FIRST TIME HOMEBUYERS

The Benefits

You should buy a home.  Why?  That's what you've been hearing from friends and family, right?  So, by now you have likely been thinking about this already and decided that home ownership is the best decision for you.  Perhaps you have been renting for a while and now want to put down more roots and put some money back into your own pocket.

What, Where, and How Should I Buy?


Nearly 80% of all home searches today begin on the Internet.  With just a few clicks of the mouse, homebuyers can search through hundreds of online listings, view pictures, virtual tours, and aerial shots of neighborhoods and homes.  You've probably defined your goals and have a pretty good idea of the type of neighborhood you want.  By the time you reach my office or me, you are halfway to home ownership.

How Long Should It Take to Find What You Want?

A few buyers will look for years, but buyers who do that are not motivated or committed, or are simply working with the wrong agent.  A motivated buyer will find a home within two to three weeks or a few months.  Remember, "Necessity is the mother of invention."  Keep to your timetable of when your lease ends or before the next school year starts in earnest.  Good real estate agents will listen to you carefully and arrange to show only those homes that fit your particular needs and wants.  If you'd like, I'll preview homes before showing them to you as well.

How Many Homes Will You See?

The number of homes that I show to a buyer in one day is five to seven on average.  This often depends upon the driving distances between properties and how much time it takes to see a property. Therefore, expecting to see 20 or 30 homes in one day in unrealistic.  Although it's physically possible to do so, you probably won't remember specific details about any of them.

How Will I Know I've Found the House I Want?

Women will relate to this.  Say you want a new pair of gold earrings. At the first jewelry store, you find a fabulous pair.  You try them on.  They fit perfectly.  They are glamorous and priced right.  Do you buy them?  Of course not! You go to every store in the mall trying on earrings until you are ready to drop from exhaustion.  Then you return to the first store and buy the first ones anyway.  It is not wise to shop for a home this way.  When you find the perfect home that fits your needs and most of your wants, buy it.  Don’t take the chance that someone else jumps on your perfect property while you’re still deciding.

Helpful Tips While You're Viewing Properties

Bring a digital camera and begin each series of photos with a close-up of the front of house to identify where each group of home photos start and end.  Use a clipboard and take good notes of unusual features, colors and design elements.  Ask yourself: What did you like?  What didn't you like? Did you like the location?  Was it near a park or school or within a reasonable commute to work?  Immediately after leaving, rate each home on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.  Share your feedback with me, so I have a clear idea of what you’re looking for.

View Top Choices a Second Time

After touring homes a few times, you will probably instinctively know which one or two you would like to buy.  Ask to see them again.  You will see them with different lenses the second time around and notice individual details that were overlooked during the first visit.  At this point, I, as your agent, will contact the listing agents to find out more about the sellers' motivation and to be sure that an offer hasn't come in, thus making sure the home is available for purchase.

Making the Final Selection

Most good Realtors generally know which home a buyer is going to choose.  It's often intuition and fine-tuning the understanding of your needs and wants.  I insist that buyers choose their home with no influence or interference from me.  After all, it needs to be your final choice to make.  However, real estate agents should point out defects if possible and help buyers feel confident that your home selection meets your ultimate search goals.