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 Vice President, Brand Marketing for Coldwell Banker Real Estate. When she's not managing national media and advertising for the Coldwell Banker brand at work, she finds herself most at home in Jersey City, NJ with her pre-school crush turned spouse and son. A true Francophile, she loves to travel and will go anywhere there are ski slopes.

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  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!

  10. Frank Delaware
    April 25, 2017

    A friend of mine really wants to buy a new house, but we weren’t sure how to find the right one. It’s interesting that you say to not buy a house for the total amount that the bank approves. It would be nice to know that you will be able to afford the monthly payments in the end.

  11. Ernest London
    May 22, 2017

    Thanks for the tips for buying a home. My wife and I really want to buy our first home this year, but we want to make sure we are informed first. I like that you mentioned to align your expectations with where you are going to be and how much you can actually afford. We will make sure we only look at homes within our budget and know what we can afford!

    • Victoria Keichinger
      May 24, 2017

      Best of luck to you and your wife in buying your first home! If you need help finding a real estate professional in your area, we’d encourage you to head to coldwellbanker.com and do a search for an agent in your area.

  12. bocoran togel hk
    September 17, 2017

    Aw, this was a really gоod post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to generatе
    a ѕuperb article… but what can I say… I put things off a whole lot
    and never seem to get anything ⅾone.

  13. Ashley Turns
    September 19, 2017

    My husband and I are first-time home buyers and we’re hoping to find some advice on what to do during the process. So we really appreciate your tip to make sure that the home we buy is under what the bank approves us for since we’ll have expenses and items we need to buy that we hadn’t thought about. We will definitely make sure that we buy a house that’s below what the bank is giving us so we can buy things like a lawn mover and hoses.

  14. Theodore Winston
    October 9, 2017

    My wife and I have decided to stop renting and get our own place. The first try is always the most daunting one, I reckon. Whether it be as simple as driving your first car to as big as buying your own place. I agree that you shouldn’t use all your loan money for the house. If anything, I would encourage anyone that you shouldn’t be afraid nor be embarrassed to negotiate! It’s a way to save money which you can use for much more things. Thanks for the great tips!

  15. Ridley Fitzgerald
    November 3, 2017

    These are some great home buying tips. I like how you said to not buy a home that is exactly how much the bank approves you for. My wife and I want to buy a home, so we’ll be careful to buy one that leaves us enough money for other costs, like you said.

  16. Porte Interieur
    November 29, 2017

    It’s difficult to find well-informed people about this topic, but you sound
    like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks


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