HomeSmart Evergreen Realty
Tricia Ebert & Ernie Sheesley, Realtors®

7 Steps to Home Ownership

by Tricia Ebert, Realtor®, CSA®, ABR®, BPOR®, CDPE® 


Last week we discussed how to get your pre-approval letter. Now we'll deal with actually finding you a house.


(3) Where to find your dream home: Once you have your financing in place, it’s time to start looking for a house, townhouse or condo. But WHERE should you look? This is primarily determined by what you can afford. If you can buy a house priced up to $300,000 and you want to buy something in Beverly Hills, you will most likely be disappointed. So please be realistic about what you can afford and WHERE you can buy a house. Agents in California frequently have clients who want to buy a completely remodeled 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom house in a really lovely neighborhood for less than $300,000 or $400,000. In Southern California, this is nearly impossible. You may have to consider buying a condo or townhouse as your first home because you will get a property that is larger, newer and in better condition than a house for the same amount of money. Frankly, condos and townhouses are a better value for the money.


      So please be realistic about what you can afford and where you can afford to buy a home. If Beverly Hills is out of your price range, what other communities do you like? Be open to two or three areas to look for a home. It will also help if you know which neighborhoods you like or don’t like within the towns you’re searching.


      For example, if you know you want to live in Burbank, CA, it’s important to drive around and see which areas have the types of houses you like, as well as “the feel” of the neighborhood, where the supermarkets, banks and gas stations are located, how close it is to the freeway and which freeway it’s close to, etc. Maybe you exit at Pass Avenue off the 134 freeway heading east, and you start driving around that area of Burbank. You notice signs that say “Media District.” You see that Warner Bros. and The Burbank Studios and Disney Studios are all located in this part of the community.


      Then you drive a little south of there on Riverside Drive and discover “The Rancho” where people have horses and horse stalls in their backyards. After exploring that area, you drive north to Magnolia Blvd. and the neighboring areas and discover this is called “Magnolia Park.” As you drive toward the hills, you see the Burbank Mall and the condos, townhouses and houses in this area. Driving further north, you realize you’re in the Burbank Hills north of Glenoaks Blvd., and this is another completely different area.


      You may like one neighborhood better than another. This is important when searching for a home. Depending on your budget and what you can afford, you may find you really like the area north of Glenoaks, but it’s not realistic to expect to find a house for $400,000 there. So you decide to look for a condo or townhouse that meets your needs instead. Or you realize you also like the Media District, and it might be easier to find a small house in the $495,000 range there.


      It’s of utmost importance that you be realistic about what you can afford and where you can afford to buy a home. Otherwise, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Please listen to your Realtor when she tells you what prices you’ll find for properties in different areas and respect her guidance. She is constantly looking at the inventory of homes on the market and knows what’s available.


Next week: Once you've chosen the neighborhoods where you want to buy a home, you need to get clear about the type of home you want. We'll discuss this topic next week. Till then, happy house hunting! :-)

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What my clients are saying  

"When my wife and I separated, we of course needed to sell our house. It was a very tough time for both of us. But despite our stress and grief, Tricia was really great understanding our difficult situation, and was able to work with both of us to satisfy our needs. We had to sell the house as fast as possible and get the most possible from the sale. Tricia was able to accomplish both! She is VERY knowledgeable about the market, and treats each sale (both buying and selling) as if it is her own home. It made our difficult situation less stressful knowing she was taking care of us. We are both very grateful she was there for us. Tricia is the best!"


~ M., Burbank, CA

Tricia is a great person to work with. She was very familiar with the process, and she was very patient. Tricia did help us find the right townhouse for us. Highly recommended!


~ Aristos & Suzanna Theoharides, Burbank, CA

Tricia is AMAZING! We had to do a short sale with our property, and Tricia's expertise made the process so easy, and dare I say, even enjoyable! We will definitely work with her again and refer her to everyone we know who needs a knowledgeable, patient, and professional agent.


~ Bowe & Gina K., Burbank, CA

I love Tricia! She really helped me through everything. Very knowledgeable and thorough. So glad she was on my side!


~ Mari Helgeson, Hollywood, CA

I call Tricia my Angel. She genuinely cares about her clients and goes out of her way to help them. She helped my family do a short sale on our house, and we felt completely taken care of throughout the process. I highly recommend Tricia to all of our friends and family.


~ Fides D., Van Nuys, CA

Tricia is truly a hands-on Realtor whose attention to detail takes the stress out of house hunting. She has helped me buy two properties over the years, and I would recommend her to anyone looking for a real estate agent. Tricia is hard-working, caring, and guides her clients through the buying and selling process step-by-step. A consummate professional!


~ Kari Wahlgren, Burbank, CA

Tricia: Impeccable professionalism, humor and good spirits. Constant cheerleader and positive force of nature. Not only our Realtor but our teacher, our guide, our guardian angel. We feel so fortunate that Debi found you and led us to you. You encouraged us from the get go. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you. It goes without saying but, we could not have done it without you! Hugs and Happy Dancing!


~ Sarah & Chad Wiley, North Hollywood, CA

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