Tips for Buying a Home

Whether you've spent years saving and preparing to buy a home, or are unsure if you can afford it, the questions surrounding a house purchase can feel endless. 

You can find the answers - and peace of mind - by working with me. Empire Realty Group is an industry leader in experience and service.

Here are some tips to help you become your own landlord.

  1. Hire a real estate professional. 
    The first step is to select a professional to help you find your dream home and fine-tune your financial expectations. Working with a buyer's agent is worth consideration since he or she is legally responsible for representing the buyer's best interests in a real estate transaction. Before making a decision, however, have a Realtor explain the pros and cons of using a buyer's agent versus an agent working for the seller (sales) or dual agent. Your Empire Realty Group associate can guide you through every step of the way during your home buying process. (to buying a home.) 
     
  2. Shop for mortgage rates and terms. 
    A difference of even half a percentage point can make a huge difference in how much you pay over the life of a loan. For example, the difference in the monthly payment on a $100,000 mortgage at 8 percent vs. 7.5 percent is about $35 per month. Over 30 years, that's $12,600. Your Empire Realty Group associate can help you locate a lender who will provide you with both excellent service and a competitive interest rate. 
     
  3. Prequalify for a loan. 
    Your third step should be to get preapproved, which determines how much you can afford. It allows you to move swiftly when you find the right home, especially when there are other interested buyers or competing offers. It also indicates to the seller that you are serious and really can afford to buy the property. 
     
  4. Define what you want. 
    The next step is to create a realistic idea of the property you'd like to buy. What features are most important to you? Make two lists: 1) the items you can't live without and 2) the features you would enjoy. Refine the lists as you house hunt. It is also helpful (to search online) to see what is currently available on the market. To make it easy check out our  Dream Home Finder. We will keep you posted when new listings come on the market that match your specific criteria. Your Empire Realty Group professional can then show you properties that meet your expectations while providing you with valuable feedback and advice. 
     
  5. Visit properties. 
    Now you're ready to see homes that match your wants and needs. Ask your Empire Realty Group associate to arrange showings, and keep track of your favorites via our  Dream Home Finder
     
  6. Know the features that help or hurt resale. 
    In some areas, a swimming pool may enhance value while in others it may detract from a home's value making it more difficult to sell. Your Empire Realty Group professional has the experience to be able to critique each of the properties you visit and help you identify features that may enhance or detract from resale value. 
     
  7. Rate the houses you tour. 
    After touring each home, write down what you liked and didn't like. Develop a rating system that will help to narrow the field. For example, on your first day pick the house you like best and compare all other houses to it. When you find a better one, use the new favorite as the standard. 
     
  8. Make an offer. 
    Once you've pinpointed your dream house, it's time to get serious about the financial and contractual side of the purchase. Your Empire Realty Group associate brings an average of 20+ years of experience to your evaluation of the property, its value and what details should be included in your purchase offer. As your buyer's agent we would be representing your best interests and negotiate on your behalf. 
     
  9. Arrange for home inspections. 
    Your Empire Realty Group agent can make your offer conditioned on appropriate inspections and/or tests. We can then assist you in finding qualified inspectors. Depending on the results of the tests/inspections we can help to reach a meeting of the minds regarding any issues. 
     
  10. Closing. 
    Before your closing date, make sure you've fulfilled any conditions of your mortgage commitment and have obtained homeowners insurance. Be sure to work closely with your attorney as they prepare the closing documents ie title, survey, deed, abstract required funds and mortgage documents. Prior to closing be sure to coordinate a pre-closing walk-through of the property and notify appropriate utilities that you wish to have service turned into your name as of the day of closing.
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Testimonials

Absolutely lovely person - listened to our concerns, reassured us and never pushed us. Always kept in contact and updated at every step. Highly recommend.  Sue & Rod
Mark Nassivera recommends Empire Realty Group: "My Wife and I worked with Bonnie Pagano and she was an absolute blessing from the time we introduced ourselves and beyond closing on our first home. With experience that clearly showed, she came equipped with excellent resources that completely satisfied us during the home buying process, from financing recommendations to lawyers and inspectors, we always felt well informed and never pressured. Starting the process seemed overwhelming, but it turned out to be enjoyable and informative because we had such professional representation that made us feel confident and secure. Thank you Empire Realty and Thank you Bonnie!" Mark & Christy
Bonnie I would like to say thanks for all you've done over the past few months. You have been professional, helpful, and made this experience the best. Thank You! John [Seller]
We picked you to list our house for two reasons: 1) for your upbeat and proactive approach, 2) your marketing plan. We are thrilled to be selling our house with you. Ange & Doug
We want to thank Bonnie Pagano, from Empire Realty Group for finding us a home. We moved to Penfield from Southern California in September. Bonnie was able to setup viewing of 10 homes , in a short time, as I only had 72 hours to work with. All of the homes were what we were looking for. She was amazing as she knew what we were looking for, with only some picks from the internet that we gave her, over the phone. Bonnie had great knowledge of the neighborhoods with all the good and bad points of the areas. Bonnie guided us through the purchase and paperwork that goes with home buying. She has been wonderful in the follow up and very helpful with questions we had. We would highly recomend Bonnie for selling or purchasing a home. Peter & Anne Shomphe
Bonnie, there is not one thing that you need to improve on. You were a fantastic realtor from beginning to end of my home purchase. Your follow through, attention and kindness were second to none. I know a lot of realtors in my family and friend circuit and I would have you as a realtor again. I mean it. Jackie
It was a pleasure working with Bonnie Pagano to sell the family home in Penfield, NY. Bonnie gave great advice on how to properly prepare the home for sale and how to get the most money out of it. She walked us through the different criteria and deadlines of the purchase offer and contract so we knew what to expect and when. She also was always available by cell, texting, or email and was immediately responsive to any questions or concerns. I could not have asked for anyone better to sell the home. Maier Family
Working with Bonnie was a pleasure. We loved getting the daily emails with new listings. We found our house the day it was listed before it showed on any of the real estate web sites that we were following. It was a blessing to have meet Bonnie at her open house. We had been looking for months on our own. After having her as our realtor we found our house in 3 weeks. She goes above and beyond for her clients to find them the house they will love. Peter & LaVonne
She went above and beyond for us! Helped us every step of the way and helped us find our dream house! Thank you Bonnie! Nick & Kayleigh
We thought you were a wonderful realtor and if we ever buy again, you will be the first one we call. You kept us well informed, offered suggestions and responded quickly to any questions we had. We loved working with you and will never forget our inspection and the dreaded pantry! If we come across a friend who is looking, you'll be the person we suggest!! Casey & Mercedez
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