax are assessments that get voted in your city and county to be added on to your parcel tax. These can include money for schools, local roadways, water safety and more.
California Property Tax Calendars
Santa Clara County Assessor's Calendar of Important Dates
How the Property Tax System Works
(A flow chart from Santa Clara County)
Property tax relief for persons age 55 and over - Propositions 60 and 90
Supplemental Property Tax Bills
When you buy your property, the new assessed value is usually higher than the previous assessed value. The county assessor’s office issues a Supplemental Tax Bill to cover the increase in tax rate. In the case that you pay less than the previous owner did, your supplemental bill will be an adjusted credit for taxes.
You will typically receive the tax bill for the previous owner in your mail. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYING THIS, EVEN THOUGH IT IS NOT IN YOUR NAME YET. The supplemental bill must be paid in addition to the property tax bill. You may receive up to 4 total property tax bills, two from the previous owner and two supplemental tax bills. Supplemental tax bills are generally not covered by impound accounts. So even if you elected to pay towards your taxes each month in order to avoid the surprising large bills that come twice a year, you will have to pay those supplemental taxes in addition to the two main tax bills when you first become owner of your new home. The assessor usually fixes all of this after one year of ownership, when you will then only receive two correct tax bills.
Maintaining your home - Protect your investment
As a homeowner, it will be very important for you to maintain your home or even improve it to ensure you keep its highest value. See below for some suggested videos about home maintenance. My team is always here to help.
It is prudent to create a home maintenance schedule and budget and set aside money each month for projects. (i.e. Roof every 30 years, paint every 5 years, heating system checkup every 2 years, plumbing checkup every 7 years, etc.)
Choosing not to take care of your home can lead to deferred maintenance which can be much more costly than a routine schedule of improvements and maintenance.
When remodeling your home or upgrading your home, kitchens, bathrooms, and landscaping (especially in the front) tend to get the most return on the money invested.
I'm glad you're here with me. I like you already!
I'm still here.
You did it!!!
And I'm still here!
I'll be your real estate resource forever.