Buying or selling a home? Goodwin & Thyne Properties can help.

For most people, buying a home can be a stressful event. But with a little up-front planning, it's not that hard. I like to provide buyers with a road map of the whole deal so they understand exactly what they can expect. Below are my nine steps to purchasing a home. Should you have any questions regarding this information or if you're prepared to get started, just contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Prepare to buy
There are many things you should consider prior to starting your home search. When you start your search, you'll probably want to put together an outline of features you need, plan for what school districts you'd like to live in, and start planning around your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is less than a third of your monthly income is a good guideline to adhere to.
Step 2 – Get in touch with a real estate agent
That's where I can help. We'll plan a time to meet so we can talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your future plans. We'll discuss everything from neighborhoods, school districts in the Santa Barbara area, the mortgage and housing industries, to any other economic factors that could potentially affect your buying decision today or in the future.
In addition, I'll help you facilitate the loan process. There are some very good mortgage professionals in Santa Barbara, and I partner with a lot of them, so you're in great hands. They'll assist you with figuring out which kind of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Begin your home search
After we meet for the first time, I'll start looking for houses on the market that meet your needs. I'll research most of the houses and exclude the bad ones, and then we'll book appointments to tour the houses whenever it's most convenient for you.

As we tour the houses, I'll show you the positive features and negative ones. And I'll ask you about things you like and don't like. It's widely common for buyers to update their list of must-haves as we view houses and some things become far more crucial than others. If that's the case, I'll search all the listings once again and narrow it down to the house you've been dreaming about.

Step 4 – Understand the housing market
My awareness of the Santa Barbara home market is a crucial component in your home search. I'm informed of all the school districts and neighborhoods, and I will alert you to which areas are "hot" and warrant prompt action and others that are "cold" and allow for more analysis.

When we tour homes, I'll let you know if the seller's list price has room for bargaining or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be on guard and make sure you ask lots of questions. Every REALTOR in Santa Barbara will tell you they truly understand the market. If it seems like they don't know everything, contact me at 805-899-1100 or e-mail me at , and I'll be glad to answer any questions you might have. My knowledge of the market will keep you a step above the rest through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the home you've been waiting for
We'll find your dream house in Santa Barbara, and when that happens, I'll carefully create your purchase offer. The offer will be tailored with your needs in mind and the home, including several contingencies. A few examples are getting financing, finishing the home inspection, and a clean title.

When we submit your purchase offer, you'll likely want to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to a home seller to secure an offer to buy the property. The amount is typically applied to the cost of closing. If the seller accepts the offer, we should close on the home about 30 to 60 days after. This allows enough time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
A lot of contracts aren't closed on the initial offer. It's widely common to receive a counter offer. But don't let it discourage you. We'll talk over whether or not to agree to the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and go on.

How aggressively we negotiate the contract depends on the state of the market. We'll also work within your financing constraints. And when it's all said and done, we'll put together a contract that's best for you.

Step 7 – Get financing
Once we sign the final contract, you'll start working with your lender to close the loan. It shouldn't be a long process at all if you're already pre-approved, but you'll need to stay in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll care for all the property information your mortgage lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your lender will send you a Loan Estimate (LE) detailing your closing costs within three days of accepting your application. You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) detailing closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of taking your application. This estimate rests on the loan amount. RESPA requirements order that it has to include all closing costs and fall within a narrow range of accuracy, and I'll study the estimate and let you know if everything looks okay.

Then we'll close on your home. This will most often occur at a title company or escrow office and will likely be a smooth and relaxed affair.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything, make sure you contact me at 805-899-1100 or e-mail me at