We are driven by the magic that happens when buyers walk into a house and know they’re home.
Val Brown

Powell Realtors

Resources for Home Buyers

We love working with all types of home buyers! For us, there’s no such thing as a small client.We believe first-time home buyers deserve the same attention and respect as those buying waterfront estates. Our Realtors are happy to spend time with you, helping you understand the buying process and the local market. We’ve also provided resources for you here. Read on for FAQs about buying a home, links to articles & advice for home buyers, and financial tools for home buyers.

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Home Buyer FAQs

When should I begin working with a Realtor?
It’s a good idea to begin working with a Realtor as soon as you decide you’re serious about buying a home. Even if you’re early in the process, don’t worry that you’ll be wasting a Realtor’s time – you’re not! It’s an important relationship and your Realtor is with you for the long haul. An experienced Realtor can help you understand the buying process and prepare you for each step. They can also help you avoid missteps along the way. As soon as you’re ready, give us a shout and we’ll help you get started.
How do I choose the right Realtor?
Buying a home is the largest investment most of us will ever make, so finding the right Realtor is key! Spend some time talking with different Realtors who know your target area very well. Experience is
important, but so is personality and fit. You need someone you feel truly comfortable with and can trust to give and receive honest feedback. Check out this article about choosing the right realtor for more advice. You can also read about the Realtors on our team here.
What is the home buying process like? What steps should I take to buy a home?
A successful home search begins with finding the right Realtor. Another critical step at the beginning of your search is getting pre-qualified for a loan. This will help you understand how much home you can afford. It will also ensure you’re ready to make an offer when you find the right home. Once your finances are in order, you can start your home search. When you find the right home, your Realtor will help you submit an offer. You’ll need to include a deposit that will be returned if the buyer doesn’t accept your offer. If the buyer does accept, you’ll need to arrange for an inspection and appraisal, among other things. Then it’s time to schedule your settlement! You’ll want to call to transfer utilities, cable, and internet service 7 – 10 days before settlement. At closing, you’ll sign your name for what feels like a million times! Then you’ll get the keys and the house is all yours! Your Realtor will guide youthrough the entire process. You can also check out this article about the home buying process for more details about each step.
How should I approach my home search?
When you first start thinking about buying a home, it’s perfectly fine to start looking online to get a sense of what the local market is like. You can also drive through different neighborhoods to better define the specific area you’d like to target. As soon as you decide you’re serious about finding the right home, it’s time to do two important things: find the right Realtor and get pre-qualified for a loan. Then discuss your budget and your wish list with your Realtor. Narrow your must haves to three or four things and try to be flexible on everything else. And remember, you can always change a house, but you can never change its location! Check out this article about how to approach searching for a home for more detailed advice.
How much cash do I need to buy a home?
The amount of cash you need to buy a home can vary depending on the type of loan you get. As you probably know, you’ll need a down payment. If your down payment is less than 20% of the price of the home, you’ll have private mortgage insurance (PMI) added to your monthly bill. You’ll also need cash for closing costs. Closing costs are usually around 2 – 3% of the value of your loan. This can easily be another $4,000+ in addition to your down payment. Your Realtor may be able to negotiate to have part of your closing costs paid by the seller.
What types of loans are available for first-time home buyers?
Conventional loans are the type you’re probably most familiar with. These are fixed-rate mortgages that are not federally insured. They may be more difficult to qualify for because they usually require higher down payments and credit scores. If you qualify, conventional loans may offer the best interest rates. FHA loans are a federal mortgage program that is easier to qualify for and requires a down payment of as little as 3.5%. VA loans are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. VA loans help veterans qualify for mortgages, sometimes with no money down. We strongly recommend exploring your financing options at the beginning of your home search. If you’re pre-qualified, you’ll be ready to put in an offer when you find the perfect home!
What if I have to sell my current home before I can buy a new one?
You can work on buying a new home at the same time you list your current home for sale. We can help you through the process of handling both transactions. Keep in mind that the timing probably won’t work out perfectly. Be prepared to rent a home temporarily if your current home sells quickly. On the other hand, if you buy a new home before your current one has sold, be prepared to carry the cost of both mortgages for a little while. Talk to us about your goals and financial situation, and we’ll help make the process of buying and selling at the same time as smooth as possible.
What are some common home buying mistakes to avoid?
Buying a home is probably the largest investment you’ll ever make. There are a few pitfalls you want to avoid along the way. First, you want to be sure you understand your finances before you begin your home search. This will keep you from overspending. Also, avoid thinking short-term. You’ll have your home for many years, so think about how your lifestyle is likely to change over time. And don’t skip a home inspection! You’ll regret it later if you do. For more advice about mistakes to avoid when buying a home, check out this article.

Local Services Guide

Mortgage Lenders

First Home Mortgage  |  410-820-5200

OMC Mortgage (Oyster Mortgage Company)  |  410-221-8177

Provident State Bank   |  410-228-1554

Residential Mortgage Services   | 443-738-1701

Home Inspectors

Albrecht Inspect
Glenn Albrecht

Choptank Home Inspections
Patrick Murphy

Compass Property Inspections
John Follum

High Tech Home Inspections
Scott Donnelly

Rite-Time Inspections
Michael Stone

Title Companies
Cambridge Title Company, LLC
Robert S. Collison, Esq.
Eastern Shore Title Co.
Evans Title Co.
Real Estate Title & Escrow
Venture Title Co.
Utility Providers

Electric Companies

Choptank Electric Cooperative  |  877-892-0001 choptankelectric.com

Delmarva Power  |  800-375-7117  www.delmarva.com

Gas / Oil Companies

Chesapeake Utilities  |  800-427-0015  www.chpkgas.com

Pep-Up, Inc.  |  410-228-3515  www.pepupinc.com

Sharp Energy  |  410-822-8567  www.sharpenergy.com

Suburban Propane  |  410-228-2992  www.suburbanpropane.com

Tri-Gas & Oil Company  |  410-228-8500  www.trigas-oil.com

Telephone Companies 

AT&T  |  800-222-0300  www.att.com

Verizon  |    800-837-4966 www.verizon.com

Cable & Internet Companies

Bay Country Communications  |  410-901-2224  bcctv.com

Comcast  |  888-266-2278  my.xfinity.com

Direct TV  |  800-240-1583  www.directv.com

Verizon Wireline (Fios) |  visit website

Security Companies 

Bay Country Security  |  410-228-5785  baycountrysecurity.com

Water & Sewer Service 

Please contact your local municipality or county government 

Garbage Collection 

If your property is within an incorporated municipality, please contact the Town Office 

Private Collection Services: 

Shore Waste  |  443-521-0475 

Town & Country Disposal, Inc.  |  410-228-2699  www.facebook.com

Financial Tools for Home Buyers

If the calculators below take too long to respond, simply refresh your browser.

Rent vs. Buy Calculator by MortgageLoan.com
Mortgage Payment Calculator by MortgageLoan.com
Affordability Calculator by MortgageLoan.com

Articles & Advice for Buying a Home

5 Tips for House Hunting as a Couple

5 Tips for House Hunting as a Couple

Buying a house is one of the most significant and expensive purchases made in a relationship. This decision can be stressful, especially for couples with little to no experience in the field of real estate. There are many decisions to be made while house hunting, from...

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8 Tips for a Successful Home Search

8 Tips for a Successful Home Search

So you’ve decided you want to buy a house… Congratulations! Buying a home can be incredibly rewarding – both financially and personally. In the 40+ years we’ve helped people find their homes, we’ve learned that there’s definitely a right way to approach your home...

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