Ann Marie Martin


Posted by Ann Marie Martin on 1/21/2019

 If you're in the process of searching for the ideal home for you and your family, there are many things to think about and evaluate.

While factors like the quality of neighborhoods and school districts may top your list, another important feature worth prioritizing is convenience. Since life is already complicated enough, it makes sense to simplify your daily routines whenever possible! The perfect time to set the stage for a simpler, easier lifestyle is when you're shopping for your next home. Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind when looking for ways to help make life easier

Short commutes: When you consider all the advantages of living close to your job or business, the benefits are undeniable! A relatively short daily commute not only helps you manage your stress level, but it also enables you to spend more time with your family... and less time dealing with rush hour traffic! A shorter commute can also save you money on gasoline, wear and tear on your car, and highway tolls.

A first-floor laundry: Unless you find ways to streamline and simplify your weekly laundry tasks, it quickly becomes a burdensome chore! Having to carry loads of laundry up and down basement stairs can definitely be tiring -- both physically and mentally. (It can be even more unpleasant if you buy a house with an unfinished basement.) The solution, of course, is to tell your real estate agent that you'd strongly prefer a home with first floor (or even second-floor) laundry hookups. Persuading your family to cooperate with organizing and sorting their own laundry items is also a good goal, but is easier said than done!

Two-car garage with remote control: After a hectic day at the office (or wherever you happen to work), there's nothing like the convenience of an automatic garage door and a spacious, private parking area waiting for you at home. In addition to the convenience, it's nice knowing your cars will be much more secure in an enclosed garage. It's also a great way to stay dry and warm when unpleasant weather is around.

Proximity to stores: The ideal location for your next home is close to grocery stores, pharmacies, and other services you and your family use on a regular basis. As is the case with job commuting distances, if you can live within a half an hour of places you need to drive to frequently, it makes day-to-day life much easier. While few neighborhoods are "a stone's throw" from everywhere you'll want to go, being close to supermarkets and other essential conveniences can save you time and provide you with a quick solution to having no milk, bread, or dinner food in the house!

So if you are getting ready to buy, or currently in the market, connect with your agent on the essentials you would like in your new home today.





Posted by Ann Marie Martin on 1/14/2019

A homebuyer who considers the seller's perspective may be better equipped than others to enjoy a successful property buying experience. In fact, this buyer should have no trouble submitting a competitive offer to purchase – something that may lead to a fast home purchase.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you analyze the seller's perspective.

1. Review a Home Listing

A home listing provides a great opportunity to learn about a house. It also enables you to analyze how long a house has been available, a residence's features and other factors that may dictate your decision to pursue a residence.

Assess a home listing closely. If you believe your expectations fall in line with a seller's after reviewing a listing, you may want to consider setting up an in-person showing. Or, if you believe a home does not match expectations, you may want to continue to look for your dream house.

2. Check Out a House In-Person

If you find a home you may want to buy, it generally is a good idea to set up an in-person showing. At this point, you can see how a seller has maintained a house and determine if a home is right for you.

Typically, a real estate agent is ready to respond to a buyer's concerns and questions during a showing. This housing market professional may be able to provide insights into why a seller has listed his or her residence. And as a result, you can use these insights to make an informed decision about how to proceed with a house.

3. Understand the Local Housing Market

The local housing market fluctuates, and it may favor buyers or sellers. If you study the local real estate sector, you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market – or vice-versa.

In a buyer's market, there may be an abundance of quality houses available at budget-friendly prices. On the other hand, in a seller's market, there may be a shortage of first-rate houses, and those that are available may be in high demand among buyers.

Keep in mind how a seller's perspective may vary based on the current housing market's conditions as well. If a buyer's market is in place, a seller may be ready to accept a competitive offer to purchase his or her residence. Conversely, in a seller's market, a seller may be reluctant to accept an offer to purchase that falls below his or her initial home asking price.

Lastly, as you get set to embark on the homebuying journey, you may want to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can teach you everything you need to know about buying a house. He or she can help you analyze the seller's perspective and make an informed home purchase too.

Ready to navigate the homebuying journey? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can assess the seller's perspective and boost the likelihood of enjoying a successful homebuying experience.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  


Posted by Ann Marie Martin on 12/10/2018

When you think of your real estate budget, you should know that the more you spend on a home, the more overhead costs you’ll face. You’ll need to pay for things like real estate agent fees, attorneys fees, and other closing costs. The more you pay for a house, the higher all of these fees will be since they are usually percentage based. So, the overarching question is how do you budget and find a reasonable amount of money to spend on a home? 


Prioritize


Your real estate agent may show you a myriad of homes across many different price ranges. Each property will have pros and cons. You can look at seeing these homes as an educational experience. Viewing properties could even help you hone in on what you want in a home. There are a few good reasons to look at homes above your budget range. 


Housing Prices Could Rise Or Drop


When housing prices begin to rise, people tend to believe that they’ll keep climbing. The panic couldn’t be further from the truth. Eventually, the prices need to drop. The idea of buying a property and adding value is to make a bit of a profit back when you go to sell. You need to be prepared for anything when you head out to buy a home. Price changes will apply to you if you plan on living in your new home only for a specified period. If you don’t have plans in your future to move, you may not worry about home value changes quite as much when shopping for a property. 


Mortgages End Eventually


If you plan ahead, you don’t have to pay mortgages for the rest of your life. If you keep moving and taking out 30-year mortgages, you could be making mortgage payments forever. If the average family stays in their home for around a decade, that's not a significant amount of time. Here, you’ll find a great reason not to max out your budget on a home. If you buy a less expensive house, you can get the mortgage paid off faster. You may even be able to take the mortgage out for a shorter term. Paying your home off more quickly allows your financial freedom. It’s simple, yet many people opt for a bigger house that they aren’t planning on staying in, causing a bit of a financial headache.


You Need A Rainy Day Fund


If you avoid maxing out your budget to buy a home, you’ll be able to save a bit for any emergencies that come up. You will be under less stress knowing that you have a little bit of money set aside in case your home needs major repairs, or you face a job loss or illness. In conclusion, it’s never a good idea to max out your budget on a home purchase.                    





Tags: Buying a home  
Categories: budgeting  


Posted by Ann Marie Martin on 12/3/2018

For those who want to acquire a house, it helps to get your finances in order. That way, you can quickly and effortlessly navigate the homebuying journey without having to worry about how you'll afford your dream house.

There are many quick, easy ways to straighten out your finances before you embark on the homebuying journey, such as:

1. Assess Your Credit Score

Your credit score ultimately can play a major role in your ability to secure a great mortgage. If you understand your credit score, you may be able to find ways to improve it prior to conducting a home search.

It is important to remember that you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report annually from each of the credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Request a free copy of your credit report today, and you can take the first step to evaluate your credit score.

If you find that your credit score is low, there is no need to worry. You can always pay off outstanding debt to improve your credit score over time.

Also, if you identify any errors on your credit report, you'll want to address these mistakes immediately. In this scenario, you should contact the agency that provided the report to ensure any necessary corrections can be made.

2. Look Closely at Your Monthly Expenses

When it comes to buying a house, it generally helps to have sufficient funds for a down payment. The down payment on a house may fall between 5 and 20 percent of a home's sale price, so you'll want to have enough money available to cover this total for your dream residence.

If you evaluate your monthly expenses, you may be able to find ways to save money for a down payment on a house.

For example, it may be beneficial to cut out cable TV for the time being and use the money that you save toward a home down payment. Or, if your dine out frequently, cooking at home may prove to be a substantial money-saver that could help you speed up the process of saving for a down payment.

3. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

With pre-approval for a mortgage, you can enter the housing market with a budget in hand. Then, you'll be better equipped than ever before to narrow your search to houses that fall within your price range.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you'll want to meet with banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can teach you about different mortgage options and help you assess all of the options at your disposal.

Furthermore, don't hesitate to ask banks and credit unions about how different types of mortgages work. This will enable you to gain the insights that you need to make an informed decision about a mortgage based on your financial situation.

If you need extra help as you prepare to pursue a house, you may want to hire a real estate agent as well. In fact, a real estate agent can help you find a high-quality house at a budget-friendly price in no time at all.




Categories: Mortgage   Buying a Home   Financing  


Posted by Ann Marie Martin on 10/29/2018

Purchasing a home may prove to be a good idea. In fact, there are many reasons to pursue a house, and these include:

1. You can purchase a home that you can call your own.

There is nothing quite like the feeling an individual typically experiences after he or she buys a house. If you conduct a search for your dream residence, you can enjoy this one-of-a-kind feeling in the near future.

Of course, if you decide to purchase a home, you may want to establish property buying criteria. This will allow you to hone your home search and accelerate the property buying journey.

As you put together homebuying criteria, think about where you want to reside and what features you want to find in your ideal residence. Then, you can begin the homebuying journey with a plan to achieve the best-possible results.

2. You could save money over the long haul.

Let's face it – the costs of renting an apartment, condo or house can add up over time. On the other hand, a home is a long-term investment that may help you save money in comparison to renting a property.

If you decide to launch a home search, you may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage too. Banks and credit unions are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these financial institutions can teach you everything you need to know about home financing. As a result, if you meet with banks and credit unions in your area, you can find a mortgage that complements your finances perfectly.

3. You can personalize your residence however you choose.

A house is more than just a place where you eat, sleep and store all of your personal belongings. And if you acquire a residence, you can transform an ordinary house into a personalized home.

As a homeowner, you can paint your home any color you choose, perform assorted house upgrades and much more. Therefore, homeowners enjoy unprecedented flexibility and can customize a house so it matches or exceeds their expectations.

For those who are ready to pursue a house, it often helps to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can offer plenty of guidance throughout the property buying journey and ensure you can quickly discover your dream house.

A real estate agent will keep you up to date about houses that fall within your price range, set up home showings and help you submit an offer to purchase your ideal residence. Plus, a real estate agent will negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf to help you pay the lowest price for your dream home. And if you ever have concerns or questions during your home search, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them right away.

Ultimately, buying a home is a good idea for many people. If you hire a real estate agent today, you can instantly start a home search and move one step closer to acquiring your dream residence.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips