As we live in the unincorporated area of North San Diego County and, as our basis was originally in agriculture, our real estate concerns are different than suburban areas. This article will topically address some of the areas that local real estate professionals are concerned about and will hopefully demonstrate why employing local real estate professionals makes sense.
Local area knowledge: Areas of building challenges like clay soil, large concentration of boulders, steep land, noise from airports and/or military overflights, noise from Camp Pendleton or from busy streets, traffic congestion, rush hour traffic, schools’ locations and impact of traffic and noise. Local people will know these kinds of issues and be able to guide their clients accordingly.
Rural area concerns: Encroachment by irrigation systems, fences, and driveways. Are there plotted easements? What are the animal designators, what will current zoning allow, setbacks for building, have renovations been permitted? Will a title rep from the lot and block metropolitan area be aware of rural area concerns?
Years ago, I talked with a title rep who was newly assigned to Fallbrook and North County rural areas. Since she was from Encinitas, I suggested that she learn about rural area concerns to which she replied that she had worked for 10+ years in NE Los Angeles County, so she knew about rural area concerns/issues.
I then suggested that she communicate her experience to local Realtors about her rural area experience, and now she gets about half of the business generated in Fallbrook when she started with zero. Not all title representatives are created equal.
Local loan officers know about the limitations of crops and residential loans, they will have government loan programs knowledge and have awareness of first-time buyer loan programs. A good loan officer vets the buyers at the very beginning of the relationship then counsels the client what to do to improve their credit scores and what not to do before the close of escrow (don’t buy new furniture for their new house).
Many people don’t know that the credit is run again just before the escrow closes and if there has been significant change the buyers may no longer be loan qualified. Do all loan officers know this? They should…but all loan officers are not created equal.
Realtors: Be wary when the listing contains limited or no useful data and the agents don’t answer their phones. Does the Realtor agent pre-qualify their buyers with interviews; is the agent a full time professional or a hobbyist; does the agent attend frequent training and real estate networking meetings?
I was contacted by a buyer recently who had found an inexpensive lot on Zillow in which he had interest. I engaged my local title rep since the Preliminary Title report was not attached to the listing.
She investigated and determined that not only did the lot not have legal access (my initial concern because in California it is permissible to convey a property with no access…as crazy as that seems) but even though it had an Assessor Parcel Number (APN) it wasn’t a legal parcel because it didn’t meet the minimum lot size for the area.
There was no parcel map as claimed in the listing; it was an Assessor's map. Not all Realtors are created equal.
Escrow officers: Is there a trust involved? Is there a corporation involved, which escrow officers will go the extra time and distance to ensure it’s truly cleared to close…and on time? Some do, but not all escrow officers are created equal.
Insurance agents: Do they have knowledge of fire districting? Can they write California Fair Plan policies? Does their carrier cover rural areas which often have high wildfire designations? Do they work on the weekend or just 9-5 Monday-Friday? For sure, not all insurance agents are created equal.
Pest control inspectors: It’s sad to acknowledge that different pest control inspectors will discover different findings, because most pest control companies make their real money on repairs after wood destroying organisms have been discovered.
I have employed the same Pest Control Company since 2007 because they are honest; they adhere to their estimates; they do quality work, and they show up when they say they will. Not the cheapest, but in life we get what we pay for and cheapest is not the best measure of a business. Pest control companies are not all created equal.
The art of real estate is a “cooperate to graduate” effort by the whole team, each member has their own part to play to help the clients achieve their real estate goals. Locally, our real estate community, small and quiet, is collegial and cooperative. Locally, we get it done for the benefit of our clients.