Posted by JoAnn M. Drabble on 2/5/2019

Are you thinking about buying your first home but completely overwhelmed with where to even begin?

Buying your first home is a big, and exciting, decision. It’s also one that comes with a big learning curve you need to get down quickly.

There are many steps to the process and even though your agent is always here to help you and give advice it’s critical you do your own research. You want to be able to take action quickly when you find your dream home. To do this you will need to be able to keep up with the process by having everything done neatly, orderly and on time.

So where to start?

Start here:

Start by sitting down with your budget. What do your current finances look like? What sort of wiggle room for spending do you have? What can you afford for a monthly mortgage payment?

And perhaps more importantly, do you have enough saved to cover a down payment and closing costs? Depending on which programs you qualify for you don’t necessarily have to put the traditional 20% down. With that said, you should know how much you would need to put down and if you have money in the bank to cover those costs.

Smooth out any credit snags. Your credit score doesn’t need to be out of this world, but it should reflect that you are actively improving and financially responsible.

Find a mortgage professional you trust to help you make the right moves throughout the process. Again, you want to be able to take action quickly once you find a home you love. And you don’t want to miss out because your mortgage professional hasn’t prioritized you.

You will also want to have a preapproval prepared, with the help of your mortgage professional, when you are ready to start looking at houses. Having a pre-approval in hand shows your agent that you are serious about this process.

Calculate the costs. Yes, more math! You will want to take into consideration real estate taxes, HOA fees, home repairs and maintenance as you refine your budget to see which homes make the most sense for your lifestyle.

When looking at homes focus on the “bones” of the house. Look past paint, hideous wallpaper and yes even the granite countertops. Are there enough bedrooms? Bathrooms? A laundry room? Is there enough garage space and driveway? Do you like the floor plan? The neighborhood?

Know what’s important to you. In an ideal world, you will find a home that ticks off every item on your wishlist. And not to say that it’s entirely impossible, but know which items on your list are negotiable. Which are you willing to budge on and which are make or break?





Posted by JoAnn M. Drabble on 11/21/2017

If you’re moving into a new place and own little to no furniture, you may wonder what’s really essential to purchase as you furnish each room. Read on to discover what you really should be looking for when you head out furniture shopping. 


Side Tables 


These tables are incredibly useful in the home. Whether it’s in the living room, the bedroom, the bathroom, or a family room, you’re going to need these tables. They come in different shapes and sizes and are used for placing beverages on, storing small items in, or showing off pictures and decorative pieces. The most important aspect of side tables is symmetry. Make sure that each table is slightly taller than the sofa arm and that they are the same height. It really helps to buy matching side tables and not purchase them as individual pieces.


A Love Seat


Loveseats are much more versatile than sofas because they can fit more places. Loveseats can exist on their own, or be a part of a bigger picture furniture set up. You can place a love seat just about anywhere in your home from the bedroom to the living room, to a dining room. It provides cozy, comfortable seating that’s out of the ordinary from the rest of the room’s features. 


Flexible Seating Chairs


These chairs are also referred to as “occasional chairs.” They bring an unexpected piece into any room. Use them in your entryway, dining room, office, bedroom, or breakfast nook. The only requirement in these chairs‘ design that you should look for is that they are easy to move and lightweight. 


Armless Chairs


These chairs also referred to as “slipper chairs,” are versatile and easy to sit in. They’re great for everyone from children right on through to the elderly. You can use one of these chairs in just about any room from the living room to the dining room to the bedroom. The smaller size you get one of these chairs in, the more versatile it will be in your home.


A Dresser


A dresser can be used in more than just your bedroom to store clothes in. These incredibly useful pieces have a place throughout your home in every room from the bedroom to the dining room, the living room, or the bathroom. The reason bureaus are so versatile is that they provide a type of “hidden” storage in style. Often, the dresser appears as if it were a part of the room, to begin with. You can use more than one bureau and use them for multiple purposes.                










Categories: Decorating   first home  




JoAnn M. Drabble