RE/MAX Integrity
289 Winthrop St. Suite 6, Rehoboth, MA 02769
Office: 508-974-9111
Jean@integrityteamne.com



Posted by RE/MAX Integrity on 2/18/2018

If youíre a first-time homebuyer you might be worried or anxious about the process of making an offer on a home. After all, negotiating isnít something most of us look forward to on a day to day basis and we try to avoid it when possible. When it comes to buying a home, however, negotiating is usually part of the process.

One of the benefits of working with a real estate agent is that they have the knowledge and expertise to help you out through the negotiation process. Not only will they help you formulate your offer, but theyíll also present the offer for you and handle the in-person negotiations.

Buyerís vs sellerís market

Whether or not the odds are in your favor depends on many things. One important factor is the state of the real estate marketing. In a sellerís market, which is what weíre in right now, there are more buyers looking for homes than there are sellers trying to sell them.

However, you can still edge past the competition in a sellerís market if you plan accordingly. This is when negotiation comes into play, and when effective negotiation can get your offer accepted where others are declined.

Time is of the essence

When youíre shopping for a home in a sellerís market, youíll need to be swift with your offer and counteroffers to stay ahead of other prospective buyers. However, being too hasty with your offers can seem imposing or reckless. Itís better to take a day longer to come up with a more effective offer than it is to make an offer that looks bad to the seller.

Be clear and concise

Just as youíre nervous making offers on a home, sellers are usually nervous fielding them. So, if you want to make things easier for you and your seller, make sure your offer is simple and straightforward.

This involves removing unnecessary contingencies and sticking to the contract basics--inspection, appraisal, and financing. If the seller receives another offer that is riddled with contingencies, they might prefer to work with you since you presented them with a simple contract.

Be prepared

Having your paperwork in order, getting preapproved, and making yourself available as much as possible will go a long way in the negotiation process. Now more than ever itís important to be well-organized.

Do your homework on the house and neighborhood youíre interested in. Make sure you know if there is a lot of interest in the area and the house in particular. This will let you know how much breathing room you have.

Getting preapproved will not only help you know the limits you can offer but it will also signal to the seller that youíre a serious buyer.





Posted by RE/MAX Integrity on 2/4/2018

If you want to buy a home in the near future, youíre going to need to really focus on the goal. Buying your first home is no small feat. There are a few habits that youíll want to start right away once you decide that youíre ready to take the plunge into homeownership. 


Make Savings Automatic


If youíre going to start saving for all of the expenses that buying a home brings, the best thing that you can do is automate your savings. The down payment is usually more money than most people can even plan for. If you have a small amount of each paycheck go into a dedicated account for the house fund, youíll be in better shape financially. You can never start saving too early or too much. The goal is to save as much as you possibly can. Put the money in a place where you wonít have easy access to it. If you donít see it, you wonít spend it! 


Check Your Credit Score


Your credit report is one of those things that canít be magically fixed. It takes some time and a little work to keep your credit score up. Youíll need to make sure that you make on-time payments each and every month. If there are any glaring mistakes on the report, youíll need to fix them, as it could take some time for any changes to show up. The most important thing is to keep your credit record clean by making on-time payments, refraining form opening too many new accounts, and paying down any outstanding debt. Once you check your credit score and see what you have to work with, youíll be in good standing in no time. 


Become A DIYer


When you move into a home, thereís a lot that may need to be done. If you can do some of the work yourself, instead of hiring contractors and other people, you may be able to save some money. This wouldnít include anything dangerous like electrical work or complicated plumbing issues. There are plenty of projects that you can safely take on in a home that will save money and keep your home in great shape. 


Learn To Budget


Owning a home can actually be cheaper than renting in some cases. If you learn to budget, factoring in things like food, utilities, and how much you spend on entertainment, youíll see how much you have to work with. See how much youíre spending and then decide where you can cut down costs from there. Youíll find more money that you can be saving towards a home. The best part about buying a home is that you own it! There is no middle man telling you what you can and cannot do in a space.




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Posted by RE/MAX Integrity on 1/29/2018

The prospect of buying your first home is both exciting and nerve-wracking. On one hand, owning your own house is the final step of financial independence. Youíre no longer accountable to a landlord and their rental agreement. On the other hand, buying a home is a huge financial decision that will determine where you live for the next several years.

As a first-time buyer, thereís a lot to learn about buying a house. Youíll often hear homeowners say, ďI wish I knew that before buying this house.Ē So, in this article, weíre going to give you some common mistakes that first-time buyers make so you can have the best possible experience in the home buying process.  

1. Underestimating the costs

When first-time buyers get preapproved for a mortgage, they sometimes see this as permission to spend whatever amount theyíre approved for. However, even after closing costs, there are a number of other expenses youíll need to account for in your budget.

Youíll be responsible for maintenance, utilities, taxes, and repairing things when they get old. If all of your money is tied up just paying your mortgage and other bills, you wonít have anything left over to maintain your house.

Furthermore, living your life just to make your mortgage payments is draining. Instead, buy a house that gives you enough room to save for retirement, vacations, a family, or whatever else you see in your future.

2. Prequalify first

Before you start shopping for homes, make sure you meet some basic prerequisites. Youíll need a solid credit score, steady income history, and money saved for a down payment. You might set yourself up for disappointment looking at homes that are outside of your spending limit if you donít get prequalified first.

3. This probably isnít your last home

While itís okay to dream about the future, donít set unrealistic expectations for your first home. You can always upgrade later on, and building equity in your first home is a good way to help you do that.

4. Donít get too attached to your ďdream homeĒ

So, youíve been shopping around for a few weeks and finally found the perfect house. If everything goes well your offer could get accepted. But if it doesnít, donít worry about it. There are constantly new houses appearing on the market, and thereís a good chance youíll like one even more than this one.

5. Donít waive contingencies without good reason

Contingencies are there to protect you. They might seem like a way to needlessly complicate a contract. Or, you might think that waiving them makes you look better in the eyes of the seller. However, both sellers and their agents know that contingencies serve an important purpose.

The three main contingencies youíll want when buying a home are an appraisal contingency, financing contingency, and an inspection contingency. Unless youíre buying under special circumstances, youíll want to keep all three in your contract. 





Posted by RE/MAX Integrity on 1/15/2018

As a homebuyer, you want to prepare as much as possible when you start looking at houses. By doing so, you'll be able to fully evaluate a residence based on your personal wants and needs and ensure you can find your dream house quickly and easily. However, there are many under-the-radar factors that homebuyers must consider when they check out a house, including: 1. Homeowners Association If you're evaluating condos, you should learn about the homeowners association (HOA) that manages the property. This will allow you to review HOA fees, how the HOA operates and other factors that may influence your decision to buy a home. Typically, it is simple to discover all you need to know about an HOA. To do so, you can work with a real estate agent who should be able to provide information about an HOA. Also, you can always contact an HOA directly and receive all the information you need without delay. 2. TV, Cable and Internet Service Providers Do you work from home and require a high-speed internet connection to complete your day-to-day tasks? Or, do you want to ensure you can get your favorite TV channels at all times? Regardless of your individual needs, you'll want to check out the TV, cable and internet service providers available in cities and towns where you'd like to live. This will enable you to find out if these local providers can meet your needs consistently. In addition, you should consider cell phone connectivity in an area, as this will allow you to determine if your cell service provider ensures you can enjoy clear calls in a particular city or town. 3. Attractions and Landmarks Do you enjoy spending a day at the park, checking out historic landmarks or going to concerts? No matter which activities you enjoy, it is essential to learn about the entertainment options near a home you may purchase. For instance, if a concert venue is close to a residence, it may affect nearby traffic patterns as concert-goers travel to and from this destination. Conversely, if you want a house that allows you to separate from the everyday hustle and bustle of the city, you may want to evaluate residences that are located many miles away from popular attractions and landmarks. 4. Walking Paths If you like to stay active, you'll surely want to find a house that features a wide range of safe walking paths that you can use every day. Whether it's going for a morning jog or simply enjoying a jaunt with your dog, you may be able to improve your chances of remaining active and healthy if you purchase a home with multiple walking paths nearby. Of course, a real estate agent can help you explore a vast array of homes in cities and towns nationwide. This professional will learn about your home preferences and allow you to streamline your search for the perfect house as well. Consider the aforementioned factors as you prepare to search for houses, and ultimately, you'll be better equipped to make a more informed home purchase.





Posted by RE/MAX Integrity on 12/17/2017

Itís always a goal in life to be happier in our jobs and make more money. When it comes to buying a home, your job status can have a big effect on whether or not youíll be able to buy a home or not. You will be able to buy a home using a new source of income. Even refinancing can be a breeze when you have a new job and the right knowledge. 


Many people believe that changing jobs or having gaps in between employment is a certain type of black hole when it comes to getting a mortgage. However, if you approach all of the changes in the correct way, you should be able to land the mortgage deal and secure a home.


Average Income


One of the most important numbers that your lender will calculate when youíre buying a home is that of your average income. This will be based on the pay that you had earned in the past 24 monthsĎ time. If you have had the same job and pay, this wonít be much of a big deal, However, if any of these things have changed (or will soon change) your lender may have some questions. This doesnít mean that your mortgage application will be struck down completely. 


Information Thatís Needed In The Event Of A Job Change


If you have recently changed jobs in the process of trying to refinance or buy a new home, your lender will need a few pieces of information from you. These items include:


  • An offer letter for the job
  • A role or title change letter (if applicable)
  • Compensation package change confirmation
  • Verification of employment
  • Most recent pay stub


Hourly Employees


If youíre an hourly employee, unfortunately, youíre under the tightest type of scrutiny when it comes to applying for a mortgage. Your income will be averaged for as long as you have been an hourly employee. If you work full-time, this wonít be too much of a problem. If your hours fluctuate from week-to-week, this can make things a bit more complicated.


If your hourly rates have recently gone up, youíll need a bit of info from your employer to help you get the income verification that your lender needs. These items include:


  • An offer letter
  • Recent pay stubs
  • The new compensation structure or offer

If you have any sort of extenuating circumstances like a relocation or a new position, this information can help to bridge the gap in any information that just doesnít add up as far as your employment history goes. 


Salaried Employees


If youíre a salaried employee, things are a bit simpler. Your lender will have a much easier time calculating your average income. The only issue that you may encounter is if you have had a gap in employment. For this, your lender will require a written explanation of what occurred during that time period.  

 

Lenders want to protect themselves, but in a way, they also want to protect you from getting in over your head with how much you can afford for a home. With some proof and a little explanation, you should be able to get a house you can afford if you have all of the information that you need to back up your financial history and employment history.




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