Home Buyer's Tips

Buying a Home-Your Most Important Investment!

Buying a home is probably the most significant financial commitment you'll ever make.  Regardless of how times change, owning a home remains the cornerstone of the American dream.

To assist you in the process, CBSHOME Real Estate has everything you need –– from a basic step-by-step overview to a property comparison checklist to home warranties and inspections.  Whether you're a first time buyer or building your dream home, we'll help you through the entire home buying experience.

Property Finder

CBSHOME's Home Search provides you more detailed property information than any other website in the region.

Renting vs Buying

Financial independence, security and satisfaction...with all these home ownership advantages, who needs rent? There are many advantages to owning a home, including:

Security - A feeling of security that comes from owning a home and the knowledge that your home is a safeguard against inflation.

Investment - Payments on your mortgage loan mean you are acquiring a major possession; instead of rent, you own more and more. The garden you plant, the permanent improvements you make - all enhance your way of living as well as the value of your home.

Tax Advantage - Your real estate taxes and the interest on your mortgage are deductible from your income tax.

Financial Independence - Most people start on the road to financial independence through home ownership. Your principal and interest payments remain the same for the full term of your mortgage while your rent usually goes up as the cost of living increases.

Environment - Your children grow up in the neighborhood of your choice.

Cash Equity - Better than a savings account, your home can appreciate to keep pace with inflation.

Satisfaction - Home ownership offers special advantages that make life more enjoyable - backyard barbecues, large family gatherings during holidays, a home workshop, a chance to enjoy your family's companionship in the privacy of your own home.

Why Do You Need A REALTOR®?

Sure, you can do your home search by yourself. But why? With an experienced CBSHOME REALTOR at your side, finding the perfect home is easier, faster and a lot more fun. A good REALTOR can show you more suitable properties, offer valuable advice, and coach you through the entire home buying process. Not to mention, save you time. 

Some people think that if they have several REALTORS looking for homes on their behalf, they'll find a house more quickly. Like most relationships, the buyer-agent relationship thrives on communication, loyalty and trust. By working exclusively with one REALTOR you'll improve both the process and the results.

Finding The Right REALTOR For You

Chemistry is important. So are credentials. Above all, you'll want an experienced REALTOR who has the resources of a leading real estate firm such as CBSHOME.

Some helpful hints on finding and working with a REALTOR:

  • Ask friends, family members, neighbors or co-workers for referrals.
  • Trust your intuition.
  • Share with your REALTOR as much as possible about your lifestyle, tastes, needs and dreams for your home.
  • Focus your search on a few geographic areas.

Plus ask him/her some of the following questions:

How well do you know the area(s) that interest me?

A REALTOR who knows the area or neighborhood you are interested in is extremely beneficial to you.

How many other buyers and sellers do you currently represent?

You want a REALTOR who will give you personalized attention, answer your calls quickly and communicate with you often.

Will you handle all aspects of my transaction or will you delegate some tasks to an Administrative Assistant?

If you choose to work with a busy REALTOR, a knowledgeable assistant can be very helpful when you have questions or need immediate attention.

Will you give me a list references?

Contact some clients that have worked with the REALTOR and ask them about their experience.

How Do I Make the Right Offer?

Time for nervous anticipation. You've found the home you want, and your CBSHOME REALTOR says you need to act fast. Yet you want to be as calm and objective as possible. The expertise a CBSHOME REALTOR can give you at negotiating time is priceless. Be prepared for counter offers. Don't let the pressure get to you. Remain patient, and let your CBSHOME REALTOR act as your liaison with the seller or the seller's agent. You may need to be flexible on price, closing date, appliances and repairs.


Beware of putting contingencies in your purchase agreement. They weaken your offer. However, if you currently own a home, your offer may need to be contingent on it selling. Or, if you're uncertain about the structural integrity of the home, you may want to have a home inspection contingency. Just be aware any contingency could take you out of the running if a non-contingent offer is presented.

Earnest Money

Once your offer is accepted, be prepared to seal the deal with earnest money. Earnest money is usually a percentage of the home's purchase price that indicates you're serious about the purchase and indicates your good faith. It's generally applied to the purchase price when you complete the purchase, but may be forfeited to the seller if you fail to complete the purchase. Contact your CBSHOME REALTOR to determine the amount of earnest money you should be prepared to pay based on your target home price.

Many first-time buyers are taken by surprise when it comes to earnest money, especially if they have to make a fast offer. Be sure to discuss with your CBSHOME REALTOR the appropriate amount of earnest money you should be prepared to pay based on the price range of properties you're looking at. You should have this amount available in your checking account so you can write out an earnest money check on the day you sign your purchase agreement.

Home Inspection and Insurance

Having your new home inspected prior to finalizing your purchase agreement is a great idea.  Homeowner's insurance can protect you against any unforeseen situations.

What is Title Insurance?

A title insurance policy is your best protection against potential defects which could remain hidden despite the most thorough search of the public records. A title insurance policy is insurance against loss or damage resulting from defects or failure of title to a particular parcel of real property.

When you buy real property, you expect to enjoy certain benefits from ownership. You expect to be able to occupy and use the property as you wish and for it to be free from debts or obligations not created or agreed to by you. You also presume to be able to sell your property without prior title complications or to be able to pledge your property as collateral for loans. Title Insurance is designed to cover these rights that you bargained for.

Title Insurance policies are offered that have limited coverage and extended coverage.

What is included in limited coverage?

Limited coverage handles such risks as:

  • False impersonation of true property owner
  • Forged deeds, releases or wills
  • Unpaid liens for estate, inheritance, income or gift taxes
  • Lack of competency, capacity or legal authority of a party
  • Undisclosed (but recorded) prior mortgage or lien
  • Undisclosed (but recorded) easement or use restriction
  • Erroneous legal descriptions
  • Lack of a right of access
  • Improper recordation of the Deed

What is included in extended coverage?

An extended coverage policy provides for the additional risks:

  • Post policy forgery protection
  • Enhanced access coverage
  • Building permit violations
  • Subdivision map act coverage
  • Restrictive covenant violations
  • Mineral extraction coverage
  • Coverage extended to living trusts
  • Enhanced encroachment coverage
  • Automatic inflation protection

*Extended coverage not available on all properties. Refer inquiries to our title department.

What is my premium based on?

The title insurance premium is based on the dollar amount of coverage in accordance with the current rate filings with the Nebraska Department of Insurance.

What kind of coverage is recommended?

Nebraska Land Title & Abstract recommends the HomeOwner’s Policy of Title Insurance (extended coverage) as it protects your investment and increases the resale potential of your home by insuring additional title risks. The HomeOwner’s Policy of Title Insurance offers more coverage, more protection and more peace of mind.

Tell me about Nebraska Land Title & Abstract.

NLTA is an issuing agent for Land America, First American and Old Republic Title Insurance Companies, three of the most financially sound and respected national underwriters in the industry.

With a commitment to delivering products and services promptly, courteously and with integrity, NLTA will provide you with personal service and professional results in all of your real estate transactions.

Real Estate Dictionary

Do you have questions about real estate terms? We have the answers! You can see a helpful dictionary of real estate terminology by clicking here, provided by Old Republic National Title Insurance Company.

The Benefits of a Home Warranty

CBSHOME Real Estate has partnered with two leading metro area warranty companies to provide premier home warranty coverage for our clients. Their comprehensive service contracts will protect you from needless out of pocket expenditures for one year unless renewed from the closing date of your new home.

Warranty plans are basically a service contract that protects against mechanical breakdowns in major systems and appliances in the home such as HVAC, plumbing, as well as your major household appliances.

The warranty companies providing this excellent service are HMS North Central and Service One. Please consider this option and discuss with your CBSHOME real estate agent the peace of mind this service will provide.


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CBSHOME Recommends

Check out our recommended directory of home product and service companies.

Home Seller's Tips

The Experience and Resources to Sell Your Home at the Best Price

Perhaps you're about to relocate to a new job or thinking of retiring. Maybe the kids have moved out and now you need less space - or you just had a baby and you need more. Whatever your circumstances, you want the sale of your home to go as smoothly possible - and within your ideal time frame and of course, getting the best price possible.

Selling a home becomes easier if you have some guidelines to follow - Click here for a printable list of Georgie's Seller's Tips! Or view my Seller's Tips below:

Change in lifestyle or just a change in scenery…let me sell your home so that you can focus on more important things.

You may never get a second chance at a first impression!

  • Make sure snow and ice have been cleared. Or yard has been mowed and trimmed.
  • Keep driveway clean and free of parked cars, and keep the garage door closed.
  • Repair or replace loose or damaged roof shingles.
  • Keep walkways, steps free of weeds, obstructions, toys and shrubs.
  • Inspect appearance of interior window coverings from the curb.
  • Repair peeling paint or loose caulking on windows or other areas.
  • Apply a fresh coat of paint to the front door and frame.
  • Consider adding pots of flowering plants in the entryway if weather and space permit.
  • Eliminate cobwebs in doorway and make sure it is well lit.
  • Make sure railings are sturdy, and install one if needed.

Once inside, experts say most buyers are reaffirming their curbside decision.

  • Give every room in the house a thorough cleaning and remove all clutter.
  • Remove extra furniture and other unneeded items to an offsite storage facility.
  • Clear kitchen counters of everything except a few decorative items.
  • Keep closets, cupboards and even the attic orderly and neat. Store unused belongings offsite.
  • Repaint dingy, soiled or strongly-colored walls to neutral colors.
  • Repair dripping faucets, burned-out light bulbs or cracked windowpanes.
  • Repair cracks, holes or damage to walls or tile.
  • Keep an attractive set of towels in each bathroom.
  • Leave the lights on for showings.
  • Remove personal photos.
  • Make beds and put all personal items away, even children's toys, keep a basket handy for quick pick-up for short notice showings and hide it away.

Also Remember...

Prayer is everything! Even when selling your home!

Not to mention: It is hard to look at your own home objectively. That's why it is good to have a real estate agent preview the home and give you some suggestions.

These are just a few suggestions to help you sell your home, but there is more, so feel free to call Georgie today! She will preview your home and perform a market analysis especially for you!