5 Things To Keep in Mind When Buying a Home

Kimberly Schulze, co-owner of Wise Choices Realty in Aliso Viejo, shares tips.
Photo by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash

Get preapproved
“Suppose you fall in love with a house but don’t have a secured loan ready to go. In today’s low-inventory market, by the time you get your loan paperwork done, someone else has snatched up the property.”

Know the competition
“People need to understand how crazy the current market is. The inventory is lower than normal right now, so there’s more competition for the properties that are available. Sellers are getting multiple offers a day. Buyers who come in offering only asking price are likely going to lose the house.”

Know the pandemic’s impact
“Folks have been living with their extended families for a while now. With some restrictions being lifted, they feel now’s the time to get a bigger house. Or they’re getting a divorce as in, ‘I’ve been cooped up in this house with this person all year’ and they need a new place.”

Do your homework
“Buyers can best help themselves by doing their research before contacting a realtor. Less working hours for the agent means more savings for the client. Doing your homework ahead of time is like scratching off a winning lottery ticket. Suddenly you’ve got money to get that new carpet.”

Keep calm
“Agents deal with all aspects of home buying and selling. Appraisals, repairs, negotiations … it’s a lot. Buyers deal with all that plus the emotions. Some clients panic and end up canceling the deal only to come back a week later saying they’ve changed their minds. But by then, the house is gone. Take deep breaths and work with your agent. That’s the fastest way I know to getting the keys to your new home.”

Median Sold Home Prices by City
Compiled by Hannah Dilanchyan (Source: realtor.com (February 2021)

Aliso Viejo • newest city


Anaheim • most populous city




Buena Park


Costa Mesa • official motto is “City of the Arts”




Dana Point • the Whale Watching Capital of the World


Fountain Valley


Fullerton • considered the birthplace of the electric guitar


Garden Grove


Huntington Beach • has the only beach where dogs can be off leash


Irvine • Its park system is ranked seventh in the nation.


La Habra


La Palma • the smallest city by size at 1.8 square meters


Laguna Beach • more than 3 million visitors annually


Laguna Hills


Laguna Niguel • one-third of the land is designated open space


Laguna Woods • 90 percent consists of a retirement community


Lake Forest


Los Alamitos


Mission Viejo


Newport Beach • 10 miles of coastline


Orange • The Shaffer house is the city’s oldest home, built in 1874.




Rancho Santa Margarita


San Clemente


San Juan Capistrano • oldest city


Santa Ana • home to a 20-acre zoo


Seal Beach • listings range from $160K to $4.2M






Villa Park • least-populous city


Westminster • home to Little Saigon


Yorba Linda • has dozens of horse trails


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