I Want to Buy a Home — Now What?

Welcome to my blog!  This is a new experience for me, but I hope you’ll find my posts informative and useful.  I’ve been a licensed Realtor since 2001 (yikes–trying not to feel old!) and have had the pleasure of helping hundreds of clients buy, sell, lease, and rent properties.  My husband and I have also recently embarked on the adventure of building spec homes!  I’m combining both of these areas, real estate and new construction, and blogging about each of them.  I’ll be posting stories and pics of our first spec home along the way!  I’d love to be able to pass on my experiences and knowledge to anyone interested in the craziness of real estate! Please feel free to let me know if there’s anything in particular you’d find interesting or want to know more about and I’ll do my best to write about it!

What’s this blog about anyway?

My idea for this blog is to have information related to real estate; specifically issues that relate to buyers, sellers, and new construction.  I think we can all agree that buying or selling a house can be really scary and intimidating, especially if you’ve never done it before.  And if you’re thinking about building your own house–wow, that’ll ramp up the stress even more!  Hopefully, I can reduce the stress and fear level a bit and give you practical tips to help the process go smoothly; whether you’re in the middle of it now, are thinking about jumping into the world of home ownership, or considering selling your home in the future.

So you’ve decided to buy a house, now what?

Today, I want to talk about the first step in the path of home ownership.  You’ve decided you’re tired of renting or living with your parents or for whatever reason, you want to buy a home.  It might be a single family home, a condo, or townhouse — whatever type of home you want, you just know NOW is the time!

The first thing I ask every buyer is, “have you spoken with a lender to get pre-approved for a mortgage?”.  The answers vary; some have gotten pre-approved online (which I would not recommend), some have spoken with a lender who they may or may not even remember their name, and many have not and maybe didn’t even think about this crucial step.


Any realtor worth their salt, will be able to refer you to a competent mortgage loan officer that they have most likely referred many clients to in the past and have confidence in their abilities and knowledge.   Unless you have a trusted relationship with a mortgage loan officer, I recommend that you reach out to the person your realtor referred you to.

You may ask, why do I need to do that first?  I really want to get started looking at all the pretty houses I see online!!  Well, looking at houses is the fun part, but it’s vitally important that you know how much you can afford and how much your payment will be BEFORE you go looking at houses.  I always tell my clients that I don’t want to show them a house that ends up being out of their price range and then every house they see after that, that is in their price range won’t compare and they’ll be disappointed every time. Knowledge is power, right?  Once you know what your qualified for and what your payment will be, you can confidently begin house hunting and feel good about what you are seeing and the choices you have!

On the other end of the spectrum, you may actually qualify for more than what you feel comfortable spending!  Great problem to have!!  Part of the financing step is to nail down how much you qualify for, how much you want to spend or can spend monthly, how much down payment you’ll need and lastly how much your closing costs will be!  Whew, that’s a lot to consider!  If you do qualify for me than you were expecting, you need to make sure you are comfortable with how much you’re spending and how much your payment will be.  This is something you definitely want to discuss with your lender so that they know what your limits are if you qualify for more than you want to spend!

Another reason to be pre-approved before beginning your new home search, is you will be ready to submit an offer as soon as you find your dream home!  You won’t have to delay submitting an offer because you still need to get your financing lined up!  If you are well prepared you don’t risk losing out on a home to another purchaser because you weren’t ready! Lastly, you definitely don’t want to be disappointed to discover that you actually can’t afford that home you have just fallen in love with!

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Check out some other great tips for new buyers here! 

My goal today is to let buyers know the first step in the home-buying process is to simply contact a local, trusted, loan officer and get pre-approved for your mortgage!  Remember—knowledge is power!

Action Steps!  Let’s get Started!!

Contact me for a lender referral to get you started on the path to home-ownership!!  I’ve got great lenders in the northern Virginia and New River Valley areas of Virginia that are ready to help you get started!  They’ll be contributing to future posts!

Thanks for sticking with me and reading to the end of my very first blog post!  I hope it’s been beneficial!  Feel free to comment or share!


Joyce Wilson | RE/MAX Regency | Warrenton, VA | Licensed in VA