Posted by Peggy Farber on 10/31/2018

Everyone defines the term "quality of life" differently, but if you asked 100 people, you'd probably hear a lot of similar answers.

According to a Gallup study entitled "The State of American Well-Being," the  basis for a good quality of life includes having a sense of purpose, feeling good about what you do every day, having supportive relationships, being motivated to achieve your goals, being able to effectively manage your finances, having the energy and health to pursue your interests, and sharing a sense of community pride. Feeling safe and liking where you live were also key ingredients in the formula for a high quality of life .

The Gallup/Sharecare report focuses on several aspects of community life, such as the role local governments play in offering amenities and resources to citizens. The study concluded that "communities that invest in active living, including bike paths, parks, walkability and public transit, have residents with better health and well-being outcomes."

While factors such as the quality of school districts and low crime rates are often foremost in the minds of house hunters, there's also a lot to be said for communities that offer public recreational facilities, educational programs, cultural events, and services that promote health, safety, and a clean environment.

Advantages that can help make one community more desirable and family friendly than another can range from free outdoor concerts and public tennis courts to the availability of farmers' markets and clean, updated playgrounds. Other features which can positively impact the quality of life in a community include well-maintained roads and bridges, the availability of dog parks, community parades, and programs to encourage the proper disposal of drugs, electronics, household chemicals, and recyclable products.

At the neighborhood level, quality of life is often measured by factors like noise, the condition of nearby properties, the overall safety and security of the area, and the amount of street traffic. Clean air, mature trees, and friendly neighbors can also contribute to a wholesome living environment that can be enjoyed for generations.

While there are many advantages to designing your own home or buying new construction, one might need to make short-term sacrifices when it comes to things like noise, neighborhood aesthetics, and other temporary inconveniences. Your real estate agent or home builder can probably fill you in on things like construction timetables and project completion dates.

If you're in the market for a new home, it's always a good idea to clarify in your own mind what you and your family needs to feel comfortable, happy, and secure. Creating a priority list of needs, desires, and preferences not only helps you stay focused in your real estate search, but also increases the probability that you'll be satisfied with your new home on a long-term basis.





Posted by Peggy Farber on 10/24/2018

Finding a deal on a new home sometimes can be difficult. Fortunately, we're here to help you shop for your dream residence so you can discover a house that matches your budget perfectly.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to ensure you can pay the lowest-possible price for your dream residence.

1. Be Aggressive During Your Home Search

Much in the same way that the early bird catches the worm, a homebuyer who tracks the real estate market closely is better equipped than others to discover a deal. If a buyer monitors the housing market in his or her preferred cities and towns, this individual may be able to pounce at the opportunity to acquire a quality house at an affordable price.

Oftentimes, it helps to make a list of homebuying criteria. This list will help you narrow your home search and eliminate houses that fall outside your price range.

You also may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage. With a mortgage in hand, you'll know precisely how much you can spend on a home and may be able to navigate the homebuying journey more quickly than other buyers.

2. Evaluate a Home's Strengths and Weaknesses

Once you discover your dream house, you likely won't want to wait long to submit a competitive offer to purchase. Because the longer you wait, the more likely it becomes that a rival homebuyer could make a move to acquire this residence.

If you find a home that you may want to purchase, analyze its strengths and weaknesses. This will allow you to determine whether the residence is right for you. And if you believe this house is the ideal choice, you can weigh the residence's strengths and weaknesses as you craft an offer to purchase.

Furthermore, there is no need to submit a "lowball" offer to purchase your ideal residence. If you review a home's condition, the current state of the housing market and other real estate factors, you should no trouble submitting a "fair" offer to purchase.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is committed to helping a homebuyer discover a terrific home that corresponds to his or her budget. As such, a real estate agent will collaborate with a buyer and ensure this individual's homeownership dream can come true.

Typically, a real estate agent and a homebuyer will work together to develop a property buying strategy. When this plan is in place, a real estate agent and a buyer will explore the housing market and find a great home at a price that suits the buyer.

A real estate agent is ready to provide comprehensive guidance for homebuyers too. And if a buyer ever has questions during the property buying cycle, a real estate agent is ready to respond to these queries at any time.

Want to pay a low price for your dream house? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can seamlessly navigate the real estate market and find a top-notch and budget-friendly house.




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Posted by Peggy Farber on 10/17/2018

Anyone can buy a home Ė all it takes is hard work and diligence to evaluate your home financing options. Fortunately, we're here to help you streamline the process of finding the financing that you'll need to pay for a residence.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you determine how you will afford a house.

1. Take a Look at Your Current Financial Situation

Put together a monthly budget that outlines your current spending patterns. This will enable you to review how much you earn, what you're paying for housing and other pertinent financial information.

After an in-depth review of your current financial situation, you'll be better equipped than ever before to determine how much you can pay for a house. Then, you can create a homebuying budget to help you move closer to acquiring your dream residence.

2. Get a Copy of Your Credit Report

In all likelihood, a lender will receive your credit score to determine whether you are a viable candidate for a mortgage. If you request a copy of your credit report today, you can learn about your credit score and take steps to improve it before you apply for a mortgage.

The three major credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) provide one free copy of a credit report annually. If you submit a request for your credit report, you can gain unprecedented credit insights in no time at all.

Furthermore, if you find errors on a credit report, don't hesitate to contact the reporting bureau. This will enable you to fix any credit report mistakes prior to applying for a mortgage.

3. Reach Out to Local Lenders

Banks and credit unions are happy to meet with you and discuss a variety of mortgage options. These lenders are available in cities and towns nationwide and can teach you everything you need to know about home financing.

Ultimately, lenders can explain the home financing process and ensure you can avoid any potential pitfalls along the way. And if you ever have mortgage concerns or questions, lenders are available to respond to them at any time.

If you need extra help prior to kicking off a home search, you may want to contact a real estate agent as well. This housing market professional understands the ins and outs of purchasing a house and can help you plan accordingly.

Oftentimes, a real estate agent will meet with you and learn about your homebuying goals. This housing market professional then can ensure you won't have to break your budget to afford a terrific residence.

If you want to buy a home but have limited finances at your disposal, a real estate agent is happy to assist you. Or, if you are searching for a mortgage but don't know where to begin, a real estate agent can put you in touch with top lenders.

Work with a real estate agent, and you can improve your chances of acquiring a first-rate house at an affordable price.





Posted by Peggy Farber on 9/12/2018

Sometimes, being in the hunt for a home feels like being in a race you canít win. You should craft an offer that they cant refuse in order to get ahead on the house hunt. The real estate market can be hot or cold. No matter what the market is like, having a solid offer can be very beneficial to you as a buyer. Hereís some tips for you to get the offer you make accepted:


Get Preapproved


When you get preapproved, youíre showing the seller that youíre a serious buyer. Being preapproved gives you a shorter closing time and helps you to clear any financing hurdles before you get to them.


Avoid Lowball Offers


Make sure that you check out the prices of other homes in the neighborhood. Your real estate agent can help you to do this research. Often, youíll need to offer the asking price or above if itís a sellerís market. If all the research leads you to offer somewhere in the neighborhood of the asking price for a home, youíll want to abide with that.


Too Many Contingencies Turn A Seller Off


The financing contingency is the agreement that is put forth to help a buyer get out of the deal if financing falls through. Youíll need to be sure that you actually have the cash on hand to help you if the appraisal falls short, however. While this isnít recommended, it can give you a leg up in the buying process if you know what youíre doing. 

Another thing that you might consider is waiving the inspection. This does however, remove the ability to be sure that a home is in livable condition. This is another way to give yourself an advantage in the home search process, but itís not recommended. A better way to keep the inspection and streamline the process is to shorten the inspection time by having the inspector ready to go immediately.  


Add A Clause To Increase Your Amount


You are able to add an escalation clause into a deal. This will automatically increase your deal by a predetermined amount if the seller gets more than one offer on the home. Thereís a cap on these deals, so it doesnít work like an auction. Itís a good option and it causes sellers to have to disclose the competing offers. Typically, this wouldnít be the case. The only way youíd be out of the deal is if other offers exceed your cap.


Be Smart With Negotiations


You can offer to pay closing costs and home warranties instead of the seller having to pay them. Costs associated with the closing can be extensive, so offering to pay these fees can be very appealing to the seller. 


Get Personal


Itís difficult for sellers to part with the home that they love. If you get a bit personal and write a letter or send a video message to the sellers, you may often appeal to them on another level. In the letter, you may want to address how well the sellers have taken care of the home and express your desire to continue your life in the home in the same fashion. Many times, this is really a great way to connect with your seller and give you a better chance of getting your offer accepted.




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Posted by Peggy Farber on 9/5/2018

Attending open houses is common for property buyers in cities and towns nationwide. However, there is no set number of open houses that a homebuyer will need to attend to discover his or her dream residence. In some instances, a buyer may find the ideal home after attending his or her first open house. Or, a buyer may attend dozens of open houses and fail to find a residence that matches his or her expectations.

As a homebuyer, it is important to do everything possible to make the most of an open house. Lucky for you, we're here to help you get ready for an open house and ensure that you can maximize the value of this event.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get ready for an open house.

1. Create a List of Home Questions

You may have learned about a home from a listing. Yet a listing only offers a limited amount of information about a residence. And if you have additional questions about a residence, an open house provides you with a great opportunity to receive responses to your queries.

Craft a list of questions before you attend an open house Ė you'll be glad you did. With this list in hand, you can ask questions about a home and gain the insights you need to help you decide whether a residence is right for you.

2. Perform Research

Try to collect as much information as you can about a home prior to an open house. That way, you can have a good idea about what to expect when you attend this event.

Also, you may want to put together a game plan before an open house. This plan allows you to prioritize different areas of a residence that you want to check out. Plus, it may help you conduct an in-depth review of a residence.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is happy to help you plan ahead for any open house. If you employ a real estate agent today, you can receive comprehensive assistance as you conduct your house search.

Typically, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about open house events in your preferred cities and towns. This housing market professional can attend an open house with you and offer immediate feedback as well. In addition, if you want to submit an offer to purchase a residence after an open house, a real estate agent can help you do just that.

Let's not forget about the expert housing market insights that a real estate agent can provide, either. A real estate agent can offer insights into housing market patterns and trends. By doing so, a real estate agent can help you narrow your home search and ensure that you can find a great house at a budget-friendly price.

Ready to attend an open house? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can attend an open house and learn about all aspects of a residence.




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