So You Think You Want to Buy a Home? Here Are Some Helpful Tips

Real Estate Agent

So You Think You Want to Buy A Home?  Here Are Some Helpful tips

Although not a comprehensive list here are some tips.

1. Get preapproved for a mortgage.  I know we like to leave this for later in the game.  But do yourself a favor and do it first!  Rather than guessing or estimating how much you can afford to spend, ask a lender or mortgage broker to pre-qualify you - and while you're at it - get him to give it to you in writing.(please note the pre-qualification guarantee will be good for 30-90 days and if you have not bought in that time frame you will need to get an extension or update on the guaranteed rate. 


How is he going to come up with that dollar figure?  Well it'll be a combination of your household income, how good your credit is, interest rates, the type of loan you select and how much cash you have ready for the down payment and closing costs.  You might be surprised that the amount may be much more or much less than you think.

2. Home Surf -Aren't we lucky that these days we have access to so much information online? This is a great place to start. We find our buyers to be extremely savvy as to sale prices, trends and homes on the market. The more educated you are about what's happening the more empowered you'll feel! 


3. Find 'Your Realtor'! - this is probably a good time to think about choosing a Realtor.  See How Do I Find a Good Realtor?                                                                                                                        


4. To have or not to have - that is the question!

We always talk about lists -and for a reason! I always advise my clients to make up a list of Must Haves and Non-Negotiable. If there are two of you deciding, check and compare lists!  You might be surprised that your top 3's are different! You can be a bit more objective if you decide this in advance - otherwise you just might find yourself making your decision based on emotion alone. It's too easy to fall in love with a home that doesn't meet your needs! Two years later you'll be shopping again - Good For Me - but not so good for You!                                                                                                     

Here are a few things to consider.

Location Location Location. We've all heard that but what exactly does it mean and why is it so important? 

- Your Commute - how long is your drive to work;

- How good and close are the schools;

- If you're a Senior is public transport important, how about hospitals?;

- How about shopping? - do you have to drive 30 min. drive to the nearest mall?

- What or who are your neighbours;

- What is the zoning in the surrounding area?

- Think Resale - you haven't bought yet - yet you're supposed to think resale? Yes - because you'll probably be doing that one day so it doesn't hurt to think ahead!

Size - Square Footage - what is the range/size of home you're looking for?' There are skinny houses


and there are fat houses! :0

- How many Bedrooms - Bathrooms? Do you need an office, guest room, gym?

- Style of Home - Basement Entry - 2 level - Rancher - do you want the bedrooms all upstairs, do you prefer a one level with no stairs.....and do you need a basement? Maybe you'd rather have a townhome or condo?

- Age - do you prefer new, or do you like it to be 'broken in' you like a fixer-upper - or do you want it to be in 'move-in' condition?

- Lot size - with our busy lifestyles these days not everyone wants a big yard anymore. 

5. Use a checklist.You have no idea how easy it is to get confused - no matter how good your memory is!Make up a checklist a head of time - or ask your Realtor if they have one - you can find great ones online as well! I often advise my clients to take photos - (with the permission of the owner of course).  Now you don't want to do that with each home -but do it with the contenders!


6. How Many Homes should we look at at one time? Probably no more then 5-6 at a time - even that might be pushing it in terms of remembering what you've seen and where! :-)                        


7.  What to wear? Lace Ups?  Not such a good idea. Give the heels a miss too.  Be comfortable  and maybe layer your clothing!

8. Can I bring my kids?  What about my Dog? - Probably not a good idea - It's important to be able to concentrate on what you're viewing - plus - kids can find it confusing, disruptive and scary thinking about moving - and looking at house after house - not knowing where home may be.animation of running dog

9. Breathe...No point in getting so stressed that all the fun out of buying a home is gone! Try to keep some perspective on the whole thing.

10.  Have Fun! If you're blessed to be in a position to own a home - enjoy the process - with a thankful heart! :-)




If you or someone you know is thinking of Buying or Selling property in Cultus Lake, Chilliwack, Hope, Abbotsford, Langley or anywhere in the Fraser Valley Area of B.C. - or if you would like more information please give Liz  Moras of Landmark Realty Chilliwack a call at- 604-799-0459 or e-mail at     

Copyright © 2009 By Liz Moras, All Rights Reserved. All photos taken by Liz Moras and copywritten.  Please do not use without permission.   Information provided by this author is only an opinion, it is not guaranteed, may be based on information collected from several sources, and may be time sensitive.  It is not necessarily representative of the opinions of Landmark Realty Chwk. Ltd.   

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Sylvie Conde 11/22/2009 04:20 AM
  2. Rita Minion 12/02/2009 01:45 PM
Home Buying
British Columbia Fraser Valley
Real Estate Rookie
Canada, eh
Posts to Localism
Diary of a Realtor
home buying tips

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Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate market

Thanks for giving me some more ideas on the home buyer process.  There is so much to keep in mind.  How much longer is that poor dog going to be running?

Nov 17, 2009 08:06 AM #1
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Great list.  I love What or who are your neighbors.  It really applies here, where sometimes farmers are there and cows are your neighbors.

Nov 17, 2009 08:07 AM #2
Craig Rutman
Helping people in transition - Cary, NC
Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor

Helpful tips? This should be REQUIRED reading for anyone looking to buy a home...and some agents too!

Nov 17, 2009 08:27 AM #3
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Preparation and a good checklist are keys to success.  A lot of great pointers here Liz.

Nov 17, 2009 09:20 AM #4
Mara Hawks
First Realty Auburn - Auburn, AL
Inactive-2012 REALTOR - Homes for Sale Auburn Real Estate, AL

Excellent list here, Liz! If I were a potential homebuyer reading this, I would end up in a complete comfort zone for beginning the process. You answered all the basic wonderings in an entertaining and informative way. Very nice!

Nov 17, 2009 10:57 AM #5
Steve Shatsky
Dallas, TX

Hi Liz... What happened to #7???  Did something fall off the checklist?

Nov 17, 2009 12:26 PM #6
Liz Moras Migic
Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor

Yes thanks Steve I forgot to number one of them :-)

Nov 17, 2009 01:00 PM #7
Liz Moras Migic
Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor

Mara - thank you - I want it to be a fun, adventurous process! :-) 

Thank you Joan - I hope it helps :-)

Craig - I think you're right but for some strange reason people prefer to read TIPS vs. REQUIRED READING< lol

Tammy -  sometimes its a good idea to do a driveabout on a friday night or saturday to see what kind of activity goes on around the area.

Jane - sometimes its just one thing that you never thought of that makes it worth it :-)

Nov 17, 2009 01:05 PM #8
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector



If they follow your advice they will be getting started out on the right foot.

Nov 17, 2009 01:56 PM #9
Liz Moras Migic
Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor

Steven thank you so much for your help this weekend - more on that in an email tomorrow!

Nov 17, 2009 02:30 PM #13
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

This is a fantastic post! I recommended it for a feature (I hope you don't mind =P)  I can't even pick a specific part to use as a comment. It's just all-around good. I hope you get featured. =D

Nov 17, 2009 02:59 PM #14
Liz Moras Migic
Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor

thanks Lisa - not sure it works quite that way - but I sure appreciate it :-)

Nov 17, 2009 03:25 PM #15
Liz Moras Migic
Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor

thanks Lisa - i appreciate it - although i'm not sure it works that way :-)

Nov 17, 2009 03:30 PM #16
Terry Chenier
Homelife Glenayre Realty - Mission, BC


Very good list; I'm going to use this in some context.

Nov 17, 2009 04:20 PM #17
Sylvie Conde
Sutton Group-Associates Realty Inc., Brokerage - Toronto, ON
Broker, Toronto Real Estate

I love the list ... and I wish someone had given it to me, before I bought my first (and second) house. :)  Knowing who the neighbours are ... driving by at different times of the day; parking and watching things around dinner time, are really important, especially if you don't know the neighbourhood at all.


Nov 22, 2009 04:20 AM #18
Rita Minion
O'Brien Realty - Solomons, MD

Hello Liz,

Terrific post!  Lots of good tips and advice for people who are thinking about buying.  Good job!



Dec 02, 2009 01:43 PM #19
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Liz Moras Migic

Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor
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