The Power is Now

7 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers from a Real Estate Agent –

Real Estate Agent Kara Gelven at Live Local Realty shares must-know advice for new buyers. Dive in for seven tips to start your Northern Michigan home hunt off on the right foot.

This article first appeared in Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine. Find this article and more when you explore our digital issue library. Want Traverse Magazine delivered to your door or inbox monthly? View our print subscription and digital subscription options.

No. 1 | Pre-Approval

Get pre-approved before you start looking. A local lender who knows the market in your area is preferred.

No. 2 | Find Your Perfect Agent

Find a local agent who you connect well with, as you might be working together for some time to find the perfect home.

No. 3 | Build Your Must-Have List

Remember your first home does not have to be your forever home. Your starter home doesn’t have to be perfect. Prioritize the things you can’t live without.

No. 4 | Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Look past the cosmetic aspects of a home. Things like paint colors, backsplashes and carpet can be easily changed to update the home.

No. 5 | Go to the Home Inspection

Attend your home inspection. They are very informative and a good inspector can teach you so much about how the home works and suggested maintenance over the years.

No. 6 | Press Hold on Big Purchases & Job Changes

Once you’re preapproved with a mortgage lender, do not make any large purchases or career changes. This could negatively affect your ability to get a loan. Talk with your lender more about this if something comes up.

No. 7 | The Perfect Home Will Come Along!

It’s a seller’s market! Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get the first home you place an offer on. Your agent will work hard to get you into a home you love.

Photo by Megan and Nathan Petroelje

Ready to start your homebuying journey? Connect with Kara Gelven at or call 231.632.5448.

This article is a part of our Finding the Northern Dream feature in Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine. Check out more Northern Dream articles here. 

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