Buying a New Home, What Steps to Take?

Thinking of buying a home?

What are the first steps? What do you do?  

These steps below will get you started in the right direction.  The best thing to do is to engage with a professional Broker (Realtor) that you work wwell togetrher with. They will should have  aprocess that will make the home buying event easier and more fluid. 


The Beginning

First step is to check out mortgage brokers, to get Pre-Approved, research 2 or 3 to see what their rates are, such as Cobalt Mortgage or Cornerstone Home Lending

 To make a commitment wit the mortgage broker and get the pre-approval process in the works.

There is a difference between pre-approval and pre-qualified, here is the difference between the 2 of them.

Pre-qualified is a simple process of the mortgage broker asking simple question, such as income and debt and then you are pre qualified for  X amount.

Pre approval is more in depth financial information to determine what your purchasing power is.  Typically both require a credit check, yet the approval process will require you digging deeper into your financial world, break to the W-2’s, 401K docs, and investment paperwork, pay stubs.

Once your broker (Real Estate Agent) has the paperwork/letter stating what your purchasing power is, all may be in order with your finances if they are not, then you may need to pay a little or a lot of attention to fixing any issues that popped up during this process.

Now is the time to figure out what you are going to look for?

What areas you like, rate 1, 2 and 3rd

What schools area do you want to be in?

Public transportation? Is this important

Work, how close to work?

What style of home do you like? Contemporary, Modern, Tudor, Rambler?

What size of home?

How many floors, this goes with style of home

How many bedrooms? Size of rooms

How many bathrooms?  How extensive of bathroom finishes are you looking for?

Den/ library are they in your future?

Property, how much property are you looking for?

Kitchen, what are you looking for in a kitchen, simple, or extensive

Garage, 1,2 or 3 cars?

Living room, media rom?

There are so many things to think about when purchasing a home.

When looking for a home it’s important to enjoy the search and make it a good experience.

Fireplace/s  Gas or wood burning

Backyard amenities?

Are you looking for a basement, finished?


This is not my complete list, though it is fairly long and encompasses a lot of items.

I hope this helps you get pointed in the right direction.  Be smart and just because it has a nice paint or great paint colors doesn’t mean it’s a great house.  Use a very good home inspector; the home inspector should not be used to get a lower price but to get a very good idea of what the condition of the house is in and what repairs are needed.

If you have a great Broker (Realtor) then utilize them for their expertise and advice, a true Realtor will be worth all their money.

Good luck and enjoy your search.

Tom Fine

Fine Homes NW, Inc.

Windermere Real Estate Capitol Hill, Seattle




Posted on December 11, 2013 at 6:20 am
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Tom Fine is Ready to Help You!

Hello family and friends,

  • Do you know a real estate agent who offers 24-hour service?

  • A Realtor that is not afraid to ask and negotiate about difficult issues?

  • One that represents his clients with exceptional professionalism?

  • Comes with a background in home construction and renovation?

  • Now you do!

This is an exciting time for me.  I have accepted position as a broker with Windermere Real Estate on Capitol Hill-specializing, but not limited to—homes and properties in the Seattle and greater Puget Sound area. The real estate business is a great fit for me, as you can imagine. The comprehensive skills that I have learned provide customers an exceptional benefit when buying or selling a home. I can provide a realistic view of your home, construction options, and value.
Are you planning on buying or selling a home or property in the next few months? Do you know of a friend or family member who is looking for a real estate agent? As a friend or family member, you are a key element to my success in the field. Please refer me to your family and friends, and I promise to represent them with integrity and get them the best deal, and results, possible. Contact me today with your real estate needs and referrals:
Tom Fine, Fine Homes, NW, Inc.
Windermere Real Estate
Cell 206-434-6561
Office  206-324-8900

Watch for my new Web site launch
Thank you for your time and consideration.

Tom Fine

Fine Homes, NW, Inc.

Copyright © 2013 Fine Homes NW, Inc. Windermere Real Estate, All rights reserved.
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1112 – 19th Avenue East

Seattle, WA 98116

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Posted on September 9, 2013 at 7:21 am
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Jobs Report in! Good News. Save a Buck!

I love hearing good news, the job numbers are in and it's up 169,000.  Yeah! Unemployment in Washington down to 6.9% and in Seattle it's down to 5.5%.  We are on the slow track to recover and at least it's going in the right direction. Businesses are opening and expanding.

I know we are all smarter from what we have learned through for the last several years, it has made us smarter and wiser. Not to mention more cautious. I now know what my Grandfather, Joe meant by saying, save a buck! Back then it was a buck and today it's at least a $100's. My Grandfather lived a simple and comfortable life. He owned multiple rentals in downtown Detroit, Ouch! They where sold years ago for virtually nothing, yet it provided him and Grandma a comfortable income. Joe also had a tailor shop where he had pre-made suits and a great lay-away program.  Listen to this:  When one of his tenants needed to go to court because of non payment of rent or some other issue that he found out about, Joe had them come to his shop and he would outfit his tenant in a suit to look good. He said you always should look good when taking care of business.  He had such a big heart and great values.  Joe saw a lot in his life, from escaping the holocaust to the depression and living a long good life.  What do I take away form this?

How do I treat others?

Am I saving a buck?

What can I do for others?

How can I help the community?

What I put into this world, will it help and will anyone listen?


What does Joe (My Grandfather) have to do with the jobs numbers and unemployment? I think about how he helped put people in the right frame of mind when they where down and it gave his tenants courage and the ability to feel good about themselves so they can be a positive influence to their family and community.  Being a good contributor to society, working, paying taxes and being an asset to America instead of a liability.


I am looking forward to continuing good number reports as well as lower unemployment numbers.  While I save a buck.


Tom Fine

Fine Homes NW, Inc.

Serving Seattle and surrounding areas for your real estate needs




Posted on September 6, 2013 at 9:52 pm
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Houses are Moving and We Just Closed on Another Great One and On-Time!

In this challenging market, finding a house is hard enough and then meeting all the criteria is another challenge and finally the sellers looking to close as soon as possible.

Another challenge was my client wanted to use a good friend of his that worked for one of the larger banks in the country, of course keeping those friendships tight, is big business and we all understand helping friends and families. The issues that came up was my client wanted to use his friend at the big bank ad we had multiple discussions on this and that it was critical to meet the requirements of the contract and close in 30 days or less.

The Big bank wanted 2-3 weeks to do the appraisal and could close in most likely 45 days. The kicker to switch my client over was when he heard me say he would loose the earnest money if we didn't close in 30 days or less, could his friend guarantee 30 days, No, he couldn't guarantee 45 days.

Thanks to Jackie Murphy and the group at Cobalt Mortgage, they put all the paperwork together in less than 30 days.

It's all about having a great team behind me that makes me shine. I am so happy to have them work with me to help families find a great home.

Let me and my team helps you buy a home or sell your current property.


Tom Fine, Broker





Posted on August 23, 2013 at 8:55 am
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