Your Ultimate Guide to Santa Clarita Real Estate: A 90-Day Game Plan

Table of Contents

Introduction

Buying a home can be an exciting and fulfilling experience, but it can also be overwhelming and stressful, especially if you don’t have a clear plan in place. In this blog, we will provide an overview of the home-buying process and emphasize the importance of having a well-thought-out plan. By following the right steps and being prepared, you can avoid frustration and anxiety throughout the process.

Planning is a crucial first step in the home-buying process. Taking the time to create an effective plan before diving into home shopping can save you time, money, and unnecessary stress. During the planning phase, you should assess your budget, identify your needs and wants in a home, and plan your exit from your current living situation. This will help you determine what you can afford and set realistic expectations.

Once you have a plan in place, it’s time to assemble your team. Working with professionals like a real estate agent and a home inspector can provide valuable guidance and ensure that you make informed decisions. Your real estate agent will help you navigate the market, find suitable homes, and negotiate offers, while a home inspector will assess the condition of the property and identify any potential issues.

With your team in place and MLS access, you can begin your home search. It’s crucial to approach your search realistically and focus on homes that fit your budget, location preferences, and needs. Visiting open houses and walking through neighborhoods can give you a better sense of what’s available and help you narrow down your options.

When you find a home that meets your criteria, it’s time to make an offer and enter into a contract with the seller. This is where having a solid plan and a knowledgeable real estate agent becomes crucial. Your agent will guide you through the negotiation process and ensure that your interests are protected.

Once your offer is accepted, the closing process begins. This involves finalizing your mortgage, conducting a home inspection, and completing a title search. Reviewing the final numbers and signing the necessary documents are the final steps before you can move into your new home.

By following these steps and having a well-executed plan, you can navigate the home-buying process with confidence and avoid unnecessary stress. Being prepared and working with a trusted team can help you find the right home in the Santa Clarita real estate market and ensure a smooth and successful transaction.

Remember, at Honor, we are here to help you every step of the way. Our experienced team of mortgage advisors can provide personalized assistance and guide you through the pre-approval process. Contact us at WintheHouseYouLove.com for a free pre-approval consultation.

Planning Phase (Days 1-10)

During the planning phase of your home-buying process, it is essential to take the time to create an effective plan. This will help you save time, money, and unnecessary stress throughout the journey. The planning phase typically lasts around 10 days, during which you will focus on the following key points:

Understanding your budget and expenses:

Begin by assessing your budget and identifying where your money is coming from and going. Take a close look at your income and expenses to determine how much you can comfortably allocate towards a mortgage payment each month.

Evaluating your current lifestyle and financial goals:

Consider your current lifestyle and future financial goals when planning your home purchase. Determine what factors are most important to you in a home, such as the number of bedrooms, location, and amenities. This will help you set realistic expectations and find a property that aligns with your needs.

Determining an affordable monthly payment:

Based on your budget and financial goals, calculate an affordable monthly payment for your mortgage. This will help you narrow down your search and focus on homes that fit within your price range.

Creating a needs versus wants list:

Make a list of your needs and wants in a home. Your needs are non-negotiable factors that a property must have, such as the number of bedrooms or proximity to schools. Wants, on the other hand, are desirable features that are not essential but would be nice to have. This list will guide your search and help you prioritize your requirements.

Considering future growth and compromises:

Think about your future plans and whether the home you choose can accommodate potential growth. It’s important to consider factors such as expanding your family or changing job circumstances. Additionally, be prepared to make compromises as it’s rare to find a home that meets all your wants and needs. Determine which aspects are non-negotiable and where you can be flexible.

Transition Phase (Days 11-15)

Now that you have completed the planning phase, it’s time to transition into the next stage of your home-buying journey. This phase, which will last approximately five days, involves several important tasks that will help you prepare for the actual purchase of your new home.

Planning your exit from your current living situation

If you are currently renting, it’s crucial to plan your exit strategy from your lease. Determine if the timing of your lease expiration aligns with your desired home-buying timeline. If not, you may need to negotiate a buyout with your landlord or explore options for subletting or finding a short-term rental.

Negotiating lease buyouts or coordinating with landlords

If you need to break your lease early, consider negotiating a lease buyout with your landlord. This involves paying a fee to terminate the lease agreement before its designated end date. Coordination with your landlord is essential to ensure a smooth transition and avoid any legal or financial complications.

Preparing to sell your current home

If you currently own a home, you will need to prepare it for sale. Consult with a real estate agent to determine the best strategies for selling your home quickly and at a favorable price. This may involve making necessary repairs or improvements, staging the home for potential buyers, and setting a competitive listing price.

Consulting with a real estate agent

A real estate agent will be your guide throughout the home-buying process. They can provide valuable insights into the Santa Clarita real estate market, help you find suitable properties, and negotiate offers on your behalf. Take the time to find a reputable real estate agent who understands your needs and has experience in the local market.

Finding a suitable neighborhood

During this phase, it’s important to focus on finding a neighborhood that aligns with your preferences and needs. Consider factors such as proximity to schools, amenities, safety, and community vibe. Take the time to walk through different neighborhoods, research local information, and narrow down your options based on your preferences.

Building Your Team (Days 16-20)

Now that you have completed the planning and transition phases, it’s time to focus on building your team to help you navigate the Santa Clarita real estate market. Having a reliable team of professionals will ensure that you have the support and guidance you need throughout the home-buying process.

Finding a reputable real estate agent

One of the most important members of your team is a reputable real estate agent. Take the time to research and find an agent who has experience in the Santa Clarita area and understands your needs. A good agent will have a strong knowledge of the local market, be a skilled negotiator, and act as your advocate throughout the entire process.

Understanding the role of a real estate agent

It’s important to understand the role of a real estate agent in the home-buying process. Your agent will help you navigate the market, find suitable homes that meet your criteria, and negotiate offers on your behalf. They will also provide valuable insights into the Santa Clarita real estate market and guide you through the legal and financial aspects of the transaction.

Utilizing MLS access for better search results

MLS (Multiple Listing Service) access is a valuable tool that only real estate agents have. It provides more detailed and up-to-date information about homes for sale compared to third-party search sites like Zillow. Your agent can set up MLS access for you based on your specific search criteria, allowing you to receive quicker and more accurate updates on available homes.

Visiting open houses to get a feel for different homes

Visiting open houses is a great way to get a feel for different homes and neighborhoods in the Santa Clarita area. It allows you to see the homes in person, assess their condition, and visualize yourself living in them. Take the time to attend open houses that align with your preferences and needs, and make note of any homes that catch your interest.

Exploring neighborhoods and narrowing down preferences

As you visit open houses and walk through different neighborhoods, take the opportunity to explore and narrow down your preferences. Consider factors such as proximity to schools, amenities, safety, and community vibe. Walk through the neighborhoods, research local information, and evaluate if they align with your needs and lifestyle. This will help you focus your search on the neighborhoods that are most suitable for you.

Making an Offer and Going Under Contract (Days 21-30)

Now that you have completed the planning and transition phases, it’s time to focus on making an offer and going under contract for your dream home in the Santa Clarita real estate market. This phase typically takes around 10 days, during which you will navigate the following key steps:

Understanding the offer process and negotiation:

With the guidance of your real estate agent, you will learn about the offer process and how to negotiate effectively. They will help you prepare a compelling offer that meets your needs and aligns with the seller’s expectations. Your agent will advocate for your interests and ensure that you are protected throughout the negotiation.

Determining an appropriate offer price:

Your agent will assist you in determining an appropriate offer price based on market conditions, comparable sales data, and the condition of the property. They will help you strike a balance between getting a good deal and offering a competitive price that stands out to the seller.

Signing the contract and becoming officially under contract:

Once your offer is accepted by the seller, you will sign a contract to make the deal official. This contract will outline the terms and conditions of the purchase, including the purchase price, closing date, contingencies, and other important details. By signing the contract, you are committing to moving forward with the purchase.

Coordinating with your lender and providing updated documents:

After going under contract, you will coordinate with your lender to ensure a smooth financing process. Your lender may ask for updated documents, such as pay stubs, bank statements, and tax returns, to finalize your loan application. It’s important to promptly provide any requested documents to avoid delays in the closing process.

Scheduling a home inspection:

As part of the due diligence process, you will schedule a home inspection to assess the condition of the property. A professional home inspector will thoroughly examine the home, identifying any potential issues or repairs needed. The inspection report will provide valuable insights and help you make an informed decision about proceeding with the purchase.

Closing Process (Days 31-90)

After you have found your dream home and had your offer accepted, the closing process begins. This phase typically lasts between 31 to 90 days, depending on various factors. During this time, there are several important steps to complete before you can officially move into your new home.

Title Search and Verification

One of the first steps in the closing process is a title search and verification. This is done to ensure that the property’s title is clear and there are no liens or ownership disputes. A title company will review public records and provide a title insurance policy to protect against any future claims.

Conditional Approval from Your Lender

While you may have received pre-approval for a mortgage, the lender will still need to conduct a final review before granting a loan. This includes verifying your financial information, employment status, and conducting an appraisal of the property. Once you receive conditional approval, it means that the lender is prepared to move forward with the loan pending a few additional steps.

Home Appraisal Process

As part of the mortgage process, the lender will require a home appraisal to determine the value of the property. An appraiser will visit the home and assess its condition, location, and comparable sales in the area. The appraisal is crucial for the lender to ensure they are not lending more than the property is worth.

Reviewing Final Numbers in the Closing Disclosure

Prior to closing, you will receive a Closing Disclosure, which is a document that outlines the final terms of your loan, including the interest rate, loan amount, and closing costs. It is important to carefully review this document to ensure that all the numbers align with what you were expecting. If there are any discrepancies or questions, you should address them with your lender or real estate agent before proceeding.

Signing Final Documents and Closing the Deal

Once all the necessary steps have been completed and all parties are satisfied, it’s time to sign the final documents and officially close the deal. This typically takes place at the office of a title company or an attorney. During the closing, you will sign various legal documents, including the mortgage note and the deed. It is crucial to read and understand what you are signing before putting pen to paper.

Moving into Your New Home

After the closing is complete, you can finally move into your new home! This is an exciting milestone, and you should take the time to celebrate and enjoy your new space. Be sure to update your address with the necessary parties, such as utilities, banks, and any subscriptions or services you receive. Settle into your new home and start creating memories!

FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions about the home-buying process in the Santa Clarita real estate market:

How long does the home-buying process typically take?

The home-buying process usually takes around three months, with 10 days dedicated to planning, 80 days for home shopping, and 31-90 days for the closing process.

What are the advantages of working with a real estate agent?

A real estate agent can provide valuable guidance and expertise throughout the home-buying process. They can help you navigate the market, find suitable homes, negotiate offers, and ensure that your interests are protected.

How can I ensure a smooth closing process?

To ensure a smooth closing process, it’s important to stay organized and responsive to any requests from your lender and real estate agent. Review all the final numbers and documents carefully and address any discrepancies or questions before signing.

Can I make changes to my offer after it has been accepted?

After your offer has been accepted, it can be challenging to make changes. However, you can negotiate certain contingencies in the contract, such as a home inspection contingency, which allows you to address any issues that arise during the inspection.

What should I do if the home inspection reveals issues?

If the home inspection reveals issues, you have a few options. You can negotiate with the seller to make repairs or provide a credit towards the cost of repairs. Alternatively, you can choose to walk away from the deal if the issues are significant and not something you’re willing to address.



I’m Connor with Honor, AKA Connor MacIvor. I have lived in CA since 1990, when I came out to be an LAPD Police Officer. Life has a way of beating the heck out of you, as it did me. I am glad for the experiences and still have many more to go. I was able to finally beat the FAT problem I had for my entire pre-teen, teenage, and adult life up until I was 52 years old, back in 2021, when I was able to figure out what worked and how I wanted my journey to operate. 

I sell houses, representing buyers and sellers in Santa Clarita, CA, and the greater Los Angeles Area. I have been a Realtor since 1998 when I started a career in that business. I joined the LAPD as a full-line reserve officer after 17 years of full-time service, staying until 2011 and honorably retiring. 

If you need me, I’m here for you and yours. Thank you for reading what I posted online, and I appreciate you very much for taking your valuable time to do so.