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


Buying a home can be fast and easy for just about anyone. However, becoming the "perfect" property buyer can be challenging, particularly for those who are shopping for a house for the first time.

The perfect homebuyer understands what it takes to land his or her ideal house at the best price. As such, he or she will know how to handle difficult homebuying situations and streamline the process of going from property buyer to property owner.

Ultimately, becoming the perfect homebuyer may be easier than you think – here are three tips to help you acquire your ideal residence quickly and effortlessly.

1. Study the Real Estate Market Closely

The real estate market has many ups and downs, but the perfect homebuyer will know the ins and outs of the housing sector. By studying the real estate market closely, this property buyer will be able to identify the right opportunities and overcome any potential homebuying hurdles.

Spend some time looking at the prices of homes that are currently available. This will allow you to find homes at price that you like – and homes at prices that you don't like – and map out your homebuying journey accordingly.

Also, take a look at homes that recently sold in cities or towns where you'd like to live. This will enable you to differentiate between a buyer's market and a seller's market.

2. Know What You Can Spend on a Home

The perfect homebuyer should have no trouble avoiding the temptation to overspend on a house. In fact, this homebuyer will understand how to get pre-approved for a mortgage, which will ensure that he or she can establish a property buying budget.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, a homebuyer should meet with several banks and credit unions. Each meeting will enable a homebuyer to learn about the mortgage options that are available from a variety of lenders. Plus, a homebuyer can ask questions and discuss myriad mortgage options with these lenders.

With pre-approval for a mortgage, a homebuyer will be able to enter the housing market with a budget in hand. Then, this property buyer can narrow his or her search for the ideal residence.

3. Collaborate with a Housing Market Professional

Becoming the perfect homebuyer may require you to receive housing market guidance at times. Fortunately, if you work with a real estate agent, you can get top-notch support as you navigate the homebuying journey.

A real estate agent is a housing market professional who will go above and beyond the call of duty to assist you. He or she will be able to provide homebuying recommendations to help you make informed decisions. Also, a real estate agent will be able to keep you up to date about new houses as they become available, guaranteeing that you can speed up the homebuying process.

When it comes to buying a home, it is essential to do whatever it takes to acquire a first-rate residence at a budget-friendly price. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can move one step closer to doing just that.


Purchasing a home should be fun, memorable process. However, many homebuyers struggle with fears as they embark on the process of acquiring their dream homes.

Some of the most common homebuying fears include:

1. I will pay too much for a house.

Overspending on a house is a common fear among homebuyers nationwide.

If you pay too much for a house, you may struggle to afford the monthly payments for the duration of your mortgage. Perhaps even worse, your house may lose value over time. And if you eventually decide to sell your home, you may be forced to accept less than what you initially paid for it.

Ultimately, an informed homebuyer will understand the differences between a buyer's market and a seller's one. He or she will be able to determine whether a home is affordably priced and proceed accordingly.

An informed homebuyer also will know the importance of getting pre-approved for a mortgage. With a mortgage in hand, this homebuyer will understand exactly how much that he or she can spend on a house.

2. I'll wait too long to submit an offer on a residence.

If a homebuyer is uncertain about buying a particular house and waits too long to submit an offer, he or she risks missing out on this residence altogether.

Fortunately, there is a simple way to avoid this problem.

A homebuyer who knows what he or she wants to find in a dream home can narrow a home search. Then, if the homebuyer discovers a home that matches or exceeds his or her expectations, this individual can submit an offer right away.

Don't forget to submit a competitive offer, i.e. one that accounts for the needs of both a homebuyer and home seller, as well. A competitive offer will stand out from other proposals and increase a property buyer's chances of securing his or her dream residence.

3. I'll buy a home that will fail to maintain its long-term value.

What you pay for a home today is unlikely to remain the same over the course of several weeks, months or years. But a homebuyer who employs an expert home inspector can learn about a house's strengths and weaknesses and ensure a property is a viable long-term investment.

A home inspector will conduct an assessment of a house after a property seller accepts a buyer's proposal. At this point, an inspector will examine a house's interior and exterior and identify any potential issues. Lastly, a home inspector will issue a report with his or her findings, and a homebuyer will have a final opportunity to modify or rescind an offer on a house.

For homebuyers, it is important to work with a trusted home inspector – you'll be glad you did. This home inspector will go above and beyond the call of duty to evaluate a house before you finalize a home purchase.

Working with an experienced real estate agent may benefit a homebuyer too. With a top-notch real estate agent at your side, you can get the support you need to acquire a first-rate home that will maintain its value both now and in the future.


Ready to buy a new home? Ultimately, there is no shortage of high-quality residences at your disposal.

For homebuyers, you'll likely need to conduct plenty of research to find your dream house. And as you begin your search for the ideal residence, you should consider a house's interior closely. By doing so, you'll be able to determine whether costly, time-intensive home interior repairs will be needed in the foreseeable future.

What does it take to assess a home's interior properly? Here are three questions that every homebuyer should ask when he or she evaluates a house's interior:

1. Does a home's interior match my personal style?

Do you prefer bold, vibrant home interior colors? Or, do you enjoy a subtle mix of light and dark colors? Consider your personal style as you study a house's interior, and you'll be able to decide whether a home's interior complements your individual preferences.

Remember, a home's interior might fail to meet your expectations. But keep in mind that there are plenty of fish in the sea. As such, you can explore a broad array of houses and should be able to find a residence with an interior that will make you smile.

2. Were recent home interior renovations completed?

Learn about any recent home interior renovations that were completed. That way, you can understand how much time a home seller has committed to improving a home's interior.

Also, if a home seller has performed myriad home interior improvements, try to find out when these renovations were finished.

As a homebuyer, information is key. With details about assorted home interior renovations, you may be better equipped than ever before as you decide whether a residence is right for you.

3. Am I comfortable with a home's interior?

A homebuyer should feel comfortable with a home's interior before he or she purchases a residence.

If you fall in love with a house's interior during a home showing, you may want to consider moving forward by submitting an offer on a house. On the other hand, if you find a home requires many home interior improvements, you may want to consider exploring other houses that are available.

For homebuyers who are on the fence about a home, a real estate may be able to help. This housing market professional can offer expert insights into a house that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere, ensuring you can make an informed decision about a residence.

Furthermore, a real estate agent can take the guesswork out of the homebuying journey. This real estate expert will keep you up to date about new homes as they become available, set up home showings for you and even negotiate with home sellers on your behalf. As a result, a real estate agent will make it easy to find a house that will serve you sell for years to come.

Work with a real estate agent, and you can move closer to finding a home that looks beautiful both inside and out.


Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

A neighborhood is a neighborhood. And a business district is a business district, right? Unfortunately, it's not so cut and dry. There are actually nine major zoning types in most areas. And these can impact things like home use, home value, and property taxes. Zoning can change over time.

Let's explore the five you're most likely to encounter. 

1. Commercial

Generally, this property is intended exclusively for money-making purposes.

Commercial zoning has several sub-categories that may define how the land can be used. This varies by city but may include:

  • Office space
  • Shopping 
  • Night club
  • Hotel
  • Apartments
  • Certain commercial buildings may have added restrictions such as distance from a school or residential area. As a home-buyer, it's important to consider how commercial property near you is zoned. For example, if an apartment complex may go up in that vacant lot down the street someday, this may impact whether you want to move here now.

    2. Residential

    Residential zoning can include a wide variety of housing types:

  • Single-family
  • Duplexes
  • In-law units
  • Garage apartment rentals
  • Trailer parks
  • Condos
  • Tiny homes
  • Home-based businesses
  • Whether these are allowed depends on local and community codes. For example, many city ordinances may state that mobile homes are not permitted in city limits. This may impact tiny houses as well.

    Residential zoning typically prohibits "farm animals". So building a barn or keeping a cow in the back yard may be against the law. What is permitted may impact the community and home values change over time. So it's vital to consider.

    3. Rural

    Rural zones cover land outside a metropolitan area or in between towns. People of this property often have more control over what they do with their land. They'll typically pay less for land in these areas as well as fewer taxes. That also means that homes may appreciate less in these areas.

    But keep in mind, if rural land is close to city limits, it may become residential at some point. This may increase your home value because you now have access to city services. But you'll also see property taxes rise.

    4. Historic

    When cities want to maintain the charm of an older part of town, they may classify it as historic. If you move here, you will have to comply with rules intended to keep an original style. But as a trade-off, you may be entitled to grants and federal tax credits. If well-maintained, a historic home can be an exciting place to live.

    5. Aesthetic 

    Aesthetic districts are designed to maintain a unified aesthetic throughout the neighborhood. This makes the community more desirable. In theory, this keeps house values on the rise. They are often run by HOAs who may dictate for example:

  • Outside paint colors
  • Types of shrubs
  • Fencing
  • Mailbox style
  • Real Estate Zoning & Buying a Home

    Zoning is a crucial part of the home buying decision. It influences both what you can do with the property and how well the property holds its value. For more home buying tips, follow our blog.


    Image by Capri23auto from Pixabay

    It’s not unusual for homebuyers to enter the market with some preconceived notions about the differences between an existing home and new construction. These may be formed by talking to friends and loved ones about their successes and challenges. Others come from media sources, including the seemingly endless stream of reality home shows.

    Regardless of how your ideas have been formed, it’s in every buyer’s best interest to conduct some due diligence and explore the gaps between opinions, myths, and real estate facts. Weighing the following pros and cons of new construction may help you hone your understanding and make a truly informed decision.

    1: Home Customization May Be An Option

    It’s important to distinguish between two types of new construction. There is the type in which you work directly with a builder and architect to design a home unique to your standards and desires. There’s also the type in which the house is already built, and you would be the first occupant. The idea that buying new automatically delivers input into the design is only reserved for the former. If you want control from the drawing board to turning the key, that can certainly be achieved by enlisting an architect and construction outfit.

    2: New Home Customization Can Be Expensive

    While adding all the latest Smart technology and energy-efficient products can provide the quality of life you are pursuing, these items do come at a premium. Some estimates place Smart technology options at a 30- to 50-percent higher cost than conventional appliances and devices. New construction costs also hover at approximately $150 per square foot and can uptick considerably if you plan to integrate high-end materials or unique floor plans. Customization can certainly result in the dream home you imagine. However, there may be a nightmarish price tag included.

    3: New Home Construction More Energy Efficient

    Energy expert resources generally agree that new homes and those built after 2000, are widely more energy-efficient than those built in the 20th Century. New construction living spaces utilize and estimated 20 percent less energy, on average and new HVAC systems could outpace older homes by as much as 50 percent. That equals real dollars and cents savings on monthly utility bills and annual home expenses.

    4: New Construction May Lack Quality Materials

    It’s an open secret that the construction industry utilizes more inexpensively crafted materials than older homes. For example, many new construction homes present the image of hardwood flooring at first blush. But upon further review, the materials used are sometimes floating flooring or far thinner than yesteryear oak and other hardwoods. While new construction usually likes quite shiny, the materials to build it may lack the durability and luster of older existing homes.

    5: New Construction Is A Double-Edged Landscaping Sword

    Buying a newly constructed home often means that you will have pleasure — or chore — of designing the grounds as well. The upside usually involves planning your outdoor living space precisely the way you want it. Options such as stone patios, verandas, permanent outdoor cooking stations and garden placement, among others, are all on the table.

    But the downside is that a new landscape will not necessarily enjoy the robust aged trees, large flowering shrubs and deeply rooted lawns of established grounds. That may seem like six-in-one-hand and a half-dozen in the other. Those are the little differences that you are tasked with weighing when making an informed decision between new construction and an existing home.  




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