Buying a House

Coldwell Banker Bain Real Estate Blog Home

Subscribe and receive email notifications of new blog posts.

rss logo RSS Feed
Bellevue WA | 16 Posts
Buying a House | 7 Posts
Home Maintenance | 31 Posts
Portland OR | 63 Posts
Redmond WA | 2 Posts
Seattle WA | 62 Posts
Tacoma, WA | 2 Posts
Uncategorized | 41 Posts
Vancouver, WA | 1 Posts

Moving Tips

Moving to a new house can be a stressful and chaotic ordeal. You have a thousand different things to worry about. There's a good chance something will be forgotten.

Whether it's an item you didn't pack up or a task you neglected to do, it's not uncommon to get to your new home, only to say, "What happened to the ______?!" Here are some of the most common things people forget.

Click Here to


Competitive MarketHomes are selling very quickly! Securing a home in a competitive market can feel challenging, if not impossible. Below, we've rounded a few tips to give you the best chance possible at getting your dream home in the competitive market. Following our guide and working with our brokers will help you stay ahead of the pack and position yourself as a potential buyer.

Click Here to


wire fraud awarenessThere has been widely-reported criminal fraud within the banking industry specific to technology hacks sent to customers via email, text, Facebook messenger, etc, after obtaining access to trusted friends' accounts. By all appearances you think a friend or business vendor with whom you have a relationship has sent you a link that ends up being corrupt, and this has resulted in people sharing personal financial information and losing a lot of money.

When buying a home, we're hearing increasingly troubling stories of how criminals have become more and more sophisticated, with some buyers losing hundreds of thousands of dollars during a home purchase transaction when transferring earnest money or funds to close the sale via wire. The most recent example being a loan officer calling a home buyer directly, impersonating bank representative with a major national bank.

One thing is clear – while the internet offers us convenience and efficiencies, and has become a trusted resource, criminals are watching our every move, especially via email. Then, armed with a lot of specific information on a home transaction, they strike – appearing credible in every way. Any entity in the chain (bank, title company, escrow company, etc.) can be effectively impersonated.

There are several ways you can protect yourself, most of which harken back to the "olden days" – when we did everything in person, by phone call, or with a cashier's check. Here's a list of what buyers should consider before making a wire transfer:


  1. At the beginning of a transaction, buyers can be provided with instructions by their real estate broker on exactly how to transfer money, exactly who is involved, and their exact contact information including phone numbers. If at any point you receive a change to these details, CALL YOUR REAL ESTATE BROKER immediately to confirm. Be suspicious of any changes to wire instructions, especially at the last minute.
  2. Never provide personal or financial information to anyone via email or text. Provide this information in person.
  3. Always call your real estate broker at a known phone number, and call the title/escrow company together before wiring money, orally confirming and cross-checking bank routing number, account number, and other details.
  4. Consider delivering a cashier's check for your earnest money and funds to close in person, rather than via wire.
  5. Secure your email account with a strong password.
  6. Often buyers' and sellers' real estate transactions occur during travel so plan for access to non-public secure WIFI networks.


By knowing what to watch out for, we can help you identify fraud events before they happen and ensure your dream home becomes your reality.


In this crazed housing market (up almost 45% from last year!1) it can be a real struggle not only to find a home you love but also to ensure your bid gets the attention it deserves.

How can you prove to the seller that you're their best bet for a no-fuss seller experience with a reliable, on-time close?

You choose your lender wisely.

The lender's interest rate is important, but all lenders are different, and you may run into problems if you aren't considering other factors as well.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when researching lenders that can help you get your bid noticed:


  • Is your lender looking out for you and your future? Do they ask about your short and long-term goals? Do they take the time to listen and then carefully walk you through programs and various options? Do they answer your questions in a way that you can understand and feel empowered to make a smart choice?


  • Are they a local lender? Is the lender tapped into your market and able to provide expert advice on area properties and amenities? Do they have a strong network of reliable real estate agents that can help you shop smart?


  • Would this lender advocate on your behalf? Do they give you the feeling that they're invested in your success, or do you feel like a number? Would this lender go above and beyond in communicating with both the seller and buyer real estate agents? Are they willing to do more than their basic job description to help you win an offer? How responsive would they be to all your questions?


  • Does this lender understand the importance of getting pre-approved in advance? Is this lender willing to do the financial verification work on the front end so your bid is strong and reliable?


  • Do they offer underwriting approval with a solid guarantee? This can be a game-changer for sellers. Does the lender have an approval program that guarantees your loan will not fail due to financing issues? Some lenders do have this type of program, but remember, in order for the guarantee to remain in place, you need to maintain your financial status and choose an acceptable property.


At Axia Home Loans, we recognize that the stakes are especially high, and buying a home may be the biggest financial decision you will make. We take your financial future seriously. We'll sit down with you one-on-one for a free mortgage consultation, give you tips on the local market, and get to know your real estate agent.

Even before you start shopping for a home, we'll work through your pre-approval and have our underwriter review your financial profile so there are no last-minute issues that may jeopardize your ability to close. We'll even create a customized Buyer's Highlight Letter to provide the seller with additional proof that your bid is solid. Axia also has a Certified Homebuyer Guarantee that adds serious strength to your bid.

Contact us to get started with a lender who helps you get the seller's attention and is genuinely interested in helping you achieve homeownership.


Sue Hall, Northwest Regional Manager, Axia Home Loans
NMLS# 166446
(503) 924-7910


1 National Association of Realtors, June 2021


First time Buyers

Buying a home is still a part of the American dream. And for most of us, it starts as just that—a dream. Most people spend years dreaming about their first home before they actually buy it, and if that's where you find yourself today, then there are some things you should know before moving forward. 

Buying your first home can, of course, be a stressful process, and the more you know going in, the better off you'll be. Our brokers are always here to help. Here's what most first-time homebuyers wish they had known before starting the process: 

  1. You're Not Buying for the Life You Have Today
    It's one thing to buy a house that fits your current lifestyle. It's quite another to buy a house that fits your lifestyle five, ten, or twenty years for now. But a house is one of the biggest purchases you'll ever make, and you must think about it in the long term. Ask yourself some questions about what will your life look like down the road and whether the house you're looking at will be right for it. Are you planning on getting married or having kids? How long do you expect to be at your current job? If you're not confident that your house will still be the right house in a few years, you may want to keep looking. 
  2. It's Okay to Shop Around for a Mortgage
    A lot of first-time homebuyers are so worried about whether or not they'll be able to secure a mortgage that they take the first offer they get. Less than half of today's buyers shop around for a home loan. That's a big mistake, and it's one that could end up costing you a lot of money. Rates offered by lending institutions vary widely, which is one of the reasons why it's important to always talk to multiple lenders. As a general rule, it's best to speak with at least three lenders and a mortgage broker before you make any commitments.
  3. Buy What You Can Afford
    Buy what you can afford might seem like obvious advice, but keep one thing in mind: the amount you can afford isn't necessarily the same as what your mortgage lender thinks you can afford. Many homeowners get pre-approved for more than they end up spending, and that's not a bad thing. While pre-approval for a mortgage is a great step toward determining your budget, it shouldn't be the only one. You need to do your own math to decide how much you can afford. Factor in all your income and expenses, and keep in mind that you should never put yourself in a position where you're spending more than 30% of your income on housing. 
  4. Don't Get Caught up in the Superficial
    When you're in the market for homes for sale, it's important to remember that there's no such thing as a 'perfect' house. That's why it's really important not to fixate too much on imperfections, especially small ones that can be easily fixed. If the house is dirty, the walls are an ugly color, or the fixtures are outdated, these are all superficial problems. Start out by making a list of priorities. Write out all your must-haves and would-like-to-haves so you can evaluate any house you look at based on whether it meets your needs. 
  5. The Right Real Estate Agent Can Make All the Difference
    Some buyers shy away from working with a real estate agent because they're wary about the cost. But it's worth remembering that a good buyer's agent will be working in your best interest. The same can't be said for the listing agent, who is essentially trying to help their client sell their home for as much as possible. Working with a great agent can actually save you money, but that's not the only benefit. They will also help you with all of the more complicated or overwhelming parts of buying a house, from working with your lender and negotiating the price to overseeing inspections and signing the closing paperwork. 

Buying your first home can seem overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. Contact us today to learn more and get started on the road to homeownership in the Portland area. 


Dog Friendly Neighborhood

Portland, Oregon has been called one of the most pet-friendly cities in America, and it's not hard to see why. With an abundance of pet stores, dog parks, pet-friendly restaurants, and dog walking trails, Portland is a pet owner's dream city. 

Our brokers are proud to live in a city that welcomes all our four-legged friends. If you're looking for your next home in the area, here's what you should look out for to know you're in a pet-friendly neighborhood. 

  1. Trash Cans
    We've all done it, but throwing your dog's poop bag in a neighbor's garbage can while you're out for a walk is a definite faux pas. That's why it's always great to live in a neighborhood with public trash cans on every corner. It's a sure sign that you and your pooch will be happy, and you won't have to be sneaky when you dispose of your dog's waste. 
  2. Click Here to


how to buy a home team diva

For you, buying a house is not just ticking off another box on the list – it's personal. Because owning your own home means you get to decide which colors to paint the wall, how many dogs you get to have (backyard permitting), and which tree you'll build your kid's tree fort in. Having a place of your own isn't just the quintessential American Dream, it's the dream you've kindled For. Ever. But you live in Seattle and have heard the horror stories about too few houses for sale and sky-high prices. Now, you're afraid your dream may never come true.

Well, don't give up. Buying a home in Seattle is a lot like buying a home anywhere else, only different. Yes, the market here is a tight and prices are above the national average but that doesn't mean you're destined to a lifetime of renting. Coldwell Banker Bain's Team Diva know the ins and outs of the local market and what it takes to be successful in landing the home of your dreams. It starts with education, yours, so they've put together a complete guide, A to Z called, appropriately, How to Buy a Home in Seattle. In it you'll discover:

  • How to determine your home-buyer personality
  • How to find the right real estate agent for you
  • Steps to get your financing in order
  • How to make a winning offer
  • What to do when you're under contract (and why it's not the time to buy a car)
  • And more …

Whether you're ready to buy a house or just curious about the process, this comprehensive guide is for you. Never have the steps to buying a home in Seattle been laid out so clearly. See for yourself.

Login to My Homefinder

Login to My Homefinder