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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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    Can You Buy or Sell A House During COVID-19?

     

    Coronavirus has recently impacted most aspects of our lives. Because people have been asked to social distance and stay at home during this time, it has certainly changed the way the real estate industry has been working. Many people are asking “Can you buy or sell a house during COVID-19?” Waltham Real Estate Agents are here to say, yes. While it is possible to buy and sell during this time there are different precautions and ways to go about the processes. 

    Pros and Cons of Buying A House During COVID-19

    Waltham Realtors have mentioned that there are both pros and cons to buying a home during the Coronavirus crisis. Some of the pros include less competition, not as likely to get into a bidding war, opportunity to possibly negotiate a better price or closing date, and cheaper mortgage payments due to the rates being at a record low. Some cons include the possibility of not being able to qualify for a loan if you’ve been laid off, deals may take a lot longer, and virtual showings may not be enough to make a decision if private showings aren’t available. 

    Pros and Cons of Selling A House During COVID-19 

    Just like buying a home, there are pros and cons to selling a home during this time as well, stated a Waltham Realtor. Pros include less competition as many other sellers have paused their selling process. There is also a chance that more people come across your listing. This is due to the fact that there are fewer listings currently available and people have some more time on their hands to do a deeper search. However, a con would be having fewer buyers which could result in not getting the best deal for your home. Another con includes people not being able to commit to buying your home if they cannot see it in person beforehand or are unsure of what their financial status will be after COVID-19. 

    Can You Still Look at Houses During Social Distancing? 

    Virtual showings have become the main way people are looking at properties during COVID-19. However, Waltham Real Estate Agents are still doing in-person showings although they are doing things differently to take more precautions. There are currently not many open houses to tour properties, instead, Waltham Realtors have been doing private showings with only a couple of people at a time. Safety precautions such as wearing gloves and masks, not touching anything, wearing booties over your shoes, staying 6 feet apart, etc. are being taken during these showings. 

    Contact A Waltham Realtor

    If you’re looking to buy or sell a house during the COVID-19 situation, reach out to a Waltham Real Estate Agent! Waltham Realtors will assist you and walk you through the whole process of buying or selling your home during social distancing. We are all in this together and want to make sure the buying or selling process is not too difficult or put on hold for people who are eager to start the processes. Contact Waltham Real Estate Agent Hans Brings today!

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      Staying Safe & Healthy During Private Showings

      Given the current situation with the Coronavirus, many home sellers and buyers are nervous about having people tour their home and vice versa. During this time, Waltham Realtors will not be conducting open houses with a large group but will still be doing private showings. While this method is a lot safer and helps keep people a better distance away from each other, there are still some precautions to take. Here are the most important precautions to take suggested by Waltham Real Estate Agents

      1. Leave All Lights On In Your Home

      If you are expecting a private showing at your home, it is recommended that you turn on the lights in every room before people arrive. This will allow people to walk into and observe every room without having to touch the light switches to turn them on. Advise people to also not turn the lights off when they leave the room, you will take care of that when the showing is over. 

      1. Offer Booties At The Door 

      Waltham Realtors highly recommend you purchase booties for people to put on over their shoes while touring or people should purchase their own booties to bring with them. Shoes are notorious for holding in dirt and germs so it is important that you cover your shoes when you walk through someone else’s home so you do not contaminate the property. 

      1. Set Up Cleaning Stations

      Have hand sanitizer available throughout all areas of your home. This will allow people to continue to sanitize every couple of minutes throughout their tour. You should also keep soap, paper towels, and cleaning wipes on the counters in your kitchen and bathrooms. This will help when people use the bathroom or wash their hands in the kitchen so that they can touch as little appliances as possible. If you want to take this a step further, Waltham Realtors suggests buying individual hand sanitizers to hand out when people enter your home.

      1. Wear Gloves 

      If hand sanitizer is not available because of the lack of it currently or for extra protection, Waltham Real Estate Agents advise you to wear gloves when touring a home. This will again keep you from spreading germs in someone else’s home. On top of wearing gloves and or using hand sanitizer, it is important that you do not touch anything while touring. While gloves and hand sanitizer are made for keeping germs away, it is still best to not touch things throughout the tour at all. 



      Contact a Waltham Realtor

      We understand life can’t fully be put on hold for everyone right now so that’s why we are safely conducting private showings. If you’re looking to sell or buy currently, contact Waltham Real Estate Agent, Hans Brings. Hans will make sure you are safely prepared to walk through someone else’s home and will also prepare sellers to get their home safely ready for viewing. Contact a Waltham Realtor, today!

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        5 Ways to Prepare Your Home to Sell This Spring

         

         

        Are you planning on selling your home this Spring? It is important to make sure your home is ready to be toured! You want to give your home the best shot it has to sell so that means it's time to do some cleaning and adjusting. When selling your home it is also important to hire a professional Waltham Real Estate Agent to assist you. A Waltham Realtor will make sure you hit every step you need to make your home the most appealing to buyers. Here are 5 tips suggested by a Waltham Realtor for getting your home ready for the market!

         

        1.      Declutter

        No one wants to tour a home and see clutter everywhere! With less clutter in your home, each room will seem significantly larger and cleaner. De-cluttering doesn't have to mean throwing everything out, try organizing your things so that everything has a home and isn’t just thrown on the floor or in a closet. If you have a room with many pieces of furniture, try re-arranging the furniture to make the room look bigger. You want the interested buyers to be able to walk through and enjoy each room with ease. 

         

        2.      Paint Rooms

        Giving a room a fresh coat of paint or repainting a room to a different color is a great and easy way to spruce up your home a bit! New, clean, and fresh colors on the walls tend to entice buyers a little more claims a Waltham Realtor. It is suggested to use neutral colors since they usually provide an updated look. 

         

        3.      Curb Appeal

        Everyone knows first impressions are everything. Because of this, Waltham Real Estate agents say when a buyer pulls up to your home to tour it, the outside should look immaculate. This includes well-kept lawns, trimmed hedges, and clear walkways and driveways during all seasons. Make sure there aren't dead leaves and weeds all around your yard. You want the buyers first thoughts to be positive as they will then go into the rest of the tour with a continued positive mindset. 

         

        4.      Make Small Fixes

        When you are having buyers tour your home, it is important to not have anything broken or any plumbing issues like a leaky faucet. This will make the buyers think that you didn't take good care of your home or that it’s something they’ll have to fix themselves. Waltham Real Estate suggests taking the time to repair anything that's broken or get a plumber to fix any plumbing issues before you let someone tour your home. This is extremely important as it has a big impact on people's impression of your home. 

         

        5.      Clean, Clean, and Clean Some More

        It may be an obvious tip but make sure to clean your home top to bottom before you list on the market! A Waltham Realtor suggests taking a significant amount of time to clean each room in your home. Every room should be spotless especially the kitchen and bathrooms. The first thing some people notice as they tour homes is how clean it is. If your home is not clean, it may be the factor that pushes buyers away. 

        Cleaning top to bottom will also help you out since you will have to go through all of your belongings before you move anyway! 

         

        Contact a Waltham Real Estate Agent 

        Top Waltham Realtors are extremely professional and have many years of experience both buying and selling houses. A Waltham Realtor will help you every step of the way when it comes to selling your home. Contact Hans Brings if you’re looking for a reliable Waltham Realtor to help you get the job done!

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          5 Key Steps to Outbidding the Competition

           

           

           

          You may have found your Waltham dream home, but sometimes you have to be prepared to fight for it! Bidding wars used to be a lot more common than they are now but there is still a possibility you have some competition. A Waltham Real Estate agent is key when it comes to trying to make sure your offer is the most appealing one. Here are 6 tips to increase your chances of securing your dream home in a bidding war!

          1. If You Can Afford It, Pay Cash

          Paying in cash can be extremely helpful if you are in a bidding war, claims a Waltham Realtor. When buyers pay cash, sellers don’t have to worry about the buyer potentially not receiving the financing they need to buy the house. Although this option is not always manageable if you can do it you should!

           

          2. If You Need Financing, Get Preapproved

          Do your research to choose the best lender with competitive rates and ask to be preapproved for the loan. You’ll most likely need to provide documentation that can prove you have the right amount of income, credit, and assets. A Waltham Real Estate agent can help you gather these documents and present them to the bank or mortgage company.

           

          3. Choose the Right Real Estate Agent

          Choosing the right real estate agent to assist you is very important in the bidding war process. Having a Waltham Realtor help you get all your documents in order and give you the best advice on how to proceed through each step is crucial. Waltham Real Estate agents also have important connections that can very much assist you in the process.

           

          4. Make A Meaningful Connection with the Seller

          When touring homes it is recommended by a Waltham Realtor to be careful when giving feedback about the home. If the home does end up in a bidding war, sellers are less likely to choose the people who expressed multiple faults about the home. Sellers usually want to make sure the home goes to people who will value the home as highly as they did. So, it is important for the sellers to see the buyers in a positive light.

           

          5. Be Flexible

          Find out what will make the sellers’ lives easier so that they are more likely to choose you. There is a chance they want to stay in the house a little longer while they search for their new home or they may want to move out as quickly as possible. It may be in your best interest to adjust the closing date to what the seller wants so they will choose your offer over others.

           

          Contact a Waltham Realtor

          Waltham Realtors have many years of experience with bidding wars, so they should be your number one choice to assist. Waltham Real Estate Agents will help you write up a winning offer that would be hard for the sellers to turn down. Contact Hans Brings today if you’re looking for a reliable Waltham Realtor to support and help you throughout your home buying process. 

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            How to Sell Your Current Home and Buy a New Home at the Same Time

            Buying and selling a home at the same time can be a complex process.  Many people can be very perplexed, but an experienced Realtor can guide you and keep your stress levels as low as possible.  A Waltham Realtor suggests a few options when it comes to buying and selling at the same time that can hopefully keep all moving along smoothly

            Home Sale Contingency

            One option suggested by a Waltham Realtor is home sale contingency. When putting a home sale contingency in place, the closing is contingent upon the sale of the buyer’s home. If the buyers current home sells by the specified date, the contract will move forward. If the buyer’s home does not sell by the specified date, the contract will be terminated. Unfortunately in this case, most sellers will not accept this. They will continue to show their property to others and not wait for you. Although this is an option, it is not Waltham Real Estate’s top suggestion.

            Buy First/ Bridge Loan

            Another suggested option from a Waltham Realtor is to take out a bridge loan. A bridge loan is a short-term loan used by a person or company until they secure their financing. In this case, a bridge loan would allow you to have the money to buy a new home before selling your current one. The pro to this option is that you will not have to worry about possibly having to find a temporary home during the process. The con to this option is that if you don’t sell your current home fast enough after you buy your new one, you may have two mortgages that have to be paid.

            Delayed Closing

            With Waltham Real Estate’s delayed closing option you can place your current home under contract with a later closing date so that you give yourself more time to find a new home. The pro to this option is the security of knowing your home will be sold and you won’t have to pay two mortgages. The con to this option is that if no home is found to buy, you still need to move at the end of the delayed closing date. This will force one to have to find a temporary home in the meantime.

            Hire a Waltham Realtor

            It is important to hire a professional Waltham Realtor to help you along this process so that you get the best outcome for your situation.  A Waltham Agent will allow you to stay stress-free during this process as they will be able to walk you through every step. Contact Hans Brings today!

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              4 Steps to Take Before Buying Your First Home

               

              Buying your first home is a significant event in life. Although this event is an exciting milestone, the process of buying a home can be intimidating and stressful. Figuring out how much you’re willing to spend, how you’re going to fix any flaws in your credit, and saving for a down payment can all add up quickly. Instead of rushing, take your time to do proper research and take some advice from a Waltham Realtor who is ready to help you figure out all of your finance options when it comes to buying your first home. Here are 4 steps to take before buying your first home to ensure your finances are in order and you’re ready to take this big step!

               

              Boost Your Credit

              Your credit score is a huge factor in whether or not you are ready to buy a home. Your credit score determines if you are qualified to have a mortgage and if so, for how much. To qualify for the lowest down payment you must have a credit score of at least 580, although that will not get you the best interest rates. Waltham real estate suggests having a credit score of at least 740 to get the best interest rates possible.

              It is important to take the steps to boost your credit before you start the process of buying a home. The higher your credit, the more money you will save in the long run. Waltham real estate agents can assist you in ways in which you can boost your credit.

               

              Know Your Budget

              It is important to know what you can afford and what you cannot before starting the process of buying a home. The down payment is just one of the many payments you have to make when you are purchasing a house. Each month you will have to pay insurance, interest, principal, and property tax and all of these must be considered when you are figuring out your budget. Hiring a Waltham Realtor can ensure you are budgeting for the proper amount which will allow you to find the perfect home for the perfect price for you.  

              Do your research beforehand and learn about the average cost of homes in the neighborhood you are looking in. It is recommended by Waltham real estate to always do home research outside the neighborhood you are looking in. Keeping your options open can surprise you and result in finding a bigger home that is still within your budget.

               

              Understand the Process

              When going through the process of buying a home it is important to not rush. Sometimes the process can take longer than expected but one must remember that the best outcomes sometimes take the longest. Once you make an offer on a home your Waltham realtor and the lender will be able to give you a timeline of what to expect going forward and how long things will take. Always take a Waltham real estate agent’s advice when it comes to searching for a lender to work with.

               

              Let Your Lender Work for You

              Once you have made it to the stage of your offer being accepted, this is when things start to get busy and there becomes a lot of moving parts. You’ll have to fill out many forms and documents as well as find a settlement date. Inspections will also have to be done and then you’ll need to start the process of the move itself. Let your lender guide you through all the moving parts so nothing is lost in the process and you’ll be able to complete everything on time.

               

              To begin the home buying process contact Hans Brings, your #1 Waltham real estate agent! Your Waltham Realtor will ensure you get the best home for the best price and everything in between goes smoothly. Call today at 617-968-0022 or email Hans at hans@hansbrings.com.

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                Buyers, Don't Make These House Hunting Mistakes!

                                                                                              

                 

                Buying a home requires a lot more than just finding a home and writing a check. It takes a lot of planning and research to ensure you’re aware of everything that comes with and around that property. It’s important to be prepared before you begin your search so you can make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible. These tasks from a Waltham Realtor will help set you up for success when it comes time to making that purchase.

                Avoid These 5 Mistakes

                1. Not Hiring a Buyer’s Agent

                Some people who are searching for a home choose not to hire a buyer’s agent because they think they’ll be able to get a better price by working with the listing agent directly. This is indeed not true. Listing agents act in the best interest of the seller of the home, not the buyer. Hiring a professional Waltham real estate agent will benefit you in all areas. A Waltham Realtor will help you find homes that fit your requirements and will not waste your time showing you homes that don’t. Since buyer’s agents are familiar with the Waltham real estate market, it is easier for them to negotiate prices for you.

                1. Not Getting Pre-Approved for Mortgage

                No one wants to find a dream home, fall in love with it and then find out they are not approved for the amount of money they need to borrow. It is in your best interest to get a mortgage pre-approval before starting your home search. This will also ensure that if you find a home you love, you are able to make an offer on it right away. Your Waltham Realtor can walk you through the process of getting your pre-approval.

                1. Settling Because You Think There’s Nothing Better

                The inventory of homes changes often throughout the year. At times, specifically in the winter and spring, there is a low inventory of homes for sale making it more competitive when searching. At other times of the year, like the summer and fall, there are usually more homes on the market leaving you with more choices. Don’t settle for a home that you kind of like just because you are in a rush to buy. The market is constantly changing, and your Waltham realtor will make sure you to help you find the perfect home for you.

                1. Thinking You’ll Fix Everything Up

                Sometimes you come across a home that is perfect for you in most aspects but there may be some work that needs to be done. This is a normal case in which people buy homes and then fix them up to their standards. However, people need to be careful to make sure that they don’t underestimate how much time and money would need to go into the renovations they want. Make sure you have enough in your budget to complete all the tasks that you want.

                1. Dragging Your Feet

                Although you don’t want to rush into buying a home, you also don’t want to take too long to make offers. It can be heartbreaking to constantly get beat out by other people looking at the home just because you were dragging your feet in the process. Hiring a Waltham Real Estate agent will help you stay on track and diligently get the home you have always dreamed of.

                 

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                  5 Strategies to Create a Bidding War on your Property

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                  Having a bidding war on your home is something that makes home sellers ecstatic. Having a bidding war on your home comes with many benefits when it comes to selling, the obvious reason being getting more money for your property. Other benefits include having more leverage with terms of the sale like dictating deposit amounts, dates, etc. Here are 5 strategies a Waltham Realtor suggests to create a bidding war on your property.

                   

                  Price it right

                  Pricing your home at the right amount or even a little less is more likely to bring in a lot of buyers. If people know they are not the only ones interested in your home, they will automatically become competitive and most likely raise their offer to beat out others. Everyone wants what other people want, so it’s only natural for people’s competitive side to come out. Pricing your property right means pricing it in accordance to what similar homes have recently sold for in the neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods. It is not recommended to price your home higher just because of one feature that you believe is good enough to do so. Some people may not agree, and you could suffer in selling your home because of it.

                   

                  List in the winter

                  It is possible to create a bidding war on your property at any time of the year, but Waltham Real Estate agents suggest you can add even more to your chance if you list in the winter. In the winter and early spring, inventory is lower than in the summer and fall. Because of this, when buyers have less to choose from in the winter and early spring, they tend to bid more money on properties that they like knowing that others are also interested in those properties. Bidding wars slowdown in the summer because there are more properties up for sale.

                   

                  Market more than others

                  There is more to marketing your home than just putting it on MLS. Top real estate agents have special agreements with the top websites like Realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow, etc. They make sure their listings come up at the top of these websites when people are searching. Although most agents have access to these websites, they don’t always take advantage of them. Taking advantage of these websites is crucial if you want to market your property better than others.

                   

                  High-quality photos and videos

                  In addition to marketing your property on these websites, Waltham real estate top sellers recommend to post high-quality photos and maybe even videos to social media. Don’t just post these on your personal page and leave it for just your followers. You want to boost your posts and target them to the right audience so that you put the listing in front of people who are actually looking and are more likely to buy.

                  Hire an experienced Waltham real estate agent

                   

                  Hire experience.

                  An experienced real estate agent will know exactly how to negotiate and find the best buyer that will pay the highest price possible. This is very important when selling a property because you need an expert to guide and help you through the selling process to make sure you get the best outcome possible. Having an experienced Waltham Realtor will keep you on the right track.

                   

                  If you are looking to buy or sell a house in or around Waltham, MA be sure to contact Hans Brings!

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                    5 Tips for a Winter Open House

                    Selling your home in the winter in Waltham, MA is no easy task. Fewer people are looking to buy and attracting those potential buyers doesn’t come without a little extra effort. Luckily, Waltham Realtors have mastered the art of a winter open house over the years. Follow these 5 tips to ensure your winter open house is successful despite the cold!

                     

                    5 Winter Open House Tips

                     

                    1. Protect the Floors

                     

                    Winter means salt on the sidewalks and slush on shoes. Protect the carpets in your home by asking guests to leave their shoes at the door. You can also opt for providing waterproof booties that will cover their shoes, or let the guest decide between the two options.

                     

                    2. Don’t Over Decorate

                     

                    You may want to go all out with festive décor, but it will hurt your chances of selling the home. Keep décor simple and sleek, but still festive. This is the year to go for a more sophisticated design rather than throwing out years’ worth of family decorations.

                     

                    3. Keep it Accessible

                     

                    If there’s snow in the forecast on the day of your open house, plan accordingly. You’ll need to go out and ensure the driveway, sidewalk, and steps to the entrance are all clear. You should also throw salt down to prevent ice from building up.

                     

                     

                    4. Make it Inviting

                     

                    No one wants to go into a home from the cold only to still be cold! Since the door will be opening and closing a lot as people arrive to view the home, you’ll want to crank the heat up a little higher than normal. Avoid making it too hot though, as some guests may prefer to leave their coat on as they tour the home.

                     

                    5. Showcase Winter Features

                     

                    If your home has a feature that’s especially nice in the winter, this is the time to showcase it! If there’s a fireplace make sure to have it going with a crackling fire as guests walk through the home. Heated tile floors and a backup generator are other notable winter-friendly features to mention. Guests will likely pay close attention to the windows in the home, looking for drafts and uncomfortable areas of cold. Your goal should be to make the home as winter-friendly as possible.

                     

                    Utilize all of these tips to make your winter open house as successful as possible. Wintertime doesn’t mean people aren’t going to buy, it just means you have to sell your home in the right way! If you need further assistance, be sure to contact trusted Waltham Realtor Hans Brings!

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