Whether it’s your first home or you’ve been through the process many times, buying a house is always a major investment. If you are like most people, your home will have a significant impact on your financial future. And, just as importantly, your house needs to be “home” — a place where you and your family feel comfortable and can truly enjoy life.

We know how important homes are and that’s why we at William Raveis Stowe Real Estate want to ensure that you are informed and prepared before you make your next move:

Pre-Qualification: Meet with a mortgage broker and find out how much you can afford to pay for a home.

Pre-Approval: While knowing how much you can afford is the first step, sellers will be much more receptive to potential buyers who have been pre-approved. You’ll also avoid being disappointed when going after homes that are out of your price range. With Pre-Approval, the buyer actually applies for a mortgage and receives a commitment in writing from a lender. This way, assuming the Stowe home for sale that you’re interested in is at or under the amount you are pre-qualified for, the seller knows immediately that you are a serious buyer for that property. Costs for pre-approval are generally nominal and lenders will usually permit you to pay them when you close your loan.

List of Needs and Wants: Make two lists. The first should include items you must have (i.e., the number of bedrooms you need for the size of your family, a one-story house if accessibility is a factor, etc.). The second list is your wishes, things you would like to have (pool, den, etc.) but that are not absolutely necessary. Realistically for first-time buyers, you probably will not get everything on your wish list, but it will keep you on track for what you are looking for in a home.

Representation by a Professional: Consider hiring your own real estate agent, one who is working for you, the buyer, not the seller. A Vermont realtor can assist you in the selection process by offering objective information about each property; they can provide local community information on utilities, zoning, schools, etc. When you have narrowed down the search, an agent can help with evaluating the property, negotiating the price, and closing, to make sure everything runs smoothly as you purchase the right property for the right price.

Focus and Organization: In a convenient location, keep handy the items that will assist you in maximizing your home search efforts. Such items may include:

  • One or more detailed maps with your areas of interest highlighted
  • A file of the properties that your agent has shown to you, along with ads you have cut out from the newspaper
  • Paper and pen, for taking notes as you search
  • Digital or video camera to help refresh your memory on individual properties

Location: Look at a potential property as if you are the seller. Would a prospective buyer find it attractive based on school district, proximity to positive (shopping, parks or Interstate) and negative (abandoned properties, garbage dump or source of noise) features of the area?

Visualize the House Empty and with your Furnishings: Are the rooms laid out to fit your needs? Is there enough light?

Be Objective: Instead of thinking with your heart when you find a home, think with your head. Does this home really meet your needs? There are many houses on the market, so don’t make a hurried decision that you may regret later.

Be Thorough: A few extra dollars well spent now may save you big expenses in the long run. Don’t forget such essentials as:

  • Include inspection and mortgage contingencies in your written offer
  • Have the property inspected by a professional inspector
  • Request a second walk-through to take place within 24 hours of closing
  • You want to check to see that no changes have been made that were not agreed on (i.e., a nice chandelier that you assumed came with the sale having been replaced by a cheap ceiling light)

Vermont is a unique and beautiful corner of the world. Buying Vermont property has its own distinct set of considerations. In order to assist buyers of Vermont homes with the decision-making process, we are dedicated to providing our clients with the most comprehensive resources in the area.

Our name is synonymous with high-quality service, professional integrity and successful transactions. In addition to assisting thousands of Vermonters throughout the years, we welcome scores of out-of-state and out-of-country buyers who now make their home in Vermont.

Our undisputed leadership position in central and northern Vermont’s residential real estate market is attributed to the efforts and expertise of our outstanding sales associates and their dedication to excellence.

Our Stowe real estate agents are widely recognized for their knowledge and skill and are recipients of most of the professional designations and honors awarded in the real estate industry. Throughout the years, as Vermont’s premier residential real estate company, we have assisted scores of buyers in successful home purchases.