The 8 Most Common Buyer Questions & Answers

I clearly remember the uncertainty I felt when I bought my first home. The fears and worries were the same when I bought my second home.

I didn’t have anyone to help me understand what was going on and what it meant.

My name is Chris Jacobson. I created Vallejo Historic Homes with the goal of taking the stress and uncertainty out of your home buying process.

I want you to feel confident with your home purchase. I know you need answers. Here are answers to the 8 most-asked buyer questions.

How much money do I need?

The real answer is… it depends. There are a lot of ways to make your purchase work. The two big expenses are down payment and closing costs. 

You can search for a home with confidence once you’ve estimated how much money you will need up front to buy a home. Download this simple worksheet to understand your three biggest expenses.

How do I avoid losing my money?

With any offer you will need to make an earnest money deposit. This is about 2% of your purchase price. 

I know that sounds scary, but it isn’t as risky as it sounds. 

The money can be forfeited to the seller if you break the rules of the contract. As long as we follow the rules, your earnest money isn’t at risk. 

Remember, you’re not required to actually buy the home, you just have to follow the rules of the contract. Once we get closer to making an offer, we can discuss exactly how this works.

What if I don’t have great credit?

Most people have an idea of what their consumer credit score is. However, when buying a home you will use secured credit and the score is generally better.

Pre-approval will uncover credit problems. If you have those, we have people on our team who can help you solve them. 

Don’t let credit fears hold you back.

How will I know there is nothing wrong with the house?

We will have time to investigate the home (usually 17 days). 

Download this brief guide to understand the types of home inspections that are available and which ones are most commonly used.

If the inspection finds something is wrong, we can request the seller make a repair, or give a closing cost credit. You don’t have to buy the house if something is wrong with it.

At what point am I locked into the deal? 

You are generally not locked into the purchase until later in the contract, after you have had time to be sure you want the home.

The rules of the contract include time-based contingencies, which are your way to exit the contract without penalty. As you “release” each contingency, or pass certain deadlines, you become more committed to purchasing the home. 

We’ve created a Steps to Escrow Infographic to help you understand the process.

From the moment the seller accepts your offer to the day we hand you your keys, this one-page visual guide gives you everything you need to know about escrow at a glance.

Print out this infographic to understand each step and know what to do and when.



Once we get into contract, we will work together to stay on track. If necessary, we can terminate the contract before we pass any deadlines that would lock you into the deal.


How much home can I afford?

There are many variables regarding how much you can afford to buy. To understand your three biggest expenses, we recommend this simple worksheet.

How much you can borrow is largely determined by the pre-approval process. One of the biggest mistakes we see buyers make is failing to promptly get pre-approved. 

A pre-approval is easier than it sounds. If you want to start today, click here to get pre-approved.

How can I be sure I don’t overspend?

There is going to be an official appraisal for the lender to feel confident about the value of the home. If the lender feels confident, you can too.

You will receive a copy of the appraisal, which is largely based on the sale of similar homes with similar features.

You won’t overspend, because the lender will not lend more than the home is worth.

How do I find the right property?

You can discover what you need and want in a home by comparing the homes you like. Download this simple organizer to view the pros and cons of each home in one place. 

It is a part of our business process to help you define a target home both in terms of what you want and what you can afford. 

Once we have this target, it becomes surprisingly simple to find you the right home.

We created a Targeting Worksheet to help you get started. Click here to begin.

Do you still need answers?

We created a Buyer Road Map Infographic  to help you find the answers you need.

This simple road map takes you through the process of finding a home, financing, and making an offer.

Start with “Just Looking” and follow the roadmap to the seller accepting your offer. Print out this infographic to see exactly what to do and when to do it at a single glance.



If you still have questions, check out 30 Buyer Questions Answered, or reach out to us directly

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Chris Jacobson
Chris Jacobson

I’m Chris Jacobson, a local Vallejo realtor. I love our historic homes.

Office: 707-812-1390 | Cell: 707-805-4014 | BRE 01987892

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