The St. Martin Team - Westford MA Real Estate
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Posted by St. Martin Team on 5/13/2021

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Unless you're a first-time home shopper, you'll need to acquire your next home while selling your current home. How do buyers finesse this?

When buyers are competing with each other for a tight inventory of available homes, the ones who are ready to come to the table fastest, not the ones with contingencies, are most likely to succeed.

So, what's an ordinary buyer to do? Here are the top solutions—not all for the faint of heart!

  • The collaboration: Ask the buyer of your current home to go ahead to closing, but let you rent it for a month or two past then. If the buyer really wants your place and is in the position to do it, your problem is solved. Obviously, this arrangement isn't for all buyers. But every situation is unique, and this might work for yours.
  • The photo finish: Plan to schedule simultaneous closings on both homes, if a motivated, approved buyer can agree to wait for you to complete your purchase. It's been done. There is some risk here, not to mention moving van challenges! If your buyer has to pull out for any reason, you may still have to close on your new home. 
  • The bridge loan solution: With a bridge loan, you can purchase a home before selling, borrowing against your current home equity until you have the sale proceeds in hand. These are meant to be short loans. A bridge loan will get pricey if your home takes longer than expected to close. Steer clear of depending on this kind of loan for more that the span of a few weeks.
  • The contingent offer: You can line up a new home without having to take on the new mortgage until you're done with your sale. Yet few sellers are happy to accept contingent offers and hold on until a buyer's home sells. Contingent offer agreements usually only stay open for about 60 days and often have clauses that can accelerate the buyer's need to commit, allowing the seller to accept another offer. 
  • The sell-and-hotel method: This is a good way to reduce risks. Sell your home, take stock of your bank account, and know exactly what you can comfortably purchase. Store any furnishings you plan to take with you, and get a short-term rental for yourself. This means moving twice, but it also means you have money from the sale, and you're not buried under two mortgages.

Selling one home to buy the next makes the already complex matter of home buying...more so. But an experienced real estate agent can lead along the best path for your circumstances and put you in touch with financial professionals where needed. 




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Posted by St. Martin Team on 3/11/2021

Believe it or not, buying a condo can be a quick, easy process, particularly for those who understand their homebuying needs.

Ultimately, there are several factors to consider before you purchase a condo, including:

1. Your Budget

How much can you afford to spend on a condo? You should evaluate your homebuying budget closely to ensure you can cover all of the costs associated with condo living.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage usually is ideal. With a mortgage in hand, you can browse a wide range of condos and find one that matches your budget perfectly.

Furthermore, don't forget to account for homeowners' association (HOA) fees before you buy a condo. HOA fees will vary depending on the condo community, and you should learn about them in advance so you can budget accordingly.

2. Property Size and Location

How much space do you need to accommodate your family? Consider the short- and long-term ramifications of a condo purchase, and you should have no trouble finding a condo that is the right size for you.

If you're uncertain about how big of a condo that you'll need, don't hesitate to consult with a real estate agent. This housing market expert will learn about your homebuying needs and help you narrow your search for the ideal condo.

Also, be sure to consider the location of a condo. If you want to find a place to live near school or work, you should search for condos that will help you cut down on your commute time.

3. Condo Rules and Regulations

Condo living is different from living in a traditional house. In a condo community, you'll have your own property, but there may be numerous condo rules and regulations in place that you'll need to follow at all times.

For example, many condo owners cannot modify a property's exterior without first getting approval from an HOA board. This means if you want to paint your condo bright pink or upgrade the property's windows, you'll need to ask the HOA board for permission.

Examine a condo community's rules and regulations prior to purchasing a condo. This will enable you to review the HOA board's mandates and determine whether you would feel comfortable following these rules and regulations.

When it comes to finding a condo, there is no need to look for a property on your own. Conversely, if you work with a real estate agent, you can take the guesswork out of searching for a top-notch condo.

Finding a real estate agent with condo experience is essential. This real estate professional will set up condo showings, keep you informed about new condos as they become available and negotiate with property sellers on your behalf. That way, this real estate agent will make it easy for you to acquire a first-rate condo at a budget-friendly price.

Kick off your search for the perfect condo today, and you can move closer to securing a condo that will serve you well for an extended period of time.




Tags: buyer tips   Condo   Buying a home  
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Posted by St. Martin Team on 2/25/2021

For a first-time homebuyer, it is important to realize that a home seller's acceptance of your initial offer provides no guarantees. In fact, a homebuyer will still need to complete a home inspection before a home sale is finalized.

A home inspection is a valuable opportunity to learn about any potential issues with a house. After the inspection is finished, a homebuyer has the opportunity to submit a counter-proposal, rescind a proposal or keep his or her current offer intact.

Ultimately, hiring the right home inspector can make a world of difference for a homebuyer. With an expert home inspector at your side, a homebuyer can gain insights into a house's pros and cons and determine whether a house is a viable long-term investment.

So what does it take to employ the right home inspector? Here are three tips to help a first-time homebuyer do just that.

1. Conduct an Extensive Search

Search far and wide for a home inspector you'll be glad you did. If you allocate the necessary time and resources to locate a skilled home inspector in your area, you can boost your chances of identifying potential home problems before you complete a home purchase.

A first-time homebuyer can begin a search for an expert home inspector online. A simple web search is sure to provide plenty of results, and a homebuyer then can perform an in-depth review of local home inspectors' credentials.

Furthermore, don't hesitate to ask family members and friends for assistance. If a loved one recently sold a house and had a great experience with a home inspector, it may be worthwhile to hire this same professional to perform your home inspection.

2. Look at a Home Inspector's Background

How many years of industry experience does a home inspector have? What are past clients saying about a home inspector? And how does a home inspector approach each job? These are some of the questions that a first-time homebuyer should consider as he or she assesses a home inspector's background.

In addition, a homebuyer can always reach out to a home inspector directly to learn more about this professional's experience. A face-to-face or phone conversation with a home inspector may require only a few minutes to complete and can help a homebuyer make an informed decision.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent can help you discover your dream house as well as put you in touch with the top home inspectors in your area. As a result, this housing market professional will ensure you can purchase a first-rate house that matches or exceeds your expectations.

If you're uncertain about whether to hire a particular home inspector, it never hurts to consult with a real estate agent. By doing so, you can gain honest, unbiased tips to determine whether a home inspector is the right person to evaluate your residence.

Employ the best home inspector prior to completing your home purchase use these tips, and a first-time homebuyer should have no trouble hiring a superior home inspector.




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Posted by St. Martin Team on 1/28/2021

The homebuying journey may seem daunting at first. Lucky for you, we're here to help take the guesswork out of finding and acquiring your dream house.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you approach the homebuying journey with poise and confidence.

1. Be Diligent

A diligent homebuyer may be better equipped than others to enjoy a seamless and successful property buying experience. In fact, this buyer likely will do whatever it takes to find the right house at the right price, regardless of the current real estate market's conditions.

To become a diligent homebuyer, it generally is a good idea to learn about the housing market in your preferred cities and towns. With this information, you can determine whether you're pursuing a home in a buyer's or seller's market and plan accordingly.

Furthermore, it may be beneficial to get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you enter the housing market with a mortgage, you'll know exactly how much you can spend to acquire your dream house.

2. Know Where You Want to Go

Establish homebuying criteria you'll be glad you did. If you know what differentiates your dream house from others, you can quickly and effortlessly search for residences that match your expectations.

Also, you may want to hone your home search to specific cities and towns. For example, if you want to find a house close to your office in the city, you may want to explore residences in or near the city itself. On the other hand, if your goal is to buy a house near the top schools in a particular state, you should narrow your house search based on school rankings and other pertinent data.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

Buying a house is no small feat, and ultimately, there is no reason to try to navigate the homebuying journey alone. Thankfully, you can hire a real estate agent who can provide expert support throughout the homebuying journey.

A real estate agent is a must-hire, and for good reason. He or she will guide you along the entire homebuying journey and respond to any of your homebuying concerns and questions. In addition, a real estate agent offers recommendations and suggestions to help you make informed decisions as you pursue your dream residence.

Usually, a real estate agent will learn about your homebuying goals and craft a personalized homebuying strategy for you. He or she next will keep you informed about available residences that meet your criteria and set up home showings. Once you find your dream residence, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive offer to acquire this house. And if your offer receives a "Yes" from a home seller, a real estate agent will help you finalize your house purchase.

Ready to streamline the homebuying journey? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can kick off a house search and discover your ideal residence in no time at all.




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Posted by St. Martin Team on 1/21/2021

As a homebuyer, you likely will want to do everything possible to secure your dream house at a budget-friendly price. Yet for those who are dealing with an aggressive property seller, achieving the optimal results may prove to be challenging.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you simplify the homebuying process so you can acquire your ideal residence at an affordable price even if you're forced to deal with an aggressive home seller.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you deal with an aggressive property seller and accomplish your desired homebuying results.

1. Remain Patient

It may be tough to deal with an aggressive home seller at times, but those who stay the course can buy a house that matches or exceeds their expectations.

Remember, a patient homebuyer generally is a happy homebuyer. If a buyer avoids rash decisions and remains calm, cool and collected when dealing with an aggressive seller, he or she can boost the likelihood of making the best-possible choices throughout the property buying journey.

2. Focused on Your Desired Results

The ultimate goal of the homebuying journey is to find and buy a house that you can enjoy for years to come. In some instances, an aggressive seller may make it difficult for you to accomplish your goal. But if you prioritize the end results of the homebuying journey, you may be better equipped than others to secure a terrific residence.

If you focus on the big picture, you may be able to reduce the risk that minor issues with an aggressive home seller could slow down the property buying journey. And if you do whatever it takes to achieve your desired homebuying results, you may be able to find unique solutions to various problems.

Don't forget to maintain open communication with a seller. If you open the lines of communication with a seller, both you and a seller can work together to ensure all parties are satisfied with the results of a home sale.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

If you're uncertain about how to deal with an aggressive seller, you may want to hire a real estate agent. That way, you'll have an expert negotiator at your disposal.

A real estate agent is happy to negotiate with a home seller and his or her agent on your behalf. By doing so, a real estate agent will minimize the risk of potential property buying delays.

Let's not forget about the frequent updates that a real estate agent provides during a negotiation with a property seller, either. A real estate agent will keep you informed about seller negotiations and ensure you can move along the homebuying cycle. And if you ever have concerns or questions during the homebuying journey, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them at your convenience.

Manage the homebuying journey like never before use the aforementioned tips, and you can avoid the headaches commonly associated with dealing with an aggressive property seller.




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