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Know the Vancouver WA Market
The Vancouver Washington, Clark County home market has changed dramatically over the last few years. It used to be you could take your time and look at homes for several weeks and then go back and pick the one you liked best to make your offer.
In today's market, I pray that the first home I show my clients is NOT their dream home. Because very few people are prepared mentally to make an offer on the first home they see. It is only natural to want to see a variety of homes and compare them before deciding on which one to buy. But if after seeing 4 or 5 homes you feel strongly that you really like one of them, in today's market you just can't wait a few days to make a decision. If you do, it is likely it will be sold by the time you are ready to make an offer.
There is nothing worse than to have found the perfect home, only to find out it has sold while you were making your decision. Somehow that home you lost becomes the standard against which you measure all the other homes you see.
My goal is to prepare my clients before we look at any homes. I generally email pictures of homes to my clients prior to touring homes. I like to spend some time going thru the pictures of possible homes over the phone so I can get a good feel of what you are looking for. Sometimes what you don't like about a home tells me more about what you are looking for, than what you do like.
I ask that you get pre-approved for a loan prior to looking at any homes. That way when you find the home that is perfect, you are ready to make an offer.
Doing your homework
I cannot stress enough how important it is to do your home work and be ready to buy before you start looking for your home. You need to be pre-qualified by a reputable local lender and get a loan approval letter, prior to making an offer on a home.
These days if you find the home you think is right, you need to make an offer immediately or more than likely it will be sold before you catch your breath. You may be competing with other purchasers for the same house and your offer has to stand out from the rest to be accepted.
Getting a Loan. This is not the time to go shopping on the internet for the best interest rate. Today all Mortgage lenders have pretty much the same rates available to their customers. The difference is the quality of service you receive. I have several local Vancouver Mortgage brokers that I use and a local Portfolio lender (a portfolio lender makes their loans from their own funds and holds the loans in house)
The general public doesn't understand the way really good Realtor's work. It takes years of experience and knowledge to develop a network team of Mortgage lender's, Title and Escrow officers and Home Inspectors.
So when I recommend you use a particular lender or Title company it is because I have worked with them for years, and I know these people will work their tails off to make your transaction go smoothly!
Some of the Mortgage Brokers I recommend are:
Bruce Howard, Guild Mortgage - 503-201-2083
Riverview Savings and Loan (Portfolio Lender) - 360-694-6950
The Title Companies I recommend are:
Fidelity Title Company, Downtown Branch, Melissa Miller - Escrow agent
Columbia Title Company, Kerry Newell - Escrow Agent
The Home Inspectors I recommend are:
Pillar to Post - Kevin Ratliff - 360-546-2190
The Home Team - 360-546-1011