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



Posted by Jane Dunlap on 2/18/2018

Ready to submit an offer on a house? Not so fast. First, you'll want to consider a few key questions, including:

1. Can I afford to buy a house?

If you find a house you like, make sure you can afford the monthly mortgage payments. By doing so, you may be able to avoid costly, time-consuming problems down the line.

Ultimately, getting pre-approved for a mortgage can make a world of difference, particularly for a homebuyer who is ready to submit an offer on a home.

With pre-approval for a mortgage, a homebuyer will understand exactly how much money is at his or her disposal. As a result, this homebuyer can avoid the temptation to overspend on a house.

2. Should I submit a "lowball" offer?

For many homebuyers, it may seem like a good idea to submit a "lowball" offer on a house. But doing so may be problematic for a number of reasons.

If you submit a lowball proposal, a home seller is unlikely to take your bid seriously. As such, this home seller may dismiss your offer and move on to other proposals quickly.

In addition, a lowball offer may cause you to miss out on the opportunity to acquire your dream residence.

When you locate the perfect residence, there is no need to leave anything to chance. If you submit a fair proposal that meets or exceeds a home seller's expectations, you can avoid the risk of losing your dream house to a rival homebuyer.

3. How much should I offer for a residence?

We've already established that a lowball offer is rarely, if ever, a good idea. Now, you'll just need to determine what differentiates a fair proposal from a lowball one.

A fair proposal accounts for the needs of both a homebuyer and home seller. It should be based on the current state of the housing market as well as the condition of a home.

For instance, if you're operating in a buyer's market, there is likely to be a broad assortment of homes available. This means a home seller may need to lower his or her expectations due to the sheer volume of quality residences currently on the market.

Don't forget to study the prices of recently sold homes in a particular city or town too. This housing market data will help you better understand how a residence you're considering stacks up against comparable houses so you can submit an appropriate offer.

4. Do I need a real estate agent?

A real estate agent will take the guesswork out of buying a home, and for good reason. This real estate professional can help you prepare an offer and will negotiate with a home seller on your behalf. That way, you can streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

Hire a real estate agent before you submit an offer on a house Ė you'll be glad you did. A real estate agent will guide you along the homebuying journey and ensure you can secure a great house at a price that fits your budget.




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Posted by Jane Dunlap on 1/28/2018

If youíre in the market to buy a home, you want to find the perfect place for you and your family. In a sellerís market, the competition can be fierce. As a buyer, you may be under the impression that you need to make the highest offer in order to secure the home of your dreams. The problem is, you may never know what price other people have offered for the same home.


Know Your Budget


First, you should know what kind of a budget you have to work with to buy a home. You probably have done an online search to see whatís out there and what price range the homes you like fall into. Youíll want to go beyond the online search and actually see some of your favorite houses in person because pictures can be deceiving. 


Next, youíll want to do is speak with a lender. This can help you before you even hit the ground running on your home search. A lender can pre-qualify you then work you through the process of pre-approval. This will give you a definitive number to work with when searching for a home. With this number, youíll know how much you can offer comfortably when you find that house you fall in love with.


Make A List Of Priorities


Finding the ďperfectĒ house usually requires that you make a few compromises along the way. Itís very unlikely that youíll find one house that gives you everything you want in one place without a bit of imagination. Jot down all of the things about a home that are the most important to you. These items could include:


  • The neighborhood
  • Big backyard
  • Open floor plan
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Hardwood floors
  • The size of the rooms
  • Style of the house
  • Granite countertops


Whatever is important to you should be on the list. Next, go through the list and see what can be compromised on. There are probably a few luxuries on the list that you could stand to give up in lieu of something else.  


The Offer


Once you find that home you know that you absolutely want to live in, youíre going to want to make an offer. Let your realtor know immediately that youíre interested in the home and they can get to work. Your realtor can help you to make an offer thatís reasonable based on the asking price and your budget. Your offer doesnít have to be thousands of dollars over the asking price for you to win the bid. There are a couple of strategies that can help you to land the right home even if youíre not stretching your budget to the max.


Showing Youíre Serious


Taking steps like being pre-approved and having all of your finances in order can help to give you the upper hand in the house hunt. Sellers donít want to deal with a buyer who is ultimately going to have issues where the deal will fall through.


The Offer Letter


Writing a letter along with your offer is a great personal touch to help you land the home of your dreams. If a seller knows that the home they have lived in and loved will go to another owner who is going to appreciate and take the same great care of the home, they will be more likely to go with you as a buyer. First, tell the seller a bit about yourself and why you love the home so much. Compliment the landscaping. Tell the seller just how much your kids are going to appreciate living in the home. Donít be afraid to get too personal when it comes to writing an offer letter to the sellers. They will appreciate honesty and a candid approach in the sometimes all too serious matter of buying a home.





Posted by Jane Dunlap on 1/21/2018

Credit plays an important role in your ability to secure a home loan and to qualify for a low-interest mortgage. However, many first-time homebuyers arenít arenít sure about the exact relationship between credit scores and mortgages.

This doesnít come as much of a surprise considering the many factors that go into your credit score and into your lenderís decision to approve you for a mortgage. So, in this article, weíre going to cover three commonly asked questions that homebuyers have about credit scores and how theyíre used by mortgage lenders to determine your eligibility for a home loan.

Will my credit score go down if I check my credit report?

If youíre thinking of buying a home in the near future, one of the first things youíll want to do is check your credit. However, if youíve heard that some credit inquiries briefly lower your credit score you might be hesitant to find out.


This common misconception stems from the fact that taking out new lines of credit results in a temporary decrease in your credit score. The difference between checking your credit and a credit inquiry is simple: a credit check you can access for free online through a service like Credit Karma, whereas a credit inquiry is performed by a lender or creditor with whom youíve applied for credit.

In short, checking your credit score online wonít affect your score. In fact, the major credit bureaus are required to allow you to check your credit for free once per year.

Can I get a loan with low credit?

Increasing your credit score is a lengthy process that requires careful financial management. Many people who have had difficulties paying off bills, loans, and credit cards will have to rebuild their credit. Or, if youíre young and donít have a diverse history of credit payments, youíll be starting from scratch to build your score.

If youíre hoping to get an FHA (first-time homeowner loan), the lowest your score can be is 580. However, that doesnít mean you should always take a loan with a low credit score. When you donít have a good credit history, lenders will seek other ways to guarantees their investment. This comes in the form of higher interest rates or PMI (private mortgage insurance) which youíll have to pay on top of your monthly home insurance and mortgage payments.

Will applying for a home loan affect my credit?

Simply stated, yes. However, applying for a loan or get preapproved is considered a credit inquiry and wonít leave any lasting negative on your credit score. Making several inquiries within a short period of time, however, can significantly lower your score, so choose your inquiries wisely. And, be sure to monitor your credit score on a monthly basis so you have an idea of where you stand along the road to applying for a home loan.




Tags: Buying a home   FAQ   homebuyers  
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Posted by Jane Dunlap on 1/14/2018

Seeing your desire to buy a waterfront property through is a big accomplishment. Before you sign on the dotted lines, there are a few things that you should know about the process of choosing the perfect waterfront property for you. 


Decide What You Need


The first step in finding the right property of any kind is understanding your own needs. How do you want to use the property? Will it be your year-round home, or will you be there only a portion of the year? Really map out what your priorities are when it comes to searching for waterfront properties. From here, you can figure out what areas youíd like to search in and what type of property you want to find to suit you. What types of activities will you be doing at your property? Will a lake property do the job or do you need an ocean escape? Is canoeing or kayaking a part of your dream, or is simply sitting by the water enough enjoyment for your needs? Answering all of these questions can help you to narrow down your needs for a waterfront property. 


Touring Properties


As with any other type of home search, you should take the time to scope out the properties that youíre interested in. This means not only looking at the properties themselves but looking at the communities and neighborhoods as well. What does the area have to offer you? Is it near a town or nestled away in a secluded spot? Remember that with a typical house the size of the home is what contributes to the majority of the value of the home. With a waterfront property, the surroundings are key. The closer to the water you are, the more valuable your piece of real estate is. Consider all of the typical factors when looking at properties along with the additional concerns of being close to the amenities and natural pleasures that you crave. 


Other Important Things To Consider


Other things that you should consider in finding your perfect piece of waterfront heaven are things like:


  • How close is the beach?
  • Does the beach or lake have easy access?
  • Is there an adequate amount of privacy at this property?
  • What kind of view is there?


The more breathtaking the views and the more space between you and your neighbors will give you an advantage not only in your own living situation but in renting out the property and even selling it in the future. 


There are a lot of things that go into making the decision of finding the right waterfront property. Sometimes, hiring an experienced realtor in the area can be just what you need to understand all the aspects of your investment from the area to the type of home you choose. Donít be afraid to hire an experienced realtor to help you in your search.   






Posted by Jane Dunlap on 12/10/2017

When you think of buying or selling a house, the first thing that comes to mind may not be the legal aspects associated with the process. You may want to reconsider this rather boring part of the process as an important one. Hiring a lawyer can help both buyers and sellers to get through many hurdles that buying a home can present. 


The Contracts


There will be many negotiations and a lot of back and forth throughout the process of buying a home. Everything thatís involved with buying a home needs a contract for it to be legally binding. A real estate attorney will negotiate on your behalf and be sure that the contracts adhere to all state and local laws. The lawyer will also help you to address issues that may affect the future of the property such as botched inspections, liens against the home, and other items that could affect you as the home buyer. 


Title Search


Real estate attorneys will perform what is called a title search. This allows them to see if there are any outstanding liens or judgements against the house. This title search will also make sure that the seller has the right to actually sell the property thatís being sold. An attorney can do all of this much quicker than the average person since they have working relationships with title companies.


Transfer Of Property


If a property is being transferred through a corporation, trust, or partnership, things can get complicated. Itís good to have an attorney who is used to working with these complex situations and understands the legal boundaries within the state or municipality   that the property is in.


If You Choose Not To Have A Real Estate Attorney


Many times, a real estate attorney isnít required to buy a property. It is advisable to have one, however. Without an attorney you increase your chances of problems arising in the future. You run the risk of:


  • Being sued for failure to disclose information
  • An improper property transaction takes place
  • You could miss relevant facts about the property
  • Failing to file the correct documents at both the state an local levels
  • Deeds are not transferred
  • Building permits werenít correctly filed


The Takeaway


Having a real estate lawyer on your side is important due to the complex nature of property transactions. While some states require that an attorney be present throughout your property transaction, many states do not have this stipulation. You are smart to hire a competent real estate attorney to protect your own interests as either a buyer or a seller.







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