Shari Sagan McGuirk - Marblehead MA Real Estate, Swampscott MA Real Estate, Salem MA Real Estate


The homebuying journey is exciting, particularly for an individual who is pursuing a residence for the first time. Ultimately, there are many questions that a buyer should consider before he or she searches for a house for the first time, and these include:

1. What is my "dream" home?

Perhaps the most enjoyable part of the homebuying journey involves defining your dream residence. Because once you define your dream residence, you'll be able to narrow your house search and move closer to purchasing your first home.

Think about what you absolutely require in a new home. For example, if you want to own a house in a region where the weather is hot and humid year-round, you may require a central air conditioning system. Or, if you want to enjoy a fast, easy commute to work, you may want to pursue residences close to your office.

2. How much can I afford to spend on a house?

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is essential. Because if you have a mortgage in hand when you begin your house search, you may be able to gain a competitive advantage over rival homebuyers.

To obtain 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.

In addition, don't hesitate to get expert insights into assorted mortgage options. The longer you wait to get pre-approved for a mortgage, the longer you may need to wait to kick off your home search. Thus, you risk missing out on a potential dream house if you fail to get your home financing in order.

3. Do I need to hire a real estate agent?

Hiring a real estate agent is a must, especially if you plan to embark on the homebuying journey for the first time. In fact, a real estate agent can help you quickly and effortlessly navigate the housing market and discover your ideal residence in no time at all.

Typically, a real estate agent will offer comprehensive assistance at each stage of the homebuying journey. He or she first will meet with you, learn about your homebuying goals and help you craft a homebuying strategy. A real estate agent then will keep you up to date about houses that match your criteria and set up home showings. And when you find a home that you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer and negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf.

Let's not forget about the advice that a real estate agent will provide, either. A real estate agent is unafraid to be honest with you and will provide feedback throughout the homebuying journey. Also, if you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them.

Take the guesswork out of finding and acquiring your first house – employ a real estate agent, and you can receive plenty of support as you move along the homebuying journey.


If you plan to buy a house in the near future, you should try to map out the property buying journey. By doing so, you can identify any potential homebuying hurdles and resolve such issues.

To better understand what to expect when you pursue your dream home, let's take a look at three key questions that every homebuyer needs to consider.

1. Where do I want to live?

There is no shortage of high-quality houses available in cities and towns nationwide. As such, it sometimes can be tough to determine exactly where you want to live due to the sheer volume of available homes.

As a homebuyer, it helps to consider your future plans before you kick off a house search. For example, if you intend to enroll in continuing education courses at a university in a particular city, you may want to focus on homes near the city itself. Or, if you prefer to raise your family in a small town, you should plan your house search accordingly.

Don't forget to craft a list of homebuying criteria too. This list will help you further narrow your home search and focus on properties that have features that match your needs.

2. What can I afford to spend on a house?

Buying a home may prove to be virtually impossible if you fail to obtain a mortgage. Lucky for you, many banks and credit unions offer mortgages to homebuyers and can teach you everything you need to know about home financing.

Meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. That way, you can analyze a broad range of mortgage options and select a mortgage that corresponds to your finances.

In addition, it may be beneficial to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Once you are pre-approved for a mortgage, you can enter the real estate market with a budget in hand.

3. How can I achieve my desired goals?

The homebuying journey can be tough to navigate, regardless of whether you're a first-time or experienced property buyer. But if you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can achieve your desired results in no time at all.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to discover the right house, at the right price, regardless of the housing market's conditions. He or she will allocate time and resources to learn about your homebuying goals and ensure you can purchase a great residence at a budget-friendly price.

Also, a real estate agent will help you streamline your house search. This housing market professional will set up home showings and keep you up to date about open house events. And when you find your ideal home, a real estate agent will make it easy to submit a competitive offer to purchase this residence.

Take the guesswork out of the homebuying journey – work with a real estate agent, and you can receive comprehensive guidance as you pursue your dream home.


If you want to own a home, it may be a good idea to enter the housing market sooner rather than later. That way, you can go from homebuyer to homeowner in no time at all.

Ultimately, there are three steps to buy a home:

1. Conduct an Extensive Home Search

The home search, aka "the fun part" of the homebuying journey, enables you to select a residence that matches or exceeds your expectations.

During a home search, you'll want to attend open houses and home showings. These events will allow you to take an up-close look at a variety of residences.

Of course, don't forget to check out many home listings as well. These listings offer lots of details about a home and can help you differentiate an ordinary residence from your "dream" house.

You also may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you kick off your home search. If you receive pre-approval for a mortgage, you can enter the real estate market with a budget in hand and narrow your home search accordingly.

2. Submit an Offer

If you find a house that you want to own, there is no need to wait to submit an offer. Because the longer that you hesitate to make a proposal, the more likely it becomes that a rival homebuyer will swoop in and acquire your dream house.

Prior to submitting a home offer, it often helps to conduct plenty of housing market research. Look at the prices of recently sold houses that are comparable to the residence that you'd like to buy. Then, you can put together a competitive offer that accounts for a house's condition as well as the current state of the housing market.

It is important to note that a seller has the right to accept, reject or counter your home offer. But if you submit a competitive initial offer on a house, you can increase the likelihood of an instant "Yes."

3. Finalize Your Purchase

After a home seller accepts your offer, it may be only a few weeks until you finalize your home purchase. At this time, you'll want to conduct a home inspection to identify any potential problem areas and address such issues as soon as possible.

When it comes to buying a home, there is no need to forgo a home inspection. If you fail to complete an inspection, you risk buying a house that has underlying issues that you may need to mitigate down the line.

In the weeks leading up to closing day, you will want to have a trusted real estate advisor at your disposal. Fortunately, real estate agents are available who can help you discover a great home and streamline the process of getting to closing day.

A real estate agent is happy to keep you up to date throughout the homebuying cycle. And if you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, this housing market professional is happy to address them.

Purchase your perfect home – use the aforementioned steps, and you can make your homeownership dreams come true.


The decision to purchase a second home may be one of the biggest choices you will make in your lifetime. As such, it is important to consider all of the factors associated with a house purchase before you embark on a quest to acquire a second residence.

Now, let's take a look at three key factors to evaluate as you weigh the pros and cons of purchasing a second home.

1. Your Current House

Consider the state of your current house – you will be happy you did. If you assess your current residence, you may be better equipped than ever before to determine if now is a good time to start a search for a second house.

For instance, if your home needs a new roof or requires other repairs, you may want to complete these improvements first. After these house repairs are finished, you then can kick off a search for your second house. Perhaps most importantly, you can launch this home search with the reassurance that your current house is in good shape and likely won't require significant repairs in the near future.

2. Your Finances

If you still have a mortgage on your current house, you may want to focus on paying that off first. Once your mortgage is paid in full, you can conduct a search for a second house without having to worry about paying two mortgages at once.

Of course, if your current house's mortgage is paid in full, you should still evaluate your finances closely. Ensure you have sufficient finances to cover a mortgage for a second house, as well as your everyday expenses. By doing so, you can hone your search for a second house to residences that fall within your price range.

3. Your Immediate and Long-Term Plans

Think about why you want to buy a second home in the first place. Then, you can determine how this decision may impact your immediate and long-term term plans.

For example, if you want to return to college, buying a second home may affect how much money you have at your disposal that you can use to go back to school. On the other hand, if you hope to get a work promotion in the foreseeable future, you soon may have additional funds to help you make your dream of owning a second home come true.

As you decide whether to launch the search for a second house, take some time to consult with a real estate agent. A real estate agent is a homebuying expert, and he or she can provide housing market insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere. Plus, a real estate agent will guide you along the homebuying journey and can help you acquire a top-notch house at a budget-friendly price.

Account for these factors before you start your search, that way you can make an informed decision about whether now is the ideal time to pursue a second residence.


If you decide you're ready to purchase your dream house, you should submit a competitive homebuying proposal from the get-go. Otherwise, you could risk missing out on the opportunity to acquire your ideal residence.

Submitting an offer to purchase your ideal house that meets the expectations of a property seller can be simple. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you craft a competitive offer to purchase your dream house.

1. Examine the Local Housing Market

The price of a home in a big city may prove to be much higher than the price of a comparable house in a small town. Much in the same vein, a housing market that features an abundance of sellers is likely to be far different from a market that includes many buyers. However, if you assess the local housing sector closely, you can identify real estate market patterns and trends and craft your homebuying proposal accordingly.

Oftentimes, it helps to look at the prices of recently sold houses in the city or town where you want to live. You also may want to find out how long these homes were available before they sold. That way, you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's one and put together a competitive offer to purchase based on the present's real estate sector's conditions.

2. Analyze a Home's Age and Condition

A brand-new home may prove to be more expensive than an older house that is in need of major repairs. Comparatively, a recently renovated house is likely to be a great choice for buyers who want to avoid property repairs, while a "fixer-upper" home may be a top option for those who are ready to tackle property repairs on their own.

As you analyze a home's age and condition, you should consider how much you are willing to pay for this residence. It sometimes helps to consider potential home upgrades and repairs that may need to be completed. And if you evaluate possible home improvement costs, you can account for these expenses in your offer to purchase.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a homebuying expert, and his or her goal is to ensure you can acquire a great house at an affordable price. Thus, if you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can put together a competitive offer to purchase in no time at all.

Typically, a real estate agent will offer housing market insights that you may struggle to find elsewhere. And when you're ready to submit an offer to purchase your dream home, a real estate agent will help you craft a homebuying proposal that is sure to get a seller's attention. Plus, a real estate agent will negotiate with a seller's agent to help you get the best price on your ideal house.

Ready to submit an offer to purchase your dream home? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can put together a competitive homebuying proposal and quickly accomplish your homebuying aspirations.




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