If you and your family have a serious intent to purchase a new Oakland or Piedmont home this year, it is especially important to have an efficient plan in place, since you will be competing, in some neighborhoods, in a marketplace with very limited housing stock to work with, so your competition may be challenging.  

Here are some steps to take to place yourself in the best possible position to be considered immediately by sellers:

1. Before You Begin Your Search--Be very clear about your needs from the outset. Be specific as to what you must have, and what you can waive when viewing a potential home.  What things are the most important to your family, and thus nonstarters, and what would be nice, but not mandatory?   

2. Know Your Financial Situation--There is nothing more disappointing that finding that the homes that you want will not be affordable.  Take the time to fully analyze your financial status, and how much of a home you will be able to take on.  I can assist you in determining a realistic price range for your search, but you will still need to have a complete financial summary in place to be able to show to lenders as you move forward.  Your very best step is getting prequalified for a home.  By doing so, you will then be prepared to act quickly, make an offer, and have the seller seriously consider it.   

3. Be Prepared To Negotiate--All home sales will involve negotiation.  It is important to understand this truth if you are to move forward effectively.  Determine what the seller's strongest demands are, and be prepared to negotiate, if you truly want the home.  If you are determined not to budge on issues, there may be someone who is more flexible who can step forward ahead of you, and you could lose the opportunity to buy the home.  

4. Buy For The Present And The Future--Keep in mind that you and your family may be living in this home for many years, and while you like it now, you will need to consider how this home will work for you a few years down the road when you may want to sell it, and move on.  Consider how much work you will have to do to make it saleable.   Will other buyers like it as much as you do, or does it have issues that need to be addressed?  How about growth and development plans in the your city or neighborhood that might affect its value?  All of these things must be a part of your consideration if you are going to get a reasonable return on your investment, and be able to move up to a new home.  

Obviously, I will be working with you steadily to help you reach your goals, but if you can begin with these few preparatory steps, you will be well on your way in your search for your new home.   


Posted by Bruce Wagg on


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