Financially preparing yourself to purchase a home

Real Estate Agent with Virtual Homes, Real Estate

I work with alot of first time home buyers and many of them are in the same boat... financial uncertainty!

The same questions start sawing away at you and, before you know it, you have talked yourself out of purchasing a home before you even get out of the gate:

Buying a home is too expensive

This is why your first move should always be to call a Realtor.  A Realtor can talk to you about the housing market in the communities you are looking in and provide you with information about home values.  This will help you to set reasonable expectations about housing costs.  If you are in fact going to be priced out of your preferred community, your Realtor can recommend other communities that will line up with your price point as well as the other important factors in your home search such as School District, quality of life, area amenities or commute.

I don't know how much I can afford

Again, call a Realtor!  We have relationships with trusted loan professionals who can work with you through the pre-approval process and tell you how much you qualify to borrow.  You may be pleasantly surprised! You may also get a reality check and decide to re-evaluate your price point or expectations.  Aside from pre-approval, a good lender may also give you advice to restructure some other debts and free up the amount of money you can afford to put towards housing costs on a monthly basis or into savings for a down payment. 

I have limited credit history and won't qualify, I think I should wait before talking to a Realtor

Wrong!  If you have limited credit history a Realtor can give you some pointers about what you can do to establish credit and help you put together a long term plan for purchasing a home. Something as simple as taking out a small loan from a local lender and repaying it ahead of schedule or applying for a credit card with a small limit and paying it off in full every month can quickly establish good credit.   You don't need 10 years of credit history to qualify.

I don't think my credit score is good enough

Call a Realtor! (Are you seeing a pattern here?)  There are plenty of things that you can do to improve your credit score quickly such as establishing a good payment history on your current accounts, paying down a low balance credit card, or helping you to put together a budget and putting you on the path to getting rid of debts that are weighing you down.


It is a common misconception that you shouldn't talk to a Realtor until you are ready to go look at houses.  The truth is, I have plenty of clients that are several years away from purchasing a home.  As I've said before, Realtors aren't just a set of keys!   Talking to a Realtor about your long term goals, getting guidance and keeping in touch throughout the process is going to put you in the best possible financial shape when you are ready to move forward. 

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About the author: This blog is provided by Lori Liveston, a Realtor with Virtual Homes Real Estate. Lori can be reached via email at or by phone at 781-799-9267. Follow Lori on Twitter @loriliveston

If you are thinking of buying or selling your home, contact me today!  I would love to put my enthusiasm, marketing expertise and dedication to results to work for you.

For a FREE no obligation home search tool sign up at my home search site.


I service the following towns in Metrowest MA: Waltham, Lexington, Watertown, Billerica, Burlington, Woburn, Newton, Needham, Dedham, Framingham, Ashland, Natick, Hopkinton, Upton, Arlington, Weston, Wayland, Belmont, Concord, Lincoln, Cambridge, Bedford and Winchester.



Comments (6)

Christine Smith
Buyers Brokers Only LLC - - Canton, MA
Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA

Lori....some very good advice for home buyers in this blog!

Nov 16, 2010 06:44 AM
Kathie Burby
Coldwell Banker Mother Lode Real Estate - Sonora, CA
REALTOR, SFR, Tuolumne County Real Estate Guide

Lori - well done! You have provided a clear list of reasons why a first time buyer should contact a REALTOR before thinking they can't afford a home. I have helped clients get on the path to repairing their credit and saving for a down payment. It is so rewarding when they are able to purchase - there really is no better feeling.

Nov 16, 2010 06:47 AM
Martin Dragnev
Colorado Group Realty, Steamboat, CO~Call 970.291.9412 - Steamboat Springs, CO

Valid points. Thanks for sharing!

Nov 16, 2010 06:49 AM
Charles Edwards Bentonville
Coldwell Banker Harris McHaney & Faucette 479-253-3796 - Bentonville, AR
AR REALTOR, Bentonville Real Estate Agent and Broker

Lori, Good information here. I hope you get many first time buyers to work with.

Nov 16, 2010 01:09 PM
Greg Nino
RE/MAX Compass - Houston, TX
Houston, Texas

Hey, it's Lori!! We had a big meeting last week and it was about you! Everyone's been wondering where you've been! ;)

Nov 18, 2010 03:49 AM
Phil Hillerman
Crye-Leike Realtors® - Rogers, AR
Crye-Leike Realtors®

Good points, I hope you are having a great summer season.  

Jun 30, 2012 11:22 PM