Ashley O'Malley + Associates have the knowledge, drive, and creativity to help you achieve your real estate goals. They listen carefully to each client and seek to understand their clients' unique style. They work tirelessly to ensure the best possible outcome for every one of their clients.
Do you already know where you want to buy? If you want a condo, townhome, or single-family home? Which features do you like and dislike? What’s available on the market now? If you answered no to any of these questions, now is the time to start researching. In addition to looking for homes that interest you, also take note of any changes in asking prices. This could give you valuable insight into housing trends in specific neighborhoods and help you when the time comes to make an offer.
Notice I said to decide on your budget—not determine how much the mortgage company will give you. In many cases, a mortgage company will pre-approve you for more than you’re comfortable spending, which is why you need to determine the monthly payment you feel comfortable with before talking to a lender. This likely includes doing a full household budget and taking into consideration what changes other than a mortgage payment will occur once you move into your new home. If you’ve lived in an apartment or with roommates, you may overlook new expenses like garbage, water, or HOA fees that could easily blow your budget.
Just because you think you can afford a certain payment every month doesn’t mean the mortgage company will agree. Just as they may approve you for too large of an amount, they may also approve you for a lesser amount or deny you a mortgage altogether. Lack of time at a job, insufficient credit, past bankruptcies, or other financial issues can cause major problems when trying to secure a mortgage. Before you get your heart set on a home, talk to a mortgage professional to find out what amount you can qualify for. This will also be an advantage when you make an offer on a home, as some sellers won’t entertain offers from those who aren’t already prequalified for a loan.
Can you shop for, look at, and ultimately make an offer on a home without a real estate agent? Technically yes, but why would you when it costs you nothing for an agent like me to take much of the stress off your shoulders? Not only will I help identify properties you might be interested in, arrange showings, and ultimately handle the offer process, but I also have a knowledge of the market that you don’t possess. I may be able to steer you away from certain homes or neighborhoods, suggest hidden gems, or give you pointers that will help you find your dream home for the right price.
This should be the most enjoyable step of the entire process (other than moving in!). I will arrange showings of homes you’re interested in that are within your price range. Take notes about what you like and don’t like, and make sure to pay attention to details. Turn light switches on and off, open and close doors, and run the faucets in various rooms. Don’t limit your inspection to the home itself. Make sure to take time to explore the neighborhood and keep an eye on traffic at certain times of the day, the parking situation, and how close it is to necessities like schools and grocery stores.
Once you have selected the perfect home, work with your agent to craft a fair offer based on the value of comparable homes on the market. Depending on what the home is listed at and whether the current environment is a buyer’s or seller’s market, your offer may be below, at, or even above the asking price. I will be able to help you negotiate if you receive a counteroffer and reach an agreement. At this point, the house will go into escrow.
In most cases, your offer will be contingent on having the home inspected to ensure there is no major structural damage or large repairs needed. I can help you arrange this, and you can schedule it within days of making an offer. If there are no major issues, the process goes to step eight. If there is, you can renegotiate your offer based on what needs to be fixed, or you can withdraw it.
Now is the time to go back to the mortgage lender who pre-approved or pre-qualified you and choose your mortgage. You will be presented with various options based on your unique financial situation, including fixed-rate, variable-rate, 15-year, 30-year, or special programs such as VA loans or FHA loans. Work with your mortgage lender to select the option you feel the most comfortable with.
Your lender will have your new home appraised so they have their independent value of it. The appraisal is to ensure that all parties involved are paying a fair price for the house.
No one looks forward to all the paperwork involved in buying a home, but it’s a necessary part of the process. Fortunately, everything will be arranged by your lender and title company and, when you’re finished, you’ll know you are the legal owner of your new home.
After signing the final paperwork to complete the purchase, you are now the owner of a new house. It may take a few days for your loan to be funded once the paperwork has been returned to the lender, but once that check is delivered to the seller, you’ll be all set to move into the home of your dreams.
Ashley is great! She walked us through the entire process and really worked for us. She listened, was very helpful and insightful, and authentic. When it came down to making an offer for a home, Ashley worked it, she really worked her magic and made our dream of homeownership come true!— Howard M.
Ashley was absolutely the best REALTOR we could have asked for. She made the house-hunting process easy and painless and we couldn’t be happier in our new home. We so appreciate her attentiveness and incredibly fast follow-ups! We are so lucky to have had the opportunity to work with Ashley and would recommend her to all of our friends and family.— Madeline O.
Ashley helped and guided me every step of the way through selling my house and buying my townhouse. She answered all of my questions thoroughly and promptly and she was always available if I needed her. She is incredibly intelligent and very experienced; she definitely knows what she’s doing! I trust her fully as my real estate agent. I would highly recommend Ashley for your real estate needs!— Mellisa B.
Ashely helped us buy our home in Danville back in the Summer of '17. She did a fantastic job representing us and used her connections to get our offer accepted. We would not have gotten our home if it wasn't for Ashley. Since then, I've referred a number of friends, family members, and clients to Ashley. Every one of them has positive things to say about working with her. Keep up the good work Ashley!— Paul C.
My wife and I can not recommend Ashley enough or be more appreciative of her help in buying our first home! During an economic recession and global pandemic no less. She was incredibly knowledgeable of the area and process, proactively communicated throughout the entire process, and really helped move things across the finish line at the end. If you are looking to buy or sell a home, you are in great hands with Ashley!— Aleck F.
Ashley was our real estate agent when we purchased our home this past March. She is extremely hardworking, tenacious, and committed to getting the job done. She was in constant communication throughout the process and was even able to work through a few unexpected hiccups along the way. She also went above and beyond the call of duty several times, which we really appreciated. I have no doubt Ashley will continue to thrive in the industry. Thank you again for all your hard work, Ashley!— Philip P.
Ashley is incredible. I loved working with her every step of the way. During our first appointment with her, she showed us a wide range of houses to gauge our style, and from there on she was able to narrow our tastes down. She communicated throughout the entire process and would call to check in. I never felt lost and always felt like I was in good hands. The entire process was so easy. She really has her client's interest at the forefront. I highly recommend Ashley and will be recommending her to all of my friends and family.— Maisie H.
I worked with Ashley on a home search on and off for a few years before purchasing my home in 2020 and I couldn't imagine going through the process without her. She's high knowledge of the market and processes themselves, but what truly sets her apart is the patience, care, responsiveness, and guidance she provided throughout the process. I felt like I had a trusted partner who was looking out for my best interest and would highly recommend her to anyone who is in need of an agent. Thank you for everything, Ashley!— Kristen M.
From start to finish, Ashley was the most responsive and competent agent we have ever worked with. She asked the right questions, understood exactly what we were looking for, and certainly did not waste our time. We found our home within 2 weeks, and Ashley worked relentlessly to get us in at our price point. Ashley has an unparalleled understanding of Bay Area real estate and does a terrific job of relating that to her clients to make them feel comfortable. I was completely at ease during the home-buying process with Ashley leading the way and knew she would find us exactly what we were looking for. Ashley will not only be our future agent for our ...— Ashley S.
Ashley did an incredible job helping my wife and I find our first home together in the Bay Area! She went above and beyond, meeting us at off hours to visit potential homes to work around our busy schedules. Also, during the walk-throughs, she was really great at teaching us first-timers what to look for, and what to steer clear of, and ultimately helping us narrow down exactly what we wanted. We learned so much from her about the entire end-to-end home buying process, from beginner lingo to pro strategies, and couldn't have felt more prepared and secure when it came time to write an offer! And above all, she was super fun, personable, and a joy to ...— Dan & Emily C.
We provide thoughtful and honest counsel which enables clients to make sound, informed decisions. We bring forth powerful negotiation skills and a deep understanding of the housing market in our native Bay Area.