Helping You Find Your Way Home

Buyer's Guide

Lorna Isen is an accomplished 21-year industry veteran assisting buyers throughout the Main Line and beyond.

Combining her experience with a keen analytical mind, Lorna gives her buyers a competitive edge in the market. She assists in pinpointing the right neighborhood and providing them with valuable market research, empowering them to make smart, business-savvy decisions on their next investment. 

The following is an overview of the home buying process and what each step entails.

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Home Mortgage Pre-Qualification

Before you begin your home search, it's advantageous to get a mortgage pre-approval to establish your financial range. Sellers will require a mortgage commitment letter from an accredited lender before reviewing an offer to purchase their home.

When deciding how much to lend, lenders consider many factors, including your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, income, the length you've been at your current job, and any accrued debt. Maybe the number you have in mind is not equitable to the lender, or they might be willing to provide more than you anticipated. It's best to set reasonable expectations before you look for the house of your dreams and realize it's not in your budget.

Additionally, regardless of how large a loan for which you qualify, you should consider your specific budgetary needs. If you want a little extra discretionary income or expect to make improvements to the home, you may not want to take as much of a loan as the lender is willing to provide. Only borrow what you need. Consider your financial situation and savings to establish an ideal budgetary range.

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Searching for the right home

Finding the perfect home for you and your family is about more than picking out the nicest house. Location is a significant deciding factor in the homebuying process. Location establishes how much time you'll spend driving to work, the schools your children will attend, available amenities and the community in which you will build your life. 

Comparable home prices within the area will determine if a property is a worthy investment if you intend to sell down the line. Research the local neighborhoods ahead of time to decide which ones are best suited to your lifestyle.

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Hire a realtor

Don't necessarily hire a realtor simply because of personal relationships or friendships. Your home is likely the largest investment that you will make, and it’s critical that you select a realtor who can most effectively guide you in making a solid choice, bring in the most qualified inspectors, and negotiate best on your behalf. If you are searching for a home in Philadelphia's Main Line, you should choose a realtor who specializes in the community and has the experience and relationships to act as a guide and an advocate.

Hiring the right realtor is a critical step in the homebuying process. Lorna can help you identify the best location, negotiate, recommend trusted lenders and home inspectors, and finesse lingering details into something seamless and easily navigable.

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Research the market

There are a few things to research before you start crafting a bid. Are you purchasing a home in a buyer's or seller's market? What amount have previous, comparable homes in the neighborhood sold over the past few months? Determine your answers through market analysis and by studying local real estate trends. Better yet, reach out to Lorna for an expert point of view.

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Finding the perfect property

When you've narrowed down your search and found your ideal property, your realtor will work with you to craft the right offer by comparing recent trends and similar sales within the community. 

Consider whether your area is in a buyer’s or seller’s market. Depending on the answer, you should consider adding agreement contingencies, inspections, or appraisals. Once you and your realtor have decided on the optimal bid, it's time to personalize and submit the offer.

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Closing

Assess the seller’s checklist to make sure all necessary items have been addressed. You will then conduct a final walkthrough of the home, making sure no significant changes have been made since your offer. Finally, ensure that utilities and mailbox keys have been transferred to your name.

It's always exciting to close and become the new owner of a property. Remember that critical steps take place during this stage, so stay focused on completing the process and celebrate later. Bring all necessary closing paperwork such as proof of your home insurance, a government-issued ID, and a check to cover closing costs to settle.

Download Buyer's Guide

For more home buying help, get step-by-step how-to guide.

Work With Lorna

When launching a listing, Lorna draws on her prior career experience to analyze how best to position new listings with regard to competing homes. She has long believed that professional photos are critical to creating the right image for a property so that buyers can appreciate the lifestyle a home offers.

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