Diane Stone - CENTURY 21 Commonwealth



Posted by Diane Stone on 10/2/2017

Ready to buy a home? Ultimately, you'll want to prepare for the homebuying process. By doing so, you can avoid many costly mistakes.

Believe it or not, it is easy to make mistakes as you browse the housing market. Some of the expensive mistakes that homebuyers frequently make include:

1. Overspending on a Residence

No one should be forced to overspend on a home. Unfortunately, if you fail to study the real estate market, you risk paying too much to acquire your dream house.

Remember, an informed homebuyer will be better equipped to optimize the value of his or her real estate investment than others. And if you understand the costs of properties in your area, you can avoid the temptation to overspend.

Explore the real estate market closely and assess the prices of similar houses. By doing so, you can understand the price range of homes that fall within your budget and plan accordingly.

Also, work with an experienced real estate agent. This real estate professional will help you determine how much you can spend on a home and can provide you with details about properties that match your budget.

2. Failure to Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

After you find your dream home, you'll need to figure out how to pay for it. And if you struggle to obtain a mortgage before you start your home search, you might miss out on the opportunity to purchase your dream residence.

Meeting with banks and credit unions prior to checking out properties is ideal. This will allow you to obtain a mortgage and search for houses that fit your price range.

Moreover, getting pre-approved for a mortgage may help you stand out in the eyes of a home seller, as he or she won't have to wait for you to secure financing to finalize a purchase agreement.

3. Lack of Realistic Expectations

As a homebuyer, it is important to understand that every house has its pros and cons. But if you fail to establish realistic expectations for the homebuying process, it may be impossible for you to find the right property at the right price.

Separating your homebuying wants from your homebuying needs is vital. If you determine exactly what you'd like to find in your dream home before you explore the real estate market, you can narrow your search and streamline the process of acquiring the perfect residence.

Furthermore, hiring a real estate agent can make a world of difference for homebuyers. Your real estate agent can keep you up to date about new homes as they become available, set up home showings and help you submit offers on residences. This real estate professional also can offer homebuying recommendations, ensuring that you can minimize the risk of homebuying mistakes.

With a real estate agent at your side, you can accelerate the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner. Collaborate with a real estate agent today, and you should have no trouble securing your ideal residence.




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Posted by Diane Stone on 6/18/2017

After you launch a search for the perfect home, it may seem like a fast, easy process to acquire your ideal residence. But if you're not careful, you may encounter many homebuying hurdles along the way.

Lucky for you, we're here to ensure that you can streamline the process of purchasing your dream home. Here are three tips that you can use to accelerate your push for the perfect house:

1. Determine Exactly What You Want

Spend some time considering what you want out of your dream house. By doing so, you'll be able to speed up the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

Ultimately, no two houses are identical, and homebuyers who know what to look for in a dream house can narrow their search for the perfect residence.

If you understand what you want out of a house, you'll be able to budget accordingly as well. Thus, you may be able to improve your chances to buy your dream residence and avoid the temptation to overspend on a house if you plan ahead.

2. Examine a Large Assortment of Houses

After you narrow your home search, take an up-close look at residences that fit your needs.

Open houses frequently are held on weekends throughout the year, making it easy for you to check out available residences without having to rework your weekday schedule. Plus, open houses ensure that you can browse a house at your convenience and find out if a property corresponds to your budget and lifestyle.

Don't forget to set up individual home showings, either. These home showings will enable you to assess all aspects of a residence. And if you are satisfied with a residence following a showing, you can submit an offer.

3. Hire an Experienced Real Estate Agent

The homebuying journey features many twists and turns, and as such, there is no need to navigate it on your own. Fortunately, many experienced real estate agents are available to help you purchase your dream house.

An experienced real estate agent understands the differences between a buyer's market and a seller's market. Therefore, this real estate professional knows what it takes to acquire a residence in any real estate market, at any time.

With an experienced real estate agent at your disposal, you won't have to worry about missing out on your dream residence. Instead, your real estate agent will keep you informed about new houses that may meet or exceed your expectations as soon as these properties become available. Your real estate agent also will offer recommendations for submitting a competitive offer on a residence, conducting a home inspection and much more.

Perhaps best of all, an experienced real estate agent is happy to share his or her expertise with you. And if you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, this real estate professional will respond to your queries without delay.

For homebuyers, there is no need to leave anything to chance. Employ an experienced real estate agent, and you can streamline your search for the perfect house.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Diane Stone on 6/4/2017

What Is The Disclosure Statement?


Disclosure statements are used in many of lifeís situations. This is the place where the buyer is able to learn about the ins and outs of the property that they are about the buy. Examples of items that would be on a sellerís disclosure are:


  • Water in the basement
  • Updates made to the home
  • Known pests
  • Paranormal activity
  • Death on the property
  • Past fires
  • Nearby major construction projects
  • Title 5 sewerage issues 


Disclosures Serves As Protections


The disclosure statement serves as a protection for both the buyer and the seller. From a buyerís perspective, through this information, they are able to understand a bit more about the property that they are potentially buying. 


On the sellerís side of things, the disclosure statement serves a s legal protection of sorts. The seller is obliged to reveal anything about the property that could potentially affect the value or affect the living conditions.


How Does The Seller Make The Disclosure


Each state and even each city within a state varies in the way a disclosure is conducted.  The statement can be composed of dozens of documents that need to be signed by the seller. Other states have disclosure document forms that consist of a series of yes or no questions about the home. Sellers may also be required o present communications between neighbors, owners, and agents. In some states, the disclosure statement is valid for up to 10 years, allowing buyers to collect damages if something wasnít properly presented on the statement.  


How Do Sellers Know What To Disclose?


The basic rule of thumb is that if you know something about your property, you should disclose it. If you try to hide something, it could come back to meet you in the form of a lawsuit, even years later. Many states have legal requirements as to what should be revealed on these documents.  


Whatís Disclosed To Buyers?


The disclosure doesnít have to be all bad. This document is also an opportunity for sellers to present any of the improvements that they have made to the home. Make sure that you include all of the upgrades, renovations, and improvements that you have made to the home that youíre selling. This can help to impress buyers as to how well you have taken care of the property.


Itís easy as the buyer to check some of these improvements as you can find out if the work was done with or without permits by checking with the cityís zoning reports. Work that was done without a permit may have not been completed according to code. This could pose some serious health and safety risks to you and your family. 


Problems that youíll want to disclose as a seller include pest problems, property line disputes, disturbances in the neighborhood, liens on the property, and appliance malfunctions. 


Remember that the disclosure doesnít substitute the buyerís right to a professional inspection of the property. Itís important for buyers to know as much about a property as they can in order to be sure theyíre making a good investment.





Posted by Diane Stone on 3/12/2017

Purchasing a home is a large investment and not one that anyone should make on a whim. Itís important to understand your maximum budget but also what you are comfortable spending, which may not be the same number as your maximum budget. But itís also important to fully understand the hidden costs that come with owning a home. Your mortgage payment is not the only payment you will be making each month and itís certainly not the only cost associated with owning a home. Letís take a look at some hidden costs listed below: Home Insurance: Insurance is something that you may know you need, but not a cost you are thinking about when house hunting. Therefore, the cost can sneak up on you. Be sure to factor in this cost, as it will be associated with your homeís location, age and value. For example, you are going to pay more if you live in an area that is prone to natural disasters such as floods or tornadoes. Home furnishings: Is this your first home or, at least, your first home that you would like to furnish with new furniture not hand-me-downs or a couch from craigslist? There also may be items that you need for this home that you did not need in your apartment such as a dining room table or spare bedroom bed frame and mattress. Furnishing your home can be a large expense and one that you should be saving up for. You donít need to go out and spend thousands on each item and you may want to spread out your purchases, but this is a very important cost to consider when purchasing a home. Appearance: When you purchase a home there may be things about the house that you want to change or update. This is something that not many factor in when buying the home as they are so wrapped up in the process of purchasing. However, even small updates cost money and if you spend all of your money on the down payment, you will not have any leftover to make those updates to make the home truly yours. Maintenance: If you previously rented, then maintenance is not something that you had to handle, as that is what your landlord was for. However, when you buy a home all maintenance and repairs fall on you. If you are purchasing an older home itís extremely important to understand what needs to be updated or replaced now or in the near future, such as the water heater, furnace or roof. Itís possible that you may get the previous homeowner to take care of this if itís in need at the time of selling, but if these updates/replacements take place a couple years down the road then itís up to you to take care of it. There is also the general maintenance of your home such as landscaping and snow removal. Will you purchase your own equipment or hire a service? Either way, this is an additional expense. Utilities: Often times many utilities are included in your rent. Well, this is not the case when owning a home. If the home does not have a septic system then you will need to pay for water and sewerage. You will have to pay for your own cable, Internet, and phone, and letís not forget about electricity. Itís important to understand all of the utilities that you will have to pay when you purchase a home. Property Taxes: Property taxes vary by town, but will always be an additional cost when owning a home. And, this cost will increase if you make additions or significant updates to your home. More desirable/expensive locations will have higher property taxes. This is often a cost that catches many off guard so be sure to research the locations where you are house hunting to see if you can afford the property taxes on top of all of the other associated costs. This is not meant to discourage anyone but shed light on the costs that many do not consider when they are house hunting. Make sure your budget allows for your mortgage payment and the expenses listed above that are tailored to your situation and you will have no problem becoming and staying a homeowner.





Posted by Diane Stone on 1/1/2017

Buying a house is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your life, both financially and otherwise. Just like retirement funds, buying a home and paying off your mortgage can be a significant long term investment.

It will take time to prepare for buying a home. Youíll need to build credit, save for a downpayment, and find a degree of financial stability to ensure you can pay your mortgage each month.

This article is catered towards homebuyers who have already met those prerequisites and are ready to jump in and start hunting for houses. For those of you curious about exactly how long it will take from the time you view your first house until you close the deal on your new home, read on.

Home buying by the numbers

On average, buyers can spend 30-60 days looking at homes and anywhere between 15 and 60 days longer to close on a home. Of course, these numbers depend on a lot of things such as how eager you are to buy, how  effectively youíre able to work with agents and sellers, and on just sheer luck.

How can I speed up the process?

Preparation is the number one thing to focus on when it comes to buying a home. First, double check your finances. This means taking time to run a credit report and challenging any errors that may be lowering your credit.

Next, take time to sit down and discuss with your family (if applicable) your moving goals. Are you trying to move closer to someoneís place of business or to a particular school district? Having these discussions will make it easier to eliminate houses and to narrow your search, saving you time in the long run.

Before you start looking at homes, itís a good idea to being the process of getting preapproved for a loan. This can take weeks, so you want to get this step done early to know where you stand when it comes time to start house hunting.

Next youíll want to meet with a real estate agent who has extensive knowledge of your area. Theyíll send you listings that meet your criteria, stylistically and financially.

The offer and closing

Now that youíve found the right home, youíll have to enter the next part of the process: making an offer and closing. This step isnít entirely within your control. Some sellers will delay in accepting, others will reject, and others will give a counter offer. The best way to save time on this step is to give a reasonable offer from the start, showing the seller that you are serious and worth negotiating with.

Once your offer has been accepted, your work is still far from over. There will be a lot of paperwork to fill out, but youíll also have to schedule a home inspection to ensure there are no problems with the home that you havenít already been made aware of.

Once all of these steps are complete, you will have purchased a new home.