RE/MAX Advantage I



Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 9/19/2018

Buying a home is one of the more complicated purchases that you’ll make in your lifetime. It’s not something that you can just open your wallet, pull out a wad of cash and buy. There’s a warm-up period for a house hunt. You need to prepare before you even start the process of the purchase. There’s a lot of different things that you should do to ready yourself to buy a home. You’ll need to organize your finances, find a real estate agent and ready yourself. If you’re looking to buy a home in the near future, it’s time to get busy! 


Keep Your Credit Score In Check


Your credit score is so important for so many reasons. The highest your credit score can be is 850 and the lowest it can be is 300. You’ll get a really good interest rate on a home if your credit score is 740 or above. A lower interest rate can save you a lot of money over a year’s time. 

The good news is that you can spend time repairing your score. This will include paying down debt, asking for credit limits to be raised and correcting errors that may be on your credit report. You want to be sure that you’re using 30% or less of your total available credit. As always, if your bills are paid on time, it will help you to keep that score up. Also, stay away from opening new credit cards, as this can bring your score down due to frequent credit checks. 


Put Gifts To Good Use


Whenever you get a financial gift, whether it be for a wedding, a Christmas bonus, or a birthday gift, make sure that you save it for your home purchase. You’ll need quite a bit of capital between closing costs, fees and down payments. You’ll be glad you saved the money once you start the home buying process. You’ll also want to make sure that you have and emergency fund built up. You don’t want to buy a home without some sort of a financial cushion behind you. 


Research Real Estate Agents 


Your real estate agent will be your right hand person when it is time to buying a home. You’ll want to know that your agent is knowledgable and can help you in this big decision. Your real estate agent is the person who will help you reach your goals, and you want to feel comfortable with them. Ask for recommendations and do your research.  


Get Preapproved


Sellers love buyers who have been preapproved. This shows that they’re reliable and financially able to buy a home. A preapproval can be done a few months in advance of buying a home. It will take an in-depth look at your finances including:


  • Proof of mortgage or rent payments over the last year
  • W2 forms for the past 2 years
  • Paycheck stubs for the past 2 months
  • List of all debts including loans and court settlements
  • List of all assets including car titles, investment accounts and any other real estate you may own.


Buying a home is a big deal but with the right preparation, you’ll be on the road to success and ready to secure a home purchase.




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Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 9/12/2018

No one should be forced to break the bank to secure a terrific house. However, a first-time homebuyer may be more likely than others to overspend on a residence, particularly if he or she fails to understand the ins and outs of the housing market.

Lucky for you, we're here to teach you what it takes to browse the real estate market effectively so you can find a house that matches your budget.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help a first-time homebuyer purchase an affordable residence.

1. Examine the Housing Market Closely

Many great houses are available, and a first-time homebuyer should review a broad range of residences closely. By doing so, this homebuyer can establish a price range for his or her home search.

Evaluate the prices of residences that are currently available in your city or town. That way, you can find out what it costs to afford a home that may serve you well both now and in the future.

Also, assess the prices of recently sold residences in your area. With this housing market data in hand, you can find out whether you're about to enter a buyer's market or seller's market and plan accordingly.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Pre-approval for a mortgage can help you map out a homebuying budget before you enter the real estate market. Thus, getting pre-approved for a mortgage can make a world of difference for any first-time homebuyer, at any time.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you'll want to meet with several banks and credit unions in your area. These lenders can teach you about different mortgage options and help you select one that corresponds with your budget.

In addition, be sure to ask plenty of questions about potential mortgage options before you make your final mortgage decision. This will allow you to understand the differences between fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages and choose a mortgage that can help you avoid the temptation to overspend on a residence.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to pursuing a house for the first time, don't leave anything to chance. Instead, collaborate with a real estate agent, and you can streamline the process of purchasing an affordable residence.

A real estate agent helps take the guesswork out of looking for residences. He or she will keep you up to date about new houses as they become available and set up home showings on your behalf. Plus, this housing market professional will do whatever it takes to guarantee you can obtain an affordable house that surpasses your expectations.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will help you alleviate stress throughout the homebuying journey. And if you encounter challenging negotiations with a home seller, a real estate agent will step in and help you get the best price for a residence – without exception.

Ready to purchase a house for the first time? Use these tips, and you can acquire an affordable residence that you can enjoy for years to come.




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

Keeping your Closet organized can be a huge headache. There’s so many components to a closet that it can be hard to tell where to start in the space to create that sense of organization that you’re looking for. With a few of these tips, you can become an organizational wizard! The problem is that we need to know how to organize. If we’re not taught how to organize our own space, we have to learn it somehow! Keep that messy closet at bay and try these suggestions for a well-equipped and organized closet: Use The Spaces You Have The backs of doors are brilliant places to maximize your storage. By using simple pieces that you can purchase at the hardware store, you can make a closet space of your own on the back of a door. You can attach containers and hooks for storage on the door, ensuring enough room for clearance. This is a great place to keep all of your things that you may need to get ready for the next day like outfits, makeup and other essential items for your morning routine. Use The Floor The floor is a great place to store all of your shoes. Since dirt and mud often accumulate on your shoes, the floor of the closet is a great place for them to keep the rest of the house clean and free of mud. Use a tray to keep the dirt at bay inside the closet and keep your shoes organized. Color Code And Label You can actually color code your hangers to group your clothing by season or occasion, the choice is up to you. This can help you to always be able to find that piece of clothing that gets lost in the abyss of your closet. You’ll also always know what you have. You’ll also be able to see what you don’t wear more easily so you’ll be able to get rid of those pieces of clothing. By labeling bins that are stored in your closet, you’ll always know what’s in them and never have to rummage through a bunch of bins to find what you’re looking for. When it comes to using plastic containers, the see-through versions are often best. Even when you’re labeling boxes, being able to physically see what is in each container is an added bonus. Consider Using A Dresser In order to maximize your storage space and organization, consider keeping a dresser inside of the closet. You can label the drawers and have the ability to know what each drawer holds. Even shelving or a bookcase can be helpful in maximizing your storage space inside of an otherwise small closet. Hooks Are Your Friend Although we already talked about placing hooks on the backs of doors, hooks really can be useful anywhere when it comes to closet storage. Place hooks on the inside walls of the closet for additional hanging space for items like purses and bags.





Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 8/29/2018

If you want to sell a house in a buyer's market, it pays to allocate the necessary time and resources to differentiate your home listing from others. Because if you create an informative and engaging home listing, you should have no trouble stirring up interest in your residence, even in a buyer's market.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you differentiate your home listing in a buyer's market.

1. Consider the Buyer's Perspective

In a buyer's market, a homebuyer has no shortage of high-quality residences at his or her disposal. As such, you'll want to consider how a buyer may approach your residence and tailor your house listing accordingly.

Think about what led you to purchase your residence in the first place. Then, you can create a home listing that highlights your house's distinct features.

For example, if your home boasts a large, luxurious in-ground swimming pool, you may want to include details about it in your home listing. Or, if your house is located just minutes from many popular attractions, you may want to incorporate this information into your house listing.

2. Be Honest with Buyers

Your goal as a home seller is to craft a house listing that showcases your residence's features. At the same time, you'll want to be honest with buyers to help them make an informed decision about whether to pursue your home.

A detailed home listing that includes accurate information about your house is paramount. Because if your listing is misleading or inaccurate, it may cause problems down the line.

Remember, any problems with a house likely will be identified during a home inspection, a key step in the homebuying process. And if you try to hide these issues, it may slow down or stop a home sale from happening. Conversely, if you are honest with buyers from the beginning, you can make it easy for them to determine whether your residence is the right choice.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A buyer's market can be tough to navigate, regardless of where you live. Luckily, real estate agents are available to assist sellers in any buyer's market, at any time.

With a real estate agent at your side, you can craft a home listing that hits the mark with the right groups of homebuyers. In fact, a real estate agent will guide you along the home selling journey and help you identify and address any hurdles along the way.

Typically, a real estate agent will learn about your home selling goals. This housing market professional then can help you put together an in-depth home listing that highlights the key features of your house. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will share this home listing with dozens of buyers, thereby increasing the likelihood of a quick, profitable home sale.

Ready to list your house in a buyer's market? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can create a top-notch home listing that helps your residence stand out from the competition.





Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 8/22/2018

In a high competition market, you may be tempted to do whatever you can to entice the seller to accept your offer. Buyers write offer letters, provide large down payments, or waive the inspection. Sometimes, this strategy includes removing contingencies from your contract. 


Beware. Removing contingencies can easily become a nightmare for you as a buyer. Certain contingencies should be kept no matter how much you think you should waive them for enticement. 


The Home Inspection Contingency


This contingency is basically universally recommended by realtors everywhere. This contingency allows you to get a licensed home inspector who will check the property. The inspection typically should be done about 7 days from the time you sign the purchase agreement for the home. 


Following the inspection, you as the buyer can request that the seller make certain repairs. The seller can either make the repairs or provide a counter offer. If you’re not satisfied or cannot reach an agreement, you can back out of the deal and still get your money back. 


Without this contingency, you’ll never know what’s wrong with the home until you move in it. It’s a huge risk to take to move into a home without understanding all of its moving parts. Is the roof stable? Has the basement flooded? Will the appliances last? There are plenty of questions that you might have about a home that can be answered simply through an inspection. 


Financing Contingency


This is an important contingency. Your offer on the property will depend on being able to get the financing you need to purchase the home. With this protection in place, in the event that you can’t get a loan, you’ll get your deposit on the home back. Be sure that the clause specifies the number of days that would be recommended by your lender to have the mortgage approved.   


Appraisal Contingency


This could be the most important contingency of all. This protection could possibly save you thousands of dollars of a headache. Once an offer is accepted on a home, you’re far from done. The lender will typically order an appraisal. If the appraisal comes in lower than the offer you made on the home and agreed to pay, you may have some problems. 


The lender will only lend you what the house is worth. If the appraisal comes in lower, you’ll need to make up for tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket. Make sure you have an appraisal contingency included in your contracts!  


As you buy a home, remember how important contingencies can be in the process.            




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Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team
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