The Home Buying Process Series

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 search.

Agree beforehand on what kind of property you want

This of course is assuming you are making a purchase with a spouse, significant other, or co-investor. Draw the lines beforehand on a price range (based on your loan pre-qualification which we KNOW you did before you began your home search). Also consider whether you are looking for, or will consider, various property types such as single family residence, condominium, Planned Unit Development, etc. Think  about how many bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, lot size, and amenities such as swimming pool you may want.

Consider the Location

Yes, location (location, location) is very important, but it’s not the only thing that should be driving your choice of home. While we’re on the subject, considering location can play a factor in the home’s value, and the value of the investment once you make your purchase. Corner lots, homes that back up to busy street traffic, homes across the street (or very near) a school, homes next door or backing up to industrial or retail areas can have an impact on its fair market value.

Consider also the homes in the neighborhood. Are they well maintained? Are there any vacancies or abandoned homes in the area? Don’t overlook public amenities such as sidewalks, streetlights, and proper drainage in making your decisions. These all have potential impact not only on the property’s value, but also on your own safety.

Once inside, can you imagine yourself living there?

Here’s where the emotion part plays a positive role in your home search. Provided you’re purchasing a home for residence, how do you feel when you walk into a property? Can you imagine yourself living there? Where will you put your furniture? What will the rooms be used for. Will the kitchen suit your needs? How about the bathrooms? Will they accommodate your family members properly? How about the backyard? Is there adequate shade for entertaining? What other amenities would you like to see that aren’t already there?

Buy a home for the things you can change, not for the things you can’t

When viewing properties in person, don’t let such things as carpet color, wall paint, or decor deter your decision if you love the rest of the home. Remember, you have the ability to change these things once your escrow has closed and you’ve moved in. In some cases, you may be able to negotiate money back at close of escrow for redecoration. Contact us with your questions about this.  You can change these things, but you can’t change a bad location, so keep that in mind.

Question the obvious

Feel free to ask questions about obvious items such as deferred maintenance. Bare landscaping, holes in walls, missing items such as fixtures, and leaky plumbing all have stories behind them. In some cases, these are items that can be thrown into the negotiation discussion if the overall look or location of the house suits you. You also have the right to a order professional home inspection once escrow is opened along with the right of contingency to ask for repairs, or cancel the sale within a certain time period. 

Think long term

Depending on your wants and needs with regard to your home purchase, consider the long term positive (and possible) negative effects of your decision. Will the home still fit your needs in 2 years, 5 years, 10 years? We can also help you assess the overall fair market value of homes in the area to see how well they hold up to their investment.

We are here to answer all of your questions and to help guide you on a home search in the most problem-free manner possible. Feel free to contact us using the form below.

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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.

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Client Testimonials
I had specific needs for my new home. Brandon was very patient with my unique situation and flexible when it kept changing. He showed me so many houses, but with little inventory, none of them were quite perfect or they had too much HOA or Mello Roos. Finally when we found The One, no HOA, no Mello Roos, it had been on the market for 4 days and I made an offer that morning. I was sure the sellers would give it to someone else but Brandon worked hard to make sure they accepted my offer and by that night, the house was mine. Had it not been for Brandon I would still be searching for a house because so far, there is still nothing better than mine.
Lisa G. , Saugus
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