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The Home Buying Process

Step 1: Check Your Credit Report & Score

Before obtaining a mortgage loan, know your credit standing. You can obtain a free credit report at and a free credit score at Scores range from approximately 300 to 850; generally, the higher your score, the better loan you'll qualify for.

Contact us for a quick consultation with one of our experienced lenders who will help assess your current credit standing and guide you to the best strategy to achieve your real estate goals.

Step 2: Know your Buying Power!!

Find the right Real Estate Agent/Lending Team...even if it's not us! Get recommendations from your friends and family and/or contact us for recommendations.

We recommend meeting with 2-3 mortgage lenders to ensure you are getting the best terms possible. During your consultation ask a lot of questions and make sure they have answers that satisfy you. Perhaps most important, hire someone that you are comfortable with and makes you feel at ease.

Step 3: Look for the Right Home

While we all aspire to find our “dream home”, remember, unless you are designing and building a home, it will not be 100% perfect (but we’ll help you get close). To avoid unnecessary frustrations, we recommend making a list of 5-10 non-negotiable characteristics that you and your family must have. Ask yourself how many bedrooms and bathrooms you'll need? 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-haves, 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 4: Touring Homes and Making Offers

Ready for the fun! The time has come to tour homes that fit your must-have list. Most buyers will tour 10+ homes before finding the right fit, so patience is key.

Once you've found the home(s) you like, it’s time to submit your offer(s). Expect that there will be some haggling and in today’s market, there will be a lot of competition, so come prepared with your highest and best offer.

Step 5: Open Escrow and Close on Your Home

Congratulations, your offer has been accepted and you are in final stage of the buying process. This phase will typically take 30-45 days to complete.

Step 6: Move In!

You've got your mortgage, closed the deal and now it's time to move in! As you can see, choosing an experienced mortgage lender and a friendly, knowledgeable real estate agent are the key to helping you have a smooth home buying experience. California Hills Realty is ready to be of service!"