Buyer Info

Buying a Home

The Gelfond Way

Buying a home can be an enormous undertaking. You can trust Julie to always keep your interests first and foremost. As a qualified professional, I will guide you through the entire home buying experience and assist you in being an educated buyer. With my services, you can avoid the pitfalls. I'll be there to help every step of the way.

It is highly rewarding to buy, own and maintain your own home. Whether this is your first home or you have experience with the home buying process, I can help. When you have the tools at your fingertips, you can be confident in your ability to search, finance your home, negotiate terms and be prepared at closing.

Buying a Luxury Home

Julie has extensive experience in selling estate properties and understands that a luxury home buyer has special needs. Whether you are looking for a family home, vacation property, executive investment, or a property to build on I know that quality, design, location, and unique amenities are important to you. You want a home to express your personality, tastes, and lifestyle…you want the home of your dreams.

I have sold the best in luxury real estate from architecturally unique and elegant homes to premier property surrounded by exquisite natural beauty. I understand the high-end market and can help you find the right home in a community that best meets your highly specialized needs.

You want a real estate team with the experience to help guide you through the full range of options and unique challenges that comes with buying either an existing luxury property or using your own home plans to build your ideal estate.

I will not simply look for homes already on the market, but with our network of contacts, I can help you to find that special home even if it is not currently listed. I understand that it might take some time to find a premier property with the desired beauty and privacy you desire, and I are committed to putting our experience and know-how to work for you.

I will be your advocate during the home buying process and respect that you have special requirements.

  • I respect your need for protecting your privacy and confidentiality.
  • I have an experienced eye for enduring craftsmanship, superior quality, and architectural details.
  • I have an in-depth understanding of the luxury market and the communities that best match your lifestyle and specialized needs.
  • I will go above and beyond to find you that premier property that will fulfill the dreams for your new home.

Julie is the premier team in the luxury home market.




It is highly rewarding to buy, own and maintain your own home. Whether this is your first home or you have experience with the home buying process, I can help. When you have the tools at your fingertips, you can be confident in your ability to search, finance your home, negotiate terms and be prepared at closing.



Purchasing a new home can be overwhelming. Without the right resources and information, the buy process can be stressful and frustrating. With my services, you can avoid the pitfalls. I will be there to help every step of the way.


Money Matters
The most important part of financing is your knowledge of the options available. Consider the following questions as a basis for determining your financing needs.


  • How much mortgage can I afford?
  • What down payment is needed?
  • What is the difference between pre-qualification, pre-approval and approval?
  • What interest rates are available?
  • What is mortgage insurance and is it required?
  • What type of documentation will I need?
  • How do 15- vs. 30-year terms compare?
  • What are points and do I pay them?
  • What is the difference between a fixed rate mortgage and an adjustable rate mortgage?
  • What closing costs will I incur?
  • What is being "locked-in?"
  • How long will the mortgage process take?
  • What is included in a mortgage payment?
  • What would the payments be?
  • When would the payments begin?


Make Your Mortgage The Right Fit!
Mortgages to meet everyone’s needs. These summaries will help you narrow your search.


Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)
A mortgage, which allows the lender to adjust the mortgage's interest rate periodically on the basis of changes in a specified index. Interest rates may move up or down, as market conditions change. The change in interest rate will result in a change in the periodic payments due under the mortgage. ARMs are attractive when short-term interest rates are trending lower.

Balloon Mortgage
Usually a short-term fixed-rate loan that involves small payments for a certain period of time with the balance due in a single, large payment at a time specified in the contract. Whenever the balloon mortgage becomes due, the entire unpaid balance is due. Generally, the homeowner must either refinance or sell the property.

The payment of extra money on a loan now so as to provide a lower interest rate over either a given period or over the life of the loan. To buy-down a mortgage, the buyer pays additional points to the lender, which will decrease the interest rate for a specific period.

Conforming Loan
Conventional home mortgages, first mortgages up to loan amounts mandated by Congressional directive, which meet the qualifications for sale or delivery to either the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC).

Construction Loan
A structured, short-term loan to provide funds necessary to begin construction on buildings or homes.

Conventional Mortgage
A mortgage loan made by an institutional lender without the inclusion of government guarantees such as VA or FHA loans.

Convertible ARM
The convertible ARM is a combination of both fixed-rate and adjustable rate mortgages, allowing the best of both options in one package.

Deferred Interest Mortgage
A mortgage in which the payment is not sufficient to cover the principal and the interest and the payment portion of the interest is postponed until a certain date at which time the interest postponed is added to the principle owing.

Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC)
The Federal National Mortgage Association is a congressionally chartered, shareholder-owned company and is the largest national supplier of home mortgage funds. It is commonly known as Freddie Mac. The company buys mortgages from lending institutions, pools them with other loans, and sells shares to investors. Detailed information may be found at

Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
An agency of the federal government, the Division of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, that sets standards for the underwriting of private mortgages and insures residential mortgages made by private lenders.

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Loans
Federal Housing Administration (FHA) low-rate loans are available to Americans with smaller incomes who are interested in modestly priced homes. Down payment requirements are usually lower than the prevailing ones.

Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA)
The U.S.'s largest supplier of mortgages to home buyers and owners, a corporation established by Congress and owned by stockholders. It is commonly referred to as 'Fannie Mae,' this government-sponsored enterprise is chartered by Congress. This federally chartered agency buys mortgages from lending institutions, pools them with other loans, and sells shares to investors. Detailed information may be found at

Fixed-Rate Mortgage
The interest rate you pay and the monthly principal and interest payments are agreed upon from the outset and will not change throughout the entire term of the mortgage.

Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA)
A government-owned corporation within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, it is also referred to as 'Ginnie Mae,’. This government agency guarantees the payment of principal and interest on all of its pass-through securities, and its guarantee is backed in turn by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government.

Graduated Payment Mortgage (GPM)
A mortgage that usually starts the borrower with low payments that are gradually increased over five to ten years, before leveling off for the remainder of the term of the loan until the loan is fully amortized. Negative amortization usually occurs until the payment reaches the level payment stage. Usually government insured loans (VA or FHA)

Growing Equity Mortgage (GEM)
This is a long-term mortgage whereby the borrower agrees to increase his payment each year by an agreed amount. The added money per payment is applied directly to the outstanding principal on the mortgage. The mortgage thereby is paid off in a shorter number of years.

Renegotiable Rate Mortgage (RRM)
Similar to an Adjustable Rate Mortgage, this type of mortgage allows the interest rates and payments to be adjusted periodically according to an index.

Reverse Annuity Mortgage (RAM)
A type of mortgage where the property's equity serves as security for periodic payments made by the lender to the borrower. Mortgage is generally paid out upon the sale of the property.

Rollover Mortgage (ROM)
A mortgage where the payments are only guaranteed for three, four, or five years. The borrower is allowed to refinance at the end of the term at the interest rate then applicable.

Shared Appreciation Mortgage (SAM)
It is a loan arrangement where two or more parties participate in the purchase of real estate and share the appreciation and tax deduction. Similar to shared equity mortgages.

Veterans' Administration Loans
Mortgage loans to veterans by banks, savings and loans, or other lenders that are guaranteed by the Veterans' Administration, enabling veterans to buy a residence with little or no money down.

Wraparound Mortgage
A secondary financing option in which a new larger mortgage is created to encompass the first mortgage. This large second mortgage is used to preserve the low interest rate on the first mortgage for a potential buyer.

Know Your Needs

Drive To Learn

Evaluate as you drive though a community. Consider the following questions as a basis for determining your location needs:

  • Where is the nearest shopping center, bus line, police station and library?
  • What schools are available and school district are you in?
  • What types of homes (single family, apartments, condominiums) are in the neighborhood?
  • How far apart are the homes?
  • How far is it to your work?
  • What community resources are available?
  • Generally, where are the cars parked (driveways, garages, street)?
  • Do you notice a lot of noise, traffic or pollution?
  • Are the homes in good repair and the landscaping well kept?


Finding The Right Home
Keep your eyes open and your notebook in hand as you walk through a potential home. Consider the following questions as a basis for determining your needs as a homeowner:

  • How long has the home been on the market?
  • Why is the home being sold?
  • What is the asking price of the home?
  • Has the price been lowered?
  • Is the price comparable to other homes in the neighborhood?
  • What is the down payment required?
  • Is the house structurally sound?
  • Is there room enough for the present and the future?
  • Do you like the floor plan of the home?
  • What condition is the yard in?
  • What improvements must be made?
  • Will the seller repair or replace any items that need repair or replacement?

    Think carefully about each house you see and don’t be in a hurry. Julie can point out the pros and cons of each home from a professional standpoint.


The Offer
Making an offer to buy a home entails many factors. You and Julie, will discuss the following factors prior to putting the offer on the table:

  • Amount of earnest money
  • Down payment
  • Price you are offering
  • Details of financing
  • Proposed move in date
  • Proposed closing date
  • Details of the sale
  • How long the offer is valid


The seller will either accept the offer as presented, or make a counter offer and either you will agree to the terms in counter offer or you will submit another proposal. When all the parties involved have agreed upon the details, initialed any revisions, and signed the final agreement, then an offer becomes a contract.

Contract Review

Sales contracts may differ significantly yet all should clearly set forth the responsibilities and privileges of all the parties involved. It is a legally binding document that protects each party. Carefully review the terms of the contract. The sales contract should include the following:

  • Legal description of the property and the exact street address
  • Selling price of the property
  • Amount of earnest money and who is holding it – Often it is held in an escrow account by a third neutral party.
  • Amount due at settlement
  • Specifics of the mortgage (amount, rate and terms)
  • Title or Escrow company - Either a title company, escrow company, or attorney must be areed upon by buyer and seller
  • Details W of the closing - when and where
  • Home inspection - Recommended to ensure against structural and unknown defects, and must be completed by a specific date set forth in the contrct and completed by a cerified home inspector
  • Inclusions and exclusions - Examples would include washers, dryers, drapes, etc.
  • Pest Inspection - Who is responsible if there is damage or an infestation
  • Warranties - Get the description of any that are included with the house
  • Repairs – Unless you are accepting as-is, state who is responsible for repairs, with a date for a walk-through inspection
  • Well and septic – They must pass a test, if applicable
  • Date of possession – When you take possession of the property
  • Acceptance date – Either an acceptance or counter offer must occur by a specified date
Processing the Sale

Once the contract is signed, Julie will continue to be your advocate and ensure that your best interests are served. Some of the details she will be available to handle are:

  • Assist with scheduling all necessary pre-closing inspections
  • Check finances are deposited according the contract specifications
  • Keep you informed of any unseen problems that may arise and offer solutions
  • Present a list of utility companies available for service
  • Schedule and attend-the pre-closing walk through
  • Prepare for and attend the closing