For over 60 years, we've been helping people buy their homes when they're ready to move on to a new dream
Deciding to buy a home or property is one of the most important decisions you may ever make.
Before you start looking seriously at property, it helps to sit down and think about what features are important to you. One of the best methods is to make a list of the ten or so features that you would really like in your new home. If you find a property with eight or nine of those features, you have probably found your new home.
Our Mortgage Calculators can help you to see just what the costs would be to own your own home including the mortgage, taxes and insurance. One of the most important considerations is location. San Francisco is filled with many wonderful neighborhoods. We advise you to go out and explore!
Select an Agent
An experienced and qualified agent working for you can save you money, time and aggravation.
It's a good idea to interview the agent with whom you will be working in order to get a sense of the skills and talent of your prospective partner. A good buyer's agent will:
• Help you find your property
• Provide comparable sales data to determine the proper offer price
• Successfully negotiate all aspects of the transaction
• Keep the deal together and make sure that the escrow closes
Hill & Co. has a wide range of competent professionals who come from a variety of different backgrounds and between them speak 17 languages.
For more information, please review our agents' resumes and biographies.
Finance Your Home
Most of the time, your mortgage broker can supply you with a much wider variety of competitive mortgage options than a single lender; however, it never hurts to check with your banking contacts. The choices of mortgages are as varied as the houses available. What may be perfect for you may not work for your neighbor. In general, mortgages come in three basic groups:
• Fixed (30 year or 15 year)
• Adjustable (adjusting monthly or yearly)
• Fixed for a specific time and then becoming adjustable (3, 5, 7, or 10 year fixed and then adjusting is common)
Find a Home
Now that you and your Hill & Co. agent have met and discussed the features that are most important to you, it's time to go out and look at property.
Your agent will keep you informed of all the newest listings and can send you information straight from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) complete with photographs and listing information.
For more information on San Francisco listings, view listings
Make an Offer
Pricing is not an exact science, especially in San Francisco. Many factors that affect value are: location, view, size, condition, demand, and amenities.
So now you have found the property of your dreams. What's next? There are several factors involved in making an offer. Your agent will help you determine the following:
• If the property is fairly valued
• How fierce is the competition
• What are the comparables in the neighborhood
• The best loan available for the purchase
• What property inspections need to be performed
• The appropriate time needed to complete the transaction
Your Hill & Co. agent understands that this is not merely a financial investment, it is a life investment. The expertise, the experience and the attention of your agent will help guide you through this complex transaction.
In California, title companies handle most escrows. Attorneys are almost never used, as in some other states. In San Francisco County, it is customary for the buyer to pay for escrow fees and title. Sometimes this can be negotiated.
What are Escrow and Title Insurance?
Escrow is a neutral third party that holds funds and disperses them to the various parties with, and only with, the proper instructions from all parties.
Title Insurance guarantees that the person or entity that is selling the property is the rightful owner, and that there are no undisclosed liens or easements on title.
Depending on how the contract is written, a typical escrow might look like this:
• Offer is made and presented.
• Offer is accepted and escrow is opened.
◦ Agent deposits initial check.
◦ Agent helps buyer order various inspections.
◦ Agent notifies buyer's lender of pending sale.
◦ Buyer reviews and discusses with agent all of the property disclosures.
• After acceptance of the various inspection reports, buyer increases the deposit to (typically) 3 % of the purchase price.
• Buyer has been approved for loan and removes the loan condition.
• Buyer signs loan papers and other escrow documents.
• Buyer's money is transferred to the title company by cashiers check or wire transfer a day or two prior to close.
• Title Company receives funds from lender.
• Title Company records the deed of trust at City Hall and releases the funds. This is called the close of Escrow.
Your hard work has paid off and the big day has finally arrived. Keys in hand, you unlock the front door and enter your new home for the first time. You love it more than ever now that it is officially yours.