Real Estate

Buying a Home in Wilkes Barre: A Quick Guide

Wilkes Barre, with its rich history and vibrant community, is an excellent place to buy a home. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or looking to relocate, the process of purchasing a home can be both exciting and overwhelming. This guide aims to simplify the home buying process, providing you with essential steps and tips to make your journey smoother. From deciding to buy to closing the deal, here’s everything you need to know about finding your dream home in Wilkes Barre.

Home Buying Process

Step 1: Decide to Buy Purchasing your first home is a major decision and a significant investment. It’s crucial to determine if it’s the right time for you. Review your finances and consider whether to rent or buy. Begin exploring your options today. I’m here to guide you through every step of the process.

Step 2: Start Early Begin your home search online through websites like Zillow and Local newspapers and magazines with home listings are also valuable resources. Note homes of interest and how long they stay on the market. This will help you understand the urgency required in making offers and pricing trends.

Step 3: Determine Your Budget Lenders recommend looking for homes that cost no more than three to five times your annual household income. For more information, visit the Financing Page.

Step 4: Get Preapproved for a Mortgage Before starting your home search, get preapproved for a mortgage. Provide financial information to your banker, who will determine how much they can lend you. This sets the price range for your home search. For more details, visit the Financing Page.

Step 5: Find a Real Estate Agent A real estate agent is a valuable partner in the home buying process. Agents provide helpful information about homes, school districts, and neighborhoods that isn’t readily accessible to the public. Their expertise in the home buying process and local market can be incredibly beneficial. Typically, their services are free to buyers as they are compensated through the seller’s commission. I hope you choose to work with me, but ensure you find a quality agent to assist you.

Step 6: Search for Your Home and Make an Offer Search for homes within your budget. Take notes, pictures, or videos to remember each one. Take your time finding the right home. Let your real estate agent negotiate a fair offer. Once you and the seller agree on a price, the house will enter escrow or due diligence, a period to complete the remaining steps in the home buying process.

Step 7: Get a Home Inspection A home inspection checks for structural damage or necessary repairs. I will help arrange this inspection within a few days of your offer being accepted. This contingency allows you to renegotiate or withdraw your offer if the inspection reveals significant issues. You and the seller will receive a report on the inspector’s findings, allowing you to request repairs before closing. A final walk-through confirms that agreed-upon repairs are completed.

Step 8: Work with the Bank Lenders offer various loan programs. Work with a local lender to find the best option for you. Visit the Financing Page for more information on types of loans, interest rates, and more.

Step 9: The Appraisal The bank will arrange for an appraiser who provides an estimate of the house’s value, ensuring you are paying a fair price.

Step 10: Closing Time At closing, you will sign all necessary paperwork, including loan documents. Once the bank’s check is delivered to the seller, you can move into your new home!

Rent vs. Buy


  • $700/month
  • 5%/year rent increase
  • After 5 years: $46,415 spent
  • Net equity gain: $0


  • $80,000 mortgage, approx. $655/month payment (including tax and insurance)
  • Average 3.7% home value increase per year after 5 years = $92,513 home value
  • 5 years paid on principal = $9,238
  • Net equity gain: $21,751

Additional Considerations

Homeowner’s Insurance Insurance rates vary, but a general rule is to divide your home’s value by 1,000 and multiply the result by $3.50. For example, a $100,000 home would cost around $350 per year, or $29 per month.

Renter’s Insurance Renters may need insurance to cover personal property. This usually costs less than $20 per month.

Maintenance Homeowners spend nearly 1% of the home’s value annually on maintenance and repairs. Major expenses like roof repairs can cost thousands. Renters don’t need to worry about these costs, and some utilities may be included in the rent.

Bills Both renters and homeowners will have expenses such as heating, water, and electricity. Homeowners may also need to pay for real estate taxes, sewer bills, security, lawn care, and homeowners insurance.

Buying a home in Wilkes Barre can be a rewarding investment. By following these steps and considering these factors, you can make an informed decision and find the perfect home for you.

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