Purchasing your first home is one of the biggest milestones in a person's life; and whether you're fresh out of college and have hit the ground running at your first well-paying job; or if you've waited and saved and watched the market for years and finally feel ready to take the plunge, we celebrate your decision! However, we also want to make sure you understand the ropes and encourage you to check this list of indicators to see if you're really ready.

First, you're in a good place financially. Start the process early and speak to a lender (or two, or three) to get an idea of budget and what you can feasibly spend so you don't waste time searching a financial bracket you can't afford. Additionally, keep in mind the hidden costs that go into purchasing your home: appraisals, inspections, closing costs, taxes, homeowner's association fees, repairs, etc. 

Second, you've been paying attention to the market. Many real estate professionals recommend searching the neighborhoods you're interested in several months before you're actually ready to make any sort of offer. This will give you an idea of whether homes tend to go over or under asking price, and what the inventory looks like in different seasons. 

Third, you know what you're looking for. In the Seattle area home prices have been skyrocketing and keeping your short commute may not fit in with the rest of your dream home amenities wishlist. However, knowing what's important to you and what will enhance your quality of life is key. Are you in desperate need of a second bathroom, more closet space, close proximity to schools and parks? Narrow down the amenities that mean the most to you. 

Lastly, you've done your research. Know what local rates and prices look like, meet with a seasoned real estate professional to help guide you through the process, bring your firm wishlist, and be patient. You'll be in your new home in no time!

Contact us to discuss these tips and other ways to get prepared, with zero long-term obligation. Read more about these tips, and others, on the Sotheby's Realty blog.