FIRST TIME HOME BUYER: ARE YOU READY FOR HOME OWNERSHIP?



Owning a home may be your dream, but for the purchase to be a happy and satisfying experience, you need to ensure that you are financially and mentally prepared for the responsibilities that come with it.

Some people believe that homeownership is like renting, but with the power to have pets and paint the walls whatever color you like. However, while these privileges are available to homeowners in most municipalities, they come with the responsibilities of a mortgage, taxes, and home maintenance. Preparing for home ownership requires you to take critical stock of your finances and expectations.

Questions for Prospective Homeowners

Are you ready to buy?

Owning your own home is about more than just being able to decorate any way you like; it's about being prepared to maintain your home over the years, realizing that part of your income and time will go towards repairs and maintenance. It's about being willing to take the risks of homeownership with a realistic expectation of the rewards.

How much can you afford?

It can be discouraging to find that your salary won't stretch as far as the home you want to own. However, sacrificing a huge part of your income to pay the mortgage can very quickly make homeownership a burden rather than a point of pride. It's better to buy a modest home now and look at purchasing your "dream home" in a few years.

What is your debt-to-income ratio?

It is something that lenders take very seriously. Your overall debt should not be more than 40% of your income, and your housing debt should not be more than 32%. What 32% of your income will buy depends on where you want to live. For example, in rural or downtrodden areas, it can buy a very comfortable residence and ample acreage. However, in highly sought-after urban areas, it may not even buy a 400 square foot bachelor suite.

What do you want?

Do you like the idea of cleaning your gutters? Do you shudder at the thought of lawn care? Would you rather pay a monthly fee and have everything done for you? Would obey rules about when you can have your garbage cans out bother you, or do you want to live in a neighborhood where everything is 'just so'? The answers to these questions can help you narrow down the search for the correct property type for you.

We Can Help

It would help if you had a good agent who would work hard for you. Richmond Region Realty enables you to find the right home at the best price. We were hoping to find the home that will make you happy and successful in real estate ownership.

When you hire us to help you buy your first home, we want to know what you want and how much you can afford. Then we'll find a way to merge these two priorities and find a residence that you'll enjoy owning.

Keep your objectives in mind when visiting a home. Sometimes the idea of owning a home can overwhelm your practical sense, so keep your feelings in check. Keep a list handy of the features you need and want in a home and judge each home by the list instead of by details that could distract you from your goal. When you're alone with your agent, you can go over the pros and cons of each home. We can help you stay on track while still keeping our eyes out for a great property.

Engage the services of an excellent real estate lawyer. We can recommend several lawyers in the area who might be a good fit for you. The legalities of transferring land ownership can be dodgy, and a lawyer can be your best defense against future legal troubles. A good lawyer can charge several hundred to over a thousand dollars for their services, but the thousands of dollars saved in legal fees, later on, makes this a reasonable expense.

Make the offer. This can be a maze of "buyer", "seller", "chattels", "deposit", and "completion". We'll be happy to prepare the paperwork and go through it with you before submitting it. Remember, the seller may reject or counter your offer, so avoid setting your heart on the home you hope to own even at this late date. You'll probably have to write a deposit check to the seller's broker that proves the seriousness of your offer.

Get all the necessary inspections done. A home inspector will check for signs of harmful materials like asbestos, lead paint, and mold. They'll also check for evidence of pests, faulty wiring, and leaks. It is a crucial part of the home purchase. Not getting an inspection done means that you could be stuck in a home with a bad case of black mold and no recourse other than to pay for its removal. Inspections will cost a few hundred dollars, but again, this is more than worth it in the end. There are several inspectors in the area that we'd be happy to recommend.

Do a final walkthrough before closing the deal. We'd be happy to do this with you to ensure that everything agreed upon is completed before the final signing.

From the first interview that determines your requirements until you receive the keys, we can help you with the complicated process of buying a home. Don't hesitate to contact us to find out more about making the home buying process easier!

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What my clients are saying  

I’M VERY HAPPY TO HAVE WORKED WITH RONNIE ON THIS SALE! “I really enjoyed the personal interactions with Ronnie. He felt more like a friend than “hired help.”

 

~ Scott M.

I FELT LIKE I RECEIVED MORE PERSONALIZED ATTENTION WITH RONNIE THAN WITH OTHER REALTORS I’VE DEALT WITH! “I’ve worked with several realtors in the last few years. I felt like I received more personalized attention with Ronnie than with other realtors I’ve dealt with. I also felt like he was more knowledgeable and took the time to sit down and explain every detail of the process with me.”

 

~ Jennifer G.

RICHMOND REGION REALTY WAS A TRUE PROFESSIONAL WHEN IT CAME TO SELLING MY HOME! “Ronnie and Reed are true professionals who made the entire process easy. Ronnie had proven to be a top-notch agent who listened to my needs and concerns in the past. Unrealistic demands of the buyer, but Ronnie handled those beautifully. The entire experience was nothing but professional and positive, and I would only recommend Ronnie, Reed, and the entire team to family and friends. I am a client for life.”

 

~ Karen H.

WE FELT COMFORTABLE THROUGHOUT THE HOME BUYING PROCESS! “Ronnie was always willing to spend time with us. Either showing houses or writing emails. Ronnie is very nice and personable and made us feel comfortable.”

 

~ Tom G.

THE DAILY MARKET REPORTS I RECEIVED FROM RICHMOND REGION REALTY HELPED ME KNOW WHAT WAS GOING ON WITH COMPARABLE PROPERTY WHILE MY HOME WAS ON THE MARKET! "I enjoyed the market update emails that I received throughout the selling process."

 

~ Samuel C.

IN TODAY'S WORLD, A REALTOR WITH FLEXIBILITY IS KEY TO THE PROCESS! "Ronnie's flexibility is what we liked the best."

 

~ Wesley H. & Derek F.

RONNIE MANAGED TO GET US OVER SEVERAL ROADBLOCKS TO A SUCCESSFUL CLOSING! “We hit some roadblocks along the way, and I felt like Ronnie really cared about figuring out the best outcome for us. Thanks again for a fantastic service!”

 

~ Victoria H.

I DON’T THINK WE WOULD BE HOMEOWNERS WITHOUT THE HELP OF RICHMOND REGION REALTY! “Our realtor did everything and more to accommodate us throughout the process, and that helped make things a lot less stressful for us. This was a great experience, and without the realtor we had, it wouldn’t have been nearly as enjoyable!”

 

~ Mitchel F.

IF BUYING A HOME, RONNIE IS THE REALTOR YOU WANT! "Very knowledgeable, kind, and appreciative overall."

 

~ Paul & Megan H.

RICHMOND REGION REALTY UNDERSTANDS THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY INSIDE AND OUT! "Fabulous service and excellent knowledge."

 

~ Andrea B.

LOSING SOMEONE IS NOT EASY, RONNIE MADE THE PROCESS OF SELLING MY FATHER’S HOME EASY! “Ronnie went above and beyond to help us during the sale of our father’s property after he passed. He even went with us to the tile store and helped us pick granite countertops and kitchen cabinets.”

 

~ Jeanne B.

I DON’T THINK I WILL EVER USE ANOTHER REALTOR! "Ronnie my realtor is the best."

 

~ Anonymous

IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A REALTOR WHO WILL “GET” THE JOB DONE, YOU NEED TO CALL RONNIE! "My realtor was very attentive to all of my needs as far as becoming a first-time homebuyer. Wonderful!!"

 

~ Stacey S.

FIRST TIME WORKING WITH A REALTOR TO SELL MY HOME. "Ronnie is understanding and very personable!"

 

~ Ruslana R.

SELLING MY HOME WAS SO EASY! "Ronnie keeps his communication open by phone or text, and I always know my questions and needs are addressed."

 

~ Anton P.

IT’S BEEN 10 YEARS SINCE WE PURCHASED A HOME. "We never felt pressured. Always felt Ronnie had our interests as the priority."

 

~ Laura H.

DESERVES THE REALTOR, PLATINUM STAR! “Mr. Burnham was very professional, knowledgeable, courteous, and accommodating during this entire process. His assessment and time investment in the data/analysis was very welcomed, and he assisted us immensely in the process. After working with us on a lengthy process, Mr. Burnham would deserve the Realtor, Platinum Star, if there were such a thing. We greatly appreciate his time, efforts, and patience in helping us to find a property that fit our goals.”

 

~ Robbie W.

EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE! “Excellent customer service; was on the ball about every issue or question I had. I would recommend Ronnie without reservation and will use again in the future.”

 

~ Andrew S.

RICHMOND REGION REALTY KNOWS HOW TO TAKE THE STRESS OUT OF THE HOME BUYING PROCESS! “Ronnie was wonderful to work with during the process of buying our first home. From the time we met until closing, he was readily available to answer my questions or calm my concerns. He was fun and friendly and took much of the stress out of the daunting process of purchasing a first home. I knew he had my best interests in mind the whole time. We love our new home and highly recommend him to anyone looking to buy!”

 

~ Shannon S.

WHEN IT IS TIME TO SELL THIS HOUSE, I WILL BE CALLING RONNIE AGAIN! “Ronnie worked with me for months to find the right house. He spent multiple Saturdays going from house to house and driving the neighborhoods with me. When we did not find a house I liked, he would widen the search to include more houses fitting my criteria. When I finally found the right house, Ronnie helped me find a loan officer and a contractor. I have lived in my house for a year and a half and love it! When it is time to sell this house, I will be calling Ronnie again.”

 

~ Sarah W.

THE RICHMOND REGION REALTY’S NETWORK IS ENDLESS! “Ronald was excellent and efficient in connecting me with another agent in the Miami area that was well informed in expediting the sale of my condo.”

 

~ Richard W.

THE SURPRISES WERE ESPECIALLY ENTERTAINING! “Ronnie did an excellent job showing us so many different options. Also, the surprises were especially entertaining, and it turned out one of your surprises was the choice we made! Again, thank you so much for your help!”

 

~ Vishaka S.

IT WAS A GREAT EXPERIENCE ALL AROUND! “I used Ron’s expertise when purchasing my first home. It was a GREAT experience all around! He was proactive in reaching out to me and always early to appointments. He walked me through the entire process and explained each step in an obvious and understandable way. He knew my needs and suggested homes that he thought I would like. Thanks to his urgency in finding homes that just came onto the market, I was able to find the perfect first home for my family. I would 100% recommend Ron Burnham to ANY person in the market to buy or sell a home.”

 

~ Mandy C.

TOP QUALITIES: PERSONABLE, EXPERT, ON TIME “Ronnie is very good at selling real estate and looks out for his customers! He is very prompt and goes out of his way to do the little things. He met us at our house on the coldest day of the year and didn’t seem to mind at all! I would recommend him to everyone looking to buy real estate!”

 

~ Dave R.

BEST REFERRAL WE’VE EVER RECEIVED! “We were first introduced to Ronnie Burnham in 2011 when we were passively beginning to look for our first home in Richmond. He was extremely patient and helpful as we worked through the pre-approval process and determining the location. Ronnie worked with us to understand exactly what we wanted in our home and when we found “the one,” helped us navigate through a competitive situation to get it. We would highly recommend Ronnie Burnham to first-time and veteran home buyers.”

 

~ Kristyn C.

THIS IS OUR FIRST HOME PURCHASE! “We needed a realtor who would work at our pace. During our search, Ronald showed us numerous properties matching our criteria; provided feedback, history, and other options. Calmly, patiently answered our questions, clarified the housing purchase process, and taught us a variety of topics. He is a determined, organized, fast-paced, and scheduled realtor. Returning phone calls, texts, and emails on time; he is friendly, attentive to customer needs, helpful, and knowledgeable. When I have a question about the property, the first person to call is Ronald; we still keep in touch. It’s been two months since we moved into our house. Thanks for your work, Ron!”

 

~ Anton P.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND WORKING WITH RICHMOND REGION REALTY! “Ronnie’s attention to detail helped me purchase the perfect home.”

 

~ Sam C.

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