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Posted by Five College REALTORS ® on 9/16/2020

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Buying your first home is an exciting experience, but it can also be overwhelming when you don't know what to expect. Below are some tips to help first-time homebuyers navigate this process successfully. 

1. Get pre-approved before you start shopping. 

Nothing is more upsetting than finding the home of your dreams, only to learn that you cannot qualify for the loan needed to purchase it. Before you begin shopping for a new home, meet with a lender to request a pre-approval. The lender will review your financial situation and provide you with a pre-approved loan amount. Once you know how much you can afford to borrow, selecting the right properties will be easier. 

2. Select the right real estate agent. 

One of the most important things you can do to ensure that the process of buying your first home goes as smoothly as possible is to hire the right real estate agent. Be sure to choose a local agent who is familiar with your area. It is also a good idea to research your agent's background and experience, as well as to read reviews written by past clients so you will know what to expect as you work with the agent. 

3. Don't overbuy. 

When purchasing your first home, it can be tempting to choose a property at the higher end of your price range. However, adjusting to a monthly mortgage payment can be challenging. Make this process easier on yourself by selecting a property in the middle of your price range if possible. This will make your monthly payments more affordable, leaving you with plenty of extra income to buy furniture, make repairs or even save for the future. 

4. Do your research. 

Before purchasing any new home, be sure to do plenty of research about the neighborhood and the property itself. Ask your real estate agent to provide any insight they may have about the area and the property in question. If you have questions about the property, get the answers you need before you make an offer. 

5. Ask for an inspection. 

When you make an offer on the property you hope to purchase, you have the chance to request an inspection. Regardless of the circumstances, it is always in your best interest to take advantage of this opportunity. Be sure to read the inspection report carefully and consider any items that were found to be dangerous or defective. 

Every first-time homebuyer feels a little anxious, but you can simplify the experience by following the tips above. 




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Posted by Five College REALTORS ® on 6/17/2020

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

As you move forward with your home purchase, your real estate agent may recommend that you have your home inspected. Sometimes the inspection is required by the lender or insurance company, but sometimes it’s an optional step. Buyers who have the option sometimes consider skipping the inspection to save a little cash. Before you say “no” to the inspection, consider these reasons that it may be an important safety measure to take.

1. The Ability to Walk Away

When buying a home, you want to be completely sure that you’re not buying a home with problems that will cost you thousands after closing. Making an offer contingent on the results of an inspection allows you to legally walk away from your purchase contract if the inspector finds a serious issue. Without an inspection and this contingency, your offer is legally binding, and walking away is a costly choice.

2. Ensure Your Home Is Safe

Home inspectors know how to find problems that aren’t clear to the naked eye. From electrical wiring problems to hidden mold or problems with the home’s structure, knowing about these issues will protect you from buying a home that’s not safe to live in.

3. Improve Your Negotiating Position

If the inspection finds something wrong with the home that will be costly to fix, you can still buy the home if you wish. Armed with the information from the inspection, you can ask the seller to make repairs or give you a different price to cover the problems found. For instance, if the roof is in need of major repair, you can make a new offer that requires the seller to make those repairs, or you can offer at a lower price, using the difference to cover the repairs. Your real estate agent will help you understand the requests that are reasonable as you craft a new offer.

4. Enjoy Peace of Mind

A home inspection gives you peace of mind that you are buying a quality home. When the inspector gives it a stamp of approval, you can know that you are unlikely to have serious surprises when you move in.

5. Find Pest Problems

You don’t want to move in only to discover termites or roaches in the home. Pests can often go undetected until a serious infestation is present, but an inspector knows how to find the hidden signs of pests. Finding pests doesn’t mean you need to avoid the home, but it does mean you should ask the seller for professional pest control measures before you close on the property.

An inspection is an important step when buying a home. The cost of the inspection is small in comparison to the peace of mind and protection it brings. Even if it’s not required, make sure you request an inspection on your next home purchase.




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Posted by Five College REALTORS ® on 4/15/2020

Purchasing a house may prove to be a long, complex process, particularly for a first-time buyer. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you enjoy a quick, easy homebuying journey.

1. Narrow Your Search for Your Dream Home

It often helps to enter the real estate market with a checklist of home must-haves and wants. With this checklist, you will be better equipped than ever before to perform a deep evaluation of any house, at any time.

Think about what you want to find in your dream home and include these criteria in your checklist. For instance, if you want to own a house near your office, you can search for houses that are just a few miles from your workplace. Or, if you want to purchase a house with a big backyard, you should look at houses that offer the space that you need.

2. Submit a Competitive Offer

If you find a house that you want to buy, there is no need to wait to submit an offer. However, it is important to differentiate between a "lowball" offer and a competitive one beforehand.

A lowball offer generally fails to account for the state of a house, as well as the current real estate market's conditions. It is likely to fall short of a home seller's expectations, and as a result, lead to an immediate "No."

Conversely, a competitive offer is based on housing market data, along with the condition and age of a house. And if you submit a competitive offer on a residence, you may receive an instant "Yes" from a home seller.

3. Conduct an In-Depth Home Inspection

After you and a home seller agree to terms, you will want to conduct a comprehensive home inspection. This will enable you to fully examine a house's interior and exterior and identify any potential home problems before you finalize your purchase.

When it comes to buying a home, there is no need to forego a home inspection. In fact, if you bypass a home inspection, you risk encountering costly, time-intensive home problems in the near future.

To hire an expert home inspector, perform a search of the available inspectors in your city or town. Then, meet with several home inspectors, ask for client referrals and allocate the necessary time and resources to perform an in-depth assessment. Because if you hire the right home inspector, you can get the support that you need to make an informed home purchase.

Lastly, if you need help finding a home inspector or completing other homebuying tasks, it usually is a good idea to employ a real estate agent. This housing market professional will learn about your homebuying goals and tailor your home search accordingly. As a result, working with a real estate agent will increase the likelihood that you can enjoy a quick, easy homebuying journey.




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Posted by Five College REALTORS ® on 10/30/2019

If you want to enjoy a successful homebuying experience, it may be beneficial to hone your house search to residences in a select group of cities and towns. That way, you can speed up the process of finding and buying your dream residence.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you narrow your house search.

1. Review Your Short and Long-Term Goals

Consider your immediate and long-term goals. By doing so, you can focus on finding a home that falls in line with your aspirations.

For instance, if you want to work in the big city, you may want to search for residences in or near the city itself. On the other hand, if you have children, you may want to explore houses near top schools and parks.

Be flexible as you consider homes in assorted cities and towns, too. If you are open to homebuying opportunities in different areas, you may be able to quickly find a great residence at a budget-friendly price.

2. Obtain a Mortgage

With a mortgage in hand, you'll know exactly how much you can spend on a house. Then, you can narrow your home search to residences that correspond to your budget.

Meet with a variety of banks and credit unions, and you can get pre-approved for a mortgage. Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable home financing specialists, and these professionals can help you determine which type of mortgage will suit you perfectly.

Also, you may want to ask questions as you review your mortgage options. Home financing specialists at banks and credit unions are happy to reply to your mortgage questions, and ultimately, help you make an informed mortgage selection.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Finding a home in a particular city or town may be tough, especially if you try to navigate the real estate market on your own. Conversely, if you hire an real estate agent, you can get the help you need to discover your dream house.

A real estate agent is a homebuying expert who will go above and beyond the call of duty to transform your homeownership dream into a reality. He or she first will learn about your homebuying goals and budget. Next, a real estate agent will provide you with details about available homes in myriad cities and towns. A real estate agent then will help you kick off a home search so you can locate your ideal house.

Of course, once you discover your dream home, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase this residence as well. And if your homebuying proposal is accepted, a real estate agent will devote the necessary time and resources to ensure you can immediately finalize your home purchase.

Take the guesswork out of finding your dream residence ľ use the aforementioned tips, and you can boost the likelihood of acquiring a terrific house that you can enjoy both now and in the future.




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Posted by Five College REALTORS ® on 6/19/2019

There is no feeling like the one associated with buying a house. If you know how to navigate the homebuying journey, you can boost the likelihood of enjoying an unforgettable property buying experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you seamlessly navigate the homebuying journey.

1. Create Homebuying Criteria

For those who want to enter the real estate market, it generally is a good idea to establish homebuying criteria. That way, you can focus on properties that match your expectations.

Think about the features you want to find in your dream residence. For instance, if you want to own a house that offers a spacious backyard, you can narrow your property search accordingly. Or, if you want to purchase a residence close to some of the nation's top schools, you can hone your property search to a select group of cities and towns.

You may want to conduct extensive housing market research too. Because the more you know about the local housing sector, the better equipped you will be to find a home that you can enjoy for years to come.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

If you want to buy a house, you likely will need a mortgage. Lucky for you, banks and credit unions are available nationwide, and these financial institutions can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage.

Meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. By doing so, you can learn about all of your mortgage options and select a mortgage that corresponds to your finances.

Also, if you are uncertain about how a mortgage works or require other home financing insights, reach out to a bank or credit union for support. Banks and credit unions employ courteous, knowledgeable mortgage specialists who can teach you everything you need to know about home financing. As a result, you can work with these mortgage specialists to make an informed home financing decision.

3. Employ a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a must-have, particularly for an individual who wants to minimize stress during the homebuying journey. In fact, this housing market professional will do whatever it takes to help you find a terrific home at a budget-friendly price.

With a real estate agent at your side, you can streamline the homebuying journey. A real estate agent will help you establish realistic expectations for a home search, set up house showings and keep you up to date about new residences that become available in your preferred cities and towns. In addition, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive offer to purchase your ideal residence. And once you are ready to close on your dream house, a real estate agent will make it simple for you to do just that.

As you get ready to pursue your dream residence, it helps to prepare as much as you can. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you should have no trouble enjoying a fun, exciting homebuying experience.




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