Buying a House!

If you have any questions - call me. My consultations are always free of charge and 100% confidential.


Buying a home isn't difficult, but there are a lot of complicated process that happen very quickly once you get further along. The standard 30-day escrow goes quickly. Once your offer is made, there are many time-sensitive items you will need to be prepared for. I will walk you through all the steps necessary to make your transaction smooth and simple.

UCSB Real Estate Professional.

Here is an overview about what to expect during all parts of the process.

Find your people:


Make an appointment with a lender -  in fact, make an appointment with more than one lender. Finding the right loan and lender is crucial to your home buying success. You want to feel comfortable. Make sure the lender is asking the right questions. We have an in-house lender that I can help you set an appointment up with - and he is highly regarded in the community.  I know of lenders that I have worked with in the past that have provided my clients with excellent service. Did you know that sellers are more likely to encourage their clients to accept offers backed by local, reputable known lenders? Your realtor can guide you to the right people to get the most competitive advantage.

A good lender will help you determine: what resources do you have, what current rates are offered, and what is expected of you to get a new loan? S/he will provide you with spreadsheets and scenarios. They will be responsive, quick and easy to talk to. They will let you know what happens if... I put 10% down and our offer is $525,000. What will our bottom line look like? What if we do 3% on a $452K Loan? You should walk away from the initial meeting with answers. If you don't, you may want to look for another lender.

The primary goal of getting pre-qualified is so you know what budget you are working with, and are able to make a quick offer. Establish what your ideal budget is, and know what your maximum qualifying level is (even if you don’t decide to utilize it). Once you are pre-qualified, you’ll be prepared to make an offer as soon as you find a place you love – this will increase your chances of getting a place in this competitive market. Consider this scenario. A home seller gets two similar offers. One is accompanied by a letter from the buyer's bank that states she is pre-approved for a mortgage in the amount of the offer. The other has no supporting documents. Which offer do you think the seller will consider first?

Talk to a CPA. For your final "budget" determination - talk to a CPA. Find out what your bottom line will be per year. This is especially important for first-time home buyers who have no idea how deductions from owning a house and having a mortgage will impact your bottom line.

Commit to your realtor

Let’s chat, either by phone or in person. Initial consultations are always confidential and free. You want to make sure that you have an agent who is looking out for you at all times, maximizing your chances of getting the house of your dreams for a fair price. Let’s make sure that we are a good fit.

You now have an agent and a lender – you are well on your way to owning a new home.


Goleta Realtor Steve Dinnogen UCSB Faculty, Staff

You've probably already started this piece - it is truly the most fun, even if you're not actively making offers yet!
I'm sure you've looked at great websites like Zillow, which will give you a great start on seeing what is out there, and what price range neighborhoods and features are going for.

Now let's narrow it down and discuss where in the area you want to live and what features in a home are most important to you. The process will go a lot smoother if you narrow down your wants and needs before you start looking at houses. I will provide you with access to the most up to date inventory, pocket listings, and I’ll be keeping an eye out for YOU when I hear of anything new that comes up. My dedication to your process, knowledge and resources will give you a distinct advantage.


I know you’re busy, so I will schedule showings at times that are convenient for you.


Once you find your new home, I have the tools to get you what you need to make the most competitive offer: prior sales history, neighborhood comps, market trends, strategy from experience and more. With your goals in mind, we will craft the offer that is best for you. When you make an offer, you'll also negotiate your deposit. Make sure to start get your deposit ready to go - it's typically due within the first 3 days of an accepted offer. See the next section.

Offer Accepted!? Now What!?


Likely as a part of your offer, you negotiated to put a deposit down in the first 72 hours of escrow. You will want to have the liquid funds available for this. Typically a deposit in this area is 3% of the purchase price, but this may be negotiable in the offer phase.


You have questions and I am here to help!  Our in-depth local knowledge and experience means we know the right questions to ask and the right professionals to hire to make sure you know exactly what to expect of your new home. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices realtors talk to each other and we have a constantly updated list of tried and true resources available. You should also receive a written summary of their findings.


Your lender will require an appraisal of the property’s fair market value to ensure that they’re not lending you more than the house is actually worth. Your real estate agent can help you find a licensed appraiser, but most lenders have their own and will take care of scheduling this directly with the realtor, or homeowner. Don't forget the carbon monoxide detector!


As your closing date nears, everyone involved in your real estate transaction should check its progress on a daily basis. Within 24 hours before your closing, be sure to conduct a walk-through of the property to ensure that it’s in good condition and that any issues and/or contingencies have been resolved.

Things may come up along the way. Remain resilient and trust your realtor to handle things that do - that's what I'm there for! I am a full-time realtor for a reason, this process isn't supposed to by your full-time job.

UCSB Realtor


  • When “closing day” finally arrives, you’ll meet with several parties to finalize the transfer of property. Generally, the steps are:
  • Sign Documents — you’ll be asked to initial or sign a number of documents.
  • Pay Closing Costs and Escrow — you should arrive at closing with a certified check to pay for remaining closing costs and any other fees.
  • Handing Over the Keys — Once all the papers are signed and the money has changed hands, you’ll receive the house keys from the seller.


After the settlement meeting, your lender will officially record the mortgage and deed at your local Recording Office or Register of Deeds. Funds held in escrow, such as broker commissions and money owed to the seller, are disbursed after the transaction is recorded at the municipal office.

You made it! yAY! Congratulations on your new home!

As your Realtor® , I'm still available for any questions you have! I want to be your real estate agent for life - let's keep in touch!