Your Guide to Buying a Home

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The process of buying a new home entails making significant choices that have a profound impact on both your finances and emotions. In the current dynamic and intricate real estate market, partnering with a licensed and committed real estate sales associate guarantees that you will discover a home that perfectly aligns with your wishlist, offering terms and conditions that provide maximum benefits to you. By working alongside one of our sales associates, you can rest assured that you will receive the finest representation possible.

GLOSSARY OF REAL ESTATE TERMS Appraisal: An expert's estimate of a property's value based on thorough analysis; a professional opinion of worth.

Disbursement Date: Date for funds to be disbursed in a transaction, whether a purchase or other agreement.

Mortgage: A legal agreement pledging real property as loan collateral.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR): The total cost of a loan expressed as a rate, encompassing more than just the interest rate.

Earnest Money Deposit: A down payment serving as evidence of good faith in real property transactions.

PITI: A payment encompassing Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance.

Beneficiary: The recipient of benefits, often referring to the lender in a deed of trust arrangement.

Easement: A limited right granted to one party to use another's land for a specific purpose.

Power of Attorney: A written grant allowing an agent (sales associate) to act on behalf of a principal.

Closing Disclosure (CD): A form detailing transaction costs provided to borrowers three business days before closing, enhancing cost transparency.

Endorsement: A supplementary attachment to a title insurance policy expanding or limiting coverage.

Recording: Filing real estate-related documents as public record.

Close of Escrow: The date when legal ownership is transferred, and title insurance becomes effective.

Hazard Insurance: Protection against property damage due to fire, natural causes, vandalism, etc., often with added liability insurance.

Comparable Sales (Comps): Similar property sales used in appraisal analysis to gauge the value of the subject property.

Impounds: Lender-established trust accounts holding funds for taxes, insurance, and mortgage insurance premiums.

Consummation: The borrower's contractual obligation to the creditor on a loan; distinct from close of escrow or settlement.

Legal Description: An exact description recognized by law, outlining land boundaries unequivocally.

Deed of Trust: A legal document used instead of a mortgage in some states. Deed Restrictions: Limitations in a property deed dictating usage parameter.

Lien: A claim against property as collateral for a debt, encompassing judgments, taxes, and mortgages. Loan Estimate (LE): An initial disclosure form offering borrowers insights into mortgage loan features, costs, and risks.

Settlement Statement: A detailed breakdown of costs in a real estate transaction. TRID: TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures, streamlining mortgage loan disclosures.

KEY PROFESSIONALS INVOLVED IN A TRANSACTION REALTOR® A licensed real estate sales associate and an active member of the National Association of REALTORS®, a real estate trade association. REALTORS® also belong to their state and local Association of REALTORS®.

Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Overall, the MLS serves as a centralized platform that streamlines the sharing of property information among real estate agents. It helps agents work together, effectively market properties, and connect buyers with suitable properties more efficiently.

Real Estate Sales Associate A state-licensed individual in the field of real estate is authorized to represent parties involved in property transactions. While all REALTORS® are real estate sales associates, not every real estate sales associate holds the esteemed title of a REALTOR®.

Title & Title Company The term ‘title’ refers to the legal ownership or right to a property. It represents the bundle of rights and interests that an individual or entity holds over a specific piece of real property. The primary function of a title company, also known as a title insurance company, is to facilitate the transfer of property ownership, clear and free of any potential issues or claims. A title company examines the history of the property's ownership, assesses the legal status of the title, and issues title insurance policies to protect buyers and lenders against potential financial losses resulting from undiscovered or undisclosed issues with the property's title.

Broker or Broker Associate: A real estate broker is a licensed professional who has fulfilled additional requirements beyond those of a real estate sales associate. Brokers are authorized to operate their own real estate brokerage and can supervise and manage other real estate agents. Listing Sales Associate: A primary responsibility of the listing sales associate or broker is to establish a lawful agreement with the homeowner for the purpose of selling the property and listing it on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Buyer’s Sales Associate: An essential responsibility of the buyer's sales associate or broker is to collaborate with the buyer in finding an appropriate property and skillfully negotiate a successful home purchase.

Escrow Officer An escrow officer leads the facilitation of your escrow, including escrow instructions preparation, document preparation, funds disbursement, and more. Inspectors Home inspectors will help you gain a full understanding of the condition of the home you are purchasing, and what short and long term repairs will be needed. Mortgage Professional A mortgage broker, who has access to rates and loan programs from many lenders, or a loan officer, who works for a specific lender. Your mortgage professional helps you determine the purchase price you qualify for.

We are devoted to providing our clients with top-notch personal service to ensure you find the home that is right for you. We will: Meet with you to address your needs, analyze your financial resources, and establish achievable goals. Keep up on current inventory and comparable sales.


Recommend financial institutions & guide you towards loan preapproval. Schedule & attend home viewings tailored to your specific criteria. Effectively detail the various moving parts and laws of a real estate transaction. Coordinate the transaction from start to finish, including highlighting your appeal as buyers, negotiating a fair agreement, open & manage escrow, arrange & attend inspections, review pertinent documents with you, ensure your insurance policy is in effect on time, and be the first to congratulate you on your new home. After close of escrow, follow up to make sure you have settled in comfortably and see if we can be of any further service to you


It is important to be cognizant of your lifestyle to help set priorities in your property search. We will help guide you in this process. During our initial buyer meeting, we will collaboratively create a tailored search process to discover a property perfectly aligned with your lifestyle and requirements. This involves comprehensive discussions about budget considerations and preferred neighborhoods. Our meticulous analysis will delve into your daily routines, helping us pinpoint where you primarily spend your time within a home, and consequently, establish lifestyle-driven priorities. For instance, if your profession involves remote work, an in-home office area could become imperative. If hosting social gatherings is a common practice, expansive communal spaces might be a priority. Likewise, if you're an avid gourmet chef, a thoughtfully designed, well-equipped kitchen would understandably be a key factor in your search.

Let your imagination run when creating your initial list of parameters. Then, prioritize your list carefully. It’s possible that you'll encounter moments where trade-offs are necessary between the different elements on your wish list.

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER Why have you decided to move? When would you like to move? How long have you been looking?


What do you like most about your present home? What do you like least about your present home? What are your hobbies and special interests? What neighborhoods do you like? What style of property would you like? (e.g., Victorian, Marina, contemporary) What condition? (e.g., fixer-upper, new construction) What features are you looking for? Property type Bedrooms/Bathrooms Size Separate dining room Eat-in kitchen Play area View

Fireplace Garden/Yard Parking/Garage Climate Transit Shopping

Is your home currently on the market? How long? At what price? Are you the sole buyer or do you have partners? Are you ready to purchase now, or do you have to sell a property, let a lease expire or wait for any other reason?


We are committed to facilitating your experience by coordinating your visits to newly listed properties as they emerge on the market. Whenever feasible, we will personally assess properties prior to your viewing, ensuring that your time is spent on the most promising options. It's worth noting that, in order to seize opportunities for appealing or attractively priced properties, flexibility in your schedule might be necessary on occasion.

PROPERTIES ON THE MARKET Begin the process by exploring available properties currently on the market. This step is pivotal in shaping your preferences and providing us insights into your likes and dislikes, enabling us to curate a more tailored selection of potential properties for your future consideration.


PROPERTIES OFF THE MARKET Due to our esteemed reputation within the real estate community, we have the advantage of accessing information about properties before they officially hit the market. This privileged insight extends not only through the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network, but beyond.

NEW CONSTRUCTION HOMES The best option for you might not always be listed or visible online. In the case of new developments and new constructions, builders often work directly with real estate sales associates to show and sell homes. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Drysdale Properties has an exclusive partnership with NewHomeSource, which gives us and you access to an inventory of newly constructed and currently under construction (coming soon) homes in your desired area. We will explore and consider these options to find the best fit for your needs.

SEARCH ONLINE When you register at our website, you gain access to a powerful property search platform that encompasses the entire MLS database. This empowers you not only to save your searches and bookmark preferred listings but also to receive email notifications for new matches that perfectly align with your individual preferences.

OPEN HOUSES You may wish to visit open houses on your own. When you do, it's important to communicate to the sales associate hosting the open house that you're in partnership with us, and don't forget to share our business card with them.

BROKERS’ TOUR Each week, new listings are open to sales associates for exclusive viewing. If we find a property that is appropriate for you, we will provide you with the address and arrange for a client showing.

The true cost of a home extends beyond its listed price. Factors like essential repairs or recent renovations can significantly affect the overall expense or value you'll experience. Taking these considerations into account is essential when setting your offer price. Moreover, the current market conditions and level of competition can exert additional influence on the final price and terms.


While a seller might offer certain inspections and reports, it remains the buyer's responsibility to conduct a thorough home evaluation before submitting an offer. We are here to offer invaluable guidance throughout this crucial process. SOME QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER: Are there any recent inspection reports? What is the condition of the plumbing, electrical system, roof, foundation, and sewer lateral? What items of personal property are included in the sale? (e.g. appliances) Are there any signs of dampness or poor drainage? When were improvements made and were they done with permits?


Securing the right financing for your new home involves a complex interplay of vital considerations. Collaborating with a knowledgeable mortgage professional is pivotal to this process. It is important to consider all aspects of your current financial situation as well as your long-term plans. Rest assured, our guidance will steer you through the intricacies of home financing, ensuring a well-informed and confident decision-making process.

SETTING THE APPROPRIATE PRICE RANGE Embarking on the homebuying journey begins with defining your price range. This entails assessing the amount of personal funds you're willing to invest in the property and the extent of borrowing required.


ESTIMATING ADDITIONAL EXPENDITURES While we can assist in approximating your home buying potential and expenses, we strongly recommend consulting with your accountant or financial advisor. These experts can help you calculate your cash requirements and potential tax advantages. CALCULATING NECESSARY FUNDS Your available funds should cover both the down payment and closing costs tied to the property acquisition. Closing costs usually range from 1% to 2% of the purchase price, varying based on your prospective loan's terms. Moreover, account for moving expenses, property taxes, insurance costs, and the monthly mortgage payment when determining your suitable price range. PREPARATION FOR LOAN APPROVAL Enhance the credibility of your purchase offer by attaching a prequalification or pre-approval letter from a reputable lender or mortgage broker. This certification reinforces your capacity to secure financing, preventing needless property tie-ups. We can recommend respected lending institutions where you can initiate pre-approval financing.



Available Cash

Credit History

Debt Level

Employment History

Property Purchase Price

Gaining insights from your lender is vital in determining the most suitable financing route for your circumstances. Below, we highlight several commonly chosen options: FIXED-RATE MORTGAGE Also referred to as traditional mortgages, these loans provide a steady interest rate (along with a consistent monthly payment) for an extended period, typically spanning 15-30 years. This option suits individuals seeking long-term residence and a predictable payment structure.


ADJUSTABLE-RATE MORTGAGE (ARM) Shorter in duration, ARMs present an initial fixed interest rate for a specific time frame. Following this initial period, the interest rate adjusts in response to market fluctuations, either upward or downward. INTEREST-ONLY PAYMENTS Both fixed-rate and ARM mortgages offer this feature. During a defined period of your loan, you have the option to make payments that solely cover the interest portion of your dues. While you can choose to pay off the principal amount as well, it's not obligatory. Your selection should align with your financial goals and homeownership plans. Seeking advice from your lender will empower you to make an informed decision that matches your unique situation.

The journey into seller escrow begins with composing an offer. This pivotal document outlines the proposed home price, any distinct conditions (like varied escrow timelines), and items that will transfer with the property, such as appliances. Once you're content with the offer's terms, we'll proceed to submit it. Usually, a counter-offer from the seller follows. There's the possibility of immediate acceptance or conditions from the seller's side. We'll diligently review these counter-offers with you. If the terms are amenable, we'll convey your acceptance to the seller's sales associate.


Potential back-and-forth counters can ensue until mutual agreement is reached. Should negotiations initially falter, ongoing dialogue between both sales associates might revive them later. Remember, if the offer doesn't find success through negotiation, alternative property options remain viable. CONSIDERING ALL ASPECTS Does the property invite competing offers? How high are you willing to go if countered? Are renovations necessary? Gauge seller motivation and your own. Scrutinize contingencies, loan pre-approval, and the presence of other conditions in the offer. EFFECTIVE PRESENTATION AND NEGOTIATION Our role involves advocating for you with the seller and their sales associate to secure a favorable deal. Sharing supporting documents like preapprovals and financial statements can improve the credibility your offer. INITIAL DEPOSIT SUBMISSION An earnest deposit accompanying your offer symbolizes good faith. Typically, this equates to 3% of the purchase price.

Delve into these considerations with your sales associate as they shape a well-informed offer: PURCHASE PRICE Leverage property comparisons to determine fair market value. Our data on recent neighborhood sales will guide you toward the appropriate price range.


LOAN CONTINGENCY For financed purchases, the contract accommodates time to secure a loan under acceptable terms, usually within 3 to 4 weeks. INSPECTION PROVISION Commonly, offers hinge on property inspections by licensed experts. We recommend three major evaluations: pest control, general contractor, and underground storage. Specialized inspections may also apply. INCLUDED PERSONAL PROPERTY Clearly outline items transferring with the property to prevent ambiguity. Throughout this intricate process, we're here to guide you, ensuring your offer aligns with your goals and maximizes your chances of a successful transaction.


Our Cash Buy Program is designed to put power back in your hands, and help you win the home of your dreams by giving you an extra edge over the competition. Shop for your new home with less stress and more confidence, knowing that you're in charge of the process with a guaranteed cash offer. MAKE YOUR OFFER STAND OUT Be ready with cash when the right home comes on the market. SAVE TIME AND MONEY Cash offers are accepted 4x more than a financed offer, and can save you up to 12% on the purchase price. SHORTER CLOSE AND FASTER GAINS Get the keys to your new home in as little as 14 days, and start capturing market appreciation in your home right away.


Get Approved

Make a Cash Offer


Close on Your New Home


Real estate transactions involve significant funds and crucial documentation exchanges between you, the seller, your lender, and your sales associate. To safeguard all parties involved, the concept of escrow was established. It encompasses a third party acting as a neutral intermediary, managing instructions from both buyers and sellers. This party takes on the responsibility of paperwork handling, fund distribution, and deed recording, ensuring a secure transaction. This process typically lasts 15-30 days. Your sales associate will serve as your guide throughout the process.

ESCROW ACTIVITIES Schedule and Attend Property Inspections Property inspections take place in the initial 15 days of escrow. Consider doing inspections for homes with prior reports due to the likelihood of aging. Attending inspections lets you gather firsthand information about potential issues, and ask questions. Pest Inspection General Contractor Inspection Underground Storage Tank Inspection Other Inspections Review Disclosure Materials Sellers and sales associates are legally obligated to disclose information that could materially affect the home's value. Certain exceptions exist, such as probate and foreclosure sales. Secure Financing If not done earlier, during escrow, you must choose a lender or mortgage broker, complete a loan application, and provide financial documents. Appraisal is necessary. Securing financing usually takes 3 to 4 weeks. Pre-approval prior to writing an offer is recommended. Decide on a Home Warranty Either party can purchase a home warranty, covering unknown defects and system/appliance failures. Your sales associate can recommend providers for more information. Remove Contingencies After satisfactory inspections and lender approval, contingencies must be removed. Increase Deposit If your initial deposit was under 3% of the purchase price, after removing inspection contingencies, an increase to around 3% is often required.

Choose Ownership Form If multiple buyers are involved, you must decide on the ownership structure. Arrange for Insurance Homeowners and fire/liability insurance are mandated by your lender. Provide Notice and Prepare for Moving If renting, notify your landlord 30 days in advance. Organize a moving company, activate utilities, and inform the post office and service providers. Sign Documents You'll sign loan documents and closing papers, often at the title company, accompanied by your sales associate. Deliver Balance Funds for closing, including the down payment and closing costs, should be delivered to the title company a couple of business days before escrow's close. Collect Keys Retrieve your property keys and closing documents.

There are numerous inspections throughout the escrow process. The final walkthrough, conducted before the transaction is officially closed and your ownership takes effect, is the last of these inspections. This is your opportunity to confirm that all terms have been upheld. While you have the option to skip this step, it's highly recommended that you participate. During this walkthrough, you will collaborate with your sales associate to ensure the following:


Confirm that all agreed-upon appliances and fixtures remain in place as per the agreement. Validate that any requested and agreed-upon repairs have been successfully executed. Ascertain that no new damage or breakages have occurred since the last inspection. Your goal is to ensure that the property's condition mirrors what it was when you committed to purchasing it. This walkthrough affords peace of mind, assuring that the property meets your expectations and aligns with the terms agreed upon.


As you approach the final stages of the closing process, certain actions can potentially jeopardize the smooth progression of your transaction. To ensure a successful and seamless conclusion, here are key actions to avoid: Changing Jobs Switching Banks or Shifting Funds Paying Off Existing Accounts Refraining from Large Purchases Avoiding these actions, you can proactively safeguard your closing process, enhancing the likelihood of a successful conclusion to your real estate transaction.

SUMMARY OF CLOSING COSTS Closing costs encompass a multitude of charges spanning lenders, title companies, real estate agents, and various service providers, that converge to complete the transaction process. Your specific transaction may involve additional or distinct charges. By understanding these customary divisions, you can better prepare for the financial commitments associated with closing, ensuring a seamless and informed transition in your real estate journey. While the responsibility for covering these costs can be negotiated between the buyer and seller, the customary allocation often follows these lines:

SELLER CUSTOMARILY PAYS Document Preparation for Deed Documentary Transfer Tax (Varies with Sales Price) Payoff of Existing Property Loans Interest on Loans Being Paid Off Reconveyance Fees and Prepayment Penalties Home Warranty (As Specified in Contract) Resolving Judgments or Tax Liens Against Seller Property Tax Proration Unpaid Homeowner's Dues (For Condominiums) Bonds or Assessments Delinquent Taxes Move-Out Fees (For Condominiums) Notary and Recordation Fees Third-Party Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement California Tax Disclosure Report Pre-Sale Pest Inspection Fee Underground Storage Tank Report Energy & Water Conservation Inspections & Recording Miscellaneous Charges

BUYER CUSTOMARILY PAYS Title Insurance Premium (Lender and Buyer) Escrow Fees Notary Fees Contractor's and Pest Inspection Fees All New Loan Charges Interest on New Loan from Funding to 30 Days Prior to First Payment Home Warranty (As Specified in Contract) Homeowner's Insurance for the First Year Earthquake Insurance (Optional) Private Mortgage Insurance (If Required , Typically 2 Months) Private Mortgage Insurance Impound Account (1 Year, If Required) Property Tax Impound Account (If Required by Lender) Move-In Fee (For Condominiums) HOA Account Transfer Fee Miscellaneous Charges


Joint Tenancy

Community Property

Community Property w/ Right of Survivorship


Two or more persons

Two or more natural persons

Spouses or domestic partners

Spouses or domestic partners


Ownership can be divided into any number of interests, equal or unequal

Ownership interests must be equal

Ownership must be equal as between spouses or domestic partners

Ownership must be equal as between spouses or domestic partners


One or more conveyances (law presumes interests are equal if not otherwise specified)

Single conveyance (creating identical interests); vesting must specify joint tenancy

Presumption from language on the deed stating “as husband and wife” or “as domestic partners”; or specifying “as community property”

Single conveyance and spouses or domestic partners must indicate consent which can be on deed

Possession & Control






Each co-owner may transfer or mortgage their interest separately

Each co-owner may transfer their interest separately but joint tenancy is severed and tenancy in common results

Both spouses or domestic partners must consent to transfer or mortgage

Both spouses or domestic partners must consent to transfer or mortgage

Liens Against One Owner

Unless married or domestic partners, co-owner’s interest not subject to liens of other debtor/ owner but forced sale can occur

Co-owner’s interest not subject to liens of other debtor/ owner but forced sale can occur if prior to co-owner’s/ debtor’s death

Entire property may be subject to forced sale to satisfy debt of either spouse or domestic partner

Entire property may be subject to forced sale to satisfy debt of either spouse or domestic partner

Death of Co-Owner

Decedent’s interest passes to his/her devisees or heirs by will or intestacy

Decedent’s interest automatically passes to surviving joint tenant (“Right of Survivorship”)

Decedent’s 1/2 interest passes to surviving spouse or domestic partner unless otherwise devised by will

Decedent’s 1/2 interest passes to surviving spouse or domestic partner unless otherwise devised by will

Advantages & Disadvantages

Co-owner’s interests may be separately transferable

Right of Survivorship (avoids probate); may have tax disadvantages for spouses

Qualified survivorship rights; mutual consent required for transfer; surviving spouse or domestic partner may have tax advantage

Right of Survivorship; mutual consent required for transfer; surviving spouse or domestic partner may have tax advantage

THE CLOSING DISCLOSURE UNVEILED Upon loan approval and the submission of all requisite documents and invoices, the lender and escrow officer collaborate to construct the Closing Disclosure (CD). All paperwork and invoices should be furnished at least 10 days before the escrow closure date. The borrower should receive the CD at least three days before consummating the loan (usually during the signing appointment). The escrow officer will prepare an estimated settlement statement, detailing the balance required for the down payment and closing costs to finalize escrow.


THE CLOSING OR SIGNING APPOINTMENT The escrow holder will coordinate a closing or signing appointment, or "close of escrow." In some states, this aligns with document recording or fund distribution. During this meeting, review the settlement statement and other supporting documentation and report any discrepancies to the escrow officer. If any payments were overlooked, it's your responsibility to address them before closing. You are accountable for any pending charges, even if not flagged by the escrow holder. FUNDS VERIFICATION AND IDENTIFICATION By legal obligation, the escrow holder must possess the designated sum before releasing any funds. Communicate any questions or potential issues to the escrow holder without delay. Remember to bring valid photo identification for notarization purposes. You'll also provide your social security number for tax reporting and share a forwarding address. THE NEXT STEPS If securing a new loan, your signed loan documents will be returned to the lender for review. The escrow holder will confirm the fulfillment of all contract stipulations and request the lender to "fund the loan." The lender then transfers funds to the escrow holder directly. Upon fund reception, the escrow holder verifies the presence of all essential funds, then the funds are disbursed to the seller and other payees, culminating in the presentation of your new home's keys.

ORGANIZING HOMEOWNERSHIP RECORDS It's wise to consolidate all documents relevant to your new property in a secure place. Having quick access to documents such as records of the purchase, insurance, maintenance, and enhancements of your home will allow you to manage your property with ease. MANAGING HOME WARRANTY REPAIRS If a home warranty plan is in place, reach out to the provider directly to address any covered repairs or maintenance concerns. Make sure to have your home warranty number on hand when you contact them.


RECEIPT OF RECORDED DEED The County Recorder will mail the original deed for your property to you typically within four to six weeks post-closure. This document solidifies your ownership and is a vital addition to your homeownership records. TITLE INSURANCE POLICY DELIVERY Within two to three weeks following closure, the Title Company will mail you your title insurance policy, a safeguard against potential title issues. PROPERTY TAX AWARENESS While you might not immediately receive a tax statement for the current year on your recently acquired home, it remains your responsibility to ensure timely tax payment. Verify with your mortgage company if taxes are included in your payment structure. For detailed property tax information, refer to your County Auditor/Controller's website.


Property taxes are levied on a fiscal year that spans from July 1 to June 30. Consequently, tax years are denoted as 2022/2023 or 2023/2024. The tax assessment is split into two equal installments. Homeowners typically receive their tax bills during the final week of October. The initial installment, encompassing the period from July 1 to December 31, becomes delinquent if not paid by December 10 of that year. The second installment, covering January 1 through June 30, becomes delinquent if unpaid by April 10.

THE CALCULATIONS BEHIND PROPERTY TAXES In most instances, the assessed valuation during your first year of property ownership will mirror the purchase price. For each subsequent year of ownership, there's a potential increase of up to 2% per annum in the assessed valuation. NAVIGATING THE HOMEOWNER'S EXEMPTION If your dwelling serves as your principal residence on March 1, you qualify for a Homeowner's Exemption, which can reduce the taxable value of your dwelling by up to $7,000. This exemption necessitates a claim filing with the Assessor. Once obtained, annual refiling isn't necessary as long as you maintain ownership and occupancy of the residence.


SUPPLEMENTAL TAXES: A POST-PURCHASE CONSIDERATION Following a change of ownership, the Assessor's Office will reevaluate the property's value and assess new owners for any tax discrepancies stemming from an elevated assessed value. This results in a prorated supplemental assessment bill based on the remaining months within the fiscal year concluding on June 30. DECODING MELLO-ROOS COMMUNITY FACILITY DISTRICTS Mello-Roos districts pertain to designated zones that have issued bonds to fund community infrastructure projects such as school earthquake retrofitting. These districts levy annual tax assessments as part of the property tax billing. By grasping these intricacies, you're equipped to navigate the realm of property taxes with clarity. This knowledge empowers you to manage your property obligations effectively and make informed financial decisions as a responsible homeowner.


There is no shortage of tasks that need to be done when moving or relocating. Our comprehensive checklist will help you stay organized and make the transition as smooth as possible. Embrace each step with confidence, as you embark on this exciting new chapter of your life.

1. NOTIFICATION OF ADDRESS CHANGE Post Office for Forwarding Subscriptions (allow several weeks) Friends and Relatives Banking Institutions Insurance Providers (Life, Health, Auto, Fire) 2. TRANSITION SERVICES


Gas, Electric, Water Internet, Phone, Cable TV Garbage Service Newspaper Subscription 3. GATHER IMPORTANT RECORDS Seek Doctor and Dentist Referrals in New City Transfer Prescriptions and Medical Records Obtain Birth, Medical, and Child School Records Secure Pet Records and Tags 4. MOVERS' ARRANGEMENTS Coordinate with Moving Company Pre-clean Rugs or Clothing, Ensure Proper Wrapping Verify Insurance Coverage and Moving Details Plan for Special Needs of Infants or Pets

1. FINANCIAL PREPAREDNESS Carry Sufficient Cash for Moving Expenses Safeguard Valuables Personally or via Registered Mail 2. TRANSPORTING PETS


Plan for Pets' Comfort During Travel 3. SHARE TRAVEL PLANS Inform Trusted Friends or Relatives About Your Route Designate Them as Message Contacts 4. THOROUGH DEPARTURE Double Check Spaces for Forgotten Items Leave Necessary Keys with REALTOR® or Neighbor

1. VERIFY UTILITIES AND SERVICES Telephone Internet Gas Electricity Water Garbage


2. APPLIANCE AND HOME CHECKS Confirm Pilot Lights on Stove, Heater, Furnace Arrange Appliance Inspections 3. LEGAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS Visit City Offices and Update Registration Register Your Car Promptly to Avoid Penalties Apply for a State Driver's License 4. ESTABLISHING ROUTINE Register Children in Local Schools Seek Medical Services: Doctor, Dentist, Vet


In real estate transactions, conflicts can occasionally emerge despite efforts to prevent them. When a dispute involving significant issues arises and mutual agreement seems unattainable, resorting to a lawsuit might appear to be the sole solution. To provide buyers and sellers a less formal and potentially more cost-effective way of settling disputes, real estate contracts may incorporate optional or compulsory mediation and/or arbitration provisions. To gain a full understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of the specifics of these provisions, it is advised that you seek expert legal advice.


Mediation entails a non-binding process in which parties in conflict convene with a trained mediator, aiming to achieve a mutually acceptable resolution. The mediator facilitates negotiations, and if successful, the outcome is a written settlement agreement. This document, once appropriately prepared and signed, becomes legally enforceable. Its implications on legal rights necessitate scrutiny by a qualified real estate attorney. Should mediation not yield a resolution, alternative pathways such as arbitration or litigation may follow. The cost of mediation varies, influenced by the mediator's selection and time allocation. Fees can range from modest sums divided equally to initial filing charges combined with substantial hourly mediator fees.

Arbitration, a binding procedure, involves parties submitting their dispute to a neutral arbitrator for resolution. The "Arbitration of Disputes" section in most residential property contracts initiates binding arbitration. By agreeing to arbitration, parties forego litigation in a court of law before a jury. Arbitration decisions are typically nonappealable and instantly enforceable.


Arbitration covers disputes arising from matters outlined in the residential purchase contract's arbitration provision. However, brokers are generally not required to arbitrate in these cases. Careful reading of this provision determines covered actions. It is advisable for buyers and sellers to consult a qualified real estate attorney before invoking the "Arbitration of Disputes" clause. The pros and cons of a jury trial versus alternative dispute resolution, like arbitration, remain a topic of debate in the legal field. Parties should thoroughly contemplate the ramifications before opting for arbitration over a jury trial.

When a buyer fails to fulfill a substantial obligation outlined in a purchase contract, they are considered to have breached the agreement. These contracts usually contain provisions enabling the buyer and seller to predetermine the maximum damages, known as "liquidated damages," recoverable by the seller in case of buyer breach. Typically, this cap corresponds to the amount held in escrow. However, in transactions involving 1-4 residential units, with the intention of the buyer residing in one as their primary residence, this limit is generally further restricted to no more than 3% of the purchase price.


For the liquidated damages clause to take effect, both buyer and seller must initial it. When additional deposits are subject to the provision, a separate statutory liquidated damages form must also be signed. Initialing or signing the provision does not guarantee that the seller will receive liquidated damages. In the event of a dispute, the seller must still substantiate in a court or arbitration that the breach occurred due to the buyer's actions. Even if the seller proves the breach, the buyer can challenge the "reasonableness" of the amount and seek the return of funds or a portion thereof. For instance, if the seller sells the property to another party for the same price within six months of the buyer's default, the buyer may be entitled to a refund minus offsets for the seller's expenses. In most cases, the liquidated damages provision, when initialed by both parties, does not affect the damages a buyer can claim if the seller breaches the contract. To clarify any uncertainties about liquidated damages provisions, buyers and sellers are advised to consult a qualified real estate attorney, as real estate brokers lack the qualification to offer advice in this context.


Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Drysdale Properties is among the fastest growing, full-service, 100% woman-owned real estate brokerages in the nation. Powered by a distinctive brand that delivers unparalleled offerings, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Drysdale Properties pairs invaluable knowledge with access to advanced technological tools and vast global connections. The BHHS ethos is founded on trust, stability, integrity, and longevity. Our focus is on elevating the real estate industry to a superior standard, while simultaneously making the home buying and selling process a rewarding one. We meet clients’ needs regardless of stipulations or obstacles, and serve a variety of niche real estate markets throughout Northern California and Nevada. Our agents are committed to maintaining an open line of proactive communication, providing information on market data and trends, and creating conviction with their clients.

HomeServices will be around tomorrow, next week, next month, and a century from now. If you’re making an investment in what could be the most important asset you’ll ever have, you should want to know that if you have any questions about anything, that you don’t find a sign on the door that says “out of business.” That will never happen with HomeServices.

— Warren Buffett, Chairman and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Warren Buffett Chairman & CEO | Berkshire Hathaway

Known as the “Oracle of Omaha,” Warren Buffett is an investment guru and one of the richest and most respected businessmen in the world. Born in Nebraska in 1930, Buffett demonstrated keen business abilities at a young age. He formed Buffett Partnership Ltd. in 1956 and by 1965 he had assumed control of Berkshire Hathaway. Overseeing the growth of a conglomerate with holdings in the media, insurance, energy and food and beverage industries, Buffett became one of the world’s richest men and a celebrated philanthropist. Early Life Buffett demonstrated a knack for financial and business matters early in his childhood. Friends and acquaintances have said the young boy was a mathematical prodigy who could add large columns of numbers in his head, a talent he occasionally demonstrated in his later years. At 11 years old he made his first investment, buying three shares of Cities Service Preferred at $38 per share. The stock quickly dropped to only $27, but Buffett held on tenaciously until they reached $40. He sold his shares at a small profit, but regretted the decision when Cities Service shot up to nearly $200 a share. He later cited this experience as an early lesson in patience in investing. Business Empire Despite the success of Buffett Partnership, its founder dissolved the firm in 1969 to focus on the development of Berkshire Hathaway. He phased out its textile manufacturing division, instead expanding the company by buying assets in media (The Washington Post), insurance (GEICO) and oil (Exxon). Immensely successful, the “Oracle of Omaha” even managed to spin seemingly poor investments into gold, most notably with his purchase of scandal plagued Salomon Brothers in 1987. Following Berkshire Hathaway’s significant investment in Coca-Cola, Buffett became director of the company from 1989 until 2006. He has also served as director of Citigroup Global Markets Holdings, Graham Holdings Company and The Gillette Company.

Good to know.


Knowledge in the field of real estate is a formidable advantage for all stakeholders within the franchise, as it instills confidence in potential buyers and comfort in potential sellers. We are committed to providing sound insights and authentic advice to our network, and take pride in our ability to elicit a positive response from our stakeholders. Our network of agents and brokers are an invaluable resource. We possess and maintain a wealth of knowledge and expertise in our respective fields within the real estate industry. Our market insights are comprehensive and well-informed, and our understanding of buyer and seller needs is unparalleled. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is a brand that is “good to know” and one with which you want to be associated.






BNSF: BNSF Railway BNSF Logistics Berkshire Hathaway Energy Company: Corporate Office PacifiCorp MidAmerican Energy NV Energy Northern Powergrid BHE Pipeline Group BHE Transmission BHE Renewables MidAmerican Energy Services HomeServices of America

GEICO Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance Grp General Re Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Co's Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Companies MedPro Group Inc MLMIC Insurance Companies National Indemnity Primary Grp United States Liability Insurance Co's Alleghany(1) Central States Indemnity

Affordable Housing Partners, Inc Alleghany(1) Ben Bridge Jeweler Berkshire Hathaway Automotive Borsheims Business Wire Charter Brokerage CORT Dairy Queen Detlev Louis FlightSafety Helzberg Diamonds Jordan’s Furniture McLane Company Nebraska Furniture Mart NetJets Oriental Trading Pampered Chef R.C. Willey Home Furnishings See’s Candies Star Furniture TTI, Inc. WPLG, Inc. XTRA

Acme Alleghany(1) Benjamin Moore Brooks Sports Clayton Homes CTB Duracell Fechheimer Forest River Fruit of the Loom Garan H. H. Brown Shoe Group IMC International Metalworking Companies Johns Manville Larson-Juhl LiquidPower Specialty Products, Inc Lubrizol Marmon(1) MiTek Inc Precision Castparts Richline Group Scott Fetzer Companies Shaw Industries


12 Countries 3 Continents


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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices






Industry Ranking Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices










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40 Counties in N. CA & N. NV

Our Footprint WE’RE ONE OF THE FASTEST GROWING BROKERAGES IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA AND NORTHERN NEVADA NORTHERN CALIFORNIA Alameda • Benicia • Brentwood • Burlingame • Castro Valley • Clayton • Danville • Discovery Bay • Fairfield • Fremont • Groveland • Healdsburg Lake Don Pedro • Livermore • Lodi • Los Banos • Merced • Mill Valley • Modesto •Napa • Novato • Oakland • Petaluma • Pleasant Hill • Pleasanton Redwood City • Ripon • Sacramento • San Francisco • San Jose • San Rafael • Santa Rosa • Sonora • Sonora Hills • South Lake Tahoe • Stockton Tahoe City • Tracy • Truckee • Twain Harte • Walnut Creek NORTHERN NEVADA Carson City • Incline Village • Minden • Reno

The Drysdale Philosophy Our company values guide everything we do. We believe in doing the right thing, even when it's not the easiest option. We strive to create positive relationships, both within our team and with our clients. We are committed to providing remarkable service, while also being mindful of our resources and finding ways to do more with less. We approach our work with humility, respect, and gratitude, and we encourage a passionate and adventurous spirit. We embrace change and see it as an opportunity to lead and grow. We are always learning and striving to leave a legacy of excellence. Lastly we believe in having fun and enjoying the journey along the way.

Connecting with Our Communities Drysdale Community Foundation All of our sales professionals contribute a portion of their commissions from every closed transaction to the Drysdale Community Foundation grant fund as a way to give back to the communities in which we live and serve. The cumulative funds are then donated to local non-profit organizations during our annual awards season. The organizations are nominated by our sales professionals, and vetted for grant awards by our Drysdale Community Foundation Committee. Community Service Day On the third Friday of September, we close our office doors, and all of our Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Drysdale Properties staff members and sales associates are invited to participate in our annual Community Service Day to volunteer in and give back to our local communities.

Gretchen Pearson

President & CEO | Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Drysdale Properties With a dynamic real estate career spanning more than three decades, Pearson's professional experience had included roles as agent, office manager, and senior corporate executive. In November of 2005, Gretchen opened her first real estate office in San Ramon, California. With the belief in the American Dream and a mantra of “we help people get what they want,” the company grew at a phenomenal rate and has been acknowledged as California’s fastest-growing, full-service real estate company almost every year of their existence. Since then, she has expanded her brokerage to over 1200 agents serving northern California and northern Nevada. Her achievements include multiple awards and honors: One of the most influential businesswomen in the Bay Area (SF Business Times) Top 40 Under 40 Award (National Association of REALTORS®) Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award (Contra Costa County) Featured speaker at numerous industry events Pearson is the founder of the Drysdale Community Foundation, a non-profit organization entirely funded by the agents in the company which donates to charities dedicated to improving lives of others. She is active with Special Olympics and is proud to serve on the Northern Nevada and California Boards of REALTORS®. Gretchen and her husband have been married for over 30 years and have raised three children together. A lover of all sports, Pearson is a proud Sacramento State Hornet.

The Luxury Collection The Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Luxury Collection is comprised of an exclusive group of real estate professionals and an unparalleled portfolio of the most magnificent homes around the globe. Luxury Collection Specialists are among the most revered professionals in the industry for their unwavering commitment to excellence and a passion to serve. With vision, commitment, determination, and elegance, Luxury Collection Specialists provide white glove service for those seeking or selling luxury homes.


Designation In order to attain the title of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Luxury Collection Specialist, network members must satisfy a set of requirements and undergo a formal application process. This designation is valid for two years, and individuals who wish to maintain their status must undergo a rigorous renewal process. The result is a uniquely distinguished collection of real estate professionals equipped to help you navigate the luxury market in nearly every corner of the world. To determine which properties meet the luxury designation requirements, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices franchisees utilize a stringent criterion, tailored to each postal code. This criterion typically represents the top 10 percent of the local market, but may be subject to modification in response to market fluctuations. All luxury properties are automatically featured on the website and are eligible to be marketed as luxury properties.


Specialist Our exclusive team of Luxury Collection Specialists is a hallmark of our brand, providing a distinct advantage in the competitive luxury real estate landscape. Active Community Engagement Providing a deep of and an invaluable perspective into the local luxury real estate market. Advanced Negotiation Skills Refined negotiation abilities, and strategic positioning to optimize clients’ desired results. Powerful Marketing Approach Sophisticated, bespoke marketing tactics to captivate the discerning eye of affluent buyers. Discreetly Representing Affluent Clients Understanding the unique needs of affluent clients, and providing personalized services to meet them. Superior Market Knowledge Invaluable perspectives on market trends and insights into factors that can impact the value of a luxury property.

Learn more about us and find your FOREVER Agent at SM


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