Buyer Resources - Articles

Buying Your Home - Finding the Right Home

Choosing Which Home To Purchase:

  • The smaller house in the higher priced neighborhood
  • A larger house in a more modestly priced neighborhood
  • A home in a new housing development

Examining priorities: 

  • Is the neighborhood or the house itself more important?
  • Is the neighborhood safe?
  • Are schools a consideration?
  • Is there a  park, common area pool, recreation area?
  • How close is the house to shopping and transportation    

What Are The Pros & Cons Of Adding On Or Buying A Different House?      

 Adding On To The Existing House:

  • How much will it cost to do what is needed?
  • What funds will be used - i.e. Cash reserves or home improvement loan?
  • Will the house lend itself to the new design?
  • What do local zoning/building ordinances permit?
  • Will the Homeowners Association give their approval?
  • Will the finished product be better than finding a different property?
  • Will the property be over-improved for the neighborhood?

Finding a replacement house:

  • Are there affordable properties for sale that would be perfect?

How Do You Choose Between Buying and Renting? 

        Home Ownership

  • Tax Benefits
  • Freedom making decisions concerning the house 
  • Purchasing with a fixed-rate loan locks monthly housing expenses
  • Home ownership is a highly leveraged investment that can yield substantial profit on a nominal front-end investment


  • All of the maintenance issues with ownership belong to the landlord.

"For some people, owning a home is a great feeling," writes Mitchell A. Levy in his book, "Home Ownership: The American Myth," Myth Breakers Press, Cupertino, Calif.; 1993.

As for evaluating the risk associated with home ownership, David T. Schumacher and Erik Page Bucy write in their book "The Buy & Hold Real Estate Strategy," John Wiley & Sons, New York; 1992, that "good property located in growth areas should be regarded as an investment as opposed to a speculation or gamble." The authors recommend that prospective buyers spend a few months investigating a community. Many people make the mistake of buying in the wrong area. "Just because certain properties are high-priced doesn't necessarily mean they have some inherent advantage," the authors write. "One property may cost more than another today, but will it still be worth more down the line?"

How Do I Know What I Do Not Know?

  • Pay for a HOME INSPECION with a CREIA Member Inspector
  • Obtain a Termite Inspection Report
  • Have the Fireplace & Roof Inspected
  • Carefully review all of Seller's disclosures watching for information about:
    * Kitchen: range, oven, microwave, dishwasher, garbage disposal, trash compactor, wine cooler, etc.
    * Safety features: burglar and fire alarms, smoke, CO detectors, fire sprinklers, security gate, window screens and intercom.
    * Cable or satellite dish, carport or garage, automatic garage door opener, rain gutters, sump pump, presence of molds, mildew and fungus
    * Amenities: pool, spa, patio, deck, built-in barbeque and fireplaces.
    * Type of heating, air conditioning, condition of electrical wiring and circuit breakers, gas supply and solar panels.
    * Type of water heater, water supply, sewer system/ septic tank condition

Sellers also are required to indicate any significant defects or malfunctions existing in the home's major systems. A checklist specifies interior and exterior walls, ceilings, roof, insulation, windows, fences, driveway, sidewalks, floors, doors, foundation, as well as the electrical and plumbing systems. The form also asks sellers to note the presence of environmental hazards, walls or fences shared with adjoining landowners, any encroachments or easements, room additions or repairs made without the necessary permits or not in compliance with building codes, zoning violations, citations against the property and lawsuits against the seller affecting the property.

Also look for, or ask about, settling, sliding or soil problems, flooding or drainage problems and any major damage resulting from earthquakes, floods or landslides.
People buying a condominium must be told about covenants, codes and restrictions (CC&R's) or other deed restrictions. It's important to note that the simple idea of disclosing defects has broadened significantly in recent years.

Purchasing a Home Warranty is prudent.


Berkshire Hathaway Home Services California Realty
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services California Realty