Real Estate is a Team Sport

One mistake in your home purchase can cost you thousands. Expert knowledge will save you from mistakes.

Nobody is an expert in everything. That’s why you need a team of professionals.

The single biggest mistake to avoid

Buying a home is a team effort. Your team will include a lender, escrow agent, various professional inspectors and many others.

Using the wrong team is probably the single biggest mistake you could make.

How to find the right team         

This is not the time to try and save a fraction of a percent of interest by using a faceless online bank. 

Your lender should be an actual human being who is an expert and focused on your needs. Your lender can make or break your deal. 

Historic Homes require special attention. You will need local Vallejo inspectors such as building, roof, termite, foundation, and HVAC. If something is really wrong with the property, you need to know. 

You can do better

Many people start their search by meeting an agent at an open house. They think, “Hey, we both skydive. He must be a talented real estate agent.”

You owe it to yourself to choose an agent based on their ability to lead your team from the first step to the last.

Like a quarterback with 10 minutes on the clock

Leading your team is detailed and time-sensitive. Like a quarterback calling out plays in the last quarter, we will direct and coordinate your team. 

The right agent is your most important teammate. We don’t have many skydivers in Vallejo Historic Homes, but we are committed to your success in real estate.

Action Steps

Unlock the Buyer Toolbox. Verify your email to gain access.

If you’re not sure where to start, schedule a day to look at homes.

If you have questions, please reach out.

How To Make An Offer The Seller Can’t Resist

Young couple at meeting making deal, signing contract to buy a home

When offers are close in price (they often are), factors other than price make a difference.

Don’t ignore the most important rule

The most important rule is, “make it easy for a seller to say yes.”

Sellers are people too. We take the time to ask about their needs, listen to their answers, and try to write an offer that helps them. 

If we make it easy for a seller to say yes, it is far more likely that they will.

Sellers have problems we can solve.

By checking the confidential remarks in the listing and calling the agent to ask about the seller’s plans, we often find valuable clues for how to write a much more acceptable offer.

It is not just about price. When we show them we care, sellers tend to respond in a personable way. 

Remove the seller’s pain point

We once made an offer to a seller who needed to quickly move back east. The home was a mess.

When we realized this was the seller’s pain point, we offered to take the home in any condition.

Our buyer won the deal. He had to make a dump run, but ended up with a garage full of gardening tools, a window AC and some patio furniture.  

By focusing on the seller’s needs, we created a better deal for everyone.

The step you can’t ignore   

Historic home sellers are proud of their homes. They usually prefer to sell their home to someone they trust to care for the home. 

We recommend you write a personal letter to the sellers to introduce yourself, talk about what you love about the home and your hopes. 

Simple as it is, a letter is one of the easiest things you can do to make yourself stand out to the seller.

How we present an offer to build the seller’s confidence   

It is critical the seller trusts you. Once we have your letter to the sellers, we add other things to your offer. 

  1. We always include a pre-approval from your lender, demonstrating you are qualified.
  2. We attach your proof of funds, demonstrating you have the money to close. 
  3. We ask the lender to personally call the listing agent to reaffirm that you are qualified and able to make the purchase.

How to get the seller’s agent on our side

Everyone loves a good story.

In addition to your personal letter to the sellers, we always reach out to the listing agent and tell them specifically why you want this home. 

The listing agent wants to feel confident in the buyer, and the seller will often ask for advice. 

Having a story about you helps the listing agent recommend you. 

Get the Road Map

We have created a Buyer Road Map Infographic to help you get a sense of the home-buying journey.

This step-by-step infographic 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.

Action steps

Compare the homes you like. Download this simple organizer.

Be the first to know what’s happening in the market. Subscribe to Market Watch.

How much money do you need? Download this worksheet.

Five Questions To Ask Before You Purchase A Historic Home

Father help Daughter seach for Historic Home online

 What is the condition of the home?

A lot can go wrong with historic homes. They have been around longer, so we require a careful inspection for any home you plan to purchase. 

You don’t have to buy the house if something is wrong with it, but your inspection period is limited. Download this brief guide to understand the types of home inspections that are available and which ones are most commonly used.

We hope to find you a home that has been well cared for. But if there are issues, it’s important that you know what it will take to remedy them.

Does the property have a special story?

Vallejo is an old town, and it was the first capital of California. There are many buildings where famous people lived or where historic events took place. 

Who built the home? What is the style? Did it have another use? These are a few of the fascinating questions historic home owners get to ask. You usually only get partial answers, but it’s still worth trying. 

We can access old maps and directories. Neighbors often know the stories of nearby homes. 

Sometimes part of a home is older, or (wild as it may seem) the home was in a different location. It was common to move homes around Historic Vallejo to make room for additional houses.

It’s not critical to know the history of your home. But it’s a lot of fun, and looks good on Instagram. 

To learn more about the history of Vallejo, we recommend our Architectural Guide to Historic Vallejo.

 Does the home have a special legal situation?

Most historic homes in Vallejo don’t have “historic” status. If you are interested in knowing how historic status works please read our disclosure. If you are interested in purchasing a historic home you should find out if it has a legal status. 

Historic homes might be listed on National, State or local registries. In Vallejo, there are two local historic districts. Here is a map of the Vallejo historic districts

Some historic homes also have contractual obligations.

For example, the Mills Act makes it possible to receive tax benefits for renovating your historic home through a contract with the city. If you want to know about the Mills Act, we interviewed a local expert in this video.

There are many benefits to owning a historic home. As the local historic home experts, we are here to help you understand the legal conditions that may transfer with a home. 

If you have questions about the benefits of purchasing a historic home please reach out

How has the original structure been changed?

Sometimes a fire or other damage caused a property to be rebuilt. Many historic homes in Vallejo were split into multi units to provide housing for the Navy. 

Changes happen over the years. Many historic homes have additions.

An inspection may reveal two or more foundation systems, a sign that the home may have been added to or rebuilt. 

We use old insurance maps to get a sense of how the size and shape of your home changed over the years and we are happy to show you how to do it as well. 

The original moldings and trim have been damaged or removed from many historic homes, obscuring the original architectural style. 

It is fun to ask questions and look for answers. As you understand certain issues with the property, you may uncover benefits that work to your advantage.

Could renovation make this home more valuable?

If you want to purchase a home and make it worth more as you live there, a historic home could be well suited for this. 

It’s possible to add a tremendous amount of value, both perceived and actual, and “trade up” to a nicer home after a few years.

For example, many historic homes have one-color paint jobs on the inside and outside. Simply painting in a way that accentuates the moldings and trim could make a huge difference in the resale price.

Restoring wood floors, and adding historic flair to kitchens and especially bathrooms are also ways to do this. If you want more information about historic renovation in Vallejo, check out My Old House 

We have created a Buyer Road Map Infographic to help you get a sense of the next steps.

This step-by-step infographic 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.

 

Are you ready to look at some historic homes in person? Schedule a day to look at homes. We would love to show you around.

How To Find The Right Home

Shot of a family of four viewing their new home together

How are you going to find your dream home? 

Historic Vallejo is a segmented market. There are homes of many sizes and shapes and even multi-unit properties. 

Even first-time buyers can purchase 2, 3, or 4 unit buildings. Ask us how

 

With all those choices, it is easy to feel anxious

A part of our job is to help take away the anxiety. How do we do it? It is simple. It’s a two-step process. 

The first step is to 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.

After you look at a few homes, you’ll get new ideas and probably start noticing that some of your pros and cons are more important than others.

This is why the second step is to use a Targeting Worksheet to help you understand what you need and want in more detail.

Once you know what you are searching for, it is easier to find. 

The way to narrow your target

Your target will include many searchable elements: neighborhood, size, price, or the number of bedrooms and bathrooms.

It will also include your specific needs, like a home office, a nice view, or a big yard for your kids.

Another critical part of targeting is to make sure you’re only looking at homes within your price range.

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.

It’s also necessary to know how much you can borrow, and how much you will have to pay per month. You can get an accurate and reliable number by getting pre-approved. Click here to start the process. This number will give you exceptional clarity about your target. 

Beyond targeting

Targeting helps you look at the right homes. However, finding your dream home comes down to finding a feeling. Here are 4 Ways to know you’ve found your dream home. 

We are looking for a place where you feel good. Where you feel at home. We are looking for a place where you belong. 

Download the Road Map

We have created a Buyer Road Map Infographic to help you get a sense of the next steps.

This step-by-step infographic 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.

 

Action Steps 

Compare the pros and cons of each home. Download this simple organizer.

To create your target, Use our Targeting Worksheet.

How much money you will need up front? Download this worksheet.

Pre-approval is essential. Click here to start the process.

It helps to look at a few homes when you start. Schedule a day to look at homes