Buying Your First Home


So, you’re close to buying your first home. Few things are more exciting than a home purchase for adults, but the process can be daunting. After all, there are so many factors to consider, not to mention it’s one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make! That said, taking the steps necessary to become a homeowner can go smoothly with a bit of research and planning. DUFFY Realty walks through the basics of buying your first home so that you know what to expect:


Look at Homes You Can Realistically Afford

Your first task is to research homes that fit within your budget. You’ll need to look at listings and get an idea of market prices in the area where you’d like to live.  You also need to understand how much money you have saved for a down payment and how much you can afford each month for mortgage payments and other housing costs (e.g., taxes, insurance, maintenance fees, etc.). Working with a financial planner or lender will help you determine an appropriate price range for your needs and means.  DUFFY Realty has lenders for all types of circumstances.  We will help you get your money in order!


Know What Costs To Budget For


Knowing the costs involved in homeownership is crucial. We already mentioned a few — down payment, taxes, and insurance — but there may be others, depending on your specific circumstances.  Along with saving up for the actual down payment on your home (which is typically around 20% of the purchase price), set aside funds for closing costs, legal fees, title insurance, inspection and appraisal fees, and more. Yes, it adds up!  But don’t worry, DUFFY Realty will make buying your first home easy with our proprietary tools.


Getting a home warranty is another cost to consider. With so many providers making different offers, it can be hard to know which one will give you the best coverage and value. Do your research and read reviews before making a decision; it’s always best to be informed before committing to any particular provider or policy. Moreover, make sure it’s easy to contact customer service if something goes wrong or you need help filing a claim. 


Connect With an Experienced Realtor


Once you’ve determined how much house you can afford and saved up enough money for all the associated expenses, it’s time to contact an experienced realtor to guide you through the rest of the process. Having a real estate agent by your side throughout the journey will ensure no details slip through the cracks and that all paperwork is completed correctly. An experienced realtor like DUFFY Realty can also provide insight into neighborhoods or buildings that might not stand out in online searches alone.  With over 22 years of experience and over 40k happy clients – we have seen it all!


Make a Good Offer on the Home  


Now to the fun part — making an offer on your desired property! Before submitting an offer letter, be sure to research comparable sales to get an idea of what is considered fair market value in that specific area. That way, there won’t be any surprises or disappointments when negotiating the price with the seller because both parties will have realistic expectations going in. Further, don’t sign off on anything until you’ve included all relevant contingencies (e.g., financing, clear title, home insurance, etc.) in your offer.  Once again, DUFFY Realty has a Timeline that walks you through ALL the steps and makes sure that you are in charge and comfortable with each one.   We walk hand-in-hand with you.  


Get the Property Inspected and Appraised 


After making an offer, it’s time to get everything inspected and appraised. This involves bringing professionals in to check out things like plumbing, electrical, structural, and HVAC systems, which will let you know if anything needs fixing prior to the closing date.


Additionally, getting the property appraised by professionals will ensure that you don’t overpay and that you get fair market value for your purchase. Appraisals can also help lenders determine how much they’re willing to lend based on house value and current market conditions, so be sure not to skip a step!




Buying your first home is no small feat. It requires you to research, plan, budget, and work closely with experienced professionals, just like DUFFY Realty. But the good news is that it doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you know what steps you need to take from start to finish. Use this guide as your foundation, and get excited about launching into this next chapter!


Do you want to buy or sell a home in the greater Atlanta area? Contact Duffy Realty today! (678) 318-1700


Written by Patrick Young, a real estate activist, and educator.