Christine Natale | Real Estate, Lowell Real Estate, Melrose Real Estate, Essex County


For those who want to buy a house, it helps to consider your options closely. That way, you can make an informed home purchase.

Now, let's take a look at three factors to consider as you prepare to conduct a home search:

1. The Local Housing Market

Assess the local housing market before you dive headfirst into a home search – you will be glad you did. If you analyze the housing market in towns and cities where you want to live, you can determine if a buyer's or seller's market is in place. Then, you can map out your homebuying journey accordingly.

To differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market, you should find out how long recently sold houses were available before they were purchased. You also may want to track houses as soon as they become available and see how long it takes them to sell. If residences linger on the housing market for many weeks or months, the real estate sector likely favors buyers. Or, if houses are purchased shortly after they become available, the real estate sector may favor sellers.

2. Your Home Must-Haves

Think about the features you want to find in your dream house. This will help you hone your house search to residences that match your expectations.

Oftentimes, it helps to enter the housing market with a list of home must-haves. This list can be updated throughout your house search and may help you simplify your quest to find your dream residence.

As you craft a list of home must-haves, be sure to include any house amenities you simply cannot live without. For instance, if you require a home that boasts a state-of-the-art air-conditioning system, you can search for a residence that offers this amenity. On the other hand, if you need a home that is located just minutes from your office in the city, you can search for a house in or near the city itself.

3. Your Homebuying Budget

You may have only a finite amount of money to spend on a house. If you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you will know precisely how much money is at your disposal. You then can search for a house that corresponds to your budget.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you should meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can teach you about your home financing options and help you select a mortgage that suits you perfectly.

Lastly, as you get set to embark on a house search, you may want to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can offer expert insights into the homebuying journey. Plus, he or she is ready to respond to your homebuying concerns, at any time.

If you want to streamline the process of finding and buying a wonderful residence, it helps to plan ahead for the homebuying journey. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can review your options and boost the likelihood of enjoying a successful homebuying experience.


After a seller accepts your offer to purchase his or her house, it likely will be only a few weeks before you can wrap up your home purchase. And if you understand exactly what to expect during the homebuying process, you should have no trouble eliminating potential hurdles along the way.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you accelerate your journey from homebuyer to homeowner.

1. Conduct a Home Inspection

A home inspection is paramount for a buyer. Because if you encounter home problems during an inspection, you still have an opportunity to back out of a house purchase.

Hire an expert home inspector – you'll be glad you did. This inspector will assess a house both inside and out and offer comprehensive insights into a residence's condition.

Of course, you should always review a home inspection report closely too. This will enable you to analyze a house and determine whether to move forward with a home purchase or reconsider your options.

2. Perform an In-Depth Home Appraisal

Oftentimes, a lender will require an appraisal before you can close on a house. Lucky for you, there are many home appraisers available in cities and towns nationwide, and these property experts can perform an appraisal at your convenience.

Spend some time looking for the top appraisers in your area. By doing so, you can find a home appraiser who will go above and beyond the call of duty to provide an accurate appraisal.

3. Prepare for Closing Day

As closing day approaches, your stress levels may rise accordingly. However, a homebuyer who plans for closing day can stay calm, cool and collected as the homebuying journey reaches its conclusion.

Generally, it is a good idea to prepare any documentation that you'll need for a home closing. If you have all of the necessary documents ready in advance, you can avoid the risk of potential delays when you close on a house.

If you need additional assistance in the weeks or days leading up to a house closing, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent as well. In fact, a real estate agent can offer extensive support as you navigate the homebuying journey.

Initially, a real estate agent will help you narrow your house search and ensure you can find your ideal residence. He or she then will help you prepare a competitive offer for this home. And once your offer is accepted by a seller, a real estate agent will provide plenty of guidance as you get ready to finalize a house purchase.

A real estate agent also will respond to any concerns or questions that you may have throughout the homebuying journey. That way, you can make informed decisions as you pursue your ideal residence.

Get the help you need to wrap up a home purchase – collaborate with a real estate agent, and you can streamline the homebuying journey.


Buying a house may prove to be a long, complex journey, especially for a first-time homebuyer who decides to pursue a residence on his or her own. Fortunately, many real estate agents are available to help first-time homebuyers make their homeownership dreams come true.

Now, let's take a look at three tips that first-time homebuyers can use to find the right real estate agent in any housing market, at any time.

1. Go Beyond a Web Search

In many instances, it is easy to conduct a web search of real estate agents in a city or town. However, a diligent first-time homebuyer will know to look beyond a simple web search to discover the ideal real estate agent.

Take a look at a real estate agent's website. By doing so, a homebuyer can learn about a real estate agent's industry accomplishments and experience.

Also, don't hesitate to contact a real estate agent's office directly. This enables a homebuyer to have a brief conversation with a real estate agent and find out exactly what this housing market professional is all about.

2. Host a Face-to-Face Meeting

A face-to-face meeting may prove to be exceedingly valuable for both a first-time homebuyer and a real estate agent, and for good reason.

During a face-to-face meeting, a homebuyer can ask questions and learn about a real estate agent's industry expertise. Plus, a homebuyer can receive comprehensive insights into what it will take to acquire a top-notch residence at a budget-friendly price.

Meanwhile, a face-to-face meeting helps a real estate agent learn about a homebuyer's goals. A homebuyer can provide information about what he or she wants in a dream home, and a real estate agent can offer details about what a homebuyer should expect at each stage of the property buying journey.

3. Receive Client Referrals

Although a first-time homebuyer may feel comfortable with hiring a real estate agent after a face-to-face meeting, it is always better to err on the side of caution. Thus, a homebuyer who requests client referrals from a real estate agent ensures that he or she can make the best possible decision.

A real estate agent should have no trouble providing you with multiple client referrals. Then, you can reach out to this housing professional's past clients to find out how he or she has helped homebuyers achieve their desired results.

Spend some time reaching out to a real estate agent's past clients – you'll be happy you did. With additional client insights at your disposal, you can improve your chances of choosing the perfect real estate agent.

Lastly, it is important to remember that a real estate agent should be available to guide you along the homebuying journey. This housing market professional boasts in-depth industry experience, and as such, can share deep insights to help you make informed decisions as you go from homebuyer to homeowner.

Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and a first-time homebuyer can employ a first-rate real estate agent and gain unparalleled support throughout the homebuying cycle.


Buying your dream home may prove to be a long, arduous process. Thankfully, those who prepare for the homebuying journey can limit the risk of encountering hurdles along the way. And as a result, these homebuyers may be better equipped than others to enjoy a fast, seamless property buying experience.

Now, let's take a look at three things you need to know before you launch a home search.

1. The current housing market may favor buyers or sellers.

It generally is a good idea to evaluate the current housing market closely. That way, you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market and map out your homebuying journey accordingly.

A buyer's market typically features a wide range of quality houses that may remain available for several weeks or months after they are listed. Comparatively, a seller's market usually is defined by a shortage of top-notch homes, and houses may be purchased just days after they become available.

Regardless of whether you are operating in a buyer's or seller's market, it helps to refine your home search. If you enter the housing market with homebuying criteria, you can narrow your search for your ideal residence. Then, once you find your dream house, you can act quickly to submit an offer to purchase it.

2. You may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage.

If you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you can begin your house search with a budget in hand. You next can hone your home search to residences that fall within your price range.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you should meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can teach you everything you need to know about fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages. They also can help you make an informed mortgage selection in no time at all.

3. Having a real estate agent at your side can make a world of difference.

Homebuyers who try to navigate the property buying journey alone may struggle to achieve their desired results. On the other hand, if you hire a real estate agent, you can receive expert assistance as you search for your dream house.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to streamline the homebuying cycle. Thus, if you want to acquire a first-rate house as quickly as possible, a real estate agent can help you do just that. Or, if you want to find a stellar residence that won't force you to break your budget, a real estate agent will make it simple to discover an affordable house that suits you perfectly.

Furthermore, a real estate agent can respond to your homebuying concerns and queries. And if you are ever uncertain about how to proceed along the homebuying journey, a real estate agent is ready to provide tips and recommendations.

Want to enjoy a successful homebuying experience? Start planning for the homebuying journey today, and you can boost the likelihood of achieving the best-possible results.


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Buying a house can be complicated. Before you can get started, you must know how much money you can spend, what kind of house you're looking for, what kind of house you can afford in your area and other factors. This is a good time to get started! Below are four concrete things you can do to get prepared to purchase a house in 2020. 

Know Your Must-Haves

Every house is different. Number of bedrooms, lot size and home size, location and character of the neighborhood are all variables that change from one house to another. Knowing what your priorities are can help you narrow your search as you look for a house.

In order to know your must-haves, it will be helpful to know your goals for the future. Whether you plan to have children or more children, pets or more pets, or whether you plan to take up hobbies that require vast amounts of space are all factors that could affect what kind of house you will want. Talk to the other members of your household to make a list of must-have features for your new home. 

View the Listings

Know what kind of homes are selling in the area where you plan to buy. Knowing what homes are available, and how much they cost, can help you get a sense of the house that you can realistically buy when the time comes. Viewing listings can also get you thinking about other house features you may not have considered yet. 

Make a Budget

Knowing how much you can afford to spend is important. Contact lenders in your area to find out how much money you'll qualify to borrow. Doing this early can help expedite the shopping process, as getting pre-approved can take a few days.

Examine your savings and determine how much you can put down for your down payment. Put some money aside for moving expenses and household repairs, assuming the house you buy may need some fixing-up before you move in.

Not sure how much to set aside for moving? Contact a few movers in your area to get guesstimates. You won't be able to get an exact quote until you have a delivery location, but movers may be able to give you a rough idea.

Once you know how much you plan to borrow and how much you can put down, pay closer attention to the prices in the house listings in the areas where you plan to purchase a home. This will tell you if you can really afford to buy a house in the neighborhood where you want to live.  

Find a Real Estate Professional

Interview real estate professionals to find the real estate professional who will help you through the home buying process. Look for a real estate professional who communicates and listens well, and who demonstrates understanding of your priorities. The real estate professional you choose should have experience with homes in the neighborhoods where you would like to buy. Working with an expert can help make the experience less stressful and more satisfying overall. 




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