Buying a home in Oakland’s Oakmore district with Brian Santilena

February 26th, 2010

I met Pete after he contacted me via my website.  He was interested in the prospect of purchasing a home.  He didn’t know the details or the process so we sat down together for a “Buyers 101” together.  We went over every aspect of the Home Buying Process.  Pete left the meeting fully informed with all of the information necessary to begin evaluating the mere possibility of purchasing.  We looked at several homes and even wrote a few offers.  We found one in the Oakmore neighborhood of Oakland.  The home wasn’t perfect but after negotiating hard, inspecting thoroughly and getting some contractors to give advice on future improvements, they decided that this was the house for them.

Here is what they had to say about working with me:

My fiancee and I decided it made sense to buy a house rather than rent. Though I had owned a home before I was not at all familiar with the real estate process or even the terminology.
Pete Levine

I can’t recall exactly how I got Brian’s name. I think I was web surfing and found his site. I found it helpful because it discussed the different neighborhoods in Oakland. At that point I wasn’t sure where to look – what the neighborhoods were like and where we coul find a house we would love as well as afford.

On his site he mentioned that he offered a complimentary intro to real estate discussion — real estate 101 he called it. This was something i needed. I didn’t have a broker yet. Wasn’t sure I needed one or what a broker actually did.

Brian’s presentation covered a lot of information and clarified terms I was unfamiliar with him. He was very familiar with the East Bay (grew up in Alameda) and also with the current real estate market. He was able to answer my questions and I liked him. He was knowledgable and savvy. He is a former contractor and knows about home construction.

I decided that Brian would be my broker and we began our home search. We weren’t limited to any particular list. Yes, Brian sent us listings based on a discussion of our needs and how much we could afford, but we told him about homes we found ourselves.

Going out to look at homes with Brian was very informative. He could make assessments about work that might be needed and why a ‘bargain’ price or fixer-upper might lead to problems down the road

We found a house we liked and just when we decided to make an offer we had to leave town. Brian was fantastic in coordinating inspections in our absence and getting us all the information. We were pressed for time but I never felt pressured. I was a novice but I knew I was in good hands. He also helped us with referrals to a loan agent and home insurance.

Brian was also able to negotiate for us with the seller and save us thousands of dollars.

I recommend Brian as a trustworthy and knowledgeable real estate agent. He won’t try to sell you a house. He’ll present you with the facts that will enable you to make that decision for yourself. I am very pleased that he was my agent.

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Local Area, Testimonial

Author: BrianS

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