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Most buyer’s start their search online before they contact a realtor. This gives the buyer a feel for the market, but not always a true picture.

After you have done some research online, you should contact a lender to determine the current mortgage rates, what you will qualify for, and a price range that will produce a payment that is comfortable on you budget. Taking the time to get your prequalification with a lender will allow you to avoid looking at homes that out of your budget.

Most lenders currently require a minimum of 20% down payment for second homes, and it’s a good idea to offer 3% in good faith deposit. Closing costs are additional cash needed to buy, so be sure to inquire with your lender what these will be for your loan etc.

This is also a good time to select a local Realtor to represent you during the buying process. Selecting your agent is an important process. I would recommend reading blogs from agents that live and work in the Big Bear area to get a feel for the agent that will best represent your interests. It would also be a good idea to check the agent’s client endorsements and reviews. Once you select your agent, I recommend communicating your list of wants and needs so that they can best serve you.

Every buyer wants to get a great deal, but great deals aren’t going to last long. Be ready to act quickly once you see the home that fits your needs and is priced like a deal. Be prepared to compete with other buyers, and often these homes will sell at or above the listing price.

Don’t forget to bring your checkbook!