Buyer's Guide

A Step-by-Step First Time Buyer's Guide

Buying a home is one of the most exciting milestones of your life. To prepare yourself for this moment, you need to know what to expect during the process. This step-by-step first time buyer’s guide created by your agent will help reduce the stress of buying a home and help you enjoy the journey as much as possible.



Have you decided on your preferred location for purchase? Are you leaning towards a condo, townhome, or single-family home? What features are must-haves, and which ones do you prefer to avoid? What properties are currently listed on the market? If you haven't addressed any of these inquiries yet, it's high time to embark on your research journey. Alongside scouting for homes that catch your eye, make sure to keep tabs on any fluctuations in asking prices. This data can offer valuable insights into the evolving real estate landscape of specific areas, aiding you when the moment arrives to submit an offer.



Notice I said to decide on your budget—not determine how much the mortgage company will give you. In many cases, a mortgage company will pre-approve you for more than you’re

comfortable spending, which is why you need to determine the monthly payment you feel comfortable with before talking to a lender. This likely includes doing a full household budget and taking into consideration what changes other than a mortgage payment will occur once you move into your new home. If you’ve lived in an apartment or with roommates, you may overlook new expenses like garbage, water, or HOA fees that could easily blow your budget.



Merely estimating what you can afford each month doesn't guarantee approval from the mortgage company. Before setting your sights on a particular property, it's essential to consult with a mortgage professional to determine your qualifying amount. This step not only provides clarity but also serves as an advantage during the home buying process. Some sellers prioritize offers from prequalified buyers, making it crucial to secure prequalification beforehand.



While it's technically possible to navigate the home buying process without a real estate agent, why would you when it doesn't cost you anything and can significantly alleviate your stress? By enlisting an agent like myself, you gain access to invaluable support throughout the entire journey. From identifying properties matching your preferences to scheduling showings and guiding you through the offer process, I'm here to simplify the experience. My deep understanding of the market adds another layer of expertise, ensuring you make informed decisions. Let's explore homes together that align with your dream home criteria, helping you find the perfect fit effortlessly.

My goal is to provide you with the most personalized service that is designed to help you buy your dream home.

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I'll coordinate showings of homes that pique your interest and fall within your budget. It's essential to take thorough notes regarding what features you appreciate and what aspects you'd prefer to avoid. Pay attention to the minutiae – test light switches, open and close doors, and try out faucets in different rooms. Your inspection shouldn't be limited to the property itself. Take the time to explore the neighborhood, observing traffic patterns during different times of the day, evaluating parking availability, and noting proximity to essential amenities such as schools and grocery stores.



After pinpointing your ideal home, collaborate with your agent to draft a well-calibrated offer, reflecting the value of similar properties in the market. Depending on the listed price and the prevailing market conditions – whether it favors buyers or sellers – your offer may fall below, match, or exceed the asking price. If the seller writes a counter offer than we get together and discuss the price and terms and respond to the Seller’s Counter Offer.



In most cases, your offer will be contingent on having the home inspected to ensure there is no major structural damage or large repairs needed. I can help you arrange this, and you can schedule it within days of making an offer. If there are no major issues, that is great!  If there issues, you can renegotiate your offer based on what needs to be fixed, or you can withdraw it.



It's time to reconnect with the mortgage lender who pre-approved or pre-qualified you and make your mortgage selection. You'll be offered a range of options tailored to your specific financial circumstances, including fixed-rate, variable-rate, 15-year, 30-year, or specialized programs like VA or FHA loans. Collaborate with your mortgage lender to determine the option that best suits your preferences and needs.



Your lender will arrange for an appraisal of your new home to establish value. This process ensures that all parties involved are agreeing upon a fair price for the property.



Complete the necessary paperwork for purchasing a home may not be the most exciting task, but it's an essential step in the process. Thankfully, your lender and title company will handle all the arrangements, ensuring that once you're done, you'll officially be the proud owner of your new home.


After signing the final paperwork to complete the purchase, you are now the owner of a new house. It may take a few days for your loan to be funded once the paperwork has been returned to the lender, but once that check is delivered to the seller, you’ll be all set to move into the home of your dreams. 

Work With Colleen

Whether you are buying or selling a home or condo, I know I will surpass any standards of service to help you reach your goals.

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