Posted by Marie Presti on 8/18/2019

As a homebuyer, you may want to consider the seller's perspective before you submit an offer to purchase your dream house. That way, you can boost the likelihood of receiving an instant "Yes" to your homebuying proposal.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you analyze the seller's perspective.

1. Review the Prices of Comparable Homes

Once you find your dream home, you may want to take a look at the prices of comparable residences in the same city or town. This housing market data can help you narrow the price range for houses in a particular area.

With insights into the prices of houses that are similar to your dream home, you can put together a data-driven offer to purchase. Perhaps best of all, you can avoid the risk of submitting a "lowball" homebuying proposal that misses the mark with a home seller.

2. Assess the Housing Market

The current state of the housing market may have far-flung effects on how much you should offer to pay for a residence.

For instance, in a buyer's market, there is an abundance of available houses and a shortage of buyers. This often means buyers can browse dozens of outstanding houses and won't necessarily face steep competition to acquire the right residence at the right price.

On the other hand, a seller's market favors sellers. It generally features an abundance of buyers and a shortage of top-notch residences. Therefore, if you're searching for a home in a seller's market, you may need to submit a competitive offer to purchase to secure your dream house.

Review the housing market closely so you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market. If you find houses are selling quickly at or above sellers' initial asking prices, you likely are operating in a seller's market. Or, if you find houses linger on the real estate market for many weeks or months and sell at or below sellers' initial asking prices, you may be working in a buyer's market.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a homebuying expert who can provide you with housing market insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere. Plus, he or she can help you evaluate the seller's perspective so you can submit a competitive offer to purchase the home of your choice.

Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent provides throughout the property buying journey, either. A real estate agent can help you hone your home search and find your ideal residence in no time at all. Furthermore, if you have concerns or questions at any point during the homebuying journey, a real estate agent is ready to address them.

Want to purchase your dream house at a price that matches your budget? Consider the seller's perspective – you'll be glad you did. If you review the seller's perspective, you can craft a competitive homebuying proposal and move closer to acquiring your ideal house at a budget-friendly price.




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Posted by Marie Presti on 8/11/2019

It has been written; the kitchen is the heart of the home. So, when walking through a model or open house, the kitchen is a significant appeal or detractor. Where the kitchen is relative to the rest of the living space is essential. The layout of the workflow can make or break the impression of the house as a whole. Any upgrades and extra convenience features can turn an ordinary kitchen into your culinary dream area. Other architectural choices can affect the ascetics of the property. 

Layout and Function

When looking at kitchen layouts, the choices are almost endless. How you use the kitchen will give you direction on what will work for you and your family. The number of people that will use the space at any one time can determine how much floor space in the kitchen you need. If you entertain often or tend to gather in the kitchen, an open concept may be up your alley. An island kitchen is another great idea for people who like to congregate and spend time in and around their kitchen. A raised bar on the island can help hide any messes while still enjoying the open island kitchen concept when entertaining.

Work Triangle

Placement of what chefs call the work triangle is an essential element in any kitchen layout. The triangle is made up of the placement of the refrigerator, sink, and oven/stove. In other words, gathering ingredients, prepping, and cooking. Having an optimize work triangle can increase your enjoyment in the kitchen. When touring open or model homes, walk the space as you would use it at home. You could visualize the steps you would take in that space to get your morning cup of coffee. Does the layout make sense concerning how you work in the kitchen?

Upgrades and Add-ons

Many remodeled and new construction homes boast kitchen upgrades that look impressive. A hot water dispenser alongside the sink is convenient, as is an ice cube and water dispenser built into the fridge. Look for those upgrades that lend themselves to helping you make better use of your time. Remember, the more gadgets there are, the more items to maintain. Go ahead and enjoy the undercabinet lighting, so you don’t stub your toes when grabbing that midnight snack. In addition to functional upgrades, some are just there for the overall esthetics; such as crown molding, Italian tile work, or pendant lighting over an island bar. Those can give an otherwise ordinary kitchen a “wow” factor that makes a real impression.

Contact your realtor for more information on locating your dream kitchen.




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Posted by Marie Presti on 8/4/2019

Purchasing a house may prove to be a long, complex process, particularly for a first-time buyer. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you enjoy a quick, easy homebuying journey.

1. Narrow Your Search for Your Dream Home

It often helps to enter the real estate market with a checklist of home must-haves and wants. With this checklist, you will be better equipped than ever before to perform a deep evaluation of any house, at any time.

Think about what you want to find in your dream home and include these criteria in your checklist. For instance, if you want to own a house near your office, you can search for houses that are just a few miles from your workplace. Or, if you want to purchase a house with a big backyard, you should look at houses that offer the space that you need.

2. Submit a Competitive Offer

If you find a house that you want to buy, there is no need to wait to submit an offer. However, it is important to differentiate between a "lowball" offer and a competitive one beforehand.

A lowball offer generally fails to account for the state of a house, as well as the current real estate market's conditions. It is likely to fall short of a home seller's expectations, and as a result, lead to an immediate "No."

Conversely, a competitive offer is based on housing market data, along with the condition and age of a house. And if you submit a competitive offer on a residence, you may receive an instant "Yes" from a home seller.

3. Conduct an In-Depth Home Inspection

After you and a home seller agree to terms, you will want to conduct a comprehensive home inspection. This will enable you to fully examine a house's interior and exterior and identify any potential home problems before you finalize your purchase.

When it comes to buying a home, there is no need to forego a home inspection. In fact, if you bypass a home inspection, you risk encountering costly, time-intensive home problems in the near future.

To hire an expert home inspector, perform a search of the available inspectors in your city or town. Then, meet with several home inspectors, ask for client referrals and allocate the necessary time and resources to perform an in-depth assessment. Because if you hire the right home inspector, you can get the support that you need to make an informed home purchase.

Lastly, if you need help finding a home inspector or completing other homebuying tasks, it usually is a good idea to employ a real estate agent. This housing market professional will learn about your homebuying goals and tailor your home search accordingly. As a result, working with a real estate agent will increase the likelihood that you can enjoy a quick, easy homebuying journey.




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Posted by Marie Presti on 7/28/2019

Buying your first home is probably one of the biggest purchases you’ll make in your life. But, it does come with its advantages. Among them are tax breaks and deductions that you can take advantage of to save money if you play your cards right.

In today’s post, I’m going to cover some of the tax breaks and deductions that first-time homeowners should seek out this tax season to help them lower their tax bill.

Mortgage points

While earning points is a good thing on the basketball court, it can be a financial drain on a mortgage. Mortgage points are what buyers pay to the lender to secure their loan. They’re usually given as percentage points of the total loan amount.

If you pay these points with your closing costs, then they are deductible. Taxpayers who itemize deductions on their IRS Form 1040 can typically deduct all of the points they paid in a year, with the exception of some high-income taxpayers whose itemized deductions are limited.

PMI costs

If you’re one of the many people who made a down payment of less than 20% on your home, odds are that you’re going to be stuck with PMI, or private mortgage insurance, until you pay off at least 20% of the loan balance.

The good news is that homebuyers who purchased their home in the year 2007 and after can deduct their PMI premiums. However, the state on premium insurance deductibles is something that frequently comes up in Congress, so homeowners should ensure that these deductions are still valid when filing their taxes.

Mortgage interest

Mortgage interest accounts for the biggest deduction for the average homeowner. When you receive your Form 1098 from your lender, you can deduct the total amount of interest you’ve paid during the year.

Property taxes

Another deductible that shouldn’t be overlooked by first-time buyers is local property taxes. Save the records for any property taxes you pay so that you can deduct them during tax season.

Home energy tax credits

Some states are offering generous tax credits for homeowners who make home improvements that save energy. There are a number of improvements you might qualify for, including things like insulation and roofs, as well as photovoltaic (PV) solar panels.

IRA Withdrawals

Many first-time buyers withdraw from an IRA account to be able to make a larger down payment on their home or to pay for closing costs. In most other cases, withdrawing from an IRA will count as taxable income. However, if your IRA withdrawal is used toward a down payment or closing costs, the tax penalty is waived.


Keep these tax breaks and deductions in mind this tax season to help you save money and get a larger refund.




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Posted by Marie Presti on 7/21/2019

Purchasing a second home should be a fun, exciting experience. Yet homebuyers who fail to consider where they want to pursue a second residence may struggle to achieve their desired results.

If you know you want to buy a second home, it often helps to narrow your house search to residences in a select group of cities and towns. Then, you can evaluate available residences in your preferred cities and towns and boost the likelihood of finding a house that you can enjoy for years to come.

Of course, determining which cities and towns where you want to pursue a second house can be difficult. Yet there are lots of things you can do to hone your house search, including:

1. Evaluate Your Homebuying Budget

Your finances likely will play a major role in your ability to pursue and acquire a second residence. As such, you should examine your finances closely so you can establish a homebuying budget.

If you have paid the mortgage on your current house, focus on the mortgage costs associated with a second home. For example, if you want to find out how much you can afford to pay for a second home, you can meet with bank and credit union mortgage specialists. This will allow you to get pre-approved for a mortgage so you can enter the real estate market with a budget in hand.

Comparatively, if you still have a mortgage on your present house, you should consult with your lender. This will allow you to determine if you qualify for a second mortgage. Also, you can get financial guidance so you can figure out where to search for a second house that falls in line with your finances.

2. Establish a Homebuying Timeline

Think about when you want to acquire a second residence. Next, you can create a homebuying timeline to help you achieve your desired homebuying goal.

A homebuying timeline should remain flexible. If you want to purchase a second home in the mountains, for example, you should account for the time it may take to transport various personal belongings to this residence. And if problems arise that delay your efforts to acquire a second home, you should be ready to adjust your homebuying timeline as needed.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

Let's face it – buying a second home is rarely simple, regardless of your property buying expertise. But if you hire a real estate agent, you can receive extensive assistance as you search for a second residence.

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of the housing market. He or she will share real estate market insights with you, along with providing tips and recommendations. As a result, a real estate agent will help you find a second home in your preferred city or town as quickly as possible.

Take the guesswork out of finding and buying a second home in the city or town of your choice – use the aforementioned tips, and you could streamline your quest to acquire a second residence that matches your expectations.




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