Home Search Advice
Know Your Rights
Understand your rights as a home buyer in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and know what to expect from a Buyer Agent representing you. See “Know Your Rights” and “How To Select Your Buyer Agent” for more details.
Protect Your Negotiating Position
Protect private and confidential information to maintain a strong negotiating position. Before hiring a Buyer Agent DO NOT discuss the following with anyone until you’ve hired the Buyer Agent to represent you:
- Reasons for buying a new home
- Time frame desired or urgency to purchase
- Willingness to purchase at certain prices
- Financing terms you would be willing to accept
- Personal property you may want included in the purchase
- Details or terms of a company relocation or employment package
- Personal, financial or confidential Information of any kind
Wait until you’ve interviewed several Buyer Agents and made a hiring decision before sharing confidential and private information with any other real estate agents. Do not share details of a new home purchase with neighbors, colleagues or casual friends unless they are your trusted advisors who will help protect your privacy. When in doubt, “Mum’s the word”!
What Is Your Budget?
Determine a realistic budget to ensure you can afford a new home and mortgage including annual expenses such as utilities, insurance, real estate tax and maintenance. You will need a mortgage pre-approval letter from a qualified lender to accompany an Offer to Purchase. In our highly competitive real estate market in Cambridge, MA and the greater Boston area, home sellers will not accept an offer without one. If planning to purchase a Condominium, factor in a monthly condo fee to determine the amount that works well within your budget. For investors, determine the minimum ROI you need to make the investment worthwhile.
Where Do You Want To Live?
For some, this is an easy question and for others it is like finding a needle in a hay stack. With so many diverse neighborhoods, cities and towns in the greater Boston area there are many options to choose. If possible, narrow your home search to the top 3 preferred locations. Searching more than 3 cities or towns can be overwhelming and a challenge to compare “apples” to “apples” to compare pricing and value. Need help narrowing the search? Ask me how to “Interview the Neighborhood”.
What Does Your New Home Look Like?
Can you envision your new home? Can you describe your ideal new home and neighborhood? Many home buyers focus on interior amenities first such as the kitchen, bedrooms and bathrooms while overlooking the very first thing we see – the home exterior and curb appeal. In the greater Boston area, our residential property landscape includes a variety of property types including Condominium, Single Family and Multi-Family. The style of property you prefer might be Colonial, Victorian, Cape, Ranch, Bungalow … just to name a few. After you define the type, style, minimum number of bedrooms, bathrooms, living area square footage and parking requirements, these factors will also help determine the price range within each preferred location.
Contact Tamela for a Home Buyer Consultation including additional home buyer advice and an overview of the home buying process in Massachusetts.