What Home Buyers Should Look For When Picking Out Their Dream Property

As we meet first time home buyers and sellers in our real estate business, we find that some come in with certain Things to think about when buying a homepreconceived notions as to how the process works. We talked previously about how buyers should prepare before beginning their home search, but what should they think about WHILE they are looking?

Home buying is one part motivation and one part preparation

Being prepared financially to purchase a home is one thing, but what about being prepared mentally? Remember that the property you purchase is not only a place to live in, but also an investment. Here are some steps to consider as you prepare to begin your home sear...

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There are many misunderstandings about home value and how it’s figure is determined. Many factors are involved, including recent home sales in the neighborhood, economic factors and demographics within the area, and of course, the condition of the property.

The appraisal contingency gives the home buyer enough time to have the value of the home they are purchasing assessed by a professional appraiser. In a normal or standard sale, it is typical for the seller to pay for the appraisal.

The appraisal is important for many reasons:

One, it provides an official value of the property.

Two, it provides the lender with an accurate dollar figure when it comes to putting together the buyer’s mortgage loan. The lender will fund only the appraised value of the property.

Three, the buyer will know the professionally determined value of the property they are purchasing. The contingency gives them some options. For instance, if the appraised value of the property comes in lower than the price they offered, they have the option of negotiating the price with the seller to match the appraised value, or they can opt out of the purchase.

Appraisals are required when the buyer is borrowing money from a lender to purchase the home. They are not required if the buyer is paying cash, but it is always strongly advised to have one done anyway.

For more information on appraisals, or if you have questions about the home buying process in general, don’t hesitate to contact us by going to, or call us directly at 661-290-3802.

Part II in our home buying series discusses the home inspection contingency. As we discussed earlier, the standard home purchase contract (In California) gives the home buyer 17 days to complete all contingencies. This time frame may be negotiated between the buyer and the seller.

One of the contingencies involves the home buyer’s right to a complete and thorough inspection of the home they are purchasing. It is strongly recommended a professional home inspector is used to complete this process. Typically, the buyer pays the cost of the home inspection. Fees may vary, but you can always contact us if you have questions.

The home inspection usually takes approximately 3 hours, depending upon the size of the home. The home inspector goes through the home thoroughly from top to bottom. They will perform various functions to assess any issues that may affect the sale of the home and provide a detailed, written report to the buyer, the seller, the agent, and the escrow officer.

Upon receiving the written home inspection, the buyer has the right per the purchase contract to ask the seller to repair items that have been listed in the inspection report. Usually the buyer and seller negotiate on the items that will most likely affect the sale of the home.

We will also go through the inspection thoroughly with you, and one of our representatives from Montemayor & Associates will be there during the inspection to answer any questions you have. We will also help put together any requests for repairs and guide you through the process.

For more information or questions about the home buying process, go to, or call us at 661-290-3802

This is a new series we’re implementing that will discuss the steps in the home buying process.

Many first time home buyers don’t always understand why there is an escrow period between the time their offer on a home that was purchased was accepted, and when they can finally obtain the keys.

The escrow process is in place to insure that all contingencies and requirements laid out in the purchase contract are met by both the buyer and the seller.

Well, what are contingencies anyway?

Contingencies basically mean that there are items in the purchase contract that are contingent on being completed within a certain time frame prior to closing escrow. Now, these contingencies may vary depending upon the agreement reached by both the buyer and the seller in the purchase contract, but unless otherwise specified and agreed upon in writing, contingencies per the purchase contract are to be met within 17 days (In the state of California).

So what are these contingencies?

Contingencies include the right for the buyer to have the home they are purchasing inspected by a professional home inspector, as well as having an appraisal performed on the home to determine the property’s real value (Note: Appraisals are not required for cash buyers, however it is strongly recommended to have an appraisal performed anyway), and also to obtain loan approval.

California law states that at any time within these 17 days the buyer has the right to cancel the purchase agreement for any reason. AFTER 17 days however, the buyer may be held liable for penalties for not meeting the contingency requirements.

Contingencies in the purchase contract are critical to insuring that both the buyer and the seller have thoroughly met the conditions of the purchase as laid out in the agreement. They also provide accountability to all parties involved, including your real estate agent.

For more information about the buying process, go to or call us direct at 661-290-3802.