Buying A Home – Some Helpful Tips

The benefits of being a homeowner:

  • Making mortgage payments is like having a savings account that accumulates savings (equity) for the homeowner, not the landlord.
  • Buying a home is considered to be a wise investment by many because real estate generally increases in value over time.
  • Mortgage interest and property taxes may be tax deductible. (check with a tax advisor)
  • Personal satisfaction of having a home you can call your own to share and enjoy with family and friends.

As an example, let’s look at the purchase of a $200,000 house putting 20% down ($40,000).. At an appreciation rate of 5% annually, a $200,000 home would increase in value $10,000 the. first year. That means the homeowner earned $10,000 in one year with just a $40,000 investment. In fancier investment terms, that makes the ROI (Return on Investment) 25% the first year! What stock or money fund has produced that kind of ROI in the last few years? Added to the appreciation value are the tax deductions that may be allowed. Let’s assume the mortgage interest and property taxes on the $200,000 home are $15,000 in one year. That means the homeowner’s taxable income may be reduced by $15,000 (check with a tax advisor).

Determining your needs

There are many things to consider when buying a home, whether it is lifestyle, schools, community, convenience to job, shopping or highways.

Determining what your needs and wants are is as big a decision as the cost of the home.

As you begin your search consider these types of questions, all of them will be personal to you and there is no right answer, but there is just right for you:

What are the 10 most important things you would like in a house (consider pool, garage, air conditioning, age of home, type of construction, size of lot, acreage, fireplace, number of.bedrooms, baths, etc) Make sure you put them in order of importance – you may not find all 10 things in one house, but you may find the top 5!

Also of importance is an understanding of the local market conditions.

What are you looking for in a neighborhood/community – neighborhoods and communities offer many different things to different people. Consider your current family needs as well as look into the future. Do you or will you need public transportation? Are the quality of schools right for you and your family? Is it near a college campus? Is shopping convenient? Are their any parks in the area? Is there a Homeowners Association?

Where to Look

Looking for that perfect property can seem overwhelming when there are thousands of homes on the market.

Where can you go to find all the listings that fit your needs?

Where to Begin

For most people, the American Dream is to buy your own home and is usually the largest investment we ever make. Whether you’re a first time home buyer or have purchased many times, I can help you navigate the market, find the perfect home and help guide you through the process.

These easy to navigate buyer pages can help you understand the home buying process and begin your search to achieve the American Dream.

Just some of the steps to take include:

  • Consulting and counseling all along the way
  • Arranging proper financing and helping you get pre-approved with a lender
  • Providing you with up to date market trends
  • Finding the right property and providing you resources to assist you in your home search that goes beyond the general Internet search capabilities
  • Negotiating on your behalf
  • Managing the closing process and keeping you informed about what is happening at every step including title searches, escrow process, lender requirements, inspection timings and more
  • Utilizing extensive resources
  • Bringing personal expertise

Visiting Open Houses

There is nothing more fun when you are looking to buy a home (or even if you aren’t) than visiting Open Houses. Since not all open houses are held the same, when you walk in, you may encounter a Real Estate Agent, a neighbor, or the home seller themselves.

Here are some helpful hints as you begin your open house hunt:

To save time and gas, plan your open house day by mapping out the houses you would like to see ahead of time.

Look at all types of homes to get a good feel for what you like and don’t like.

When you are driving through the neighborhood of the house you are visiting take a moment to notice the neighborhood – Is it quiet? Are neighbors outside talking with each other? Does the neighborhood seem clean and well kept?

When you enter an open house, the agent holding it open may or may not be the listing agent. Many agents will hold an open house for the listing agent to meet prospective buyers and offer to help them in their home buying pursuits.

Let the agent know you are working with me – the best way to handle this is to hand them my business card when you come in.

Feel free to ask questions! There maybe some features of this home you can’t see on the surface.

When You Find that Perfect House

The house hunt is over – the home is just what you want… so, what’s next!?

Making an Offer

Look at a Comparative Market Analysis of recent sales for similar properties to help you come up with a fair market value price range. Then, analyze additional data, such as the condition of the home, improvements made to the property, current market conditions in that neighborhood, and the circumstances of the seller. This will help you settle on the initial offer price you put in the Purchase Contract.

What is fair market value? Fair market value is not a firm number, rather, it is a price range obtained by factoring in current market conditions on recent sales of similar properties.

How to help you through the process:

  • Determining what terms and conditions you would like to offer.
  • Preparing and presenting your offer.
  • Determining what will best overcome the seller’s objections in a counter offer.
  • Prepare and present your counter offer.
  • Utilizing our skills and talent to negotiate on your behalf.
  • Protecting your best interests in the negotiating process.
  • Consulting our supportive, experienced management team when necessary.
  • Fully communicating with you throughout the negotiating process.
  • Accessing the expertise of the entire organization; specialists in Brokerage, Long Mortgage, Long Title and Long Insurance Group.
  • Maximizing good relationships in the real estate community in negotiating for you.

Home Inspection

A home inspection is conducted by an independent third party who will inspect the property and review items that should be addressed prior to closing. Such items may include the condition of the roof, hot water heater, air conditioning and heating systems, light fixtures that need to be repaired/replaced, and much more. You will be provided a report with the findings, review this with me to determine if there are any items that should be addressed with the seller prior to closing.

Home Appraisal

If financed, a home appraisal may be conducted on the property by an independent licensed third party to ascertain the property’s current value.


Although you were probably pre-approved for your loan to purchase a home, now is the time to have all the paperwork finalized and underwritten.

Home Warranty

A home warranty can be purchased to protect the buyer from unforeseen repairs that need to be made after closing. Contact me for more information.

Homeowners Insurance

As you prepare for the closing of your new home, you will need to purchase homeowners insurance. This is usually required for closing with your Mortgage Company.

There are many more steps in navigating the closing and funding process for your new home. I am an expert at this process and can help make it an easy and enjoyable experience.

What To Do After Closing

You’ve closed on your house… the keys are yours… so what’s next?

Moving into a new home can seem overwhelming – here are some items to help you get started:

  • Find a safe place for all your documents so they don’t get misplaced during the move
  • Call your utility companies (Water, Gas, Electric, Phone, Cable, etc)
  • Contact a moving company and begin packing – mark boxes clearly so you know which room they go in for easy unpacking!
  • Notify friends and family of your new address and phone number
  • Notify credit card companies, banks and other institutions of your new address and phone number
  • Contact neighborhood schools if you have children to arrange for registration
  • Consider changing the locks on your new home