Home Buyer’s Guide



Buying your first home is both an exciting and a daunting time in any person’s life. You’re eager to find your dream home but faced with the reality that there are many unique challenges that you’ve never faced before. What can you afford, how can you line up financing, what type of home is right for you, and what happens if something goes wrong are all questions likely going through your mind.

The good news is that the folks at Kathleen Kellett’s Team are here to make your home buying journey memorable for all the right reasons!

Below we’ve covered some of the most important things to know about buying your first home here in the Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta County area. If there are any questions you have that we haven’t answered though, be sure to let us know.

We look forward to helping you find your first home!

What you Need to Consider Before You Buy

 What type of home best suits your needs?

There are many different types of homes available when purchasing a residential property here in the Greater Augusta area:

  • Detached, single-family homes
  • Townhouses
  • Condos
  • Multi-Family dwellings such as a duplex

Balancing the pros and cons of each type of property is important to ensure you ultimately purchase a home that you will be happy in for as long as you’re there.

 Is a fixer-upper home for me or would I rather find a home that is perfect immediately at closing?

In addition to the different types of homes available, you also need to decide if you want to buy a ready-to-move-in home or if you’d rather buy a fixer-upper home that will require time, money, and sweat equity to make livable but may ultimately allow you to buy a home you otherwise would not be able to afford.

Making the right decision here and being prepared to do the work (and spend the money) if you decide to go with a fixer-upper is going to be important for your long-term happiness in your new home.

 What features do I want in my ideal home?

With so many different types of homes available in the area, making a list of your must-have features is a smart way to narrowing your search and ensuring you’ll find a home you will love for years to come.

Some of the types of things you may want to consider include:

  • Do you want a home with lots of land or a home with a small lot to keep yard work to a minimum?
  • Do you want to be around others in a neighborhood or would you prefer to be on a more private lot?
  • Is a dishwasher a requirement? How about a washer/dryer for your clothes?
  • Do you want your master bedroom to have a private bathroom?
  • How many bedrooms do you need?
  • Do you need an office? Basement?

This is only a sampling of the types of things you’ll want to consider but should hopefully get you thinking about what’s most important to you!

How much can you afford? How do you go about getting financing?

We’ve covered these questions in great depth over on our home financing page but it’s important we mention this here as well. Ensuring you’re looking for homes you can afford and be approved for is important. You don’t want to get your hopes up for a million dollar home only to realize you can only get financing for $200k.

How do you find the perfect realtor for your buying needs?

Finding a realtor who understands your unique needs is crucial to making the home buying journey an enjoyable journey! Of course we may be a bit biased and believe we’re a perfect match but we still want to provide you with the information you need to make sure you’re as excited to work together as we are!

  • Does the realtor know and understand the local real estate market?
  • Does the real estate team have processes in place to ensure all your needs are being met?
  • Does the realtor have a keen eye for detail?
  • Does the realtor have the connections to ensure all your needs are being met?
  • Does the realtor take advantage of the latest technologies to help you find the perfect home?
  • Does the realtor have honesty and integrity?
  • Does the realtor have the hustle necessary to meet your demands?

The best way to learn if a realtor is right for you is to engage them in a conversation so you can judge for yourself. If you’re ready to see if we’re the right fit, be sure to drop us a line!

The Home-Buying Process

So you’ve considered everything we’ve mentioned above, figured out what’s most important to you, found the perfect real estate agent to represent you, and you’re ready to get started…great!

With so many others out there also searching for their perfect home, it’s important to be ready to commit to your search and take action, or else risk somebody else getting to your dream home before you. The good news is, we know all the ins and outs of the local market and we’re ready to act as soon as you are.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Finding the Perfect Home

Now that you know exactly what you’re looking for, helping you find the perfect home is within grasp. With so much to see in the local market, we’ll help keep you up on everything with our all-angles approach, including:

  • Customized home searches directly to your inbox matching your exact wants and needs
  • Access to the entire Greater Augusta region’s MLS listings
  • Getting you out to see homes in-person as soon as you’re ready
  • Hooking you into our deep network of local professionals and homeowners to get you early access to any new properties coming onto the market

Navigating the Home Mortgage Process

Sometimes the home financing process can be completely overwhelming with all of the paperwork, non-stop questions, and everything else that’s involved.

Working with a realtor who can team you up with lenders that understand your unique, personal financial needs is important to ensure the home buying process is without (too many!) bumps in the road.

You also want to ensure your lender and realtor are able to share with you any special home financing programs that may be available, especially for a first-time home buyer like yourself.

Making an Offer

You’ve found the perfect home. Your financing is all lined up. Now comes the most exciting and nerve racking part of the entire process – making an offer!

You don’t want to offer too much and pay too much for your home but you also don’t want to offer too little and risk upsetting the seller and losing out on an opportunity to buy your dream home.

This is where having an experienced and talented realtor on your side is absolutely critical. By working with a team like ours, we can share with you our extensive experience as the area’s top real estate team to ensure your bid is the right one.

Home Inspection Process

Now that the seller has accepted your offer, it is typically recommended you have an inspection performed. However, it’s important that whoever inspects the home is somebody that is skilled, certified, and has an eye for detail like none other. Otherwise, you may end up learning after closing there are expensive repairs that you were not anticipating.

Next Steps

With so much to know and learn about the home buying process, there are undoubtedly additional questions you have…and we’d love to answer them for you!

Are you ready to get started? We’re ready when you are!