Deborah McLaughlin - RE/MAX Welcome Home | Westport, MA Real Estate, Dartmouth, MA Real Estate


Enjoying a seamless home buying journey may seem virtually impossible, particularly for a first-time property buyer. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to boost the likelihood of quickly and easily finding your dream house, such as:

1. Hone Your Home Search

Consider where you want to reside and the features you want to find in your ideal residence. That way, you can hone your house search accordingly.

As you review potential home destinations, consider your short- and long-term goals. For instance, if you want to work in a big city, you may want to search for houses in or near a city that matches your expectations. Or, if you intend to start a family soon, you may want to pursue homes near parks and other family-friendly attractions.

Furthermore, make a list of home features you want to discover in your dream house. With this list in hand, you can focus on finding a home that you can enjoy for years to come.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

A mortgage usually is a must-have for a homebuyer. If you enter the real estate market with a mortgage in hand, you could speed up your house search.

Meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. This will allow you to learn about myriad mortgage options.

In addition, don't hesitate to ask mortgage questions. A mortgage sometimes is confusing, and as such, it helps to get plenty of information about a mortgage before you start a house search. If you consult with mortgage specialists at banks and credit unions, you can gain the insights you need to make an informed mortgage selection.

3. Establish Realistic Expectations

Although you likely want to find your dream residence as quickly as possible, it is important to remember that the home buying journey often has ebbs and flows. If you establish realistic home buying expectations, you can avoid potential disappointments as you search for your ideal residence.

Sometimes, it helps to consider the worst-case home buying scenarios. If you plan ahead for these situations, you can determine the steps you will need to take to avoid them altogether.

You may want to collaborate with family members and friends during your home search as well. With loved ones at your side, you can receive plenty of support and guidance as you conduct a home search. Plus, your loved ones can help you keep things in perspective, even if the home buying journey becomes stressful.

When it comes to finding and buying a home, you may want to employ a real estate agent, too. A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of the home buying journey. They will learn about you and your home buying goals, and help you plan properly. Thus, a real estate agent can provide you with the support you need to enjoy a seamless home buying journey.

Ready to conduct a successful home search? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can navigate the home buying journey like a pro and quickly discover your dream home.


Although buying a home should be a fast, seamless process, negotiations with a home seller sometimes can slow down the homebuying journey.

Let's face it – no one wants to deal with long, arduous negotiations, particularly when they are close to acquiring their dream residence. However, homebuyers who prepare for the worst may be better equipped than others to avoid a complicated homebuying negotiation.

What does it take to prepare for a difficult homebuying negotiation? Here are three tips to help you do just that.

1. Understand the Housing Market

If you submit a competitive offer on a residence from the get-go, you may be able to avoid a difficult homebuying negotiation altogether.

Ultimately, a homebuyer who allocates the necessary time and resources to learn about the real estate market will understand how one residence stacks up against another. Then, he or she can submit a home offer that matches or exceeds a home seller's expectations, thereby reducing the risk of an extensive homebuying negotiation.

2. Analyze Your Homebuying Goals

A homebuyer who analyzes his or her homebuying goals can map out his or her property buying journey. That way, this homebuyer can assess homes that fit within his or her price range and minimize the chance of a complex homebuying negotiation.

Furthermore, if a homebuyer sets realistic expectations for a home search, he or she may be able to make informed decisions throughout a negotiation with a home seller.

A homebuyer who knows how much he or she can afford to pay for a house will be able to submit a home offer that corresponds with his or her budget. And if a home seller asks for more money, a homebuyer should feel comfortable walking away from a negotiation.

Remember, it is paramount for a negotiation to fulfill the needs of both property buyer and seller. If the negotiation favors a home seller, a homebuyer should be prepared to restart his or her home search.

3. Keep Your Emotions in Check

It is easy for a homebuying negotiation to escalate quickly. But a property buyer who understands how to control his or her emotions can take a step back during a stressful homebuying negotiation and plan his or her next move accordingly.

Stress sometimes can get the best of a homebuyer, especially if a property buyer wants to do everything possible to secure a great home as quickly as possible. If a homebuyer plans for stressful situations now, he or she may be able to reduce his or her stress levels when a homebuying negotiation begins.

Don't be afraid to take time to relax during a homebuying negotiation. Going for a walk outdoors or hanging out with family members and friends may provide a stress-relieving break from a homebuying negotiation.

Or, if a homebuyer wants extra help, hiring a real estate agent is ideal. This housing market professional understands the challenges of homebuying negotiations and will help a homebuyer alleviate stress time and time again.

Ready to acquire your ideal residence? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can get ready for a difficult homebuying negotiation.


Shopping for a new house can seem like an overwhelming experience because there are so many factors to consider.

The top priorities for the majority of house hunters include the quality of the school district, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the overall condition of the house. Price is also a major consideration, as is square footage, commuting distance, and the character of the neighborhood.

In many cases, house hunters have specific requirements in mind, ranging from privacy to the layout of the rooms.

Although your search will be much more efficient if you know exactly what you want, the process of looking at houses will help you clarify your preferences, needs, and design ideas for your next home. Touring houses online and browsing home decorating websites can give you a lot of useful ideas, but nothing compares to actually visiting houses and taking a close look at everything the property has to offer.

Working with an experienced real estate agent is often the best way to find a home that checks off most of your priority items and meets your expectations. Searching the real estate market on your own is like going on a self-guided tour of a large historical site or tourist attraction. Without expert guidance, you could easily overlook some of the best aspects of the property, and you could also miss some "red flags" and negotiating opportunities that only a trained real estate professional could recognize.

Other than price, location, size, and property condition, what are other key features you might want to keep your eye out for? Everyone has different priorities and "wish lists," but when you know what you want, you'll be a lot more likely to be satisfied with the outcome! While there is no shortage of house hunting checklists online, here's a quick overview of some of the features and property characteristics you'll want to keep in mind.

Although you'll generally want to have a home inspector take a close look at any home you've made an offer on, there are a few key things you can notice before you even get to that stage. The condition of interior walls, the roof, and basement are three areas worth paying close attention to. Wet basements are not uncommon, but they can cause damage to your foundation and many things you might want to store there. Wet basements are also breeding grounds for mold spores, so a chronically wet basement can potentially be hazardous to your health, too -- especially if you or your family is prone to allergies, asthma, and other respiratory conditions. The Environmental Protection Agency is a good source of information on indoor air quality issues.

There are literally dozens of other details you'll want to pay attention to in prospective homes, including amount of storage space, the size of the back yard, privacy -- or the lack, thereof -- the house's distance from the street and other houses, the neighborhood noise level, the amount of street traffic, the reputation of nearby schools, and convenience to shopping centers, medical facilities, transportation, recreation, and entertainment. Other desirable features include a nice patio or deck, a garage, a fully functional HVAC system, updates to bathrooms and the kitchen, and enough room in the house for your growing family, overnight guests, and the occasional holiday party.


If you want to purchase your dream house at a great price, you should monitor the real estate sector closely. That way, you can identify housing market patterns and trends and map out your homebuying journey accordingly.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you track the housing market so you can speed up your home search.

1. Analyze the Prices of Recently Sold Houses

Take a look at the prices of recently sold houses in your preferred cities and towns. Then, you can use this housing market data to understand the average price range for houses in areas where you want to live.

As you review the prices of recently sold houses, you may want to narrow your homebuying criteria as well. With homebuying criteria in hand, you'll be better equipped than other buyers to seamlessly navigate the property buying journey.

2. Find Out How Quickly Houses Are Selling

Differentiating a buyer's market from a seller's market is key, particularly for a buyer who wants to achieve the best-possible results. If you find out how quickly residences are selling in your preferred cities and towns, you can distinguish a buyer's market from a seller's one.

In a buyer's market, there is an abundance of sellers and a shortage of buyers. This means buyers will find lots of outstanding houses at their disposal.

Comparatively, in a seller's market, there is an abundance of buyers and a shortage of sellers. If you're a buyer operating in a seller's market, you likely will need to bid competitively to acquire your ideal residence.

Once you determine whether you're preparing to enter a buyer's or seller's market, it generally is a good idea to plan ahead for the property buying journey as much as possible. If you know exactly what you want to find in your dream house and where you want to live, you can quickly and effortlessly discover your ideal residence in any housing market, at any time.

3. Assess Houses That Fall Within Your Price Range

Many houses are available in cities and towns nationwide, but it is important to determine exactly how much you can spend on a residence prior to entering the real estate market. If you establish a homebuying budget, you can review the prices of houses that fall within your price range. Perhaps most important, you can avoid the risk of spending too much to acquire your ideal house.

As you kick off a home search, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent too. A real estate agent is happy to help you pursue houses in your preferred cities and towns and find one that matches your expectations. Plus, a real estate agent will help you submit an offer to purchase your dream home that hits the mark with a seller.

Ready to conduct a home search? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can perform an extensive analysis of the real estate market and boost the likelihood of a successful property buying experience.


The process of buying a house may prove to be long and complicated. Fortunately, there are several steps that you can take before you pursue a home to streamline the homebuying cycle, and these include:

1. Create a Homebuying Checklist

It helps to start the homebuying process with a homebuying checklist in hand. This checklist will enable you to differentiate between home must-haves and wants, resulting in a fast, efficient homebuying journey.

Think about what you require from a home. For example, if you need a house that is located close to your office in the city, you should include this information in your checklist.

Also, if you want a house that features a built-in swimming pool, you can include this information in your homebuying checklist. But keep in mind that a swimming pool likely is a non-essential item. And if you find a home that is virtually perfect but lacks a swimming pool, it may still be a good idea to pursue this house.

2. Establish a Budget

How much can you afford to spend on a house? This question frequently plagues buyers as they proceed along the homebuying journey. Luckily, you can determine how much money is at your disposal if you develop a budget.

To budget effectively, it helps to meet with local lenders. Banks and credit unions generally offer a wide range of mortgage options and can help you make an informed mortgage decision.

In addition, it often helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage prior to entering the real estate market. Because if you have a mortgage, you can pursue houses that fall within a specific price range and reduce the risk of overspending to acquire your dream house.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

If you want to enjoy a quick, seamless homebuying experience, it is beneficial to have a homebuying expert at your side. Thankfully, real estate agents are available nationwide, and these housing market professionals will do what it takes to help you discover a great house at an affordable price.

A real estate agent understands housing market patterns and trends and can help you plan ahead for a buyer's or seller's market. He or she will teach you about the real estate market and respond to your homebuying queries as well.

Furthermore, a real estate agent acts as a guide throughout the homebuying journey. This housing market professional will set up home showings, negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf and help you finalize a home purchase. By doing so, a real estate agent will take the guesswork out of buying a house, regardless of the current housing market's conditions.

When it comes to purchasing a house, it helps to prepare. If you employ a real estate agent today, you can get the support you need to plan ahead for the best- and worst-case homebuying scenarios. That way, you'll be able to identify and address potential homebuying hurdles before they escalate.

Ready to buy a house? Follow the aforementioned steps, and you can move closer to pursuing your dream residence.




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