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How Much Should You Put Down on My New Waltham Home?

The right down payment depends on your financial situation.  Deciding how much to put down on a new house depends on balancing liquid cash with other priorities, but economic conditions related to Covid-19 and a hot housing market have added twists.  Due to the nationwide sellers market, offering a large down payment could make it easier to win a bidding war because it improves your chances of getting approved for a loan. 

How Much of a Down Payment is Typically Required When Buying a House?

If you are wondering what percentage you should put down on a house, 20% down is the rule of thumb, but there is no one size fits all figure.  For example, some loan programs require a down payment of  as little as 3% or 5% and some do not require one at all.  The primary reason most consider 20% is if you have a conventional loan to avoid private mortgage insurance.  However, according to the National Association of Realtors around 72% of homebuyers put down less than 20%.  

What is a Good Down Payment for My Waltham Home?

There is no right amount for everyone to have set in their mind when it comes to down payments, it will ultimately come down to your own budget.  However, there are some guidelines to consider what you are planning to put down should be in line with your monthly housing budget, your loan program, your liquid cash, and your plan for the home moving forward.  The larger your down payment, the lower your monthly mortgage payment.  While 20% is a good rule of thumb there are other options for lower down payments.  

The reality of it is that most homebuyers pay much less than 20%.  The median down payment in 2019 was 12% for all buyers, 6% for first time buyers and 16% for repeat buyers.  Having a professional Waltham real estate agent can assist you with the down payment process in order to set you up with an easy buying process! 

How Can You Decide How Much to Put Down?

Among other aspects, your finances and your goals for the home help you choose the right down payment.

Here are some questions to consider :

  • Will your new house require upgrades or updates?

  • Are you handling a lot of other debts?

  • How secure is your job?

 

Only you and assistance from your Waltham realtor can help you determine the appropriate down payment.  

 

Putting down a larger down payment will ultimately have you paying less per month on your mortgage.  When considering your budget for your down payment you should consider private mortgage insurance, interest costs, emergency funds, and closing costs.  These are all aspects that need to be considered to not bleed your bank account dry before even getting started with your new Waltham home.  This all might be a giant headache to most when trying to dissect the buying process, but a well experienced Waltham real estate agent will be able to thoroughly communicate each step with you in order to set you up for success!

Contact Hans Brings Today!

No matter if you are a fresh first time home buyer or are looking to move on to your next property Hans has the market knowledge needed in order to guarantee a smooth transaction.  Get assistance from someone with years dealing with the Waltham housing market today!  Get a hold of Hans by giving him a call at 617-968-0022 or by filling out a contact form on the website. 

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    First Time Waltham Home Buyers Checklist

    Having a checklist is a great way to ensure that you avoid mistakes and oversight by laying out a clear plan and set of strategic steps to monitor progress.  Here are some basic steps to consider when you are ready to purchase your first home:

    Find a Realtor

    It is important to note that you are not required to have a realtor or real estate agent when you purchase your home.  However, a Waltham realtor can make it much easier to find a home that is perfect for you.  Real estate professionals are trained in every aspect of the home buying process.  They are there to assist you find a property that fits in your budget and seal the deal at closing.   They have your best interest at heart and will advise you on your offerings.  

    Figure Out How Much House You Can Afford

    A lender will only offer you the amount that you can afford to pay monthly towards your mortgage.  Knowing how much you can spend on a house is a good way to narrow your home search.  Having this figure prepared allows your Waltham real estate agent to find you properties that fit your budget.  The first step would be to have an understanding of your DTI ratio and how a monthly mortgage payment will fall into your budget.  

    Find a Mortgage Lender & Get Approved

    Next on your list should be getting preapproved for a mortgage.  Having a preapproved mortgage gives you an idea of how much house you can afford, your interest rate, and the type of loan program you qualify for.  This is also a great tool to show your real estate agent and the seller that you will not have trouble finding funding for your home purchase.  

    Begin The House Hunt 

    Now that you have your pre approval in hand, you can now start house hunting.  You may have seen for sale signs while driving around the neighborhood in Waltham, but nowadays most properties are listed virtually.  Your Waltham real estate agent will also have access to real estate databases to find more in depth information depending on what you are looking for.  Real estate professionals are experts in your local housing market and may have additional insider knowledge on which homes you may like.  

    Having clear communication with your real estate agent is vital to ensure that you are finding a property that offers all the qualities that you are looking for.  That will provide them with other aspects to consider when they narrow the list of properties to show you.  

    Gather Your Documentation

    It never hurts to be proactive when you are on the hunt for a new piece of property.  You will need to submit financial documents to your mortgage lender, so you should have it on hand. 

    These required documents include:

    • Proof of ID

    • Your Last 2 Months of Income

    • Proof of Funds for the Down Payment & Closing

    • Your Last 2 Years of Tax Returns, Bank Statements or Investment Account Statements 

    • A Recommendation Letter

    Make An Offer 

    Once you have gotten through the first five steps you are now ready to put into an offer on a property that you like! It can be a difficult decision when it comes to how much you should offer.  So, it is best to refer to your professional real estate agent as they will gather local property values and other sales data.  They will also draw up an offer letter and submit it for you.  

    Conduct a Home Appraisal & Inspection

    After you reach an agreement with the seller, it is time for the appraisal and the inspection.  Appraisals and inspections vary in a few important ways.  An appraisal only gives you an estimate of how much your home is worth.  They look at factors such as overall property value in the neighborhood and the general conditions of the property.  A home inspection on the other hand, gives you a more in depth look into the inner workings of your home.  During the process a home inspector will take a walk through of your property and test things.  

    Close on The House

    After your home has passed inspection and undergoes an appraisal, you are ready to close.  Closing involves signing all the necessary paperwork on your mortgage and taking control of the property.  Before closing you will get documentation from your mortgage lender called a Closing Disclosure.  These documents will include the final terms of the mortgage loan, what you owe in closing costs, and your interest rate.  

    Contact Hans Brings Today!

    If you have decided that the time is right for you to purchase your first home then make sure that you do not go through the buying process alone.  Contact Hans today to get insight of the current market conditions to ensure that you get the best deal possible!  Get in touch with Hans by giving him a call at 617-968-0022 or by filling out a contact form here.

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      Why Waltham Residents Are Moving Today?

       

      Buying a home is a major life decision.  That is true no matter if it is your first time or not.  If you are planning to buy a home you may be hearing about today's market and wondering what that means to you.  

      While mortgage rates are higher than they were at the start of the year, that does not mean you have to put your plans on hold solely based on market factors.  Instead, consider why you want to move and how important those reasons are to you.  Here are some reasons that motivate people to move today.  

      A Need for More Space

      The top priority for people moving out is for more space both indoors and outdoors.  Outgrowing your home is not something new.  As your lifestyle evolves you may be craving a larger yard, more entertaining room, or just need more storage space.  Having the physical space for your desired lifestyle may be reason enough to make the move.  Having a professional Waltham real estate agent can benefit you with your move.  A good real estate agent will have knowledge of the area and information on the current market conditions to get you the best price possible!

      Desire To Be Close To Loved Ones

      Not being around your loved ones can be tough to handle at times.  Especially when you do not get to see them face to face.  According to a recent survey 32% of people moved in recent years to be closer to their loved ones.  With covid creating flexible working conditions homeowners are more inclined to sell their Waltham home to be close to their families.  

      What Does That Mean For You?

      If you have been contemplating moving, one of the reasons listed above might be a top motivator for you. Even though the mortgage rates, house prices, and the current state of the housing market will play a role in your decision.  It is still important to make sure that your potential new home meets your needs.  No matter if those needs are a bigger backyard for the kids to run around in or more space for your home office.  

      In Conclusion

      In the end there are many reasons why people decide to move.  No matter if that is due to the current market prices or due to the reasons above.  If your needs have changed, connect with a Waltham real estate agent today.  A trusted professional real estate agent will be able to service you with knowledgeable advice when it comes to navigating the current market.  Get started by giving Hans a call at 617-968-0022 or fill out a contact form on his website.  

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        Persepctive Matters When Selling Your Home

        Does the latest news about the housing market have you questioning your plans to sell your house? If so, perspective is key.  Here are some of the ways that a trusted Waltham real estate agent can help you navigate the current market.  

        Fewer Homes Are For Sale Than Pre-Pandemic

        While the supply of homes available for sale has increased this year compared to last, we are still nowhere near what’s considered a balanced market.  This year supply has surpassed 2021 levels by 30%.  But the further back you look, the bigger the picture makes sense.  If you were to look back to 2019 we are roughly 40% below the housing supply we had at the time.  Why does this matter? When there is low inventory, there is still demand for your house because there just is not enough homes available for sale.  

        Homes Are Selling Faster Than Normal

        While homes are not selling as quickly as they did a few months ago, the average number of days on the market is still well below pre-pandemic norms that is in large part of the low inventory.  During the pandemic we saw homes sell at record rates during the pandemic.  Since the pandemic we have seen a slight uptick in average days, but still much lower than pre-pandemic times.  What that means for homeowners is that if the price is right, your home could be under contract  quickly.  

        Buyer Demand Has Moderated

        This year has seen a hike in mortgage rates and that has affected buyer demand to soften.  Prior to the pandemic it was typical for home sold to be 2 offers, then as the market heated up the number of offers skyrocketed with record low mortgages.  However, most recently the number of offers on homes sold today are at pre-pandemic as the market cools from the frenzy.  Now do not be mistaken, buyers have not disappeared, they are still out there. 

        In Conclusion

        If you are looking to get your questions answered or have help being navigated through this market reach out to Hans Brings; A trusted Waltham real estate agent.  A true professional will be able to assist you through the whole process from the homes listing  to close.  Get clearity today by giving a call to 617-968-0022 or by filling out a contact form on the website. 

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          Top Reasons Waltham Homeowners Are Selling Now

          During the current housing market there are some people that are reluctant to sell their home in Waltham.  The consensus is that they do not want to lose their low mortgage rates they have on their current homes.  You may be in the same boat if you have been thinking about selling your house in the current market.  

          Data shows that 51% of homeowners have a mortgage rate under 4% as of April of this year.  While it is true that rates are higher than that right now there are other non-financial factors to consider.  Your mortgage rate is important but there are other reasons to consider when it comes to making a move.  

          Why Waltham Homeowners Are Selling 

          Finances are not the only deciding factor when it comes to homeowners making the commitment to sell their home and relocate.  With the last couple years there have been new reasons popping up especially after Covid.  During Covid homeowners were spending the most time in their homes.  This lead some to realize that they are missing out on certain features or amenities.  Some realized that they need a home office since they will be conducting a remote work schedule now. 

           Now, on the other hand there are still reasons that we have heard before.  Such as wanting a smaller home that requires less work or wanting to relocate closer to a loved one.  

          Bottom Line 

          Even with today’s mortgage rates, your lifestyle needs may be enough to motivate you to make a change.  The best way to find out what is right for you is partnering with someone who knows the area and market well.  A trusted real estate professional who can provide you with expert guidance and advice throughout the process.  They can help walk you through your options, so you can make a confident decision based on what matters most to you and your loved ones. 
          While the financial reasons to move are important, there is often far more to consider.  Non-financial reasons can also be a significant motivating factor.  

          Selling Your Waltham Home 

          If your home has increased in value since you bought it, selling your home now can provide you with a great profit.  Waltham Realtors say that this also allows you to seek those features and amenities that your current home is missing.  Maybe you are looking for a new office or just need a bigger yard for the kids.  Either way, selling your home will provide you with a chunk of cash and allow you to move to provide for your needs and wants.  


          If you are looking to sell your home and buy a new one, contact Waltham Real Estate Agent, Hans Brings! Hans has years of experience helping clients get the best price possible for their homes.  Call today! 617-968-0022

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            Tips for First Time Home Buyers

             

            Buying a home is a serious commitment especially when it is your very first time going through the process.  Like any big project a successful home buying experience is all about getting the details right from start to finish.  If you find yourself stressed out and panicked do not worry we have compiled some tips to navigate you through the process. 

            Preparing to Buy

            Saving early and often is ideal when it comes to you being prepared for your first home.  There are some big costs that are on the horizon. Your first big payment will be your down payment for your new home.  Now, your down payment will depend entirely on the loan you choose and the lender it is coming from.  There will also be closing costs that you will have to cover.  Once you have purchased your home moving all of your belongings is going to be time consuming so hiring a moving company may be ideal.  

            Knowing your credit score is important before you begin shopping around for homes.  Your credit score will always be a work in progress, but knowing where it stands and having a plan to build it up if need be is a good way to stay ahead of the game.  Your credit score will determine if you qualify for a mortgage and affect the interest rate you are offered.  

            Mortgage Selection Tips

            When you are looking around for a mortgage for your new home knowing which one may suit your current situation is ideal.  The main categories of mortgages are conventional, FHA loans, USDA loans, and VA loans.  

            You also have options when it comes to your mortgage term.  Most home buyers opt for the 30 year fixed rate mortgage.  This option has an interest rate that will stay the same over those 30 years.  A 15 year mortgage has lower interest rates compared to the 30 but the monthly costs are higher.  However, comparing rates and fees that are the same from multiple lenders is a great way to compare costs.  

             

            Home Shopping Tips 

            Buying your first home can be stressful and overwhelming.  That is why having a professional real estate agent to walk you through the whole process is recommended.  A good agent will scour the market for homes that meet your needs and walk you through negotiation and the closing process.  Sticking to your budget is important.  Having an ideal range to stay within is a must so you do not find yourself running through your savings.  

            Work With a Waltham Real Estate Agent

            Buying your first home is a big commitment and can be stressful the first time you go through the process.  Working with an experienced Waltham Realtor can ensure your experience to be more enjoyable. Hans Brings has years of experience helping Waltham home buyers find their perfect home, and home sellers get the best price.  Contact Hans today to inquire! 617-968-0022

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              Should I Refinance or Sell My Waltham Home?

              refinancing home

              People often reach a point when they’re ready to ease up on their expenses and save some money. When a homeowner feels this way, they often choose to refinance their home or sell their home. Waltham Realtors understand how these options can be attractive for homeowners as they both can help to reduce their monthly mortgage payments.

              Refinancing vs. Selling

              You have two options as a homeowner if you’re looking to ease up on expenses: refinancing your home or selling your home. Refinancing your Waltham home allows you to renegotiate your loan which would lower your monthly mortgage payment. Selling your home has the potential to get you a ton of cash that can pay off your mortgage completely. So, how do you know which option is right for you?

              Refinancing Your Waltham Home

              Waltham Realtors say that one of the main reasons homeowners tend to refinance their home is because of fallen interest rates. After a reassessment of your mortgage, lower interest rates can mean lower monthly mortgage payments. This would lead to significant savings. 

              Another reason homeowners choose refinancing is if they have improved their financial situation since buying the home. If one’s credit score goes up or the debt-to-income ratio has increased, then a lender might be interested in giving them a better deal on their loan. 

              Lastly, homeowners might choose to refinance in order to change the length of their loan. If a homeowner switches from a 30-year mortgage to a 15-year mortgage, they can save a ton of money on those 15 years of interest that would have built up. 

              Waltham Real Estate Agents say to keep in mind that refinancing your home means you’re getting a whole new mortgage, therefore, you’ll have to go through the qualification process again. So if you decide refinancing is for you, contact a Waltham Realtor and they can recommend some trusted lenders to you!

              Selling Your Waltham Home

              If your home’s value has increased significantly since you bought it, selling your home instead of refinancing can put a significant amount of cash in your pocket. Waltham Realtors say that this also allows you to reassess your wants and needs when it comes to a home. Maybe you’re looking for a bigger home or a new neighborhood. Either way, selling your home will give you a chunk of cash and allow you to move to where your heart desires. 

              If you’re looking to sell your home and buy a new one, contact Waltham Real Estate Agent, Hans Brings! Hans has years of experience helping clients get the best price possible for their homes. Call today! 617-968-0022

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                Why Most Waltham Homebuyers Are Interested in Open Floor Plans

                home open floor plan

                 

                While not everyone loves an open floor plan, many new homebuyers love this type of layout. It allows for more natural light, home design opportunities, better entertainment spacing, etc. Below are 5 benefits of an open floor plan from a Waltham Realtor to help you decide if this is the type of layout you’re looking for in a home! It will also give insight to people looking to build new construction or are fixing up their current homes to sell. 

                1. More Design & Decor Opportunities 

                Open floor plans allow homeowners flexibility when it comes to designing their space. This allows them to be creative with their furniture and choose a decor that suits them and their lifestyle the best. Waltham Realtors say that without having separating walls in the way, it's much easier to reconfigure your living spaces for different purposes and gatherings you might be hosting. 

                2. More Natural Lighting & Air Flow

                Open floor plan homes are usually built with large windows and glass doors that invite natural lighting in and allow for more airflow. Homes with closed walls tend to be darker because not as much natural light is able to flow through. By having natural light and more airflow in your living areas you’ll have a healthier and more comfortable space to live in. 

                3. Great For Home Entertaining

                Do you like to entertain at your home a lot? If so, an open floor plan is definitely in your best interest when searching for your next Waltham home. An open floor plan creates a bigger space that flows together instead of having separate rooms for your gathering. Guests will be able to move around more freely and if you are cooking in the kitchen, you’ll be able to be a part of the mingling instead of being stuck in a separate room. 

                4. Allows More Family - Togetherness

                A home with separate living areas means a home that also separates your family. However, an open floor plan joins together the most common living areas such as the living room, dining room, kitchen, etc. Therefore, an open floor plan will allow you to be together with your family even if you are technically in those separate areas of your home. 

                As mentioned above, an open floor plan can allow you to cook dinner while your family is hanging out in the living room. This is also a benefit if you have small children so it's easier to keep a close eye on them while getting things done around the house. 

                5. Improves Your Homes Energy Efficiency

                An open floor plan can help your home be more energy efficient which will result in spending less money every month on energy bills! This is because large open spaces take less time and effort to cool down or heat up. Also, since you will have more natural lighting you won’t have to use as much electricity either! Waltham Realtors also suggest an open floor plan if you’re looking to save on energy bills. 

                Work With a Waltham Real Estate Agent 

                Whether you’re looking to buy a Waltham home or sell your current Waltham home, make sure you’re working with an experienced Waltham Realtor! Hans Brings has years of experience helping Waltham home buyers find their perfect home, and home sellers get the best price for their sale. Contact Hans today to inquire! 617-968-0022

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                  4 Reasons Why It's Important to Have Professional Photos For Your Listings

                  real estate photography

                   

                  If you’re looking to get your online listing noticed, professional real estate photos are a must. Nowadays, everyone searches online for a home, and having professional photos on your listing will attract many potential buyers. Waltham Realtors say if the photos of your home are of bad quality and not professionally done, it’s likely that you won’t get as much interest in your listing. There are a handful of other benefits that come with professional photos, continue reading for some insight!

                  1. First Impressions Are Important 

                  Your home’s online listing is a potential buyer's first impression of your home. As we all know, a first impression can make or break whether someone is interested or not. By including professional photos on your listing, you’re likely to get a great first impression. Professional real estate photographers also usually have experience with drones. If you have them use a drone to create a video of the outside and inside of your home there’s no doubt that you’ll receive a great first impression from buyers who come across your listing. 

                  2. Shows Off Your Home More Accurately 

                  Professional photos will show details of your Waltham home that normal photos will likely miss. The lighting in professional photos is elite and will showcase your home perfectly. Professionals also can use a wider angeled lens which will allow them to fit more of the home in each photo. Lastly, professional photographers also have all the tools to edit the photos perfectly. 

                  3. You’ll Sell Your Home Faster

                  Waltham Real Estate Agents say that by having professional, high-quality photos on your listing your home is likely to sell a lot faster. High-quality photos & videos help potential buyers get a more accurate feel of your home. This could allow them to not even need to see the home in person. You’ll also have a lot more buyers interested in your listing. Therefore, the more competition your listing brings, the faster you’ll likely be able to sell your home. 

                  4. Your Home Will Sell For More Money

                  When potential buyers see high-quality, professional photos of your home they will automatically assume a higher value for your home. Also, as mentioned above, more buyers will be interested in your home. This could then lead to a bidding war between buyers which could result in getting a higher offer than you originally expected. Waltham Realtors have seen many homes go into a bidding war and they have all had professional photos on their listings. 

                  Contact a Waltham Realtor 

                  For assistance in your home selling process, contact a Waltham Real Estate Agent! Waltham Realtors like Hans Brings, have years of experience selling homes and helping their clients get the best deal possible. Contact Hans today to get started! 617-968-0022

                   

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                    Tax Deductions You Might Be Able to Take When Selling Your Waltham Home

                     

                    Are you selling your Waltham home? If so, there are some tax deductions you could be eligible for such as:

                    • Selling Costs
                    • Improvements & Repairs 
                    • Property Taxes
                    • Mortgage Interest 

                    In this article, we’ll take a closer look into these tax deductions so you can see if they apply to you or not! However, remember to talk with your tax advisor before claiming any of these. 

                    Selling Costs 

                    If there are costs directly related to the sale of your home and if you’ve lived in the home for at least 2 of the last 5 years, you may be able to deduct those costs from your taxes. However, Waltham Realtors claim that the home must have been your principal residence for those 2 years. This deduction could even apply to other fees such as home staging, escrow, marketing costs, and real estate commissions. 

                    Improvements & Repairs

                    If you made any improvements or repairs on your home in order to sell it, you may be able to deduct those costs from your taxes. Waltham Realtors say this includes painting, repairing your roof, or making other minor repairs throughout your home. However, you should remember that in order for these to qualify for a tax deduction and be considered “selling costs”, you must complete them within 3 months of the closing on your home. 

                    Property Taxes

                    You’re eligible to deduct property taxes that you paid, up to $10,000. However, Waltham Realtors say to make sure you are not overclaiming. You can technically only claim for the time you still owned the property and were making those tax payments. 

                    Mortgage Interest

                    For the part of the year you still owned your Waltham property, you can deduct the interest you paid on your mortgage payment. This will be an itemized deduction so you can work with your accountant on claiming this deduction properly! 

                    Sell Your Waltham Home with A Waltham Realtor

                    If you’re looking to sell your Waltham home, get assistance from Hans Brings! Hans is a Waltham Real Estate Agent with years of experience helping sellers get the best price possible for their homes. Contact Hans Brings today at 617-968-0022

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