Buying A Home | Tips On How To Keep Your Cool When Making The Big Purchase

Categories: How To

Attention first-time home buyers!

Are you more scared of buying your first home than you were of getting married?

If so, you’re not alone.

You thought tying the knot was nerve-racking, but having to think about where you want to settle down, where you want to raise a family, where you want to make what will likely be the largest investment of your life, makes getting married seem like an easy decision.

However, just like a wedding or any other major life-changing event, buying a home is something the average person can plan for and accomplish, it just takes a little foresight, homework, patience, and determination…oh yeah, and some savings!


Often times your career or family situation may determine exactly where you settle down and buy a home, but there are many questions to ask before you even consider looking in a city/town or area.

  • What is your budget?

  • Does a home, townhouse, or condo make the most sense for you?

  • How are property values in the area?

  • What are the real estate taxes and other related expenses?

  • How are the municipal services?

  • Is the school system important to you?

  • Do you want a quiet street or is traffic not an issue for you?

  • What will your commute to work and/or other activities be?

  • Is a basement or garage important to you or do you need lots of closet space or extra storage space?

  • Do you have or plan to have pets and, if so, is the property pet-friendly?

  • Are you someone who is handy and willing to do home maintenance or do you want to own something with very few concerns/worries?

  • Are you willing to live the rest of your life there, even if your plan is to move at some point?


Once you’ve decided where you want to buy, the work isn’t nearly over (sorry) because there are so many things to do.

  • If you plan to work with a broker, you need to check references, etc.

  • Talk with friends who may live in the area or know someone who does; network as much as possible

  • Drive around neighborhoods, etc. to get to know the area

  • Read local papers and publications to learn about what’s happening in the community

  • Know the comps and stay on top of print and online listings, even if you’ve hired a broker (if nothing else, you’ll know if he/she is doing the job)

  • Get prequalified for a mortgage and make sure all of your financial concerns are addressed

  • Attend as many open houses as possible, even when you’re not really interested (to learn what’s going on)

  • Stay on top of your real estate agent or broker – the squeaky wheel gets the grease and it shows you’re ready to buy

  • If you might need a moving & storage company or a self-storage facility, look into that ahead of time so you’re not scrambling should an opportunity come up quickly


The only saving grace here is that you’ll need even more patience if you decide to raise children!

  • Be prepared to look, and look, and look…

  • Don’t be tempted by the first real “match” or viable opportunity you come across – if it’s meant to happen, it will happen, but there will be other options so don’t panic or force it

  • Don’t be discouraged when it takes longer than you figured to find something – just be glad you’re not building a home! (future blog)


Lots of planning, tons of homework, and more patience than you seem to have means that determination is what’s going to help you accomplish the goal of buying a home.

  • Depending upon the market, be prepared to “put the gloves on” when needed to get the property – maybe that means being the first to jump on an opportunity to see a listing, offering more than asking-price, or being creative to make yourself stand out as the best home buyer candidate

  • Don’t wait around for things to happen – if your broker isn’t working out or something else isn’t working, correct the situation because you don’t want to lose part or all of a season waiting around for a lazy or unknowledgeable agent/broker

  • Be prepared for let-downs, including the potential for a purchase and sale agreement to fall apart at the last minute – again, if it’s meant to happen, it will happen

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