Donna Coffin - ERA Key Realty Services - Distinctive Group



Posted by Donna Coffin on 10/18/2019

Buying a house is never a simple decision. Aside from all of the financial aspects of purchasing a home, there are numerous life-related considerations you’ll need to think about. So, it comes as little surprise that diving head on into the house hunting process can be stressful and taxing to the home buyer.

With all of the different numbers to keep track of--a down payment, closing costs, credit scores, interest rates, and so on--it’s easy to get lost in the finer details of your budget. This can lead to even more stress as you try to navigate your way through getting approved for a mortgage and shopping for the perfect home.

In this article, we’re going to give you some tips on how to maintain your budget and reduce stress throughout the home buying process. That way, when you do finally find the house you’ve been waiting for, you’ll be able to move forward confidently.

Trust the process

Many first-time home buyers enter the real estate market with little knowledge or experience of how things work. Any newcomer to such a huge and complex industry is bound to be flustered with all of the different options available to them.

However, much of the home buying process is relatively standardized. Real estate agents all make roughly the same commission, lenders use similar algorithms to decide how much of a loan you’ll be approved for, and real estate contracts contain legal safeguards and contingencies to ensure that you and the seller’s interests are protected.

When shopping for a mortgage or getting pre-approved, it’s a good idea to ask friends, family, or read reviews online to find someone you know you can trust. From there, rely on the experts to lead you through the process.

Have a long-term plan

Much of the stress and anxiety around buying a home comes from the uncertainty of the future. Sitting down with your family and significant other and deciding your long-term goals for homeownership is a good way to build confidence and know that you’re making the right choice.

Determining things like location, the number of years you want to live in a home, and what priorities are the most important (school districts, neighborhood safety, etc.) will help you make that plan a reality.

Use the tools at your disposal

If you’re reading this article, you already have started to take advantage of one of the most important resources you have, the internet. Look up real estate terminology you’re unfamiliar with, read up on the different types of mortgages, and take advantage of free online calculators to create what-if scenarios to find out what you might end up paying in closing costs and interests.

It’s also a good idea to check your credit score for free online. You can check your official reports once per year, but for simple credit checks you can look it up each month for free.

Knowing that you’re in good hands with a lender and agent, that you have a basic understanding of industry terms, that you have a long-term plan, and that your finances are in order will all help set your mind at ease and give you confidence as you move forward toward homeownership.




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Posted by Donna Coffin on 10/11/2019

You've found your dream home – at least, you initially thought you discovered your ideal house. But following the home inspection, you're starting to have second thoughts about whether you want to purchase a particular residence.

A home inspection is a valuable opportunity for a homebuyer. It enables a buyer to receive expert insights from a property inspector about a house's age and condition. Thus, if a home inspection reveals myriad problems with a residence, a homebuyer still has an opportunity to walk away from a home sale.

Ultimately, there are many factors for a homebuyer to evaluate after a home inspection, including:

1. The Home's Condition

When it comes to evaluating a home's condition, there may be more than meets the eye. Fortunately, a home inspection enables a property inspector to take a deep look at a house's interior and exterior and provide detailed findings.

If a home's condition fails to match your expectations, don't hesitate to walk away from a home sale. By doing so, you can reenter the housing market and begin your search for the perfect residence once again.

On the other hand, if a home's condition is not a deal-breaker, feel free to move forward with a home sale. And in a short period of time, you'll likely soon be the owner of a great house.

2. The Home's Age

A home's age may dictate whether substantial home repairs or improvements may be needed down the line.

For example, a home's furnace usually needs to be replaced every 10 to 15 years. If a 30-year-old residence still has its original furnace in place, this device may need to be replaced sooner rather than later.

A home inspection should provide clear-cut insights into potential home improvements that you may need to perform in the near future. Use these insights to your advantage, as they may help you if you try to renegotiate the price of a house.

3. Long-Term Home Improvements

Spend plenty of time with a home inspector and don't hesitate to ask this professional plenty of questions. Remember, he or she is available to help you make an informed homebuying decision. And if you learn about potential long-term home improvements now, you may be able to avoid severe home problems down the line.

If a home inspector discovers roof problems or other substantial house issues, take his or her recommendations seriously. That way, you can avoid the danger of buying a "money pit," i.e. a house that may prove to be more trouble than it's worth.

Lastly, if you need help at any point during the homebuying journey, reach out to a real estate agent. This housing market professional can put you in touch with the best home inspectors in your area and allow you to minimize stress throughout the homebuying cycle.

Ready to make your homeownership dreams come true? Consider the aforementioned factors after a home inspection, and you can move one step closer to purchasing a terrific house at a budget-friendly price.




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Posted by Donna Coffin on 10/4/2019

As a first-time home seller, it can be tough to establish a competitive price for your residence. And if you set a price that is too high or too low, you risk alienating potential homebuyers or missing out on an opportunity to maximize the value of your house.

Ultimately, there's a lot to think about as you determine the price for your residence. Lucky for you, we're here to help you take the guesswork out of pricing your home, regardless of the current housing market's conditions.

Let's take a look at three tips to help first-time home sellers set a competitive price for a residence.

1. Study the Real Estate Market

How does your residence stack up against similar houses that are currently available in your city or town? Study the real estate market, and you can find out how your residence compares to the competition.

Evaluate the prices of currently available houses in your city or town. With this housing market data in hand, you can learn how your home ranks against the competition and establish a price range for houses that are similar to your own.

Also, examine the prices of recently sold houses in your area. By doing so, you can find out whether you're about to enter a seller's market or a buyer's market and map out your home selling journey accordingly.

2. Perform a Home Appraisal

A home appraisal can make a world of difference, particularly for a first-time home seller who is uncertain about how to upgrade a residence.

During a home appraisal, a property inspector will examine a home's interior and exterior. After the appraisal is finished, this inspector will provide a home seller with a report that outlines his or her findings.

Take the results of a home appraisal seriously – you'll be glad you did. The appraisal enables a home seller to learn about a home's strengths and weaknesses, and as a result, discover the best ways to transform assorted weaknesses into strengths. Then, a home seller can perform myriad home upgrades and may be better equipped than ever before to optimize the value of a house.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent analyzes housing market patterns and trends closely and is happy to share home selling insights at any time. Thus, this housing market professional can help a home seller establish a competitive price for a home from the get-go.

Moreover, a real estate agent will promote a home to the right groups of homebuyers and work with a home seller at each stage of the property selling journey. He or she will even negotiate with homebuyers on a seller's behalf to increase the likelihood that a seller can get the best price for a residence.

When it comes to selling a home for the first time, there is no need to leave anything to chance. Use the aforementioned tips, and a first-time home seller can set a competitive price for a house and increase his or her chances of a quick home sale.




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Posted by Donna Coffin on 9/27/2019

After a move, everything feels fresh and energizing. This is, of course, in part because of the energy that comes with a big change. But it also comes from having a neatly, organized home. In the jumble of packing and unpacking, junk gets tossed and items get new homes. Everything gets a new dedicated area where it belongs. Everything is tidy, as it should be.

So how then can you maintain this wonderful feeling and continue to keep things neat and tidy?

First, you need to make a daily habit of doing a quick clean sweep every day. Whether you do it in the morning, afternoon or before bed isn’t important. What is important is that you do it every day.

Go through the house to make to corral up stray dishes, put items back into their dedicated places, and give homes to those who don’t have one yet.

And if you can’t think of somewhere to put it? Question its purpose and consider either donating or tossing it.

Aim to keep your surfaces clear of items. Allowing things to accumulate is one of the fastest for clutter to quickly take over. Stop it in its track by tidying up when you’re done using this “station” of your home.

Practice not being “lazy”. If you bring your tea to sip on the couch when you leave the room take your mug with you straight to the dishwasher. If you finished the last of the chips put the clip away where it belongs instead of leaving it out on the counter. Put pens back away after using them to jot out notes. Recycle magazines when you're done reading them.

If you find things are building up as clutter quickly you might have too much stuff. Which is okay, it happens!

Decluttering isn’t a one and done process. We need to consistently be assessing the things that collect in our homes and what benefit they are adding to your life. Sometimes we once used all the time have fallen out of favor or need to be repaired/replaced.

Make time once a month for a quick declutter session and once a season for a more detailed one.

And the best way to avoid clutter is to closely monitor what you’re allowing to come into your home in the first place. If you find you love to take things home just because they were free or on sale, it’s important to take a step back and ask yourself why.

After all, the less stuff we have in our homes the less there is to manage. Which means more time spent doing what you enjoy doing, like spending time with your family, and less time organizing it all.

 





Posted by Donna Coffin on 9/20/2019

Proper hydration on moving day is paramount. Because without the proper hydration, your moving day team risks wearing down quickly. Perhaps even worse, moving day team members may feel exhausted as they lift large, heavy items – something that may prove to be disastrous.

Fortunately, there are many quick, easy ways to guarantee that your entire moving day team stays hydrated – here are three tips that you need to know.

1. Pick Up Lots of Beverages

Learn about your moving day team and the drinks they like – you'll be glad you did. If you learn your moving day team's drink preferences, you can pick up beverages that you'll know they'll enjoy on moving day.

When in doubt, it pays to purchase lots of water and sports drinks. These beverages help cleanse the body and will allow your moving team to maintain its energy levels throughout the day.

If possible, you may want to avoid purchasing caffeinated beverages as well. Caffeinated beverages may actually cause an individual to become dehydrated over time. Thus, you may want to provide only a limited amount of caffeinated beverages on moving day.

2. Store Your Drinks in a Cooler That Is Easy to Access

If your refrigerator has already been moved out of your house, there is no need to worry. Purchase a water cooler and lots of ice, and you can provide your moving team with cool, refreshing beverages at any time.

Keep this cooler in a central location and tell your moving team members exactly where they can find it. That way, if a moving team member starts to feel sluggish, he or she can stop, grab a drink and immediately start to revitalize the body.

3. Plan Plenty of Breaks

On moving day, give your moving team plenty of opportunities to stay hydrated. By doing so, you can reduce the risk of dropped items, injuries and other moving day problems.

Schedule at least one break per hour, with the break lasting a minimum of 10 minutes. Also, after a few hours, you may want to provide your moving team with an extended lunch break that gives all team members a chance to stop and grab a bite to eat.

If you need additional assistance planning for moving day, you may want to contact a professional moving company as well. This business hires courteous, professionally training moving specialists who will make it simple for you to take all of your belongings from Point A to Point B.

Lastly, a real estate agent may help you find the best moving companies in your area. This housing market professional can help you buy or sell a residence, as well as put you in touch with the top moving companies in any city or town, at any time.

Ready to transform an ordinary moving day into a successful one? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can guarantee that your entire team can stay hydrated as your moving day progresses.




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