September 14th, 2016 at 11:00 am

homebuying checklist

Thinking of buying a home for the first time? After reviewing our homebuying checklist, you’ll find there’s much more to it than location, location, location.  

You want to make sure nothing slips through the cracks. That’s why it’s important to work with an experienced real estate agent. Some have developed great reputations for guiding first-timers through the process.

We interviewed two of them, both in our Calabasas office, to help us compile this first-time homebuyer guide. Merideth Hasson is a REALTOR®-Sales Associate with more than 33 years of experience, and Sarah Cortell, a REALTOR®-Broker Associate, brings 17 years of knowledge to each transaction.

First-Time Homebuyers: How to Find Your Dream Home

Here’s their best advice for helping first-time homebuyers–especially millennials–find their dream home:

Get your finances in order



Decide where and how you want to live


“In California, if you keep it for five years, you’re a longtime resident.”


“As you go about searching for the right home, the most effective way to avoid getting nervous about making the wrong choice–or worse yet, making the wrong choice–is to familiarize yourself with the market and your needs.”

Expect disclosures and inspections:



“Often, if a home meets 80 percent of your checklist, it is the ‘perfect’ home.”

Comforting thoughts



“A lot of first-timers don’t realize the buyer’s agent is getting paid by the seller.”

Follow this helpful homebuying checklist for buying a house and feel free to share any of your tips in the comments below.

Like what you see here? Sign up for more! Our free e-newsletter informs you of listings in your community, insider real estate tips, the latest in home trends, and more.


  • I like how Sarah mentioned that the first thing a buyer should do is get pre-approved for a loan. My husband and I have been talking about it for a while, and we’ve finally decided that we’re ready to purchase a house. We’ll make sure to get pre-approved as soon as we can so buyers know that we’re serious and we have better chances at getting the home we want.

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    Thanks for the advice about how to look for a house, especially for the tip about choosing a ‘perfect’ home that meets 80% of one’s checklist. My wife and I are looking for a bigger home to live in because we have three kids now. I thought that one should inspect the neighborhood or village the house is in. This will make sure that the environment is healthy to help kids grow as great adults with their families.

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