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



Posted by Jane Dunlap on 8/19/2018

Purchasing a home may prove to be an arduous process, particularly for those who fail to plan ahead for the property buying journey. Thankfully, there are many quick, easy ways to streamline the homebuying cycle.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you become a smart homebuyer.

1. Study the Real Estate Market

A smart homebuyer realizes the housing market fluctuates constantly. In fact, a real estate market that favors sellers today may favor buyers tomorrow, or vice-versa. But if a homebuyer reviews the housing sector closely, he or she can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market and plan accordingly.

Oftentimes, it helps to analyze the prices of recently sold houses in your preferred cities and towns. This will enable you to see whether houses are selling at or near their initial asking prices. It also will allow you to find out how long homes are available before they sell.

2. Obtain Home Financing

A smart homebuyer understands the importance of getting a mortgage before he or she pursues a residence. Thus, this buyer will meet with lenders and get pre-approved for home financing to further accelerate the homebuying journey.

Generally, it won't take long to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists who can help homebuyers quickly analyze various home financing options. These specialists can teach you about a broad array of mortgage options and help you weigh the pros and cons of different mortgages. Then, once you evaluate all of your mortgage options, you can select a mortgage and kick off the homebuying journey with a budget in hand.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

A smart homebuyer knows that working alone to find and purchase a house can be difficult. Therefore, this buyer will allocate time and resources to hire a real estate agent who can provide comprehensive assistance throughout the homebuying journey.

Typically, a real estate agent is a must-have for a homebuyer, regardless of the current housing market's conditions. A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of the housing sector and is happy to share his or her expertise with any homebuyer, at any time.

When it comes to navigating the homebuying journey, a real estate agent is ready to help you in any way possible. For instance, if you need help finding a residence in a particular city or town, a real estate agent will make it simple to narrow your house search. On the other hand, if you want to buy a new house as quickly as possible, a real estate agent will ensure you can discover your dream residence on your timeline. Best of all, a real estate agent will respond to any of your homebuying concerns and questions and help you make informed decisions at each stage of the homebuying cycle.

Enter the housing market as a smart homebuyer Ė use the aforementioned tips, and you can increase the likelihood of enjoying a successful homebuying journey.




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Posted by Jane Dunlap on 8/12/2018

While many homes are sold on the basis of emotional appeal or location, there are plenty of other factors which can help tip the scales in your direction. As a home seller, the more advantages and desirable features you can offer to potential buyers, the greater your chances of attracting multiple offers.

If your kitchen and bathrooms haven't been updated for decades, that could easily become a major stumbling block to attracting qualified buyers. Unless their plan is to remodel your kitchen after they buy your home (which is not likely), house hunters are generally not going to look kindly upon old laminate counter tops -- especially those with the ghastly colors from the sixties and seventies! The good news about making your outdated kitchen and home more marketable is that you have the option of resurfacing old countertops rather that completely replacing them.

Although it's generally a good idea to have professionals do this, you can cosmetically improve the appearance of your kitchen countertops by resurfacing them with granite sheets or tile. Resurfacing is also a relatively inexpensive way to help restore aging kitchen cabinets -- another aspect of your home that potential buyers are going to notice.

According to a recent study, quite a few buyers are drawn to features like stainless steel appliances, subway tiles, farmhouse sinks, Shaker cabinets, exposed brick, pendant lights, and quartz countertops. By the way, Quartz does offer some advantages over granite because it's more scratch resistant, maintenance free, and doesn't need to be sealed or polished.

Other features which attract home buyers include energy-efficient windows and appliances, sufficient insulation in attic and elsewhere (many older homes lack this), low-maintenance flooring (not carpeting), roofing that's been replaced within the past decade, finished or semi-finished basements, first-floor/separate laundry rooms, newer hot water heaters (extra points for tankless units), outdoor security lighting, fenced backyards, and dry basements. If you do have issues with excess moisture or leaks in your basement, it may be helpful to install a sump pump, a dehumidifier, French drains, or other dry basement remedies to address those issues before they're brought up by prospective buyers.

While there are certain aspects of your property that can not be changed, such as proximity to neighbors or the school district in which you're located, their are plenty of cost effective ways to improve the appearance and functionality of your home before you try to sell it. To identify problems before they become obstacles, some homeowners hire a property inspector to point out issues. That way, they're not blindsided by unexpected structural, mechanical, electrical, drainage, or energy conservation issues they might not be aware of. In addition to a reputable property inspector, a seasoned real estate agent can also be one of your best advisors when you're ready to put your home on the market.





Posted by Jane Dunlap on 8/5/2018

Adding your house to the real estate market today may prove to be a great decision. In fact, there are many terrific reasons to list your home today, including:

1. You may be able to generate a profit on your house.

If you maintained your home over the years, the residence may have increased in value. Thus, you may be better equipped than other home sellers to generate a profit on your residence.

Furthermore, if you're preparing to enter a seller's market, you may be able to earn a significant profit in no time at all.

A seller's market frequently includes an abundance of homebuyers and a shortage of home sellers. As such, if you add a high-quality house to a seller's market, it may be only a matter of time before you receive multiple offers at or above your initial asking price.

2. You can downsize your home or upgrade to a larger residence.

Although your current residence may have served you well for an extended period of time, now may prove to be a great time for a change. Fortunately, if you add your house to the real estate market, you can take the next step to downsize your residence or upgrade to a larger residence.

For those who want to downgrade, it may be simple to sell a house and get rid of excess items at the same time. Then, you can relocate to a smaller residence that better suits your budget and personal needs.

On the other hand, those who want to move into a bigger and better residence can explore a vast array of residences any time they choose. After a home seller finds a buyer for his or her residence, this individual will have plenty of funds to pursue a superior residence as well.

3. You can embark on a new adventure.

Selling a home opens new doors for any individual, at any time.

For example, you can use the funds from your home sale to go on a cross-country journey. Or, you may choose to move closer to family members and friends in another area of the country. Regardless of which option you choose, you won't have to worry about being saddled to a home mortgage after you sell your residence.

Consider the short- and long-term ramifications of selling your house, along with what you'll do immediately following a home sale. By doing so, you can map out the next stage of your life.

Of course, if you ever have concerns or questions about selling a house, it is always best to consult with a real estate agent. With a housing market professional at your side, you can receive expert insights throughout the home selling journey.

A real estate agent will keep you up to date about offers on your house and offer honest, unbiased home selling recommendations. In addition, he or she is ready to respond to your home selling queries at any time.

Get ready to sell your home Ė meet with a real estate agent, and you can take the next step to add your residence to the real estate market.




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Posted by Jane Dunlap on 7/29/2018

Since the dawn of the internet age, a growing number of homeowners and bill payers are asking themselves if they really need to keep paying for cable television.

Thereís a lot to consider when it comes to cable. While there are many services that you can find most services and shows that cable TV provides, there arenít any that offer the full package.

Ultimately, the choice of whether or not to cut the cord is down to personal preference. In this post, weíre going to talk about some of the ways you can save by getting rid of cable TV, the services that you can use instead of cable, and what to expect from those services.

The case for cord cutting

Weíre not at a point where you can usually bundle up services to get all of the things you watch on cable TV and then some. Some people argue, however, that to truly get a wide selection of sports, news, and TV shows you would end up paying the same amount as you do for cable. How do they arrive at those figures?

Say you pay about $20 per month for Netflix and Amazon Prime. But you still donít have the sports channels you want so you have to add an additional service. Then you notice your video stream keeps pausing and lagging so you have to upgrade your internet.

If you want every channel under the sun and the highest internet to stream them on, yes it could cost as much to ditch cable as it would be to keep it. But the reality is that most people donít want or need that many services or channels. People donít have time to watch that many shows when they get home from work, and are more than happy with the selection that one $8 per month service offers them.

Alternatives to monthly streaming services

Another thing opponents of cord cutting ignore is the fact that there are a number of services you can get for free that would replace some of the things that cable TV offers.

A number of news channels, as well as entertainment services like YouTube are streaming online for free. You have to watch the occasional advertisement, but you have to do that with cable TV anyway.

If there are local channels you feel youíre missing out on, you can still use a TV antenna, which are broadcasting a higher quality than ever. For $30, you can have access to channels for free over the air (OTA).

OTA channels vary based on your location, so be sure to check to see what the signal is like in your area.

The decision

The best way to decide if youíre ready to ditch cable is to find out which channels and shows you still want access to and to see if you can get them cheaper online. Thatís it.

Odds are your internet is going to be strong enough to stream a show (unless you have a house full of kids trying to do the same thing). So, look into the streaming options, do the math, and make the best informed decision for your household.




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Posted by Jane Dunlap on 7/22/2018

You know that you want to buy a house, but you may have only a limited amount of time to conduct a home search and discover your ideal residence. Luckily, there are many things that you can do to speed up your homebuying timeline.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you accelerate your journey from homebuyer to homeowner.

1. Refine Your House Search

A list of homebuying criteria is a must-have, particularly for a property buyer who wants to enjoy a quick, seamless house search. In fact, with homebuying criteria in hand, you can refine your house search and move one step closer to finding your dream residence.

As you craft a list of homebuying criteria, think about where you want to reside too. That way, you can further narrow your house search and focus exclusively on homes in your preferred cities and towns.

2. Get Pre-Approved for Home Financing

At first, it may seem like a lot of work to get pre-approved for a mortgage. But if you receive pre-approval for a mortgage, you may be able to avoid time-consuming home financing hurdles down the line.

Oftentimes, it does not take long to get the financing you need to buy a house. Banks and credit unions are available across the United States, and these financial institutions are happy to teach you about a variety of mortgage options. Then, you can select a mortgage that matches your financial needs and kick off your homebuying journey with a mortgage at your disposal.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you face a time crunch to purchase a house but don't know how to start the homebuying journey, there is no need to stress. By hiring a real estate agent who can offer in-depth homebuying guidance, you can find your dream house in no time at all.

A real estate agent will do everything possible to ensure you can speed up the homebuying journey. First, he or she will learn about your homebuying goals and help you create a homebuying strategy. A real estate agent next will help you search for residences and assess houses in the cities and towns of your choice. And if you discover a house that you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase your ideal residence.

Let's not forget about a real estate agent's housing market expertise, either. A real estate agent understands how to navigate a buyer's or seller's market. As a result, he or she will make it simple for you to review houses that match or exceed your expectations. If you have concerns or questions as you pursue your dream home, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them as well.

Ready to streamline the homebuying journey? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can quickly and effortlessly find a great house and make your homeownership dream come true.




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