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In a seller's market, buyers often wonder how they can edge out other interested parties and make their offer more appealing. There is often the tendency to forgo some protections that homebuyers have on their side in an effort to make things easier for the seller. One of these might be the suggestion to skip the home inspection. 

Home Buyers Should Opt for a Home Inspection

Opting for a home inspection is always a good idea. Most sellers won't hold this against you and many even expect you to have one done. If you don't, then you are relying solely on what the seller tells you about the condition of the various systems within the house. While some sellers might not know that anything, in particular, is wrong with the home, it is not always required that known issues are disclosed at the time of sale. That's why it's important to get an objective and professional opinion from a third party. 

What To Expect During a Home Inspection

It's important to understand that the home inspector will evaluate both the exterior and the interior of the home. While every inspector is different, you should expect them to complete the basics such as assessing the insulation in the attic, inspecting the eaves and the roof, flush the toilets and turn on all the faucets, check the fuses, switches and electrical outlets and more. 

What you should not expect your home inspector to do is to rip up the carpeting or knock a hole in the walls. These actions are simply beyond the scope of their job. That being said, many home inspectors can provide you with their best guess regarding what's behind the walls and under the current flooring. Chances are your home inspector has experience working with homes in your area and can read the clues that are found in the home. 

Home Inspection Pointers to Consider 

It's important to be present during the home inspection. This will allow you to hear everything that's said about the house firsthand. You'll also be able to ask any questions right then. The inspector will provide you with a written report afterward as well. 

Be sure to take what is found by the inspector seriously. If there are issues with the home, it's time to assess if it's the right one for you. You can also try to negotiate with the homeowner. This could involve you asking the owner to fix the issues first or for money so you can do so yourself. 


Finding a mortgage lender should be easy, particularly for homebuyers who want to purchase a high-quality residence without having to worry about spending too much. However, many mortgage lenders are available nationwide, and the sheer volume of lenders can make it difficult to choose the right one.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline the process of selecting the ideal lender.

Now, let's take a look at three tips that homebuyers can use to accelerate the process of choosing the perfect lender.

1. Know Your Credit Score

Your mortgage interest rate may vary based on your credit score. As such, you should learn your credit score before you begin your search for the right lender. This will enable you to boost your credit score if necessary – something that may help you get a preferred mortgage interest rate.

You are eligible for one free copy of your credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Request a copy of your credit report, and you can find out your credit score and map out your search for the ideal mortgage lender accordingly.

2. Meet with Several Mortgage Lenders

There is no shortage of mortgage lenders in cities and towns around the country. Therefore, you should allocate the necessary time and resources to meet with several credit unions and banks to explore all of your mortgage options.

Each lender can provide details about fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages, how these mortgages work and other pertinent mortgage information. This information can help you make an informed decision about a mortgage.

In addition, don't hesitate to ask questions when you meet with a mortgage lender. If you obtain plenty of information from a mortgage lender, you'll be able to understand the pros and cons of various mortgage options and make the best choice possible.

3. Review a Mortgage Closely

A mortgage may enable you to secure your dream residence, but it is important to understand all of the terms and conditions associated with a mortgage before you select a lender.

For example, if you decide to purchase a condo, your mortgage might only cover the costs of your property. Meanwhile, you still may be responsible for condo homeowners' association fees that total hundreds of dollars each month, so you'll need to budget properly.

Of course, you should feel comfortable working with a mortgage lender as well. The ideal mortgage lender should be available to answer your concerns and questions at any time and help you stay on track with your monthly mortgage payments.

If you need extra assistance as you consider the mortgage lenders in your area, you can reach out to a real estate agent for additional support. This housing market professional can provide insights into mortgage interest rates and may even be able to connect you with the top local lenders.

Take the guesswork out of finding the right mortgage lender – use these tips, and you can move one step closer to getting the financing you need to buy your dream residence.


The homebuying journey may seem long, complicated and time-consuming at first. Fortunately, there are lots of things a property buyer can do to streamline the process of finding his or her dream residence.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help a homebuyer navigate the property buying journey like a pro.

1. Narrow Your Home Search

If you know you want to buy a home, you should take the next step forward in your quest to find your dream residence by narrowing your property search. That way, you can hone your search to properties that meet specific criteria and are located in your preferred cities and towns.

Oftentimes, it helps to envision what your dream home looks like and what features it offers. You may want to consider where your dream house is located as well. By examining these factors, you should have no trouble crafting homebuying criteria that you can use to narrow your property search.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

A mortgage generally is a must-have for homebuyers. Lucky for you, there is no shortage of banks and credit unions willing to provide mortgages to homebuyers across the United States. And if you meet with these financial institutions, you can get pre-approved for a mortgage and enter the housing market with a budget in hand.

Typically, it is beneficial for a homebuyer to pursue as many mortgage options as possible. This approach allows a homebuyer to search for the lowest interest rates and find a mortgage that complements his or her finances perfectly. Plus, if a homebuyer makes an informed mortgage decision, he or she may reap the benefits of this choice for years to come.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Even an expert homebuyer may need help as he or she navigates the property buying journey. By hiring a real estate agent, you can receive comprehensive assistance as you search for your ideal residence.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to find a great house at a budget-friendly price. He or she also is happy to share homebuying recommendations and suggestions with you to ensure you can seamlessly navigate the property buying journey.

In addition, a real estate agent will assist you at all stages of the homebuying process. He or she first will help you craft a homebuying strategy. Next, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about houses that become available and meet your homebuying criteria. A real estate agent then will set up home showings and attend open house events with you. And once you discover your dream residence, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase this home.

As you get set to kick off the homebuying journey, it helps to prepare as much as you can. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can plan ahead for the homebuying journey. As a result, you can navigate the property buying journey like a pro.


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If you thought we'd answer "It all depends" you're absolutely right. So, lets take a look at the upsides and challenges of old and new homes.

Buying an Older Home or Condo

If you fall in love with an older home or condo, your real estate professional will guide you through the inspection process and help you estimate your costs for indispensable repairs. Electrical outlets, for example, must be up to today's standards... Safety first! Request the necessary fixes as part of the sale or ask the seller to prune the asking price. 

Compare homeowner's insurance estimates and taxes before making an offer, too. A more up-to-date property might be cheaper on both counts. 

For buyers with chemical sensitivities and allergies, old homes can be attractive. There won't be as many new materials in the older home.  

And some prefer a traditional aesthetic. Some of the most beautiful and well-made homes are older homes. As long as you have the home thoroughly inspected, and a plan to handle the needed upgrades, a home with history and character can be yours to enjoy for many years to come. 

Buying a Newer Home or Condo

New homes are made with state-of-the-art materials. They're usually energy-efficient. So are their appliances. Expect lower electricity bills with a newer house. 

For buyers considering condos or townhomes, monthly homeowners' association fees are often at their most reasonable when the property is of recent vintage. 

New homes are becoming increasingly safe and supportive, thanks to new technology. Smart homes can be a little pricier – perhaps 5% more than a traditional residence. Highly desirable technology could add as much as 10% to the price, but rarely more. 

Smart Home Technologies: Evolving From Options to Standard Features 

Across age groups, buyers appreciate smart home lighting and thermostat systems, as well as high-tech AC and kitchen appliances. Owners like security systems hard-wired into the home, and video doorbells. Devices that show visitors at the door and alert the owner if someone's on the porch are big draws in the era of home grocery and package delivery. 

So, be on the lookout for smart technology when touring houses and condo properties. A special mention goes to the innovations that make greater independence possible for homebuyers. New features include a wide range of security sensors, and devices that notify homeowners of medication times or help visually impaired people navigate daily errands, desires and needs. 

Need Support Finding Your Perfect Home?

Let us know! With an expert real estate professional on your side, your home can have the character and features you value. You'll also have support in negotiating a price. And that can help you update a new-to-you home just as you wish. 


Want to relocate to a condo? Buying a condo can be an uphill climb, particularly for homebuyers who are browsing the real estate market for the first time. Fortunately, real estate agents are available who will allocate the necessary time and resources to ensure you can find a top-notch condo in no time at all.

Ultimately, hiring the right real estate agent to assist you during your condo search can be easy. Here are three questions that you should ask a real estate agent before you hire him or her to guide you during your condo search:

1. How have you helped condo buyers in the past?

Ask a real estate agent about his or her past experience with condo buyers – you'll be glad you did. With this information at your disposal, you can find out how a real estate professional collaborates with condo buyers to help them achieve their goals.

A real estate agent should be a good communicator, i.e. someone who keeps condo buyers informed at each stage of the condo buying journey. That way, this real estate professional will keep you up to date about new condos as they become available and ensure you can find a great condo at a budget-friendly price.

When in doubt, be sure to ask for client referrals too. By doing so, you can reach out to a real estate agent's past clients to learn about their condo buying experiences.

2. How do you approach difficult situations?

Unfortunately, the condo buying journey sometimes can be filled with roadblocks along the way. For real estate agents, it is important to remain calm, cool and collected in these situations and do everything possible to limit their impact.

Ask a real estate agent to share details about past condo buying experiences that did not necessarily go according to plan. This will provide you with insights into how a real estate agent approaches unforeseen circumstances and whether he or she can thrive under pressure.

A real estate professional with condo buying experience should do whatever it takes to help his or her client get the best results possible. With this real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble securing your dream condo, regardless of the challenges that you encounter along the way.

3. Why should I hire you?

There is no right or wrong answer as to why you should hire a real estate agent to help you find a condo. For many condo buyers, it is a gut feeling. Meanwhile, other property buyers will choose a real estate professional based solely on his or her education and past successes.

As a condo buyer, it is important to employ a real estate agent who you will feel comfortable working with at all times. This real estate professional should be happy to help you in any way possible and respond to your condo buying concerns and queries. In addition, he or she will go the extra mile to ensure you can buy a terrific condo that matches or exceeds your expectations.




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