Buying and Selling Homes in Antelope, Santa Clarita, and San Fernando Valleys, CA
Frequently Asked Questions
(1) What is
the difference between a real estate agent and a real estate broker?
require real estate sales professionals to be licensed by the state, so that
they can control
education and experience requirements and have a central authority to resolve
The terminology used to identify real estate professionals
varies a little from state to state. Brokers are generally required to
have more education and experience than real estate salespersons or agents. The
person you normally real with is a real estate agent or salesperson. The
salesperson is licensed by the state, but must work for a broker. All
listings are placed in the broker's name, not the salesperson's.
A broker can deal directly with home buyers and sellers, or
can have a staff of salespersons or agents working for him or her.
(2) Why should I use a real
You as a
buyer or seller need a real estate professional to represent, advise and guide
you thru the real estate purchase process. It takes many service providers, i.e.,
escrow, lender, inspectors, etc, to buy or sell a property. The average consumer
would be overwhelmed with forms, contracts, disclosures and all other parts of
buying and selling.
(3) Trying to make a choice
between an updated home in an older neighborhood or a newer home in a more
modern neighborhood? If the home in the older neighborhood has almost
everything I want and is much larger, which makes the most sense as an
If your goal is to buy a home for it's resale value and the
one you are thinking of buying in the older neighborhood is at the upper end of
values for that neighborhood, then it may not be the wisest choice. If it is
similar or lower in price to the others, then there should be no problem,
because pricing should be considered in relation to the local neighborhood and
not compared to homes in other neighborhoods (for the most part).
Plus, is it a neighborhood on the decline, or are others
going to be fixing things up, too, so that it is a neighborhood that is
improving? It could turn out to be a very good deal as long as you don't
"overpay" because of the recent improvements.
Remember that you also buy a home for it's value to you as a
"home," and that is something else you should consider. Which
neighborhood would you AND your family feel most comfortable in?
(4) Can you
negotiate the price of a bank owned home?
Everything in real estate is negotiable. However, banks are
more sophisticated about pricing than they were years ago. So those "Get a
great deal on a foreclosure!" days aren't what they used to be. Lowball
offers generally don't go very far.
10 Reasons to Buy an Existing Home
By Geneva Ives
Get more house for less money
Existing houses typically cost less per square foot than new builds do. And lot
sizes may be bigger, too, an important consideration for people who love to
spend time in the yard.
Move in immediately
Instead of waiting for building to complete on your new house, you can usually
move into a new house immediately after closing day. No rain delays or builder
setbacks to worry about.
Love your neighborhood
Many people choose to buy an existing home because they fall in love with a
certain neighborhood. When you purchase a home in an established neighborhood
as opposed a community that's being developed, you know exactly what you're
getting – whether it's loud or quiet, family-friendly or full of college
students. You may even have a chance to meet the neighbors before placing your
Enjoy the view
Sometimes one of the very best things about buying the house you fall in love
with is that someone has already loved it first! They have planted trees and
flowers that are now fully grown. There's a lot to be says for mature
landscaping. You can hang a tree swing right away, and you won't have to wait a
few seasons for a good fruit harvest.
Delight in architectural details
Homes built in previous decades can have beautiful design details that can't be
found or are hard to replicate in newer homes. Plaster molding, pocket doors
and tin ceilings are just a few of the architectural gems that come to mind.
Spend less on upgrades
When you have a home built, you pay a set price for every upgrade you choose.
But when you purchase an existing home, you also purchase all of the upgrades
done by the previous owners at a depreciated value because it's been slightly
used. A fancy floor that's been walked on a few times usually costs less than a
fancy floor that's brand spanking new.
Breeze through your home inspection
Homes that have been lived in are usually much easier for home inspectors to
thoroughly inspect. Existing problems can be brought to light immediately,
helping you to make the right decision and potentially negotiate savings on
your contract. New homes are harder to inspect – some problems, like slow
leaks, may not come to light until long after you've moved in.
Rest easy when it comes to home values
Homes in established neighborhoods will have a proven track record of home
values. Area ups and downs can be tracked through the years, allowing you to
feel more secure in your investment.
Shorten your commute
Many new developments are built where there's space, and that often means in an
up-and-coming (or just plain far away) part of town. If you work in the heart
of the city or want your children to go to certain well-known school, chances
are the neighborhood in that area is built up already so a resale home is your
best, and possibly only, option.
Soak up some history
It's always fun to do research on your home. Existing homes come with built-in
character. Who lived there before you? And before them? Some buyers even find treasures
left behind by previous owners.