Michael Woodrum | DeSoto Real Estate, Festus Real Estate, Hillsboro Real Estate


For a buyer who is interested in learning more about a residence, it may be beneficial to set up a house showing. In fact, there are many reasons why now may be a good time to schedule a home showing, such as:

1. You can determine if a home is right for you.

Many houses are available in cities and towns nationwide, and as such, differentiating a good home from a great one sometimes can be difficult. Fortunately, a home showing offers a worry-free opportunity to get an up-close look at a residence. And after a showing is complete, you can decide whether a house matches your expectations.

During a home showing, a seller's agent can respond to any of your house concerns and questions. This agent also can provide details about why a seller has listed his or her residence, as well as other information about a home that you may be unable to obtain elsewhere.

Of course, if you are satisfied with a home following a showing, you can submit an offer to purchase this residence. Or, if you find that a home fails to meet your expectations, you can continue your pursuit of your dream house.

2. You can compare and contrast similar houses.

A home showing provides a valuable learning opportunity, as it enables you to compare and contrast houses against one another. If you set up multiple home showings, you may be able to review a wide range of residences in a short period of time.

You can set up as many home showings as you want, too. Therefore, if you find you still have questions about a house after a showing, there is no need to stress. Simply schedule a follow-up showing, and you can take a second look at a residence at your convenience.

3. You can make an informed homebuying decision.

As a homebuyer, it is important to gain as much information about a house as possible. And if you believe a home may be your dream residence, there is no harm in setting up a showing. That way, you can view a residence in-person and make an informed decision about whether to proceed with an offer to purchase.

Pursuing a home may be challenging, regardless of whether you are interested in buying a home for the first time or have purchased residences in the past. If you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can receive comprehensive support as you search for your ideal house.

A real estate agent can help you schedule home showings and weigh the pros and cons of different residences. Plus, if you find a home you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase this residence.

Want to accelerate your quest to acquire your ideal home? Schedule a showing today – you'll be glad you did. Because if you allocate time and resources to view a residence in-person, you may discover your dream home.


For most college students and recent grads, the prospect of buying a home seems slim and distant. With the cost of a college education growing each year and the price of houses inflating, it can seem daunting to begin to save for a down payment or build credit.

 However, there are ways to start planning now for buying a home, even if you are burdened with student debt and rising rent.

 In this article, we’re going to do just that. If you’re a recent grad or a current college student, read on for a guide to buying a home.

What do you need to buy a home

Once you graduate college you might be wishing you could have taken an elective called “How to Be an Adult 101.” There are many personal finance problems in life that just aren’t taught in school, from saving for retirement, to borrowing for a house or car, to investing in stocks and bonds.

So, what are the main things you’ll need to buy a home? Before you start applying for mortgages, you should know that just because you can get approved doesn’t mean you should buy a home.

Purchasing a home is a huge investment and one that most homeowners take decades to pay off. With high interest rates and private mortgage insurance (PMI), the cost of owning a home can be immense.

To avoid PMI and get a good interest rate, you’ll need a few things.

Credit score

Your credit score is one thing that lenders take into consideration when determining how risky it is to lend to you. They want to know that they’ll receive a return on their investment and that you won’t stop paying your mortgage. A good way to gauge this is by looking at your financial history.

Your credit score mainly takes into account the following five things:

  1. Payment history - 35%: Do you pay your bills (utilities, loans, etc.) on time each month?

  2. Credit usage - 30%: How much of your maximum credit have you used? If you max out your cards this can reflect poorly on your ability to manage money. However, if you don’t use any accounts you might have a hard time building a payment history.

  3. Length of credit history - 15%: The longer you’ve been paying bills the more trustworthy you are to lenders

  4. New credit - 10%: If you recently opened or attempted to open cards this will temporarily lower your credit score as it could be a sign of financial duress

  5. Types of credit - 10%: store accounts, credit cards, loans, etc. Having a variety of credit types will boost your score.

Having student loans as a college graduate can often give your credit score a leg up on others who don’t have a credit history. However, to boost your score you’ll want to keep making on-time payments and consider using a credit card if you can afford it.

Employment history

Most recent college grads cringe when they hear that their employment history is important to lenders. However, you might be pleased to know that being a full-time student is something lenders take into consideration.

They will, however, need to see employment history from your current employer, and the more you can prove that you have a stable job the better.

Down payment

One of the most important things you can do right now is to save for a down payment. Designate a portion of your paycheck each week to a separate savings account if you need to in order to hold yourself accountable. The bigger down payment you can make, the better your interest rate and the more money you’ll save over the length of your mortgage.

Finally, don’t let increases in your salary change your lifestyle. Staying frugal will help you avoid “lifestyle inflation” or spending more simply because you make more. Decide what you value, and choose purchases wisely.


It goes without saying that buying a home is time-consuming.

 First, there’s the financial planning to determine when you’re ready to buy a home. Then you need to get pre-approved for a mortgage and start looking for homes. After viewing several homes you finally find the perfect home. Then comes the difficult process of making an offer and negotiating the cost of the home. If all goes well, your offer is accepted and you get to enter the lengthy mortgage closing process. However, your work is not yet done. You’ll have to move out of your current residence and into your new home. All of this while juggling your work and social life.

 After all of this, it might seem like the only thing left to do is relax in your new home. While it may be true that you certainly deserve a break, there are some things you should do sooner rather than later when you move into your new home.

 In this article, we’ll cover ten things you should do right away once you move into your new home.

1. Home security

Your chief consideration when moving into your new home should be making sure it’s safe. The best first step to take is to change all of the locks on your house. In spite of how trustworthy the previous homeowner may have seemed, you can never be 100% sure who had spare keys to their home. Changing locks is quick and inexpensive, especially considering what’s at stake.

Another important step in home security is to put new batteries in and test all smoke detectors, make sure fire extinguishers are up-to-date, and ensure air filters are cleaned.

2. Set up your utilities

One of the first things you have to do when moving into a new home is to call your utility companies and transfer services into your name. Make a list of the services you’ll need to set up (electricity, water, garbage removal, internet, home security, heating, etc.). This is also a good time to set up online accounts and autopay for these services. It will save you time each month and make it easier to keep track of your bills if you simplify this process from the get-go.

3. Self-inspection

You should have already had the home inspected by a professional prior to closing on the house. However, things can change in the time that someone moves all of their belongings out of a home and you move all of yours in. Wiring can be damaged, pipes banged, windows cracked, and so on. Do a thorough inspection of your home to check for leaks, broken wires, and fire hazards to be sure that your home is in good condition.

4. Deep clean

It might be tempting to just move your belongings into their new places once you arrive at your new home. However, the best time to clean a room is when it’s empty. Before you set up your furniture or fill your cabinets, give them a thorough cleaning.

5. Familiarize yourself with circuit breaker and water valves

When disaster strikes, you’ll want to be ready for it. Get to know your circuit box before the first power outage. Store flashlights in easily accessible places and make sure they have fresh batteries. Similarly, familiarize yourself with the main water shutoff valve in case you have a pipe burst. If the former homeowner lived alone and you have a large family, there’s a chance that the sudden surge in power and water usage could reveal issues with plumbing and wiring that the former owner wasn’t aware of.


After you add your house to the real estate market, it may be only a matter of days before you receive the first offer on your residence.

Ultimately, the initial offer on your home may prove to be the best proposal for a number of reasons, including:

1. The offer matches or exceeds your expectations.

An informed home seller understands the condition of his or her house, and as such, sets realistic expectations for the home selling journey.

For a home seller, it is paramount to conduct a home appraisal before you list your residence. With this appraisal, you can learn about your residence's strengths and weaknesses and price your house accordingly.

Furthermore, a home appraisal will help you understand the true value of your home. And if you receive an initial offer that matches or surpasses your expectations, you should have no trouble accepting the proposal and moving forward with a home sale.

2. The offer corresponds to the current state of the real estate market.

Operating in a buyer's market is far different from operating in a seller's market, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.

In a buyer's market, there is an abundance of high-quality houses and a shortage of property buyers. This means a buyer's market typically favors property buyers over property sellers.

On the other hand, a seller's market usually favors property sellers. This market includes many property buyers and a shortage of top-notch houses. Thus, the likelihood of receiving a terrific first offer may increase in a seller's market and decrease in a buyer's market.

As a home seller, it is essential to allocate the necessary time and resources to learn about the housing market. If you understand the differences between a buyer's market and a seller's market, you can identify a great initial offer on your house.

3. The offer is a must-accept in the eyes of your real estate agent.

When it comes to selling a house, it often is a wonderful idea to work with a real estate agent. In fact, this housing market professional may prove to be a difference-maker at each stage of the home selling journey.

A real estate agent will help you list your residence, promote it to potential homebuyers and set up home showings and open houses. That way, he or she can make it easy for you to generate substantial interest in your residence as soon as it becomes available.

Perhaps most important, a real estate agent is happy to provide honest, unbiased home selling recommendations. This housing market professional will help you differentiate between a mediocre initial offer and a stellar one and ensure you can make informed home selling decisions.

Lastly, be sure to analyze the initial offer on your home closely before you accept it. By taking a diligent approach to this home proposal, you can evaluate the pros and cons of it and make the best possible decision based on your individual needs.


Many factors come into play when determining whether you can afford to buy a house. Since the monthly rent for an apartment is often close to what a mortgage payment would be, you can't help but wonder if your rent money would be better spent building equity in your own home.

While this is often the case, first-time home buyers often underestimate or overlook expenses that accompany home ownership. Although a mortgage broker or bank loan officer can help you calculate the maximum mortgage you can afford, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you weigh your options.

  • Create a detailed budget. By taking the time to figure out how your income stacks up to your monthly expenses, you can get a clearer picture of your financial situation. If you have a good credit score, a positive monthly cash flow, and enough funds to pay closing costs and a down payment, then home ownership may be a viable option. (Your credit score, which you can obtain once a year for free from the three main credit reporting companies, will have a major impact on both your interest rate and your monthly mortgage payments.)
  • Factor in other expenses: Figuring out your current budget is relatively easy, but predicting your future budget as a homeowner can be a lot more challenging. A big part of the equation will depend on the amount of property taxes and school taxes that will be tacked on to your mortgage costs. A real estate agent can provide you with those figures, as well as other information you need to calculate how affordable it would be to live in a particular house. They have access to a wide range of relevant information, such as utility expenses, water bills, and homeowner association fees (if there are any). Since property taxes sometimes cover the cost of services like garbage and yard waste collection, you may not have to factor in those items into your projected budget. Your real estate agent can help you come up with a rough estimate of home maintenance costs -- especially if they're familiar with the history of the home you're considering buying. As the process moves forward, a property inspector can provide you with more details about the condition of the home and whether any costly repairs are likely to be needed soon.
  • Home maintenance and furnishing costs: Other possible expenses to consider when estimating the cost of home ownership include yard maintenance, landscaping, HVAC service calls, electrician services, plumbing repairs, and homeowners' insurance. If you're a first-time home owner, there's also a good chance you'll need to buy some furniture to fill out those additional rooms!
  • Buying your first home definitely takes a lot of planning, budgeting, and research, but the rewards of owning your own home will more than justify the effort!