Buyer's Guide

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 our team will help reduce the stress of buying a home and help you enjoy the journey as much as possible.


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.

Wooden house with black metal roof, small porch, surrounded by flowers and trees in a forest.

Step 2: Decide on Your Budget

Notice we 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.


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.


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 agents like us to take much of the stress off your shoulders? Not only will we help identify properties you might be interested in, arrange showings, and ultimately handle the offer process, but we also have knowledge of the market that you don’t possess. Finding the perfect home can be a daunting task, this is where our expertise and wealth of knowledge come into play. Let us show you around some homes that meet your dream home criteria so you can find the one that's right for you.

Our 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!). We 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.


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. We 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.


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. We 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.


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.


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.


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.


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. 

Our Testimonials


Mercedes C.

I need to give a huge shout-out and thank you to our realtor, Alexandria Reed, of Elevate DNVR, who literally made this the most seamless experience we could have had. She fought tooth and nail for us through two offers on two ...
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Karaliz C.

In all my years of moving, I’ve never experienced a realtor like Alexandria. She’s like your best friend She goes to bat for you, no matter the situation, she goes above and beyond to ensure your house is sold and that you’re g...
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Jordan B.

Alexandria is as good as they come! As a realtor, she is thorough, communicates extremely well, kind, and most of all, dedicated. She will do whatever it takes to help you, including even helping with personal things outside of...
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Jai S.

I am a mortgage lender and worked with Alexandria, who was representing a buyer. I greatly appreciated the professionalism and her quick, direct responses. She shows a great amount of care for her clients and ensures they recei...
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Kanisha F.

Alexandria is the best realtor in Colorado hands down! She is an absolute phenomenal human being to work with. I literally would not have gotten my keys without her. Her persistence and her knowledge made me more confident abou...
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Nicole R.

Alex did an amazing job helping my husband and I find the right home that was perfect for us! She listened to what we were looking for and helped us find a townhome in a lovely area and in our budget. She is bubbly and friendly...
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Haymond F.

Alexandria is the best. She stayed in constant contact from beginning to end. I’ve never felt more comfortable with a realtor. She is very informative and made this stressful process very easy. I would highly recommend to any l...
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If you are looking for a new home and want to sell your current home, Alexandria Reed is the realtor for you. She listens to your needs and delivers A1 service from the beginning to the end! I highly recommend you contact her f...
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Antonio J.

She is very professional and advocates for her clients. Definitely a joy to work with and most importantly she is honest and truthful! Thank you Alexandria you made this experience painless and profitable!
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Caroline P.

Alexandria is the most intentional and hands-on realtor. She cares deeply about you as a home buyer and as a person. I’m so grateful I had her alongside my husband and I to help us buy our first home!
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