Posted by Marie Presti on 1/14/2018

For many people, nothing beats condo living. As such, the demand for condos continues to grow, and many property buyers are relocating to condos across the nation.

Before you buy a condo, however, it is important to remember that condo living is different from living in a traditional house. Therefore, property buyers who plan accordingly can set realistic expectations for condo living.

How can a property buyer find out what it's like to live in a condo community? Here are three tips to help you prepare for condo living.

1. Learn About Condo Communities in Your Area

Condo communities come in all shapes and sizes, and you should take a close look at the condo communities in your city or town to find out what they're all about.

Even a quick drive through a condo community may prove to be exceedingly valuable. This will enable you to see the size and style of assorted condos, along with the distance between the properties themselves.

After you view a few condo communities, consider what you'd like to find in your ideal residence. This will enable you to compare and contrast your home must-haves versus what condos offer and map out your property search accordingly.

2. Meet with Current and Past Condo Owners

Do any family members or friends who currently live in a condo community? If so, schedule a meet-up with them so they can share their thoughts and views on condo living with you.

Nothing beats firsthand knowledge about condo communities. By meeting with current or past condo residents, you can better understand the pros and cons of condo living.

Be sure to come up with a list of questions before you meet with current or past condo residents as well. Remember, the more you prepare, the better off you'll be as you determine whether condo living is right for you.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent has a simple goal: to help you find a residence that you'll be able to enjoy both now and in the future. As a result, this housing market professional can set up condo showings for you, allowing you to find out what it's like to live in a condo community.

In addition, a real estate agent can provide extensive details about what to expect if you decide to purchase a condo. This real estate professional can provide a copy of a condo community's homeowners' association (HOA) rules, inform you about any HOA fees and offer details about community pools and tennis courts that may be available to condo residents.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is happy to offer honest, unbiased condo buying recommendations. He or she can provide you with plenty of information about a broad assortment of condos to help you make an informed purchase decision.

When it comes to browsing condos, don't leave anything to chance. Instead, collaborate with a real estate agent, and you can explore a variety of condos any time you choose.




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Posted by Marie Presti on 12/31/2017

If you intend to purchase a great house at a budget-friendly price, you should craft a homebuying timeline. That way, you can decide the best ways to achieve your homebuying goals.

Ultimately, creating a homebuying timeline can be simple Ė here are three tips to ensure you can develop a successful homebuying timeline.

1. Know When You Want to Move

For those who want to buy a house, it helps to consider your current living situation. By doing so, you can determine the necessary steps to relocate from your current address and acquire your dream residence.

If you presently own a house, you may need to sell it before you purchase a new home. Or, if you currently rent, you may need to give your landlord sufficient notice prior to your relocation. But if you consider the aforementioned factors closely, you can set a deadline for your move.

With a deadline in place, you can start your dream home pursuit. And once you find this residence, you can submit an offer and proceed with a home purchase.

2. Get Your Finances in Order

If you want to develop a successful homebuying timeline, it generally is a good idea to consider your financial situation as well. Because if you lack the necessary home financing, you are unlikely to be able to acquire a wonderful house any time soon.

As you develop your homebuying timeline, you may want to meet with banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can teach you about a wide range of mortgage options and help you get the financing that you need to buy your dream house.

Furthermore, you should check your credit score when you craft your homebuying timeline. If your credit score is low, you may need to improve it prior to buying a house. Thankfully, you can account for this factor as you map out your homebuying strategy and plan accordingly.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Developing a homebuying timeline may prove to be challenging. Luckily, real estate agents are available who can help you take the guesswork out of purchasing a house.

A real estate agent can teach you the ins and outs of buying a home. As a result, this housing market professional will enable you to enjoy a quick, seamless homebuying experience.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can make it easy to acquire a terrific house on your timeline. This means if you want to purchase a top-notch house as quickly as possible, a real estate agent will do everything possible to make your homeownership dream come true. Comparatively, if you want to take a slow, gradual approach to buying a house, a real estate agent is ready to respond to your homebuying needs.

When it comes to buying a house, it helps to have a timeline in place prior to starting a house search. Fortunately, if you use the aforementioned tips, you can streamline the process of establishing a successful homebuying timeline.




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Posted by Marie Presti on 12/3/2017

If this is your first time buying a home, you might be worried that you arenít asking enough questions. Or maybe youíre concerned youíre not asking the right questions--the things that matter the most when making a financial decision as important and life-changing as buying a home.  

While everyoneís situation is unique when buying a home, there are some questions that all buyers could benefit from asking. These questions will help you learn more about the home, how competitive the house is, and how much work youíll need to put into it.

Since time is usually of the essence for people buying a home, it makes sense to ask questions early on so that you donít waste too much time exploring an option that isnít ideal for your situation.

In this article, weíre going to give you 5 important questions to ask when you talk to a seller and their agent so that you can be prepared to make the best decision for you or your family.

1. How flexible is the asking price?

While few sellers or agents will outright tell you if theyíd accept a lower offer, itís still a good idea to ask this question, as it will open up a conversation about the sellerís feelings toward the home and whether theyíre pricing high with the hopes of receiving slightly lower offers.

2. How many offers has the home received?

It may seem counterintuitive, but most agents and sellers will be quite happy to tell you if theyíve received other offers. They know that once you know the current offer youíll have to either come up with a higher offer or move on. Itís a win-win for you and the seller, as it equips both of you with information you need to make the best choice.

3. Why are the sellers moving away?

This question can be personal, so if you receive an answer that suggests itís a family matter, donít press for too many details. However, some sellers and agents will let you know exactly why the house is for sale. From this simple question, you can learn the sellerís timeline for making the sale, details about the schools or neighborhoods, and any other reason that might drive someone to move out of the neighborhood.

4. Are there any problems with the house that you know of?

Although youíll have an inspection contingency in your contract if you do decide to make an offer on the home, itís better to know if there are any issues with the home before going through the bidding process.

Most sellers understand this and will be upfront about any problems with the home, including repairs that need to be made now or will need to be made soon after you move in.

5. What is the average cost of utilities?

Buying a home comes with a lot of added costs and fees. However, many people forget about the changes in the cost of utilities that comes with buying a home--especially if youíre moving from an apartment where some utilities may have been included.

The seller will be able to give you a good estimate on the cost of electricity, garbage removal, internet, heat, and more.




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Posted by Marie Presti on 9/17/2017

Every country and every region have specific styles of homes that are most common in that area. And every homebuyer has a style or styles of homes that peak their interest above all others. Itís important to know what types of homes dominate your region so you can expect what youíll see as you begin your house hunt. Or you can skip the house hunt all together and search for land with the intention of building if that style of home is just about impossible to find in your area. Here are a few of the top styles of home in New England. Colonial: Colonial styles homes are one of the oldest known styles built in New England. This style mirrored homes in Europe. Colonial styles homes include Dutch and Georgian colonial. They are very simple and symmetrical style homes. Cape Cod: Cape Cod style homes originated in the colonial era. Today, their design still pulls from the original designs. This style home generally has steep, pitched roofs, a central staircase and chimney, and two bedrooms upstairs. While original capes still exist, variations on the original design are fairly common. Victorian: Victorian era homes include multiple architectural styles of homes that were prominent during this time period such as Italianate and Queen Anne styles. These home were typically constructed as three story homes in the eastern United States. Common among the design of these homes is that each type includes ornate and detailed design. Craftsman: Craftsman style homes are the most popular style around the United States. As the name suggests, the home style focuses on the craft of construction with exteriors featuring a combination of wood and stone. These homes are usually bungalows that can be of any shape but are generally unique. Traditional: Traditional homes are, as the name suggests, traditional. They are an Ďupdateí to the colonial style home. This style typically is charming and detailed around historically accurate features. These are just a few of the most popular homes in the New England region. And it certainly doesnít mean that other, less popular styles donít exist in this region. If youíre on the market for one of these types of homes in New England, then you have a pretty good shot at finding what youíre looking for. Happy house hunting!





Posted by Marie Presti on 7/30/2017

When you buy a home, thereís more to shop for than just the right place to live. Before you settle with a lender, you should shop around a bit. You want to be sure that your lender has your very best interests in mind when youíre in the midst of making one of the biggest purchases of your lifetime. Below, youíll find some of the most important questions that you need to ask a lender while youíre in the process of buying a home.


Do You Offer Any Special Programs?


Choosing the right lender involves choosing a firm that offers the types of programs that will be helpful to your specific situation. You should look for a lender that offers a wide array of loans to suit your needs. Beware of any lender who tries to push you into a certain type of loan, especially if you donít feel that it is a good fit for you. 


Do You Understand The Terms Of Certain Types Of Loans?


If you are seeking a certain type of loan, you probably should tell your lender that upfront. Of they seem familiar with it and have worked with the loan before, youíre in good hands. If the type of loan that youíre looking for is more uncommon, then you may need to shop around carefully for the right lender who understands your needs. 


Do I meet The Qualifications For Specific Loans?


The requirements for the same loan at two different lenders could be different. Things like your credit score could be a big factor. If you have a less than desirable credit score, this would also prompt you to want to look around a bit. You should know that different lenders have different terms and looking at a few lenders could be beneficial to you.


What Are The Mortgage Rates?


Youíll need a general ballpark idea of what rates will be for you when you finally secure that home loan. Keep in mind that rates fluctuate often and that an estimate will be just that. Itís not a number that will be set in stone, however, it will give you a good place to start as you shop around for a loan. 


Do You Help With Down Payments?


There are many down payment assistance programs available and your lender can help you to navigate them. The more you put down, the better your interest rate will be. If the amount that youíre able to put down on a home is a factor for you, definitely discuss it with your lender.


Can You Provide Pre-Approval Proof?


In hot real estate markets, youíre going to need some proof that youíre pre-approved in order to have the upper hand once you put in an offer on a home. Your lender should be able to provide your real estate agent with a certified letter of your pre-approval and the amount. 


Choosing the right lender is just as important as choosing the right realtor and the right home to buy. Itís just another part of the home buying process!




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