Aura Gauthier - ERA Key Realty Services - Distinctive Group


As a first time home buyer, you may feel like a fish out of water when it comes to the process of getting a home. If you’re ready to buy your first home, there’s some key mistakes that you should avoid. 


You Think That You Don’t Need Help From A Professional


So many homebuyers think that they can save themselves a few dollars by avoiding working with a realtor. This is a big mistake. Realtors are a valuable resource for buyers and will help you throughout the process of purchasing a home. Realtors can help guide buyers step-by-step while providing assistance with things like negotiations and making sure all of the paperwork gets from point A to point B. You’ll also need other professionals involved in this process of home buying including lawyers and loan officers. Having these people on your team protects you and gives you a backing of knowledge that you wouldn’t otherwise have. 


Don’t Skip Pre-Approval


Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is key before you even start to search for a house. The pre-approval letter is a great resource in helping you land the home of your dreams. If you’re going up against other bids on a home, your bid will be seen as more serious if you have been pre-approved. Getting a pre-approval lets sellers know that you’re serious about the whole process of buying a home and are ready to make the financial commitment. 


Know The Costs Associated With Buying A Home


Just because you have the monthly income to pay a mortgage doesn't mean you’re financially ready to buy a home. There’s a few things that need to be in place before you can even commit to buying a home. First, you’ll need to make sure your credit score is up to par. Next, you’ll need to have enough saved up for a down payment. Without a down payment of at east 20% of the purchase price of a home, you’ll need to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI). There’s plenty of other costs that you’ll need cash on hand for when it comes to buying a home. This includes home insurance, home inspections, closing costs, property taxes, HOA fees, and maintenance. In other words, there needs to be some wiggle room in your budget for all of the extra costs that go into closing on a home and maintaining a home. 



Don’t Completely Deplete Your Savings


Just because you have been saving up for years to buy a home, doesn’t mean you need to completely deplete your savings in one pass. If you lack an emergency fund, you’re not buying a home with a responsible financial cushion. While you’ll probably take out a good chunk of savings in order to purchase the home, you need a bit more. Experts say that you need about 3-6 months of expenses saved up in case of the event of illness, job loss, or other emergency. Hence the name “emergency fund.”


Whether you’re shopping for your first house or your next house, finding a listing you love is exciting. You browse the pictures, check out the property facts, share the link to your significant other, and maybe even schedule a showing.

With the exciting prospect of owning a new home that has all or many of the features you’re looking for, it can be easy to forget about certain details that matter. Most of us look for similar things in a house--close proximity to work, enough bedrooms, an upgraded kitchen, and so on.

In this article, we’re going to give you a list of things to investigate about the house you’re looking at to get a better idea of whether or not it’s the perfect match for you and your family.

1. Re-read the listing

If you’re like me and get lost in the photos of a home and forget to make note of the details, be sure to go back and check out the listing a second time. It will likely give you important details of the house that you overlooked on your initial visit.

Look for things like the year the house was built, information of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, and the total acreage of the lot and square footage of the home. These things are hard to accurately represent in the listing’s pictures, but will likely be important to your decision of whether or not you should view the home.

2. Do your online research

The number of things you can learn about a home and neighborhood on the internet is astounding. We suggest that before you go to visit a home, you spend 10-20 minutes on Google researching the following topics:

  • School district ratings. If you have or plan to have school-aged children, you’ll want to know what your options are for your child’s education. It’s often a good idea to check out the local schools’ websites to see what

  • Commute times. With Google Maps and similar sites, you can plan out what your new commute will be and see how long it will take. You might find different routes that will save you time or avoid traffic (we could all use those extra few minutes in bed every morning). Google Maps isn’t always accurate when it comes to morning traffic estimates, but it’s a good place to start.

  • Amenities. Having moved into a neighborhood that has no grocery stores within a 20-minute drive, trust me--you’ll want to know what’s in the area. Use Google Maps to find stores, gas, schools, parks and trails, hospitals, and other things you’ll want close by.

  • Street view. While we’re on Google, use street view to take a remote look around the neighborhood. You’ll be able to see how the infrastructure looks--if the neighborhood is taken care of and if there are sidewalks that offer a safe place to walk or jog.

  • Crime ratings. Don’t get too caught up in this section. Crimes happen everywhere, but this is a good way to see if the area you’re moving to is a safe place

3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions

If, after all of your online research, you decide you want to go view a home, don’t be shy when you arrive. It’s understandable that you wouldn’t want to be a burden in someone else’s home. But remember--if you’re considering living there someday you’ll want to know as much as possible before making an offer.

Test the plumbing, ask about average utilities, and don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to neighbors and ask them questions about the community. The more you know, the better. Happy sleuthing!


A home inspection is a valuable opportunity for a property buyer. If a homebuyer knows how to plan for an inspection, he or she should have no trouble getting the most out of this opportunity.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get ready for a home inspection.

1. Hire an Expert Home Inspector

Not all home inspectors are created equal. And if you make a poor home inspector selection, you risk missing out on potential problems that may result in costly, time-intensive home repairs down the line.

When it comes to finding the right home inspector, it pays to be diligent. As such, it is crucial to allocate time and resources to conduct an extensive search for an expert house inspector. Because if you have a qualified home inspector at your side, you can get the support you need to perform an in-depth property evaluation.

Ask a home inspector for client referrals before you make your final decision. That way, you can find out what past clients have to say about a home inspector and determine if this professional is the right choice for you.

2. Attend Your Home Inspection

Although you are not required to attend your home inspection, it generally is a good idea to walk through a property with a professional inspector. By doing so, you may be able to gain insights that won't necessarily appear in your house inspection report.

You may want to take notes during your home inspection as well. If you remain diligent throughout your home inspection, you can understand a house's strengths and weaknesses. And as a result, you'll be better equipped than ever before to decide whether to move forward with a home purchase.

3. Ask Questions

There is no need to leave anything to chance, especially when you buy a house. Thus, if you have concerns or questions during a home inspection, address them immediately.

Remember, a home inspector is happy to respond to any of your property concerns or questions. He or she can provide honest, unbiased responses to your queries and help you make an informed decision about a house purchase.

As you prepare for a home inspection, you may want to consult with a real estate agent too. This housing market professional can offer recommendations and suggestions to help you get ready for a home inspection and put you in touch with the top home inspectors in your area. Plus, a real estate agent will help you review a house inspection report so you can determine whether to proceed with a home purchase.

For those who want to get the most out of a house inspection, you may want to prepare as much as possible. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can streamline the home inspection preparation process. Then, you can enter a home inspection with a plan in hand and use this evaluation to decide if a house will be able to serve you well both now and in the future.


This Single-Family in Sterling, MA recently sold for $311,000. This Ranch style home was sold by Aura Gauthier - ERA Key Realty Services - Distinctive Group.


106 North Row Rd, Sterling, MA 01564

Single-Family

$299,900
Price
$311,000
Sale Price

5
Rooms
2
Beds
1
Baths
Looking for country living? One floor living? Separate two car garage? This one has it all. This wonderful ranch sits off the country road with beautiful landscaping. The inside has cathedral ceilings in the living room and kitchen, open kitchen with eating area and large master bedroom. The lower walk out level has a spacious family room with slider out to a patio. There is a deck just waiting for you to sit on and watch nature. The huge detached two car garage (28'x30') is waiting for all your toys! The upstairs has storage and down has plenty of room for anything. The driveway was just redone and can hold a multitude of vehicles. Don't miss out on this one!





14 Birch Hill Rd, Northborough, MA 01532

Single-Family

$525,000
Price

8
Rooms
5
Beds
3
Baths
Welcome home to this lovely home in the sought after town of Northborough with its great location, top rated schools, shopping and recreation! You will see pride of ownership as soon as you step in the door, from the beautiful appointed custom kitchen with stainless steel appliances, granite counters and beverage frig to the master bath and closet with custom built ins. Lots of upgrades and updates in this home. Need lots of space? Then look no further with 5 bedrooms, 3 full baths, 6 car garages, 2 huge sheds set on a gorgeous 3/4 acre level lot! Everything has been done just move right in!
Open House
Sunday
July 01 at 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
First open house! Great house with 5 bedrooms, 3 full baths, 6 car garage, large backyard! Come tour this lovely home.
Cannot make the Open Houses?
Location: 14 Birch Hill Rd, Northborough, MA 01532    Get Directions

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