RE/MAX Advantage I



Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 5/9/2018

Buying a home is a process that can seem daunting and even a little scary to most first-time buyers. After all, being a homeowner is a huge financial and personal responsibility.

To make this lengthy process a bit more approachable, weíre going to break it down into five steps. While these five steps may be somewhat different for each person, depending on their own unique situation, they do comprise most home buyerís experience.

If youíre interested in learning the steps youíll need to take before owning your first home, read on.

Step 1: Know your long-term goals

Before you buy a home, youíll want to have a clear understanding of what you, your spouse, and your family want from the next five or more years. Youíll want to make sure the area youíre moving to can provide things like career advancement and opportunity, good schools for your children, and so on.

These questions may seem obvious, but itís an important conversation to have before making the long-term commitment of owning a home.

Step 2: Your budget and your needs

It might be tempting to hop online and start shopping for houses, but first you should get a clear idea of the size and cost of the house youíre looking for. This involves determining your budget, thinking about your credit and planning for your down payment.

Step 3: Mortgage pre-approval

Getting preapproved for a mortgage can be a great way to gauge the interest late and loan amount youíll be approved for. Youíll need to gather paperwork, including income information (pay stubs), tax returns, and W-2 forms.

Be aware that lenders will run a detailed credit report. Since credit reports count as an inquiry, they can temporarily lower your credit score by a few points.

Applying to several lenders within a short period of time can make a significant impact on your score. However, it will start to rise again within a few months if you donít open any new credit accounts or take out other loans.

Step 4: Get an agent

Real estate agents know the ins and outs of the home buying process better than anyone else. Theyíll be able to guide you through the process and provide you with information that you canít get anywhere else.

Step 5: Pick the right home for you

Now itís time to start home shopping. However, before you begin, remember that getting approved for a loan doesnít mean you must or should seek to spend the full amount on a home.

Plan for your needs, and keep the future in mind. Someday you might decide to upgrade, but in the meantime you can be building your credit and building equity in a smaller or more frugal home.





Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 2/15/2017

When you stop and think about all the potential pitfalls, the prospect of buying a house and moving into a new neighborhood can be quite nerve wracking! (It doesn't have to be, though.)

Since there are so many crucial factors to consider, you want to be sure you're not overlooking anything important.

A Real Estate Agent Can Help

What makes the process a lot less daunting is the fact that experienced Realtors and real estate agents are available to provide you with guidance, advice, and help.

The ideal real estate agent will be familiar with areas you're interested in, and will be able to provide insights into everything from nearby conveniences and municipal services to the character of neighborhoods you're considering and the quality of the local school district. If you try to do it on your own and gather all the relevant information you need to make an informed home buying decision, it can be overwhelming! By working with a knowledgeable buyers' agent, you're a lot more likely to find a home that is a near-perfect match for your wants, needs, and budget.

In addition to getting prequalified for a mortgage, one of the first steps to beginning a house hunting campaign is clarifying exactly what you're looking for. Creating both a "wish list" and a "must have list" will enable your real estate agent to make the best use of your time and effectively match you with houses you'll like.

Although everyone has a different perspective when it comes to house hunting, most people start making decisions, early on, about things like the house style they'd prefer, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms they need, and the preferred size of the backyard. First-time home buyers may be unsure about their square-footage requirements, but after touring a few houses and spending time with their real estate agent, they usually gain a good grasp of how much space they would need to feel comfortable.

Other Factors To Weigh

If you have children now or are planning to start a family soon, then your priorities may include living in a good school district and being close to playgrounds and summer recreation programs. The ideal neighborhood would also include potential playmates for your children, low-to-moderate street traffic, and short commuting distances to work. A low crime rate, convenience to shopping areas, and off-street parking are other typical priorities.

While your agent will undoubtedly help you develop a list of requirements and preferences for your real estate search, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • The layout and floor plan of your ideal home
  • The preferred size and style of the kitchen
  • The possible inclusion of a deck, patio, garage, and/or finished basement
  • The number and size of closets and storage space
  • Features like a fireplace, fences, and a backyard shed
Once you get to the stage of having a property inspector examine a house you're considering, you'll have the chance to be alerted about issues like wet basements, leaks, termite damage, radon hazards, insufficient insulation, and other potential red flags. Most problems are readily solved, though, and can sometimes result in seller concessions and a lower selling price. In all instances, an experienced real estate agent is a good person to have in your corner.


 





Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 7/13/2016

Put your money to good use with these house buying secrets. First of the secrets to house buying deals could have a positive impact on your overall financial health. As a first step, avoid taking on large one-time or recurring expenses six to eight months before you purchase your home. Clean up your credit Review your credit reports with the top three credit bureaus, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Notice any inaccurate items on your report? Write the credit bureau that posted the items. Also, contact relevant vendors, altering both the bureau and vendor of the errors. Provide evidence that confirms that the postings are incorrect. Follow-up with bureaus and vendors, as needed until all erroneous items are removed from your credit reports. Also, pay off any outstanding debts that arenít on your credit reports. At the least, become current with all of your bills. Good credit scores could save you thousands over the life of a mortgage. Size matters Look for a house thatís large enough to meet your current and future needs. But, donít buy a house thatís too big. For example, if you plan on having two children but are currently childless, look for house buying deals on a three bedroom home versus a four or five bedroom house. Age could yield savings If you or your partner has repair skills, be open to buying an older home. You may get the space that you need for a lower price, especially if an older house passes thorough inspections. Check out the neighborhood Research crime history, schools, community events, economic development and businesses in neighborhoods where you want to buy a house. No need in buying a house in a high crime neighborhood or in an area that has a poor school district. Money that you save with smart house negotiating bids could evaporate with one to two home invasions. Steer clear of impulse house buying deals Donít let your emotions determine which house you buy. You may feel warm when you step into the expansive back yard or check out a stylish master bedroom and the spacious en suite, but that feeling wonít hold if you canít afford to buy furniture after you close on the house. Instead, be honest when identifying how much house you can afford. Include interest and repairs when you consider the total amount of money you can spend on a house. Leave enough money in your paycheck to pay all of your expenses and pay for entertainment. Donít put the squeeze on yourself. New furniture can wait If you currently live in an apartment or another house, keep your furniture. Spruce your new house up with accessories like silk flowers, baskets and rugs. You can buy new furniture, a piece at a time, after you get accustomed to paying the new mortgage.







Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team
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