“Hi!  I saw this house for sale that I really love and I would like to put an offer, can you help me out?”  When I get these types of calls during first year in Real Estate, I jumped for joy!  Wow! It’s going to be easy, all I need is to write an offer on the buyer’s behalf and the rest will follow.  Well, wishful thinking and you have to be careful.  Even if you buy in cash; buying a house needs a lot of preparation and it’s a process.  Unless you are a professional investor who knows real estate in and out, then you should be fine.
     First thing first:  Most of us need financing.  Take care of your credit report and history for at least three years; better yet, since you stepped in American soil. You have a stable job, been here in the US and filed Income Tax Returns for at least two consecutive years.  Those are the basic and a professional loan officer or bank will help you out in case you have special cases.  Try to save as much as possible for a down payment, closing and moving costs.  Be gentle with your credit card purchases and try not to open new ones.  You may close some store credit cards you have not been using or limit your credit cards into major ones which you have been using for years. Do not purchase big amounts like cars or even co-borrowed.  Remember, you are trying to project the good guy here so lenders will trust you for your big investment.
     Next step:  When you think you are ready, get a loan officer or lender on your side.  They will be the one to identify if you are qualified, for how much and which one is affordable.  This is not a guessing game and you have to lay all your cards on the table so they can help you the best they can.  Nobody can help you if you don’t even want to give your Social Security Number.  If you don’t know anybody, ask around from your friends.  Referral is the best ones since they were already trusted and proven by people you know.  You can do rule of three, shop around three companies until you get the best rate which can work perfectly for your case.
     Then:  Get the services of a Real Estate Agent whom will be your best friend from now on.  Again, the best choice is always a referral from your friends and family.  You will spend after office hours and weekends looking for potential homes based on your approval, budget and lifestyle.  You will be talking and texting even on late nights discussing all angles and helping each other to come out with the best choice and decision.
      The Big Winner!!  You decided to put an offer.  This is the only time that first sentence on this article will be handy.  Don’t get overwhelm, that’s how it is because the big investment of your life needs to be carefully planned and you have professionals on your side.  Sometimes we get confused because we get too much information and that affect us more than help.
There may be some more in betweens and these are basic facts as to home buying.  You will learn more as you go on but the most important thing is you have done your homework.  You have trusted people on your side and you are ready to go.
     Next topic:  Details you should look in a home before you buy.

Note: Jocelyn Porteria is a Realtor® licensed in VA. Top Producer of Fairfax Realty and earning Five-Star Reviews from her clients. She earned a designation of ASP, Accredited Staging Professional; ABR, Accredited Buyer’s Specialist; CDPE Certified Distressed Property and Short Sale Expert, (SFR) Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource. For more info, visit her website at and on Facebook Call her at 571-432-8335 or email at for free confidential consultations.


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