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Tips for Buying Santa Barbara Homes

First of all, consider the motives and needs driving your thoughts. Finances? Current market? An additional home or investment? Next, choose a real estate professional with whom you feel truly comfortable. Thorough evaluation and carefully considered choices of Santa Barbara homes will affect the future of your finances and family.


The key to success in any real estate venture is thorough and conscientious preparation.

Building Your Green File.
Careful assembly of your financial history and current status is one of the most important initial steps in determining your financing options. Your file should contain:

  • Financial, credit card and loan statements and records
  • Bank accounts
  • Investment portfolio
  • Pay stubs
  • Tax returns for the last 2 years
  • Records of investment properties and related leases
  • 401K statements and life insurance policies

Your Credit Rating.
Your lending institution, or a financial institution recommended by The Brothers Gough, will assume the task of acquiring your credit record and FICA score from the three major credit reporting agencies. These will be vital in the determination of your purchase options.

Maintain Financial Stability.
When considering or attempting to secure financing, it is best to avoid major purchases, job changes, lavish gifts or trips and so on.

Choosing a Real Estate Professional

Purchasing Santa Barbara homes requires suitable finances, significant research, knowledge of often complex issues and a pile of paperwork. That means it is vital to have the knowledgeable and thoroughly competent representation The Brothers Gough can provide.

Reasons for choosing Bill and John Gough include:

  • Full-time agents with many years of experience completing hundreds of real estate transactions in the Santa Barbara area.
  • Unsurpassed knowledge about local neighborhoods, schools and other important aspects of the area
  • Available to their clients 24/7
  • Maintain their credentials and knowledge through ongoing training and seminars
  • Prompt response to client calls and emails
  • Impeccable references and testimonials
  • Compassionate, empathetic and attentive to their clients’ needs, goals and objectives

Time to go Shopping

Once you have considered your motives, established your financial status and chosen a Realtor®, it is time to find the perfect property.

Drive Around.
After narrowing your community and neighborhood choices, you should try to get a feel for the places by visiting local shops, schools, churches and so on, as well as by talking with residents. Choose the most interesting homes and have Bill or John Gough make appointments for you to view them.

Time to Buy.
Now that you have narrowed your search to the ideal property, the Goughs will researchcosts associated with the property, permits needed for any renovation, repairs, taxes, homeowner dues and so on. Together, you and your agents will draft an offer and it will be presented to the seller.

The Process

Initial Agreement and Deposit.

Things that will expedite the process include:

  • Written records.Even verbal agreements should be put in writing and signed by both parties.
  • Timeline. Every step of the process will have a deadline. Abiding by each one will assure smooth flow and help avoid any breach of the agreement. Bill and John will be there to assure that all requirements are met.

The Closing Agent. The closing agent will be either a title company or attorney. He or she will hold the deposit in escrow and research propertyrecords to ensure that the title is clear.Any new encumbrances will be attached to the title.

Holding Title. Rely on an attorney or tax advisor toadvise you on the best way to hold title. Considerations include legal, estate and tax implications.

Inspections. Once your offer is accepted by the seller, an inspection by a licensed property inspector should be scheduled and completed within the timeframe specified in the agreement.Consider specialized inspections if you or your agents have specific concerns. The outcome of the inspections will determine removal of the contingencies or renegotiation of the contract.

Appraisal and Lending. If a lender is involved, you and the Gough Brothers should keep in close contact with him or her regarding necessary documents, a visit by a licensed appraiser and, ultimately, making sure your loan will go through in a timely manner.

Association Approval. If a neighborhood association is involved and your purchase is contingent upon its approval, request its rules, regulations and any other pertinent information immediately upon signing the purchase agreement.Application documents and processing fees must be submitted to the association by the specified date, and any required meeting with association representatives should be scheduled as soon as possible. A certificate of approval might be required and the closing agent will request an original copy of the document so that it can be properly recorded.

Property Insurance. A lender will require that you have property insurance. Here are a few money saving tips:

  • A higher deductible. Increasing your deductible, even by a few hundred dollars, can result in a significant decrease in your premium.
  • Discounts. Safety and risk-lowering features can save you money. Smoke detectors, security alarms, fire-resistant building materials and so on are just a few examples. Bundling your homeowner insurance with auto, boat and other policies has also become a popular way to gain savings.
  • No need to insure the dirt. Consider subtracting land value unless you are in a flood- or landslide-prone area.

Moving In

Closing Day
You are almost the owner of a new home!

Final Walk-Through.
You and Bill and/or John Gough will walk through the property and do a thorough inspection the day before or day of the scheduled closing in order to verify that everything is in order.

Home Services and Utilities.
The Brothers Gough will provide you with a list of useful numbers for the activation of home services and utilities.

Just In Case.
Bill Gough, John Gough and their team of professionals and service people are available to assist you with any unforeseen problems or needs.

Everyone involved in the transaction will receive a copy of the settlement statement summarizing the details and financial transactions. You, the seller and the closing agent will certify the accuracy of the statement and sign it.You will also be required to sign all documentation required by the lending institution, and to present funds in the form of a wire transfer or certified check. Alternate arrangements can be made if you are unable to attend the closing. Property keys and any relevant information will be supplied by the seller.

If you have any questions or would like clarification regarding any of the points outlined here, or about Santa Barbara homes in general, feel free to contact Bill Gough at 805.563.4067 or John Gough at 805.565.4017 today.