Tag Archives: real estate

The Perfect Event for Prospective Home Buyers

For many young professionals working in Santa Barbara, the thought of “settling down” involves moving away from our beautiful beach town to somewhere with more affordable housing. When Alexandra and Andy Hamill first met, they didn’t think they would be able to stay here either. “Starting a family in their one-bedroom apartment would not have been feasible,” Alexandra said. Despite grandparents and other family members who tied them to the area, moving out of the area seemed to be their only option.

That’s when Andy found out about one of Coastal Housing Partnership’s Home Buying Fairs through his employer, Toyon. Toyon is one of more than 60 local companies that provides housing savings and benefits to its employees through an annual paid membership with Coastal Housing Partnership. These benefits include free home buying education as well as savings when buying a home, refinancing a mortgage, or renting an apartment.

“The Home Buying Fair was really helpful and encouraging, and that’s when we started reading more about Coastal Housing and crunching numbers,” Alex said. Once the couple realized home ownership in Santa Barbara might be possible for them, they started exploring their options and looking into buying a condo.

Alex and Andy started working with the Kevin Hall real estate team and lender Terre Lapman, both of whom are part of the Coastal Housing network. After saving up their own money and receiving a family loan for part of their down payment, Alex and Andy found their condo a few years ago.

Coastal Housing real estate agents and lenders provide savings to home buyers in the form of credits toward closing costs in the home buying process. “We wound up with no closing costs. That was huge,” Alex said. “We’re thankful that Toyon is part of Coastal Housing. It helped us stay in Santa Barbara!” The Hamills worked with Coastal Housing partners once again when they recently bought a larger house after having two kids.

Many people are daunted by the competitive real estate market in the area, and assume that home ownership is not a possibility for them. Coastal Housing Partnership’s free education programs aim to making the home buying process simpler to understand and more accessible for a wide range of prospective home buyers.

This spring, Coastal Housing Partnership will host its 8th Annual Home Buying Fair on April 30th from 5pm-8pm at the Pierpont Inn in Ventura. Providing a no-pressure environment to chat with real estate agents, lenders, and other real estate professionals, this event is perfect for prospective home buyers who want to get their questions answered or shop for members of their home buying team. Come network, hear professional panels about the home buying process and the real estate market, and eat tacos at the Home Buying Fair!

For more information and to RSVP, visit homebuyingfairs.org or call the Coastal Housing Partnership office at (805) 969-1025.

“It is expensive but there are tools out there to help!” Alex said. “Don’t be resigned to the fact that you need to move away. Look into ways you can stay here.”

Announcing dates for our 2019 Home Buying Fairs

This year marks the 8th year of Coastal Housing Partnership Home Buying Fairs! These events are the best place to get on your path to home ownership, or to get your questions answered if you’re already on your way to buying a home! Join us.

Attendees can network with dozens of local lenders, real estate agents, residential construction companies, and moving companies. Our Home Buying Fairs also feature 3 educational panels of real estate professionals that cover different home buying topics. And of course, we’ll have tacos. 🙂 Save the date:

Tuesday, April 30th, 5-8pm, Pierpont Inn, Ventura

Wednesday, September 25th, 5-8pm, Deckers Rotunda, Goleta

Make sure to share this valuable event with anyone you know who has home ownership in their future! Looking forward to seeing you there!

The Real Estate Home Inspection and Request for Repairs

The following blog post is by Sue Irwin, Realtor. Thank you for your guest post Sue!

The Real Estate Home Inspection and Request for Repairs

The home inspection is a major part of a buyer’s investigations when purchasing a property, and it is the basis for other possible inspections (such as roof, heating system, foundation, geology) that a buyer might decide to do during the period allotted for investigations during escrow. Even if the seller has provided a home inspection, the buyer may want to have their own inspection done.

There are a number of competent home inspectors in our area, and I like to get the inspection ordered as soon as we have an accepted offer. Home inspections cost from $450-$600, paid by the buyer at time of service.

The job of the home inspector is to do a general but thorough inspection of the entire property: the lot, fencing and retaining walls, foundation, exterior and interior of the home, the roof, and any areas under the house. They check that the main appliances are operational, that the main plumbing, heating and electrical systems are safe and operational, and if there are any health and safety issues that might be a problem with the specific property. Home inspectors are “generalists” and may recommend that the buyer get an additional inspection from a specialist if there is a problem with a roof, foundation, etc.

I personally like to be at the inspection the entire time (about 3 hours). Buyers can be there the whole time but often come for the last hour of the inspection, at which time inspector will go over his findings and point out areas of the home that may have problems. Then within a day or two, the inspector emails the buyer and agent a 30- to 50-page report of all the findings, along with photographs of items that may need attention. The inspection report is the buyer’s property, and is not automatically sent to the seller or seller’s agent.

You Have the Home Inspection… What’s Next?

Your home inspection will inevitably point out some problems with the property, even if it is brand new. You can discuss these problems with the inspector at the time of the inspection or by phone later on, and he will let you know as much as he can about them. Most home inspectors have many years of experience, and they know what is truly problematic, what needs common maintenance sooner than later, and what to keep an eye on for future possible maintenance.

You may decide to get further inspections as indicated in the general inspection (most of these are inspections you will pay for), or you may want to get estimates from electricians, contractors, plumbers, and other service providers for the most important issues on the report. The extent of this secondary phase of inspections depends on what is called out on the report and what you decide is important to you after speaking with the general inspector. As an agent I may also recommend that you take the inspector’s advice about further investigations, and I can recommend inspectors or service providers and facilitate getting estimates for repairs.

This information may be only for your benefit if you are truly buying a house in “As Is” condition. Otherwise you will use it as proof of problems when asking the seller to either have a problem fixed or credit you money for repairs. These requests are presented in a signed Request for Repairs document, at which time your agent will most likely send the listing agent a copy of the home inspection and any estimates or further inspections you have received.

Deciding What to Ask For in a Request for Repairs –

and What to Expect from the Seller

What repairs or credits a buyer decides to ask for depends on the extent of the problems with the property, what issues are the most important to them, and how they think the seller might react to the request. Most often a buyer is advised to stick to health and safety items, and damage that could adversely affect the structural integrity of the home over time.

The Request for Repairs process is a negotiation during escrow, and crafting an effective Request for Repairs is an important job of a buyer’s agent. Part of this is learning as much as possible about the personalities and goals of the seller and the seller’s agent before you decide what to ask for. You may have a list a mile long, but it is advisable to get the list pared down to the most important items and be willing to let the small stuff go for the moment. Again, it depends on all the people involved. Even in an “As Is” sale, a buyer may be able to get repairs or credits for maintenance issues if the Request for Repairs is done skillfully.

What can you expect as a response from the seller? Anything from a complete No to a complete Yes! Discuss ahead of time what you hope to get in a response, and what you will do with different levels of response from the seller. If the seller response is not enough to keep you in the sale, you can keep negotiating to try for the response you need. At some point you may have to let the home go and try another property – it may just be too problematic of a property for your budget or your time and abilities.

More often than not, however, a Request for Repairs can be negotiated to everyone’s satisfaction, making you one step closer to closing your escrow and owning your new home!

Sue Irwin is a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and a Coastal Housing Partnership member. She can be reached at 805-705-6973.

Home Buyers Can’t Afford to Miss Home Buying Fair

If you are a first time home buyer, a move-up buyer, getting back into the market or just thinking about buying a home, Coastal Housing Partnership‘s 4th Annual Home Buying Fair is an event you can’t afford to miss!

Coastal Housing Partnership’s 4th Annual Home Buying Fair is Saturday May 9th from 10am to 3pm at Fess Parker’s Doubletree Resort in Santa Barbara.

The Home Buying Fair is a one-stop shop for potential home buyers to access valuable tools, resources and information on how to navigate the home buying process in today’s real estate market and get on the path to home ownership.

Admission is free for members / $5.00 for adults.

Visit www.CoastalHousing.org/Home-Buying-Fair/ for more information.