So far this year we've seen a very hot market in Ladera Ranch. At the beginning of the year home loan rates dropped and as a result many buyers started looking for a home. More buyers of course means more competition for properties and that's really driven the market this year, especially around the $600,000 and below price range. So what can you to do to give yourself an edge in a hot market or price range? Begin financially prepared is huge; meaning you should have both a loan preapproval and a verification of funds ready to go before looking at any properties in person. Another way to make yourself a little more appealing to any potential seller is to write them a personal letter describing your situation and why you like their home. It sounds silly, but hardly any buyers write an introductory letter to the potential seller. Anything you can do to make yourself stand out in this market is going to help you. Managing expectations and having the correct mindset is also important. Don't expect to be the one buyer that's going to find the unbelievable deal that's $50,000 below fair market value. Get a realistic idea of the type of home you can buy by looking at some homes online that seeing what properties are listed for compared to their size, number of beds, bath, views, ect. Lastly, find an agent that specializes in the area you wish to purchase a home. Many agents will focus on a specific area or city and they will have relationships with their fellow realtors in that area. You'd be surprised to hear that a seller might choose an offer over a slightly better offer because his agent knows the buyer's agent is knowledgeable, professional, and can be trusted to complete the sale. To succeed in this market be patient, be smart, and be realistic.