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Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

1. Get pre-approved before house shopping.

2. Decide your negotiables and non-negotiables for a home.

3. Be sure to be represented by an experienced agent and listen to your agent's advice.

Sep 08, 2020 11:47 AM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

1. First stop lender. PERIOD

2. Save enough money for down payment, closing costs and a year's worth of maintenance.

3. Get personal referrals for a buyers agent from people you know who have actually worked with them.

Sep 08, 2020 10:52 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

1. Get preapproved for a mortgage.

2. Do not buy anything on credit until you have found your house and CLOSED the purchase or you may loose your loan approval.

3. Do not pay any attention to all the baloney that your relatives and friends tell you about the market, strategy, pricing, low-balling, demanding repairs of everything, negotiations or any thing else that they think their real estate expertise gives them the right to share. (I may not say it, but I sure do think it.)

Sep 08, 2020 12:47 PM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

Sellers are liars! No, the mortgage process is not going to go at all like you thought it would so stop fighting the process. You won't win against the system.

Ask enough questions. In fact, if I think you need an answer to a question that you didn't ask, I will point something out & answer it for you.

It is not going to go the way you expected.


Sep 08, 2020 11:15 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

That depends on the market we're in.

But, the 3 principles that never change: location, price & condition.

  1. Call Jason E. Gordon to get pre-approved. This determines the purchasing parameters & budget.
  2. Drive-by the properties I send you to determine neighborhood appeal vs. house appeal: schools, parking, noise, etc.
  3. Create your "need to have" and "nice to have" lists (separately if a couple). This is a process of elimination. You'll write an offer on the house that checks enough boxes, not ALL the boxes.
Sep 08, 2020 06:04 PM
Ken Jones
Kenneth J. Jones, Inc., REALTORS® - Springfield, NJ
Real Estate Broker, Appraiser, Educator, Speaker

Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers 

1. Get a written mortgage commitment - NOT a "pre-qual" letter.

2. Make sure your downpayment IS IN YOUR BANK ACCOUNT before you start looking. Don't count on mom or uncle Bill to be there just because they said they'll help.

3. MAKE YOUR OWN DECISION based on YOUR NEEDS, not necessarily what you WANT. It's better to sacrifice some desired amenities to get into the "game" rather than to sit on the sidelines and try to play "catch-up" which will NEVER happen.

Sep 08, 2020 02:50 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Tony and Suzanne,

I think you have great answers, and I have nothing to add except that some first time buyers are trust fund babies and able to buy a home without a loan.  Happy Tuesday.  A

Sep 08, 2020 12:16 PM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

proper planning prevents poor performance.

First, although not sequential,
5,6 &7.....still important after all these years.

1. secure the money
2. Adapt
3. compromise

Sep 08, 2020 11:43 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

1. speak to a lender

2. keep credit card purchases of big items to a minimum, like zero!

3. pick a knowledgeable agent

Sep 09, 2020 04:21 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

Good local lender.

Don't buy/lease a car, get any new credit cards, etc.

The "dream home" with everything you want does not exist for the price you want to pay.  You will need to prioritze what are the must haves and what are the nice to haves.

Sep 08, 2020 08:49 PM
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Watch HGTV and other reality TV shows.

Get an idea of what houses are worth by using Zillow Zestimates.

Look at houses you cannot possibly afford.

Download real estate contracts from the internet, or buy them from Office Depot.

Work with a Realtor for several weeks, then go out on your own one Sunday and buy an Open House from the open house agent.

  * Oops, that's more than three pieces of advice... and did I misunderstand your question?

Sep 08, 2020 08:03 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Only one piece of advice, listen to everything that the agent I referred you to tells you.


Sep 08, 2020 07:52 PM
Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate
Kelly Right Real Estate - Hood River, OR
Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs

1. Get pre-approved

2. Determine the needs, wants, and like-to-have features of the home

3. Be realistic for your market. 

Sep 08, 2020 12:35 PM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

I echo what Candice A. Donofrio said and would add to #1:
Be honest. They're going to find out, so just be honest upfront during the pre-approval process. 

Sep 08, 2020 12:34 PM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Pre-qualified first, don't change jobs, don't buy any major purchases, You want to stop renting so badly you are driven to save. Stay focused on house ownership. Pull back on other spending areas to make it happen.

Don't think house of your dreams, find something practical, sale-able. Starter house like your car... the place fits your needs, saves time, near school, works for this stage of your life. Pride of ownership of homes around it or castle in a dog neighborhood? Chose wisely young Jedi house buyer (whizzing, buzzing light sabre sound, eerie electrical smell in the air) 

Take your time, look around, study. Wait for it. Read reviews, pick an agent that does not make you feel like you are wasting their time or is impatient to push you into a home that you like but are not in love with. If they don't return calls, are too busy to answer questions thoroughly and seem irritated. Well now Bucky, saddle up another agent to trot through the process that makes you feel your sale is their only sale with undivided attention.

Sep 09, 2020 03:58 AM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

First, get pre approved before even starting to look at homes. Hire me as your buyer agent. Then thrid i go over what to expect and what i need of them. Followed by what they can expect from me. 

Sep 08, 2020 05:05 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Love the home.... like the investment....

He who hesitstes truly or don't buy

Never forget all the help you had to get to the buying point...give thanks

Sep 08, 2020 03:49 PM
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

I used to help first time home buyers but not recently.  My market is different here on the Monterey Peninsula. But those that I do come across have seen too many TV shows, they think they can find a fixer upper in a great location, do a little cosmetic renovation, and sell it at a big profit. Give me a savvy buyer any time. 

Sep 08, 2020 03:48 PM
Jerry Thomas-Construction Loans
Cranbrook Loans - Farmington Hills, MI
Construction Loans in MI, OH, VA, GA, FL and AL

1. If you are a low or no down payment buyer, don't expect to win a bidding war.


2. Find out what an FHA 203k loan is. 


3. Look for homes that have been on the market for at least 30 days.

Sep 08, 2020 03:06 PM
Jason E. Gordon
AmeriFirst Financial Inc, San Diego, CA - San Diego, CA
Sr. Loan Officer, CMPS, CDLP, CDRE, RCS-D, CDPE

While it sounds self-serving coming from a Lender, I wholeheartedly believe that getting Pre-Approved for a Mortgage is the logical first step in the homebuying process (assuming they are not paying cash).

From there, work with 1 Realtor whom you trust. Personally, I recommend finding these Professionals via REFERRALS as opposed to randomly selecting a total stranger online.


Sep 09, 2020 10:13 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

You have some great responses here - I don't have anything to add.  100% agree with getting loan approval - preferably with a lender that will provide underwriting approval. Yes, there are a few that will do that in my area. 

Sep 09, 2020 08:41 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Do your budget, and know exactly what you can afford, and don't go over it.  Know your first home probably won't be your last, you only have to live there two years, and can sell and buy up.   


Sep 09, 2020 06:34 AM
Dan Pittsenbarger
Keller Williams Western Realty - Bellingham, WA
Improving Conditions

1. Buckle up Butter Cup - Assuming they are like the majority of 1st time home buyers and looking for something in the bottom half of the market.  It's going to be a challenge and very little of the advice, recommedations and guidance from friends and family (unless they've purchased in the past 2 years) is going to have any relavance to what they are going to have to go through to get into a home in the bottom half of the market today.

2. I'm surprised no one has mentioned it - if they are getting a loan - DO NOT try to plan your move perfectly - for example if you selected a closing date of the 1st of the month in the offer and give notice to their current landlord that that they will be out on the 1st - that is a recipe for big headaches and frustration.  Allow at least 2 weeks if not a month overlop - closing schedule for the 1st - either have your rental go a full month beyond the closing date or at least 2 weeks. This, "I don't want to pay even a day's rent once I've purchased" attitude will most likely have them sleeping on someone's couch or in a hotel for few days - as the entire system is backed up with the great rates, skeleton crews (or working from home) and flooded with new purchase loans and refi's. There's a good chance an extension will be needed.

3. Make sure you have a great agent and listen to them - they are your hired professional. They know the market conditions and know what it's going to take to get into a particular home.

4. Even though it's a challenge - don't take it too serious. It is what it is - have some fun along the way.

Sep 09, 2020 04:59 AM
Jerry Lucas
ABC Legal Docs LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Mobile Notary Colorado Springs, CO Notary Training

1. Avoid
2. Riot
3. Zones

Sep 08, 2020 12:52 PM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

You have some good answers.

Sep 09, 2020 10:35 AM
Tony Lewis
RE/MAX of Valencia (Hall of Fame) 30 year Valencia Resident - Valencia, CA
Summit Real Estate Santa Clarita & OC Laguna Nigel

1- Buyer within your means.  You don't want to live in paradise and not be able to afford to enjoy it by being house poor.

2- Don't buy a home that is more than you can afford.

3- Don't buy a home less than you can afford that will make you move sooner than is necessary.  Buyer enough bedrooms and a nice enough home to stay in for several years.

Sep 09, 2020 06:05 PM