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


    1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

    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


      1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

      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


        1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

        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


          1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

          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



            1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

            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


              1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

              A Waltham Condo or Townhouse: Which Is Best for You?

              buying a condo


              When it comes to buying a home, one of the first and most important factors to think about is what type of home you want. While single-family homes tend to be the most popular, they’re not always for everyone. Single-family homes tend to be more expensive and also require a little more time and effort to keep up with landscaping and outdoor maintenance. 

              So, if a single-family home isn’t what you’re looking for, you’re probably considering buying either a condo or a townhouse. Waltham Real Estate Agents say that these are both great options if you’re looking to own your home but also looking to save some money and time. 

              Condos and townhouses have a handful of similarities but also some differences. In this article, we’ll go through these similarities and differences so you can make the best decision on what Waltham home is best for you and your family!


              The Basics: Condo vs. Townhouse

              A condo is usually looked at as an apartment in that it's a single unit located within a building of other units. When the owner lives in the unit it's often referred to as a condo, but if you’re renting the unit from a landlord it's usually referred to as an apartment.

              A townhouse is a middle ground between a condo and a single-family home. In a townhouse, one or more of the walls are shared with another townhouse that is attached adjacently. This setup gives townhouses a little more privacy than condos. 

              At the end of the day, Waltham Realtors say that the biggest differences between these two types of homes are the ownership fees, the maintenance levels, and the space associated with each.


              Similarities Between Condos & Townhouses

              Affordability - Condos and townhouses tend to be much more affordable than single-family homes. Because of this, buyers who choose a condo or townhouse are likely to get more square footage for their money. 

              HOA Fees - Owning a condo or a townhouse comes with a monthly HOA fee. HOA fees cover the costs of shared amenities and outdoor maintenance. 

              Less Maintenance - Condos and townhouses usually have very minimal yard space. This means less maintenance on your end. If there is some maintenance that needs to be done the HOA usually takes care of it, hence the HOA fees. 

              Less Privacy - Another similarity between these two home types is that they often give you less privacy than a single-family home. This is because you’re sharing a building or a wall with others, so your neighbors are a lot closer. Townhouses tend to have a little more privacy than condos says a Waltham Realtor


              Differences Between Condos and Townhouses

              Their Layouts - As mentioned above, condos are basically apartments, which means they likely only have one story. So, condo owners usually have either upstairs or downstairs neighbors. On the contrary, townhouses have multiple stories with their neighbors to the left or right of them, not below or above. 

              Types of Amenities - Both condos and townhouses pay HOA fees for use of the featured amenities, but the types of amenities within each could look different. Condo amenities are what you’ll find in most apartment complexes which can include a gym, a social area with games, a rooftop, etc. Townhouses don’t usually include these same amenities since they are not within a building. 

              Interior Space - While both condos and townhouses are smaller in property sizes, the interior space within them is pretty different. Since condos have only one story, their square footage tends to be less than townhouses. If interior space is a big factor of yours, you’ll definitely get more within a townhouse. 

              Connect With A Waltham Realtor

              No matter what type of home you choose, both are great options! If you’re looking for more information on available Waltham condos or townhouses, contact a Waltham Real Estate AgentWaltham Realtor, Hans Brings, has years of experience and knowledge that can help you find the perfect home for you and your family. Call today! 617-968-0022


                1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

                What Home Upgrades Can Raise My Property Value? Advice From a Waltham Realtor

                increased home value


                 If you’re thinking about making some upgrades to your home, you should consider upgrades that will help increase the value of your home. Since the pandemic, the way we work and live looks a little different than it used to. For example, home offices and outdoor spaces are more desired than ever. Here is a list of upgrades put together by a Waltham Realtor that will help you not only enjoy your home more but also increase the value of your home. 

                1. Build a home office 

                In the past couple of years, the number of people who work from home has increased immensely. Because of this, Waltham Realtors say a lot of homebuyers have been insistent on finding a home with a fully built out and comfortable home office. Whether this means adding on square footage to your home to build an additional room or converting a current room to a home office, this is a great investment that will definitely add value to your home. 

                2. Finish your basement

                While you might like your unfinished basement for storage purposes, you’re missing out on a livable space for you and future buyers to enjoy! Your basement can be used as an office space or a second living area for entertaining. 

                Waltham Realtor Estate Agents say a finished basement is known to add great value to your home and will give you a 70 to 75% return on your investment when it’s time to sell. 

                3. Upgrade to energy-efficient features and appliances

                Upgrading to energy-efficient features and appliances is a great investment as it will help save money on utility bills while you own the home. Then, when you’re ready to sell, these energy-efficient upgrades will also appeal to buyers who are looking for these features. If buyers don’t want to make these upgrades themselves when they move, they will likely offer more for your home knowing they have already been made. Most Waltham Realtors say that energy-efficient upgrades are some of the best to make right now as most home buyers are looking for these features in a new home. 

                4. Open up your home’s floor plan

                Open floor layouts are extremely popular these days. People enjoy being able to have their kitchen and living room open so that when entertaining they can be in the kitchen while also enjoying their company in the living room. Or, if one is not much of an entertainer, some still want to be able to watch tv and be part of family time while cooking dinner. Lastly, open floor plans also invite so much more natural light to your home! 

                Because open floor plans are so popular, many buyers are looking specifically for them. So, knocking out the right wall between your kitchen and living room can create this open space that buyers are looking for, which will definitely add more value to your home. 

                Work With a Waltham Realtor

                These are just a few of the many upgrades you can make to your home to increase its property value. For more insight, reach out to Waltham Realtor, Hans Brings! Hans will help you through your buying or selling process and offer top-tier advice along the way. 617-968-0022


                  1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

                  How Often Do Contingent Offers Fall Through?

                  A contingent offer is when a buyer puts an offer down on a home, however, there are conditions that need to be met before the offer is set in stone. The contingency gives the buyer the opportunity to back out of the offer if the conditions are not met. 

                  When a contingent offer is made, the seller has the option to accept, reject, or counter. With contingencies, the goal is to reach an agreement between the buyer and seller that benefits both parties. So, how often do contingent offers fall through and how long can homes stay in contingent status? Keep reading for some insight from a Waltham Realtor!


                  How long can a house stay in a contingent status?

                  The length of contingency periods is different for everyone. Each contingent offer is unique and depends on what type of contingencies are in the offer. However, you can expect contingent periods to likely last anywhere from 10-45 days. Waltham Realtors say a home will officially be out of contingent when all the contingencies are met and the buyer can officially close on the home. 


                  Why do buyers sometimes back out of offers?

                  There are many different reasons why a buyer might back out of buying a home. Waltham Real Estate Agents say the most common reasons include: 

                  • The appraisal shows that the home is of lower value than what the seller is asking for. If the seller does not lower the price, a buyer might not move forward with their offer. 

                  • The inspection comes back with too many fixes that need to be made and the buyer is not interested in being responsible for those repairs. 
                  • The buyer might not have secured their financing. They might not have received approval for a loan which results in them not being able to pay for the home. 
                  • The buyer is not successful with selling their current home therefore cannot yet move forward with purchasing a new one. 


                  Can a seller back out of a contingent offer? 

                  Yes, the seller can technically back out of a contingent offer. Before they agree to the offer, they have the option to reject or counter the original offer with terms of their own. However, if the offer is accepted and the contingencies are met, they might run into some legal or financial complications. 

                  Sellers also have the option to put a kick-out clause in place. A kick-out clause is a contingency that protects the seller. It allows the seller to keep their home on the market during a contingent offer. If the seller happens to get another offer, they will then give the original buyer a specific time in which they need to close by. If the buyer does not close by that time, the seller can “kick them out” and accept the new offer. 


                  Work with a Waltham Realtor

                  More offers than not end up being in contingency and out of all contingent offers, usually, less than 5% end up falling through. At the end of the day, the main goal is for the buyer and seller to have a fair agreement so that the process goes smoothly for both parties. 

                  If you’re ready to buy or sell your Waltham home, contact a Waltham Real Estate Agent today! Waltham Realtors have the knowledge to assist you if you make or receive a contingent offer. You’ll have expertise by your side throughout your whole buying or selling process. Get in touch today! 617-968-0022


                    1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

                    6 Steps To Get Your House Ready To Sell In 30 Days


                    Ready to sell your home and want to get it listed ASAP? Here is a list of steps to take before putting your home on the market! By following these steps you’ll not only have your house ready and on the market within a month, but you’ll also have your house set up perfectly to likely receive an offer rather quickly. 


                    1. Hire A Waltham Real Estate Agent 

                    The first step in getting your home ready to sell is to hire a reputable Waltham Realtor. Selling your home will be much easier with some professional assistance throughout the whole process. An agent like Hans Brings will have the knowledge and experience to know what needs to be done in order to get your home on the market ASAP. 


                    2. Research your local housing market & come up with a listing price

                    Researching the local housing marketing is necessary and very important. This will give you some insight into the value of your home and how much you can list it for. By seeing what other similar homes in your area have recently sold for, you’ll get a pretty clear indication of what your home is worth. Pay close attention to square footage, home features, and location. With all of the information you find, you can see what features your home might or might not have compared to these other homes and then come up with an accurate listing price. Of course, your Waltham Realtor will also be able to assist you with determining the best listing price for your home as well.  


                    3. Declutter, Clean, & Paint

                    Once you know what your listing price will be, you can begin to declutter, clean, and paint where necessary. Showing a clean and put-together home is crucial when it comes to selling your home because buyers want to see it in its best condition. A buyer's first impression of a home can make or break their decision. Take a walkthrough of your home with your Waltham Real Estate Agent. This will show them what needs to be done to make the home the most attractive to buyers. 


                    4. Enhance Curb Appeal 

                    Just like the inside of your home, the outside needs to look clean and put together as well! Curb appeal has also been found to slightly increase the home value. Buyers are attracted to beautiful-looking homes which sometimes pushes them to make a higher offer to outbid any competition. Take the time to trim bushes, rake leaves, cut the grass, clean your patio, etc. This could all go a long way! 


                    5. Stage & Declutter Your Home

                    It’s been found that staging a home can increase its value by up to 5%. By strategically staging your home with the help of your Waltham Realtor, you can get your interior to look larger and more modern. It can also better highlight the most attractive rooms and areas.  This is attractive to buyers and helps them see more value in your home. 


                    6. Hire A Professional Real Estate Photographer

                    The last thing to do before you list your home is to hire a professional photographer! Given that most potential buyers search for homes online, it’s very important to have high-quality, professional photos on your listing. If your listings photos aren't of high-quality a buyer can easily click to the next listing. This can make or break how many buyers are interested in seeing your home. Your Waltham Realtor will have experience with great photographers so once again, ask them for assistance! 

                    Your Waltham Real Estate Agent will assist you every step of the way during the selling process. This helps to get things done quickly and correctly, and will also leave less stress on you, the seller! Contact Waltham Realtor, Hans Brings today to get started. 617-968-0022


                      1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

                      11-20 of 149 Posts