Buyers' Guide To Your Dream Home

Buying Your SoCal Home

Why use Seraj Realty Group to represent you in the home buying process?

Any major purchase requires research, careful analysis, consideration, and thought. Home buying isn't any different! Determining the right location, the number of bedrooms or bathrooms needed, and outdoor space is the easier things. However, there are many other factors to think about in your home search. From your initial search to the moment you get the keys to your new home, we will be there, guiding you through the process. We can even help connect you with mortgage professionals to get the best rates. 

 

As area experts, we can help educate you on the different neighborhoods, schools, and other local community amenities that suit your lifestyle. 

 

We have not only worked in an array of communities, but also with different types of buyers. Whether you are new to this or a pro, whether your circumstances are standard or completely unique, whether you are an investor or luxury buyer, Seraj Realty Group is committed to provide luxury level services to every single client. 

Steps to Buying a Home (Financing):

Step 1: Check Your Credit Report & Score

Before getting a mortgage or any kind of loan, you should always check your credit. According to the law, you're allowed to receive one free copy of your credit report per year. You can do this by visiting Annualcreditreport.com. Scores range from approximately 300 to 850; generally, the higher your score, the better mortgage interest rate you'll qualify for. Don't forget to check your report for errors. If there are any, dispute them. It may help your credit score. You can also check your credit score for free at www.creditkarma.com.

Step 2: Figure Out How Much You Can Afford

You can calculate how much you can afford by starting online. There are several online mortgage calculators, including our mortgage calculator on this page, that will help you calculate an affordable monthly mortgage payment. Don't forget to factor in money you'll need for a down payment, closing costs, fees (such as fees for escrow, appraisal, inspection, etc.) and the costs of remodeling or furniture. Remember that you don't always have to put down 20 percent as your parents once did. There are loans available with little to no down payment. An experienced home loan expert can help you understand all your loan options, closing costs, and other fees.

Use The Mortgage Calculator Below For Your Monthly Mortgage Payment:

Mortgage Calculator

Amount of Loan
 
Annual Interest Rate
%
Term of Loan
Years

Does not include any taxes or fees.
Please consult a financial professional.

Step 3: Find the Right Lender 

To find the right mortgage lender it’s best to shop around. Get recommendations from your friends and family and check with the Better Business Bureau. Talk to at least three or four mortgage lenders. Ask lots of questions and make sure they have answers that satisfy you. Make sure to find someone that you are comfortable with and who makes you feel at ease.

Once you have the right mortgage lender, make sure you get a pre-approval. Qualifications are only a guess based on what you tell the lender and are no guarantee, whereas a pre-approval will give you a better idea of how big a loan you qualify for. The lender will actually pull your credit and get more information about you. That way, when you're ready to look for the right home, you can narrow down your search based on how much you are actually pre-approved for. 

Step 4: Look for the Right Home

Make a list of the things you'll need to have in the house. Ask yourself how many bedrooms and bathrooms you'll need and get an idea of how much space you desire. How big do you want the kitchen to be? Do you need lots of closets and cabinet space? Do you need a big yard for your kids and/or pets to play in?

Once you've made a list of your must-have's, don't forget to think about the kind of neighborhood you want, types of schools in the area, the length of your commute to and from work, and the convenience of local shopping. Take into account your safety concerns as well as how good the rate of home appreciation is in the area.

Step 5: Make an Offer on the Home

Now that we've found the home you want, we are ready to make an offer. We will help you write a compelling offer that gives you the best chance of convincing the homeowner to sell to you. Remember that price is only one factor that can convince the seller to accept your offer. We can also make your offer more compelling with other compromises that aren't important to you, but are important to the seller (like removing certain contingencies). Once your offer is accepted by the seller, you'll make an earnest, which is money that goes in escrow to give the seller a sign of good faith.

Step 6: Get the Right Mortgage for Your Situation 

There are many different types of mortgage programs out there, but as a first-time home buyer, you should be aware of the three basics: adjustable rate, fixed rate and interest-only.

Adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) are short-term mortgages that offer an interest rate that is fixed for a short period of time, usually between one to seven years. After that, the interest rate can adjust every year up or down, depending on the market. These are good for people who don't plan on living in their home very long and/or are looking for a lower interest rate and payment.

Fixed-rate mortgages are more traditional and offer a fixed interest rate (and thus a fixed monthly payment) for a longer period of time, usually 15 or 30 years, though they're available in 20 or 25 year terms. These are good for people who like a predictable payment and plan on living in their home for a long time.

Both fixed and adjustable rate mortgages can have an interest-only payment. What this means is that for a certain amount of time during the loan term, you're allowed to pay only enough to cover the interest portion of your payment. You can still pay principal when you wish, but don't have to if your budget is tight. There is a myth that with interest-only mortgages, you don't build equity. This is not necessarily true, since you can build equity through home appreciation. The benefit to interest-only mortgages is that you increase your cash flow by not paying principal.

Remember to ask your mortgage lender lots of questions about which mortgage is right for you and your situation.

Step 7: Close on Your Home

Make sure you get a home inspection before you close. It will be well-worth the money spent since it ensures the property's structural soundness and good condition.

Setting the closing date that is convenient to both parties may be tricky, but can certainly be done. Remember that you may have to wait until your rental agreement runs out and the seller may have to wait until they close on their new house.

Be sure you talk to your mortgage lender to understand all the costs that will be involved with the closing so there are no surprises. Closing costs will likely include (but are not limited to) your title fees, appraisal fees, escrow fees, inspection fees, and points you may have bought to buy down your interest rate.

Step 8: Move In!

You've got your mortgage, closed the deal and now it's time to move in! Whether you use a mover or not is up to you, depending on your financial situation and how much stuff you have to move; perhaps also, whether you have a lot of friends willing to help you move. Either way, you're done with the home buying process! Just start unpacking and start enjoying your first home! Buying a home for the first time doesn't have to be a hassle if you're prepared and you know what to do and when to do it. An experienced mortgage lender and knowledgeable real estate agents like Seraj Realty Group are the key to helping you have a smooth home buying experience!

Steps to Buying a Home (Cash Buyer):

 

Step 1: Figure Out How Much You Can Afford

Calculate your budget based on how much you are willing to spend on the purchase of a home. Are you buying as an investor? Are you downsizing and retiring? Is it a secondary vacation home? Or are you buying it for yourself and your family? Don't forget to factor in money you'll need for a down payment, closing costs, fees (such as fees for escrow, appraisal, inspection, etc.) and the costs of remodeling or furniture. Remember that you don't always have to put down 20 percent as your parents once did. 

The benefit of buying a home with cash is that your offer is seen as more competitive. It gives the seller a greater sense of security because it removes uncertainty from the transaction, avoids problems caused by lender requirements, and allows the sale to proceed quickly. 

Step 2: Look for the Right Home

Make a list of the things you'll need to have in the house. Ask yourself how many bedrooms and bathrooms you'll need and get an idea of how much space you desire. How big do you want the kitchen to be? Do you need lots of closets and cabinet space? Do you need a big yard for your kids and/or pets to play in?

Once you've made a list of your must-have's, don't forget to think about the kind of neighborhood you want, types of schools in the area, the length of your commute to and from work, and the convenience of local shopping. Take into account your safety concerns as well as how good the rate of home appreciation is in the area.

Step 3: Make an Offer on the Home

Now that we've found the home you want, we are ready to make an offer. We will help you write a compelling offer that gives you the best chance of convincing the homeowner to sell to you. Remember that price is only one factor that can convince the seller to accept your offer. We can also make your offer more compelling with other compromises that aren't important to you, but are important to the seller (like removing certain contingencies). Once your offer is accepted by the seller, you'll make an earnest, which is money that goes in escrow to give the seller a sign of good faith.

Step 4: Close on Your Home

Make sure you get a home inspection before you close. It will be well-worth the money spent since it ensures the property's structural soundness and good condition.

Setting the closing date that is convenient to both parties may be tricky, but can certainly be done. Remember that the seller may have to wait until they close on their new house.

Closing costs will likely include (but are not limited to) your title fees, appraisal fees, escrow fees, inspection fees, and points you may have bought to buy down your interest rate.

Step 5: Move In!

You've closed the deal and now it's time to move in! Whether you use a mover or not is up to you, depending on your financial situation and how much stuff you have to move; perhaps also, whether you have a lot of friends willing to help you move. Either way, you're done with the home buying process! Just start unpacking and start enjoying your first home! Buying a home for the first time doesn't have to be a hassle if you're prepared and you know what to do and when to do it. Knowledgeable real estate agents like Seraj Realty Group are the key to helping you have a smooth home buying experience!

Newest Listings on the Market:

$2,495,000
3 Beds 3 Baths ACTIVE Status
Set on a quiet residential street, this charming Venice home is perfectly tucked into the nature surrounding it. Just beyond the beautiful olive trees outside, the front porch welcomes you into this three-bedroom main house with additional bonus space in the backyard. Upon entry, the open floor plan guides you through the first seating area perched right around the wood-burning fireplace and through to the open dining room and kitchen. Adjacent to the entry is the first bedroom, sitting at the front of the house and drenched in sunlight, and the second bedroom with a beautifully designed bathroom with a custom built oak vanity. From here, the spacious primary suite with soaring high ceilings brings in even more sunlight through the trees and opens to a private outdoor deck, walk-in closet, and an impressive primary bathroom - with a soaking tub and rain shower. The suite extends even further and opens right to the outdoor Ipe deck, complete with an outdoor shower. Back inside, the kitchen leads into another seating area and, finally, to the impressive living room. Here, a wall of floor-to ceiling glass with pocket doors brings in a tremendous amount of light and creates an easy indoor / outdoor flow with the deck and backyard. The large Ipe deck is outfitted with a built-in BBQ - the perfect place for al fresco dining - while the backyard includes built-in bench seating and a fire pit to enjoy year round. The backyard also features the bonus space, complete with a vaulted ceiling and polished concrete floors, and could be a great gym, office, or additional living area. With the entire property set on a drip system surrounded by gorgeous landscaping, mature trees, 40-foot bamboo, and hedging, this home is a beautiful oasis right by the beach.

2128 Glyndon Ave, Venice

Courtesy of , Justin Feil - CA DRE#

$3,999,000
5 Beds 6 Baths ACTIVE UNDER CONTRACT Status
The Gem of Kentwood is a brand new architectural masterpiece estate perched on a hill, in the upscale and sought-after Westchester Bluffs neighborhood of Silicon Beach. A tree-lined street leads to the premier estate that sits on a huge nicely landscaped lot of ~8,500 sqft with prestigious grand semi-circular driveway and scenery views. An abundance of natural light, and majestic open floor plan with soaring high-ceilings that extends from the front door all the way to the backyard will definitely make you fall in love with this exquisite estate. The massive Great Room greets you upon entering with a perfect flow from the cozy living room into the state-of-the-art chef's kitchen with top of the line Thermador appliances to a pleasant dining room and the spacious family room overlooking the secluded backyard, with vast windows and 15ft bi-folding/sliding doors to both back and front yards connecting the indoor to the outdoor spaces for a seamless interior/exterior flow. Sensual gas fireplace wrapped with Granite stone to warm up the few cold Southern California nights centers the family room, coupled with a wine cellar under the stairs right by it make the perfect duo for a memorable time. The master bedroom retreat suite is upstairs accompanied by vaulted ceilings, leading to a large breezy balcony with its own elegant bathroom and his/her wide walk-in closets. A 2nd enormous family room with 6 skylights, three more en-suites bedrooms with vaulted ceilings (two have their own balconies) plus laundry room are also upstairs and one en-suite bedroom + powder room are downstairs. The entertaining backyard hedged by Ficus trees has a sprawling lawn, an open patio with a +9ft outdoor BBQ bar including cooler for alfresco dining, and a covered elevated extensive wood-deck patio offering a sitting lounge with outdoor sound speakers + security cameras. Super attention to details, filled with custom finishes including exotic Quartzite stone kitchen countertops and wide-plank white Oak flooring throughout. Equipped with surround sound system, pre-wired for Internet & TV in each of the rooms and electric car charger hookup in the garage, dual zone HVAC system controlled by NEST plus RING doorbell. A truly paradise home in astonishing nature with a vacation feeling and relaxed suburbs vibe. Elevated property offering great views of the surrounding hills and mountains landscape. Short bike ride from the wetlands and beach, nice walk to Central Park PV and Bluff Creek trails, right by Kenneth Hahn State Rec Area for jaw-drop views while hiking or biking. Amazing prime and central location on the Westside of Los Angeles nearby (~5-10min drive) Ballona Wetlands, Pacific Ocean, Playa Del Rey, Marina Del Rey, Manhattan Beach, Venice, Santa Monica, Culver City, LAX, LMU, HHLA Center, Westchester Village & Town Center, Westchester Golf Course & Rec Center, Westfield CC Shopping Mall, Playa Vista Runway, SoFi LASED, The Forum, restaurants, parks, schools and houses of worship; plus easy access to the 405/105/90 freeways for a straight shot (~15-30min drive) to Beverly/Hollywood Hills, DTLA, Malibu & Palos Verdes Peninsula among other places. A must see piece of heaven! - The rendering is for visualization purposes only, not a reliable source of proof and can't be guaranteed to match the final completed Property.

8057 Kentwood Ave, Los Angeles

Courtesy of , Antoine Bitar - CA DRE#

$899,000
2 Beds 1 Baths ACTIVE Status
This charming, beautifully renovated single-story home sits on a corner lot in quintessential Glassell Park. With complete privacy and modern amenities, this 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom turnkey home perfectly balances urban and suburban lifestyle. Extensively updated with hardwood floors, new kitchen and bathroom, high quality ProVia security doors, dual-pane windows, recessed lighting, new electrical, central air & heat, and 2018 roof, every detail has been taken care of. The open layout seamlessly connects the family room and tasteful kitchen, featuring stainless steel appliances, quartz countertops, custom cabinets, modern farmhouse light fixtures, and a sizable breakfast counter. The spacious backyard comes with artificial turf and succulent drought tolerant plants, newly installed redwood deck, cozy fire pit, and plenty of room for entertaining and/or relaxing! Enjoy fresh avocados, lemons, and pomegranate from your own secluded garden. Additional upgrades include new tankless water heater, $12,000 worth of earthquake proofing, top-of-the-line insulation in the attic, and $15,000 worth of upgraded landscaping, which includes a fully automatic irrigation drip system. Ample storage in the back and detached 1-car garage round out the property. Situated within the John Muir Elementary School District, and moments away from Palmer Park, Glendale, Eagle Rock, Silver Lake, and all the best offerings of the Eastside! You won't want to miss this one!

3705 York Blvd, Los Angeles

Courtesy of , Jon Grauman - CA DRE#

$950,000
3 Beds 2 Baths ACTIVE Status
Buyers! Agents! Investors! This 3-bedroom, 2- bathroom home located in the family-oriented neighborhood of View Heights is minutes from the airport, SOFI stadium, Playa Del Rey and the Marina and is an amazing opportunity. When you arrive at this Spanish style home you are welcomed with a nice size front yard nestled on top of a hillside neighborhood. Approaching the home, you will notice a large picture window and an arched entry way leading to the front door. Entering the home, you will step unto original hardwood floors sanded and awaiting your clients finishing touch. To the right is a nice size living room with a fireplace and access to a side patio perfect for your morning tea. To the left of your entrance is a dining room with a large picture window allowing natural sunlight in as you dine. This room leads into a remodeled kitchen with Corian counters, stainless steel appliances a farm style sink and a laundry room. Down the hallway you will encounter a full-size bathroom, with two bedrooms and stairs leading to a primary bedroom suite upstairs. The primary bedroom is the perfect retreat with two walk-in closets for his and hers, primary bathroom with double sinks, shower and a balcony looking south towards the Palos Verdes hills and overlooking the backyard. The backyard is an investor or developers dream with an unfinished room which is attached to the house and situated under the upstairs primary bedroom. This room properly developed could be a great den, additional bedrooms or separate guest unit (buyer to verify information with city planning). There is also a two-car garage that was converted to a one car garage and a workout/ storage room (or once again possibly converted to another room on the property AND that's not it.... there is still a nice size grassy fenced backyard for your kids to play and your dogs to enjoy. Want to garden? Get a head start with several fruit trees and a large avocado tree. This charming home in a beautiful area has a lot to offer, with your desire to finish the construction projects the seller started will reap a nice return based on sold comps in area that have been fully renovated. This is the right opportunity to restore or develop a home and create a dream home. Call or text listing agent and let's put this one in escrow!! Buyer to verify all information implied or stated and satisfy themselves through inspections and information received.

4428 W 62nd St, Los Angeles

Courtesy of , Teresa Taylor - CA DRE#

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