Resources for Home Buyers
We love working with all types of home buyers! For us, there’s no such thing as a small client.We believe first-time home buyers deserve the same attention and respect as those buying waterfront estates. Our Realtors are happy to spend time with you, helping you understand the buying process and the local market. We’ve also provided resources for you here. Read on for FAQs about buying a home, links to articles & advice for home buyers, and financial tools for home buyers.
Home Buyer FAQs
When should I begin working with a Realtor?
It’s a good idea to begin working with a Realtor as soon as you decide you’re serious about buying a home. Even if you’re early in the process, don’t worry that you’ll be wasting a Realtor’s time – you’re not! It’s an important relationship and your Realtor is with you for the long haul. An experienced Realtor can help you understand the buying process and prepare you for each step. They can also help you avoid missteps along the way. As soon as you’re ready, give us a shout and we’ll help you get started.
How do I choose the right Realtor?
Buying a home is the largest investment most of us will ever make, so finding the right Realtor is key! Spend some time talking with different Realtors who know your target area very well. Experience is
important, but so is personality and fit. You need someone you feel truly comfortable with and can trust to give and receive honest feedback. Check out this article about choosing the right realtor for more advice. You can also read about the Realtors on our team here.
What is the home buying process like? What steps should I take to buy a home?
A successful home search begins with finding the right Realtor. Another critical step at the beginning of your search is getting pre-qualified for a loan. This will help you understand how much home you can afford. It will also ensure you’re ready to make an offer when you find the right home. Once your finances are in order, you can start your home search. When you find the right home, your Realtor will help you submit an offer. You’ll need to include a deposit that will be returned if the buyer doesn’t accept your offer. If the buyer does accept, you’ll need to arrange for an inspection and appraisal, among other things. Then it’s time to schedule your settlement! You’ll want to call to transfer utilities, cable, and internet service 7 – 10 days before settlement. At closing, you’ll sign your name for what feels like a million times! Then you’ll get the keys and the house is all yours! Your Realtor will guide youthrough the entire process. You can also check out this article about the home buying process for more details about each step.
How should I approach my home search?
When you first start thinking about buying a home, it’s perfectly fine to start looking online to get a sense of what the local market is like. You can also drive through different neighborhoods to better define the specific area you’d like to target. As soon as you decide you’re serious about finding the right home, it’s time to do two important things: find the right Realtor and get pre-qualified for a loan. Then discuss your budget and your wish list with your Realtor. Narrow your must haves to three or four things and try to be flexible on everything else. And remember, you can always change a house, but you can never change its location! Check out this article about how to approach searching for a home for more detailed advice.
How much cash do I need to buy a home?
The amount of cash you need to buy a home can vary depending on the type of loan you get. As you probably know, you’ll need a down payment. If your down payment is less than 20% of the price of the home, you’ll have private mortgage insurance (PMI) added to your monthly bill. You’ll also need cash for closing costs. Closing costs are usually around 2 – 3% of the value of your loan. This can easily be another $4,000+ in addition to your down payment. Your Realtor may be able to negotiate to have part of your closing costs paid by the seller.
What types of loans are available for first-time home buyers?
Conventional loans are the type you’re probably most familiar with. These are fixed-rate mortgages that are not federally insured. They may be more difficult to qualify for because they usually require higher down payments and credit scores. If you qualify, conventional loans may offer the best interest rates. FHA loans are a federal mortgage program that is easier to qualify for and requires a down payment of as little as 3.5%. VA loans are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. VA loans help veterans qualify for mortgages, sometimes with no money down. We strongly recommend exploring your financing options at the beginning of your home search. If you’re pre-qualified, you’ll be ready to put in an offer when you find the perfect home!
What if I have to sell my current home before I can buy a new one?
You can work on buying a new home at the same time you list your current home for sale. We can help you through the process of handling both transactions. Keep in mind that the timing probably won’t work out perfectly. Be prepared to rent a home temporarily if your current home sells quickly. On the other hand, if you buy a new home before your current one has sold, be prepared to carry the cost of both mortgages for a little while. Talk to us about your goals and financial situation, and we’ll help make the process of buying and selling at the same time as smooth as possible.
What are some common home buying mistakes to avoid?
Buying a home is probably the largest investment you’ll ever make. There are a few pitfalls you want to avoid along the way. First, you want to be sure you understand your finances before you begin your home search. This will keep you from overspending. Also, avoid thinking short-term. You’ll have your home for many years, so think about how your lifestyle is likely to change over time. And don’t skip a home inspection! You’ll regret it later if you do. For more advice about mistakes to avoid when buying a home, check out this article.
Local Services Guide
Compass Property Inspections
Choptank Electric Cooperative | 877-892-0001 choptankelectric.com
Delmarva Power | 800-375-7117 www.delmarva.com
Gas / Oil Companies
Chesapeake Utilities | 800-427-0015 www.chpkgas.com
Pep-Up, Inc. | 410-228-3515 www.pepupinc.com
Sharp Energy | 410-822-8567 www.sharpenergy.com
Suburban Propane | 410-228-2992 www.suburbanpropane.com
Tri-Gas & Oil Company | 410-228-8500 www.trigas-oil.com
AT&T | 800-222-0300 www.att.com
Verizon | 800-837-4966 www.verizon.com
Cable & Internet Companies
Bay Country Communications | 410-901-2224 bcctv.com
Comcast | 888-266-2278 my.xfinity.com
Direct TV | 800-240-1583 www.directv.com
Bay Country Security | 410-228-5785 baycountrysecurity.com
Water & Sewer Service
If your property is within an incorporated municipality, please contact the Town Office.
Private Collection Services:
Shore Waste | 443-521-0475
Town & Country Disposal, Inc. | 410-228-2699 www.facebook.com
Financial Tools for Home Buyers
If the calculators below take too long to respond, simply refresh your browser.
Articles & Advice for Buying a Home
It's easy to list reasons why people love living on Maryland's Eastern Shore: the water, the people, the rural landscape, the proximity to beaches and cities... We could go on! There's a reason Maryland is referred to as "America in Mini" due to our vast landscapes...read more
Buying a house is one of the most significant and expensive purchases made in a relationship. This decision can be stressful, especially for couples with little to no experience in the field of real estate. There are many decisions to be made while house hunting, from...read more
The Fun Way to House Hunt with Family & Friends One of the best features on our new website is the Search Party function. This feature is awesome! It lets you invite friends and family to your online home search. You can share listings with each other, react to...read more