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Thinking of buying...We can help!


By doing our job well, finding and buying a property is much easier and simpler for you. You can continue normal daily activities while we work behind the scenes to make your next home a reality. We're dedicated to staying on the leading edge of technology and real estate training in order to guide you through what can be a tough real estate market. Here are some useful tips:

10 ways to prepare for homeownership

  1. Decide what you can afford. Generally, you can afford a home equal in value to between two and three times your gross income
  2. Develop your home wish list. Then, prioritize the features on your list
  3. Select where you want to live. Compile a list of three or four neighborhoods you’d like to live in, taking into account items such as schools, recreational facilities, area expansion plans, and safety
  4. Start saving. Do you have enough money saved to qualify for a mortgage and cover your down payment? Ideally, you should have 20 percent of the purchase price saved as a down payment, but there are loan programs available allowing up to 100 percent financing. Also, don’t forget to factor in closing costs. Closing costs — including taxes, attorney’s fee, and transfer fees — average between 4 and 7 percent of the home price
  5. Get your credit in order. Obtain a copy of your credit report to make sure it is accurate and correct any errors immediately. A credit report provides a history of your credit, bad debts, and any late payments.
  6. Determine your mortgage qualifications by talking to your lender. How large of mortgage do you qualify for? Also, explore different loan options — such as 30-year or 15-year fixed rate mortgages, FHA and VA loans — and decide what’s best for you
  7. Get preapproved. Organize all the documentation a lender will need to preapprove you for a loan. You might need W-2 forms, copies of at least one pay stub, account numbers, and copies of two to four months of bank or credit union statements
  8. Weigh other sources of help with a down payment. Do you qualify for any special mortgage or down payment assistance programs? Check with your state and local government on down payment assistance programs for first-time buyers. Or, if you have an IRA account, you may be able to use the money you’ve saved to buy your fist home without paying a penalty for early withdrawal
  9. Calculate the costs of homeownership. This should include property taxes, insurance, maintenance and utilities, and association fees, if applicable
  10. Contact a REALTOR®. Find an experienced REALTOR® who can help guide you through the process

Take the Stress Out of Homebuying

Buying a home should be fun, not stressful. As you look for your dream home, keep in mind these tips for making the process as peaceful as possible.

  • Find a real estate agent whom you connect with. Home buying is not only a big financial commitment, but also an emotional one. It’s critical that the REALTOR® you chose is both highly skilled and a good fit with your personality
  • Remember, there’s no single “right” time to buy, just as there’s no perfect time to sell. If you find a home now, don’t try to second-guess interest rates or the housing market by waiting longer — you risk losing out on the home of your dreams. There are other buyers out there and an attractive well-priced home won’t stay on the market long
  • Don’t ask for too many opinions. It’s natural to want reassurance for such a big decision, but too many ideas from too many people will make it much harder to make a decision. Focus on the wants and needs of your immediate family — the people who will be living in the home
  • Accept that no house is ever perfect. If it’s in the right location, the yard may be a bit smaller than you had hoped. The kitchen may be perfect, but the roof needs repair. Make a list of your top priorities and focus in on things that are most important to you. Let the minor ones go
  • Don’t try to be a killer negotiator. Negotiation is definitely a part of the real estate process, but trying to “win” by getting an extra-low price or by refusing to budge on your offer may cost you the home you love. Negotiation is give and take
  • Remember your home doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Don’t get so caught up in the physical aspects of the house itself — room size, kitchen, etc. — that you forget about important issues as noise level, location to amenities, and other aspects that also have a big impact on your quality of life
  • Plan ahead. Don’t wait until you’ve found a home and made an offer to get approved for a mortgage, investigate home insurance, and consider a schedule for moving. Presenting an offer contingent on a lot of unresolved issues will make your bid much less attractive to sellers
  • Factor in maintenance and repair costs in your post-home buying budget. Even if you buy a new home, there will be costs. Don’t leave yourself short and let your home deteriorate
  • Accept that a little buyer’s remorse is inevitable and will probably pass. Buying a home, especially for the first time, is a big financial commitment. But it also yields big benefits. Don’t lose sight of why you wanted to buy a home and what made you fall in love with the property you purchased
  • Choose a home first because you love it; then think about appreciation. While U.S. homes normally appreciate each year, we have been reminded recently that a down turn in national financial markets impacts home values locally. In time they do recover, but remember your home’s most important role is to serve as a comfortable, safe place to live

Read a PA Consumer Notice Financial Calculators