Take a Drive. Take a Walk. Take in the Ambiance.
Whether your search starts with communities or neighborhoods within a specific community, you might want to begin by car so you can gain an overview of the area. Notice the types of homes and businesses, public spaces, street layouts and maintenance, etc. If possible, once you have decided on a neighborhood or two, consider a walkabout or even a bike ride. You might find yourself talking to locals and stopping in a few shops or other retail establishments. Make notes if you need to. And jot down the addresses of any homes for sale.
Focus Your Search
During your walkabouts and rideabouts you will likely find at least a few homes that appeal to you. You can get information on them online through the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). If you are considering buying a home in the San Gabriel Valley, you can search the Pasadena area MLS right here on the Lin Vlacich website. Your real estate agent can also point you to other listings in the community or communities of your choice. For example, Lin has her finger on the pulse of local listing activity: on the MLS, upcoming, and private (a.k.a. “pocket”) listings. She can then make appointments for you to visit them, and will accompany you to each one.
When you are buying a home, making an offer is definitely one of the most important steps. It requires not just in-depth knowledge of the process, but also experience and expertise regarding the specific market and its current and long-term real estate activity and values. Those things must be balanced with an understanding of the potential costs and expenses associated with the home, a feel for what kind of offer the seller will accept, and the price and terms that will give you an advantage over other offers. That’s why it is vital to have an experienced real estate professional such as Lin Vlacich on your team.