Buying a house is a big step in anyones’s life. It can be daunting, scary, but also exciting. You are are not just purchasing a property, you are choosing where you are going to LIVE, raise a family, play, and come home to after work. You will want to answer a lot of questions about your new home, like WHERE you want to live, HOW BIG your home should be, yard, style, and other important issues. The more you decide NOW about what you are looking for, the greater success you will have in finding it, and you’ll find it sooner.

These days there are many real estate search websites available for the consumer (Zillow,, etc). These sites can be very helpful to point you in the right direction, in terms of neighborhoods, price, etc. Your realtor will have market information that is MUCH more current, and a search engine that covers more criteria in your price range. (The search engine on my homepage is connected directly with the MLS, and is the most up to date!)

When you have decided that you are going to begin your search with me there are some things to do FIRST.

Get pre-approved. Generally, a realtor will hesitate to work with someone who has not been pre approved by a mortgage lender. Knowing exactly the price point you are qualified for will let you focus in on properties available to you.

Decide on your areas. To some people, location is not important and they may have several possible areas that they like. The more more you can narrow that search, the more likely you will have success finding your dream home. Scouting properties can be time consuming, and you can cover more ground if you can settle on a few neighborhoods.

Research the neighborhoods you are interested in. You don’t want any surprises. Drive the areas you are thinking about, check crime stats, look for signs of shabbiness.

Trust your realtor and commit. I will work with you and help you reach your goal of home ownership, as quickly and expertly as possible. I may, or may not ask for a contract, but I do ask for commitment. A realtor spends 80% of her time working for FREE! I only get paid when an escrow closes. I will give 100% effort to find just the right home for you, and I expect buyers to be serious, available, and ready to make offers. 

Looking for more helpful tips? Check out the CJ in the OC blog.