Real Estate 101

Real Estate 101: The Search for Your New Home

In previous blog posts, I've laid out how to pick your agent, pick your lender, and get your Pre Approval in place.

Now, how do we find the home of your dreams?

Real Estate 101: The Search for Your Home

I firmly believe there is a home, at the right price, for every buyer. 

But how do we find it? Lots of small and large factors go into the process, so I'll explain here some of the basics.

You think you know what you want. You've spent countless hours on Pinterest. You have searched all the various websites out there (and hopefully mine!), watching homes come up for sale, saving some, liking others, and making a decision on what you think you want. But you have yet to "get your feet wet" and see them in person.

You've done your homework and gotten in touch with your lender and got pre approved for a mortgage.

So what do you do next? You call me, your real estate agent!

At any given time, there are thousands of homes on the market, so distilling them isn't the easiest thing in the world without a little guidance. I ask my buyer clients a series of questions to help YOU pick YOUR dream home- not mine.

Let's start with the basics:

  • What area would you prefer to move to? Think of towns, counties, etc.

  • Is there a specific neighborhood in that area you are interested in?

  • Do you want an attached (rowhome, townhome, flat, condo, duplex, cluster, etc) or detached (think single family) home?

  • Is there a specific style of home you like (Colonial, Cape Cod, Bungalow, Split Level, Split Foyer, Ranch, Craftsman, Victorian, etc) or dislike?

  • How many bedrooms do you want, and how many do you need?

  • How many baths do you want, and how many do you need?

  • Do you want/need a garage or at least a driveway?

  • How much of a yard are you looking for?

  • Are you looking for a project over time or should this be "turn key?"

  • What type of kitchen do you like?

  • What kind of cooking/heating/hot water fuel do you want? (I prefer gas for all of them but it may not matter to you)

  • Do you want/need a basement, and should it be finished?

  •  What features must your home have?

  • What features are turn-offs?

  • What are the deal breakers?

  • What other amenities are you looking for? Deck, Front Porch, Swimming Pool, Fenced Yard, Waterfront, Wooded lot, etc. Be specific! This is your home!

A note about school districts: As a rule, I tell my clients to go to the local Board of Education for the specific districts in an area. Districts can and will change over time. If that is a deciding factor for you, please click the following links to go to Anne Arundel County,  Baltimore CountyCarroll County, or Howard County's respective Boards of Ed. 

Once we've laid these out, the next process is for me to search through our Multiple List Service (MLS) and see how many of these homes we can find that fit the bill.

Until next time,

Steve