How to Know You're Ready to Stop Renting and Ready to Buy a House

Renting offers a lot of flexibility - you can move mostly whenever you want, and you don’t have to carry around a mortgage payment. However, many people who rent look forward to eventually buying a home. Do you think you are ready to settle down and purchase a home? Here are a few reasons why you might be ready to become a homeowner. If you find that some or all of these reasons resonate with you, it is probably time to start talking to a Waltham Real Estate Agent so that you can start looking for your dream Waltham home! 


1. Your rent keeps increasing

In many areas of the country, rent continues to rise every year. It can be extremely frustrating to have your rent increase each year because it’s not guaranteed that your pay increases as well, leading you to not be able to accurately plan your finances and save as much money. Waltham Realtors suggest if you’re tired of your rent constantly increasing it might be time for you to start searching for a home. 

2. Interest rates are incredibly attractive

One reason many people decide to stop renting and to buy a home is when money is cheap. When interest rates and mortgages are in your price range, you sometimes cannot give up the opportunity you have right in front of you! Waltham Realtors know first-hand that interest rates don’t stay low forever, so if they’re low and it makes sense for you then it might be time to buy that Waltham home you have been dying for!  

3. You manage debt well

How you manage your debt is especially important when it comes time to buy a home. Lenders take a close look at the amount of debt you have and how you manage it. Waltham Real Estate Agents recommend paying down your credit cards before you start the process of searching for a home. You don’t have to pay them off fully but consider paying them down enough so that you can appeal to lenders. 

4. You just got married 

One of the most common reasons people go from renting to buying is when a significant life change happens, like getting married. When two people settle down together, they are usually ready to take the next step and purchase a home. 

5. You need room to grow a family

Having more room and storage space is a huge reason for purchasing a home. If people do not purchase a home when they get married, it’s usually once they start to have children and grow a family. Purchasing a home for your family can offer many benefits. You’ll have more rooms and storage as well as a backyard for your kids to play in. Waltham, MA has some beautiful homes with all the right amenities for young families and Waltham Realtors are here to help you find the perfect home! 


Contact a Waltham Real Estate Agent 

As mentioned above, Waltham is a great place to buy your first home. Waltham, MA offers great neighborhoods, convenient commuter access, tasty restaurants, nearby attractions, and more. If you’re ready to make the move from renting to buying in Waltham, MA contact a Waltham Real Estate Agent. They will be sure to walk you through every step of the process so that you’re comfortable every step of the way.


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    6 Of The Best Home Staging Tips

    Home staging is important when it comes to selling your home. You want your home to look its best for the potential buyers so that people will be interested and you’ll receive more offers. If you don’t know exactly what home staging is, it’s a way of decorating your home to highlight it’s most impressive features and assets in order to help buyers envision that as their home. Waltham Realtors encourage sellers to put some time and effort into this as it’s known to be effective when selling a home. When a home is staged before a showing, it helps buyers feel more comfortable and be able to picture their belongings in there. Here are 6 tips to follow when staging a home to help your home sell faster and for more money. 


    1. Stage Where it Counts

    It’s not necessary to stage all the rooms in your home. You want to focus on staging the rooms that have the biggest influence on buyers’ decisions says a Waltham Real Estate Agent. The rooms you should focus on staging are the living rooms, kitchen, and master bedroom. These rooms have a huge influence on if a person is going to buy your house or not. Don’t waste time and energy staging less influential rooms such as bathrooms and other bedrooms. 


    2. De-personalize the space

    The main goal of home staging is to help potential buyers picture themselves living in your home. In order to do this, you’ll want to somewhat de-personalize the space. Of course, you want space to still have style but Waltham Realtors suggest avoiding personal touches so that people have an easier time envisioning the space as their own.  That said, leaving out some family photos can be good to make a home feel more welcoming.


    3. Get rid of clutter

    By getting rid of clutter you make your home look bigger and much tidier. Waltham Realtors also suggest to de-clutter your closets as well. When buyers are touring your home they are going to look in closets to see how much closet space there is. By having neat, organized, and put together closets it will show the buyer all the storage room they will have. The less clutter in your home the bigger it will look and the more appealing it will be to buyers. 


    4.Clean, clean, clean!

    Cleaning your home top to bottom is extremely important! You want every inch of your home to shine. Nothing is more appealing to buyers than a clean home. A clean home will suggest to the buyers that you took great care of the property. 


    5. Light up your home

    No one loves a dark home or darkroom. Brighten up your home by letting as much light shine through as possible, open all of the blinds and shades! Waltham Realtors suggest that adding more light to rooms also helps the rooms seem bigger. Before a showing, you should also turn all the lights in your house on including lamps and closet lights. 


    6. Rearrange the furniture 

    Rearrange the furniture in your home to make as much open, walkable space as possible. This helps buyers both navigate the space and better visualize their own furniture in the home. If you have extra furniture that may be damaged or too unique and personalized, consider moving it to storage for the time being. 


    Contact a Waltham Real Estate Agent

    Staging a home does not require a ton of money but it does require smart decisions. A Waltham Realtor will be able to help you stage your home and make changes that will entice buyers and add value to your home. Contact a Waltham Real Estate Agent today if you’re looking to sell your Waltham home and need professional help in doing so! 


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      Interested in Buying a House with a Pool? Here's What You Need to Know


      A house with a pool is a very attractive asset for some Waltham home buyers. Having a pool offers entertainment, swimming, in-water exercise options right at home, and is a great thing to have during the summer months when you want to cool down and relax. However, it’s important to keep in mind the upkeep and maintenance having a pool requires. Here are a few things Waltham Realtors suggest to keep in mind before purchasing a home with a pool. 


      Maintaining a well-kept and clean pool requires ongoing costs and definitely a good amount of work. You’ll need to make sure to regularly clean the pool as well as treat it with chemicals to make sure bacteria and algae don’t take over the pool. You’ll also need to regularly replace the pool filter and skim the water to remove debris that gets into the water such as leaves, twigs, and insects. If you're interested in a heated pool, keep in mind that could greatly increase your utility bills.

      If your pool is uninsured and something breaks such as the pump, the lining, etc. it could result in unexpected costs that could end up being hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars. It has been reported that homeowners with pools spend an average of $80-$150 a month. Waltham Real Estate Agents encourage you to consider these monthly costs before closing on a home with a pool. 

      Safety and Regulatory Compliance 

      It is crucial before buying a Waltham home with a pool to make sure it meets federal, state, and local regulations for safety requirements. Families with small children must always use supervision and also consider other safety measures around your pool. It has been found that drowning is the number one cause of unintentional deaths for children between the ages of 1-4. Consider installing alarms or have your pool in a fenced-in area to assure your children stay safe. 

      Insurance Costs

      Homeowner’s insurance often covers a pool under the “other structures” section of your policy. However, keep in mind that the homeowner would potentially be held liable for injuries that happen due to the pool. Waltham Realtors will assist you in making sure you’re aware of any pool safety requirements imposed by your insurance. 

      Resale Information

      People may think that the money spent on installing/maintaining a pool would be a good investment for when it’s time to resell the home. However, that is not entirely true. There is a chance your pool doesn’t have a significant impact on the resale value. This is especially true in New England since the pool is only usable for a couple of months of the year. There is also a chance it takes longer to sell your home because a pool might be a deal-breaker to some buyers. Waltham Real Estate Agents suggest viewing the pool as a lifestyle investment rather than a financial one. 

      Contact a Waltham Realtor

      Interested in buying a home in Waltham with a pool but not entirely sure if it’s the right move for you? Contact a Waltham Realtor! A Waltham Real Estate Agent will talk you through the pros and cons to assist in your decision. Waltham Realtors are extremely personable and always work their hardest to help you find your dream home. Call today at 617-968-0022 or fill out a contact form


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        4 Ways to Make Your Home Offer Stand Out


        It’s common to be in competition with many other buyers when trying to buy your dream home. The last thing you want is to lose your dream home because someone else’s offer was better than yours. Here are 5 ways suggested by a Waltham Real Estate Agent to make your offer stand out so you can get the home you’ve always dreamed of. 


        1. Include A Pre-Approval 

        It’s a good idea to get pre-approved before you even sign an offer says a Waltham Realtor. This is because it shows the seller how serious you are about the home. It also eases the seller’s mind that you aren’t going to back out of the offer if you come to find out your credit isn’t as good as you might have thought it was. Make sure to include the pre-approval letter from the bank with your signed offer. 


        2. Make a Decent Serious Deposit

        If you believe the house you’re looking at is your absolute dream home, don’t play around when it comes to the amount you offer for a deposit. Earnest money shows the seller once again how serious you are about getting this home since you are ready to give up that much money if you were to back out of your offer. There is usually a particular amount offered for homes in the area, so to look really good Waltham Realtors recommend going above and beyond that amount. 


        3. Make Your First Offer Your Best Offer

        When you’re competing with multiple other offers, don’t waste time and rely on negotiation to get the deal you want. Base your first offer on solid research of surrounding comparables and offer what you really would be able to pay. If you don’t, your offer may be easily overlooked. Waltham Realtors suggest even possibly offering over list price if it is the right home for you.


        4. Get Personal and include a letter to the sellers with your offer

        Don’t be shy to let the sellers know why you want the house so badly. Maybe you’ve dreamed of raising a family in that neighborhood, or you have close family that lives nearby. Whatever the reason is, let them know. However, make your letter to the sellers short and simple and don’t sound too desperate. 


        Contact A Waltham Realtor 

        Having the right realtor is a very important part in figuring out the best way to close on your dream home. A Waltham Real Estate Agent will walk you through every step of the way and help you create an offer that is hard to refuse. Contact Hans Brings today for all your Waltham Real Estate needs



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          5 Reasons You Shouldn't Skip a Home Inspection


          When you put an offer on a home the endless check writing process begins. There are many costs when purchasing a home such as a realtor fee, lawyer fees, etc. The total cost of these fees ends up being pricey and you may want to look for different ways to save. While you may want to skip the home inspection in order to save some money, Waltham Real Estate Agents suggest to not skip the inspection. Here are 6 great reasons you should get one. 

          1. It Provides an “Out”

          A home inspection can show you important information about the condition of the home. This helps the buyer see what costs, repairs, and maintenance updates the home may need. If as the buyer, you realize the home is in need of a lot more work than you expected this gives you an opportunity to back out of your offer before it’s too late. Waltham Realtors say this step is extremely important because it could end up saving buyers thousands of dollars 

          2. Safety

          A home inspection can help you become aware of safety issues. It can detect radon, carbon monoxide, and mold. All homes should be tested for these so that you can ensure the safety of you and your family before moving in. It’s important that your home-buying contact explains that if these hazards are present you have the option of opting out of your offer. 

          3. Negotiating Tool

          Waltham Realtors say that a home inspection presents the opportunity to ask for repairs to the home or even an opportunity to request a price drop from the seller. Work with your Waltham Real Estate Agent to help understand what you can request based on the inspection report in order to get a better deal on the home. 

          4. Forecast Future Costs

          As mentioned above, home inspections will show you the condition of the home. With this information, you will find out what systems need to be updated such as the plumbing, heating, and cooling. You will also find out other updates and fixes the home needs. By seeing the inspection report you can get an idea of how much money you may have to spend on updating and fixing some of these issues. This will help you decide if you want to put money into these tasks or if you want to opt-out of your offer.

          5. Shows You the Big Picture 

          If you are a first time home buyer, you may not realize how much work and money really goes into buying a home. Waltham Realtors say that sometimes people get so excited about the idea of the home such as the location, the layout, the size, etc. that they don’t realize other issues that can make their “dream” home become an inconvenience. A home inspection will help point out these issues so that people know what they are getting themselves into before just excitingly and instinctively buying the home. 

          Contact a Waltham Real Estate Agent

          These are just a few of the reasons why home inspections are extremely important before purchasing a home. Hire a Waltham Realtor to assist you in your home buying process! They will walk you through everything you need to know and help you get the best deals possible on your dream Waltham home.


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            4 Ways to Save Money When Buying A House


            When buying a new home, getting a great deal is a goal. However, besides getting a good deal on the home, there are other ways you can save money. Here are some suggested ways to save money by a Waltham Realtor when searching for the perfect, affordable home. 

             1. Hire an Experienced Real Estate Agent

            The first step is hiring someone who can assist you throughout the process. Hiring a knowledgeable and experienced Waltham Real Estate Agent will save you a lot of time and money as it is ideal to have someone assist you in all your real estate decisions. A knowledgeable Waltham Realtor will be able to ensure finding the best deal for your soon to be Waltham home.  People often think not hiring a Realtor will save them money, however, that is not the case. A Waltham Real Estate Agent will be able to negotiate many things within the contract in which you most likely wouldn't have been able to catch yourself. 


            2. Get Loan Quotes from Multiple Sources

            Interest rates change based on lenders so Waltham Realtors recommend you gather quotes from a few different mortgage companies in order to see where you can get the best deal. By asking for a quote from different lenders you will be able to see all of the fees they will charge and you can then compare them all to see which one would be most beneficial for you. You can also use these quotes to help negotiate lower fees and rates. 


            3. Increase Your Credit Score

            Your credit score is extremely important when it comes to buying a house. The higher your credit score is, the cheaper your loan will be. A few ways you can up your credit score before applying for a mortgage loan is to pay down your credit card balances as well as don’t apply for any new loans or credit cards. Focus on keeping your credit card balances below 15% of your credit limit. 


            4. Buy a Home in the Winter

            The time of year you buy your home has an impact on the price. A lot of people look to buy in the spring and summer months which results in the prices being higher since the demand is higher. Waiting until the winter months to buy a new home could result in thousands of dollars being saved claims a Waltham Real Estate Agent


            Contact a Waltham Real Estate Agent 

             If you’re looking to purchase a new home and are in need of a reliable Waltham Realtor to assist you, contact Hans Brings! Hans will be able to walk you through finding your perfect Waltham home and making sure you’re getting the best deal possible. Give Hans a call at 617-968-0022 or fill out a contact form!


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              5 Essential Curb Appeal Tips for Sellers



              The curb appeal of your home is important when it comes to trying to sell. Your home’s curb appeal is the first impression someone gets when looking at your house. If they don’t like the outside of it, it is possible that they won’t even want to look at the rest of the house. You want your property to have a “wow” factor and an inviting feel. Waltham Realtors claim that a curb appeal often entices buyers to inquire further. Here are some essential areas of your property to address before you put your home on the market. 

              1. Wash the Siding

              If it’s been a while since you’ve washed the siding of your home, now would be a great time! If the siding on your home is dirty it may give people the impression that you don’t take great care of your property. You can wash your siding on your own with soap and water but if that’s not enough you may need to hire a professional. You can also take this time to wash your garage too! 

              1. Revitalize the Paint Job

              After cleaning the siding of your home you may notice that there are some chips or cracks in the paint. Waltham Realtors suggest painting over these chips and cracks to make sure your home is looking good as new. When someone is looking at a house they don’t want to see things that they may have to fix themselves. Because of this, it is best that you get them done before putting your home on the market. 

              1. Fix Up the Lawn

              Having a grown out lawn, collection of weeds, untidy hedges & bushes, etc. can really turn someone off from a home. Waltham Real Estate Agents suggest taking the time to trim any hedges, bushes, or trees that are overgrown, mow your lawn, and pull out any weeds you may have in your yard. Having a clean and put together landscape will attract buyers a lot more than if your yard was a mess. 

              1. Update the Front Door

              Having a door that’s beaten down can set a bad tone to visitors entering your house for a tour says Waltham Realtors. If your front door is in bad shape we suggest fixing it up. Whether that means repainting it, washing it, or even replacing it, it is important to not let visitors see a beaten-down door for the home they are about to walkthrough. 

              1. Add Landscape Lighting

              If you’re having any tours at night, having landscape lighting would really bring your home’s exterior to the next level. You can accent trees, bushes, and flower beds by adding lighting to them which would instantly attract the buyer’s eye. Landscape lighting is also great because if you’ve put in a lot of work into the exterior of your property to get it ready for showings, people will be able to still notice the high points of your landscape at night time. 


              Contact a Waltham Real Estate Agent

              Waltham Realtors can give you many tips when it comes to getting the exterior of your home ready for a showing. Your Waltham Real Estate Agent will be there throughout your selling process to assist and make sure everything that needs to be done gets done! Contact Hans Brings today with any questions or if you want to inquire about buying or selling a home!


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                Waltham Real Estate Agents Reveal 5 Biggest Myths About Pricing Your Home to Sell


                If your home is on the market and does not sell quickly, the first thing you should do is reevaluate the price it’s listed at. Many homeowners list their homes for the price they want rather than aligning their prices with the current market. Pricing a home can be tricky but that is why your Waltham Real Estate Agents are here to assist you! Pricing a home can vary based on the season, the market, the demand, and more. Here are 5 common myths about pricing when selling your home. 

                Myth #1: Price the Home Based on How Much You Want to Get

                Buyers won’t really care how much you want for the home. They are going to offer what they think the home is worth as well as what they are willing to pay for it. Waltham Realtors state that the list price for a home needs to be based on the current market value of the home even if that is a different price than you originally wished for. 

                Myth #2: A Home’s Assessed Value is the Same as the Market Value

                The assessed value of your home is different than its market value. The assessed value is based on your property taxes which is not required to reflect what the market value is. To find how much your home is worth it is recommended to meet with a Waltham Real Estate Agent. Waltham Realtors will conduct a comparative market analysis to see what the actual value of your home is. 

                Myth #3: Include the Cost of Renovations or Home Updates into the Home Price 

                Although home renovations or updates can add value to your home it is important to remember that you won’t always get a 100% return on your investments. Waltham Realtors state that inside renovations such as a kitchen or bath can you a larger return windows or siding. Homeowners usually see a 55% - 90% return on their investment based on what renovations and updates were done. 

                Myth #4: Base the Home Price on What Similar Homes Are Listed For

                Rather than listing your home based on listings of similar homes, base it on what similar homes have actually sold for. Many people list their homes at a higher price than its value which is why you need to look at what the homes sold for instead. This will give you a better idea of the price your home should be listed at. 

                Myth #5: Keep the Home on the Market Until You Get the Price You Want

                With this case scenario, it’s actually the opposite. The longer your home is on the market, the lower the sale price will be. Waltham Realtors say that pricing your home right at the beginning is extremely important as homes sell for the most money when they are sold within a month of being listed. It has also been found that homes sold within a month of them being on the market will sometimes sell for higher than the listing price. 

                Contact a Waltham Realtor 

                If you are looking for assistance in selling and pricing your home contact a Waltham Real Estate Agent! Waltham Realtors can assist you with everything you’ll need to do to sell your home. Contact Hans Brings today! 


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                  Tips for Prepping Your House for a Summer SaleĀ 


                  With the current COVID-19 circumstances, many buyers and sellers had put their processes on pause. Because of this, the summer market is predicted to be filled with buyers and sellers who are ready to strike! Waltham Realtors believe that this summer will be a great time for you to buy or sell. If you are looking to sell your home this summer, here are some tips to help prep your home to be as attractive as possible to buyers. 


                  Clean Up the Outside of Your Home

                  A buyer’s first impression of a home is of course what it looks like on the outside. It is important to give buyers a great first impression so that they begin on a positive note. To help the outside of your home shine, it is a good idea to pressure wash the house and fully clean the gutters. 

                  Waltham Realtors also suggest fixing up your landscaping. When a home’s landscaping is well done, it shows that the owners take good care of everything on their property. Having the exterior of your home looking clean, put together, and beautiful will give buyers an amazing first impression and get them one step closer to signing! 


                  Depersonalize Your Home

                  Everyone of course has different tastes in style and home decor. Waltham Real Estate Agents have pointed out that if someone visits your home and your home decor is a completely different style from theirs, they may not be able to fully picture themselves living there. By depersonalizing your home you can give buyers a better idea of if they could really see themselves making this place their new home.


                  Make the Front Door Inviting

                  This could be as easy as putting a fresh coat of paint on your door or replacing a faded house number to one that stands out. While it may seem like a small thing, having an inviting front door can help to continue a good first impression of your home. Waltham Realtors encourage people to prepare the outside of their home the best they can because if someone doesn’t walk into your home being positive, hopeful, and excited about what they already see, it is likely the possibility of a deal is already off the table in their mind.  


                  Contact a Waltham Realtor 

                  Waltham Real Estate Agents are here to help you with all your home selling needs. They will walk you through all the steps needed to ensure your home is ready and in great condition for viewing. If you have any questions or would like to reach out to a Waltham Realtor to assist in your home buying or selling process, contact Hans Brings!


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                    Simple Ways To Pay Off Your Mortgage Early


                    Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you can make. Paying off your mortgage may be extremely intimidating as it sometimes takes many many years. A Waltham Realtor is here to give you tips on how to pay your mortgage off in less time while not breaking the bank. Paying off your mortgage sooner than later will also help increase your equity and save you a lot of money in interest payments. 

                    1. Switch To A Biweekly Payment

                    Start making your mortgage payments every other week instead of once a month. However, this doesn’t mean paying the full amount twice a month. If your mortgage payment is $1000 a month, pay $500 every two weeks. Paying your mortgage on this schedule can greatly benefit your wallet for a few reasons. These extra payments will basically have the same impact on your bank account as if you were paying once a month. However, because there are 52 weeks in a year, the biweekly payment will result in 13 as opposed to 12 full payments a year. This will result in paying a whole extra payment each year, greatly reducing the amount of time it will take you to pay it completely off. Waltham Real Estate Agents suggest this method as it will also help you save thousands of dollars in interest. 

                    2. Make Extra Principal Payments

                    Mortgage lenders usually allow people to make extra principal payments each month. This means that the extra payment will go towards paying down the principal amount rather than both the principal and interest amount. Paying a little extra in principal payments each month will greatly reduce the interest charges over time as well as shaving years off your mortgage payment. Waltham Realtors suggest rounding your monthly payments up to pay your principal payment. For example, if you have a mortgage payment of $1,065 per month, you would pay $1100 per month and dedicate that extra $35 as a payment on the principal. While it may not seem like a lot, over time these extra small payments will add up.

                    3. Refinance Into A Shorter-Term Loan 

                    This option is sometimes tricky for people as some only make enough money to pay a certain amount a month in mortgage payments. However, if you have a little extra money to spend on mortgage payments each month, this is an extremely great option for you. Waltham Real Estate Agents have mentioned that a shorter-term loan will result in saving thousands of dollars in interest payments! If you have a 25-year mortgage, consider refinancing to a 15-year mortgage. This will not only shave 10 years off of your mortgage payments but your interest rate will be much lower. While you’ll be paying a little extra monthly, you will make up for it in the end. 

                    4. Put Your Extra Money Into Your Mortgage 

                    If paying off your mortgage early is something you are very dedicated to, Waltham Realtors say to consider using the extra money you get throughout the year to pay off your mortgage. These extra payments may come from your tax return, a bonus from work, an increase in salary, selling things you no longer need, etc. Because you are already living without that extra money, putting it towards your mortgage is a great way to pay it off faster while not hurting your bank account. 

                    Contact A Waltham Realtor Today 

                    Waltham Real Estate Agents always have your best interest in mind when helping you budget for a mortgage payment. They will bring forth their professional and experienced knowledge to help you create the perfect mortgage plan that will help you pay it off as quickly as possible while not breaking the bank. Waltham Realtors are also dedicated to getting you the best deal whether you are buying or selling a Waltham home. Contact Hans Bring today for assistance!


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