Thank you for visiting today. If this is your first visit, take your time and look around. I have plenty of information and resources available to you. If you are a return visitor, thank you. I would love to hear from you and tell you how I can serve all your real estate needs.

Celeste Faraola Perie
Owner, Real Estate Broker (DRE#1077450)
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Our Guide for Buyers

Are you ready to go house hunting? 

Here are some things to consider before you get started and what to expect from the process of buying a home.

We are happy to answer any other questions you may have – just call us!

  • What is the Santa Cruz housing market like? 

At the present time, we have more buyers than sellers.  This makes purchasing the home of your dreams more challenging. However, you can improve your odds of success by being proactive and working with a local Realtor®. 

We are the first to know when properties come on the market and often know about houses for sale but not formally listed as well as houses being prepared for market.  An agent’s commission is included in the selling price.

  • How much house can you afford?

Although interest rates have risen slightly, they remain at historical lows.  It is important to consult one or more lenders at the outset to know the size of the loan you will be able to get.  We work with many local lenders who have a variety of loan programs. 

An experienced lender will explain the options and help you choose the one that works best for you. If you get pre-qualified for a mortgage you will be able to pounce when you find a home you like.

  • What kind of house are you looking for?

Make a list of your priorities, but try to remain flexible.  Perhaps you can divide the list into “must haves” and “wants”. Consider location, house type, size, beds, baths, yard, layout and amenities. Are you willing to make some improvements or do you want a home that is move-in ready? And of course, include your price range.

  • Frame your search. 

You can spend hours looking at houses on the nationwide websites, but why not let the search come to you? We will create a personalized profile, an automatic tool that will notify you whenever a house that fits your priorities comes on the market. You can be among the first to see a home when it becomes available.

  • Tour some homes.

You can look at open houses on the weekends and see some of the available properties.  We will arrange private showings of listings in your search. 

  • Focus on your priorities.

When you visit a house, try not to form an impression on first sight. Instead, focus on your list of ‘must haves,’ that are your real priorities.  See how many this home includes.

As you go through the property look at the house, not the owner’s personal belongings. Remember, all the furnishings will be gone when you buy it. Ask yourself if the house is somewhere you will be comfortable – or a place you will be able to make your own.

Above all, don’t get discouraged: you may have to kiss a few frogs before finding your prince or princess

  • Make an offer. 

Before you make an offer it is important to examine all the documents and reports prepared by the seller.  In California, these disclosures are extensive and may affect the true cost of your intended purchase by disclosing maintenance issues that have been deferred.

Once you pick a home, it’s time to decide how much it is worth to you.  Your agent will research home values in the neighborhood and recent sales to show you a house’s likely worth.  She will explain the negotiation process and local customs. Then it is up to you to choose a number for your initial offer.

  • The negotiation process.

Rarely is the first offer accepted. The process may involve more than one offer and counter offer before acceptance by the seller. Each negotiation is different and can be a bit of a roller coaster. Our experience with a wide range of negotiations will help you through the process.

  • Escrow 

This is an intense and busy time. When an offer is accepted, you will immediately have to submit a deposit to the escrow agent, usually about 3% of the contract price. You also must show evidence of sufficient funds to complete the transaction.

You will want to seriously examine all physical elements of the property and have all your questions answered to make sure you are getting the home you contracted for. Often we recommend an independent inspection of the house, its roof, heating systems, plumbing, etc.  Any issues should have been disclosed by the seller, but this really is a case when independent verification is well worth the cost.

When you are sure the house meets your expectations and you have satisfied all the lender’s requirements to obtain a mortgage you are ready to close escrow.

  • Close of escrow. 

This is a multistep process involving an independent, third party called an escrow agent. The escrow agent will gather all the documents necessary to finalize your purchase, supervise all the signings, and insure that all the monies are properly accounted for and transferred from you and your lender to the seller.  The escrow agent will also make certain that any county recording fees are properly paid and most likely will be the one to actually give you the keys to your new home.

Congratulations! The home now is yours!

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