Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 12/21/2020

Buying a home is a life-changing event. As such, the decision to purchase a residence should not be taken lightly.

For homebuyers, it is paramount to get as much help as possible so you can discover a terrific house at a price that matches your budget. With support from an expert real estate agent, you should have no trouble acquiring a residence that meets or surpasses your expectations.

But what does it take to find the right real estate agent to assist you during your search for the perfect home? Here are three tips that every homebuyer needs to know.

1. Ask Family Members and Friends for Guidance

If a family member or friend recently bought a home, he or she may be able to provide real estate agent recommendations. Family members and friends are trusted sources, and their real estate agent recommendations may help you speed up the process of finding your dream house.

Your neighbors also may be able to real estate agent suggestions. They should be able to provide details about what it was like to work with a particular real estate agent so you can plan accordingly.

Of course, you should still perform plenty of research into a real estate professional's background and expertise before you hire this individual. Be diligent during your search for a real estate agent, and you can employ a real estate professional who will go the extra mile to help you discover a great house.

2. Search the Web

A simple web search of a real estate agent's name may enable you to learn a lot about this individual. In fact, a web search often provides a great way to find out about local real estate agents quickly.

Although a web search may help you examine a variety of real estate agents in your city or town, it is essential to fully evaluate a real estate professional's credentials.

If possible, search for client feedback about a real estate agent. This may help you determine whether to move forward with a particular real estate agent or shy away from this housing market professional altogether.

3. Meet Directly with Several Real Estate Agents

When it comes to finding the right real estate agent, nothing beats a one-on-one meeting.

Set up meetings with several local real estate agents. By doing so, you can get a better idea about whether a real estate agent can help you accomplish your homebuying goals.

It often helps to make a list of questions to ask a real estate agent before you meet with him or her. That way, you can gain the insights you need to make an informed decision.

If you feel comfortable with a real estate agent after a face-to-face meeting, don't hesitate to hire this professional. Remember, the sooner you start working with an expert real estate agent, the sooner you may be able to purchase your dream house.

Use these tips, and you can hire a first-rate real estate agent to guide you along the homebuying journey.




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Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 9/21/2020

If you’re hunting for a new home, it can be tempting to make an appointment to view as many as possible. However, it can be a better use of your time to narrow down the search beforehand and eliminate houses from your list based on some at-home research. That way you can use those extra hours for fine-tuning your home search and make sure you visit only the houses that will suit your every need.

In this article, we’ll teach you some ways to research a home, neighborhood and town before you take the time to visit.

Things to Research about Your Potential New Neighborhood

So you’ve found a listing that looks nice. Your next step should be to find out as much as possible about the area the home is in to make sure it suits your needs.

A good first step is to head over to Google Maps to find out which amenities are in the area. Schools, banks, grocery stores, restaurants, hospitals, parks… the list goes on. This is also a good time to map out how long it will take you on average to drive to work from this house and to see if it will lead you through any high-traffic areas that might affect your daily schedule.

You can also research other homes in the area to see if the house is selling higher or lower than average. This will give you a question to ask the real estate agent if you choose to reach out for further information.

Town statistics

Another step to take on Google for this home is to look up statistics for things like neighborhood crime, ratings for the school district, and the state of local businesses.

Is the area up-and-coming with healthy businesses and low crime? If so, it could be worth pursuing further.

If you’re planning on having children or already do, the quality of the education could be of importance to you.

Finally, get an idea of the local tax rates so you know how much you’ll owe the government for your property and excise taxes.

Researching the house itself

If you’re comfortable with the town and neighborhood, there’s still some research you can do online before you schedule a showing.

See if you can find out if the house belongs to a homeowner’s association. Look up their rules and fees to see if they’re agreeable to you and your family’s lifestyle and plans for the future.

Look up the sale history for the home. If there are several recent sales, this could be a sign of problems with the home or neighborhood. Similarly, if the price has increased or decreased dramatically more than nearby houses, consider asking the real estate agent why this is.

Finally, see if you can view the number of days the home has been on on the market, commonly abbreviated as “DOM.” This will give you some insight as to how desirable the home and neighborhood are.


Once you have all of the information at your disposal, you’ll be in a position to decide whether or not to schedule an appointment to view the home.





Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 9/7/2020

Although you might have entered the housing market with a strategy to help you streamline your search for your dream home, it is important to remember that even the best-laid plan may need to be changed. And if you fail to discover your ideal residence after a comprehensive search, now may be a great time to revise your homebuying strategy.

Let's take a look at three tips to help you revamp your homebuying plan.

1. Consider Your Home Must-Haves and Wants

Creating a list of home must-haves and wants may be done at the start of a house search. Over time, however, this list may evolve. And if you update your list, you may be better equipped than ever before to reenter the real estate market with a fresh perspective.

Think about where you want to live in the foreseeable future too. Then, you can narrow your home search to specific cities and towns and accelerate the homebuying journey.

2. Review Your Budget

If you recently paid off your student loans or eliminated your credit cards, you may want to reassess your homebuying budget. That way, you can hone your house search and explore residences that fall within your up-to-date price range.

Of course, if you have yet to get pre-approved for a mortgage, you can still do so. Meet with banks and credit unions to learn about all of the mortgage options that are available. This will enable you to gain the insights you need to select a mortgage that matches your finances.

3. Learn About the Housing Market

The housing market may favor buyers or sellers. And if you have been searching for your dream home for several weeks or months, the market may have changed.

It does not take long for a buyer's market to become a seller's market, or vice-versa. As you consider your homebuying options, you should study the local real estate sector closely to determine whether the current housing market favors buyers or sellers.

Evaluating the prices of recently sold houses in a particular city or town usually is a good idea. This housing market data will enable you to find out whether sellers are receiving offers at or near their initial home asking prices.

You also should find out how long current residences in a particular city or town have been listed. If houses linger on the real estate market for an extended period of time, you may be operating in a market that favors buyers. Or, if homes are selling quickly, you may be operating in a seller's market.

Lastly, hiring a real estate agent often is helpful, particularly for homebuyers who are struggling to identify the perfect residence. A real estate agent can offer lots of tips as you conduct your search for your dream residence. Plus, if you need to revamp your homebuying strategy, a real estate agent will make it easy for you to do just that.




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Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 7/27/2020

If you plan to buy a house, you'll want to apply for a mortgage before you launch your house search. That way, you'll have your finances in order and can narrow your home search accordingly.

Ultimately, there are several steps that you should take prior to applying for a mortgage, and these are:

1. Check Your Credit Score

A bank or credit union likely will analyze your credit score as it reviews your mortgage application. However, you can find out your credit score free of charge before you kick off the mortgage application process.

You are eligible to receive a free copy of your credit report annually from each of the three credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Submit a request for your credit report today, and you can receive comprehensive insights into your credit history.

2. Examine Your Earnings and Debt

How much you currently earn and your outstanding debt could play pivotal roles in your ability to acquire a favorable mortgage. Thus, you'll want to examine these factors closely so that you can better understand how lenders will view your mortgage application.

Also, if you have lots of outstanding debt, there is no need to worry. If you allocate the necessary time and resources to learn about your debt and pay it off, you can increase the likelihood of obtaining a favorable mortgage.

3. Establish a Budget

Although a mortgage may prove to be essential to buy a house, it is important to consider various homebuying expenses as well.

For example, you may need to pay closing costs, home inspection fees and other expenses throughout the homebuying process. If you're worried about having the necessary finances to cover these costs, you may want to start saving money for them as soon as possible.

It often helps to account for the costs associated with cable, electricity, internet and other home must-haves too. The aforementioned homeownership expenses can add up quickly, but those who plan ahead can ensure they have sufficient funds available to cover these costs.

As you prepare to search for a house, it usually is a great idea to hire a real estate agent. This housing market can help you prepare for each stage of the homebuying cycle and ensure you can achieve your homebuying goals.

Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you and find out what you want in a dream house. This housing market professional then can keep you up to date about residences that match or exceed your expectations.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent understands that no one should be forced to overspend to acquire their ideal residence. As such, this housing market professional will make it simple for you to discover a terrific house at a budget-friendly price.

Lastly, don't hesitate to reach out to a real estate agent for guidance before you apply for a mortgage. With a real estate agent at your side, you can learn about lenders in your area and find one that can provide you with the financing that you need to purchase your dream house.




Tags: Buying a home   Mortgage  
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Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 7/13/2020

If you've always dreamed of owning a house, there is no need to wait to enter the real estate market. In fact, there are many reasons to kick off a house search today, and these include:

1. You can upgrade from your current residence.

If you live with family members or friends or rent an apartment, buying a home may represent an upgrade. Because when you purchase a residence, you can reap the benefits of having your very own living space.

There is no shortage of high-quality houses available in cities and towns nationwide. Regardless of whether you prefer the comfort of small town living or the hustle and bustle of city life, you can check out a broad range of houses at your convenience. Then, you can discover your dream residence, submit an offer to purchase it and move one step closer to making your homeownership dream come true.

2. Many home financing options are available.

One of the biggest issues that often prevents people from pursuing homes is a lack of financing. Fortunately, banks and credit unions offer a variety of mortgage options designed for individuals of all incomes.

Whether it's a fixed- or adjustable-rate mortgage, you're sure to find a mortgage option that complements your finances perfectly. Plus, banks and credit unions are ready to teach you everything you need to know about different types of mortgages. And if you are unsure about how a mortgage works or which mortgage option to choose, friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists are available to assist you.

3. You can receive plenty of support throughout the homebuying journey.

Let's face it – buying a home can be a daunting task, particularly for an individual who is entering the real estate market for the first time. The sheer volume of top-notch houses sometimes makes it tough to differentiate a good home from a great one. Meanwhile, navigating the homebuying process can be stressful, and challenges may arise that make it difficult for a homebuyer to achieve his or her desired results.

If you enter the housing market today, you can hire a real estate agent who can help you streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner. This housing market professional will offer expert insights into all aspects of the homebuying journey. In addition, he or she will go the extra mile to ensure that you can quickly and effortlessly acquire your dream home at a price that matches your budget.

Of course, a real estate agent will help you map out a successful homebuying strategy too. He or she will meet with you, learn about your homebuying goals and help you plan accordingly. And if you have concerns or questions at any point during the property buying journey, a real estate agent can respond to them.

Launch a home search today – you'll be glad you did. If you pursue your dream home with help from a real estate agent, you can seamlessly navigate the property buying journey.




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