As home prices soar, it's easy for buyers to get caught up in the frenzy and buy outside of their budget.

In this week's Five Questions, Kazantzis Real Estate Agent Christine M. Costa says it's her job to help her clients make thoughtful decisions that fit their lives.

How does your past experience translate into the real estate market?

I worked for a mortgage company as a senior mortgage underwriter. because of that experience, I know how the financing process works and can help guide my clients. In addition, I was an office administrator at a high-producing real estate company and saw the process from beginning to end. For those looking to build a home, I have personally gone through four custom builds and know what it's like to navigate that process.

What sets you apart from other Realtors?

My past experience really gives me an intimate knowledge of the whole process. As a full-time Realtor, I give my clients 24/7 service and work tirelessly to achieve their goals. 

What do you love most about being a Realtor?

Each homebuyer is different and I love the challenge of helping each of them find a home that best suits their needs. It's satisfying when I can devote time to a client to help them realize their dream.

What words of wisdom would you have for homebuyers?

With my past experience as an underwriter, I know how important it is to make a smart financial decision. I tell my clients to not overreach. The home must be within their financial comfort zone. They won't be able to enjoy the home if it's more house than they can afford. I am able to help clients make decisions thoughtfully and with conviction. 

What does the word "home" mean to you?

Home is a place of serenity and peace. It should be one's heart and soul. A place to share with family and friends. Home is a refuge from the chaos of life, where we can recharge with the people we love most. 

More About Christine

Christine is licensed in Connecticut and has been in real estate for five years.

She says she doesn't rate success by her sales numbers, but rather the number of clients she's assisted over the years.  Christine loves working with first-time homebuyers in particular.

"The excitement and pride, in a first-time homebuyer, is very rewarding for me to see, as this is considered the 'American dream.' I play just a very small part in making this a reality for them.