Jane Dunlap - New England R. E. Center, Inc.



Posted by Jane Dunlap on 11/11/2018

If you intend to purchase a great house at a budget-friendly price, you should craft a homebuying timeline. That way, you can decide the best ways to achieve your homebuying goals.

Ultimately, creating a homebuying timeline can be simple Ė here are three tips to ensure you can develop a successful homebuying timeline.

1. Know When You Want to Move

For those who want to buy a house, it helps to consider your current living situation. By doing so, you can determine the necessary steps to relocate from your current address and acquire your dream residence.

If you presently own a house, you may need to sell it before you purchase a new home. Or, if you currently rent, you may need to give your landlord sufficient notice prior to your relocation. But if you consider the aforementioned factors closely, you can set a deadline for your move.

With a deadline in place, you can start your dream home pursuit. And once you find this residence, you can submit an offer and proceed with a home purchase.

2. Get Your Finances in Order

If you want to develop a successful homebuying timeline, it generally is a good idea to consider your financial situation as well. Because if you lack the necessary home financing, you are unlikely to be able to acquire a wonderful house any time soon.

As you develop your homebuying timeline, you may want to meet with banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can teach you about a wide range of mortgage options and help you get the financing that you need to buy your dream house.

Furthermore, you should check your credit score when you craft your homebuying timeline. If your credit score is low, you may need to improve it prior to buying a house. Thankfully, you can account for this factor as you map out your homebuying strategy and plan accordingly.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Developing a homebuying timeline may prove to be challenging. Luckily, real estate agents are available who can help you take the guesswork out of purchasing a house.

A real estate agent can teach you the ins and outs of buying a home. As a result, this housing market professional will enable you to enjoy a quick, seamless homebuying experience.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can make it easy to acquire a terrific house on your timeline. This means if you want to purchase a top-notch house as quickly as possible, a real estate agent will do everything possible to make your homeownership dream come true. Comparatively, if you want to take a slow, gradual approach to buying a house, a real estate agent is ready to respond to your homebuying needs.

When it comes to buying a house, it helps to have a timeline in place prior to starting a house search. Fortunately, if you use the aforementioned tips, you can streamline the process of establishing a successful homebuying timeline.




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Posted by Jane Dunlap on 11/4/2018

A lot changes when you move into a new home. For the first few weeks youíll most likely be focused on getting everything arranged and put away in their proper locations. Youíll be adjusting to your new work commute, meeting the neighbors, finding out where to shop, and so on.

Itís easy to forget about updating your budget during the first couple of months in your new home. However, if you want to be mindful of your spending and gauge the true cost of living in your new home, itís essential to start tracking expenses and creating your budget as soon as possible.

In this article, weíre going to show you how to make a new budget for your new home so that you can start accurately planning your long term finances. That way, you and your family can rest assured that you arenít living above your means in your new home and can stop stressing about spending.

Cost of living changes

When most of us move we think about the change of our mortgage payments, property taxes, and home insurance. However, there are several smaller changes that will occur in your day-to-day spending habits that you might not think to update in your budget.

First off, make a note of how much youíre spending on transportation (whether itís train fare or gas for your car) in your new home and adjust this on your budget. This is hard to predict before you move since you canít be sure of the traffic patterns until your first trip to the office.

Next, make a list of your monthly services, including utilities. Weíre talking about internet, cable, trash and recycling, heating and electricity, and so on. At the end of the first month, add each of those to your budget and decide if you want to spend less on any of them.

One surprise expense that many people have when they move is the cost of internet. Your old plan at your former residence might not cut it if you move to an area with different coverage.

Furnishing your new home

Even if youíre moving with most of your furniture and appliances, there will likely still be expenses that youíll need to plan for in your new home.

It might be tempting to make all of these purchases at once so that you can feel like your move is ďcomplete.Ē However, the best course of action is to include these items into your monthly budget so that you are prepared for emergency expenses.

Decide which items you need the most in your new home, and prioritize purchasing those on the first month. Youíll likely realize after just the first couple of nights in your new house which items you need now and which can wait.

Budgeting apps and tools

Everyone has their own preferred method of record-keeping. Some people keep their budget in a notebook or planner, whereas others like to use an app that they can access on their phone or laptop.

There are dedicated budgeting apps and web applications that link to your bank account and tell you how much left you can spend that month and if there is an issue with your budget. Several such apps are available for free in both Android and Apple app stores.

For a simpler budget, you can simply use the spreadsheet application of your choice (Excel, Numbers, and Google Sheets are all sufficient).

Regardless of what tool you use, make sure you check in on your budget frequently to ensure youíre sticking to it and making adjustments as needed.




Tags: budgeting   budget   moving  
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Posted by Jane Dunlap on 10/28/2018

If you plan to pursue a condo, it generally is a good idea to know exactly what to expect. That way, you can map out a successful condo buying journey, one that ensures you can avoid potential pitfalls along the way.

Ultimately, there are many factors to consider as you get ready to embark on the condo buying journey, and these include:

1. Where You Want to Live

The condos in a big city often are very different from those available in a small town. Thus, you should make a list of your condo must-haves prior to starting a condo search to boost the likelihood of a seamless condo buying experience.

Furthermore, think about where you want to live before you kick off your condo search Ė you'll be happy that you did. Because if you can narrow your condo search to properties in a group of cities or towns, you may be able to speed up your condo search.

2. Your Budget

If you intend to buy a condo, you'll likely need a mortgage. Thankfully, many banks and credit unions are available, and these lenders can teach you everything that you need to know to put together a successful budget.

Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists. If you connect with these mortgage specialists, you can learn about a variety of mortgage options and make an informed mortgage selection.

Also, don't forget to plan ahead for potential condo dues. Most condos provide lawn care, snow removal and other amenities that are covered under monthly or annual condo fees. Although these fees may not be included in your mortgage, you'll need to put aside funds each month to cover them. Therefore, you'll want to account for potential condo fees as you craft your condo buying budget.

3. Condo Living

Living in a condo and residing in a house are not the same thing. As such, you should try to prepare for condo living as much as possible to ensure that the condo lifestyle is right for you.

For example, condo owners typically won't have to worry about performing lawn care thanks to their condo fees. At the same time, condo owners will need to comply with various regulations established by a community's homeowner's association (HOA). In fact, failure to comply with HOA rules could result in fines or other penalties.

If you want to get a better understanding about what it's like to live in a particular condo community, it may be beneficial to consult with a real estate agent with condo buying expertise. This housing market expert can offer insights into different condo communities in your city or town. Then, if you want to pursue a condo in a specific community, a real estate agent can help you purchase your ideal condo.

Ready to take the guesswork out of buying a condo? Consider the aforementioned factors, and you can streamline the process of going from condo buyer to condo owner.




Tags: Condo   buyer tips  
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Posted by Jane Dunlap on 10/21/2018

When you budget to buy a home, you sit down, do the math, and try to estimate what all of your monthly costs will be. There are so many monthly costs that come with being a homeowner that can make the whole process complicated. Sure, you have taken the standard costs into account like home insurance, property taxes, and even utilities. But there are a few out-of-the-box costs that youíll need to consider for your house hunt.


Flood Or Other Natural Disaster Insurance


Natural disasters are costly and devastating. Many homeowners who live in areas that are affected by natural disasters like floods and earthquakes often opt for additional coverage for their homes. Premiums for earthquake and flood insurance often end up being very high. As a natural disaster strikes, these premiums can go up even more. If you live in one of the high-risk areas for natural disasters, youíll want to check with your insurance agent ahead of time to plan for the additional costs that these special kinds of insurance will incur.


Water Costs During A Drought


There are many areas across the US that suffer drought conditions from time to time. Your water bill can skyrocket during these times. Itís best to continue conserving water and watch your bill closely in order to try and save some costs. Thereís not a whole lot you can do otherwise to control your bill. Youíll need to stay prepared with some extra cash on hand in case of these emergencies and know that costs can rise due to different environmental conditions.  


Tax Hikes And Special Assessments 


As a homeowner, youíll need to prepare for different kinds of assessments and tax increases. If your condominium complex needs significant repairs then youíll probably end up paying an assessment to help offset the costs. This is what comes with belonging to a homeownerís association. 


You canít prevent that the town is building a brand new school that requires a tax increase, nor can you prevent roof damage on one of the buildings in your complex. Financially, this is a hidden cost of homeownership that you should be prepared for. 


Unexpected Maintenance Costs And Home Furnishings


Once you move into a home, youíll need to prepare for the unexpected. The dishwasher may need to be replaced. The roof may need repair. The walls may need some paint. 


When you buy a home you may also need a bunch of things to furnish the home. These could include dishes, pots and pans, sofas, beds, and more. You donít want to leave your new home completely empty! You also donít want to be without vital appliances like an oven or a sink for too long if they are outdated or in disrepair. This is why itís a good idea to have extra money on hand to deal with any of these costs.


The best rule of thumb to follow when buying a home is to always be prepared with a but of extra cash on hand to avoid major issues down the road.           






Posted by Jane Dunlap on 10/14/2018

If you're in the process of preparing your home for the real estate market, get ready to roll up your sleeves and make your home as irresistible as possible!

While this may sound like an enormous undertaking that you don't have the time or energy to tackle, remember one thing: When you put your home up for sale, there's a lot at stake!

Generally, the longer your house stays on the market, the less marketable it becomes. If potential buyers learn that your house has been on the market for longer than, say, a few months, one of the first questions they'll ask or think will be "What's wrong with it?" Once questions like that start arising, the overall appeal of your home begins to decline. As you can imagine, your ability to get the highest possible price for your house also weakens over time. That's why it's important to do everything possible to enhance the look and feel of your home.

Home Staging Counts

Although effective home staging can be a crucial aspect of selling your house quickly, there is a point at which diminishing returns may come into play. Few home sellers have unlimited time and money to invest in staging their home, and it's easy to go above and beyond what's actually necessary to secure a buyer.

There are dozens of variables that affect a house selling strategy, including the real estate market and the condition of your home. If it's a "buyers' market" and there are a lot of comparable houses for sale in your neighborhood, then you might have to work a little harder to make your home stand out and attract offers. If you're fortunate enough to be in a desirable area and not facing a lot of competition from other home sellers, then the law of supply and demand should work in your favor! However, it's still important to make the most of your property's curb appeal and the overall appearance of your home's interior.

The cost of home staging can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands, but your real estate agent can provide invaluable guidance on how to cost-effectlively maximize the "eye appeal" of your house and property. While perfection is generally an unattainable standard in home staging (or anything else), optimal results only come from putting your best foot forward.

Several words to remember and be guided by when preparing a house for sale are "immaculate", "spotless", "manicured" (lawn), "fresh" (looking and smelling), "updated", "well-maintained", and "charming". If prospective buyers are using those words and phrases to describe your home, then you know you're on the right track! Your agent can provide you with helpful insights and suggestions for making a great impression on potential buyers -- without having to spend more on home staging than necessary!







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