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This is the First Step in Our Comprehensive Guide to Buying and Styling Your Dream Home.

Written By: Marissa Wright An Expert’s Guide to Finding Your Perfect House
Photographed By: Stephen Panosian

The Expert: Sean Stanfield
Credentials: Owner/Principal, The Stanfield Group

Step One: Find YOUR House

Congratulations! You’ve decided you’re through with renting and won’t be paying someone’s mortgage for them anymore. Good for you. But now comes the hard part – where do you start? In an age of online shopping and do-it-yourself guides, it’s no surprise that many home buyers choose to go at it alone. However, if you are looking to purchase in Orange County, you should do yourself a favor and make an appointment with Sean Stanfield and his team at The Stanfield Group.

Born and raised in Orange County, Sean Stanfield began his real estate career when he was just 18-years-old. Since then he has gone on to be named the top realtor in all of Orange County and built a team around him that has earned a top 5 national ranking by the “Wall Street Journal.” While some would rest on their laurels, Stanfield’s work ethic, high standards and commitment to positive outcomes continue to be the driving force behind developing his team and the success that comes with it. After speaking with a handful of his agents, it is clear that they are of a higher pedigree and recognize the key to an impressive portfolio is focusing on personalized service, dedication to excellence, and understanding the local market. Their impeccable reputation makes it easy to assume that they cater to top-tier properties and clients, but The Stanfield Group takes pride in their expertise in a variety of real estate transactions. From luxury estates, traditional and distressed sales, to multi-family and income properties, any residential real estate need can be met by Stanfield and his agents.

Unlike more traditional, neighborhood-specific real estate agents, Stanfield and his team specialize in coastal properties throughout Orange County but don’t believe in limiting themselves. With successful sales as far north as Rolling Hills and as far south as San Diego, you can tell The Stanfield Group is not in the business of passing on an opportunity. Their expansive territory and network of sellers means the house of your dreams is probably within their reach and if it’s not, they are not above rolling up their sleeves to get the job done. One of their agents, Garrett Weston, has been known to negotiate deals on properties that weren’t even on the market. If you have ever heard someone complain about a realtor you can be assured it wasn’t from this team. Integrity is the foundation of all of their business interactions, and they believe in holding each client’s hand through the entire process so you will feel cared for — even after the sale is finalized. Buying a home is a memorable experience by default; don’t let the wrong realtor overshadow what should be exciting.

Tips for First-Time Homebuyers:
1. Know Your Budget: If you don’t have a monthly budget already, start now. Knowing what you spend every month on your essentials (phone, car, food, etc.) lets you see what you have to put toward a future mortgage.
2. Remember the Additional Expenses: Property taxes and insurance are a given, but if you’re buying a condo make sure you plan for HOA dues, too.
3. Don’t Be Too Picky: If you are working with limited funds and want to buy right now, don’t get caught up on outdated decor or little repairs. But if you can’t bring yourself to compromise to keep it within your budget, maybe you should rent for a little longer.
4. Never Skip a Home Inspection: The last thing you want is a home that requires repairs that exceed what you paid for the property. When making your offer, make it contingent upon the house passing inspection.
5. Plan for “Buying Fees”: Most people know closing costs can run you up to 5 percent of the purchase price. Be ready to pay appraisal, inspection, escrow and notary costs as well.
6. Use a Realtor – Seriously: There are many complicated factors, gritty details, and endless paperwork that come with buying a home and most of us are not equipped to figure it out on our own. A professional realtor is there to guide you and make the process a little easier.

The Stanfield Group
HOM Sotheby’s International Realty
1200 Newport Center Dr
Newport Beach, CA 92660
949.390.4543 or 714.421.3377 | www.seanstanfield.com