How much can I afford?

Welcome to the Buyer section of my website. Whether a first time home buyer or a experienced one, each buying experience is different.  My job as your agent is to help you find your new home and assist throughout the entire buying process. But first, let's go over some basic principles you need to know before we go out and start looking for your new home. 

The first step is to secure your financing.  When we find the home you want, it is important that you have the financial aspect in place.  A majority of sellers are requiring potential buyers to provide a pre-approval letter along with the offer. This not only shows the seller you're an able buyer, but it also gives you buying power. Your loan officer will advise you how much you qualify for, the type of loan that fits best for you, your estimated monthly payments and funds necessary to bring to closing. 

Dana's List for Buyers

So now you have financing. Let's make a "wish list" of the house you are searching for:

  • price range
  • area
  • size
  • number of bedrooms
  • number of bathrooms
  • formals or media room
  • one story vs. two story
  • lot preference--do you want a corner lot, culdesac or no preference
  • garage type--attached or detached
  • amenities--do you want a pool, outdoor kitchen, deck, covered patio, sprinkler system etc.
  • unrestricted property vs. subdivision
  • new construction vs. resale
  • community pool and park area
  • sidewalks

This list is just a guide to help you envision the type of home you are looking for.  It's recommended that you narrow your criteria; otherwise, you could end up with a long list of homes. It can be overwhelming trying to figure out which one to start with. During a recovering market, there could still be many foreclosures and short sales in any given area. Think about whether you want them included. I am happy to discuss those type of transactions with you.

From here you can begin your search from my page through  If you are the adventurous type, download the HAR app on your smartphone while you're riding around looking in desired areas. I always accommodate my buyers in their searches.  I can perform custom searches and email them to you. If you are moving into a new area, I have a useful link here to look at comprehensive information for any given area.

When we find your new home and under contract, there are a lot of things going on to get ready to close.  I will assist you through this busy process of inspections and closing requirements.

Let me talk a little about inspections. First, I recommend you are present when the inspector comes out. There are going to be items on every inspection report. When the inspector has completed his inspection, he will go over each area and explain what he found and what his recommendations are. Many years ago, I had a buyer who, upon doing the final walk through, was very upset that the screws and nails for the attic door frame were not replaced by the seller as requested.  Certainly, there were other items on his inspection report that his inspector recommended to address. However, he was very upset about these screws and nails. The point--everyone is different when it comes to the inspection. In my experience, first time home buyers freak out when they receive the report. They start reading and suddenly they think the house is falling apart. The truth of the matter is, the inspector will answer all of your questions regarding items that should be addressed.  This is all done during the "option" period so these items can be discussed and negotiated with the seller.  If it doesn't work out, you have the right to terminate the contract.  It is significant to note that inspections are separate from the appraisal.

When we go out to start the exciting journey at looking at houses, here's a few tips to help prepare for the big day:

  • dress comfortably
  • bring a notepad to take notes of each house we look at.  When we are at house number 6, you'll have a difficult time remembering house #2 asking yourself "Did that house have an island in the kitchen?"
  • take pictures. This will help you remember key features of the houses on your list at the end of the day. It will also help in comparing homes to narrow down the list.
  • provide feedback so that I may share with the listing agent.
  • be prepared for messy houses. Not every house is going to look like a model home. Sometimes it's hard to see past the messiness but try to focus on the overall features of the house such as floor plan, room sizes and other features that are important to you.
  • Relax and have fun!

At the end of the day, we can talk about the highlights of what we looked at and those that you have crossed off the list.  If there are any properties that you would like to see again, I will schedule for a second showing.  However, if you have found the "one", we will start the process by submitting a written offer to the seller.

So let's get started!! It is my honor to be your agent in finding your new home!!