7 Tips Every First Time Home Buyer Should Read

When buying your first home, a few words of advice can go a long way. Today, our network of Coldwell Banker professionals share their tips and tricks of the trade.

When buying your first home, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. A few words of advice can go a long way, so we’ve enlisted tips and tricks from our network of Coldwell Banker professionals. See their insight on the process, what to look for in a home, and home improvements. And most importantly, best of luck in your journey to becoming a homeowner!

Be patient…don’t over pay for something because you feel pressure. Good things come to those who wait!” – Shari Pesa, Executive Business Consultant, Coldwell Banker Real Estate


“Remember you are buying the house the way it is. Yes you may plan on renovating, but plans change. Can you live in the house the way it is for a few years? If so, then go for it! Don’t compromise on what you want thinking you will redo everything tomorrow.” – Tracy Freeman, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage 

806 Prospect St, Westfield Town, NJ listed by Robert Lacovara with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

“Make sure to align your expectations with the reality of where you want to live and what your price range truly affords. We all want the home near the beach for $200k but when it’s more like $2M, it is important to adjust expectations.” – Cara Ameer, Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty Inc. 

“Make sure you work with a realtor that is experienced and knows the area, especially in flood plains where additional insurance costs may impact your finances. Every house is different. Do not make assumptions.” – Jennifer Cavanaugh Ronzo, Coldwell Banker Harbor Light

811 Carpenter Town Lane, Cary, NC listed by James Ruehle with Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston

Don’t buy a home for the total amount the bank approves you for because you will need to buy things for the house when you move in. Things you never thought about until you’re living there (i.e.: hoses, grass seed, window treatments, snow blower, lawn mower…) If you buy at the highest loan approval level you could end up “house poor” and not have extra money for emergency expenses that arise or fun things for your new home.” – Holly Fetherlin, Regional Marketing Manager, Coldwell Banker Real Estate

Ask questions. Lots and lots of questions.” – David Siroty, VP of Communications, Coldwell Banker Real Estate

1059 SE Portlandia Ave, Hillsboro, OR listed by Joseph Charny with Coldwell Banker Seal

“Don’t be scared of a little work. It might be worth investing in something that doesn’t necessarily look like your dream home now, but with a fresh coat of paint and a few minor upgrades, you could have your dream home without paying the price of your nightmares.” – Jimmy Hammel, Manager, Digital Marketing, Coldwell Banker Real Estate

Victoria Keichinger is the Brand Engagement Manager with Coldwell Banker Real Estate. She grew up in New Jersey, before attending the University of Miami and still remains a proud 'Cane. Going back to her roots, she currently lives in Hoboken, NJ where she enjoys runs along the Hudson and eating at great restaurants. A true francophile, she loves to travel and will go anywhere there are ski slopes.


  1. Caleb
    June 14, 2016

    “Don’t buy a home for the total amount the bank approves you for…”

    Absolutely. I think many first time home buyer think if they’re approved for a certain amount, that what they should be looking for. They forget to take into consideration all of the other costs associated with homeownership. You can absolutely go “house poor” very quickly.

    Make sure to assess all of the other costs that will come with owning a home, i.e. HOA dues, home warranty, termite bond, just to name a few.

  2. Jack
    July 6, 2016

    What’s up, I read your blog on a regular basis. Your writing style is awesome, keep it up!

  3. Claudia Sarmiento
    July 28, 2016

    Great post! Buying your first home can be a fun experience as long as you follow all the important steps! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Shad Morris
    October 11, 2016

    My friend is getting ready to buy a home, and they weren’t sure what to do. One thing that I really like is that you say to align your expectations with where you want to live. It just sounds like you need to be realistic when looking in your price range.

  5. PART Realty
    October 26, 2016

    These are great tips for first time home buyers. It is very easy to get overwhelmed or excited and make avoidable mistakes such as buying a house for the full amount you’re approved for or rushing into a house that might prove to have major issues. This is a great post, thanks for sharing!

  6. Mike Dy
    February 28, 2017

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing. I agree about getting a skilled realtor. If you don’t know anything about the process of buying a house it is also good to ask for help.

  7. toko tas wanita
    March 17, 2017

    It’s hard to come by well-informed people about this topic, however, you seem like you
    know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  8. Bernard Clyde
    April 13, 2017

    I agree that you shouldn’t buy a home that is uncomfortably close to your budget. You should feel comfortable and happy with your home purchase without feeling like you are stretching yourself too thin. It’s wise to set this budget well in advance and understand what kind of payments would be possible and comfortable for you to pay with your current financial situation. That way, you will pick a home that makes you the most happy.

  9. Burt Silver
    April 18, 2017

    Thanks for the information on buying a home! My wife and I are planning to buy our family’s first home this year, and we want to make sure that we have all the information we need. I like that you mentioned to set up realistic expectations based on where you want to live and what your budget is. We will be sure to do this.

    • Lindsay Listanski
      April 19, 2017

      Best of luck Burt! Let us know if we can help in any way!


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