Karin Torrice - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage


The homebuying journey is exciting, particularly for an individual who is pursuing a residence for the first time. Ultimately, there are many questions that a buyer should consider before he or she searches for a house for the first time, and these include:

1. What is my "dream" home?

Perhaps the most enjoyable part of the homebuying journey involves defining your dream residence. Because once you define your dream residence, you'll be able to narrow your house search and move closer to purchasing your first home.

Think about what you absolutely require in a new home. For example, if you want to own a house in a region where the weather is hot and humid year-round, you may require a central air conditioning system. Or, if you want to enjoy a fast, easy commute to work, you may want to pursue residences close to your office.

2. How much can I afford to spend on a house?

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is essential. Because if you have a mortgage in hand when you begin your house search, you may be able to gain a competitive advantage over rival homebuyers.

To obtain a mortgage, you should meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can teach you everything you need to know about fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages.

In addition, don't hesitate to get expert insights into assorted mortgage options. The longer you wait to get pre-approved for a mortgage, the longer you may need to wait to kick off your home search. Thus, you risk missing out on a potential dream house if you fail to get your home financing in order.

3. Do I need to hire a real estate agent?

Hiring a real estate agent is a must, especially if you plan to embark on the homebuying journey for the first time. In fact, a real estate agent can help you quickly and effortlessly navigate the housing market and discover your ideal residence in no time at all.

Typically, a real estate agent will offer comprehensive assistance at each stage of the homebuying journey. He or she first will meet with you, learn about your homebuying goals and help you craft a homebuying strategy. A real estate agent then will keep you up to date about houses that match your criteria and set up home showings. And when you find a home that you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer and negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf.

Let's not forget about the advice that a real estate agent will provide, either. A real estate agent is unafraid to be honest with you and will provide feedback throughout the homebuying journey. Also, if you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them.

Take the guesswork out of finding and acquiring your first house – employ a real estate agent, and you can receive plenty of support as you move along the homebuying journey.


Before you launch a home search, you should put together a property buying plan. That way, you will know exactly what you want to accomplish during the homebuying journey and can tailor your house search accordingly.

There are many things you can do to ensure your homebuying plan will work perfectly, and these include:

1. Create Homebuying Goals

You know you want to acquire a house. Now, you just need to establish homebuying goals so you can make your property buying vision a reality.

To create homebuying goals, you should consider where you want to reside and what you want to find in your ideal residence. Remember, you can always modify your goals as you navigate the homebuying journey as well.

Don't forget to be realistic as you establish homebuying goals. For example, if you want to acquire a mansion but don't have the finances to do so, you should lower the bar for your home search.

2. Get Your Finances in Order

A mortgage generally is a must-have to purchase a house. If you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you will know precisely how much you can spend on a residence. And as a result, you can narrow your house search based on the finances at your disposal.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you should meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can teach you about the ins and outs of home financing. Plus, they can help you make an informed mortgage selection.

In addition, don't hesitate to ask questions as you review your mortgage options. Banks and credit unions employ courteous, knowledgeable mortgage specialists. If you work with these specialists, you can gain the insights you need to select a mortgage that matches your finances.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

For those who want to receive comprehensive support as they craft a homebuying plan, hiring a real estate agent is paramount. A real estate agent boasts extensive housing market expertise, and as such, will help you create an effective property buying strategy.

A real estate agent devotes time and resources to learn about you and your homebuying goals. Next, he or she will work with you to create a custom homebuying strategy. And when you are ready, you can put this strategy into action.

Furthermore, a real estate agent offers in-depth guidance throughout the homebuying journey. He or she will keep you up to date about new houses that become available in your preferred cities and towns and set up home showings. Also, a real estate agent will help you submit an offer to purchase your dream home. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will make it simple for you to avoid overpaying to acquire your ideal house.

Take the guesswork out of developing and executing a homebuying plan – use the aforementioned tips, and you can simplify the process of finding and acquiring your dream residence.


Image by ErikaWittlieb from Pixabay

For most people, buying a house is the biggest investment they will make. Unless you are paying cash, the transaction could become complicated. Not that many people can pay cash for a house – and for those that can, it often makes more sense to borrow than to use up cash reserves, especially if interest rates are low. Whether this is your first home purchase or a subsequent home purchase, you might consider going with as much home as you can afford. In some cases, such as when the elderly want to downsize, smaller is better, but in most other cases, larger is better.

Better Value

When you do go to sell your home to downsize or because you get a job transfer, you’ll get more money for a larger home. Most people want at least three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Those houses tend to sell easier than homes with fewer bedrooms and bathrooms.

Growing Family

If you are newly married, planning on getting married or moving in with your significant other, or if you are older, but plan to have one of your children move in with you, you might want to start with a larger home so that you won’t have to go through the hassle of selling to upgrade. Even if you are single, if you plan on having a family, you might want to buy a larger house now. If you change your mind about the family, you can always sell it later on – and get more for a house that will be easier to sell.

Entertaining

When you entertain, you won’t be stuck sleeping on the floor or on the sofa if you have extra bedrooms. Your guests can have the privacy of their own room when you buy a bigger house. The more bedrooms you have, the more people you can have stay over. If you have just one person or family stay over, you might prefer just one extra bedroom, but if there’s a possibility that two friends stay, go for two or more extra bedrooms.

Single-Use Rooms

If you have hobbies, the extra rooms are great for decreasing the clutter around your house. A hobby that takes up tons of space is reading. If you’re an avid book collector, line the walls of an extra bedroom with bookcases – from floor to ceiling – to store all of your books. If the room has a good view, build a window seat in the room for a comfortable and quiet reading space.

And, if you need a home office, you can convert an extra bedroom into an office. You’ll have a quiet space to work, plus you’ll be able to lock up confidential information, whether you use a filing cabinet or install a hidden safe in the room.


Let's face it – buying a home can be difficult, particularly for those who are exploring the real estate market for the first time.

As a homebuyer, it is your responsibility to learn about the ins and outs of the housing market. By doing so, you can understand what differentiates a high-quality house from a subpar residence and proceed accordingly.

Furthermore, an informed homebuyer will know how to evaluate a home's exterior properly.

What does it take to conduct an in-depth assessment of a house's exterior? Here are three questions that every homebuyer should consider as he or she examines a home's exterior.

1. How do I feel about a home's exterior?

For many homebuyers, finding a house with an awe-inspiring exterior is a top priority. However, it is important to consider how you feel when you see a home's exterior for the first time.

A home's exterior should impress. At the same time, you need to evaluate a house's exterior in conjunction with other home features.

For example, a home may boast a massive kitchen and other dazzling interior features. On the other hand, a home's exterior may leave much to be desired.

Consider the pros and cons of a home's interior and exterior as you determine whether to submit an offer on a house. And if you need extra help along the way, be sure to consult with a real estate agent.

2. Will home exterior repairs be needed in the near future?

Examine a house's driveway, walkways and lawn as you conduct a home exterior evaluation. This will allow you to review the condition of these home exterior areas and determine whether repairs may be needed sooner rather than later.

Home exterior renovations sometimes can be costly and time-intensive. Thus, if you notice home siding that is cracked or other exterior issues, you will want to consider the time and expenses that may be required to fix such problems.

3. How much time will I need to commit to home exterior maintenance projects?

A home may have a beautiful exterior. In order to keep a house's exterior looking great, you'll need to conduct regular maintenance.

Consider what you will need to do to maintain a house's dazzling exterior as you explore all of the options at your disposal.

Will you need to hire a landscaping company to mow the lawn and trim the hedges? Or, are you willing to commit the time and resources necessary to perform assorted home exterior maintenance tasks on your own? These are just a few of the home exterior maintenance questions to consider as you review a property.

Of course, if you need guidance during the homebuying process, real estate agents are available to provide expert assistance.

A real estate agent possesses comprehensive housing market knowledge and can offer real estate insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere. With a real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble examining a house – both inside and out – and making an informed homebuying decision.


Purchasing a home may prove to be a long, arduous process, particularly for individuals who fail to prepare for potential house buying hurdles. Thankfully, there are several things that you can do to put yourself in position to enjoy a successful homebuying journey, such as:

1. Establish Realistic Expectations

Much in the same way that Rome was not built in a day, you should not expect to find and acquire your dream house right away. If you establish realistic expectations from day one of the homebuying journey, you can identify and resolve potential problems before they escalate.

Think about why you want to buy a home, where you want to reside and other homebuying factors. Then, you can make a list of homebuying goals and criteria. And once you have this list in hand, you can map out your quest to achieve your desired house buying results.

2. Get Your Home Financing in Order

If you find a home you want to buy but cannot quickly obtain financing for this residence, you may lose the house to a rival buyer. On the other hand, if you start a home search with a mortgage in hand, you could seamlessly navigate the homebuying journey.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you should meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. These financial institutions employ mortgage specialists who can teach you about all of your home financing options. Next, you can select a mortgage that enables you to acquire your dream residence without spending beyond your means.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

Oftentimes, it helps to hire a real estate agent prior to launching a home search. Because if you work with an expert real estate agent, you can gain comprehensive homebuying insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to purchase a house in any housing market, at any time. First, he or she will learn about you and your homebuying expectations. A real estate agent then will craft a plan designed to help you identify your ideal residence. This housing market professional next will put this plan into action and ensure you can check out a broad array of quality residences. Finally, when you discover your dream house, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to acquire this home.

Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent provides after a seller accepts your offer to purchase his or her home, too. At this point, a real estate agent will help you schedule a home inspection and finalize your house purchase. And if you ever have concerns or questions before you complete your home purchase, a real estate agent is happy to respond to them.

There is no telling what challenges you may encounter when you try to buy a house. With the aforementioned tips, you can minimize risk during the homebuying journey. Perhaps best of all, these tips could help you speed up your quest to find and purchase your dream home.




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