Wait! Before you Buy! – Buyers Checklist

Wait! Before you Buy! – Buyers Checklist


Are you ready to buy a home? First, you must be personally and financially prepared. Next, prepare yourself for the home buying process. It’s normal to have questions; you are about to make a big purchase. Use this checklist to help you complete every step of the home buying process. 

  • Know Your Budget

The first step in purchasing a home is determining your budget. Look at homes you are interested in and can afford. Identify a realistic budget. Determine your debt to income ratio (DTI). The obligation to income ratio is your monthly expenses versus your monthly cash intake. To find your balance, you will take all the bills you pay divided by your gross monthly income. Recurring bills like student loans, car payments, child support payments, and anything you pay every month are included in your debts. When you calculate your DTI, it should be no higher than 43%. Your budget should also include breathing room so you will not have to worry about additional stress.

  • Save Up For Down a Payment

It’s essential to have a sizable down payment when purchasing a home. If your down payment is 20% or more, you will be exempt from private mortgage insurance. Typically your lender would require you to have private mortgage insurance if your down payment was less than 20%. It makes sure you will not default on the loan. Another benefit of having a sizeable down payment is lower interest rates. That is because a lower loan to value ratio will decrease the lender’s risk. In other words, the bigger the down payment, the lower the interest rate.

  • Pre-Approved Mortgage and Choose a Lender

Before you start looking for a home, shop for a mortgage lender or a mortgage broker to shop for you. Home sellers want to have confidence that you can and can purchase their home. The first step to that is preapproval. Next, finding a lender will help you choose the best loan type for you. Look at various potential lenders and choose the best one that can get you the best loan.

  • Choose Your Home and Make a Smart Offer

It’s time to choose your home and make an intelligent offer. Selecting a home can be overwhelming, but your real estate agent will make things easier. Listen to your agent’s advice. For example, home locations and nearby school districts or homes that have been on the market for a while. Do not only listen to your real estate agent but also listen to yourself. Look at homes for yourself, look online, and visit them to better understand your tastes and needs. Once you find a home you like and want, make an intelligent offer on the house. Again, your real estate agent will shine at this moment. Consult with them to decide how much to offer on the home. Your bid will depend on the housing market, how long the house has been on the market, and whether there are other offers on the house. Remember that your submission is not just a number but includes terms such as when you can move in.

  • Home Inspection

Although you will bear the fee, it is worth inspecting the home. The home inspection will protect you from unforeseen costs and liabilities. While examining the house, you will know how much roof life is left, if the foundation is falling, or if the electrical system is updated. You will find a minor problem but don’t worry. All home inspections do. Remember to get general home inspections but also consider specialty inspections such as mold. 

  • Prepare and Close On Your Home

Once the inspection is over, prepare to close on the home. First, double-check your finances and be sure they are in order. Make sure your finances are ready to pay all costs due at closing. Avoid making purchasing or financial changes that can affect your credit score. During this time, your lender will have an independent third party make an appraisal of the property.  If the assessment is lower than the agreed-upon price, buyers can ask the seller to lower the price or assume cost due at closing. Once cost and payments are finalized, it is time to sign a lot of papers. Be sure to bring all documentation to your home closing. You will need identification, proof of insurance, checks, or a cashier’s check to cover closing costs, and bring your patience! Your real estate agent and mortgage lender will provide you with a specific list. Once papers are signed, and all expenses are paid, you will have the keys to your new home.


As you start purchasing a home, use this checklist as you go through the process. Know your budget, and don’t go over. Save at least 20% of a down payment. Next, get pre-approved for a mortgage loan and find a lender. Next, choose your dream home and make an offer. Finally, have a general and specialty home inspection; once you have completed the first five tasks on the checklist, prepare to close on your home. For more helpful real estate tips and blogs, go to nancyopensdoors.com.

5 Tips on Staging Your Home

5 Tips on Staging Your Home


There are many components to selling a home. One part of selling a home is staging. Home staging highlights a home’s assets and helps buyers imagine themselves living in the home. Many home buying agents believe that a staged home affects a buyer’s view of the home. Real estate agents also find it more accessible for homebuyers to visualize the home as their own. As a seller, home staging can increase the home’s value and decrease the amount of time the home is on the market. Use these five tips to help you stage your home.

  • De-personalize 

One objective of staging a home is to help prospective buyers visualize the home as their own. Your home should start as a blank canvas. You want your home to be stylish and comfortable but avoid personal touches. Remove private pictures, both framed pictures on the walls and surfaces. Store your clothes away and out of sight. Be sure to clean the bathroom counters of personal items, for example, toothbrushes and hair care products. Although de-personalizing your home may feel weird to live in, buyers need to connect with your home. 

  • Clean, Clean, Clean

Get rid of clutter and clean your home. Removing clutter will make your home look significantly bigger and more desirable. Remember, you do not have to get rid of your things forever, just until the home selling process is over. Clean out your hall closets and show how spacious it is. While you get rid of the clutter, do not forget to clean your home. Every square inch of your home should be squeaky clean. From the floors to the baseboards to the ceiling fans, do not neglect cleaning anything. 

  • Lighten Up the Place

Dark lighting makes rooms feel sad and small. Open all the windows and let as much light in. Light will make the room feel bigger. When you open your house up for showings, turn on all the lights in addition to opening the blinds. By doing that, you make your home feel more welcoming and save prospective buyers the trouble of having to figure out how to turn on the lights. 

  • Go Neutral

  Bright colors are a great way to show your personality in a home, but not when selling your home. However, bright colors can distract buyers from the home’s assets and can be a turn-off. Although this staging tip can get costly, it can be beneficial for you in the end. Using neutral colors like gray, taupe, and white will allow the buyers to imagine decorating the home. 

  • Stage Where Necessary

Staging a home can be costly, so only stage where it is necessary. All rooms are not considered equal. Focus your efforts on rooms with the most significant potential to influence a buyer’s decision to buy your home. The main rooms buyers are most interested in are the living room, master bedroom, and kitchen. Focus on the rooms that matter and save money. 


Get ready for your home to sell fast by using the five staging tips. First, de-personalize your home, although it may feel weird to live in. Get rid of clutter and clean every square inch of your home. Next, open all the windows and turn on your lights to brighten up the house. Next, repaint your home with neutral colors to help buyers visualize the home as theirs. Finally, remember to only stage necessary rooms, like the kitchen, living room, and master bedroom. If you need more home selling and buying tips, go to nancyopensdoors.com.