First-Time Home Buyer

We’re Here for First-Time Home Buyers in Pennsylvania

Are you considering buying your first home in Philadelphia or one of its surrounding suburbs? Perhaps you’ve been scouring the internet looking for the most recently updated database. Or maybe you’ve already got your heart set on a place. No matter where you’re at in your search, purchasing a home can be one of the most significant and most rewarding investments you will ever make.

At SPY Inspection Services, we understand the process can be intimidating and seem overwhelming, especially if you’ve never gone through it before. But don’t let that slow you down. There are endless resources available for first-time home buyers. Including the team at SPY! We’re here to help you navigate the home buying process, answering any questions you may have and pointing you in the right direction.

Fortunately, we have the opportunity to work with everyone from real estate agents to insurance companies, lenders, environmental testing labs, general contractors, and all those in between. We have the knowledge and experience to make sure your questions and concerns are fully addressed and answered. For those who’ve shared in the SPY experience, it’s no surprise that we’ve been in business for over 15 years. Our business relies on making sure our clients are 100% satisfied, so they tell their friends and family about us and consider us when they purchase their next home.

Our motto, “Schedule It All With A Single Call,” is meant to take the stress out of the home inspection process. You call us, tell us what you need, and we take care of the rest. If you’re not sure exactly what you need, that’s fine too. Let us give you our recommendation based on the characteristics of the home or area you’re considering, no strings attached. If you’re already working with an agent, that’s great; you’re ahead of the game.

If you like the simplicity SPY has to offer and your agent doesn’t already recommend us, let them know about us. If you aren’t working with someone, we would be happy to put you in touch with real estate agents who are very experienced with first time home buyers.

Put the stressful stuff on us! Give us a call at (215) 362-1234 or fill out our contact form to request more information.

6 Steps to Buying a House for the First Time

Buying a new home can make anyone’s head spin. There are so many variables involved, from financing to appraisals, inspections, and more. If you’re a first-time home buyer in Pennsylvania, we’re here to help. Whether you’re looking for your starter home or the place you’re going to spend the rest of your life, these six steps will help you make an informed purchasing decision.

Step 1: Making the buying decision and doing your research.

Although this step is fairly obvious, the decision to buy a home is a very important one. Often it is one of the most significant investments a person will ever make—and can be one of the most rewarding. With such an important decision, most people will agree it’s imperative to do your research. 


Start with gathering information such as housing trends, interest rates, and programs currently being offered in your city or town. Don’t burn yourself out reading every single thing out there, but check some reputable websites such as local real estate companies, online real estate databases, and lender websites. Each of these resources has a wealth of valuable information. 


You should also consider looking into neighborhood statistics and data from the locations that interest you. Don’t forget to read up on some common real estate terms, too, as you will surely be encountering a lot of them. 


Once you’ve decided purchasing a home is right for you, it’s time to get excited and take the next step.

Step 2: Hire a real estate agent.

As a first-time home buyer, the value of a real estate agent should not be overlooked. Buying a home is an exciting experience and one that an agent has been through many times. A good agent will help educate you and evaluate your specific situation and housing needs. They will guide you every step of the way, dealing with logistics and the coordination of showings, keeping your interests top of mind. 


If you’re looking for any real estate agent recommendations in PA, don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to set you up with a real estate agent in your area.

Step 3: Consider your financial situation.

According to, “lenders generally recommend that people look for homes that cost no more than three to five times their annual household income if the home buyers plan to make a 20% down payment and have a moderate amount of other debt.” This step is vital in giving you a realistic look at what and where you can afford.

The specific characteristics of a home do not solely determine its price by any means. The area in which a house is located can have a huge impact on its selling price. So before you pick out the perfect place, make sure it’s realistically affordable. If you’re not sure, consider talking to a financial advisor or mortgage professional to discuss not just how much you can afford, but how much you can afford comfortably.

If you already have a lender in mind, or even if you don’t, you may want to consider getting pre-approved for your home loan. says that with a pre-approval, you’re in a better position to negotiate with sellers because they know you’ll be able to back up your bid and move fast.

Step 4: Secure financing.

Once you know what you are approved for, it’s time to secure your financing. Consider working with a loan officer or mortgage broker. Loan officers work with a specific lender and write loans for that company. They will guide you along in finding the best loan through their particular institution. According to, “loan officers are sometimes called mortgage consultants, mortgage loan originators, home loan consultants, and mortgage planners.” 


A mortgage broker does not work for one specific institution and usually has access to multiple lenders to find you the best possible loan and terms. They will act as an intermediary, keeping your interests in mind when dealing directly with banks or lenders. According to, “they usually make their money by marking up rates they get from lenders, adding fees to the loan, or a combination of the two.”  


Loan officers can also be mortgage brokers if they process the loans themselves. These professionals can be a wealth of information and provide peace of mind throughout the loan process. Whether you decide to move forward with a loan officer or mortgage broker, the most important thing is to make sure you feel comfortable with your loan terms.

Step 5: Find your home and make an offer.

Everyone has their own priorities and preferences when looking for that perfect home, but here are some useful pointers to consider while on the search.

  • Distance to your place of work
  • Proximity to shopping, restaurants, and grocery stores
  • Proximity to hospital, fire stations, healthcare and childcare
  • Traffic on your street and surrounding neighborhood
  • Quality of schools in the district
  • Distance to schools, parks, and libraries
  • Are houses on the street or block well maintained?
  • Is there parking available nearby for friends and relatives?
  • How high or low are real estate taxes?
  • How does the location affect home insurance premiums?
  • Crime statistics, if available


If you find a place you really like, consider spending some time there. You can do this by taking a walk or bike ride around the neighborhood. After all, that’s probably the best way to get a feel for the area.

Additionally, take as much time as you need to find your home. You’re in no rush and do not have to settle for the first property you see. Once you have found the right place, you will work with your agent to examine comparable homes in the area and current market trends to come up with a price. The price, along with negotiable items such as needed repairs and closing costs, will make up your final offer.

Step 6: Find your home and make an offer.

Once the seller has accepted your offer, things will start to move along quickly. You’ll want to have the home inspected and appraised before you sign on the dotted line. This is where SPY Inspection Services can really help move the process forward in a timely fashion.


We can perform a general home inspection of the property as well as various other inspection services to make sure there’s nothing holding you back from closing the deal. Learn more about our home inspection services.

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Why Choose SPY Inspection Services?

Whether it’s a full home inspection, or individual inspection services, Spy Inspection Services has the staff and experienced technicians to get the job done right. Like we say, “Schedule It All With A Single Call…”