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Home Buying 101

As you begin the process of buying your home, we encourage you to take advantage of this online Buyer's Guide to help you through the process.


Home Buying


PorchLight is a real estate team, uniquely structured to leverage our buyers in a complicated market. With our team, you receive a team of professionals to help ensure a smooth and stress-free transaction.

Our Commitment To You

PorchLight is Committed to Helping You Find Your Home




It is hard to prove that our listings sell for more than they might sell elsewhere on the market. The closest we've come to that sort of measurement is in that we've been responsible for more than 5 sales that were marketed for over a year by another firm, and that we placed back on the market for a HIGHER PRICE and then successfully sold.


The ability to advise on home buying is our competitive advantage. Our home buying program is consistent and predictable giving us a number of reliable metrics that can help us identify properties before they even hit the market giving our buyers the competitive edge. 



We want your biggest concern during the home buying process to be that you were expecting the process to be harder. The PorchLight Realty Team strives to provide first class customer service, and a "let us handle that for you" approach to the sale. We've refined our process so precisely - nothing falls through the cracks.


Our success is based off our reviews. We work hard to create an environment where clients feel honored to recommend us based off our reviews.


Checkout our Zillow page to read the latest reviews.


Offer Accepted- Escrow timing is typically 30 days

Day 0- Offer Accepted and Escrow Opens

Day 3- Earnest Money must be wired to escrow.

Day 7- Seller delivers disclosures

Order Home Insurance

Preliminary Title Report Issued. Fill out the Statement of Information. 

Schedule home inspection

Review inspection and negotiate for repairs

Day 17- Inspection Contingency Removal

Day 21- Financial contingency Removal

Sign loan documents (have to be live signatures. No Docusign)

Loan funds

Title Company requests recording with San Diego County

Day 30- Close of Escrow

You get the keys!

You receive the grant deed in the mail

Cost To Buy A Home



Home appraisals can cost $500–$700 depending on your location and home price. If you pay for the home appraisal at the time of service, it will not be included as part of your closing costs.



Home inspections are typically paid in-person and are not included as part of your closing costs. Inspections typically cost between $300–$500, which varies based on the property and your local rates.


Earnest Money

In most areas, you will pay an earnest money deposit when you reach mutual acceptance on your home purchase. Earnest money is typically 1%–3% of the home’s price. The amount you pay in earnest money will be subtracted from your closing costs — reducing the total amount you owe at closing.


Loan Origination Fee

Your lender may charge you a fee for creating your loan. Not every lender will charge you an origination fee. Be wary of lenders who charge high fees. Ask your lender what the fee covers and if it’s negotiable.


Loan Processing Fee

Lenders may charge a fee for processing your loan. This fee covers any additional costs incurred for underwriting or services performed to finalize your loan. Similar to the origination fee, ask your lender what the fees cover and if it can be waived.


Loan Discount Points

If you purchased points to lower your interest rate, you will pay a one-time fee for them at closing. A discount point can lower your interest rate by 0.25%–0.5% — and, just like interest rates, the price of points changes daily. While it may seem attractive to pay for a lower interest rate, it may not be worth it in the long run if you don’t plan to own your home for very long or plan to refinance in the future.


Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

Private mortgage insurance is required if your down payment is less than 20%. FHA and VA loans may also require you to pay an upfront fee for private mortgage insurance at closing in exchange for allowing you to have a lower down payment. Private mortgage insurance is typically included as part of your monthly loan payment. However, some loans will allow you to pay your private mortgage insurance upfront as a one-time fee at closing. It’s up to you to decide if you want to pay more at closing or a higher mortgage payment each month.


Homeowners Association Dues

If the home you are purchasing has a homeowners association, you will pay one month’s dues upfront at closing. Homeowners association dues vary by property and cover maintenance fees and operations costs.


Homeowner’s Insurance

Your homeowner’s insurance premium for the year may be included in your closing costs.


Property Taxes

You will pay a portion of your property taxes upfront at closing.


Title Insurance

Title insurance is a one-time fee paid as part of your closing costs. As the homebuyer, it’s common for you to pay for the lender and your own title insurance policies.


Recording Fee

The recording fee pays the city or county to record your deed in public records.

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San Diego Loft
San Diego Loft
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San Diego Home
San Diego Home
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San Diego Condo
San Diego Condo
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Encinitas Home
Encinitas Home
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Carlsbad Home
Carlsbad Home
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North Park Craftsman
North Park Craftsman
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Del Mar Outdoor Space
Del Mar Outdoor Space
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Having a basic understanding of important real estate concepts before you start the home buying process will give you peace of mind now and could save you a fortune in the future. Here are real estate terms you should know before you start looking for a home. If you still have questions or are ready to start touring homes

give me a call at 619.777.9092



What should we offer?

There are two key things to consider when comparing pricing on a home to purchase:

  1. How does it compare to similar homes that have sold recently? Is the price fair? 

  2. What is different about this house compared to the other homes?

How Do I Find A Deal?

When buying a home you want to make sure it's a great investment. While what most people may think is the best way to find a deal in real estate, there is no formula you follow. 


Details of Writing the Offer

Three items needed to write an offer:

1. PreApproval letter from a lender

2. Proof of Funds: screen shot or PDF of your bank account, IRA, stock account or any combination thereof showing proof that you have the funds for your down payment and closing costs.

3. Residential Purchase Agreement (the contract) Click here for Sample Contract


Initial Deposit: 1%-3% of the purchase price. This deposit is due within three days of the seller accepting your offer.  The deposit is fully refundable if you chose to not purchase the home before you remove contingencies.


Down Payment: Depending on the type of loan you use to purchase your home, you will have 

Inspection Contingency: In the contract it is 17 days standard. I like to shorten that period to 10 days to make our offer more appealing.  This means we will have all inspections done within 10 days of acceptance and we will remove inspection contingencies. If we back out after we release contingencies, you will lose your initial deposit.


What is earnest money?

To show that an offer is serious and made in good faith, it's traditional for the prospective home buyer to accompany it with a check for a modest amount -- often a small percentage of the purchase price -- known as an "earnest money deposit." The amount of the earnest money deposit varies by state, but is typically in the range of 1-2% of the purchase price.





Here's what some of our recent clients are saying about us...

1404 Boston street

Mark Pattison and his team have been a joy to work with. (We’ve been referring to them as “rock stars” with our friends)! When we signed on with them, they managed to get our house sold immediately while were on vacation! We have been so impressed with their exceptional level of professionalism.


-Alyssa E.

3422 Madison Ave

Lucky to have found this agent to work with. Mr. Pattison met with my partner and I and cleared his calendar for our visit. He is trustworthy and very energetic. His knowledge of the city of San Diego is remarkable. His interest in helping us reach our goals has yet to end. We are still  working with Mark and when we find that spot, he will be our broker. I/we simply could not think of a better person to do business with.


-Adam D.

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