Diane Stone - CENTURY 21 Commonwealth

Posted by Diane Stone on 8/20/2017

In a high competition market, you may be tempted to do whatever you can to entice the seller to accept your offer. Buyers write offer letters, provide large down payments, or waive the inspection. Sometimes, this strategy includes removing contingencies from your contract. 

Beware. Removing contingencies can easily become a nightmare for you as a buyer. Certain contingencies should be kept no matter how much you think you should waive them for enticement. 

The Home Inspection Contingency

This contingency is basically universally recommended by realtors everywhere. This contingency allows you to get a licensed home inspector who will check the property. The inspection typically should be done about 7 days from the time you sign the purchase agreement for the home. 

Following the inspection, you as the buyer can request that the seller make certain repairs. The seller can either make the repairs or provide a counter offer. If you’re not satisfied or cannot reach an agreement, you can back out of the deal and still get your money back. 

Without this contingency, you’ll never know what’s wrong with the home until you move in it. It’s a huge risk to take to move into a home without understanding all of its moving parts. Is the roof stable? Has the basement flooded? Will the appliances last? There are plenty of questions that you might have about a home that can be answered simply through an inspection. 

Financing Contingency

This is an important contingency. Your offer on the property will depend on being able to get the financing you need to purchase the home. With this protection in place, in the event that you can’t get a loan, you’ll get your deposit on the home back. Be sure that the clause specifies the number of days that would be recommended by your lender to have the mortgage approved.   

Appraisal Contingency

This could be the most important contingency of all. This protection could possibly save you thousands of dollars of a headache. Once an offer is accepted on a home, you’re far from done. The lender will typically order an appraisal. If the appraisal comes in lower than the offer you made on the home and agreed to pay, you may have some problems. 

The lender will only lend you what the house is worth. If the appraisal comes in lower, you’ll need to make up for tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket. Make sure you have an appraisal contingency included in your contracts!  

As you buy a home, remember how important contingencies can be in the process.            

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Posted by Diane Stone on 8/18/2017

Welcome to this beautiful, 3 bedroom, ranch style home with great water views of Dug Pond. Enjoy swimming, kayaking, ice skating and fishing year round just across the street from your front door. Public beach access less than 1 mile. This newly renovated home includes central air, gleaming hardwood floors, new lighting, polished nickel hardware and fresh paint throughout. Sun-filled kitchen with new granite counters, glass tiled backsplash and new stove, refrigerator and microwave. Slider leads to deck and a large fenced-in yard, perfect for entertaining. Beautiful living room with fireplace, recessed lighting, and a picture window with pond views. 3 bedrooms including Master with ensuite bath and 1 additional full bath on main floor. Generously sized finished basement offers flexible living space including bonus room, full bath and large family room, all with new laminate flooring. Offers due Mon. 8/22 5:00pm

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts

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Posted by Diane Stone on 8/13/2017

Longing to take ownership of a house could tempt you to shop for a lender who will approve your home mortgage even if your savings and your financial habits clearly signal that you are not ready to own a home. If you search long enough, you may find that very lender. You also might regret that you did.

You might want to put off signing a home mortgage

Going with a mortgage lender who doesn’t take a detailed look at your credit history could cause you to take on more mortgage than you can afford. Miss one mortgage payment and the lender might start foreclosure proceedings.

Foreclosure tends to start within three to six months after you miss your first mortgage payment. To keep from losing money on the house, lenders may work with you to restructure your loan, making the monthly payments more affordable.

The restructured loan may leave you with less to pay each month, but more to pay over the life of the loan. Another feature of the restructured home mortgage might be higher adjustable interest rates. It’s adjustable interest rate loans that can skyrocket as soon as markets or the economy start to strengthen.This trend helped to set off the Great Recession.

More reasons to go with a stricter home mortgage lender

Other reasons why you may want to work with a home mortgage lender who takes a deep dive into your credit history include:

Better understanding of the impact of your spending habits – After a lender turns you down, take the time to chart out what you spend money on and why. See if you are engaging in emotional spending. Seek support to deal with perceived lacks that are causing you to over spend as a way to feel complete,valuable or whole.

Time to strengthen your credit – Repair and strengthen your credit, so that you will get a home mortgage from a lender who’s committed to taking steps to remain solvent. Instead of looking at a thorough credit review as a bad thing, see it as a chance to improve.

Opportunity to retrain yourself – Start retraining yourself to approach your finances differently. Create a budget and stick to the budget. Look at money as a resource, not a magic wand. The retraining that you do could keep you from getting in over your head months or years after you buy a house.

Position yourself for a better home mortgage – Most of all, a good reason to prefer a rigorous home mortgage credit review is to position yourself to land the best mortgage that you possibly can. While you repair your credit and work to secure a better home mortgage, learn more about closing costs, interest rates, home inspections, realtor fees and commissions and lender fees.

Repairing your credit can take time. The good news is that you can make a lot of positive headway in just one year. To repair your credit and position yourself to secure a home mortgage with a reputable lender, pay off high interest loans and credit cards first. Take on additional work online or offline. Deposit money that you earn from this additional work into a savings account. Use this money to build a healthy down payment on a new home.

These actions can make your home mortgage application more attractive to reputable lenders. Furthermore, these actions can help you to get the best mortgage, a mortgage with a low interest rate and an affordable repayment plan.

Posted by Diane Stone on 8/6/2017

Selling a home may prove to be a long, arduous process. However, if you act as a reasonable home seller, you can identify home selling challenges and overcome such problems without delay.

Now, let's take a look at three tips that you can use to become a reasonable home seller.

1. Learn About the Housing Market

Real estate is complex, particularly for home sellers. Fortunately, many housing market resources are available to help you become a real estate expert.

For example, any home seller can perform an online search to evaluate the housing market in any city or town. Then, a home seller can use this real estate data to analyze the prices of houses that are similar to his or her own and price a residence appropriately.

Home sellers also should look at the prices of recently sold houses in nearby areas. That way, a home seller can find out whether he or she is preparing to enter a seller's or buyer's market and plan accordingly.

2. Try Not to Get Too Emotional

Let's face it – any home selling journey likely includes plenty of ups and downs. But a home seller who understands the best- and worst-case home selling scenarios may be better equipped than others to stay calm, cool and collected, even in the most challenging situations.

Although a home seller may expect his or her home to sell quickly, it is important to set realistic expectations before you list a residence. This will enable you to avoid potential pitfalls that otherwise can prevent you from achieving your home selling goals.

For example, a home seller who receives a home appraisal will have a good idea about the true value of his or her house. And if the home seller receives a home offer that falls well below the appraisal amount, he or she won't feel disappointed. Instead, this home seller should have no trouble politely declining or countering the proposal.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

If you're unsure about how to price your home or promote your house to the right groups of homebuyers, it often pays to get expert help. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals can help you make informed home selling decisions.

A real estate agent possesses comprehensive housing market expertise and is happy to share his or her home selling insights with you. This means if you ever have questions about what to include in a home listing, your real estate agent can help you out. Or, if you are uncertain about whether to upgrade your house's interior or exterior, your real estate agent is available to provide honest, unbiased home improvement recommendations.

Becoming a reasonable home seller can make a world of difference in any housing market, at any time. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can quickly and effortlessly navigate the home selling journey.

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Posted by Diane Stone on 7/30/2017

Home is, first and foremost, a place of rest and relaxation. It’s where we come home to after a stressful day to be with our family, our pets, or our favorite books and television shows.

But sometimes, the home also has to double as a place of work. Whether you have a job that allows you to work from home, or you just need a quiet place to sit down to pay bills or do taxes, at some point your home will need to be a place where you can focus. That’s where the home office comes in.

Designing and decorating a home office is different than the rest of your home. You’ll have to create a balance between being comfortable and but also uncluttered. You want to give it your personal touch, but at the same time avoid filling it up with distractions. Finally, you’ll have to think about your personal requirements for a home office. Will it be used often enough to merit a dedicated room in your house? Or can your office items fit right into your bedroom, opening up space for things like children’s play rooms and spare bedrooms.

The bare necessities

There are a few things that nearly all home offices will have in common. We’re talking desks, organizers, office supplies, etc. However, it’s easy to get carried away with file organizers or containers filled with 10 different sizes of multicolored paperclips. One of the benefits of cloud computing and paperless billing is that all of your important paperwork can usually now fit in one small folder.

So, before you start picking out organizers, go through your important papers and find out what you can shred and what needs to be saved. Tools like Google Drive allow you to scan documents right with your smartphone camera and store them safely and securely in the cloud. That means fewer papers and less money spent on organizers and staplers that will just clutter your desk.

What kind of worker are you?

A hard one, I’m sure--but what type of environment helps you be the most productive? Are you better off tucked away in a dark corner surrounded by pillows and blankets, or do you work best in a well-lit room sitting upright at a clear desk.

Before you start decorating and arranging furniture in your office, take into account your needs. There’s no use spending money on a large wooden desk if you work better curled up on the couch.

If you fall asleep and lose focus in the dark, consider arranging your desk next to a window or even purchasing a UV light for rainy days or dark nights. These will help you stay refreshed and alert to tackle whatever tasks you have before you.

Use space wisely

If you have a lot of items to store, consider a desk with drawers or a cart that you can push out of the way. This will help you from letting your desk get overcrowded.

When it comes to furniture, shop modular. Space-saving furniture can make a world of difference in a home office, which tend to be one of the smaller rooms in your home. Cube bookcases that let you choose a size are excellent for home offices because you can buy only as many as you need. You can always add more cubes later on.

Similarly, desks can also be modular and adjustable. One great option for home offices is a wall-mounted fold up desk. This will allow you to open up the room when you’re not using the desk if your office doubles as a home fitness room.