Jeff’s Carlsbad Blog for First Time Home Buyers


First Time Buyer Counseling

A good portion of my real estate business is working with first time buyers. And as someone new to the complex process of buying a home, particularly in this market, having all the information about what to do and not to do, having a good sense of what you are looking for (AND can afford to buy), and other matters is incredibly important.

I try to sit down with all new buyers before getting started in order to get to know each other, but more importantly to answer all the questions and set some expectations about the market. And a part of that “getting to know each other” is to decide if working together makes sense.

Since short sales and REOs (a.k.a. foreclosures and bank sales) are a big part of the market, especially at the lower price points (here in San Diego, under $500K), it is essential to know about buying a short sale (much of what you will read in that article applies to REOs, too). [Note that the reader comments on the short sale article have been disabled for the time being by ActiveRain due to the volume – too bad, there are some helpful stories shared by buyers]

Can you jump through all the buyer hoops?

Here’s an overview of the information I like to cover with buyers (first timers and not).

READ – First Time Buyer Counseling

You can download some helpful forms on my website, too:

I also have an extensive Buyer’s Handbook I will share with you (via Google Docs, or hard copy if you prefer) if we start working together.

If I can provide more information about Carlsbad and surrounding areas, or the housing market in general, or otherwise assist you in your home search, please contact me by phone or text at (760) 840-1360 or email me at JDowler@remax.net.

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Follow Jeff Dowler on Twitter Subscribe in a reader

If I can provide more information about Carlsbad real estate and surrounding areas, or the housing market in general, or otherwise assist you in your homes search, please contact me by phone or text at (760) 840-1360 or email me at JDowler@remax.net.

Search for Homes Community Information First Time Home Buyers Relocation Services and more How to get in touch with me

All content copyright © 2010 Jeff Dowler “The California Relocation Dude” Carlsbad Homes and Real Estate Tidbits

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Stumbling Blocks to Your Home Purchase

Posted in FAQs,General Information,What do I Buy? by Jeff Dowler on December 21, 2009
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There are a number of hurdles you have to overcome as a first time buyer in order to get that new home. This is true of everyone, of course, but folks who are buying for the first time may not be aware of these stumbling blocks.

Model Homes at CopperWood and Rockledge in Carlsbad

And with the current market, especially in the lower price points in our area (under $400,000), there are other issues to be aware of.

A knowledgeable REALTOR can help you overcome many of these hurdles, but some things you simply need to do yourself.

Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Getting Pre-Approved for a Loan

2. Being emotionally ready to make a purchase and just making a decision

3. REOs = lots of competition and multiple offers, including cash buyers

4. Short Sales = LONG waiting time for short sale approval (4 – 6 months), perhaps never

5. Moving quickly enough on a great deal – keep in mind the competition, you may NOT have much time to “think about it”; a delay can cost you the home

6. The appraisal – many of them are coming in lower than agreed on prices due to the market and changes in the appraisal process

7. Getting a loan – banks are becoming more and more restrictive

8. The home inspection

9. Being realistic – about what you can afford, the trade-offs (wants vs. needs), etc.

10. Do I buy now or wait?

If you need help sorting through these issues or want more information on the matters you really need to think about, please let me know.

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Follow Jeff Dowler on Twitter Subscribe in a reader

If I can provide more information about Carlsbad real estate and surrounding areas, or the housing market in general, or otherwise assist you in your homes search, please contact me by phone or text at (760) 840-1360 or email me at JDowler@remax.net.

Search for Homes Community Information First Time Home Buyers Relocation Services and more How to get in touch with me

All content copyright © 2010 Jeff Dowler “The California Relocation Dude” Carlsbad Homes and Real Estate Tidbits

Use Your Common Sense, and Others Too

I realized that I wrote this article some time ago that I didn’t share here.

I think it’s an important one.

Buyers, especially folks going at it for the first time, sometimes just don’t use their common sense. It’s easy to get swayed by a beautiful home, or turned off by an ugly one, without using your common sense about what really is important and what your ultimate goal is.

But in this market of short sales, REOs and sellers who just may not give a hoot about how their home looks, using ALL YOUR SENSES makes, well, sense (cents??).

Read on to learn more how and why YOU better come to your senses while house hunting.

Can You Compromise?

Posted in Psychological Stuff,What do I Buy? by Jeff Dowler on November 26, 2007
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Buying a new home is about compromise.

Often it’s because the perfect home you desire does not exist, or is not something you can afford. There are trade-offs with every home, and deciding what you are willing to give up vs. what you are not is usually a tough choice. Some buyers have a very tough time making this decision. And as a first timer you may find this especially hard to do.

 Compromise also is necessary when there is more than one person involved in the decision making, and the parties do not agree on what they are looking for in a new home, or the merits of particular houses. Certain characteristics of homes may be more important to some folks than others. And occasionally very small issues become huge ones!

So be prepared for needing to compromise. How do you resolve such issues in your daily life? Are you willing to let go of certain desires in order to achieve the overall goal of home-ownership?