Ann Marie Martin


Posted by Ann Marie Martin on 10/15/2018

The amount of time it takes to find the perfect residence varies from buyer to buyer. In some instances, a buyer may fall in love with the first residence that he or she views in person. Or, in other cases, a buyer may need to attend several home showings and open house events before he or she finds the right residence.

It ultimately may take more than a single day to find your dream residence. Lucky for you, we are here to help you streamline your quest for your dream house and ensure you can find the right home faster than ever before.

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

1. Create a List of Homebuying Criteria

You know you want to buy a home as quickly as possible. With a list of homebuying criteria at your disposal, you'll be better equipped than ever before to discover a house that suits you perfectly.

Think about where you'd like to reside and the features you want in your dream house. Then, you can narrow your house search and move one step closer to finding a residence that matches or exceeds your expectations.

2. Get Your Finances in Order

Pre-approval for a mortgage can make a world of difference, particularly for a buyer who wants to speed up his or her home search. If you learn about all of your mortgage options, you can select a mortgage that complements your finances and enter the real estate market with a mortgage in hand.

Many banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists. By meeting with various financial institutions, you can learn about a broad array of mortgage options. Plus, you can receive comprehensive insights into fixed and adjustable-rate mortgages and make an informed mortgage selection.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

For those who want to quickly and effortlessly find their dream residence, it may be beneficial to collaborate with a real estate agent. In fact, a real estate agent can help a homebuyer remove the guesswork commonly associated with searching for a residence.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to discover a great residence at a budget-friendly price. First, he or she will meet with you and learn about your homebuying goals. A real estate agent then will put together a personalized homebuying strategy. Next, a real estate agent will help you put your homebuying strategy into action. And when you discover your dream residence, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase this house.

As you get ready to conduct a house search, you may want to hire a real estate agent soon. If you have an expert real estate agent at your side, you can get the help you need to find your dream house. Best of all, a real estate agent will go the extra mile to ensure you can seamlessly navigate all stages of the property buying journey.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  


Posted by Ann Marie Martin on 9/24/2018

We’re not taught much about homeownership when we’re young. Like paying bills and taxes, it’s something we’re all expected to pick up along the way. But with something as important and expensive as buying a home, there should be a guide to help first time homeowners determine if they’re ready to enter the real estate market.

Today, we’re going to attempt to provide you with that guide. We’ll offer some of the prerequisites to homeownership to help you determine if you’re ready to buy your first home.

A rite of passage

Buying a house is a significant moment in anyone’s life. It’s often a precursor to starting a career, a family, and settling in a part of the country you will likely call home for a large portion of your life.

It’s also overwhelming.

There’s much to prepare for before buying your first home. You’ll be calculating a lot of expenses, thinking about jobs and schools, and learning new things about home maintenance. Here are some things to think about before buying your first home.

Can I afford it?

The most obvious question first time buyers ask themselves is whether they can afford a home. What many don’t ask, however, is if they can afford all of the unexpected expenses that come with homeownership.

Everyone knows they’ll be making mortgage payments. But to decide if you can really afford a home you’ll have to make a detailed budget. Here are some other expenses to consider:

  • Mortgage closing costs

  • Property tax

  • Home insurance

  • Maintenance and repairs

  • Home improvement

  • All utilities

  • Moving costs

Do I plan on staying in the area?

When you buy a home, you’re not just committing yourself to the house itself, but also to the area you live in. Typically, it only makes sense to buy a home if you’re planning on staying in it for a number of years (usually five or more). Ask yourself the following questions to determine if you can truly commit yourself to your area.

  • Could my career lead me to transferring to another location?

  • Could my spouse’s career lead them to transferring?

  • If children are in the present/future, is the local school district what I’m looking for in terms of education for my child?

  • Will I want to move live to family?

  • Will I have to move soon to care for aging parents?

  • Do I like the weather and culture in the area?

Is my income stable?

Owning a home is much easier when you have a stable income or two stable incomes between you and your significant other. It help you get preapproved for a mortgage and help you rest easy knowing that you can keep up with the bills each month to maintain or build your credit.

Stability doesn’t just mean feeling comfortable that your company won’t get closed down or that you’ll be dismissed from your job. It also means that there are frequent openings in your field of work in the area you choose to live. So, when planning to buy a home, make sure you factor in the potential travel distance to cities or places you could potentially work.

Am I prepared to put in extra work?

If you currently rent an apartment, you’re most likely not responsible for maintenance outside of basic cleaning. Owning a home is a different story. You’ll be taking care of the house inside and out. That means learning basic maintenance and buying the tools for the job.

It also means mowing the lawn, cleaning the gutters, shoveling snow off of the roof, and other menial tasks that you’ll need to make time for.





Posted by Ann Marie Martin on 9/17/2018

A "lowball" homebuying proposal is unlikely to do you any favors, particularly if you want to acquire your dream residence as quickly as possible. In fact, after you submit a lowball offer, it may be only a matter of time before you receive a "No" from a home seller.

When it comes to buying a house, it helps to prepare a competitive offer. That way, you can increase the likelihood of getting a seller to accept your home offer and speed up the homebuying journey.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you avoid the risk of submitting a lowball offer on your dream residence.

1. Analyze the Housing Market

Are you searching for a house in a buyer's or seller's market? Are homes selling quickly in the current real estate market? And are houses selling at, above or below their initial asking prices? These are just some of the questions that homebuyers need to consider as they assess the real estate sector.

With a diligent approach to buying a house, a homebuyer can become a real estate market expert. This buyer can assess a wide assortment of housing market data, and by doing so, gain the insights that he or she needs to submit a competitive offer on any residence.

2. Understand a Home's Condition

A home purchase is one of the biggest transactions that an individual will complete over the course of his or her lifetime. As such, the decision to submit an offer on a house should not be taken lightly.

To make the best-possible choice, it helps to look at all of the available information about a residence. You should review a home listing closely and attend a home showing. In many instances, it may be beneficial to check out a house a few times to get an up-close look at it before you submit an offer.

The condition of a home will play a major role in how much you are willing to offer to acquire a residence. Therefore, you should learn as much as possible about a house's condition. And if you feel comfortable with a home, you should be ready to submit an offer that will match a seller's expectations.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Hiring a real estate agent generally is a good idea, particularly for a homebuyer who wants to reduce the risk of submitting a lowball offer on a house. A real estate agent can help a homebuyer prepare a competitive offer, as well as ensure that a buyer can enjoy a seamless home transaction.

Furthermore, a real estate agent will allocate the necessary time and resources to help you analyze a house. He or she will even offer homebuying recommendations and teach you everything you need to know about the homebuying cycle.

Avoid the temptation to submit a lowball offer on a house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can submit a competitive proposal to acquire your dream residence.





Posted by Ann Marie Martin on 8/13/2018

If buying a home is something you’re considering, you might be curious about the different types of mortgages that are available to you. After all, the interest rate on your loan could have a huge impact on your finances over time, saving you thousands of dollars.

In today’s post, I’m going to demystify the home loan by explaining the most common types of mortgages. That way, you’ll be able to approach a lender with a bit of context and knowledge to help make the best mortgage decision for you and your family.

Fixed-rate mortgages

The most common types of home loans in the United States today are fixed-rate mortgages. A fixed-rate mortgage has the benefit of stability in terms of its interest rate--year after year, or the lifetime of your loan, you know exactly what percent of interest you’re going to pay.

Fixed-rate mortgages most frequently come with repayment terms of 15 or 30 years. However, some lenders offer different repayment periods.

As with any debt, paying off a mortgage in a shorter term typically amounts to paying less interest over the lifespan of the loan. For this reason, buyers who can afford higher monthly mortgage payments often opt for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage.

If you can’t afford higher monthly payments, a 30-year loan will typically have lower mortgage payments, but at the expense of paying more interest over the life of the loan.

The 30-year option is the most often in the United States, where first-time buyers typically have too many other monthly bills to afford a high mortgage payment.

Adjustable-rate mortgages

Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) were once an ideal option for first-time buyers who could purchase a home at a very low interest rate and then refinancing once that rate was set to rise. However, after the housing crisis of 2007, trust in the housing market drastically declined.

In recent years, ARMs have begun to make a comeback. However, they currently still only account for around 5% of home loans.

Adjustable-rate mortgages come with one important advantage and one huge disadvantage over fixed-rate mortgages. The upside is the ability to borrow money for a home at a lower interest rate than other mortgage types. The down side? Your interest rate isn’t locked in for the length of the loan, meaning your rate could, in theory, rise dramatically before you sell or pay off the home. This is exactly what happened to borrowers during the subprime mortgage crisis.

Guaranteed loans

There are a number of special loan programs that have been sponsored by the government over the years. Among them are USDA rural development loans, VA loans for veterans and their spouses, and FHA loans offered by the Federal Housing Authority.

All of these loans make it easier to buy a home with little or no down payment or a credit score that’s less than perfect. That makes these options great for first-time homeowners.




Tags: Mortgage   Buying a home  
Categories: Mortgage   Buying a Home  


Posted by Ann Marie Martin on 6/18/2018

Purchasing a residence may seem like a long, complicated journey. However, there are many ways to simplify the homebuying process, including: 1. Become an Educated Homebuyer. The real estate market constantly changes, and as such, you'll want to conduct plenty of research to ensure you fully understand this sector. Remember, an informed homebuyer is better equipped to make the best decisions. And if you study the real estate market closely, you may be able to identify trends that could help you find the right home at the right price. Homebuyers who can differentiate between a sellers' market and a buyers' market, for instance, could reap the benefits of a great deal on a residence. In fact, these homebuyers may be able to determine the ideal time to buy a home and discover the perfect house quickly. Furthermore, don't forget to consider how you'll pay for your home and dedicate the time and resources to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will ensure you're able to budget appropriately, and eventually, can find an affordable, high-quality house. 2. Remain Flexible. The homebuying process rarely, if ever, is simple. As such, you need to understand that challenges will arise during the process and remain flexible to resolve such issues. In many cases, a flexible homebuyer is a happy homebuyer, i.e. one who remains calm, cool and collected under pressure. And if you strive to be flexible, you can negotiate properly and find the best deal on a home. It also is important to note that friends and family members can support you throughout the homebuying process. Plus, if any of your friends and family members have purchased a home recently, they may be able to provide assistance as you work toward buying a home. 3. Hire an Experienced Real Estate Agent. Have you found an experienced real estate agent to guide you along the homebuying process? If not, you might miss out on a golden opportunity to explore a vast array of top-notch residences in your area. A real estate agent is a must for those who want to streamline the homebuying process, and for good reason. This professional knows the ins and outs of the real estate sector and will be ready to respond to any of your concerns or queries. Furthermore, a real estate agent can help you handle negotiations with a home seller and ensure you're able to get the best price on a home at any time. Lastly, a real estate agent can serve as a trusted resource and will help you set realistic expectations for your next home. This professional will be happy to provide honest advice along the way too, ensuring you're able to find the right home for your needs and budget. The homebuying process represents an uphill climb for many homebuyers, and as a result, can be intimidating. But with the aforementioned tips at your disposal, you'll be better equipped to discover the idea home in a short period of time.