Joseph Boyd's Blog
23 Shawmut St, Quincy, MA 02169
If you're getting ready to put your home on the market, the thought of organizing, cleaning, and arranging it may seem like an overwhelming project!
Knowing where to begin and how much money to spend on home staging and decorating are among the many questions that may be flooding your mind, right now.
The key to success is to make as much of an impact as possible, without spending more money than necessary.
One way to avoid "spinning your wheels" when it comes to maximizing the appearance of your home is to work with an experienced real estate agent. A good agent will quickly notice aspects of your home that need attention and advise you on the most cost-effective ways to improve its marketability. If they've shown dozens (or more) houses in their career, they'll be very familiar with all the things that attract buyers, as well as what repels them.
Although everyone has different tastes and expectations, many house hunters are attracted to gleaming hardwood floors, energy efficient windows, and stainless steel appliances. While it may not be cost effective to have new floors, appliances, and windows installed to sell your house faster, you can make the best possible impression by making sure the windows are crystal clear, hardwood floors are polished, and appliances are clean and shiny.
Since many house hunters pay close attention to the kitchen, it's especially important to win their approval on appearance and cleanliness. Because food is prepared and often consumed in the kitchen, it's going to be one of the more challenging rooms to keep clean -- especially if you have children. However, if a prospective buyer is wavering between two houses for sale, you can be reasonably sure that the one with the clean kitchen and bathrooms will be their preferred choice.
There are a lot of other ways you can make your kitchen appealing to buyers, too. By minimizing clutter on counter tops and displaying fresh flowers and a colorful bowl of fruit, you can make your kitchen look much more inviting. Prospective buyers will also respond favorably to appealing fragrances, such as freshly baked bread, cookies, cinnamon buns, or coffee. Clean windows, attractive curtains, and plenty of natural light will also add to the ambiance of your kitchen.
The ideal reaction from potential buyers touring your home would be something to the effect of "I can imagine us preparing dinner, entertaining guests, and sitting around the breakfast table in this house!" Setting the table so that it looks like the family is just about to sit down for a meal together is one way to help convey that image. The encouraging news is that when someone expresses sincere appreciation for the comforts and features of your home, there's a good chance they'll find a place for it on their short list of possibilities!
What Is A Foreclosure?
A foreclosure is what happens when a property owner cannot make the required monthly mortgage payments for the property loan. This lapse in payment leads to the property being seized and then sold by the bank to make up for the loan deficit.
During the process of foreclosure, the homeowner does have the opportunity to make the loan current and avoid giving up their property.
When mortgage payments have been missed for 3-6 months, the lender will order what is called a Notice Of Default (NOD). This is the official notice that the homeowner is facing foreclosure. This notice begins the reinstatement period where the homeowner has the opportunity to make his account current. This period lasts up to about 5 days before the home is auctioned off.
If the defaulted loan is not corrected within 3 months, then a foreclosure state is established. At this point, a notice of sale will be given to the homeowner and it will also be posted on the property as an official document. The sale of the home is “advertised” in local news sources, typically over a three-week period.
Where The Sale Occurs
The sale of the foreclosed home usually occurs at the local county courthouse where the property is located. The details of the sale are located on the Notice Of Sale document. The sale is conducted as an auction in public, given to the highest bidder. A cash deposit must be made up front and the remainder of the price must typically be paid within 24 hours. The winner of the auction receives the deed to the property.
With a foreclosure auction, the opening bid is set by the lender. This starting number is usually equal to whatever the outstanding loan balance is including the interest and additional fees including attorney’s fees. If there are no bids higher than the opening bid, the property is purchased by the lender via the lender’s attorney. This makes the property known as “Real Estate Owned.”
Problems With Buying Foreclosures
One thing to be aware of when you’re considering buying a foreclosure is that the amount owed on the property can actually be more than the property itself is worth. Any liens excluding property taxes are typically voided at the time of purchase of a foreclosure, which is a slight bonus to a buyer.
The other issue with buying a foreclosed property is that you need quite a bit of cash up front in order to purchase the property. This is why buying a foreclosure may not be for everyone.
While no one wants to face losing their own property to foreclosure, getting a foreclosure notice isn’t the end of the road for homeowners. You’ll still have a few chances to make things right. If you’re looking to buy a foreclosed property, you really need to understand the ins and outs of what you’re getting yourself into before you make a bid.
4 Wildwood Lane, Bourne, MA 02562
It’s hard to overstate the importance of credit scores when it comes to buying a home. Along with your down payment, your credit score is a deciding factor of getting approved and securing a low interest rate.
Credit can be complicated. And, if you want to buy a home in the near future, it can seem daunting to try and increase your score while saving for a down payment.
However, it is possible to significantly increase your score in the months leading up to applying for a loan.
In today’s post, we’re going to talk about some ways to give your credit score a quick boost so that you can secure the best rate on your mortgage.
Should I focus on increasing my score or save for a down payment?
If you’re planning on buying a home, you might be faced with a difficult decision: to pay off old debt or to save a larger down payment.
As a general rule, it’s better to pay off smaller loans and debt before taking out larger loans. If you have multiple loans that you’re paying off that are around the same balance, focus on whichever one has the highest interest rate.
If you have low-interest loans that you can easily afford to continue paying while you save, then it’s often worth saving more for a down payment.
Remember that if you are able to save up 20% of your mortgage, you’ll be able to avoid paying PMI (private mortgage insurance). This will save you quite a bit over the span of your loan.
Starting with no credit
If you’ve avoided loans and credit cards thus far in your life but want to save for a home, you might run into the issue of not having a credit history.
To confront this issue, it’s often a good idea to open a credit card that has good rewards and use it for your everyday expenses like groceries. Then, set up the card to auto-pay the balance in full each month to avoid paying interest.
This method allows you to save money (you’d have to buy groceries and gas anyway) while building credit.
Correct credit report errors
Each of the main credit bureaus will have a slightly different method for calculating your credit score. Their information can also vary.
Each year, you’re entitled to one free report from each of the main bureaus. Take advantage of these free reports. They’re different from free credit checks that you can get from websites like Credit Karma because they’re much more detailed.
Go through the report line by line and make sure there aren’t any accounts you don’t recognize. It is not uncommon for people to find out that a scammer or even a family member has taken out a line of credit in their name.
Avoid opening several new accounts
Our final tip for boosting your credit score is to avoid opening up multiple accounts in the 6 months leading up to your mortgage application.
Opening multiple accounts is a red flag to lenders. It can show that you might be in a time of financial hardship and can temporarily lower your score.