Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

10 Best-Kept Secrets for Buying a Home


The home buying process, particularly if it is your first time, can be very overwhelming. For frequent homebuyers, it can also be difficult because the real estate market is constantly evolving.

When buying a home, you need to be very careful and remember every little detail; otherwise, in a snap, your dream of a perfect house can be shattered. Here are some tricks to buying a home that will guarantee that you get your dream house and your hard-earned money is worth it.

Buying Secret #1: Inspect the surrounding area.

Maybe the house is great for you, but maybe the neighborhood is not. Make sure you stalk the neighborhood before buying a home to save yourself from emotional exhaustion.

It is recommended that you visit the place both in the day and at night at odd hours to get an idea of how things work in the neighborhood and check for any security issues. In addition, make sure you are able to cope on a regular basis with the traffic in the city. You would also not want to waste half of your day doing errands to find out how far or near the grocery store and other important facilities are. You would regret missing this move because, no matter how beautiful the house is, it has no value if the surrounding area is not as great.

Buying Secret #2: Stalk the neighborhood.

Get the lay of the land before you buy, drop by morning, noon and night. Most homebuyers have been totally disappointed because they believed they found the perfect home, only to find out it wasn't for them to find the neighborhood. Drive around your house to see what's happening in the area at all hours of the day. To make sure it is something you can deal with on a daily basis, do your usual commute from the home. Find out how far the closest grocery store and other facilities are from it. Even if you don't have kids, study the schools because it has a very big effect on the value of your home. Even in the same area, if you buy a home in a good school district versus a bad school district, the value can affect as much as 20 percent.

Berkeley Real estate agency

Buying Secret #3: Avoid Sleeper Costs.

Sleeper costs are the difference between renting and homeownership. Many individuals actually concentrate on their mortgage payment, but they still need to be conscious of the other costs such as property taxes, utilities and homeowner-association dues. New homeowners must also be prepared to pay for renovations, upkeep and future changes in property tax. Make sure that you prepare for the cost of sleeping so that you are safe and that you don't risk losing your home.

Buying Secret #4: Avoid having to wait for the right time.

If you think you're going to find the right time to buy a house and meet the target, you may be wrong. The housing market can never be expected. When you find the right one you can afford, the ideal time to purchase a home, that's it! The property is up now, it's going to be down later; this cycle continues. Therefore, because it will never arrive, it is best not to wait for the right moment.

Buying Secret #5: Avoid a fight over boundaries.

In order to know exactly what you are buying, it is absolutely important to get a survey done on your house. Knowing exactly where your lines of land are will save you from a future conflict with your neighbors. Your property tax is also likely to be dependent on how much property you have, so it is best to draw up a detailed map.

Buying Secret #6: Get a property survey done.

A survey of property will ensure that you know exactly what you are investing in. There will be no misunderstanding when it comes to property tax, when you know how much property you have. In addition, being mindful of your property lines implies no future confrontation with your neighbors.

Buying Secret #7: Do not get obsessed about a big home.

The largest and most elegant house in the neighborhood usually turns heads. Not many individuals are, however, standing up to buy it. Therefore, purchasing a large house when you plan to re-sell it would restrict the potential buyers. Searching for a small, inexpensive house that will suit your family and not cost you a lot is the key to buying a home because it is likely to trade for more than a big house.

Buying Secret #8: Give your house a physical.

In addition to visiting the property yourself, consider taking advantage of a house inspector's services. Perhaps it's the best way to get a neutral, third-party opinion. Know, however, that hiring a specialist comes only after you have yourself examined the location. If, for some cause, you do not like the house at all, you do not need to spend your money.

A house inspector will assist you in determining whether or not you can purchase the house based on the data he will receive. You can use it as a negotiating weapon to lower the price of the house if he sees a minor problem with the home. For what it is worth, this is definitely a valuable secret for purchasing a home.

Buying Secret #9: Get an approval for a home loan beforehand.

There's a major difference between a pre-qualified buyer and a pre-approved mortgage borrower. For a loan, everyone can get pre-qualified. Having pre-approved ensures that all your financial information has been looked at by a lender and they let you know how much you can afford and how much they are going to lend you. Being pre-approved would save you a great deal of time and resources, so you can't afford to rush around looking at homes. It also offers you the chance for the best price and the best interest rates to buy around. Do your research: read about junk fees, processing fees or points, and ensure that the loan does not have any hidden costs.

Buying Secret #10: Wisely use your money.

Before purchasing a house, you should make sure you don't make major transactions for up to six months so that lenders see you as a stable individual and get you the best loan. It would be difficult for you to get a loan if you transfer your money around too much and purchase a lot of expensive things.


Are You Looking to Invest in Real Estate in Northern California?

The top real estate agency in Northern California, Sexton Group Real Estate | Property Management in Berkeley, California is a boutique real estate company specializing in residential sales for properties throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. To better serve our clients we have three local offices, one in the heart of picturesque Berkeley, one near downtown Oakland and the third in the heart of historic Lafayette, California. The Sexton Group encompasses the essence of Berkeley’s charm, Oakland’s history and Lafayette’s family-oriented vibe all with a relaxed, down-to-earth nature. We are an amazing group of real estate agents whose wealth of experience spans more than 25 years in the industry.  Looking to buy a home in Contra Costa or Alameda County? Contact us today for your free consultation!