Twila Palmer - Westford Real Estate | Westford, MA Real Estate, Chelmsford, MA Real Estate


Ready to submit an offer on a house? Not so fast. First, you'll want to consider a few key questions, including:

1. Can I afford to buy a house?

If you find a house you like, make sure you can afford the monthly mortgage payments. By doing so, you may be able to avoid costly, time-consuming problems down the line.

Ultimately, getting pre-approved for a mortgage can make a world of difference, particularly for a homebuyer who is ready to submit an offer on a home.

With pre-approval for a mortgage, a homebuyer will understand exactly how much money is at his or her disposal. As a result, this homebuyer can avoid the temptation to overspend on a house.

2. Should I submit a "lowball" offer?

For many homebuyers, it may seem like a good idea to submit a "lowball" offer on a house. But doing so may be problematic for a number of reasons.

If you submit a lowball proposal, a home seller is unlikely to take your bid seriously. As such, this home seller may dismiss your offer and move on to other proposals quickly.

In addition, a lowball offer may cause you to miss out on the opportunity to acquire your dream residence.

When you locate the perfect residence, there is no need to leave anything to chance. If you submit a fair proposal that meets or exceeds a home seller's expectations, you can avoid the risk of losing your dream house to a rival homebuyer.

3. How much should I offer for a residence?

We've already established that a lowball offer is rarely, if ever, a good idea. Now, you'll just need to determine what differentiates a fair proposal from a lowball one.

A fair proposal accounts for the needs of both a homebuyer and home seller. It should be based on the current state of the housing market as well as the condition of a home.

For instance, if you're operating in a buyer's market, there is likely to be a broad assortment of homes available. This means a home seller may need to lower his or her expectations due to the sheer volume of quality residences currently on the market.

Don't forget to study the prices of recently sold homes in a particular city or town too. This housing market data will help you better understand how a residence you're considering stacks up against comparable houses so you can submit an appropriate offer.

4. Do I need a real estate agent?

A real estate agent will take the guesswork out of buying a home, and for good reason. This real estate professional can help you prepare an offer and will negotiate with a home seller on your behalf. That way, you can streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

Hire a real estate agent before you submit an offer on a house – you'll be glad you did. A real estate agent will guide you along the homebuying journey and ensure you can secure a great house at a price that fits your budget.


Purchasing a residence can be quick and simple, particularly for those who know the ins and outs of the housing market.

At first, navigating the real estate market may seem impossible. Fortunately, homebuyers who consider the right questions before they browse residences can streamline the process of acquiring a house.

There are many key questions for homebuyers to consider prior to entering the housing market, including:

1. Where Do I Want to Live?

When it comes to the real estate market, it is all about location. Thus, you'll want to consider where you want to live and plan accordingly.

For example, if you enjoy the city life, you may want to purchase a house in a major metropolitan area. Or, if you prefer quiet country living, you might pursue houses in small towns.

Consider your current and future living situations as well. If you want to work in a particular city or town, you may want to purchase a nearby home. Or, if you plan to have children in the future, you may want to consider properties near schools.

2. How Much Can I Afford?

Unfortunately, bad credit may hinder your chances of securing your ideal residence. But if you know your credit score, you can work to improve it prior to searching for a house.

You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report annually from each of the three reporting agencies (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax). Request a free copy of your credit report, and you can learn your credit score and find out how it may affect your ability to buy a home.

Also, getting pre-approved for a mortgage may make it easy for you to secure a house that matches your budget. With a mortgage in hand, you'll be able to browse homes within a set price range and find one that you can enjoy for years to come.

3. How Do I Get Started?

Let's face it – the real estate market can be complex, but there are many ways to simplify the process of obtaining the perfect residence.

First, create a list of must-haves for your residence. This list will help you narrow your search and determine exactly what you'd like to find in a dream home.

Don't forget to work with an experienced real estate agent, either. This real estate professional can offer support in many areas and ensure that you can explore a wide range of houses at your convenience.

Your real estate agent will help you set up home showings, submit offers on houses and handle negotiations with home sellers. Plus, if you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, your real estate agent will be ready to respond to your queries immediately.

Employing a real estate agent enables you to get your home search started on the right foot. With a real estate agent at your disposal, you can learn about all aspects of the homebuying process. And as a result, you can streamline the homebuying process and find your dream home quickly and effortlessly.


For first-time homebuyers, going from property buyer to property owner may seem virtually impossible. Lucky for you, we're here to help you take the guesswork out of buying a home.

Now, let's take a look at three questions that every first-time homebuyer needs to consider:

1. What is my "dream" residence?

One first-time homebuyer's definition of a "dream" residence may differ from another's. As such, you should consider what you'd like to find in a dream house before you begin your real estate search.

Creating a checklist of "must-haves" and "wants" in your house often serves as a great starting point for first-time homebuyers. This checklist will enable homebuyers to consider what they'd like to find in a dream home and plan accordingly.

Also, it is important to establish realistic expectations before you kick off a home search.

Many terrific houses are available in cities and towns nationwide, but no home is likely to have every feature that you desire in a dream residence.

Therefore, if you establish realistic expectations for your home search, you can avoid potential let-downs as you explore a broad array of high-quality houses.

2. How will I pay for a home?

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is vital for a first-time homebuyer, and for good reason. With pre-approval for a mortgage, you'll know what you can afford to spend on a home before you enter the real estate market.

Many banks and credit unions are happy to meet with you to discuss your mortgage options. These lenders can outline the differences between adjustable- and fixed-rate mortgages, help you assess your credit score and ensure you can make an informed mortgage decision.

Furthermore, lenders can answer any mortgage questions that you may have. They can help you evaluate your current financial situation and enable you to obtain a mortgage that won't force you to revamp your day-to-day budget.

3. How do I begin searching for a house?

Beginning a home search is easy, particularly for first-time homebuyers who work with expert real estate agents.

An expert real estate agent understands what it takes to find a wonderful house at a budget-friendly price. In fact, he or she will do everything possible to help you navigate the housing market quickly and effortlessly.

Typically, an expert real estate agent will keep you up to date about new homes as they become available, set up home showings and submit home offers on your behalf. This housing market professional also will offer honest, unbiased recommendations throughout the homebuying journey to help you select a house that matches or exceeds your expectations.

When it comes to exploring the housing market, there is no need to work alone. Fortunately, you can hire an expert real estate agent who can help you get the best results possible during the homebuying journey.

Want to acquire your first home? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can move one step closer to owning a top-notch house.


Before buying a home, you may have a number in mind as to how many houses you think that you should look at before you find the house that's right for you. You may wonder if you’ve looked too much or not enough while you’re in the process of searching for a home. The fact of the matter is that how many homes you look at is completely up to you. It’s a very personal preference. If you feel comfortable after looking at one house, you’re probably right. Trust your own intuition!


The average condo buyer takes between 1 to 3 months to find the right property. House buyers take a bit longer, averaging between 3 and 6 months of searching. The home buying process seems to entail a few more questions and a bit of a learning curve, which tends to take more time. This is obviously why first time buyers tend to take more time searching.


How To Have A Successful House Hunt:


Map Out Your Potential Neighborhoods


Before you even get in touch with your realtor, you should have an idea of the neighborhoods you’d like to look for a home in. Drive around your potential towns and hang out there. Go to local restaurants, see the downtown area and check out the grocery store. See how you feel being there, and if you’d like it to be part of what you call “home.” 


Know Your Lifestyle


Where your friends live, where you work and what you like to do for fun all have an impact on the type of neighborhood that you’ll choose to search for a home in. If you love to golf, and the nearest course is more than 30 miles away, maybe you should reconsider where you’re searching. Of course, you want your commute time to and from work to be as short as possible.   


Decide What You Need


Make a list of everything that you absolutely need to have in your home and neighborhood. Narrow down your wish-list to that of “must-haves.” Then, understand your own budget for a home purchase. Knowing your finances will also give you a better idea of where you should focus your search. Once your focus is narrowed, you’ll be able to work with your realtor more freely. Being able to tell your realtor what you want and what you can afford is a great step in the right direction during the home search process.


Taking the time to know what you want out of where you want to live can help you to search for the right home. So, while there’s no magic number of homes to look at before you buy, it’s a better idea to understand your wants and needs and go from there.


Are you beginning your house hunt as a first-time homebuyer or looking to buy a larger home that fits the needs of your family? No matter your situation, purchasing a home is a large investment and one that should be approached with caution and the use of your head, not your heart. There are multiple types of homes that one can purchase: condo, duplex, multi-family, single-family, etc. And one of those types will be the right fit for you. Let’s take a look at the pros of purchasing and owning a single-family home. Space: Single-family homes provide more space­—more outdoor space, more indoor space, and more parking space. Of course, there are exceptions, but generally this is the case for single-family homes. Take advantage of this luxury of more space by entertaining and fully utilizing it all. Since apartments and condos are usually in complexes, personal space can be minimal, where shared space is generally larger. Decks and backyards (if any at all) are small so that each renter or homeowner has their own space. This also goes for the inside; square footage will be less in the types of properties listed above, especially if they are located in a city. Privacy: Privacy is extremely important to many, and for good reason. With a single-family home you will have much more privacy than when owning other types of homes. Condos and duplexes share walls with other owners’ properties, which means your neighbors are always close by. You may hear them through the walls or be enjoying your separate deck spaces just feet apart. It may not sound like it’s all that terrible, but you never know who your neighbor will be; they could throw parties every night, vacuum at 4 am, or even have triplets that never stop crying. No restrictions: Unless you are purchasing a historical home, there are likely no property restrictions. A single-family home gives you the opportunity to completely turn it into your own and do just about whatever you want on your land (check with your town before renovating/building additions). Condos can have multiple restrictions that include parking, outdoor work, and BBQs. If the pros above sound like what you are interested in, then a single-family home may be the option for you. But be sure to research the market you are looking in to make sure that you can afford this type of home. If you are looking in a very desirable location with a smaller budget then this option may not work for you at this time. But fear not, continue saving and in the future you will be able to purchase that single-family home you’ve been dreaming of.



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