Kate Hogan -Amherst, MA real estate, Hadley, MA real estate, Northampton, MA real estate
Kate Hogan - Amherst & Pioneer Valley Realtor



 Photo by evondue via Pixabay

A home-buying wish list may sound like a cathartic way to imagine a dream home that's dripping with luxury everywhere you turn, but it's really a practical way to help homeowners narrow down their options. When buyers look at too many homes, they may find that each property starts to run together. Use this tool as a means of viewing just a few homes that will meet all of your criteria. 

Questions to Ask 

Wish lists start with the answers to the following questions:

  • Would you be willing to purchase a home that's more than 10 years old? More than 70?
  •  Do you need to live near a bus or subway line?
  • Can children be driven to school or will they need to walk?
  • How much effort are you willing to put into repairs and renovations?
  • Do you need a formal dining area or can a table be placed in the kitchen?
  • Will you need to prepare for the home for those with physical disabilities?

If you're planning to host your elderly parents at some point, you may need to look for a one-story ranch for maximum accessibility. Similarly, if you're planning to have children, you may want to buy a home with carpeting to provide extra traction for unsteady feet. While a lender will have the ultimate say in how much you can afford, you have plenty of control over the home you choose within your budget. 

The Wants 

As buyers sketch out their wish list, they should separate it into the absolute deal-breakers. For example, you may prefer a full two bathrooms but you'll settle for one full plus a half bathroom. Consider how large of a yard you want, the ideal type of HVAC system, and the type of home that will work best for you Some people prefer smaller homes so they can cut back on the amount of cleaning and maintenance they have to perform. 

Room for Flexibility 

If there aren't many homes that are meeting your minimum criteria, be prepared to be a little flexible along the way. You can always install carpeting or central air if you absolutely need to. You may also need to compromise on the age of the home, which is highly encouraged as long as the home passes inspection. 

A wish list doesn't have to be the defining document for a home, but it can keep you from seeing homes that are absolutely not right for you. The more you can streamline your home buying journey, the less stressful the transition will be. 


Believe it or not, an inspection may make or break a home purchase. And if a homebuyer fails to allocate time and resources to perform a comprehensive inspection, the consequences could be severe.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to conduct an extensive inspection before you finalize a home purchase, and these include:

1. You can identify any underlying structural problems with a house.

A home inspection provides a valuable learning opportunity for a homebuyer. In fact, an inspection can help you identify any underlying structural problems with a house before you complete your purchase.

During a home inspection, a property expert will examine a residence both inside and out. When the property expert has completed his or her inspection, this professional will provide you with an inspection report.

As a homebuyer, it is important to review all inspection report results closely. With these home insights, you can decide whether to proceed with a house purchase or reenter the real estate market.

2. You can assess the costs associated with various home repairs.

A comprehensive home inspection enables you to learn about a wide range of home problems. After you receive a home inspection report, you can analyze the costs associated with various home repairs as well.

If you find that home repair costs could be substantial, you may want to ask a seller to complete assorted home improvements. Or, you can always request a reduced price for a home due to its condition.

Furthermore, if you are overwhelmed by potential home repairs, it is important to remember that you can still walk away from a home purchase. And at this point, you can restart your home search from square one.

3. You can determine whether a home is a viable long-term investment.

A home generally is a long-term investment, and as such, you should strive to optimize the value of your house purchase. Thanks to a comprehensive home inspection, you'll be in a great position to do just that.

With an in-depth home inspection, you can identify a house's strengths and weaknesses. And if you feel comfortable with a house after an inspection, you can finalize your home purchase and reap the benefits of a successful investment.

When it comes to conducting a home inspection, it helps to collaborate with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can put you in touch with the top local home inspectors to ensure you can receive expert support as you evaluate a residence.

Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent can provide throughout the homebuying journey, either. A real estate agent can set up home showings, help you submit offers on houses and much more. As a result, a real estate agent will make it easy for you to enjoy a successful homebuying experience.

Ready to pursue your dream house? Consult with a real estate agent, and you can receive plenty of support as you proceed along the homebuying journey.


Home showing preparation is key for any homebuyer. In fact, if you know how to get ready for a home showing, you may be better equipped than other buyers to assess a house and determine whether to move forward with an offer to purchase.

Ultimately, there are many ways that a homebuyer can prepare to attend a home showing, and these include:

1. Create a List of Questions

A home listing provides plenty of information, but it also may leave many unanswered questions about a house. Fortunately, if you craft a list of questions about a home prior to a showing, you can gain comprehensive home insights during this showing.

There is no such thing as a "bad" question to ask about a house during a showing. Remember, a home purchase is one of the biggest transactions that you may complete in your lifetime. And if you prepare a list of questions before a showing, you can take an informed approach to this showing and gain the insights you need to determine whether a house is right for you.

2. Perform Plenty of Housing Market Research

The housing market constantly fluctuates, and a real estate sector that favors homebuyers one day may favor home sellers the next. Thus, it generally is a good idea to study the housing sector closely to determine whether you're operating in a buyer's or seller's market.

In a buyer's market, there is no shortage of high-quality residences available. And if you attend a home showing in a buyer's market, you may be able to take your time to decide how to proceed with a residence.

Comparatively, in a seller's market, there is an abundance of homebuyers and a limited number of top-notch residences. This means you likely will need to act quickly if you want to acquire a deluxe residence following a showing in a seller's market.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

The housing market can be complex for both experienced and first-time homebuyers. Luckily, real estate agents are available who can offer expert guidance at a home showing and ensure you can achieve the best results during your home search.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to acquire a home in any housing market. As such, he or she will help you plan ahead for a home showing and guarantee you can obtain in-depth home insights during this event.

Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent can provide throughout the homebuying journey, either. A real estate agent can help you find houses in your preferred cities and towns and submit offers on residences. Plus, a real estate agent is happy to respond to any of your homebuying concerns and questions.

Take the guesswork out of attending a home showing – consult with a real estate agent today, and you can get the support you need to discover your dream house in no time at all.


As a homebuyer, entering the real estate market with insights into what it takes to find the perfect house is essential.

Becoming an expert homebuyer, however, may seem impossible at times. Lucky for you, we're here to help you gain the knowledge and skills you need to make your homeownership dreams come true.

What does it take to become an expert homebuyer? Here are three tips to help you do just that.

1. Look at Real Estate Market Trends

The housing market ebbs and flows. Therefore, a seller's market today may transform into a buyer's market tomorrow.

Ultimately, the real estate market fluctuates constantly, and you'll want to learn as much as possible about the housing sector to ensure you can map out your homebuying journey accordingly.

In a buyer's market, there are usually more home sellers than buyers. This means homebuyers may be better equipped than ever before to secure a top-notch house at a budget-friendly price.

On the other hand, a seller's market features an abundance of homebuyers and a shortage of sellers. For homebuyers who operate in a seller's market, they may be forced to submit competitive offers on homes quickly, or risk missing out on a dream residence to a rival.

When you study the housing market, don't forget to check out the prices of residences that recently sold. By doing so, you can gain a better understanding of how much you'll likely need to pay to acquire a first-rate house based on the current state of the housing market.

2. Learn How a Mortgage Works

What differentiates a fixed-rate mortgage from an adjustable-rate option? An expert homebuyer will know the ins and outs of assorted mortgage options and select one that corresponds to his or her finances.

To learn about mortgages and how they work, you'll want to meet with credit unions and banks. These lenders can describe the different types of mortgages and the pros and cons associated with them.

Also, an expert homebuyer will get pre-approved for a mortgage. With a mortgage in hand, this homebuyer will be able to stick to a price range as he or she searches for the ideal home.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Let's face it – no homebuyer can afford to make mistakes. Fortunately, you can work with a real estate agent to receive expert guidance as you navigate the homebuying journey.

A real estate agent boasts the skills and know-how needed to streamline the homebuying process. He or she may have many years of housing market experience and is happy to teach you about the opportunities and challenges associated with buying a house.

Furthermore, a real estate agent will help you accelerate the homebuying cycle. He or she can set up home showings, negotiate with home sellers on your behalf and much more. That way, you can focus on what's important – finding a terrific house at an affordable price.

Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can become an expert homebuyer.


No one wants to face a homebuying dilemma. Yet problems may arise during the homebuying journey that make it tough for an individual to find and buy his or her dream residence. Lucky for you, we're here to help you prepare for potential homebuying dilemmas and ensure you can quickly address these issues.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you avoid a homebuying dilemma as you search for your ideal house.

1. Craft a Homebuying Strategy

If you intend to embark on a home search, it often helps to enter the real estate market with a plan in hand. That way, you can streamline your house search and boost the likelihood of finding a quality home that matches your expectations.

Think about where you want to live, as well as the features you want to find in your dream home. Then, you can create a homebuying strategy designed to help you discover the right house.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Obtaining home financing may prove to be problematic for some people. However, if you apply for a mortgage today, you can start your search for your dream home with a budget at your disposal.

There is no shortage of mortgage options available to homebuyers nationwide. Adjustable- and fixed-rate mortgages are two of the most popular options for homebuyers. Meanwhile, banks and credit unions can teach you about adjustable- and fixed-rate mortgages and other home financing options at your convenience.

If you meet with banks and credit unions, don't hesitate to ask mortgage questions, either. If you learn about all of your mortgage options, you can make an informed home financing selection that may serve you well for years to come.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

There is no telling when a homebuying dilemma will crop up during your search for your dream residence. Fortunately, if you hire a real estate agent, you can receive expert assistance with any homebuying dilemma, at any time.

A real estate agent understands the challenges commonly associated with buying a home. Therefore, he or she will do everything possible to help you address these challenges as you navigate the homebuying journey.

Typically, a real estate agent will help you craft a property buying strategy, narrow your home search and establish realistic homebuying expectations. He or she also will set up home showings, teach you about different aspects of the housing market and provide homebuying recommendations and suggestions.

If you discover your dream residence, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive offer to purchase this home too. And if your homebuying proposal is approved, a real estate agent will help you finalize your house purchase as quickly as possible.

There is no need to stress about homebuying dilemmas. If you take advantage of the aforementioned tips, you can get ready for potential homebuying problems and resolve these issues before they escalate.




Loading