Category Archives: Buyers and 1st Time Buyers

Deciding to buy a new home is a BIG decision. What should you do first? What comes next? How do I find a home and ensure I get the right price? Where do I look for information about the community and schools? Can someone take the mystery out of the whole financial process when buying a home?

Moving for the Holidays


I was listening to the radio on the way home yesterday and they were listing the stress triggers of the holiday season. It included financial issues, family problems, health problems, family visiting for an extended vacation, traveling, and making your home holiday picture perfect. Those are all very valid stresses when it comes to the holiday season because we all long to enjoy every minute of our time off of work and school and truly want everything to go perfectly as we are spending time with our loved ones.

So can you imagine if someone (Aka YOU) were to move during this holiday season?

Some of you are already saying, “YES I CAN IMAGINE! HELP!”

Moving is stressful all on its own, not considering during the holiday season, when we are supposed to hunker down for the winter, gather around our fires with our loved ones and have decorations up.

Well that is what we all try to envision anyway, but that does not always happen, especially if we are in the process of moving. It is especially difficult to bring joy to your children while you are not at home and it is hard when you have to switch up family traditions because you are not in your own home.

The One Step Holiday Season Survival Guide:

Keep it simple. It doesn’t matter how much you have decorated, how many presents are under the tree, how much food you have prepared. Being together is all that matters. Remove the stress for a day and be creative with your family. Create a new tradition, become minimalist for a day, enjoy the outside and go to a park to play with the kids and pack a picnic. Do not be so dependent on a stationary house, but find something for the family to do elsewhere while you are in transition mode with boxes everywhere or in a Uhaul.

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What Do I Need in a Home?

Tough Decisions Ahead Road Sign

The hardest decisions we have to make are those that require our minds alone, no feedback, no one else’s opinions. Purchasing a home for you and your family is included in a difficult decision. Everyone wonders what will happen if you make a wrong decision. How will it impact your future? Your family? All of the home buying decisions are very, very, important, but  adding more stress to them only makes the decision making harder. Thought, time, research, and planning are the key. This is one of the reasons why having an Real Estate Agent is so important. They are there as an outside perspective, to oversee, to encourage, to research, to be there if you have questions. Real Estate Agents are your home buying and selling confidant and conscience in this respect.

So just like in Tuesday’s blog about selling the home we are going to answer some of the same questions but in reverse order.

First, take a look back at my post called “Preparing for The Move” on August 24th, 2015. Those questions all need to be considered with great thought.

Second, think about your lifestyle. What stage of life are you in? Are you moving by yourself, with kids, hoping to have roommates, or are you a newlywed, newly retired? The differences in who you will be living with changes so much about the floor plan, the room type needs, the style of the home, the yard, etc.

Let’s start with the simple questions:

How many bedrooms and baths?

How many levels do you want your home to have?

How much closet space do you need?

Are you a cook or chef; professionally or do you just enjoy it?

What size laundry room do you need or want? On what floor would you prefer it?

Do you need office space, a “special room” such as a library, practice space for instruments, exercise room, etc.?

Do you need a shop or work space not attached to the house?

Do you want an enclosed garage or a car port? How many vehicles do you need space for?

How much property do you want? Do kids need room to play? Do you have pets that need room to run?

What is different about you that means you have different needs or wants that other people might not have?

Location is also a very large factor. Take a look at “Location, Location, Location” from September 8th, 2015 to get questions you need to think about in that area of buying a home.

Third, as you consider your wants and needs in a home, realize your Realtor will do their best in making sure you have the most off of your checklist, but sometimes, especially if you are geographically bound, not every need or want cane be met. So make sure you prioritize what is most important and stress those 3-5 things. Talk through all of them with your Realtor, with their research abilities and referrals, they can dig deeper to try and find your dream home.

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What is my Job in Helping my Realtor?

Guess what? Your job is the same as your Realtors.

Yes. I am telling you that you need to do your research too, even though you are paying your Realtor to do it, because at the end of the day the more you know about your home or about what you want in a home, the more you realtor knows about the same things.

So. YOU need the following as well as your Realtor:

  • Trust
  • Knowledge and Uniqueness
  • Clarity

Trustworthiness is a scary thing sometimes, especially when your potentially largest asset is on the line. But this is why you find a Realtor you can trust in. So you CAN trust them. Yes, you do your research, but do not overstep your bounds. Let them do the work and leave it in their hands once you know what you want in a home or in your area to sell your home.

Knowledge. Let me explain what I have said about you as a buyer or seller needing to do research and I will also tie that into the uniqueness category.

Buyers: Know what you want in a home! You do not need to know what paint colors you will want on the walls yet, but you need to know how many bedrooms, bathrooms, appliances, location, desired extra rooms, space, and desired local amenities you want for you and your family. If there are any unique features you have on your need list your realtor needs to know so they can research for that in your home or amenities. Your one unique need or desire can be the most difficult part for your Realtor to succeed in finding for you.

Sellers: Know what unique features your home has to offer in comparison to the homes in the local area. Know what your market area is selling for so you and your Realtor can decide on a reasonable price for your home. Know what unique and desirable amenities your community has for potential buyers moving to your area do not know about: any of these amenities could be a very large selling point to buyers and could be a very large marketing point for your Realtor to use.

Clarity has been scattered out throughout the last two points but I want to make sure that it is clear that you need to be clear. 🙂 Know your needs, wants, and timeline for selling or buying your home and express those to your Realtor.

Develop a relationship with your Realtor, one of trust, respect, and enjoyment. They are here to help you and long to make the selling and buying easier for you! Do not take advantage of them but appreciate them.

This blog post was co-authored by Christy Bonner.

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How Do I Find a Realtor that Best Suits my Needs?

In order to have the best experience when selling or buying a home, a Realtor is needed. A realtor can work so many wonders, help in so many ways, provide so much comfort, relieve so much stress. The only “problem” is finding the right one for you and your home, whether you are buying or selling it.

There are many things you need from your realtor including:

  • Trust
  • Knowledge
  • Uniqueness
  • Clarity

You are deciding to trust one person or team with your potentially largest asset financially and most prized possession- a roof over your family’s head. You need to be able to trust in every step of the way.

You need your Realtor to have knowledge whether you are buying or selling your home.

For Buyers: You need your Realtor to know exactly what you want in a home, in location, and in timing. They need to know the area you are wanting to purchase a home in, to know the current market values, the market trend for the area is, and any special circumstances affecting the area that could potentially increase or decrease the value of your future home.

For Sellers: You need your Realtor to know your home in order to be able to market it efficiently. They need to know the area your home is located to be able to sell it in a timely manner to a buyer. Marketing is key for your Realtor when selling a home, they need to know the in and outs of your local community to sell its key features, to know the current market values, what the market trend for the area is to correctly help you price your home, and any special circumstances affecting the area that increases or decreases the value of your home to potential buyers.

Uniqueness is such a essential characteristic of a good Realtor. If a realtor has a unique advertising front in their technique it can make the timing of you selling or buying a house be much quicker than if they are doing simple and average methods. If the Realtor is working as an individual Realtor under a large Home Services Business, the tools they are given can potentially help the selling or purchasing a home tremendously if the Realtor knows how to take advantage of them.

Last but not least in the list, Clarity. As a buyer and seller you need to fully know and comprehend the steps you and your Realtor need to take to buy your new home or sell your old home. If your Realtor is vague in the steps that need to be taken, then that is not a good sign, they need to be able to tell what you need to do when to prepare your home or to view your potentially new home. There are too many legal steps and paperwork that needs to be completed for your Realtor to not have a complete and clear concept of what needs to occur when. If you are already working with a Realtor and your mind is fuzzy on what is happening in this fast, whirlwind of events, ask to meet and discuss everything that has already happened and what your next steps are. I am sure they will be more than happy to clarify with you the productivity they have made on helping you buy or sell your home already and what they plan on accomplishing next.

What do you need to do for your Realtor? Come back and Read our next Tuesday’s Post! October 6, 2015.

This blog post was co-authored by Christy Bonner.

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The Home Buying Process

Ever wonder what steps need to be taken to buy a new home? Well, here is a chart that gives a quick outline of things you need to be thinking about. If it looks complicated, don’t worry. It is my job to help take the confusion out of it. There are a lot of things that happen in each step, but with a knowledgeable Realtor at your side, your home purchase can flow, just like the chart.

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I am standing by to be your guide through the process. Just text me at 404-903-7653.


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