Kate Hogan -Amherst, MA real estate, Hadley, MA real estate, Northampton, MA real estate
Kate Hogan - Amherst MA Realtor


A home is one of the biggest purchases that an individual can make in his or her lifetime. It also may prove to be expensive, particularly for those who fail to plan ahead for the property buying journey.

There is no need to break your budget to acquire your dream residence. In fact, there are many quick, easy ways to guarantee you can keep you finances in check and avoid the risk of spending too much to purchase your ideal house.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to ensure you can buy a quality house at a budget-friendly price.

1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

You want to buy a home, but you still have no idea how much you can spend on a residence. Thankfully, if you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you can enter the real estate market with a budget in hand. As a result, you will know exactly how much you can spend on a house and can plan accordingly.

Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists who are happy to meet with you. These mortgage specialists can review your income, credit score and other relevant financial data. Then, they can provide you with mortgage options based on your finances.

2. Narrow Your Home Search

Although most people want to buy a mansion, it is important to establish realistic homebuying expectations. Because if you narrow your home search to properties that fall within your price range, you can speed up the property buying journey. Perhaps most important, you can shop around to find a terrific home that corresponds to your budget.

Don't forget to consider homes in a variety of cities and towns too. In some instances, it may prove to be more cost-effective to purchase a house in a small town than a residence in a big city.

3. Evaluate Your Short- and Long-Term Plans

Think about your short- and long-term plans, and you may be better equipped than ever before to map out your home finances for the foreseeable future.

For instance, if you plan to raise a family in the years to come, you may want to consider the costs associated with childcare and other child expenses. This will allow you to budget properly as you search for your dream home.

On the other hand, if you recently accepted a work promotion, your income soon may rise. In this situation, you may be able to increase your homebuying budget due to the fact that extra income will be coming your way.

Lastly, as you get ready to search for a house, you may want to hire a real estate agent. In addition to helping you find a home that matches your budget, a real estate agent will offer expert guidance throughout the property buying journey. He or she will help you prepare for a home inspection, closing and other important steps during the homebuying process. By doing so, a real estate agent will help you seamlessly navigate the homebuying journey and achieve the optimal results.


Buying a home that works for both seniors and young children can be complicated, if not impossible. When searching for a new home, it’s important to keep in mind the special requirements for every member of your family both now, and as they continue to age.

Parents or other older relatives may need assistance getting upstairs or in and out of a tub. Even if they are fine now, aging is a tricky thing and mobility issues can crop up at any time. Planning for them now can save you money and stress in the future.

At the other end of the spectrum, child-proofing a home is important for small children or new infants, so keep an eye out for sharp edges and remember you’ll have to bring strollers, high-chairs, car seats and more so plan for easy-to-open doors. Don’t forget that as your kids get older, their needs will change as well: plan for privacy and personal space where you can to save on upgrading your home in the future.

For the best home search, make sure to let your real estate agent know who all will be living with you. He or she can assist in finding homes with the features you need and can provide advice about what things are feasible to change yourself, and what will make a house cost more than your budget in the long run.

Some important features to look for include:

  • Need help affording a home that meets all your needs? What if you just want to upgrade your existing home? Government agencies offer financial grants and assistance to retrofit your home for the elderly. Check with your agent to see what you might qualify for.
  • Ready to find the forever home for your entire family? We can help! Talk to your agent about the best way to search for your new home.
  • Wide Doorways: A door without a turning requirement (and those that open wider than a right angle) need to be at least 32 inches wide to ensure that wheelchairs and walkers will fit. Right angle doorways or those that require turning to enter or exit should be at least 36 inches wide.
  • Wide Hallways: For comfortable use by strollers, walkers, and wheelchairs, look for hallways that are at least 42 inches wide. That much space gives you the option of installing handrails on one or both sides. Handrails can help both small children learning to walk, and elderly people with mobility issues.

That’s the easy part. The hardest room for both the very young and the elderly is the bathroom. It’s a good idea to ensure that your home has a minimum of 2 full bathrooms to allow you to accommodate the needs of all members of your family. Seniors need ADA toilets (also called comfort height) and grab bars, while your small child would need an extra-tall stool to use the taller toilet. Large showers with floor level entrances, seats and grab bars are best for the elderly, but its often easier to wash your kids in a tub, especially when they’re young. With two bathrooms, you can satisfy the needs of everyone in the family.

Last, but not least, pay attention to faucets, handles, and knobs. Rounded ones can be difficult for both the old and young members of your family. Look for a single handle, lever and touchless options for the best results all around. Don’t forget to test cabinets and drawers for weight or friction pull closers since those are more difficult than soft close or magnetic options. It’s okay if the home doesn’t come pre-fitted with the knobs, handles, etc. you want, a quick trip to your local hardware store will solve it.

Need help affording a home that meets all your needs? What if you just want to upgrade your existing home? Government agencies offer financial grants and assistance to retrofit your home for the elderly. Check with your agent to see what you might qualify for.

Ready to find the forever home for your entire family? Talk to your agent about the best way to search for your new home.


Before you kick off a home search, it is important to differentiate an ordinary house from a dream residence. That way, you can set realistic goals for your home search and accelerate the process of acquiring a house that matches your expectations.

Ultimately, each homebuyer's definition of a dream home varies. But for homebuyers who want to streamline the search for a dream home, there are several home factors to consider, and these include:

1. The Age and Condition of a Home

Dedicate the necessary time and resources to learn about a home's age and condition – you'll be glad you did. With these home insights, you can determine whether a home will require substantial repairs in the immediate future.

To evaluate a house's age and condition, you should hire a home inspector. This professional will examine a residence both inside and out and search for any structural problems with the property. Then, the home inspector will provide a detailed report that outlines any home issues.

A home inspection offers a valuable learning opportunity, one that can help you determine if a house is right for you. And if a home inspection reveals your dream home is actually a dud, you can always rescind a home offer and reenter the housing market.

2. A Home's Price

Many people want to own large, extravagant mansions. Yet the costs of these properties can be prohibitive, which is why most homebuyers search for houses that fall within a specific price range.

As you prepare to search for your dream home, you should get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will enable you to enter the housing market with a budget in hand and avoid the temptation to spend too much on a house.

Also, it is important to realize that no home is perfect. Although you may search far and wide for a dream house that has all the amenities and features that you want, you'll likely need to make trade-offs to find your ideal residence.

Creating a list of must-haves and wants for your dream home usually is a great idea. This list will enable you to narrow your home search, evaluate properties that fall within your price range and discover your dream home faster than ever before.

3. A Home's Location

Consider where you want to live before you launch a home search. By doing so, you can identify available houses in certain cities and towns and map out your home search accordingly.

Think about what's important to you in terms of home location. For example, if you want a home that's close to your office in the city, you may want to search for residences in or near the city itself. Or, if you want to live close to the beach, you can explore properties that are conveniently nestled along the beachfront.

Lastly, if you need help finding your dream home, you should hire a real estate agent. With a real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble making your homeownership dreams come true.


The decision to buy a house may be one of the biggest choices that you make in your lifetime. As such, a potential home purchase should be fully evaluated to ensure you can achieve the best-possible results during the homebuying journey.

Furthermore, it may be beneficial to discuss your homebuying plans with family members, friends and other loved ones. There are many reasons why you may want to share your homebuying plans with loved ones, and these reasons include:

1. You can gain homebuying insights that you might struggle to obtain elsewhere.

Loved ones frequently are happy to share their homebuying insights with you. Thus, if you keep loved ones up to date about your homebuying plans, you may be able to gain comprehensive real estate insights that you won't find anywhere else.

Let's not forget about the past homebuying experiences of loved ones, either. If a loved one had a positive or negative homebuying experience, you may be able to learn lessons from this event that could help you navigate the homebuying journey.

2. You can look at the big picture.

Oftentimes, the temptation to rush through the homebuying process can be overwhelming, particularly for a first-time homebuyer. If you consult with loved ones, however, you can slow down and look at the big picture as you prepare to pursue your dream residence.

Loved ones are unafraid to be honest, especially when it comes to a life-changing decision like buying a house. Therefore, if you reach out to loved ones before you enter the housing market, you can assess your short- and long-term plans and map out your homebuying journey accordingly.

3. You can get the help you need to succeed.

No one should be forced to pursue a house on their own. Lucky for you, loved ones are available who can help you discover your ideal residence in no time at all.

Sharing your homebuying plans with loved ones may enable you to get plenty of support throughout the homebuying journey. Plus, if you ever have concerns or questions as you pursue your dream house, loved ones are ready to assist you in any way possible.

As you prepare to embark on a home search, you may want to consult with a real estate agent too. In fact, a real estate agent will ensure you can enjoy a seamless homebuying experience, regardless of where you want to live.

Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you informed about new residences as they become available and help you submit offers on houses. This housing market professional also will negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf, guaranteeing that you can get the best price on any home, at any time.

Ready to kick off a successful home search? Connect with loved ones – and a real estate agent – and you can get the assistance that you need to find your dream house.


A property deed is used to transfer the title of the property of a grantor (the seller) to a grantee (the buyer). For the deed to be active, certain conditions must be set in place. The property must have a complete and accurate description. The buyer and seller must also be clearly identified. This formulation is due to the fact that a deed is a signed legal document.


The deed has a few important requirements for it to be valid and legal. First, the deed must be in writing. Next, the grantor must have some sort of a legal capacity (represented by a lawyer) and the grantee must have the competent ability to receive the property grant. Finally, the deed must actually be accepted by the grantee. 


Although this process sounds complicated, it’s usually prepared ahead of time and done at the closing of a property transaction. Different states have different rules and procedures that allow for the transfer of ownership of property, so be sure to check on the specifics in your area.


Different Types Of Deeds


There are many different kinds of deeds. Deeds can be official or private. The type of deed that we are specifying here is known as “official” since the transaction is executed in agreement with legal proceedings. This is just one reason why every home buyer, no matter where you live, is important. Deeds are typically characterized by the type of warranty that they carry.


General Warranty Deeds 


These deeds actually offer the grantee the largest amount of protection. The grantor of this deed makes a series of promises that protect the grantee from prior claims and demands to the land. This document would state that the property is free of liens, unless specifically stated on the deed itself. This also protects the grantee (the buyer) from a defective title. This is the most desirable type of deed. 


Special Warranty Deeds


A special warranty deed defends the title of the home. The grantor certifies that they have received the title to the property and that nothing has happened while the title has been in their possession that would create a major defect on the property. This means that only defects that occurred on the property while the grantor owned it are valid. This provides less protection than a general warranty deed does. Many buyers will insist that they have a general warranty deed instead in order to feel protected in the property transaction.


Other Types Of Deeds To Be Aware Of


  • Quitclaim deed
  • Special purpose deeds
  • Executor’s deed
  • Administrator's deed
  • Sheriff’s deed
  • Tax deed
  • Deed of gift

 

As a homeowner, much of the legal jargon that’s involved in the transfer of title isn’t something that you need to study up on. The important thing to know is that the deed is the means of the transfer of title. The deed must also meet certain conditions for it to be legally binding. The type of deed that you have determines the type of protection that the deed provides. A qualified real estate attorney should be consulted regarding all legal matters in the home buying and selling process.




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