Buying a home can be overwhelming on so many levels. So many options. So many questions, and the pressure is often on to decide quickly or lose the home.

I often hear, “Is this the right location? What renovations could we do and how much will they cost? Will this home appreciate to exceed those improvements or additions? Are the schools good? What is my commute time going to be?”

A necessary place to start is to create your home purchase budget. By working with a mortgage lender, you will be able to assess your monthly budget and what you can afford while becoming pre-qualified for a loan in the process of doing so. You’ll need a pre-qualification letter to submit with a contract offer.

Secondly, create your “must have” list that might include type of flooring, number of bedrooms, lot size, walkable community, window light, big kitchen, garage, desirable drive time to the office and so on.

It’s easy to fall in love with a home’s offerings, but stick to your budget and be sure to keep a stash for emergencies to cover maintenance, repairs or that tree branch that needs to come down.  

And finally, select a real estate agent who keeps your budget top of mind. Ask for references.

Negotiation is a skill that separates the good from the best agents. Pick a partner who can guide and advice you through contract offer contingencies such as inspections, is a skilled negotiator and consistently cares for your best interest.

The fall market is very active with new listings coming on every day. It’s a good time to make the leap if you and your dog have been thinking about it.

Guest post and photo from Melinda Schnare, a real estate agent with RLAH Real Estate.

Home Buying Cents—Stick to Your Budget

Follow Source of the Spring on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Sign up for our free Weekly Newsletter here. Submit events to our Community Events Calendar here. Please send tips and questions through our News Tips form, or email info [at] Learn how to support Source of the Spring here.

Mike Diegel

Co-Founder/Editor at Source of the Spring
Mike Diegel, a founding member of Source of the Spring, is a Silver Spring advocate who has been appointed by the county executive to several committees and task forces. He currently is a member of the Silver Spring Arts & Entertainment District Advisory Committee. His background is in journalism and he earned a bachelor of arts in communications from McDaniel College. He is self-employed as a communications consultant and is an active volunteer with Appalachian Great Pyrenees Rescue. He has lived for more than 20 years in Northwood/Four Corners with his wife Trish and multiple Great Pyrenees dogs. He is better known around Silver Spring as the Guy with the Big White Dogs.
Home Buying Cents—Stick to Your Budget