Reprinted from RIS Media’s Housecall
By Kara Masterson
It’s an exciting milestone in a young person’s life to be on the cusp of purchasing a first home. If this is where you are at the moment, you probably have mixed feelings ranging from thrilled to anxious. That’s understandable, as this is a big purchase that will change your life forever.
To help you, here’s a quick guide that’ll make you better prepared as you begin your search:
Timing Is Everything
The natural first step to buying your first home is to determine if this is really the best time for you do so. While renting might not be a long-term solution, it may be what’s best for you given your current situation. You just want to make sure that you are at a place in your life where homeownership is really within reach. If it is, and you feel confident that you are ready, then it’s time to proceed.
Consider Your Finances
You might fall in love with a certain home, but struggle every month to make the mortgage payment. This is no way to live. You want to end up with a home that is well within your budget. Figure out what you are comfortable with spending and then only look at homes in that range. Do not get talked into buying more home than you can afford.
Work With a Real Estate Agent
There is no need to look around for the best home on your own. Real estate agents have a special knowledge of the market. Work with an agency and let them know what you are looking for. They will then compile a list in preparation for scheduling some viewings for you.
Shop Around for the Best Deal
Most people looking to sell real estate are willing to negotiate their price a little bit. Keep that in mind. In addition, some homes are over-priced, while others are under-priced, so you obviously want to aim for the latter, while still finding a great property in the location of your choice.
If you can follow this short guide, your path to homeownership will be within reach. The key is to take it slow and make sure that you’re confident in your final decision. You want a home that you’ll be comfortable in for the long term, and one that you can easily afford. Accomplish both of these objectives and you will be set for a happy future.
I am a native Californian born in Los Angeles and have resided in San Benito County since January 30, 1959. I attended the University of Southern California. I am a licensed Real Estate Broker, license #00409787, active for almost 45 years.
I started my career in 1972 and still am totally committed to the highest level of service to my clients. I am currently associated with Intero Real Estate Services.
I am Past President of the San Benito Association of Realtors, serving in the role on numerous occasions. I was a Director of the California Association of Realtors for over 18 years, having served on numerous committees. I also served 2 terms representing the California Association of Realtors at the National level, NAR. I am a certified SRES (Senior Real Estate specialist), since 2005.
My community involvement has included membership in the Hollister Rotary Club, serving as their first woman President in 2002. In the late 1960's, I became a member of the El Torillo Chapter of Children's Home Society, and served as President, and was also President of the Tri-County Council of CHS, which is today Kinship Center, and I am currently a Senior Active. I am a member of the San Benito Chamber of Commerce. From 2002-2008, I served on the Board of the Hollister Downtown Association and was their President from 2006-2007, and still serve on sub-committees of this organization. And, I am currently serving my 3rd term on the Community Foundation.
My record of performance and my reputation have made me who I am in the industry. I am a household name in San Benito County, when you think of Real Estate. My name is recognized not only in Hollister, but in our neighboring counties, Monterey, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties.
I have been involved in land development, marketed several subdivisions, sold ranches, commercial leasing, bank-owned properties, short sales and own a Property Management Company, Hollister Rental Properties, for more than 35 years. I am proud of my sales record and for the majority of my career I have been in the top 1% of major Real Estate Companies including Van Vleck Realtors, Cornish and Carey, Contempo, Seville-Contempo, Century 21, Coldwell Banker and finally Intero Real Estate services for the last 15 years.
Using my skills in negotiating, mediation and transaction closure, during 2010 and 2011, I was involved with the City of Hollister's First Time Home Buyer Down Payment Assistance Program. The program was the City's Redevelopment Agency, under Bill Avera, with the assistance of CJ Valenzuela who was working with the County of San Benito. CHISPA, a non-profit, was responsible for restoring homes to equal to new condition that the City had taken back in foreclosure, or that they had acquired. When the homes were restored, we put them on the Multiple Listing Service and we went out and promoted the City's Down Payment Assistance Program. Buyers were screened and qualified by our preferred lenders. I facilitated workshops for First Time Buyers explaining the programs. I negotiated the contracts for the City of Hollister and with the Buyers. With this program, I closed 2 homes in 2010, and 4 homes in 2011.
On a personal note, I am married to Richard Ferreira, a retired General Contractor/Developer. We have a combined family of six daughters, six grandsons and 3 granddaughters. We share commons interests in travel, movies, entertaining, and Richard has picked up my love of cooking. Our spare time is spent with family and enjoying our grandchildren.