Elena Langlois - CENTURY 21 Commonwealth



Posted by Elena Langlois on 6/21/2018

Do you know home selling lingo? If not, miscommunications may arise that prevent you from maximizing the value of your house. Perhaps even worse, you risk making poor home selling decisions due to the fact that you don't fully understand the real estate terms included in a home sale agreement.

Fortunately, we're here to bring clarity to assorted home selling terms that you may encounter as you proceed along the home selling journey.

Let's take a look at three common home selling terms that every property seller needs to know.

1. Depreciation

Over time, the value of your home may deteriorate due to age, wear and tear and other problems. This is referred to as "depreciation," and depreciation ultimately may impact your ability to get the best price for your house.

To find out how much your house's value has depreciated, it may be worthwhile to conduct a home appraisal before you list your residence. That way, you can analyze your house's strengths and weaknesses. You also can uncover innovative ways to boost your home's appearance both inside and out, thereby ensuring you can set the optimal initial asking price for your residence.

2. House Closing

A house closing refers to the final transfer of ownership from home seller to homebuyer. Thus, once you and a homebuyer are ready to dot the I's and cross the T's on a home sale agreement, you'll complete the house closing process.

During a house closing, all terms of a contract between a home seller and homebuyer must be met. Moreover, the home deed will be recorded, and the house will finally be sold.

The house closing is a key part of the home selling cycle. At this point, a home seller will receive final payment for a house and transfer ownership of the property to the buyer.

3. Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent plays a pivotal role in the home selling process, and for good reason. If you hire an expert real estate agent, you should have no trouble navigating the home selling journey.

Typically, a real estate agent handles all of the tasks associated with listing and selling a house. This housing market professional will help you promote your residence to potential homebuyers, host open houses and home showings and even negotiate with homebuyers on your behalf. Plus, if you receive an offer on a home, a real estate agent can offer honest, unbiased recommendations about whether to accept or reject the proposal.

You don't need to look far to find a qualified real estate agent in your area, either.

Real estate agents are employed across the United States. In fact, if you interview multiple real estate agents in your area, you can find a real estate agent who makes you feel comfortable and confident about selling your house.

Allocate the necessary time and resources to learn various home selling terms. With a clear understanding of home selling terms, you can avoid potential pitfalls throughout the home selling journey.




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Posted by Elena Langlois on 6/14/2018

While buying a home is a huge decision that should entail a lot of planning and preparation, applying for a mortgage can be surprisingly easy. Just like with other lenders and creditors, a mortgage lender will want to know that letting you borrow money will be a safe investment. Applying for a mortgage is all about ensuring just that.

In today’s post, we’re going to breakdown the home loan application process to help you have the best chances at a smooth and successful mortgage approval. We’ll also define some of the common terms used in mortgages that might leave you scratching your head so you have a better idea of what your options are.

Prequalification and Preapproval

Getting prequalified and preapproved for a mortgaged can both be helpful steps toward securing your home loan. The two terms mean two entirely different things, however.

In order to be prequalified for a mortgage, you typically need to only fill out a simple form (sometimes directly through a lender’s website). On this form, you won’t need to provide specifics or official documents.

Why is this process so simple? Well, that’s because getting prequalified for a loan doesn’t ensure that you’ll actually receive one. Rather, it is simply the first step toward finding out what type of mortgage and interest rates you could receive.

The next step after prequalification is preapproval. To get preapproved, you’ll have to fill out an official mortgage application. Your lender of choice will request a few pieces of information from you, including tax returns, proof of employment for the last two years, and a list of your debts. The lender will also perform a credit check to determine your loan eligibility.

Credit report

At this phase, lenders will also run your credit report. This is a type of “hard credit inquiry” that details your payment history, the number of accounts you have open, and other factors that help make up your credit score.

To secure the lowest interest rate possible, it helps to have a high credit score. So, in the years and months leading up to your mortgage application, focusing on building credit will pay off.

To increase your credit score, you’ll need to focus on paying your bills on time each month. You should also avoid opening new accounts within a few months of applying for a mortgage because this will count as a new credit inquiry. New credit inquiries--including applying for a mortgage--lower your score temporarily, so it’s best to avoid them when possible.

Additional paperwork required for mortgage applications

Not every mortgage application will be the same. Depending on the type of income you receive, you may need to provide different forms of income verification.

Each person will also have to claim different debts and assets. When buying a home with a spouse or partner, it’s important to consider your debts, assets, and credit scores to determine if it’s better to apply jointly or separately.





Posted by Elena Langlois on 6/7/2018

If you want to buy a home in the near future, you’re going to need to really focus on the goal. Buying your first home is no small feat. There are a few habits that you’ll want to start right away once you decide that you’re ready to take the plunge into homeownership. 


Make Savings Automatic


If you’re going to start saving for all of the expenses that buying a home brings, the best thing that you can do is automate your savings. The down payment is usually more money than most people can even plan for. If you have a small amount of each paycheck go into a dedicated account for the house fund, you’ll be in better shape financially. You can never start saving too early or too much. The goal is to save as much as you possibly can. Put the money in a place where you won’t have easy access to it. If you don’t see it, you won’t spend it! 


Check Your Credit Score


Your credit report is one of those things that can’t be magically fixed. It takes some time and a little work to keep your credit score up. You’ll need to make sure that you make on-time payments each and every month. If there are any glaring mistakes on the report, you’ll need to fix them, as it could take some time for any changes to show up. The most important thing is to keep your credit record clean by making on-time payments, refraining form opening too many new accounts, and paying down any outstanding debt. Once you check your credit score and see what you have to work with, you’ll be in good standing in no time. 


Become A DIYer


When you move into a home, there’s a lot that may need to be done. If you can do some of the work yourself, instead of hiring contractors and other people, you may be able to save some money. This wouldn’t include anything dangerous like electrical work or complicated plumbing issues. There are plenty of projects that you can safely take on in a home that will save money and keep your home in great shape. 


Learn To Budget


Owning a home can actually be cheaper than renting in some cases. If you learn to budget, factoring in things like food, utilities, and how much you spend on entertainment, you’ll see how much you have to work with. See how much you’re spending and then decide where you can cut down costs from there. You’ll find more money that you can be saving towards a home. The best part about buying a home is that you own it! There is no middle man telling you what you can and cannot do in a space.




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Posted by Elena Langlois on 5/31/2018

If you think your bathroom needs some major renovations, but you aren’t sure you can foot the bill for a full bathroom makeover, there’s good news. While a complete bathroom overhaul can be one of the most expensive projects in your home, little changes can make a big difference. Read on for tips on how to give your bathroom a boost without taking out a large loan or losing the use of your bathroom. 


Add Storage To Your Shower


Doing something as simple as adding shelving to your shower can make it stylish. There are many different inexpensive, easy to install corner shelves for the tub that not only add storage to the bath but make everything look neater and more attractive too. Some shelving even connects with the twist of a rod- no drilling required!


Add Some Art


Those souvenirs that you bring back from vacation don’t need to go to waste. Use them as art for your wall. You can use frames or shadow boxes to display some of your favorite memories from vacations past. Even fun pieces of art that you love can be a grand addition to any bathroom. Make the loo a peaceful little getaway! 


Change Up Your Shower Curtain


This sounds so simple but can make one of the biggest impacts on your bathroom. Your shower curtain brings a dramatic effect to your room because it is a focal point.


Put In Some Storage 


Your bathroom can become more functional if you add some storage to the room. If the bathroom appears less cluttered, you’ll have more room to store things and feel better about the room. Shelving is such an easy thing to put up and it adds a lot to a room. Shelves can even make the room look bigger! It’s simple to store things that you want to keep out of the way but need in reach.



Paint


There’s nothing that brightens up a room quite like paint. It’s the first thing that any interior decorating expert will tell a homeowner looking to bring a new vibe to their home. You don’t even have to paint every wall in the bathroom. Just an accent wall will do wonders. 


Add Plants


Nothing brings great feeling to a room like greenery. Plants bring oxygen to a room and make you feel happier when you’re in that space. Science has even proven it! There’s probably no more appropriate place in a home for plants than the bathroom. The moisture and warm environment is a favorable growing condition for many varieties.   

 





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Posted by Elena Langlois on 5/24/2018

For homebuyers, a home inspection is paramount. This inspection enables you to look closely at a house and identify any problem areas. It also may force you to rethink your decision to buy a house, particularly if you discover a wide range of problems during the inspection.

Ultimately, it pays to consider your options following a home inspection. In fact, if you take an in-depth approach to potential home repairs, you can determine whether to ask a seller to complete these repairs before you finalize a purchase agreement.

Before you ask a seller to perform home repairs, there are several questions that you should consider, and these are:

1. How much will it cost to complete assorted home repairs?

A damaged roof is much more expensive to repair than a defective light fixture. Fortunately, if you assess the costs of potential home repairs, you can differentiate major home repairs from minor ones and plan accordingly.

If a home requires thousands of dollars in repairs, it may be worthwhile to ask a seller to complete these repairs. Otherwise, you'll be responsible for allocating the necessary time and resources to perform costly home repairs after you finalize your house purchase.

On the other hand, minor home repairs may be easy to handle on your own. If you feel comfortable completing minor home repairs, you may want to avoid submitting a request to a seller to perform these repairs. Because if you ask a seller to complete myriad minor home repairs, he or she may walk away from a potential home sale.

2. Are there any required repairs that must be completed right away?

Required repairs, i.e. repairs that will address hazardous conditions in a house, sometimes will need to be completed following a home inspection. These repairs include water penetration issues and local code safety violations.

If required repairs go unaddressed, your lender is unlikely to provide you with the financing that you need to acquire a house. Thus, you should request a seller complete these repairs as soon as possible.

3. Is it worth my time to ask a seller to complete home repairs?

There is no right or wrong answer to the aforementioned question, as every homebuyer and home seller is different. If you are uncomfortable with a house following an inspection, you should examine the inspection report and determine the best course of action. And if you feel that asking a seller to perform home repairs is essential, it is important to do just that.

Lastly, if you need assistance throughout the homebuying journey, it helps to work with an expert real estate agent. This housing market professional usually will attend a home inspection and help you assess a house. Plus, an expert real estate agent is happy to provide recommendations and suggestions to ensure you can make an informed home purchase.

Take the guesswork out of evaluating a house following an inspection – consider the aforementioned questions, and you can determine whether to ask a seller to complete home repairs after an inspection.




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