How to Search Like a Pro, Even as a First-Time Home Buyer

How to Search Like a Pro, Even as a First-Time Home Buyer

  • Claire O'Connor

There’s a lot that goes into finding your dream home and if you haven’t bought a home before, it can be a difficult process to navigate. Here are some things to be aware of when starting your search for Pacific Palisades or Brentwood houses for sale.

Sort out your wants and needs

Before buying property like Pacific Palisades real estate, it’s important to enter your search with clear goals and requirements for a home. This will help you to narrow your search and use your time the most efficiently. Think about aspects of the property itself, such as its square footage, the number of rooms, and how those would best suit you or your family’s needs.

Also, consider what you would need in terms of a commute for a job, public transportation, and good schools if you have children. Think about what can’t be changed about a property once you do move in, like its overall style and location. Things like renovations or upgrades to the property can happen later. Once you’ve listed out your wants and needs, try to fulfill as many of the items on the list as possible, and be smart when judging where you can afford to be flexible.

Plan out your finances


Another step to complete before beginning your search for Brentwood houses for sale is to plan out your finances. Even if money isn’t an issue for you, it’s still a smart move to understand how much a property will cost you and how your income can support it. Planning out how much you can spend also saves you the disappointment of falling in love with a property that isn’t viable for your situation.

If you’re planning on taking out a mortgage to fund your purchase of Brentwood houses for sale, make sure you get preapproved before starting your search. Shop around for the rate and term that works best for your situation. Once you do find a loan that works the best for you, gather the correct paperwork and be prepared for a credit check. Other expenses to expect when buying a home are the down payment, closing costs, and other expenses of being a homeowner, like repairs and insurance.

Work with an agent


Figuring out which property is the best fit for you can be difficult, which is why it’s in your best interest to work with a real estate agent. A real estate agent will have in-depth knowledge about the properties in the area, the different types of neighborhoods, and the other services and amenities close to your home search. They’ll also have a network of connections that you’ll need during the home buying process, such as a home inspector or mortgage lender, which can save you time and effort in your research.

To find a real estate agent to help with your search, you can look online at agent reviews and matching sites or ask for recommendations from family and friends. Take the time to find the Brentwood or Pacific Palisades real estate agent that will work the best with you, and interview a few agents to understand their knowledge, history with other home buyers, and communication style.

Start online

Most homebuyers begin their search online, which is a good way to see what’s out there that might fit your needs. Looking at what’s been recently sold can also help clarify how much you should expect to pay for a property. The internet is also a good place to search for open houses that you might be interested in.

If you work with a real estate agent, they’ll have access to MLS, which is a valuable resource that shows listings on the market. An agent may also have connections to listings that are hidden or knowledge about properties that are about to go public, which can give you a heads-up in finding Brentwood houses for sale.

Consider the home’s layout


When searching for Brentwood houses for sale, consider each home’s layout and design. Think about how large the home is and what you need space for. Do you have children or need an office or craft room? Also, think about how much extra you’ll be spending to furnish, cool, heat, and clean those areas. Survey the lighting throughout the house, and decide whether you like the amount of natural light that enters through the window and if the permanent fixtures offer enough lighting.

Also, think about the number of bedrooms and bathrooms in the home and where they’re situated. Do you want the master bedroom to be near your child’s bedroom? Will the office be too noisy if it’s located next to the living room? Also, consider the amount of storage space the house provides and if that’s enough for the belongings you have now and that you expect to have in the future.

Look at the home’s location


Once you’ve locked in on a few home options, you’ll need to consider the location of your new home. Location is the only part of a home that can’t be changed, so getting it right is very important. Calculate the commute to work, schools, and grocery stores. Also, think about the view the property offers and if it’s near a high-traffic road. Lastly, figure out who your neighbors are and what the neighborhood is like at all times of the day and week.

Ready to find your new home?

With these steps, you’re ready to start house hunting like a pro. When you’re ready to buy a home or start the search, contact trusted Brentwood and Pacific Palisades real estate expert Claire O’Connor to guide you through the process.



Work With Us

With ten years of professional experience, we have mastered the art of negotiation through dealings with high-level bureaucrats and diplomats regarding US foreign investments. We bring that required tenacity to real estate negotiations on behalf of our clients.

Follow Us on Instagram