You’ve saved for over a year- you’ve cleaned up your credit in order to ensure that you qualify for the lowest mortgage rate. Y you have your down payment, have learned the market, now what real value is, and now that the long haul is over, you are ready to shop for your dream home.  There are steps involved in finding your dream home, so let’s take a look at each.

The first step, is to get pre-approved for a loan.  The reason for this is simple.  You are able to determine the type of home you’ll qualify for.  Granted that the big house on top of the hill with the magnificent views of the city below may be your ideal dream come true, but, if it isn’t a reality, why look at it?  Getting pre-approved for a loan lets you know the price range you can afford, and also puts you in a better position when it comes to putting in your offer.  If a seller receives multiple offers on a home, you want to be in the most attractive position.  Knowing you have been approved for a loan in the amount of the home will put you in a more attractive position.

Next, you’ll want to determine your areas of interest.  There are so many wonderful investments right now.  Start with the area you’d like to live, check out the neighborhoods in the city / town, check out the school districts if you have children, look at the community amenities, the neighborhood/s crime rates, and the employment in the area.  These are all factors that are your criteria in a neighborhood.

It is also important to get to know your local market.  Access the Internet and begin to visit sites, read ads on homes for sale in the area you wish to purchase, visit open houses, and so on.  You should get to know what is out there, prior to beginning your house hunting.

The nice thing about getting to know the market is that you will get ideas of what criteria you want in a home, which is important to determine before you begin to shop.  Make a list of features you’d like your new home to have- the number of bedrooms, the number of bathrooms, any special features such as a game room and so on.  Once you have done all this, then you will be ready to hire a Los Angeles real estate agent!

When you hire a Los Angeles real estate agent, you want an experienced and skilled real estate agent.  Real estate transactions are a legal process and the role of the real estate agent is to professionally represent you.  Real estate agents guide their clients to the best opportunities, saving the time and money as well as aggravation.  One thing you will want to keep in mind is that when you shop for an agent, you will want to ask the agent for referrals of past clients, and you want to check those referrals out.  Your real estate agent should have plenty of satisfied clients.