Aurel Garban - Unlimited Sotheby's International Realty


If you have always wanted to own a second home in the mountains, near the beach or just about anywhere else, now may be the ideal time to transform your dream into a reality. The housing market offers many opportunities for property buyers – even those who already own a residence. If you understand what it takes to navigate the homebuying journey, you could quickly and effortlessly purchase a second house that matches or exceeds your expectations.

Ultimately, there are lots of things you can do to streamline your search for a second residence, such as:

1. Get Your Finances in Order

If you still have a mortgage on your current residence, there is no need to stress. In fact, by consulting with a mortgage specialist, you can evaluate your home financing options as you prepare to search for a second house.

Mortgage specialists are available at banks and credit unions, and they understand the ins and outs of home financing. Thus, mortgage specialists can help you analyze your current mortgage, establish a homebuying budget and determine the optimal financing option for a second house.

Of course, if your current house's mortgage is paid in full, mortgage specialists can still help you get ready to launch a search for a second residence. If you collaborate with mortgage specialists, you can get the help you need to immediately obtain financing to acquire a second house.

2. Narrow Your Home Search

You know you want to buy a second house – now, you just need to hone your house search based on your individual needs. If you focus on residences in a select group of cities and towns, you may quickly discover a wonderful house that you can enjoy for years to come.

As you consider potential cities and towns where you want to purchase a second home, think about your short- and long-term goals, too. By doing so, you can boost the likelihood of finding a second house that will suit you perfectly both now and in the future.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

For those who want to acquire a second home sooner rather than later, hiring a real estate agent is a must. Because if you have a friendly, knowledgeable real estate agent at your side, you can minimize the risk of encountering roadblocks that otherwise could slow down your homebuying journey.

A real estate agent is happy to teach you about the housing market in your preferred cities and towns. Plus, he or she can offer expert recommendations about how much to offer to pay for a residence you want to acquire. And if you have concerns or questions as you pursue a second home, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them right away.

Take the guesswork out of finding and purchasing a second residence – use the aforementioned tips, and you could speed up your search for a second house.


No one wants to face a homebuying dilemma. Yet problems may arise during the homebuying journey that make it tough for an individual to find and buy his or her dream residence. Lucky for you, we're here to help you prepare for potential homebuying dilemmas and ensure you can quickly address these issues.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you avoid a homebuying dilemma as you search for your ideal house.

1. Craft a Homebuying Strategy

If you intend to embark on a home search, it often helps to enter the real estate market with a plan in hand. That way, you can streamline your house search and boost the likelihood of finding a quality home that matches your expectations.

Think about where you want to live, as well as the features you want to find in your dream home. Then, you can create a homebuying strategy designed to help you discover the right house.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Obtaining home financing may prove to be problematic for some people. However, if you apply for a mortgage today, you can start your search for your dream home with a budget at your disposal.

There is no shortage of mortgage options available to homebuyers nationwide. Adjustable- and fixed-rate mortgages are two of the most popular options for homebuyers. Meanwhile, banks and credit unions can teach you about adjustable- and fixed-rate mortgages and other home financing options at your convenience.

If you meet with banks and credit unions, don't hesitate to ask mortgage questions, either. If you learn about all of your mortgage options, you can make an informed home financing selection that may serve you well for years to come.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

There is no telling when a homebuying dilemma will crop up during your search for your dream residence. Fortunately, if you hire a real estate agent, you can receive expert assistance with any homebuying dilemma, at any time.

A real estate agent understands the challenges commonly associated with buying a home. Therefore, he or she will do everything possible to help you address these challenges as you navigate the homebuying journey.

Typically, a real estate agent will help you craft a property buying strategy, narrow your home search and establish realistic homebuying expectations. He or she also will set up home showings, teach you about different aspects of the housing market and provide homebuying recommendations and suggestions.

If you discover your dream residence, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive offer to purchase this home too. And if your homebuying proposal is approved, a real estate agent will help you finalize your house purchase as quickly as possible.

There is no need to stress about homebuying dilemmas. If you take advantage of the aforementioned tips, you can get ready for potential homebuying problems and resolve these issues before they escalate.


Photo by Clker-Free-Vector-Images via Pixabay


When you purchase real estate, you must put down a good faith deposit. Several factors determine how much you will need to put down, but it could be as little as $100. In order to have a valid contract, the contract must have “consideration,” or something of value exchanged for the contract. The good faith money also shows a seller that you are serious about purchasing the property.

Who Holds the Good Faith Money?

You usually give the good faith money to your real estate agent. The agent puts the money into an escrow account. If you are buying a newly built home, you might give the good faith money to the builder. However, if you are working with a real estate agent to buy a newly built home, in most cases, it’s better to give the deposit to the real estate agent.

Is Good Faith Money Refundable?

In most cases, your good faith money is not refundable. This ensures that you are serious about buying the property and not just “tire kicking.” However, a real estate purchase contract has several exceptions. In addition to the exceptions that might be in the contract, you can add your own as long as the seller agrees. The most common exceptions are your ability to get financing and that the seller did not misrepresent the condition of the home. As long as you can meet an exception, your money is refundable.

How Much Is a Good Faith Deposit?

Most sellers like to see at least $1,000 down. However, a seller might require a percentage of the selling price. Whichever amount the seller wants, it must be stated in the purchase agreement. If you want to change the amount of the good faith money, the seller has to agree to it or you won’t have a contract.

What Happens to My Good Faith Deposit?

Once you close, the real estate agent forwards the money to the seller as part of your down payment. The amount is shown on your closing documents and is subtracted from the final agreed-upon selling price of the home. For example, you buy a house that is $250,000 and you put down $5,000 as good faith money. Your lender requires 20 percent down, so you give the lender $50,000 at closing. Your documents will show that you paid a total of $55,000, so your loan will be $195,000 plus closing costs.

The closing costs could be subtracted from your down payment, the good faith deposit or added back into the loan, depending on what you and your lender agree to. Regardless, the amount of your down payment is $55,000, even if some of it is used for closing costs.

If you have any questions about how your real estate agent handles your good faith deposit, be sure to ask. You should always ask about exceptions to ensure you can get your money back if the loan does not go through or if the house was misrepresented by the seller and/or their agent.



 Photo by Gerd Altmann via Pixabay

There comes a time when family members must confront the realities of aging. It’s not uncommon for our parents and grandparents to still be living in properties that once housed multiple family members. The upkeep required for such residencies can place an undue burden on our elders, and downsizing remains a logical solution. That brings us to what everyday people need to know about how to help loved ones relocate, so they can enjoy their golden years to the fullest.

Have A Family Conversation About Moving

It’s not uncommon for well-meaning people to get frustrated when elders resist the notion of change. However, the sometimes difficult conversation about a valued elder’s diminishing ability to maintain a household must be approached with compassion and express the underlying loving intentions.

Keep in mind that they may have deep emotional connections to family homes, and you may be part of those feelings. From a parent or grandparent's perspective, leaving that place involves no longer living in a space where children took their first steps and other milestones. These connections are genuine, and it’s essential to bridge the conversation with facts, as well as feelings. These are items to discuss with great sensitivity.

  • Downsizing Provides A Manageable Space
  • Moving Could Bring Family Members Closer Together
  • The Process Is About Returning The Care You Received

It’s crucial to listen attentively to the emotional and fact-based issues that your elders bring up. Finding adequate resolutions can go a long way to laying the groundwork for a smooth transition.

Put Together A Moving Day Plan

Because the move is likely to include downsizing, creating a plan about what happens to items that will not make the trip remains a vital first step. Your loved one may have sentimental attachments to bulky furniture and a garage filled with boxed memories. Finding a suitable home for items that are not sellable or discardable is a must. Talking to your elder family members about passing on important heirlooms and keepsakes can yield a positive result. Other items might be good candidates for a self-storage unit. 

Tips

Sort And Organize

Securing items in labeled boxes that designate a particular room generally improves moving logistics. This process often requires more time and energy than the actual move and unpacking. Gathering friends and relatives to work through this labor-intensive aspect can streamline the time and make it more enjoyable for all. It’s sort of like a mini family gathering and worth a potluck meal or ordering pizza.

Moving Day Matters

Having appropriate-sized moving vehicles and enough strong backs are absolutely necessary. Successful moves often enlist a few extra friends to account for no-shows and the possibility of underestimating the amount of labor needed. Pack the vehicles with diligent care to minimize breaks and damage.

Efficient unloading entails placing each labeled box in its respective room for unpacking. It may be worthwhile to select a few team members to immediately begin unpacking necessities and setting up essentials such as a bed, table, chairs, and other items needed for prompt livability.

Making the moving experience a joyous event for your loved ones sets a tone that they are gaining an improved quality of life experience. It’s all about love and good logistics. 


The decision to buy a house may be one of the biggest choices that you make in your lifetime. As such, a potential home purchase should be fully evaluated to ensure you can achieve the best-possible results during the homebuying journey.

Furthermore, it may be beneficial to discuss your homebuying plans with family members, friends and other loved ones. There are many reasons why you may want to share your homebuying plans with loved ones, and these reasons include:

1. You can gain homebuying insights that you might struggle to obtain elsewhere.

Loved ones frequently are happy to share their homebuying insights with you. Thus, if you keep loved ones up to date about your homebuying plans, you may be able to gain comprehensive real estate insights that you won't find anywhere else.

Let's not forget about the past homebuying experiences of loved ones, either. If a loved one had a positive or negative homebuying experience, you may be able to learn lessons from this event that could help you navigate the homebuying journey.

2. You can look at the big picture.

Oftentimes, the temptation to rush through the homebuying process can be overwhelming, particularly for a first-time homebuyer. If you consult with loved ones, however, you can slow down and look at the big picture as you prepare to pursue your dream residence.

Loved ones are unafraid to be honest, especially when it comes to a life-changing decision like buying a house. Therefore, if you reach out to loved ones before you enter the housing market, you can assess your short- and long-term plans and map out your homebuying journey accordingly.

3. You can get the help you need to succeed.

No one should be forced to pursue a house on their own. Lucky for you, loved ones are available who can help you discover your ideal residence in no time at all.

Sharing your homebuying plans with loved ones may enable you to get plenty of support throughout the homebuying journey. Plus, if you ever have concerns or questions as you pursue your dream house, loved ones are ready to assist you in any way possible.

As you prepare to embark on a home search, you may want to consult with a real estate agent too. In fact, a real estate agent will ensure you can enjoy a seamless homebuying experience, regardless of where you want to live.

Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you informed about new residences as they become available and help you submit offers on houses. This housing market professional also will negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf, guaranteeing that you can get the best price on any home, at any time.

Ready to kick off a successful home search? Connect with loved ones – and a real estate agent – and you can get the assistance that you need to find your dream house.




Loading