Lisa Oleksak-Sullivan - Westfield, MA Real Estate, Longmeadow, MA Real Estate, West Springfield, MA


A home is one of the biggest purchases that an individual can make in his or her lifetime. It also may prove to be expensive, particularly for those who fail to plan ahead for the property buying journey.

There is no need to break your budget to acquire your dream residence. In fact, there are many quick, easy ways to guarantee you can keep you finances in check and avoid the risk of spending too much to purchase your ideal house.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to ensure you can buy a quality house at a budget-friendly price.

1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

You want to buy a home, but you still have no idea how much you can spend on a residence. Thankfully, if you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you can enter the real estate market with a budget in hand. As a result, you will know exactly how much you can spend on a house and can plan accordingly.

Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists who are happy to meet with you. These mortgage specialists can review your income, credit score and other relevant financial data. Then, they can provide you with mortgage options based on your finances.

2. Narrow Your Home Search

Although most people want to buy a mansion, it is important to establish realistic homebuying expectations. Because if you narrow your home search to properties that fall within your price range, you can speed up the property buying journey. Perhaps most important, you can shop around to find a terrific home that corresponds to your budget.

Don't forget to consider homes in a variety of cities and towns too. In some instances, it may prove to be more cost-effective to purchase a house in a small town than a residence in a big city.

3. Evaluate Your Short- and Long-Term Plans

Think about your short- and long-term plans, and you may be better equipped than ever before to map out your home finances for the foreseeable future.

For instance, if you plan to raise a family in the years to come, you may want to consider the costs associated with childcare and other child expenses. This will allow you to budget properly as you search for your dream home.

On the other hand, if you recently accepted a work promotion, your income soon may rise. In this situation, you may be able to increase your homebuying budget due to the fact that extra income will be coming your way.

Lastly, as you get ready to search for a house, you may want to hire a real estate agent. In addition to helping you find a home that matches your budget, a real estate agent will offer expert guidance throughout the property buying journey. He or she will help you prepare for a home inspection, closing and other important steps during the homebuying process. By doing so, a real estate agent will help you seamlessly navigate the homebuying journey and achieve the optimal results.


Home showings are valuable parts of the property buying cycle. If a homebuyer knows what to expect during a showing, this individual can get the information that he or she needs to determine whether a particular house is the right option.

Now, let's take a look at three things that buyers need to know about home showings.

1. A home showing is a commitment-free experience.

There is no obligation to submit an offer to purchase a house following a showing. Instead, a buyer can review his or her options and proceed accordingly.

In some cases, a buyer may want to set up a follow-up home showing as well. A follow-up showing enables a buyer to get a second look at a residence to determine whether it matches or exceeds his or her expectations.

It also may be beneficial to prepare lots of questions before a showing. That way, a buyer can gain deep insights into a home to help him or her decide the best course of action.

2. A home showing enables a buyer to get an up-close look at a house.

During a home showing, a buyer will walk through a house with a real estate agent. A buyer can ask a real estate agent questions about a residence, and he or she may even choose to take notes as the showing progresses.

It generally is a good idea to check out all areas of a house during a showing. Remember, a home purchase probably is one of the biggest decisions that an individual will make in his or her lifetime. With a comprehensive home showing, an individual can gain extensive insights into a residence's age, condition and more.

In addition, a buyer should not place a time limit on a showing. Depending on the size of a home, a showing may last a few minutes or a few hours. But a buyer who allocates the necessary time and resources to analyze a residence during a showing may be better equipped than others to make an informed decision about a house.

3. A home showing is one of many steps during the homebuying journey.

If a home showing is successful, a buyer may be inclined to submit an offer to purchase. Or, if a showing reveals a house fails to hit the mark with a buyer, this individual can continue his or her pursuit of the perfect residence.

Lastly, when it comes to setting up home showings, it often helps to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional will make it simple for a buyer to navigate the property buying journey.

A real estate agent will schedule home showings for buyers and keep buyers up to date about open house events. Plus, a real estate agent will help a buyer submit an offer to purchase a home and ensure that a buyer can seamlessly acquire his or her ideal residence.

Reach out to a real estate agent today, and you can kick off the homebuying journey.


Ready to purchase a condo? No worries, as there are many terrific condos available in cities and towns nationwide.

As a condo buyer, you'll want to do everything possible to ensure you can buy a top-notch property quickly and effortlessly. Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline the process of acquiring your dream condo.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you simplify the condo buying process.

1. Know What You Want Out of the Perfect Condo

Are you looking for a condo in a small town or a big city? Do you want a condo that features a community swimming pool, tennis courts and other deluxe amenities? And how close is a condo to your workplace? These are just some of the questions that you'll want to consider before you kick off your condo search.

An informed condo buyer will know exactly what to look for in the perfect condo. As a result, this condo buyer may be better equipped than others to accelerate his or her property search.

2. Understand Your Price Range

You know that you want to buy a first-rate condo, but what can you afford? With a condo buying budget in hand, you'll be able to estimate your monthly property expenses and plan accordingly.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage may prove to be a great idea. If you meet with several banks and credit unions, you'll be able to learn about all of the mortgage options at your disposal. Then, you can select a mortgage that will enable you to establish a price range for your condo search.

In addition, don't forget to consider any homeowners' association (HOA) fees before you choose a condo. HOA fees cover property maintenance costs and will vary depending on the condo community. Therefore, if you fail to account for these fees before you purchase a condo, they may cause you to exceed your monthly budget.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

Take the risk out of finding a condo that meets or exceeds your expectations by working with a real estate agent – you'll be glad you did.

A real estate agent with condo experience understands what it takes to speed up the search for the perfect property. This real estate professional will go above and beyond the call of duty to help you find a property that you can enjoy for years to come.

Typically, a real estate agent will set up condo showings and keep you up to date about open houses. He or she also will help you submit offers on condos and negotiate with condo sellers on your behalf, ensuring you can manage any challenges during the condo buying process.

A real estate agent will even respond to any condo buying concerns and queries. That way, you can receive expert guidance as you navigate the process of going from condo buyer to condo owner.

Use the aforementioned condo buying tips, and you should have no trouble securing an amazing condo in the near future.


Ready to submit a home loan application? Ultimately, there are many factors to consider before you finalize your submission, and these include:

1. Your Outstanding Debt

If you have outstanding student loan, car or other debt, you should try to pay it off as quickly as possible. By doing so, you can boost your chances of securing a home loan that matches or exceeds your expectations.

Take a look at your outstanding debt and make a plan to pay down your bills. With a plan in place, you may be able to reduce or eliminate outstanding debt before you complete your home loan application.

2. Your Credit Score

A strong credit score will help a homebuyer get a terrific home loan. Conversely, an inferior credit score is unlikely to do you any favors after you submit a home loan application.

Learn about your credit score before you finalize your home loan application. Then, you can allocate the necessary time and resources to boost your credit score or correct any errors on your credit report.

You are eligible for one free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Request a copy of your credit report, and you can understand where your credit score currently stands.

Also, if you find any errors on your credit report, contact the credit reporting bureau that provided the report immediately. This will allow you to correct any credit report mistakes and reduce the risk that these errors could impact your ability to secure a home loan.

3. Your Savings

It never hurts to save money, especially if you'd like to purchase a home in the near future. If you start saving today, you may be better equipped than other homebuyers to have the necessary finances in place for a down payment on a house.

In most instances, lenders will require you to have at least a small portion of the purchase price of a home available for a down payment. If you have thousands of dollars available for a down payment, you may be able to boost your chances of getting a "Yes" from a lender after you submit your home loan application.

Getting a home loan may seem like a long, arduous process. Fortunately, many lenders are available to help you secure a great home loan.

Meet with several lenders as you explore all of your home loan options. That way, you can learn about a broad array of home loan options and choose a home loan that matches your finances perfectly.

After you secure a home loan, you'll be able to move one step closer to securing your dream residence. Of course, if you need assistance during the homebuying journey, it never hurts to reach out to a real estate agent as well.

A real estate agent will do everything possible to help you acquire a top-notch residence at an affordable price. Thus, if you employ a real estate agent, you may be able to enjoy a fast, seamless homebuying experience.


A successful home search enables you to discover your dream residence at a budget-friendly price. However, conducting a successful house search may be difficult, particularly for individuals who fail to prepare for the homebuying journey. Lucky for you, there are many things you can do to prevent problems as you search for your ideal home.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you complete a successful home search.

1. Refine Your Homebuying Criteria

Think about where you want to reside. That way, you can focus on available houses in your preferred cities and towns – something that will allow you to speed up your quest to find your dream home.

Also, consider your homebuying must-haves. If you have always wanted to own a house with a spacious backyard, for instance, you can hone your home search accordingly. On the other hand, if you require a home that features multiple bedrooms, you can search for a residence that matches your expectations.

2. Establish a Homebuying Budget

A homebuying budget is crucial because it helps you understand exactly how much you can spend on a house. If you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you can start your house search with a budget in hand.

Meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. Then, you can find out how different types of mortgages work and select a mortgage that complements your finances.

In addition, ask questions about home financing. Banks and credit unions are happy to help you make an informed mortgage selection. If you analyze your home financing options closely, you can choose a mortgage that will serve you well both now and in the future.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent takes the guesswork out of a home search. In fact, he or she will go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure you can discover your ideal residence without delay.

Oftentimes, a real estate agent makes it easy for a homebuyer to find a terrific house at an affordable price. This housing market professional simplifies a home search and will keep you up to date about residences that match your property buying criteria. Plus, if you want to buy a home, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase your ideal house any time you choose.

With a real estate agent at your side, you can streamline the home closing process as well. A real estate agent will help you finalize a house purchase and ensure you can move into your dream residence as soon as possible. Best of all, if you have any concerns leading up to a home closing, a real estate agent can respond to them right away.

As you get set to search for your dream home, you may want to start planning for the homebuying journey. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can prepare for the homebuying journey and boost the likelihood of quickly finding and acquiring your dream house.




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