Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 2/22/2021

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Anyone purchasing a home should buy not just for today, but for the future as well; this forward-thinking approach may be more important to seniors than to any other group. The home you buy today should delight you and suit your needs; it should also be adaptable and comfortable to live in as you age. From single-story living to choosing a home with few repair needs, here's what to consider to make sure your home serves you well for many years. 

Single Story Comfort

A single-story home is easy to navigate -- and easier to clean and care for, making this model the ideal version for homebuyers who are looking ahead.  A single-story home has all amenities on one floor, making the kitchen, laundry room and master bedroom accessible without navigating stairs or steps.

Go for an HOA

An HOA may not be right for everyone, but a community with an HOA has a lot of benefits for seniors. From guards at the gate and on the premises to built-in social opportunities, an HOA community is a great option. Most seniors love the easy care and comfortable living afforded by an HOA community; and homeowners of any age will enjoy using facilities like clubhouses and swimming pools -- but not having to maintain them. 

Consider a Townhouse

When you have kids at home, you probably need a big yard, but if you are downsizing or expect to have an empty nest soon, a townhouse may be your perfect match. Most include lawn care and exterior home care, so you won't have to worry about these tasks. Many townhome communities also have playgrounds, pools and other amenities -- so when the kids do visit, you have plenty of things to do. 

Buy a Turnkey Home

Unless you love working and improving your own residence, a home that needs a lot of renovation or that will eventually need some work may not be your best bet. Even if you don't DIY, having work done can be disruptive and expensive -- and there are too many turnkey homes on the market to deal with a fixer-upper. 

Invest in Upgrades

You may not need them now, but a home that has some adaptive or mobility upgrades in place, or that is well suited to having these modifications later will serve you well. Look for handrails in the bathroom, a built-in bench in the shower and other touches that will make the home easy and safe to navigate for all ages. 

Look ahead 5, 10 or 20 years in the future when you shop for your home and think about the tasks you want to tackle -- and the ones you want to leave to someone else -- when you decide which home is right. Shopping with these factors in mind will save you time and money later, and ensure the home you buy today still suits your needs a decade from now. 




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Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 2/8/2021

If you want to purchase a home, it may be beneficial to check out the residences available in a major city. In fact, there are many reasons to pursue a city house, and these include:

1. You can live near a variety of attractions and landmarks.

Most cities provide quick, easy access to attractions and landmarks. And if you purchase a city residence, you can explore a wide range of attractions and landmarks any time you choose.

Of course, it generally helps to plan ahead if you intend to buy a city residence. If you enter the real estate market with a homebuying strategy in hand, you can narrow your city house search to residences near your preferred attractions and landmarks.

2. You can upgrade or downgrade from your current residence.

If you find your current residence no longer matches your needs, don't stress. Houses are available in cities around the country so you can upgrade or downgrade from your current home.

Oftentimes, it helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start to explore city residences. If you are pre-approved for a mortgage, you'll know exactly how much you can spend on a city home. Then, you can hone your city house search and speed up the homebuying journey.

3. You can find a residence close to family members and friends in the city.

If your family members and friends frequently rave about life in the city, now may be the perfect time to join them. And if you kick off a city house search, you can find a great home that allows you to live close to loved ones.

The city real estate market often fluctuates, and a housing sector that favors buyers today may shift into sellers' favor tomorrow. Thus, if you want to buy a city home near loved ones, you should allocate time and resources to learn about the local housing sector. Because if you have housing market insights at your disposal, you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market and prepare accordingly.

As you get ready to launch a search for a home in the city of your choice, you may want to hire a real estate agent too. By employing a real estate agent, you can get the help you need to streamline your city house search.

Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you, find out where you want to reside in your city of choice and help you budget for the homebuying journey. He or she also will keep you up to date about city residences that meet your homebuying criteria. And if you find a city residence that you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase this home.

Simplify the process of locating and purchasing your ideal city home. Hire a real estate agent today, and you can receive extensive assistance at each stage of the property buying journey.




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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 10/26/2020

Establishing a homebuying budget can be tough. But for those who want to secure a terrific home at an affordable price, entering the housing market with a budget in hand can make it easy to accelerate the homebuying cycle.

Now, let's take a look at three questions to consider about a homebuying budget.

1. How much money have I saved for a home?

Examine your finances and see how much money is readily available for a home purchase.

Remember, the more money that is at your disposal, the more likely it becomes that you'll be able to secure your dream residence in no time at all.

Although savings are important, it is essential to note that those who have little to no money saved still have plenty of time to get ready for the homebuying journey. And if you start saving a little bit each day, you can move closer to accomplishing your homeownership dreams.

2. Do I need to get a home loan?

In most instances, a homebuyer will need to obtain a home loan so he or she can purchase a residence. Luckily, many lenders are available to help you discover a home loan that matches or surpasses your expectations.

Meet with a variety of lenders in your area you'll be glad you did. Each lender can provide insights into assorted home loan options, explain how each home loan works and respond to your home loan concerns and questions.

Also, it often helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you have a mortgage available when you enter the real estate market, you'll know exactly how much you can spend on a residence, thereby reducing or eliminating the temptation to overspend on a house.

3. How will my monthly expenses change after I buy a house?

Owning a home is different from renting an apartment. As such, you'll want to account for all potential expenses as you create a homebuying budget.

For example, a homeowner will be responsible for any home cable, internet and phone bills. This property owner also will need to consider any home maintenance costs like those associated with mowing the lawn in summer or removing snow from the driveway in winter.

Crafting a homebuying budget that accounts for your personal finances can be tricky. If you need additional support along the way, lenders may be able to provide expert tips to ensure you can acquire a wonderful house without exceeding your financial limitations.

Lastly, don't forget to reach out to a real estate agent for help along the homebuying journey. A real estate agent is a housing market professional who will go above and beyond the call of duty to assist you in any way possible. From setting up home showings to negotiating with home sellers on your behalf, a real estate agent will make it easy for you to secure a superior home at a budget-friendly price.

Consider the aforementioned homebuying budget questions, and you can speed up the homebuying process.




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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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