If you’ve never bought a home before, or owned a home in a state other than California, the practices and procedures here are probably different from what you experienced in the past. On the brighter side of things, California is a state with homebuyer-friendly laws as well as some other unique real estate buying practices. If you are thinking about buying a home here, it might help to talk with the experts. The following will give you a better idea of what to expect:
Tips Before Buying a Home in California
- Buyers and Sellers can be represented by the same agent or broker – the law in California permits buyers and sellers to be represented by the same agent or broker in real estate transactions. When the buyer and seller are both represented by the same individual or they’re represented by two different agents employed by the same broker, this is referred to as a “dual agency” relationship.
- Expect the seller to give you a long list of disclosures – California law places extremely high levels of responsibility on home sellers to inform buyers regarding the physical condition, environmental concerns or issues, features, pest problems, and other defects of the property.
- You don’t need to hire an attorney, but you might want to consider it – although some states require that the buyer and seller retain real estate lawyers to represent them, California doesn’t. You and your agent or broker (if you involve one) will most likely use Joint Escrow Instructions and the Residential Purchase Agreement when making your offer which is prepared by the California Association of Realtors.
- You may be required to pay Mello-Roos taxes – under Government Code §53311-53368.3 (the Community Facilities Act), Mello Roos taxes may be imposed on property owners to fund local infrastructure improvements. These taxes finance bonds that are used to construct or improve city cultural facilities, fire and police departments, parks, sanitation and sewer systems, and streets. The only properties that are subject to these taxes are those located in Mello-Roos CFD’s (Community Facilities Districts).
- You might not physically meet the seller – California doesn’t require the buyer and seller to meet face-to-face or sit down in person at the negotiating table. In fact, they might both be represented by a real estate agent or broker who communicates on each other’s behalf. Consequently, it’s very possible that you might ask questions and negotiate a purchasing contract for the home while never meeting the person selling it.
Apply For a Mortgage at Granite West Funding
Purchasing a home in California can be a unique experience and considerably different from buying a home in other states. We can help you at every step of the way as you compare mortgage rates. For more information, call Granite West Funding at 559-540-2275 today.