Jay Falone - RE/MAX Executive Realty


After living in a small apartment or crowded house, you might be dreaming of having more space, a bigger closet, or just one more bathroom to ease the clutter and closeness. When is a larger home the answer? Before making the leap to more square footage, consider all the factors that fill the bill. If upsizing is the right move, embrace it with confidence.

Household size

If you intend to grow your household by adding children, inviting more housemates into your tribe, having lots of guests, or bringing in aging parents, you may need a larger home. Depending on the scenario, square footage and the number of rooms aren’t the only considerations. Homes designed for families with children would not necessarily be the best alternative for housing aging parents or as shared space for working adults. 

Some areas to consider are:

  • Stairs: with small children, elderly adults, or residents with disabilities, a home with stairs may not be as useful as a single-story home. Due to property-size constraints, larger homes with additional bedrooms and bathrooms tend to be multi-storied structures. While offering more space, the challenge of maneuvering stairs might not be the right choice. Pay special attention to the number of steps required to enter or leave a home as well. For some people, negotiating just two or three steps up to the front porch might be problematic. Work with your agent to determine what configuration meets the needs of your unique household.

  • Bathroom arrangements: Homes designed for nuclear families often have joint bathroom arrangements just as a Jack and Jill configuration with a shared bathroom between two bedrooms, or a shared hallway bathroom. If en suite baths better serve your household, offering more privacy to housemates, let your agent know that’s what you need.

  • Mobility: Homes for aging parents or members requiring assistive aids such as wheelchairs or walkers, need wider doorways and halls, direct access entries with fewer sharp corners to maneuver and baths with accessible fixtures. Older homes tend to have narrower doors and hallways. Even if older adults do not need such aids presently, they may in the future.

  • Social spaces: Do you need a family room separate from a more formal entertainment area? Does your household require more private or quiet spaces? Are you likely to entertain large groups of adults? Children? Before buying based on size alone, consider how the shared spaces will be used. For example, some blended households may have older teens and young adults as well as toddlers and preschoolers. Having more than one social space allows family members to socialize in an age-appropriate space without being confined to their rooms. 

  • Entertaining: For some households, the number and size of bedrooms is less important than the space available for you to host dinner parties, game nights, or large gatherings. Let your agent know if entertainment space is your priority so that the homes you view include open-concept areas conducive to sizable gatherings.

  • Workspace: With more folks working from home now, your need for more space might include the need for single or multiple office options. Some people work well within hearing of the household noise and bustle while others need a quiet retreat. Discussing these differing work styles ahead of making your purchase ensures that everyone’s needs are addressed.

Whatever “home” looks like to you; your agent is ready to help you find it. Make one list of everything that your household needs and another of the additional items you want and share it with your realtor.


A "lowball" homebuying proposal is unlikely to do you any favors, particularly if you want to acquire your dream residence as quickly as possible. In fact, after you submit a lowball offer, it may be only a matter of time before you receive a "No" from a home seller.

When it comes to buying a house, it helps to prepare a competitive offer. That way, you can increase the likelihood of getting a seller to accept your home offer and speed up the homebuying journey.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you avoid the risk of submitting a lowball offer on your dream residence.

1. Analyze the Housing Market

Are you searching for a house in a buyer's or seller's market? Are homes selling quickly in the current real estate market? And are houses selling at, above or below their initial asking prices? These are just some of the questions that homebuyers need to consider as they assess the real estate sector.

With a diligent approach to buying a house, a homebuyer can become a real estate market expert. This buyer can assess a wide assortment of housing market data, and by doing so, gain the insights that he or she needs to submit a competitive offer on any residence.

2. Understand a Home's Condition

A home purchase is one of the biggest transactions that an individual will complete over the course of his or her lifetime. As such, the decision to submit an offer on a house should not be taken lightly.

To make the best-possible choice, it helps to look at all of the available information about a residence. You should review a home listing closely and attend a home showing. In many instances, it may be beneficial to check out a house a few times to get an up-close look at it before you submit an offer.

The condition of a home will play a major role in how much you are willing to offer to acquire a residence. Therefore, you should learn as much as possible about a house's condition. And if you feel comfortable with a home, you should be ready to submit an offer that will match a seller's expectations.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Hiring a real estate agent generally is a good idea, particularly for a homebuyer who wants to reduce the risk of submitting a lowball offer on a house. A real estate agent can help a homebuyer prepare a competitive offer, as well as ensure that a buyer can enjoy a seamless home transaction.

Furthermore, a real estate agent will allocate the necessary time and resources to help you analyze a house. He or she will even offer homebuying recommendations and teach you everything you need to know about the homebuying cycle.

Avoid the temptation to submit a lowball offer on a house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can submit a competitive proposal to acquire your dream residence.


Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Once you decide you’re in the market for a new home, one of the first decisions you’ll make is whether you should hire a real estate agent to shop for a house or go out your own. While buying a new home without a professional representative is possible, there is no disadvantage to working with one, here’s why.

It Doesn’t Cost You Anything

Generally, the seller pays the commission fees to any agents representing both sides of the sale. From a buyer’s perspective, they really have nothing to lose by working with an agent since they won’t have to pay any out-of-pocket costs.

Additionally, REALTORS® are members of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), which means they are bound to adhere to a specific code of ethics. This means you’ll have a representative who has pledged to abide by this code and approach every transaction honestly.

Bring Expertise to the House-Hunting Process

As a buyer, unless you’re fully versed in the finer points associated with real estate purchases, along with a certain level of legal expertise in contractual law, you’re better protected if you work with a professional agent. Agents are well-versed in the most up-to-date information associated with the housing market. Skills trained agents bring to the house-hunting process include:

  • Understanding of all the variables associated with real estate purchases.
  • Strong familiarity with regions, towns, and specific neighborhoods.
  • Ability to instinctively know if and when homes are over or under-priced.
  • Access to “pocket listings” not available to the open market or even to a large number of agents.
  • Keen ability to pinpoint a home’s potential problems or flaws not visible to the average buyer.
  • Essentially, working with an experienced and licensed professional means you’ll have someone on your side who can do the bulk of the leg work while helping you find the house of your dreams.

    Strong Knowledge in the Bidding Process

    Investing in a major purchase, such as a home, usually comes with some stresses, along with a few bumps along the road. Once you reach the negotiation and bidding stage, your agent can ensure these go as smoothly as possible. They bring many valuable attributes to the table when it comes to sealing a deal.

  • Ability to share strong negotiation techniques once a house is found (purchase price, closing costs, repairs, etc.).
  • Thorough knowledge in appraisals, title searches and inspections.
  • Skilled in navigating the burdensome paperwork associated with real estate purchases.
  • Able to quickly identify any potential problems that might affect or delay the closing process.
  • Buying or selling a home can be an emotional process. An agent can make sure negotiations are conducted with a levelheaded approach to make certain a fair deal is made.

    In addition to the above reasons, it’s important to remember, your real estate agent is always on your side. They can provide you with both guidance and objectivity as you seek to find your new home.


    The homebuying process may prove to be challenging, particularly for individuals who fail to anticipate potential problems. Lucky for you, we're here to help you identify and address homebuying hurdles before they escalate.

    Now, let's take a look at three tips to ensure you can seamlessly anticipate and overcome homebuying hurdles.

    1. Learn About the Housing Market

    The real estate market can be complex. Fortunately, an informed homebuyer should have no trouble resolving potential problems early in the property buying journey.

    Examine a wide range of housing market data – you'll be glad you did. Look at the prices of recently sold houses – as well as the prices of available residences – in your preferred cities and towns. With this housing market information, you'll be better equipped than ever before to differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's one and plan your homebuying journey accordingly.

    2. Get Home Financing

    If you intend to pursue a house, you likely will need a mortgage. Thankfully, banks and credit unions are available to help you obtain a mortgage in no time at all.

    Ultimately, it helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you enter the housing market with a mortgage in hand, you can narrow your house search to properties that fall within your price range. And as a result, you could speed up the process of finding and buying your dream house.

    When you meet with lenders, don't hesitate to ask lots of questions, either. If you allocate time and resources to learn about all of your home financing options, you can determine exactly which option is right for you.

    3. Employ a Real Estate Agent

    There is no need to pursue a house on your own, regardless of whether you're an experienced or first-time property buyer. But if you employ a real estate agent, you can work with a homebuying expert who can help you make your homeownership dream come true.

    A real estate agent understands what it takes to find a great house at an affordable price. He or she can teach you about the housing market and help you make informed decisions at each stage of the property buying journey. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can prepare you for potential homebuying hurdles and ensure you can quickly address these issues.

    Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent provides as the homebuying journey progresses as well. A real estate agent will set up home showings, help you weigh the pros and cons of different houses and ensure you can submit an offer to purchase your dream residence. And as you approach the date of your home closing, a real estate agent will offer tips and recommendations to ensure you can finalize your house purchase without delay.

    Want to avoid homebuying hurdles? You're not alone. But with the aforementioned tips, you can identify and overcome various homebuying hurdles and effortlessly navigate the property buying journey.


    As a first-time homebuyer, it is important to understand what it takes to discover your dream residence as quickly as possible. By doing so, you can streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

    What does it take for a first-time homebuyer to seamlessly navigate the housing market? Here are three tips that every first-time homebuyer needs to know.

    1. Make a Homebuying Checklist

    The definition of the "perfect" house differs from homebuyer to homebuyer. As such, a first-time homebuyer should allocate the necessary time and resources to determine what he or she wants to find in the ideal home. That way, a first-time homebuyer will have no trouble finding a house that matches or surpasses his or her expectations.

    With a homebuying checklist, a first-time homebuyer can move one step closer to making his or her property ownership dreams come true. This checklist can help a homebuyer differentiate between home "must-haves" and "wants" so he or she can narrow a home search accordingly.

    Furthermore, a first-time homebuyer can update a property buying checklist as he or she begins to check out houses. And if a homebuyer evaluates available residences, this property buyer can update his or her checklist as needed.

    2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

    A first-time homebuyer likely wants to purchase a house as quickly as possible. Fortunately, getting pre-approved for a mortgage can help a homebuyer move through the property buying process without delay.

    To get pre-approved for a mortgage, a first-time homebuyer should try to meet with several banks and credit unions. Each meeting will allow a homebuyer to learn about assorted mortgage options and select a mortgage that corresponds to his or her finances.

    Moreover, a first-time homebuyer should be unafraid to ask plenty of questions when he or she meets with potential lenders. This will allow a homebuyer to make an informed decision about a mortgage.

    3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

    When it comes to buying a house for the first time, a homebuyer should seek out expert support. Lucky for you, many real estate agents are available nationwide, and these housing market professionals can make it simple for you to purchase your ideal house.

    A real estate agent understands the challenges associated with buying a house for the first time. He or she will teach a first-time homebuyer about these challenges and ensure this property buyer is prepared to take a diligent approach to purchasing a home.

    Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings, offer honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations and negotiate with home sellers on a homebuyer's behalf. This housing market professional will even keep a homebuyer up to date about new houses, ensuring homebuyers can pounce on opportunities to acquire great houses as soon as they become available.

    For a first-time homebuyer, there is no need to leave anything to chance. But with the aforementioned tips, a first-time homebuyer can accelerate the homebuying process and improve his or her chances of purchasing a stellar house at an affordable price.