The Top 20 Things You Need to Know When Buying a Home

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Home Buying Tips and Tools

When taking any journey there are a lot of things to prepare before you go. I would enjoy helping you with your journey to your New Home. Call me! Let’s meet and get started! On this site you will find numerous tools and tips that will aid you in your house hunt and throughout the entire process.

There is a Property Search and mapping Tool that will help you to find desirable home listings. Then you can use the Property Value Tool and the Mortgage Calculator to be sure each home continues to be in your top picks. These tools will help you in your purchase decisions and in negotiations. I am offering you to be your free personal real estate assistant. Please feel free to contact me directly. I will provide you with a free personalized search web site that will allow you to manage the listings that match your home search criteria and you’ll get emails right when these listings hit the market or make a change. I will also create a detailed comparable market analysis of similar homes that have recently sold that will identify the home’s value. I will offer you numerous resources, research, and referrals to area professionals that will help buying your new home to be easy and enjoyable.

Knowledge is Power!

One of the most important tools you can have as a home buyer or someone looking to purchase a home sale or property for sale is knowledge. As they say, ‘Knowledge is Power’! In this case equipping yourself with knowledge or working with a knowledgeable real estate agent, knowledge can mean helping you to buy the right home, at the right price, getting more money and better financing terms and most of all it can bring you peace of mind. Each step of home buying is laid out with specific insights to help you move through the purchase process with ease and to bring you the greatest rewards along the way and into your future in your new home.

The purchase process can take weeks or months to find your Ideal Property. It usually takes about 30 to 60 days from the offer acceptance, to completing the terms of the sale, doing the financing and title work up to the time of closing on your loan and/or your home. This home buyer’s check list may seem extensive and overwhelming but as your Realtor® I am knowledgeable and experienced and will gladly help you walk through each step of the process. Please contact me anytime to get my help or if you have any questions. This printable PDF is chock full of every issue that you may have a question about, need to do or to make a decision about that pertains to buying a home or the Purchase Process Progress Report – Check List.

Home Buying and Home Buyer Articles and Links

Home Buyer Information

Buyer Tips and Tools

Search Listings

Purchase Process Progress Report – Check List

Home Buying Guide – Buying a Home Spring 2019

Key Real Estate Terms

10 tips to find the home of your dreams

How to buy a house stress-free​

Mortgage and Finance

Get your free credit score from All 3 credit bureaus!

Find Government and Bank Owned Properties – Remember these may be priced lower but they take longer and could take a lot of money to bring them up to parr. Often buyers who start to buy foreclosures that sat vacant and are in bad condition decide to buy owner occupied and not pay out for repairs.

Freddie Mac-owned properties –

Fannie Mae-owned properties –

Government-owned properties – and

Bank owned properties REOs

Home-ownership products

Buyers can add one or more of the following options to an OHFA, FHA, VA, USDA-RD or conventional mortgage loan:

Understand the real estate market=

How much does it cost to buy a house?

Interest rates impact on home ownership

How to determine how much home you can afford

Can You Buy A House When You Have Debt?

6 Ways Home Buyers Mess Up Getting a Mortgage

A Guide to Mortgage Interest Rates: Why They Go Down and Up, and What to Do

How to Buy a bigger home

9 Hidden Home Maintenance Costs That Can Blindside First-Time Buyers

Home Appraisals Insights

How to Lower Closing Costs: A Guide for Home Buyers


5 big considerations when negotiating a house price

8 critical factors that influence a home’s value

9 Hidden Home Maintenance Costs That Can Blindside First-Time Buyers

Add value to your home with simple updates

Your Home – Your Community

Condo Vs. House: How to Choose the Right Home for You

Home Buying Steps

Home Appraisals Insights

Home inspection checklist for buyers

What is homeowners insurance and do I need it?

Sources and reference links used in the infographic:


Feel Free To Give Me A Call If You Would Like Me To Research Your Ideal Property and I will Provide You With A Property Value and Details To Help You To Make An Informed Purchase Decision. My Services are completely paid for by the seller when you close on your dream home!

Home Buyers Guide

Thank you for visiting my real estate web site! I love real estate, marketing and people and am overjoyed that my career allows me to enjoy them all! I strive to provide the highest quality service to all of my clients and to utilize my years of experience, my vast resources, and the latest research and technology to make each real estate transaction easy, enjoyable and geared to meet your needs. I have an extensive amount of experience, professional referral sources and resources to share with you that will ensure that your real estate transaction is pleasing and profitable. I live by the philosophy of serving others, embracing life and learning, and expressing gratitude. I am honored to work with my customers in helping them meet their real estate needs and enjoy getting to know them and building life-long friendships in the process.

My name is Cathy Smith with Key Realty and I have been Licensed as a Realtor® since 2000 in NW Ohio, Toledo and surrounding areas. I was trained and licensed as a Financial Loan Officer and Credit Consultant in my first 6 years of my real estate business which has given me insights into understanding loan approval, loan processing, title, appraisals and other services that will help me serve my buyers and in pricing, negotiations and the sales process for my sellers. I spent over a decade working in the building industry doing marketing for Contractors, Builders and Developers and managing the creative teams, photographers, graphic designers . . . and writers in designing multi-media marketing campaigns. I’ve provided services to firms and individuals in our community for over two dozen years and have learned quite a few tricks through trainings and trial and error from which you will reap the benefits. I keep up to date on current market conditions, and issues that may affect your real estate needs and new technology that will aid my service to my home buyers and sellers.

Real Estate and Home Building has been ingrained in me from my youth, my Father was a Builder and Developer, and I have bought, sold, renovated, rented, managed and marketed several investment properties for over thirty years as well as my client and investor listings. I managed a Building Industry News Paper and have provided Organizations, Builders and Developers with Multi-Media Marketing Campaigns, doing promotions for the Home Builders Association of Greater Toledo and for PRO, Professional Remodelers Association, Toledo Home Remodelers Association and for their members. I have tailored my skills, services and resources so that I may best meet your every need and any challenge that may arise. I look forward to helping you with your real estate transaction and I pledge to go above and beyond in order to exceed your needs and your expectations!

I like to consider myself a lifelong learner. I seek out new learning experiences and enjoy the classes, networking and brainstorming sessions that are offered by the real estate company that I work for, Key Realty, and in the real estate, marketing and business industries. Key Realty makes your business and my business, their business and offers new training, tools and techniques quite regularly. Our owner and president trained me in real estate almost 20 years ago when I first started in the business with Cavalier Real Estate Company and still works hard to offer us the best training and technology. It is important to me that I not just stay abreast of new ways to run my business better for both my buyers and sellers but I try to  learn the ins and the outs of it so that I am able to employ every aspect of the systems, tools, software, and strategies in order to serve you better.

I create websites for my buyers to manage their searches which sends them alerts when a property meets their criteria and utilize a prospecting marketing tool for sellers and my listings that reaches home buyers email personal emails. Please feel free to contact me to get a customized real estate search web site for you to find homes for sale and manage the listings or to get a home value, Comparable Analysis, CMA of your home or a home for sale that you are interested in. We offer auto-emails to our home buyers as well as to buyers with searches on the Internet that will get your home for sale listing to them, sometimes before others can view it.

The marketing skills, services and strategies that I put into place for my home seller’s real estate listings get them maximum exposure and appeal and utilize buyer prospecting software for my sellers and my listings that ensures that your potential buyer will receive your listing information. I have 2 personal websites where I can feature your listing with details, key words, photos, videos and links, it gets placed in the Multiple Listing Service, the MLS reaching over 1,500 agents and their buyers, and gets fed to hundreds of other websites, real estate portals and is designed with search engine optimization so that any person in the market to buy a property is able to find it.

Having knowledge about real estate, finance, construction, building, home staging, home appraisals, the internet and marketing allows me to give you valuable insights and service. This training and these tools help to get the job done right for you along with having numerous other creative marketing strategies that can be put into place to stir up excitement about your property.

Finance and Loan Details

When selling a home your home should be listed with the amount that a lender will loan a buyer to purchase it in mind. When buying a home for sale your first step is to find a reputable lender or credit union to learn what you can afford and if they have the products and programs that will meet your home buying needs. A good rule of thumb is for the monthly loan payment for principle and interest, taxes, home and mortgage insurance to be at less than 28% of your gross income. This site offers quick tools to calculate your mortgage payment and to see the Value of the Home for sale.

Selling Your Home – Home for Sale

My Fiduciary Duty and Binding Pledge is to Serve You, To Meet Your Needs, and Your Expectations, To Offer Prompt, Accurate and Detailed Communications and Services and Do Everything in a Strategic and Timely Manner to Get Your Home Sold for a High Dollar Amount! I will work as your personal assistant in preparing your home for sale, providing research to help you to list and sell it, create multimedia marketing and a custom website for it directed towards buyers who are seeking a home like yours, and aid you in the negotiations, to the closing and beyond. We use systems and strategies to keep us on track. 

Marketing Home for Sale

We place your home listing in the MLS, on our site and set up a feed getting this information to hundreds of key real estate web sites and portals. Your custom listing web page is designed to appeal to your home’s target market and to come up in the top organic searches on Internet search engines. We utilize prospecting software that blasts emails to the inboxes of buyers with searches for a home like yours. Most buyers are searching for homes for sale on the internet or working with agents who do. Let us reach your buyer for you with our tried and true systems, software and strategic marketing.

Tools and Technology

We make it our business to stay abreast of cutting-edge tools, technology, market conditions and issues that can aid you in selling or buying a home for sale. We set up a customized real estate web site for buyers to find homes for sale and manage their listings and for our home listings. We offer auto-emails to our home buyers as well as to buyers with searches on the Internet that will get your home for sale listing to them, sometimes before others can view it. We have an encrypted site that allows us to digitally create, view, sign and share every document needed throughout the home buying or home selling transaction. We have a showing system and lock boxes that log all of the details on a secure website for your protection.

Custom Website & Video

Your custom listing web page is designed to appeal to your home’s target audience, buyers who are looking for a home like yours. We design it with search engine optimization, SEO, so that it will come up in the top organic search results on Internet search engines for buyers who are looking anywhere on the world wide web to buy a home like yours. My Home Listings are featured on their own Web Page with Links to Photos, to a Video of the Home, Property Details, Area and School Info, Maps and more. Ads, Blogs and Videos for my site and my Home Listings may be found in Search Engines, Directories and many other Real Estate Search Sites, Real Estate Web Sites and Real Estate Portals and numerous sites that these sites feed this information to. 

Help, Services & Support

We are here to serve you! We have a vast amount of experience and have services and service providers that we would love to share with you. Let us know if you want to set up a tour of a home for sale, get a comparable market analysis, CMA, report, or other information and research on your home for sale or a home you are looking to buy. We can help to connect you with real estate professionals who can help you in any stage of the home buying or home selling process, lenders, title companies, appraisers, home inspectors, lawyers and others. Are you seeking new construction for your next home? Are you looking to build your own home or fix up your home for sale? We can recommend builders, contractors, staging and cleaning services. 

Home Buyer Tips and Tools

My websites and are free online real estate web sites that provide information on every aspect of real estate, including home buying, home selling, home ownership, investments, foreclosures, mortgages, and rentals. has real estate listings for millions of homes for sale in most all areas across the United States. We offer Free access to home valuations for most Properties in the Toledo Ohio area, Northwest Ohio and South East Michigan and throughout the United States of America. We also have real estate market analysis and reports for most local markets in the United States including current market conditions, median property values, demographic information, as well as schools and area information. It is our Goal to arm consumers with information and tools to make smart decisions about homes, real estate properties and mortgages, to enable them to buy, sell or Find their Ideal Property at As a free online real estate site, we have real estate, real estate articles, links and directories where you can read up on vital real estate facts and details that will aid you in every step of your real estate process and numerous posts and articles. You will find virtually everything you need to help you Find Your Ideal Property.


If you’re thinking of selling your home, the first thing you should ask is “How much is my home worth?” Being educated on market trends in the property’s area gives you the best chances of selling your home quickly and for the best price possible. Click on “How Much is Your Home Worth” to request a free (C.M.A.) Comparative Market Analysis of your property. The correct selling price of a home is the highest price that the market will bear based on recent sales of similar properties. This market value is what a lender will base the loan amount they are willing to extend to the buyer. To assist you in determining the correct asking price we provide you with a comprehensive market analysis of comparable properties sold and offered for sale in your neighborhood. Please call me for a more detailed Comparative Market Analysis and your personal consultation. Keep in mind that I take advantage of the latest technologies to make sure your property has a strong presence on the Internet and appeals to its target market. I have software that actually seeks out and sends your listing and marketing directly to Buyers that have an internet search set up for a home like yours. This means I can help you to get your home details in front of the exact buyers that are looking to buy a home with attributes like yours. The content of will attract Buyers and the Free tools and information provided will keep them coming back. If someone is looking for real estate in Toledo, Ohio, or a Realtor in the Toledo Ohio and the surrounding area, they have a much higher chance of finding this site, and YOUR listing. Contact me today and I will be happy to give you more information about my services to sellers.

BUYING A HOME? is set up as a free site for buyers to view listings, run searches, get instant home values, maps, area and school information, and numerous other tools, tips and services that will aid a Buyer in making a purchase decision. Buyers can set up their own personal automated search, find foreclosure homes and information, find For Sale By Owner Listings, Corporate housing, Vacation Properties, Bank and Government Listings, review Market Conditions, Area Demographics, Recent Sales or you can contact me directly to have me provide you with detailed reports and links to information that will help in the purchase process.

Check out Home Buyer Tips and Tools

I offer numerous tools and services on my site for your benefit but feel free to contact me to learn more about what I have to offer you, to get your free property search web page to help you find your ideal property for your home for sale or with personalized searches for the type of properties that you are interested in living in or your free comparable analysis on your property and marketing consultation. I strive to provide the highest quality of service to all of my clients while I put our expertise to work to make each transaction profitable. Call or e-mail me today for information on your next real estate transaction!

CLICK – on the Areas listed below as the Areas We Cover to search properties in that area and get other key information. Search Homes for Sale in Holland, Maumee, Monclova, Ottawa Hills, Ottawa Hills Neighborhood, Perrysburg, Perrysburg City, Perrysburg Township, Rossford, Sylvania, Toledo, Waterville, and Whitehouse.

Areas We Cover

 HollandMaumeeMonclovaOttawa HillsOttawa Hills NeighborhoodPerrysburgPerrysburg CityPerrysburg TownshipRossfordSylvaniaToledoWatervilleWhitehouse



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