Donna Pudenz loves helping buyers attain their goal of finding their perfect home and helping sellers get the best price on the sale of their home.
Donna Pudenz loves helping buyers attain their goal of finding their perfect home and helping sellers get the best price on the sale of their home.
August 28, 2012

When a bride shops for her wedding dress, she tries on many dresses, takes her time, and waits. She waits until she has a certain feeling of excitement that she has found the perfect dress. This is similar to the feeling a couple will have when they know they’ve found their new home.

Donna Pudenz, realtor at Mid-Iowa Insurance and Real Estate, explains, “I have worked with many buyers who walk into the home and just know this is the home for them. After they have viewed several homes, they will understand this feeling.”

Pudenz has been a realtor since 1995 and loves helping buyers attain their goal of finding that perfect home and helping sellers to get the best price on the sale of their home.

Pudenz said, “I want them to enjoy the process and feel good about it. I hope to earn their long-term trust and make new friends, not just clients.”

Once a new couple have decided to begin the home search, the first step is to become pre-approved for financing by a local bank.

Donna explains, “During this step, the bank will check credit rating, debt-to-income ratio and let you know the amount of loan you could be qualified for. At the same time, the lender will let you know what the payments will be on that loan amount. Then you will be able to determine if the monthly payment is something that works for you, or if it is too high, you can tell the lender what is a comfortable payment for you.”

Many new couples will also be first-time homebuyers. There are several loans available to first-time homebuyers that require a very low down payment. Pudenz suggests not allowing the down-payment aspect to keep away any potential buyers.

The second step is to find a knowledgeable realtor with whom the buyers feel comfortable. Buyers will have many questions, and an informed, experienced realtor is a must.

Pudenz suggests finding a realtor who has extensive knowledge of real estate in the area and is actively searching for homes that fall into your price range and fit your needs. A good realtor will be on top of things and will be ready to show you a home as soon as it becomes available to view.

Pudenz suggests homebuyers select a realtor who is also a certified residential specialist. She and Mike Franey of Mid-Iowa Insurance and Real Estate are the only CRSs in the Carroll area. They have had additional training in marketing techniques, sales skills and technology. Pudenz also recommends seeking out a realtor who will work for them, watching out for the buyers’ best interests, rather than just making a sale.

A couple should consider buying a home rather than renting if they are planning on staying in the area for at least two years.

Pudenz explains, “The advantages of buying a home include building equity, income-tax deductions like mortgage interest and real-estate taxes plus the ability to paint, replace carpet and decorate your home to your taste and not at the landlord’s benefit.”

A couple should also decide if they are ready to take on all the responsibilities of being a home owner such as lawn maintenance, snow removal and maintenance of mechanical systems.

Once a couple have been pre-approved they are ready to begin to view homes. Pudenz suggests looking only at homes that fall into your price range. She also suggests keeping an open mind while viewing homes and looking past the decorating, painting and flooring as most buyers will need to do some of those things to make it their own.

Also, don’t always expect a “turn-key home.” Pudenz said, “If buyers are interested or capable of doing some work on the property, they may be able to find that perfect property that just needs a little TLC.”

According to Pudenz, a couple should expect the search for a new home to take time. The process can take months, or it can be as simple as seeing that perfect home. It all depends on buyers’ taste and the inventory of homes for sale.

Once a couple have made an offer on a new home and the offer has been accepted, Pudenz always recommends a home inspection.

“It may bring items to our attention that we were not aware of and also make note of items that are maintenance issues in the future,” she said.

Pudenz’s favorite part of her job is seeing buyers and their children at the store and hearing how much they love their new home.

“It is very heartwarming and lets me know I have done my job properly,” she said.