Buyer's Guide

Everything you need to know about the process of buying a new home.

A Step-by-Step First Time Buyer's Guide

Buying a home is one of the most exciting milestones of your life. To prepare yourself for this moment, you need to know what to expect during the process. This step-by-step first time buyer’s guide created by your agent will help reduce the stress of buying a home and help you enjoy the journey as much as possible.

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Step 1: Research

Do you already know where you want to buy? If you want a condo, townhome, or single-family home? Which features do you like and dislike? What’s available on the market now? If you answered no to any of these questions, now is the time to start researching. In addition to looking for homes that interest you, also take note of any changes in asking prices. This could give you valuable insight into housing trends in specific neighborhoods and help you when the time comes to make an offer.

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Step 2: Decide on Your Budget

Notice I said to decide on your budget—not determine how much the mortgage company will give you. In many cases, a mortgage company will pre-approve you for more than you’re comfortable spending, which is why you need to determine the monthly payment you feel comfortable with before talking to a lender. This likely includes doing a full household budget and taking into consideration what changes other than a mortgage payment will occur once you move into your new home. If you’ve lived in an apartment or with roommates, you may overlook new expenses like garbage, water, or HOA fees that could easily blow your budget.

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Step 3: Get Prequalified

Just because you think you can afford a certain payment every month doesn’t mean the mortgage company will agree. Just as they may approve you for too large of an amount, they may also approve you for a lesser amount or deny you a mortgage altogether. Lack of time at a job, insufficient credit, past bankruptcies, or other financial issues can cause major problems when trying to secure a mortgage. Before you get your heart set on a home, talk to a mortgage professional to find out what amount you can qualify for. This will also be an advantage when you make an offer on a home, as some sellers won’t entertain offers from those who aren’t already prequalified for a loan.

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Step 4: Choose a Real Estate Agent

Can you shop for, look at, and ultimately make an offer on a home without a real estate agent? Technically yes, but why would you when it costs you nothing for an agent like me to take much of the stress off your shoulders? Not only will I help identify properties you might be interested in, arrange showings, and ultimately handle the offer process, but I also have a knowledge of the market that you don’t possess. I may be able to steer you away from certain homes or neighborhoods, suggest hidden gems, or give you pointers that will help you find your dream home for the right price.

My goal is to provide you with the most personalized service that is designed to help you buy your dream home.

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Step 5: Find the Right Home

This should be the most enjoyable step of the entire process (other than moving in!). I will arrange showings of homes you’re interested in that are within your price range. Take notes about what you like and don’t like, and make sure to pay attention to details. Turn light switches on and off, open and close doors, and run the faucets in various rooms. Don’t limit your inspection to the home itself. Make sure to take time to explore the neighborhood and keep an eye on traffic at certain times of the day, the parking situation, and how close it is to necessities like schools and grocery stores.

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Step 6: Make an Offer

Once you have selected the perfect home, work with your agent to craft a fair offer based on the value of comparable homes on the market. Depending on what the home is listed at and whether the current environment is a buyer’s or seller’s market, your offer may be below, at, or even above the asking price. I will be able to help you negotiate if you receive a counteroffer and reach an agreement. At this point, the house will go into escrow.

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Step 7: Have the Home Inspected

In most cases, your offer will be contingent on having the home inspected to ensure there is no major structural damage or large repairs needed. I can help you arrange this, and you can schedule it within days of making an offer. If there are no major issues, the process goes to step eight. If there is, you can renegotiate your offer based on what needs to be fixed, or you can withdraw it.

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Step 8: Select Your Loan

Now is the time to go back to the mortgage lender who pre-approved or pre-qualified you and choose your mortgage. You will be presented with various options based on your unique financial situation, including fixed-rate, variable-rate, 15-year, 30-year, or special programs such as VA loans or FHA loans. Work with your mortgage lender to select the option you feel the most comfortable with.

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Step 9: Get a Home Appraisal

Your lender will have your new home appraised so they have their independent value of it. The appraisal is to ensure that all parties involved are paying a fair price for the house.

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Step 10: Finish Paperwork

No one looks forward to all the paperwork involved in buying a home, but it’s a necessary part of the process. Fortunately, everything will be arranged by your lender and title company and, when you’re finished, you’ll know you are the legal owner of your new home.

Congratulations!

After signing the final paperwork to complete the purchase, you are now the owner of a new house. It may take a few days for your loan to be funded once the paperwork has been returned to the lender, but once that check is delivered to the seller, you’ll be all set to move into the home of your dreams.

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— Sarah L.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
You will be pleased with an extremely professional and caring Realtor® working with Jenny! She will make sure your experience is stress free and will work to find the perfect home for your needs.

— Teri M.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Jennifer is absolutely an A+ real estate agent. She listened to my families needs and delivered with respect, professionalism, compassion. and knowledge of the area. I would highly recommend her and I am grateful to have had such a great experience with her.

— Buyer & Seller

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Jen is the best there is, plain and simple. She treats you like family. She is very open and honest and always makes herself available when you need her. Her knowledge of the market and home buying/selling process is top notch. Trust her, you’ll be glad you did. Just say Jenny!

— Brandon B.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Jennifer not only helped me sell a house she helped my find a new home. She was very helpful and able to take me all over the state of VT and NH looking for the right home for my children and I. The next time I need a Real Estate Professional, I will be calling Jennifer Snyder!

— Buyer & Seller

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Jennifer is the most dedicated Real Estate Agent I know. She has not only sold two homes for us but has also helped us purchase two homes. If you want to sell your home or purchase one - she is the to-go person. She handles every single detail meticulously with professionalism.

— Buyer & Seller

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Moving is stressful enough but add in kids and new jobs and it's potentially maddening. Thankfully by adding Jenny to the equation our stress was decreased immensely. Jenny's honesty and diligence were what we needed during our move from another state. We truly feel we found the best home and it's all thanks to Jenny.

— Buyer

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Jennifer made our first home purchase a wonderful experience. Not being sure of what we wanted she asked all the right questions to figure it out and guide us through the search. We had constant contact with her and her detail oriented approach left no room to worry as we were on a tight schedule. She is an amazing agent and person who I now think of as a friend.

— Daniele Z.

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We have used Jenny as both a selling and buying agent, and she is top notch! She just sold my parent's house this year as well, which was an emotional one, having been in the family for 70 years, and the first house my parents have sold. She was truly fantastic, and thoughtful. Jenny is super high energy, very professional, and the choice you should make for a Realtor® in the area.

— Buyer & Seller

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Jenny is a wonderful, informative, active, and knowledgeable agent. We have used her to both buy and sell a home, as well as purchase land. We feel she is a good agent to have, if you want someone who has your best interest in mind. She is not only our agent, but has also become a good friend, and is always available if we have questions about anything. We will continue to use Jenny for years to come.

— Buyer & Seller

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Jen sold my townhouse on the first day she began showing it. Although other Realtors® had told her she had it priced too aggressively and advised we drop the asking price substantially before it went on the market, she asked me to trust her pricing recommendation. I was so glad we did when she called later that week with a full price offer. She had great staging tips and was terrific to work with every s...

— Leigh

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Jenny worked with us for a long time, working hard to find homes that would work for me and my husband - each of us with very different styles, likes and dislikes. Once we finally found a home to purchase she was able to work with us in listing our existing home for a quick but fair sale. We were fortunate to have negotiated a sale to one of the first couples who viewed our home and were under contract i...

— Buyer & Seller

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Jennifer is everything anyone would want in a real estate professional. She just rocks it! Buying a home, especially in a highly competitive sellers market, can be extraordinarily stressful. Jennifer knew the landscape, understood the strategies needed to be successful and was just great fun to be with. She helped us make good decisions and walked us through every step of the way from showings to multipl...

— Buyer

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
This was the best buying experience my husband and I have ever had. After relocating to the Upper Valley from North Carolina, we worked closely with Jen to find our dream home in an area that was unfamiliar to us. She was very knowledgeable about the area and was very much intuitive about our needs and desires for homes and neighborhoods. Jen made herself available to us when it was most convenient for o...

— Jessica D.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Jennifer is an energetic, experienced and savvy real estate agent. She worked with me for the better part of a year to find my first home. She had intimate knowledge of the market in VT and NH, including condos and single family home options. She helped me to see potential value in properties needing renovation, but also was fine when I said I would prefer something with minimal updating needed. When I p...

— Buyer

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
We worked with Jen in 2021 to find our dream lake house in NH (of which there are very few available). Jen is brilliant. Not only did she give us great counsel in evaluating houses that were for sale against our criteria, but her advice on how to position our offer was spot on and made us the winning offer among multiple offers. Jen is “all in” for her clients. I’d say that she went “above and beyond” fo...

— Meagan & Eric

Work With Jennifer

As your real estate agent, Jennifer Fogg is committed to making the home buying and selling process as smooth as possible. I will listen to your needs and criteria in finding you your “Dream House” and will be dedicated to keeping you informed throughout each step.