Be Flexible and Realistic.

Use conservative monetary calculations. Make sure you have a little extra money to work with, just in case. In the San Francisco home buying market, anything can happen between contract acceptance and closing. It could be the inspections reveal areas of concern that the seller in unwilling to fix (and that you are okay taking on) or repair costs are higher than the amount negotiated in the contract.

OR, the interest rate changes before you have locked in your rate, affecting the necessary down payment and closing costs. Your real estate consultation (myself or someone else), will strive to tie up loose ends as quickly as possible, but remember that nothing is perfect.

Most buyers feel a bit overwhelmed when taking on a mortgage and the responsibilities of a new home. I’ve seen many buyers get angry when it seems like the cost just keeps going up.

(Of course, if you are too financially conservative, you won’t be able to become a San Francisco homeowner. Be smart but be realistic. If you are waiting for 20% down, a year’s worth of income reserves, and the ability to afford a 30–year, fully-amortized loan, you may be waiting forever! Not to mention, that this is not the best long-term wealth-building approach but that’s another story! For now, just think about having great credit, 5–10% down payment, and at least 3 months of savings in reserve.)

Anger is caused when reality doesn’t match expectation. If you anticipate potential pitfalls and extra costs in advance and keep your expectations in check, you won’t need to get angry. You will hope for the best, prepare for the worst. In fact, the process will likely go more smoothly than you expected.

You’ll notice how I over-estimate the potential problems for just this reason. Your transaction may be seamless, but just in case, you’ll be ready to tackle any issues that arise!

(The same holds true for escrow time lines. Please, for your own sake, do not schedule the movers for the day of close or even the next day! Put wiggle room in your calendar for unforeseen events. There are many, many people involved in your home purchase who can potentially cause a delay. It’s not the end of the world when you’ve planned for a delay. It can feel like it when you’ve lost an unrefundable moving deposit!)

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