A Guide to Buying Your Dream Home in 10 Easy Steps

Thinking of buying a home in DMV Area? Make sure you know what to expect - whether you're a first-time buyer or a real estate aficionado. Here are the steps you need to know for buying a home.

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10 Steps to Buying a Home

Step 1: Figure Out What You Can Afford

Determine what you'll be able to afford in mortgage payments each month, as well as what you can invest initially as a down payment. This handy mortgage calculator can help you estimate your monthly payments.

Keep in mind additional costs like closing costs, fees, homeowners insurance, and taxes will all add to the overall costs. Be sure to check your credit score, and remember that just because you don't have a traditional 20% down payment doesn't mean you can't buy a home!

Mortgage Calculator

Step 2: Shop for a Loan and Get Preapproved

Finding a trustworthy lender and determining what type of loan you'll qualify for will help you figure out what you can actually afford. Get recommendations, check with the Better Business Bureau, and be sure to talk to at least three or four lenders before making a decision. Need recommendations for lenders in DMV Area? Contact us.


Step 3: Determine the Selling Price of Homes in Your Locations

If you have a preferred location or neighborhood, find out the actual selling price of homes in that area - not just their listing price to confirm whether you can actually afford that location. Have a particular neighborhood in the DMV Area you'd like to check? Request your neighborhood sold report here!

Neighborhood Sold Report

Step 4: Find an Agent

You don't have to work with an agent but it is extremely recommended unless you are a highly experienced buyer or lawyer. Your agent should be someone you know you can trust, an expert on real estate in your area and neighborhood, and very proficient in working with buyers of your experience.

Looking for an agent in DMV Area? Find out more about our experience and how we can help you buy a home!

Meet Our Agents

Step 5: Find Your Home

This is the fun part, where you get to visit open houses, tour homes, make notes, and really hone in on your perfect dream home! Make sure you keep detailed records of the homes you visit, noting things you liked, didn't like, pros and cons, etc. Taking pictures can also keep your memory fresh. Buying a home in DMV Area? Start searching for your dream home today!

Start Searching

Step 6: Make an Offer

When you find your favorite home, work with your agent to determine a competitive but reasonable offering price. You'll want to choose a number that is comfortably within your price range but competitive enough that it won't cause the seller to immediately reject your offer.

Step 7: Get an Inspection

Nothing's finalized yet, so make sure you're getting your money's worth. Ask your real estate agent to recommend a trusted home inspector to walk through the house and check for any potential defects or problems. If necessary, you can request that the seller repair any issues you find.

Step 8: Review Your Contract

Before you sign any paperwork, it's important that you carefully read over the contract with your agent or lawyer to ensure there are contingencies - that is, if something falls through with your mortgage, you aren't still obligated to buy the home.

Step 9: Finalize Your Mortgage Approval

Work with your chosen lender to submit your mortgage application, review predicted closing costs, and have your home appraised. Common closing costs include attorney fees, title insurance, appraisal fees, home inspection fees, courier fees, government recording fees, and taxes.

Step 10: Close and Pay

It's time to close! Meet with your agent, lender, and the seller to finalize the paperwork, sign your contracts, and pay your down payment and closing costs. Finally - the keys to your new home!


"We were first-time home buyers and they simplified the experience..."

"I would highly recommend DuoDMV to anyone looking to buy or sell property in the DMV. They are both hard working, knowledgeable, responsive and honest. They listened to our wants and needs and found us a great place quickly! We were first time home buyers and they simplified the experience and walked us through the entire process. I will be using them again for sure!"

– Kerry Kramer

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Begin Your Home Buying Journey in the DMV Area

If you're considering buying a home in the DMV area, then it's time to reach out to (202) 410-7511. As your local real estate experts, we can provide answers to all your buying questions and connect you with the resources necessary for making an informed decision, ensuring you find your dream home at the perfect price. Explore the variety of home buying resources we have to offer.