Buyer's Guide

From developing your budget to signing your name on the dotted line, learn more about the home buying process.

How to Buy Your First Home in 8 Steps

First Time Home Buyer's Guide

Northern Delaware First Time Home Buyer Guide Get critical information and tips to help you purchase your first home. This report gives you insight on what questions to ask and what pitfalls to avoid to make your transition into homeowner a smooth one. Click below to get your FREE guide

Buying a home can be one of the most exciting experiences of your life. This can be true whether you’ve purchased several homes or you’re preparing to buy for the first time. With the right support system and the help of a trusted RE/MAX® professional, you can make the most informed decisions.

My guide breaks down the steps of buying a home so you can start the process feeling confident and prepared. From developing your budget to signing your name on the dotted line, you’ll find helpful tips right here. Plus, I am here to help every step of the way.

Define Your Goals

Before you start looking, consider why you want to buy a home. Are you tired of renting? Do you want to buy an investment property? Figuring out why you want to purchase a home will help you make important decisions down the road. Considering what you want and need out of your home will help you narrow down your home search as well. What neighborhood do you want to live in? How many bedrooms do you need? Knowing your preferences can help with filtering out homes that don’t fit your criteria.

Pick Your Agent - Chris Pataki, RE/MAX Associates

Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you may ever make. Whether you’re buying your first home, relocating or just moving down the street — you want a trusted professional by your side. Working with Chris can make this process easier, helping guide you through the home search, purchase agreements, inspections, appraisal, settlement and more. Having an agent who has your best interests at heart can ease some of your stress and can help make it go as smoothly as possible. Call Chris.

Get Your Finances in Order

Knowing your budget up front helps you focus your search and can save you both time and stress. Getting pre-approved by a local mortgage lender can help you to determine your financial comfort zone. They can help with a budget, offer multiple types of loan products and even help you find special financing opportunities. Over the years, I have built a group of successful lenders who I can put you in contact with.

Finding the Right House for Your Family

Although most home buyers today start their searches online, visiting houses gives you a better feel for your future home. Get to know the neighborhood, take a test drive to the office or schools your children may attend. Are there things that confirm or change your mind about this house? You won't know if you don't go.

Make an Offer

Once you find a home you’re interested in, your agent can help negotiate a fair offer based on comparable homes in the area. If your offer is accepted, you’ll make a down payment and be officially under contract. During the due-diligence period between signing the purchase agreement and closing on your home, your agent can help you understand the conditions, provisions, and obligations of your contract. They can also help guide you through the appraisal and inspection processes.

Home Inspection

Hire a professional to test all the systems in the house. From rooftop to basement, you want a report card of the house in it's current status. Any system that is in major disrepair or is a safety, health or structural concern should be requested to be repaired or replaced prior to settlement. Other professionals can also be hired to test for the presence of radon, wood destroying insects, as well as testing the functionality of the well, septic and pool systems.

Appraise the Home Value

Your lender will hire an appraiser on your behalf to ensure that the value of the property is commensurate with the funds being loaned for the house. Additional stringent visual observations are placed on appraisals for government backed loans. There are many safety issues noted that the your lender will require repaired prior to releasing funds for your loan. Most of the time, the seller will make the repairs to ensure continuity of the sale process.

Close on Your Home

This is the final step of your home buying journey. Closing is the official transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer. At closing, you will sign your mortgage paperwork to solidify your purchase. From there, you officially become a homeowner and will be handed the keys to your new home so you can begin making memories.

The Tools to Help You Find Your Home

Once you’ve defined your home search goals, discussed them with your RE/MAX agent, and have spoken with a mortgage professional to see what your buying power is — you’re ready to find your dream home! In addition to my local knowledge as a real estate agent, I offer online tools that can help make your initial search as easy as possible.


Find a Home Using My Interactive Map Search

I know that location plays an important role in the home buying process. Use the map search available on my website to view homes located in or near the area you love.


Get to Know the Neighborhood

Feel confident and informed about your neighborhood choice! On any listing page, you can learn more about the communities you are interested in, including a breakdown of the local population, school ratings and more.


Create an Account on My Website

Sign up for an account on my website to save searches, favorite homes you love, receive real time property alerts, and more!


Download My RE/MAX Mobile App

Available for iOS and Android devices, my app brings the same experience found on my website to your smartphone or tablet. Save searches, favorite listings and schedule showings — all while on the go!

Contact Me to Learn More.

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