Finding and Buying an East Bay Home

Kelly Crawford


From the time you begin your search for an ideal East Bay home to the time you seal the deal, having an experienced local expert by your side can make a huge difference. Purchasing a home is a significant financial commitment, so it's crucial to seek guidance, proceed carefully, and take precautions to safeguard yourself at each stage of the process.
If you’ve found a Walnut Creek, Lafayette, or Orinda home you’re ready to purchase, follow the steps in this guide.

Schedule a showing

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Over half of all homebuyers begin their search online. However, 87% of buyers use a real estate agent to actually tour and purchase a home. Prior to beginning your search, hire an experienced local agent to guide you through the process. When the time comes, your real estate agent will work with listing agents and help you schedule in-person showings. This is vital since the best way to determine if a property is right for you is to tour it. Although Internet listings have greatly improved in recent years, you can never truly get a feel for a space until you see and experience it for yourself.

Contact your mortgage provider

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There’s a high probability that you already have a mortgage in place if you’re looking for a home. In this case, phone your mortgage provider before taking any action to make sure you can utilize your mortgage whenever you need to. With your finances secured, you can unwind and begin taking care of the remaining steps in your transaction.

Get a home inspection

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After looking at online listings and touring homes in person, you may think you know everything you need to make an offer. However, a professional home inspection is crucial to a successful sale. An inspection will show you any and all issues with a property. You can include an inspection contingency in your offer, meaning that before finances are transferred, the home must pass an inspection. With an inspection, you can be more certain you’re making a smart purchase.

Survey the home

In addition to a home inspection, you should organize a property survey prior to purchasing your new home. A surveyor will inspect the property and establish its boundary lines as well as its overall health. This can be an added cost, but a property survey may save you money in the long run. The last thing you want to do is purchase real estate only to discover it has significant issues or that you received an unfair price.

Meet the neighbors

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It’s important to remember that when you purchase a home, you’re also buying into a community. Thus, get to know your potential neighbors. Talk to them about their interests and life in the neighborhood you’re interested in. This is where you can also learn about any neighborhood issues. Maybe parking is a nightmare or there are water usage restrictions, both of which are great information to have prior to purchasing. As well, look out for noisy neighbors or those with a lot of pets. Learning information about your new community prior to finalizing your sale will help ensure you make an informed decision. 

Make a final checklist

You've probably already taken a look around the house. However, you should repeat the process—this time with a fine-toothed comb. It’s essential to take a second look around the property with your real estate agent, making sure everything is exactly how you want it to be. There may have been details you overlooked the first time since your mind was preoccupied with a thousand other things. Ensure no major renovations are needed, the neighborhood is to your liking, and that the rooms are the size you expect them to be. Overall, you want this to be a purchase you won't regret.

Craft an offer with your agent

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Once you’ve made your decision, consult with your real estate agent. They can assist you in crafting an appropriate and compelling bid. It's important to follow your agent's recommendations to a tee when trying to win a home you absolutely adore.
With the home toured, inspected, and surveyed, it’s time to make an offer. This is a high-stakes phase of the process since you don’t know if the owner will accept or reject your offer. It’s best to start with the lower end of your budget when making an offer, which allows you to negotiate and raise your bid later on. Never bid with an initially high offer since that eliminates the possibility of negotiating within your means. As well, a well-written buyer's letter can make a huge difference for sellers. This personal touch will help you stand out among other purchasers with comparable finances. Also, agree to be flexible with the seller's timeframe and put up as much earnest money as you can, even if that means changing stipulations.

Close the deal

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Once your offer is accepted, all you need to do is finalize it. Pay the deposit, arrange the mortgage, and sign the contract if your offer is approved. It’s crucial to make sure that everything is in place before signing paperwork since, once you do, the sale is final.

Searching for Orinda homes for sale?

Purchasing a home—whether it’s your first or your fifth—is an exciting process. To ensure that everything goes as planned, it's best to work with an experienced local real estate expert like Kelly Crawford. If you’re interested in Lafayette, Orinda, or Walnut Creek homes for sale, contact Kelly and his team today.

*Header Photo courtesy of Shutterstock


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