Buyer's Guide

Take advantage with these step-by-step process to be a buyer.

A Step-by-Step First Time Buyer's Guide

Buying a home is one of the most exciting milestones of your life. To prepare yourself for this moment, you need to know what to expect during the process. This step-by-step first time buyer’s guide created by your agent will help reduce the stress of buying a home and help you enjoy the journey as much as possible.

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Step 1: Research

Do you already know where you want to buy? If you want a condo, townhome, or single-family home? Which features do you like and dislike? What’s available on the market now? If you answered no to any of these questions, now is the time to start researching. In addition to looking for homes that interest you, also take note of any changes in asking prices. This could give you valuable insight into housing trends in specific neighborhoods and help you when the time comes to make an offer.

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Step 2: Decide on Your Budget

Notice I said to decide on your budget—not determine how much the mortgage company will give you. In many cases, a mortgage company will pre-approve you for more than you’re comfortable spending, which is why you need to determine the monthly payment you feel comfortable with before talking to a lender. This likely includes doing a full household budget and taking into consideration what changes other than a mortgage payment will occur once you move into your new home. If you’ve lived in an apartment or with roommates, you may overlook new expenses like garbage, water, or HOA fees that could easily blow your budget.

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Step 3: Get Prequalified

Just because you think you can afford a certain payment every month doesn’t mean the mortgage company will agree. Just as they may approve you for too large of an amount, they may also approve you for a lesser amount or deny you a mortgage altogether. Lack of time at a job, insufficient credit, past bankruptcies, or other financial issues can cause major problems when trying to secure a mortgage. Before you get your heart set on a home, talk to a mortgage professional to find out what amount you can qualify for. This will also be an advantage when you make an offer on a home, as some sellers won’t entertain offers from those who aren’t already prequalified for a loan.

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Step 4: Choose a Real Estate Agent

Can you shop for, look at, and ultimately make an offer on a home without a real estate agent? Technically yes, but why would you when it costs you nothing for an agent like me to take much of the stress off your shoulders? Not only will I help identify properties you might be interested in, arrange showings, and ultimately handle the offer process, but I also have a knowledge of the market that you don’t possess. I may be able to steer you away from certain homes or neighborhoods, suggest hidden gems, or give you pointers that will help you find your dream home for the right price.

My goal is to provide you with the most personalized service that is designed to help you buy your dream home.

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Step 5: Find the Right Home

This should be the most enjoyable step of the entire process (other than moving in!). I will arrange showings of homes you’re interested in that are within your price range. Take notes about what you like and don’t like, and make sure to pay attention to details. Turn light switches on and off, open and close doors, and run the faucets in various rooms. Don’t limit your inspection to the home itself. Make sure to take time to explore the neighborhood and keep an eye on traffic at certain times of the day, the parking situation, and how close it is to necessities like schools and grocery stores.

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Step 6: Make an Offer

Once you have selected the perfect home, work with your agent to craft a fair offer based on the value of comparable homes on the market. Depending on what the home is listed at and whether the current environment is a buyer’s or seller’s market, your offer may be below, at, or even above the asking price. I will be able to help you negotiate if you receive a counteroffer and reach an agreement. At this point, the house will go into escrow.

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Step 7: Have the Home Inspected

In most cases, your offer will be contingent on having the home inspected to ensure there is no major structural damage or large repairs needed. I can help you arrange this, and you can schedule it within days of making an offer. If there are no major issues, the process goes to step eight. If there is, you can renegotiate your offer based on what needs to be fixed, or you can withdraw it.

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Step 8: Select Your Loan

Now is the time to go back to the mortgage lender who pre-approved or pre-qualified you and choose your mortgage. You will be presented with various options based on your unique financial situation, including fixed-rate, variable-rate, 15-year, 30-year, or special programs such as VA loans or FHA loans. Work with your mortgage lender to select the option you feel the most comfortable with.

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Step 9: Get a Home Appraisal

Your lender will have your new home appraised so they have their independent value of it. The appraisal is to ensure that all parties involved are paying a fair price for the house.

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Step 10: Finish Paperwork

No one looks forward to all the paperwork involved in buying a home, but it’s a necessary part of the process. Fortunately, everything will be arranged by your lender and title company and, when you’re finished, you’ll know you are the legal owner of your new home.

Congratulations!

After signing the final paperwork to complete the purchase, you are now the owner of a new house. It may take a few days for your loan to be funded once the paperwork has been returned to the lender, but once that check is delivered to the seller, you’ll be all set to move into the home of your dreams. 

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Christine D.

My family and I worked with Adam to successfully buy a new home and sell our existing one. Prior to this, we were on the second home we owned and had sold our first, so we were not new to the process. We met him by a stroke of ...
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Anthony B.

Adam literally fell into our lap and we couldn't get rid of him! Probably the best thing that's ever happened to my wife and me. The day we decided to start looking for our first home, I called a listing agent of a house we wan...
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Christina L.

They are real estate agents and then there is Adam Buchanan! We call him our Master of Qwan! We had tried three other real estate agents. I felt as if I was doing more work then they. Only one agent was even responsive, but I f...
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Bonnie

Adam was absolutely amazing! He over-delivered on his promises. He found the home of our dreams (multi-generational) within one week, and $100,000 less than we were planning to spend. We wrote a contingent offer. We had to sell...
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Buyer

A simple five-star review does not give Adam the true justice he deserves! He was nothing less than professional, knowledgeable, and understanding in our long road to becoming first-time home buyers. Communication the whole pro...
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Seller

I am taking the time to write this review because I want everyone to know that Adam Buchanan is the agent you want to have, to buy or sell your home. I have been through 3 home purchases and one home sale. This was hands down t...
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Lisa V.

Adam is a rock star. Without any hesitation, we refer him to others and will use him for future transactions. Even though he is extremely busy with multiple deals happening at once, Adam makes you feel like you are his only cli...
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Steven K.

My first experience with Adam was minutes after requesting my first tour of a property and seeing the property the next morning. Throughout the next weeks, Adam was highly responsive at all stages of my home buying experience. ...
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Tillimy

Adam is a champion! He is a go-getter and works very hard to take great care of his clients. He is energetic and always has a big smile for everyone. We sold two homes and bought a brand new built all within 6 months. It was a ...
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Buyer

We live in California and bought a second home in beautiful Oregon. Purchasing while out of state is difficult for a multitude of reasons. However, this purchase was a "walk in the park" thanks to Adam. He was such a wonderful ...
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Buyer

Adam helped us buy our first home in Beaverton, or during a highly competitive time. The market was intimidating to us as first-time home buyers, but He made the journey smooth and stress-free. Adam is excellent at assessing pr...
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Buyer

Adam worked with me through thick and thin and provided great advice to me as a first-time homebuyer. I tried for around half a year to find a place on my own and through other means. As a hard-headed and independent person, I ...
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Valerie H.

Adam was very quick to reply to my request I believe he replied within 10 minutes of me requesting information on a property. He gave us a time to meet and called us right before that time and confirmed that he was there on tim...
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Seller

Adam helped me conduct an extremely difficult real estate transaction and he did so with patience and expertise. In the end, we were able to close the deal above and beyond our expectations. I can say after my interactions and ...
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Buyer

Adam was an amazing Realtor®. Not only showing homes at the drop of the hat but once we found homes we wanted Adam fought tooth and nail working every angle to not only get us our family dream home but ensure every detail of th...
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Maddie

Adam was everything a first-time home buyer would want in a Realtor®. He answered all my stupid questions without complaint and usually responded to my texts within 5 minutes. Even better, he helped us negotiate down the price ...
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Buyer

Adam is very professional and dedicated to his clients. He will go above and beyond to make sure his clients are satisfied. I recommended him to my friends and they are thrilled with his skills and integrity. We had a couple of...
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Buyer

Adam has been great so far with helping us look for the home we are looking for! Quick to respond and gives his honest opinion. Look forward to working with him until we find the right place.
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Jackie

Adam is a highly motivated professional. I would recommend him in the future. He was very instrumental in assisting me in my home search and was able to find the right home for me.
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Bonita S.

Adam helped my daughter and me by purchasing our home in Hillsboro. He was with us every step of the way and we are so grateful to him. We highly recommend him.
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