Buying a home requires patience. While some aspects of home buying such as attending open houses can be exciting, navigating the myriad of listings available in the California market can quickly become overwhelming. To help make your home buying experience more seamless, keep reading to learn more about the three key resources you’ll need during this time.
1. Hard Money Loan
If you’re having a difficult time securing a traditional loan for your real estate purchase, a hard money loan may be the best option for you. A hard money loan sometimes referred to as a short-term loan allows you to get financing for real estate without using conventional mortgage lenders. Hard money loans come from private money lenders. Unlike traditional lenders whose loan terms are based on your credit score, private lenders use the value of your prospective piece of real estate as collateral.
If you’re interested in securing a hard money loan, you’ll need to get in touch with a private lender with experience in hard money transactions. Private money lending is standard practice in the real estate industry, so if you’re considering hard money as a financing option, your realtor can recommend some of the best private money lenders in the San Francisco area. The private money loan industry is less regulated, so even as you receive referrals from your realtor, shop around to find the hard money lender with the lowest rates or more negotiable repayment terms.
2. Cash on Hand
Once you find a home you love, you’ll need to make a down payment. A down payment is the amount of money you’ll have managed to save up to buy your home and is typically made out via a cashier’s check. The down payment amount is usually calculated as a percentage of the home’s purchase price, and in most cases, the agreed amount is 20 percent. Understanding this, you, as the buyer, will have to pay 20 percent of the purchase price upfront.
3. A Real Estate Agent
The East Bay and Oakland residential real estate scene can be competitive and difficult to navigate on your own, especially as a first-time buyer. This is why you need to work with a real estate agent you can trust, and one that has a proven track record of helping their clients find their forever home. While you can opt to represent yourself in a real estate deal, having a real estate agent with experience in dealing with the local real estate market can help you avoid legal and financial risks. This is because, once you select a real estate agent to work with, they’re compelled by law to act in your best interests through the entire process.
Besides this, real estate agents in Oakland, CA work in the area on a full-time basis. As a result of this, you can expect them to have all the insider information on off-market listings that you probably wouldn’t find on local real estate marketplace sites like Zillow. When looking for a real estate agent, you can start by asking friends and family members who’ve recently completed a real estate purchase in your area for referrals. As you do this, ask them what they liked about the real estate broker and whether they’d work with them again.
If you’re new to the Oakland area, consider asking real estate agents you’ve worked with in the past for referrals. This is a great hack because the real estate industry is made up of a network of professionals, so you can trust your former realtor to have a connection to a top real estate agent or two in the Oakland area.