buying sacramento homes

Are You Really Prequalified to Buy a Home?


FHA or VA Financing OptionsJust because a buyer is holding a preapproval letter from a lender, it does not mean that buyer is prequalified to buy a home in Sacramento. Of course, the buyer does not understand that because, after all, the lender issued the letter, what could possibly be wrong with it? I don’t have enough time in the day to talk about how many things could be wrong with that preapproval letter, but I’ll tell you this, no seller wants to find out in underwriting that a particular problem exists that should have been discovered before the darn approval letter was issued in the first place.

If you think these kinds of thing don’t happen, then you don’t work in Sacramento real estate. Faulty preapproval letters are almost becoming the norm. Each one is different, so a seller needs to read the letter to figure out if the lender even has a loan application from the borrower. The lender might not. The lender is not required to obtain a loan application in person prior to issuing a prequal letter.

We are presently working with a very sweet couple who hope to buy their first home soon. Like most first-time home buyers, they are filled with the excitement and a little bit of stress over finding a home. The home buying process is very new to them, and they aren’t sure where to start, but they knew enough to go to their local credit union and a major bank to get a loan pre approval letter before calling me.

Hot off the presses from the credit union, that pre approval letter was their ticket to viewing homes — because it meant they could finally write an offer if they fell in love with a home. The major bank was issuing the preapproval letter as well, although it seemed to be delayed by a few days. It takes only a few hours to get a preapproval letter from our preferred mortgage brokers.

Just to compare rates and service, we suggested the buyers call Dan Tharp at Guild Mortgage. He handled the refinance for my home a long time ago, and I’ve referred Dan Tharp for years. Honest, ethical, hardworking, devoted to the mortgage business and extremely smart. He verified the buyers and guess what? They are not pre-approved. The credit union made a big mistake. The buyers verified this with the credit union as well. They didn’t just take Dan’s word for it, although they could have. Because now Dan is helping them to fix that roadblock, and they will be back on the road to home ownership in no time at all.

Just because you are holding a pre-approval letter, it does not mean you are actually pre-approved. Not even if it comes from the biggest credit union in California.

Sacramento Home Buyers Who Fall in Love With Homes

fall in love with homesHave you ever noticed that the longer some companies remain in business, the crappier their products become? I suspect it’s because corporations tend to value bottom-line profit over anything else. They might promote a cute slogan like “people first” but you and I both know that’s just marketing fluff. It doesn’t really matter where you look, you’ll find some item that was made years ago is probably a better quality product than today’s merchandise. Even homes. Even homes in Sacramento.

Tour homes in some of our leafier neighborhoods such as homes in Land Park or homes in Carmichael, and Sacramento home buyers will find thick redwood joists and plaster walls, not the cheaper wood and thin drywall like today. I poke my cheap-ass Jawbone device and wonder why can’t they make it work like the earlier models when callers could actually hear me talk. Or, what about the Victoria’s Secret pajamas that used to actually keep a person warm at night and now you can see through the material, and btw, that’s not on purpose. Don’t even get me started on cars made out of plastic. Cheaper, and cheaper and cheaper until the corporation can no longer sustain itself because the profit margin is so thin and it bankrupts.

The one thing that hasn’t changed is our love affairs with real estate. No matter how small or cheap builders build, we keep buying these homes and falling in love with them. If you think people don’t fall in love with a home, then you’re not a Sacramento real estate agent. One of the entities that publishes homes for sale online, just on a lark, I guess, conducted a survey among 1,000 buyers and their lust for homes. It found that 2 out of every 3 buyers stare at online real estate porn and develop fixations.

I was surprised that the number wasn’t higher. But surveys can be skewed. People tend to participate if they have a strong opinion one way or the other and the results don’t always represent the opinion of an average person. In any case, I  try to present my photographs online in such a manner that people will stay up late, glued to their laptop and click on every one of them. Because I want that next click to be an email to me, asking to see the home. What else they do with their laptop on the privacy of their own sofa, I don’t want to know about.

If you’ve about to fall in love with homes, call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Don’t wait. Do it today. The really cute homes go fast this spring.

Think About Selling a Sacramento Home When Buying

Sacramento RealtorOne of the biggest fears sellers often harbor about selling a Sacramento home is what if it doesn’t sell? They have those fears because they are not in real estate. When you’re in real estate, like this Sacramento real estate agent, you know that anything will sell if the price is right. Even a flooded-out house with mold the size of basketballs will sell. And yes, I’ve sold a lot of those types of homes, too.

There are a variety of reasons why selling a Sacramento home might take longer than usual to sell, though. These are sometimes the reasons that some sellers don’t want to hear because they are reasons the sellers should have thought of before they bought a home. I often tell people that the time to think about selling a Sacramento home is when you buy a home.

Maybe it’s in a bad location. You know, location, location, location is what drives real estate. Maybe there’s something about it that other homes have and yours does not. I ask buyer’s agents who show my listings to give me buyer feedback. From feedback I hear about things we can rectify. If we can’t rectify those things, we can adjust the price to account for it.

It’s difficult to explain to a seller that she bought the wrong home or paid too much, but I do try to get that point across if it is true. It is often true. Especially in certain neighborhoods in Sacramento, it’s easy to buy the wrong type of home in the wrong location.

Or, we can wait for the buyer who is just like the seller of any other beautiful home in Elk Grove. Because the seller bought this home for a reason. That is most likely the same reason a new buyer will buy it. Nobody is that unique. A buyer will appear, and we will reel ’em in.

There is a buyer for every home in Sacramento. If this agent is listing and selling your home, you can count on it.

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