Blog :: 09-2017

Top 10 Home Loan Tips

Buying a home can both be a very fun and very stressful experience. The markets are always changing as well as the prices and beating out the competition can be tough. One of the major steps home buyers need to do and most likely consider is taking out a home loan. Picking the right loan can be just as important as finding the perfect home. Here are some ten tips to help make finding the right loan as simple as possible.

Save For a Down Payment

When it comes to the down payment of a house as you look for a home in Waltham, MA it can range from two percent to 20 percent. Establishing a monthly budget can help you save for it as you can allocate a certain amount of money for a down payment. Once you have figured out what your budget will be, you can start having money automatically deposited to a savings account from your bank account. In addition, you can have a portion of your check from your job be automatically put in your savings account.

Check Your Credit Score

Having a good credit score is something you will want to have in general in addition to when you are looking for a home to buy in Waltham, MA. With good credit, you put yourself in line to attract the best deal on a home loan. Make sure you have a copy of your credit report before your start the buying process. This report will show you what your credit looks like to lenders which they will consider when giving you that home loan.

Get Important Documents in Order

When applying for a mortgage, you will need to provide lenders with different financial documents to get it. Some of the documents you should consider getting together are your last two pay stubs, your most recent W-2, last two years of tax returns, and a current bank and brokerage statement. If you have these documents in order and at the ready then you will make the loan application process go by more quickly and smoothly, which is always a bonus.

Use a Mortgage Calculator

When it comes to buying a home in Waltham, MA buyers can get overwhelmed with all of the beautiful options they have at the ready. What many forget to do is calculate how much home they can afford. This is where the mortgage calculator comes in handy as they can show you how much your monthly mortgage payout would be under that specific price. It will also calculate your monthly payment while considering the down payment and interest rates that are applied to that home.      

Compare Offers

Mortgages will be different depending on the selling price of a home. If different loans you are looking at have the same interest rate, you should look at the points and fees as they can differ and make one offer more expensive than another. Be sure to know all the components that go into determining the price of your mortgage. That way you can accurately compare the different offers being made so you can make the right financial choice.

Track Interest Rates

In the real estate industry, the one thing to keep an eye on are interest rates as they tend to fluctuate. It is one of the biggest factors in determining the cost of your mortgage month to month. These rates change almost daily so it is helpful to get a head of the curve and know what you are going to be getting yourself into as well as getting the best price of a home.

Get Pre-Approved

Some Waltham Realtors will want you to be pre-approved before they start working with you to find your dream home. The process to get pre-approved is simple as you are only required to provide information such as income, amount of savings, and investments if you have any. Being pre-approved gives you a sense of how much you can borrow from the bank as well as sets the price range of homes you can afford.

Understand Loan Options

When it comes to loans in the real estate world, there are many different types of loans that will cater to different people. Just because your parent has a 30-year fixed-rate loan does not mean that this loan is right for you. You will need to research the different types of loans, fixed-rate, and adjustable-rate loan, to see which is more appropriate for your own financial situation.

Be Prompt in Responding to Your Lender

Once you have applied for a home loan, it is crucial that you respond promptly to any requests for additional information. Once you receive the request, gather the required information, and get it to your lender as quick as possible. Waiting too long can cause a delay in the closing of your loan which will push back your entire home buying process.

Be Mindful of Your Credit During the Loan Process

If a lender has noticed a change in your credit score then they may pull your credit report a second time before your loan closes. Make sure you do not do anything that could lower your score while the loan is being processed. The worst feeling is preparing to accept a loan only to be denied because of your credit score fluctuation. Be sure to pay your bills, don’t apply for any new credit cards, and don’t take out any other loans until your home loan is completed.

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      8 Tips on Adding Curb Appeal to Your Home

      When it comes to selling your Waltham home on the real estate market, there are some factors you need to consider if you want to sell your home quickly. One of the major patterns Realtors in Waltham, MA have noticed is that homes with high curb appeal tend to sell faster than other homes. Not only will curb appeal help sell your home more quickly it can also add thousands of dollars to its overall value. Here are eight ways you can boost your curb appeal to attract home buyers you are looking for!

      Wash Your Home

      Waltham Realtors have seen that washing your home before selling can add to the sale prices of some homes. That is an easy way to make money! Whether you opt to wash with soap and a brush or a power washer, it is good to get rid of dirt, mildew, and dust from your home. With a power washer, you can get a deeper clean that can reveal the true color of your walkways.

      Be sure to wash your windows inside and out, get rid of spider webs, hose down downspouts, and be sure to clean the garage door as well. Have a clean mint looking home will add tremendous value to your home as well as give it a higher chance to sell.

      Fresh Paint

      Real estate agents will always tell sellers that having a fresh paint job on their home in Waltham, MA will be beneficial as you wait for a bite in the market. Having a faded paint color or chipped paint at different points in your home can decrease the value in your home. Always go with the same color your house is currently showing as it will be cheaper and easier to touch up spots rather than changing the whole color. Buyers will instantly notice the fresh paint job and appraisers will value the effort.

      Check the Roof

      When it comes to appraising a home for sale in Waltham, MA appraisers will first look at the condition of your roof. If they find missing, curled, or faded shingles then the value of your home may decrease. If your roof has no shingles missing you should consider cleaning your roof as it will look better without the dirt, moss, and algae on it.

      Clean the Yard

      One of the things sellers tend to do is make sure their front yard looks great but forget about the backyard. When selling a house in Waltham, MA you will want to make sure you make both of your yard look pristine when it comes time for the open houses. Replace overgrown bushes with leafy plants and colorful annuals. Surround your bushes with dark reddish-brown bark mulch which gives off a rich feel to your yard. Be sure to give your lawn the nutrients its needs to give off that bright green look. If you have kids, make sure all the toys are cleaned up from the yard so buyers can envision their own layout of the yard when they come to look at the house.

      Add Color to Your Home

      Nothing stands out more than a bright flowerbed in a garden to add value to a home when it is on the market to be sold. Plant some bright tulips or a flowerbed of pansies to really show contrast between your home and garden. You can also paint your front door either red or blue as these colors will stand out to potential buyers. As these changes won’t add value to the home, it is a great way to add curb appeal.

      Glam Your Mailbox

      Another way to make your home stand out from the rest in your neighborhood and the real estate market in Waltham is by having an upscale mailbox, architectural house numbers, and address plaques. You can find any of these items at a local hardware or home improvement store and run relatively cheap.

      Fence Yourself In

      If your property lacks a fence or has a rundown fence then it is time to consider adding a new fence to your home before the open houses start. Have a clean looking picket fence is a great asset to have as it will add value to your home as well as looking nice compared to other homes in the neighborhood. This is something to considered heavily if your home is in a family-oriented neighborhood. If you have a fence make sure that it is clean and has any deformities replaced.

      Maintenance Is Key

      Overall maintenance to your home is a must do when you are selling your home. As nothing looks worse from the curb than hanging gutters, missing bricks, hanging shingles, or peeling paint. Not only will these issues damage your home but they can decrease the value by at least 10%. Below are a few chores to do that will help your house look amazing from the curb side.

      • Refasten sagging gutters.
      • Repoint bricks.
      • Reseal cracked asphalt.
      • Straighten or replace shutters.
      • Replace cracked windows as well as clean them.

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        Selling Agent vs Listing Agent

        When it comes to buying or selling a home you will need to contact a Realtor in Waltham, MA. As you look through the real estate market, you will find the house of your dreams if you are looking buy, or find a buyer as you sell your home. Whether you are looking to buy a home or sell your home, you will encounter either a selling agent or a listing agent. As both agents are similar, they do perform certain tasks depending on what you are trying to do in the real estate market. I will be discussing what each agent will bring to the table in your real estate journey in Waltham, MA.

        Listing Agent

        This listing agent is sometimes referred to as the seller’s agent, which is an agent that is going to work exclusively with the seller of a house. If you decide that you want to put your home on the market, you will need to contact a listing agent to let them know you want to sell your home. Once you set up your meeting with the agent, they will evaluate the property, run a market analysis on the home and will provide the seller with information needed to start the selling process. The type of information that is given to the seller by the agent is a range of the home’s value in which the sellers will have to come to an agreement on how much to list that property for.

        The agent will then market the house for the seller in the real estate market and post on all listing websites. Listing agents specialize in this area so it is a great route to take to get the best listing, value, and lead generation while you are trying to sell your home. The listing agent will also conduct open houses on your property to allow people to visualize themselves in the home to sell it faster.

        Selling Agent

        The selling agent, which sometimes goes hand in hand with the listing agent, but is also referred to as the buyer’s agent. This is because the selling agent represents the buyer when one is looking to purchase a property. Once you find an agent to your liking, you will tell them everything you are looking for to find your dream home and they will do what they can to find you exactly what you are looking for. If you find a home you are interested in, then the agent will set up a showing for you to look through the home. The agent will then get in contact with the listing agent who has the home on the MLS to get all the information on the property as needed. If you ultimately decide to move forward with the home in question then the selling agent will take your offer to the listing agent. From there you will begin the closing process if your offer is accepted.

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          Pros & Cons of Investing in a Fixer Upper

          When it comes to purchasing homes in Waltham, MA, one of the popular and more cost-effective routes to take is investing in a fixer upper. A fixer upper is a home that needs either minor or significant rehabilitation before it can be used as intended. These types of properties are often purchased by those who have the intention of “flipping” the home. While fixer uppers save you money initially, they can also have risks and turn into a money pit rather than an investment. Before deciding on buying a fixer upper home, you should consider the pros and cons of this type of investment.

          Pros

          Less Competition

          In the real estate market, finding a good, nice, and essentially “perfect” home can be tough since nearly every other buyer is looking for the same qualities. Homebuyers want to purchase a property that is move-in ready, not a project they have to work on before moving in. This is true for both single and multifamily properties as investors do not want to buy a liability. This is where fixer uppers become a popular path as you will be dealing with a sliver of the real estate market population. Instead of competing with 100 percent of the market you will only be dealing with about 10 percent of those who are willing to look at fixer upper homes.

          Forced Appreciation

          Appreciation is the concept that properties tend to gain value over time. With fixer uppers, you can change the period of the property’s appreciation. This can be done by the effect of the rehabilitation on the house. This is where the “investing” aspect of fixer uppers comes into play. Say you buy a fixer upper home for $262,000 that needs flooring, painting, foundation, and other expenses. This could run you an additional $40,000 dollars. You now have a home that has $302,000 invested into it, which could look bad. When it comes time to sell your Waltham, MA home, you could sell it at a much higher rate than what you initially purchased it as. You can then sell the $262,000 house for $432,000 or more, giving you a very good profit margin. The more you put into your fixer upper, the more you will potentially get in return.

          Potentially More Cash Flow

          As mentioned earlier, buying a fixer upper home allows you to buy a property for far less than other homes on the real estate market. If you purchase a home at full value, you will pay a mortgage that will constitute the full price of the home. This can diminish the amount of cash flow you have for other necessities of your life. However, with a fixer upper home, you will only be paying a mortgage for the property that you bought. Going back to the earlier example, you will have more cash flow as you will have a home worth $432,000 but only be paying the mortgage of the $262,000 you originally purchased. The same applies for those looking to rent out a home. You would rent it for what a $432,000 house would rent for but only be paying the mortgage of a $262,000 home.

          Cons

          Hidden Expenses

          With fixer upper homes, you go in knowing that there will be some maintenance or rehabilitation that will need to be done. This is where preparation and planning come into play as you can plan the expenses you will need to have to form the home of your dream. However, when it comes to doing the work needed to spruce up the place, you may encounter more problems than you had originally thought there was. It is hard to accurately estimate the totally rehab cost of a project. You may find out that while redoing the kitchen the whole house needs new electrical work. When considering a fixer upper home, you should be prepared for any unexpected expenses to occur.

          Stress

          Home improvement projects, to some, can be peaceful getaways but for most they are stressful but necessary jobs that need to be done. From the first swing of the hammer to the final change of locks, the stress that can come from rehabbing a home can be overwhelming. If you plan to do the work yourself, then you will need to prepare for cuts, bruises and a lot of time and stress put into project. Outsourcing the work can be just as stressful as contractors will say one thing and do another, miss deadlines, and sometimes produce low quality work.

          More Out-Of-Pocket Costs

          Budgeting while rehabbing a home is difficult and can throw your analysis of the overall project out the window. This happens as you spend more money than intended as well as different aspects of the rehab taking longer than expected. Depending on your situation, you can go from an investment to a money pit.

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