Mr. Magnolia's Complete Homebuying Guide for Magnolia

Corey Hays


Magnolia, Seattle, is a beautiful neighborhood that offers easy access to Seattle's downtown and Puget Sound. With destinations including Discovery Park, coastal trails, and upscale dining, Magnolia is an in-demand neighborhood that new and existing Seattle residents love. Whether you want to move closer to Magnolia from the edges of the metroplex or you're moving to Seattle from out of state, finding your next home is an exciting process. Corey Hays and Dawn Bourdo of the Mr. Magnolia team are here to help with local insights and years of experience working in the Seattle real estate market. Start finding your next home with this homebuying guide.

Start preparing to buy a home in Magnolia

Before you take the first step toward buying a Magnolia home, there are two key things you need to consider first.
  1. Your finances: What's your annual income and your debt, which prospective lenders will use to calculate your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio? How much money do you have saved up for a down payment? Knowing your budget, financial limits, and anticipated costs can help you start looking for a home at the right price point. Having an understanding of the local housing market is also essential for staying within your budget.

  2. What you need from your property: Do you need to be within a certain commute time to your work? How many bedrooms or how much square footage do you need? What are your must-have home features, and what are some wish list factors you're looking for?
You don't need to have concrete answers to these questions just yet, but a general idea of what type of home will fit your needs and budget can simplify your search and make it easier to find the right home faster.

The 7 steps of buying a home in Magnolia

Once you know what the whole process looks like, it's easier to dive into the details. Here are the main seven steps of buying a new home in Magnolia.

Step 1: Start thinking about what you're looking for

Start filling in a little detail of what your ideal home in Magnolia will look like. Do you want a view of the coast? What's your ideal budget? Do you want a big interior, a big backyard, or both? Homes in Magnolia come in a wide array of sizes, styles, and features. We recommend thinking about "must-have" features that are deal breakers and "wish list" features that are a little more negotiable. This brainstorming at the outset gives you a guideline as you tour different homes.

Step 2: Find a knowledgeable real estate agent in Magnolia

Before you start going to open houses, first you must find a real estate agent who can represent you. When you're buying a home, you don't pay for the agent — the seller typically pays the commission for both the selling and the listing agents. With that said, you gain a lot of value if you start working with an agent as soon as possible in the process. That's because your agent can:
  • Create a curated list of active and "coming soon" properties that fit your parameters for a wonderful new home.
  • Give you up-to-date insights about the local housing market in different neighborhoods and Seattle as a whole.
  • Help you connect with different lenders, advisors, and home services professionals through their network.
The median sales price of a home in Seattle is $699,300. Your agent can not only help you find homes — they can also help you find a lender so you know your budget in more detail.

Step 3: Explore open homes on the market

With a Realtor by your side, you have much easier access to homes on the market. You can schedule showings at properties that don't have open houses or tour homes during the weekdays. This allows you to get a feel for homes that meet your criteria, consider different properties, and experience different neighborhoods in person.

Step 4: Get your offer accepted on a home

When you find a home that meets your financial and lifestyle requirements, you can submit an offer. This process is generally managed by your real estate agent. They can access requested offer terms on the property listing, contact the listing agent to ask questions, and put together the contract.

Because Seattle has a very competitive housing market, you may need to submit multiple offers to different properties before getting one accepted.

Step 5: Navigate the inspection period

Getting your offer accepted is an exciting moment, but it's not the end of the home-buying journey. Instead, you have approximately a month left before the home is yours. During the first week or so, the seller will deliver a disclosure statement, and you can decide to accept it or rescind the agreement. This is your opportunity to hire a professional inspector to evaluate the property and compile a report about any issues that might not be up to code. You can use this in-depth information to decide if you want to buy the home and stay in the contract or leave the contract. You and your agent can also use red-flag items in the report to negotiate seller concessions.

Step 6: Close on the home

Once that window has passed, your realtor and lender will work together to keep the process moving. This includes finalizing approval for your mortgage loan, having an appraiser assess the property and ensure it's valued at least at the amount of the loan, and other requirements. Once you reach the official close date, you will sign the closing documents and complete the sale. When the funds reach the title office and are dispersed to the seller, the home is yours!

Step 7: Move in!

At this point, the real estate transaction is complete. You can hire movers, start making renovations on the home, and change the locks on the doors. Your realtor may have a helpful network of remodelers, interior designers, and contractors who can help with all of these projects. During the first few weeks in your new home, you will also want to officially change your address, have your mail rerouted, and register for the Washington homestead exemption.

Start your homebuying journey today with Mr. Magnolia

The Mr. Magnolia real estate team is here to help you explore available homes in Magnolia and the wider Seattle area. Their services start at the first stage of the homebuying journey, so you have localized market knowledge and experienced real estate advisors every step of the way. Reach out today to schedule a meeting and discuss what you'd love to see in your Magnolia-area home.


Dawn and Corey have worked in the best interest of their clients, the same way they would want to be treated. They live in Magnolia. They know the neighborhood. They call it home. Use that neighborhood expertise to help you achieve your real estate dreams.

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