Being a first time buyer is an exciting time in your life. You’ve done a credit check, pre-approved your mortgage, and perhaps even started looking around for your potential home. Hiring a realtor can make the process easier for you. Real estate agents, however, are not created equal. Like a home itself, you have to find one that suits your needs and can cater to what you want. Here are a few things to ask a potential realtor during an interview:

  1. How many years have you been in the business?

Ask him or her for how long he’s been an agent. Not only that, it may also be important to inquire whether he or she is doing it only part time or considers it a full time business venture. This can make a whole world of difference.

  1. What types of properties do you usually deal with?

Consider what properties the real estate agent handles most of the time, and whether his or her clients are usually categorized into these types of properties. This will help you spot and expert in, say, small suburban homes or upscale city apartments. Knowing whether he or she has experience in dealing with property that you are looking for will help you find the perfect match.

  1. Can you give references?

Ask for references whom you can ask and contact these references. There is nothing like a personal feedback from a former client to answer questions the realtor might not have necessarily answered directly.

  1. How will you communicate with me?

Good communication can make any transaction smoother. In the process of buy and sell, it can mean a missed opportunity or a great deal. It is important to have a realtor that is a good communicator and will keep you up to speed with the progress of your transaction.

Remember that a good relationship with your realtor can make the process significantly less stressful. Happy hunting!



The entire process of purchasing a home can be very stressful. There are a lot of things to consider and prepare for. From finances to a host of other factors to think about, including which neighborhood to buy a house in, it could get overwhelming. Here are a few tips in choosing the neighborhood that best fits your needs:

  1. Transportation

Do you commute? F yes, how accessible is this neighborhood to the bus station or the underground? If youdrive your own car, how’s the traffic in the area? Knowing this crucial information will save you a lot of hair-pulling moments

  1. Access to necessities

Is there a grocery store nearby? Do you have access to a pharmacy or an emergency room just in case? How about the banking situation? Proximity to these institutions is important not only for convenience, but for overall quality of life. Consider whether it is possible to go on a quick run to the grocery store or buy emergency allergy medication. Knowing these places are near can give you peace of mind.

  1. Access to entertainment

Are there any malls or restaurants in the area? Are there parks where you can unwind in? Beaches? Knowing what time of recreation you enjoy can improve your overall quality of life and satisfaction. This is a subjective factor, since some may prefer theatres and malls to parks and beaches, so it is important to consider what your idea of fun is.

  1. Proximity to loved ones.

How close you are to family and friends can also be a great determiner in choosing which neighborhood to move into. Can your friends visit on the weekends? Does your family stay for a night or two? How close do you want to be? It’s entirely up to you.

  1. Safety and Security

Of course, it is imperative to choose a neighborhood that is relatively safe. Check local newspapers and ask around in the neighborhood for creepy stories or crime reports. Steer clear of neighborhoods that have shady business.



A roof is an essential part of your home. It protects you from the elements, provides extra insulation, and of course adds beauty to it. Being picky a to what type of roof you need for your home is important, as it can be expensive to do roof repairs and it can cause you so much frustration. Here are a few things that might help you in the process:

  • How long will it last?

Determine the type of climate you are in and choose a roof that would cater to that. The slope and material also falls under this question, as the durability of your roof is tied up with its ability to hold up to whatever will be thrown at it by nature.  It is also important to note whether the materials are eco-friendly and recyclable. Green architecture is the entire trend these days, so we do not lack for eco-friendly options. Scout around for good deals with more value.

  • Will the look complement the style of the house?

Your roof is the single most noticeable thing in the entire house. It can make or break the aesthetic of the house, so it is important to choose a style and color that does not clash with the rest of the design. It may be best to consult an architect for this, but anyone with an eye for design can judge whether a certain colors match or certain materials would complement. It would be best to choose a color that is not too loud and would complement a variety of colors in case you decide to repaint in the future.

  • How much does it cost?

Ah, the price. It is never good to break the bank if you can help it. Unless the roof needs major repair or replacement, go for a modestly priced option make sure only the necessities are covered. It is so easy to go over the top, but make sure you first cover the essentials before you add a little extras.



Setting up the home probably the single most fun part of owning property. The home is a reflection of those who live in it, and therefore it is constantly changing and evolving together with its owners. If you’re up for something new and exciting in your home, here are a few tips to spice it up:


Upcycling is not a new term to most of us, what with Pinterest and DIY blogs that are flooding the internet right now. You can reuse and repurpose your old stuff for different uses, decorate them, and never even spend anything! It’s such a creative outlet that you’ll enjoy.



A theme can be anything from a color scheme or a vibe you’re going for in your home. For example, you may go for a neutral theme and work around it by choosing white, grey and soft brown in your curtains, linens, and carpeting. This is a very calming color scheme and looks great on photos! However, if you have toddlers running around, it might not be a good idea! You can opt for an artsy-fartsy theme around the house, pairing mismatched chairs with a dining table, colorful mugs and glasses from different sets, quirky cutler and the like. This is a chance to get your creative juices out! The possibilities are endless.


The carpet is the great unifier of your home. It aids the flow of the spaces and rooms and makes them into a cohesive whole. Changing up the carpet can liven up the look for your home or totally give it a makeover. You may choose to replace the carpet with a different texture, pattern, or color.



Repainting walls and facades, or even retiling the roof can give your house a whole new soul. It breathes a different life into your home and can be just the thing you need to fall in love with it again!



Deciding to buy your first home is a huge milestone. Nothing feels quite as fulfilling as owning property using money you’ve worked hard for. Because this is a big investment, you’ll want to be careful to make the right decisions before buying your own home. Before you run off to make your purchase, make sure to run through the following things and ensure a trouble-free home purchasing process:

  • Make sure buying a home is for you

Are you planning to move in a year or two? Is your job unstable? Is it cheaper to rent in your city? If you answered yes to any of those questions, it may be wise to reconsider buying a home.

  • Credit check

Do a credit check or make sure you have enough cash to give 20% down payment. Having enough for the down payment is a good indicator that you are ready to purchase your new home.

  • Pre-qualify for mortgage

This will help you gauge what price range of houses you can afford and will save you a lot of time and heartache when looking around.

  • Find a good realtor

Finding a good realtor can make your entire home-buying process easier. He or she should listen to all your wants and needs and suggest good options, or look around for a better fit for you. Make sure to cross check and research for a trusted realtor. Friends and family may have recommendations, so it would be good to ask them as well.

  • Request a home inspection

This is a crucial part. Do not scrimp on the home inspections as it can save you thousands for repairs. Home inspections are paid, and they will look for deal breakers that may not be obvious at first glance. Mold, problematic foundation, and a roof that needs to be replaced are one of the few things that they may find.