Home Search Advice

Looking for home search advice?  Before starting your home search, understand how to protect your negotiating position as a home buyer.  Preparation is key to a smooth new home purchase; take time to carefully consider your budget as well as all of the aspects you want and need to be happy in your new home.

Protect Your Negotiating Position

Protect your private and confidential information to maintain a strong negotiating position.  You should ONLY share personal and financial information with a Buyer Agent who represents you and your best interests.

For example, here are the kinds of personal details you should NOT share with anyone except your Buyer Agent:

  • 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

Interview several licensed real estate agents but do share personal and private financial information with them during interviews.

I also recommend that these details be kept private from neighbors, colleagues, or casual friends.  Why?  Real estate gossip travels far and wide quickly.  When in doubt, “mum’s the word”!  I will share more tips about how to protect your negotiating position during my home buyer consultation.

Home Search – 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.

If you plan to finance your new home, obtain a mortgage pre-approval letter from a qualified lender.  Most sellers will not seriously consider an Offer to Purchase unless it includes a current mortgage pre-approval letter (if planning to finance the purchase).

For a Condominium purchase, be sure to review with your mortgage lender the amount of monthly condo fee that works well for your budget.

For investors, determine your minimum return on investment percentage that will make the purchase worthwhile.  Mortgage financing rates and terms for investment properties are different than those for primary residence.

Home buyers should carefully review all mortgage financing rates, terms, and options with a highly reputable mortgage lender before submitting an Offer to Purchase.

Home Search – Where Do You Want To Live?

With so many diverse neighborhoods, cities and towns in the greater Boston area there are many options from which to choose.

Start your home search by identifying the top 3 preferred areas.  Searching more than 3 cities or towns can become overwhelming especially to compare “apples to apples” and fair market value.

I recommend that you take time to “Interview the Neighborhood” to see if the area includes any must-have amenities nearby and is within the distance desired for public transportation, work, school, etc.

What Does Your New Home Look Like?

Envision your new home and what do you see?  Many home buyers focus on specific interior amenities 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 property style you prefer might be a high rise condominium, a Queen Anne Victorian (single family), or a 2 Family with side by side duplex units.  During my Home Buyer Consultation we will discuss many types and styles of homes to help define your specific search criteria.

Photo titled Home Search Advice by Tamela Roche shows a photo of Tamela standing in front of a bookcase and includes her logo, company, and real estate certifications

To learn more about my Home Buyer Agent services including home search advice, contact me to schedule a Home Buyer Consultation.  Primary service areas are Cambridge, Arlington, Belmont, Medford, and Somerville Massachusetts.

Tamela Roche ABR® – Accredited Buyer Representative Since 2002