Exceptional Knowledge and Experience

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The Road to Buying

Buying a home is a serious venture. It is also a serious investment in an area and in your future. The following information should help you make educated decisions throughout the buying process. Please click on one of the icons above to go directly to a specific section.

Establish A Timeline

When is the best time for your move? Spring is the busiest time of year and the time you will find the most properties on the market. Spring is also the time when there are the most Buyers. Your reasons for moving may determine your timeline. We will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of every season. Your timeline will determine when you start your search. Remember, the home buying process can be lengthy, time consuming and sometimes stressful. Keep yourself moving forward. I will be one of your greatest assets for questions and guidance. If you take advantage of my knowledge, the experience will be exciting, rewarding, enriching and even fun.

Determining How Much Home You Can Afford?

Affordability is the biggest concern of today’s homebuyer. Meet with a lender to gain an understanding of the mortgage process and the programs available for your particular needs. The lender will guide you through the qualification process and help you determine a comfortable price range. Sellers are more receptive to pre-approved Buyers as it confirms that you have applied for a mortgage and received partial loan approval, based on a review of your financials. Costs for pre-approval are nominal and usually paid at closing.

Finding The Right Real Estate Agent?

The key word is “right”. You will find few agents that will listen as closely and be as perceptive, as Linda. She will quickly gain your trust and confidence.” Linda has the training and experience to help you through each step of the process and make finding, buying and moving into your new home as smooth and enjoyable as possible. She will be a valuable source of information about market trends, communities and homes for sale throughout the area. Please refer to the “ABOUT LINDA” tab on the home page, to learn more.

Until recent years, real estate agents automatically represented the Seller. Today, Buyers understand the importance of having representation. A “Buyer Agency Agreement” protects YOUR interests rather than the Sellers. As a Buyer Agent, Linda will listen to your needs and respond as a friend. You will quickly realize that she is just as interested in your satisfaction and well-being than in making the sale.

Beginning The Process?

Start by establishing priorities:

Are you relocating to a new area because of a new job, or to be closer to your current job? If so, will the location of schools, shops, and transportation affect your choice of neighborhood.
How large a home do you need/want? What are your architectural and lot size preferences? Depending on where you live, you may have a choice of styles, sizes, and settings.
When determining your budget, consider two things: the amount of mortgage you qualify for and your comfort level relative to your monthly payment.

List Of Needs And Wants

Make two lists. The first should include items you MUST have: Number of bedrooms and baths. Is a garage or large yard necessary? The second list includes your wishes: Things you would LIKE (pool, den, etc.) but are not necessary. Realistically, you probably will not get everything on your wish list, but it will keep you focused on what is important.


You Have Found A Home You Like

Once you have found a property you like, look for answers to questions that will help you make a sound decision.

  1. How long has the home been on the market? If it has been a while, is there something about the property you should know? Is there a proposed construction project in the area that could affect the value of the property?
  2. What is the Seller’s time-frame for selling and moving? Does it fit within your needs? If the Seller is presured to sell, we will use that information to our advantage.
  3. As the potential Buyer, always maintain the advantage. While you want answers to your questions, reveal very little about your finances. Together, we will know the right time to reveal these information to the Seller or to his/her agent.
  4. Keep your enthusiasm in check to protect your bargaining position.

Determining Your Offer Price

Together with Linda, you will review the list price of the property relative to the selling price of recent homes in the area, often including photo reviews. You will also review a CMA, Comparative Market Analysis. With Linda’s guidance, you will arrive at an offer price, taking into consideration, other important factors of your offer, such as: closing date and other contingencies.

Home Inspections

Home inspections are an important part of the buying process. You should have as much information as possible in order to make a sound decision. Home inspections reveal the condition of the home and items in need of immediate repair or replacement. Inspections also provide invaluable information about proper home maintenance.

Home Warranties

A Home Protection Plan can help you buy or sell a home with confidence. No one can predict the life expectancy of a furnace, air conditioner, water heater or appliance. A warranty offers you savings, security and convenience.


Your offer must include “earnest money”, to demonstrate you are a serious Buyer. We will discuss an appropriate amount at the time of offer. Be sure that there are sufficient funds in your account to cover your check, particularly if you are transferring funds from one account to another. If your offer is accepted, the title company will place your money in an “escrow account” and this money will be applied to the purchase price of your home, at closing.

If your contract becomes void under the terms of the contract, you will receive your deposit back. If you are in a breach of contract, the Seller may be able to retain this money as liquidated damages. We will discuss this prior to making an offer.

During the escrow period, contract contingencies must be satisfied within the terms of the contract. Contracts vary but most include the following:

  1. Inspection: Complete your inspection quickly so you have time to examine the report. Unsatisfactory results may warrant further negotiations.
  2. Financing: You will have a specified period to secure funding. If, for any reason, you are unable to secure funding during this period, and the Seller will not provide an extension, you must decide whether to remove the contingency and take your chances on getting a loan or cancel the contract.
  3. Appraisal: The contract protects the value of your investment by an appraisal done by a certified appraiser. If the property does not appraise for full value, we will discuss your options.
  4. Clear Title: The title search, done by an attorney or Title Company, must ensure a “clear title” to eliminate legal issues regarding the ownership in the future.

When all contingencies are lifted, contact all local utilities to schedule a transfer to your name on the day of closing.


Buying a home means finding the right home, at the right price, and in the right location. Working together, we will achieve your objectives and work with your needs and wants, timeframe, and financial boundaries.

Buying Versus Renting

Renting generally offers a maintenance free lifestyle. However, realize that renting offers no equity, no tax benefit, and likely no protection against regular rent increases.

If your rent has averaged $1500 a month for the last 10 years, you have spent $180,000 with nothing to show for it. Several financing options offer advantages for first-time Buyers or families with limited cash reserves. FHA-insured and VA-guaranteed mortgages minimize or even eliminate your down payment. You may also consider borrowing cash for a down payment from your life insurance, profit sharing or a retirement account.

Tax deductions are one of the benefits of home ownership. Additionally, over years, it is likely that your home will increase in value. If you paid $500,000 for a home that increases in value 2% each year, your potential appreciation in two years is nearly $10,000. Tax codes, in many cases, eliminate capital gain taxes for homes sold after two years of ownership for qualified sellers up to $250/ $500 profit, depending on if you are single or married and filing jointly.

Information About Local Schools

Many websites provide detailed information about schools. GreatSchools.org is one that gives valuable information about school districts, test scores, extra-curricular activities, bus service and many more.

Choosing The Right Community

Good city services, nice parks and playground facilities, convenient shopping and transportation, a track record of sound development and good planning are a few considerations that are important to many people. Neighborhood information is only a click away from every listing on my website. To assist you with your community research, take advantage of the many links listed under the Resourse tab on my website.

Information On Home Sale Prices In A Given Neighborhood

In most areas, home sales are public record. An easier way to get information is to ask me. If you are interested in a particular home, I can provide you with a list of comparables — sale prices of homes in your area that are roughly the same size and age as the home you are considering.

Property Taxes

The total amount of the previous year’s property taxes are included in the listing information, for each home. Tax rates may change from year to year. For a more precise projection, call the Local Assessor’s Office for assistance.

Focus & Organization

Keep a file of information to help with your search, including:

  1. Detailed maps highlighting your areas of interest.
  2. Lists of properties you have toured or that have interested you online.
  3. Your list of “Must Haves” and “Wants”.
  4. Specific information relating to your search.

When all contingencies are lifted, contact all local utilities to schedule a transfer to your name on the day of closing.

Be Objective

Instead of thinking with your heart, think with your head. Does this home really meet your needs? There are many houses on the market. Do not make a decision you may regret later.