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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Contact List for New Home Buyers

When we bought our home, I realized that there is lot of material on the Internet to study and do research on. Of course, Susmita used to do the research - that is a different matter altogether :). But I also realized that at the end, I realized that you have to communicate with a human being anyway. So, we had to talk to a lot of friends and family (who have bought homes) and get the contact information about real estate agents, loan agents, movers etc. I thought that I might put down the contact numbers that we gathered during our home hunt. Use this if you enter the "house" rush !

(1). Real Estate Agents

Practically, anything you do for buying a house has to go through a licensed Realtor or Real Estate Agent. We worked with a couple of agents from Remax :

Simon Kiang (Ph : 1-510-938-1898, Website : http://www.simonkiang.com/index.shtml)
Stephen Ung (Ph : 1-510-585-6942)

Simon runs the business and so, we interacted mostly with Stephen - they were both very very helpful and extremely good.

(2). Loan Agents

Normally, you would contact a Loan Agent / Company 2 times during the house buying process. The first would be to "pre-approve" you for the loan for the amount that you would want to take. This is not a commitment that you are going to take the loan from that place. This can actually be done quicker online and we used E-Loan for this purpose.

The second time and probably the most important time when one would need a Loan Agent / Company is when you actually need the money - i.e. after you have finalized on the house and you have won your bid :). We got in touch with a coupld of loan agents - some did not give us good rates, some were not good and some didn't give us enough time. In the end, we decided to go with Sherry Shah (Ph - 1-408-396-9906) from Baycal Financials, who was recommended by our friends Abhijit and Paro - it turned out to be an excellent choice. She gave us good rates, took time to explain everything clearly and to cap it all, gave us a discount too.

(3). Movers

During the course of stay in our Mountain View apartment, we had collected a fair bit of furniture. So, moving on our own was certainly out of the question. Hence, we had to look out for good and cheap movers ! After talking to a few Mexican and mostly Chinese movers, we zeroed in on the one who offered us the cheapest rates. Of course, my Boss had used their services and he was happy with their service. He had warned me about their total lack of communication skills and that it was very difficult to understand what they spoke. He was absolutely right ! - but they did a good job and helped us move in within 4 hours. You can contact them at 1-510-623-1647.

Hope this information is of some use to some one who is planning to buy a home !

Cheers !

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