Buying your home with me

Buying Made


Whether you're purchasing your first home or your third home in Portland, the process does not need to be complicated. While there are different factors to navigate in every scenario, this does not have to mean chaos or stress. 

How I Do Things

My approach is chill and easygoing with some spice added for negotiations.

I use my experience and knowledge to help guide you on this journey. I make sure to listen intently so that this search reflects you and what you want/are looking for. I will be firm with reminding you of your non-negotiables because we are not in the business of settling over here at Ohana Homes! 

My approach with buying is summed up by a single word:


That's my number one thing.

It is easy to get flooded with properties when looking for a home and you’d be surprised how many people’s non-negotiables go out the window when they fall in love with a certain aspect of a home. I am here to remind you of your goals and what you originally felt passionately about.

While there is room for that to change, I have found more often than not, once my clients are reminded they settle back into their original feelings. I work hard to keep my clients grounded which creates long term happiness with their purchase versus short term joy. 

When we go out on tours, I love to be intentional and efficient with what we’re viewing. We discuss the homes of interest, put together our list, and head out to view a list of properties and have a lot of fun doing it!





This consists of wants and non-negotiables. Expect honesty from my side as well. For example, are your non-negotiables realistic for your budget? 



I set up a search based on your criteria in the RMLS database. This will alert me whenever properties hit the market that align with what you’re looking for. I send them your way!



You'll then filter through the available properties that I've found, and provide feedback to me about your overall likes and dislikes.



We will then compile a list of homes to tour and find out the best date/time that fits everyone's schedule. 



We venture out to tour properties together until we find the one that gives you those butterflies and a feeling of “this is the one!”. And trust me, that feeling is REAL. It’s also important to note that this could happen as early as our first week out, or take a few weeks. I have had clients find their perfect home on the first house tour and think to themselves, “is it too soon? Have we seen enough?” And let me tell you, trust how you’re feeling about a house, time means nothing.

last but not least...

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Frequently Asked


Q1. What is the first step to starting the home buying process?

The official first thing to be done is getting Pre-Approved. Let’s chat to discuss what that looks like and make sure you’re set up with a quality lender.

Q2. What are your fees for helping me buy a home?

$0! I am paid by the seller!

Q3. How long does it take to buy a home?

It varies. I have had clients get into contract their first weekend out, while others have taken several weeks. 

Q4. Do I really need 20% for a down payment?

NOPE! That is a misconception many folks have, I thought that too. I have had several clients get into a home with as little as 3.5%!

Q5. What are Closing Costs and Prepaids?

Closing costs are the fees you pay to your lender and other third parties for administering and processing the loan. Prepaids, which are the expenses you have to pay upfront to other parties. (Homeowners insurance, property taxes, etc.)

Q6. Are you a broker?

Yes I am!

Q7. What is a lender and do I need one?

A lender is a crucial teammate in this process. They help to get you pre-approved and guide you through the entire financial side of this process. You absolutely need one, a quality one! Let’s talk about my preferred lenders!

kind words


"Mercedes is very down to earth, and making it so easy to be ourselves in her presence." 

As first time homebuyers, Mercedes could not have been a better fit for my partner and I. She is incredibly knowledgeable and gave us highly constructive feedback throughout our hunting process; from narrowing down to what kind of house we wanted, to negotiating with the seller. It took no time at all for her to get a strong sense of our vision, and to send us dialed-in houses that fit our desired specs. She is very responsive, and was flexible in coordinating house viewings around our work schedules. Mercedes is very down to earth, and making it so easy to be ourselves in her presence. We had fun and shared some good laughs along the way, and felt very strongly seen by her; huge amount of gratitude.

past client

"Mercedes helped us realize our dream of becoming homeowners and we are forever grateful." 

We were new to the Portland market and didn’t know what exactly to expect. She walked us through every last step. We looked at over 20 homes and she was so incredibly patient with us (and our kiddos!) She was also very honest and transparent with us which helped us stay focused and realistic about what we could afford. (No buyer’s remorse here!) I work a crazy schedule and she was always quick to respond to our questions or ready to show a home no matter the time of day. She is passionate about real estate and it shows! Mercedes helped us realize our dream of becoming homeowners and we are forever grateful. I would recommend Mercedes to anyone looking to buy or sell in Portland!

past client

"She always listened to our wants, needs and most importantly concerns." 

Mercedes is amazing. She made our dreams of finding and owning the perfect house 
we could have ever dreamed of. She always listened to our wants, needs and most importantly concerns. Explaining everything in detail just to make sure we knew what to expect. She was truthful and gave her honest opinion on each house we looked into. She was on top of everything. Answering important questions we had, Paper work, setting up appointments to look at houses, keeping in close contact with our mortgage officer. We never had to worry about anything. If you want someone who has your back and is willing to fight for what you want you should most definitely choose Mercedes Kauhola.

past client

"Mercedes is truly amazing and has such a great energy!" 

We met her at an open house and after chatting, we knew right away we wanted to work with her. As first time home buyers, we really appreciated her advice and guidance. Throughout our home buying process, Mercedes listened and respected our wants, needs, and wishes for our house, and we never felt pushed or prodded to make decisions. When we went under contract on our house, she advocated for us and got us what we needed. We’re very happy with our home and we’re so glad we went through this journey with Mercedes. We will definitely use Mercedes as our realtor in the future. We’d also recommend her to our closest friends and family.

past client


First Time Home Buyer Booklet

Buying your first home can be incredibly overwhelming because most people don’t know where to start. That alone is enough to discourage folks. Luckily it doesn’t have to be that way! This free guide breaks down the process for you, step by step, in a way that's easy to understand and takes the guesswork out. This has been such an amazing resource for all of my first time buyers and I hope that it is for you, too!

These are The Steps to buying your first home, as simple as possible, because that’s what we all need!

Free Download

Get in Touch

You’ve worked SO hard to get here and now you’re ready - YOU DID THAT!!

Let’s grab a drink, coffee or a treat, keep the good times rolling and talk about next steps!