Tim Garvey | Winchester Real Estate, Medford Real Estate, Woburn Real Estate, Stoneham Real Estate


Purchasing a second home should be a fun, exciting experience. Yet homebuyers who fail to consider where they want to pursue a second residence may struggle to achieve their desired results.

If you know you want to buy a second home, it often helps to narrow your house search to residences in a select group of cities and towns. Then, you can evaluate available residences in your preferred cities and towns and boost the likelihood of finding a house that you can enjoy for years to come.

Of course, determining which cities and towns where you want to pursue a second house can be difficult. Yet there are lots of things you can do to hone your house search, including:

1. Evaluate Your Homebuying Budget

Your finances likely will play a major role in your ability to pursue and acquire a second residence. As such, you should examine your finances closely so you can establish a homebuying budget.

If you have paid the mortgage on your current house, focus on the mortgage costs associated with a second home. For example, if you want to find out how much you can afford to pay for a second home, you can meet with bank and credit union mortgage specialists. This will allow you to get pre-approved for a mortgage so you can enter the real estate market with a budget in hand.

Comparatively, if you still have a mortgage on your present house, you should consult with your lender. This will allow you to determine if you qualify for a second mortgage. Also, you can get financial guidance so you can figure out where to search for a second house that falls in line with your finances.

2. Establish a Homebuying Timeline

Think about when you want to acquire a second residence. Next, you can create a homebuying timeline to help you achieve your desired homebuying goal.

A homebuying timeline should remain flexible. If you want to purchase a second home in the mountains, for example, you should account for the time it may take to transport various personal belongings to this residence. And if problems arise that delay your efforts to acquire a second home, you should be ready to adjust your homebuying timeline as needed.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

Let's face it – buying a second home is rarely simple, regardless of your property buying expertise. But if you hire a real estate agent, you can receive extensive assistance as you search for a second residence.

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of the housing market. He or she will share real estate market insights with you, along with providing tips and recommendations. As a result, a real estate agent will help you find a second home in your preferred city or town as quickly as possible.

Take the guesswork out of finding and buying a second home in the city or town of your choice – use the aforementioned tips, and you could streamline your quest to acquire a second residence that matches your expectations.


After you accept a homebuyer's offer on your residence, he or she likely will complete a home inspection. Then, the homebuyer may choose to move forward with the home purchase, rescind or modify his or her offer or ask the home seller to complete home improvements.

Ultimately, a home seller is likely to have many questions following a home inspection, including:

1. What did the homebuyer discover during the home inspection?

As a home seller, it is important to do everything possible to enhance your residence before you add it to the real estate market. By doing so, you can boost your chances of generating substantial interest in your house. Plus, when a homebuyer performs a home inspection, he or she is unlikely to find any problems that may slow down the home selling process.

An informed home seller may conduct a home appraisal prior to listing his or her house on the real estate market. This appraisal enables a home seller to identify potential trouble areas within a residence and explore ways to address such problems.

If you failed to perform a home appraisal, there is no need to worry. For home sellers, it is important to see a home inspection as a learning opportunity. And if a homebuyer identifies problems with your residence during a home inspection, you should try to work with him or her to resolve these issues.

2. Should I stand my ground after a home inspection?

Be realistic after a home inspection, and you'll be able to make the best decision about how to proceed.

For example, a home seller who goes above and beyond the call of duty may address major home problems prior to listing his or her house on the real estate market. This home seller will dedicate the necessary time and resources to correct home problems and ensure a homebuyer is able to purchase a top-notch residence.

But what happens if a homebuyer identifies problems during a home inspection, despite the fact that a home seller already tried to correct various home issues?

A home seller should consider the homebuyer's inspection report findings closely. If minor home repairs are needed, he or she may be able to fix these problems to move forward with a home sale. Or, if a homebuyer is making exorbitant demands, a home seller may feel comfortable allowing the homebuyer to walk away from a home sale.

3. How should I proceed after a home inspection?

A home inspection can be stressful for both a home seller and a homebuyer. After the home inspection is completed, both parties will be better equipped than ever before to make informed decisions.

If a homebuyer encounters many problems with a residence, he or she will let the home seller know about these issues. Then, a home seller can complete assorted home repairs, offer a discounted price on a home or refuse to perform the requested home maintenance.

Working with a real estate agent is ideal for a home seller, particularly when it comes to home inspections. A real estate agent will negotiate with a homebuyer on your behalf and ensure you streamline the home selling process.


The homebuying journey may be long and arduous, regardless of whether you're pursuing a house for the first time. However, if you bring your A-game to the homebuying journey, you can speed up the process of finding and acquiring your dream residence.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you bring your A-game to the homebuying journey.

1. Establish Homebuying Criteria

There is no need to waste time and resources as you search for your ideal residence. Thankfully, with homebuying criteria in hand, you can streamline your home search.

Consider the cities and towns where you may want to reside. Then, you can narrow your house search to a select group of cities and towns.

Also, think about the features you want in your dream house. If you want to own a residence that offers a beautiful outdoor swimming pool, for example, you can hone your house search accordingly. Or, if you require a home that provides multiple spacious bedrooms, you can pursue houses that match your criteria.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Pre-approval for a mortgage is paramount, particularly for homebuyers who want to know exactly how much they can spend on a residence. If you meet with banks and credit unions, you can get pre-approved for a mortgage in no time at all.

Of course, when you meet with banks and credit unions, don't hesitate to ask home financing questions. Banks and credit unions employ knowledgeable home financing professionals who can teach you about the differences between fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages and much more. As such, these professionals can help you make an informed mortgage selection.

You should consult with a variety of banks and credit unions, too. That way, you can learn about all of the mortgage options at your disposal and choose a mortgage that suits you perfectly.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

Ultimately, there is no reason to work alone when you search for your ideal home. But if you hire a real estate agent, you can receive expert guidance as you navigate the homebuying journey.

A real estate agent knows the ins and outs of the housing market and is happy to share his or her homebuying insights with you. Plus, a real estate agent will craft a plan to help you quickly discover your dream home. And if you are concerned about acquiring a house at the lowest-possible price, a real estate agent is ready to negotiate with a home seller on your behalf as well.

Furthermore, a real estate agent can guide you through the home closing cycle. He or she will help you finalize your home purchase and ensure you can relocate to a new house without delay.

Bringing your A-game to the homebuying journey can make a world of difference in any housing market. By using the aforementioned tips, you can simplify your home search and accelerate the process of acquiring your dream residence.


Buying a house is never a simple decision. Aside from all of the financial aspects of purchasing a home, there are numerous life-related considerations you’ll need to think about. So, it comes as little surprise that diving head on into the house hunting process can be stressful and taxing to the home buyer.

With all of the different numbers to keep track of--a down payment, closing costs, credit scores, interest rates, and so on--it’s easy to get lost in the finer details of your budget. This can lead to even more stress as you try to navigate your way through getting approved for a mortgage and shopping for the perfect home.

In this article, we’re going to give you some tips on how to maintain your budget and reduce stress throughout the home buying process. That way, when you do finally find the house you’ve been waiting for, you’ll be able to move forward confidently.

Trust the process

Many first-time home buyers enter the real estate market with little knowledge or experience of how things work. Any newcomer to such a huge and complex industry is bound to be flustered with all of the different options available to them.

However, much of the home buying process is relatively standardized. Real estate agents all make roughly the same commission, lenders use similar algorithms to decide how much of a loan you’ll be approved for, and real estate contracts contain legal safeguards and contingencies to ensure that you and the seller’s interests are protected.

When shopping for a mortgage or getting pre-approved, it’s a good idea to ask friends, family, or read reviews online to find someone you know you can trust. From there, rely on the experts to lead you through the process.

Have a long-term plan

Much of the stress and anxiety around buying a home comes from the uncertainty of the future. Sitting down with your family and significant other and deciding your long-term goals for homeownership is a good way to build confidence and know that you’re making the right choice.

Determining things like location, the number of years you want to live in a home, and what priorities are the most important (school districts, neighborhood safety, etc.) will help you make that plan a reality.

Use the tools at your disposal

If you’re reading this article, you already have started to take advantage of one of the most important resources you have, the internet. Look up real estate terminology you’re unfamiliar with, read up on the different types of mortgages, and take advantage of free online calculators to create what-if scenarios to find out what you might end up paying in closing costs and interests.

It’s also a good idea to check your credit score for free online. You can check your official reports once per year, but for simple credit checks you can look it up each month for free.

Knowing that you’re in good hands with a lender and agent, that you have a basic understanding of industry terms, that you have a long-term plan, and that your finances are in order will all help set your mind at ease and give you confidence as you move forward toward homeownership.


The kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in a home. Not just a place to cook meals it’s also often the entrance to a home and where families gather together at the end of the day. Arguably, it’s also the most important room in the home and the one home buyers should be most astute of.

The kitchen is one of the most expensive rooms to remodel ranging between $20,000 and $50,000. Whether you’re eager for some renovation projects or looking for a move-in ready home, you’ll want to assess the level of work this room will need as your shop potential houses.

Start with perhaps the most obvious - is the room large enough for your daily needs? Is there plenty of counter space or room to expand cabinetry? Do you have a lot of kitchen tools that call for plenty of storage space or perhaps prefer an island to prep dinner at? Know what your ideal kitchen space ahead of time, especially if it is a priority, so your realtor can help you find the perfect fit.

Check that all appliances to ensure they are in working order as per the disclosure statement claims. Appliances are a big expense and you’ll want to have a good idea of what will need replacing or to be installed. Consider if they are an easy color to match when it comes time for replacement and if any are under warranty.

You’ll also want to examine the cabinetry. Check to ensure all drawers and cabinets are properly aligned and open smoothly. If they are wooden cabinets you can easily swap out hardware or change the color if you’re not a fan of the current style. However, other materials are not as convenient so consider replacement costs if you’re unhappy with the current installation.

Countertops can be another major expense. Have the granite countertops been properly taken care of? If they are laminate are they scratched or chipped? If this isn’t an upgrade you’re looking to make, be sure to look closely at what each home already has in place.

Kitchens are one of the busiest rooms in your home, especially if you love to cook. Check flooring for loose tiles, discoloration or poorly maintained wood flooring. This tells you a few things. Firstly, the quality of the materials used to build the home. And secondly, how well the house has been maintained over time.

Remodeling isn’t on everyone's list when house shopping. And with kitchen’s being one of the most expensive to renovate, this is one room you want to pay extra attention to as you view each potential home. Happy house hunting!




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