Eight important questions to ask your agent
Qualifications are important. However, finding a solid, professional agent means getting beyond the resume, and into what makes an agent effective. Use the following questions as your starting point in hiring your licensed, professional real estate agent
- Why did you become a real estate agent?
- Why should I work with you?
- What do you do better than other real estate agents?
- What process will you use to help me find the right home for my particular wants and needs?
- What are the most common things that go wrong in a transaction and how would you handle them?
- What are some mistakes that you think people make when buying their first home?
- What other professionals do you suggest we work with and what are their credentials?
- Can you provide me with references or testimonials from past clients?
Contact Ron Buck, Realtor®, and member of the Ron Buck Real Estate Group and find the answers you are searching for in a real estate agent.
Location, location, location
Where you buy not only affects the home’s current and future value, but it also affects your lifestyle. Ron Buck, Realtor with the Ron Buck Real Estate Group at Keller Williams Realty will be able to conduct a more targeted home search if you outline your preferences in neighborhoods and nearby amenities.
Here’s a checklist of items you should consider
- Urban, suburban or rural
- Commute time
- School districts
- Desirable neighborhoods
- Proximity to the airport
- Proximity to restaurants and retail
- Access to major highways and thoroughfares
- Access to public transportation
- Health care facilities
- Parks and recreation
- Length of time you plan to live in the home (Your agent should be knowledgeable about growth trends and projections that could affect your investment.)
- Age: Do you prefer historic properties, or newer ones?
- Style: Do you have a special preference for ranches, bungalows, or another style of construction?
- Bedrooms: How many?
- Bathrooms: How many? Are they updated?
- Living and Dining Areas: A traditional, formal layout, or a more open, contemporary plan?
- Stories: How many?
- Square feet: How much space?
- Ceilings: How high?
- Kitchen: How big? Recently updated? Open to other living areas?
- Storage: Big closets, a shed, an extra-large garage?
- Parking: A garage or carport? Room for how many cars?
- Extras: Attic or basement?
- Play/exercise room
- Security system
- Sprinkler system
- In-law suite
- Hot tub
- Wooded lot
- Patio, deck, or porch
- Laundry room
Opting for new home construction
Whether to buy an existing home or have one built is yet another decision to make during the home-buying process. If you decide to go with new construction, Jon Ron, a real estate agent can be a powerful advocate in your corner as you negotiate upgrades, a move-in date and other terms with the home builder.
Selecting a builder
Shopping for a large production or custom home builder can be a daunting task. Start by defining what architectural styles appeal to you and then seek out the builders in your area who offer those styles. Due diligence is essential. Ask friends for referrals to get firsthand accounts; verify the builder’s state license status, if applicable; and check whether they’re certified by the National Association of Home Builders.
The builder representative and your real estate agent
A builder representative’s ultimate goal is to sell you a home. The builder provides a wide range of information to help you in your decision-making, from building restrictions, roads and easements to inspections, warranties, rebates and upgrades. Ron Buck, Realtor is knowledgeable in new-home construction and will assist you in wading through all the data and point out the downsides and upsides of each line item. The Ron Buck Real Estate team can also can look out for your interests in reviewing the builder’s contract, which often contains more legal jargon than consumer-friendly language.
It’s all about timing
- Market conditions greatly dictate a builder’s incentive to make a deal you cannot refuse.
- When a builder has inventory on his hands, his carrying costs start adding up.
- When this happens, a builder might be more amenable to strike a favorable deal, whether it’s throwing in upgrades or taking a bit off the asking price.
- Ron Buck, a professional real estate agent with 18 years experience, can help you know when market conditions are right for these benefits.
- Also, watch for builder close-out sales. Builders promote these special events when a new subdivision is near completion but empty inventory still remains.
A word about paying up
- While there are always exceptions, most builders require a deposit when a purchase agreement is signed.
- They also require that the buyer pay for any upgrades prior to closing.
- If you back out prior to closing, unless the agreement states otherwise, you will lose that money.
- Make sure you understand every detail in the builder’s contract before signing it. Ron Buck, Realtor®, can assist you with understanding the builder’s contract.
Deciding how much house you can afford
- Your lender decides what you can borrow but you decide what you can afford.
- Lenders are careful, but they make qualification decisions based on averages and formulas. They won’t understand the nuances of your lifestyle and spending patterns quite as well as you do.
- Leave a little room for the unexpected – for all the new opportunities your home will give you to spend money, from furnishings, to landscaping, to repairs.
- Historically, banks use a ratio called 28/36 to decide how much borrowers could borrow.
- An approved housing payment couldn’t be more than 28 percent of the buyer’s gross monthly income, and his or her total debt load, including car payments, student loans, and credit card payments, couldn’t be more than 36 percent.
- As home prices have risen, some lenders have responded by stretching these ratios to as high as 50 percent. No matter how expensive your market though, we urge you to think carefully before stretching your budget quite so much.
- Deciding how much you can afford should involve some careful attention to how your financial profile will change in the upcoming years.
- In the long run, your own peace of mind and security will matter most.
If you are thinking of buying real estate in Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Hills, Mission Viejo, Laguna Beach or anywhere in South Orange County, Ron Buck, Realtor®, , with 18 years experience can help you buy your next piece of real estate, that new special home. The Ron Buck Real Estate Group has the product knowledge and real estate transaction experience to assist you in buying in Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Beach, Monarch Beach and Laguna Hills.
Ron Buck’s commitment to you when you buy real estate “I promise to listen to your needs & help you safely achieve your goals.”
Come live where the rest of the world vacations in Laguna Niguel.
- Ron Buck BRE #01364665 Keller Williams Realty #01378975