Elena Langlois - Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Commonwealth Real Estate



Posted by Elena Langlois on 1/25/2018

One of the worst mistakes you can make when looking for a new home is to allow yourself to become discouraged. Once that happens, your energy level drops, your optimism wavers, and your standards slide.

Searching for just the right house for you and your family may take longer than you expect, but success is often right around the corner! In the mean time, persistence and mental focus will help you get past the rough spots and detours. If you decide to work with a real estate buyers' agent, they will help keep you motivated, encouraged, and updated on new listings.

Although a certain amount of flexibility is necessary when you're in the market for a new home, there are advantages to having a clear picture in your mind of what you're looking for. There are a lot of factors that can play a role in your degree of happiness and comfort in a new home, and it's vital to recognize exactly what those key features and characteristics would be.

Here are a few things to mull over as you visit homes for sale and compare the pluses and minuses of each.

  • Location: In addition to seeking out a neighborhood that's convenient for shopping, commuting, and meeting your family's needs, it also pays to keep investment value in mind. While nobody can look into a crystal ball and say with absolute certainty that property values will increase in the foreseeable future, there are educated guesses and projections that can be made based on trends and available data. An experienced real estate agent can be one of your best resources in determining whether a neighborhood is growing or declining. Very often there are telltale signs that are worth paying close attention to when evaluating different homes for sale.
  • Architectural style: While many house hunters are only interested in features like square footage, lot size, and the quality of the school district, you may have preferences for specific architectural styles. Finding a house that conforms to your architectural preferences can make a big difference in your level of satisfaction. Although there are more than thirty different styles from which to choose, many people lean toward Colonial houses, Craftsman style homes, Contemporaries, Ranch houses, Tudors, Victorians (Queen Anne, for example), Cape Cods, Art Deco houses, Split Levels, and Bungalows. Other style possibilities include Dutch Colonials, Georgian-style houses, and Spanish-influenced architectures , such as the Monterey, Spanish Eclectic, and Pueblo. While some styles tend to be mostly confined to certain areas of the country, most communities have a wide array of architectural styles available to home buyers.
  • Condition of the Home: Some of a house's flaws are easy to spot, while others may require the expertise of a certified house inspector. The extent to which you're willing to make repairs, updates, and renovations to a new home will be one key factor that will determine which house is best for your needs, goals, and budget.
There are literally dozens of features, characteristics, and quality standards to keep in mind when shopping for a new home, but location, structural condition, and style are three factors that are well worth including on your priority list.





Posted by Elena Langlois on 12/14/2017

An open house can be a life-changing event for a homebuyer. If you plan ahead for an open house, you should have no trouble determining whether a residence matches or exceeds your expectations. And if the answer is "Yes," you can proceed quickly to submit a competitive offer to acquire a house.

What does it take to prep for an open house? Here are three open house preparation tips that every homebuyer needs to know.

1. Understand Your Budget

Before you attend an open house, you should find out how much money is at your disposal. Thus, you may want to meet with banks and credit unions to see if you can get pre-approved for a mortgage. That way, you can kick off your home search with a budget in hand.

Although you know that you have only a certain amount of money to spend on a residence, it may be worthwhile to consider attending open houses for residences with initial asking prices that are above your price range. Because in some instances, a home seller may be willing to accept an offer that falls below his or her initial asking price.

2. Create a List of Questions

A home is one of the biggest purchases that a person can make, and as such, it pays to be diligent. If you craft a list of questions before an open house, you can get immediate responses from the showing agent. Then, you can determine the best course of action.

When it comes to an open house, there is no such thing as a "bad" question. As a homebuyer, it is paramount to get as much information as possible about a residence to determine whether a house is right for you. Therefore, if you create a list of questions in advance, you can improve your chances of getting the most out of an open house.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

If you're uncertain about how to approach an open house, you're not alone. Fortunately, real estate agents are available nationwide who are happy to teach you the ins and outs of the real estate market. By doing so, these housing market professionals will make it easy to take an informed approach to any open house, at any time.

A real estate agent will always keep you up to date about new residences as they become available. Also, if you are interested in homes in a particular city or town, a real estate agent will notify you about open houses in this area. And if you need extra help prepping for an open house, a real estate agent is happy to assist you in any way possible.

Let's not forget about the support that a real estate agent provides throughout the homebuying journey, either. A real estate agent will help you submit an offer on a house, negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf and much more.

Be diligent as you get ready for an open house Ė use the aforementioned tips, and you can fully prepare for an open house.





Posted by Elena Langlois on 10/26/2017

Shopping for a new home is difficult and time-consuming. With all of the homes listed for sale, itís tempting to want to visit all of them. However, if youíre juggling house-hunting with your work and personal life, then you likely wonít have time to set aside many hours to visit several homes.

 This is where you can use technology to your advantage. With free, modern tools online you can find out plenty about a house and the neighborhood itís in without ever having to go and visit it. Better yet, you can do so in just a few minutes right from home.

 In this article, weíre going to teach you how to become a real estate investigator from the comfort of your own couch, helping you save time while hunting for the perfect home for you. 

 Know what youíre looking for

While itís okay to browse homes for pleasure, when it comes to getting serious about buying a home youíll want to keep your search as specific as possible. Think about what you or your family need in a house and neighborhood, rather than focusing on idealized versions of those things.

A good way to do this is to sit down and make a list of your budget and the five most important things youíre looking for in a home. These could be things like distance to work, being in a certain school district, or having a certain number of bedrooms. Once you have these details in mind you can begin your search.

Search tools

There are a number of search tools for locating homes near you. The key to searching, however, isnít the tool you use but how you search. Refer to your list for things like room numbers, square footage, and location.

If you donít come up with as many hits as youíd like, try setting up email or text alerts so you can be made aware of the new results for your area.

Once you have a list of about ten properties, youíre ready to start researching them further to see which sellers you want to contact to view the home.

Researching a potential home

Many people are surprised at the number of things you can learn about a home just from a Google search. However, Google will be an indispensable tool in your search for the perfect home.

Letís start our search on Google Maps. Type in the address for the house youíre researching and see if there are any photos of the home that arenít on the listing page. Next, enter the satellite view of the home to get an idea of the layout of the home and property.

While youíre in Google Maps, itís a good idea to browse the local area for businesses, hospitals, schools, parks, and other services that might affect your decision. Then, set a driving route between the house and your place of work to find out how long it would take you to get to work if you moved there.

Once youíre done in Google Maps, head back to the Google search page and browse the results for the address. This could show you information on previous owners, prices, and crime statistics. All of this will be useful information in your search.

Repeat this search method for the rest of your homes on your list and youíll be narrowing down potential homes to visit in no time.





Posted by Elena Langlois on 8/24/2017

Buying a home is one of the largest commitments you will make in your life. It's also one of the best. Being a homeowner comes with a sense of independence that renting simply can't match. You can do with your home whatever you like, making it the place you love to go home to at the end of the day. Knowing when you're ready to buy a home is a complicated issue. But it's also a learning process that everyone is new to at some time in their lives. Sure, buying a home can be anxiety-inducing. But†you don't need to add any more nerves to the process because you feel uninformed. In this article, we'll lay out†a basic checklist that will help you determine when and whether you're ready to buy a home so that you can worry less about your credentials and focus more on finding the right home.

The checklist

  • Finances. We hate to put it first, but the reality is your finances are one of the main things that determines your preparedness for becoming a homeowner. Unlike renting, there's a lot more that goes into the home financing process than just your income. Banks will want to see your credit score to ensure you have a history of paying your bills on time. They'll also use your credit information to see how much debt you have and if you'll be able to take on homeowner's expenses on top of that. Another financial impact for buying a house is to determine if you can afford a downpayment. It's one thing to see that you can cover your bills with your income, but unless you have enough money saved for the downpayment (and any emergency expenses that may come up) you should wait a while and save before hopping into the market.
  • What are your longterm plans? Many people are excited at the thought of home ownership to the extent that they forget their life circumstances. If you have a job that might cause you to relocate in the next 5-7 years you might want to consider renting rather than buying. Depending on factors like the price of the home, cost of living in your area, and how long you plan on living in your new home, it may be cheaper to buy or rent in the long run. There are calculators available online that will tell you which option is†probably more cost-effective for you. As a general rule, however, if you plan on living in a new home for under 5-7 years, it might be cheaper to rent.
  • Do you have the time and patience to be a homeowner? Owning a home means you can't call on the landlord to fix your leaks anymore. Similarly, you probably won't be able to depend on someone else to shovel snow or mow the lawn for you. It takes work to be a homeowner, and if your job has you away from home for long periods of time or working very long hours, renting might not be appropriate at this time.
  • Plan for new expenses. If you can comfortably pay rent and you find out your home loan payments will be comparable, you should know that there will likely be new expenses to consider as well. Home insurance, property taxes, and expenses for things like sewer, plumbing and electrical repairs all should be taken into consideration. Additionally, you will likely have new utility bills, including electricity, water, oil, cable, and others depending on the home.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Elena Langlois on 8/10/2017

Looking to move from one neighborhood to another? You'll want to do your homework first! By learning as much as possible about a prospective neighborhood, you'll be equipped with valuable insights you can use to make the best decision for you and your family. Plus, you likely will be able to reap the benefits of residing in a superior neighborhood that fulfills all of your needs. So what does it take to evaluate a prospective neighborhood effectively? Here are three tips to help you conduct a comprehensive review of a new neighborhood: 1. Check out the local attractions. Are you searching for a neighborhood near some of the area's top schools? Or would you like to find a quiet, peaceful neighborhood that is miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city? Regardless of your preferences, you should check out local attractions surrounding a prospective new neighborhood. This allows you to get a better idea about what it's like to commute in and around the neighborhood. In addition, think about the big picture as you examine a prospective neighborhood, as this will help you determine if this destination is the best spot for you and your family both now and in the future. For instance, those who take public transportation to work may want to live in a neighborhood close to mass transit options. Or if you're planning on raising your family in a new neighborhood, you'll want to evaluate the quality of local schools, too. 2. Take a walk around the neighborhood. A new home in a new neighborhood may leave you speechless, especially if this house features ample space, a pristine front lawn and other deluxe features. On the other hand, the same may or may not hold true for other homes in a new neighborhood Ė it will depend entirely on your potential new neighbors. Take a walk around the neighborhood at least once before purchasing a new home. This allows you to compare the quality of your potential new home to others in the area. If you encounter a large assortment of homes that feature messy lawns, visible exterior damage and other problems, you may want to stay away from this neighborhood. Remember, you'll want to do everything you can to maintain your home's value. But if your new residence is surrounded by subpar houses, this could negatively impact your home's value down the line. 3. Perform a criminal search. When it comes to finding the ideal home in the best possible neighborhood, you'll want to go above and beyond the call of duty to maximize the value of your investment. Therefore, conducting a criminal search is paramount, as this enables you to find out if a neighborhood is safe. Performing a criminal search can be simple, and real estate professionals may be able to provide crime stats for a specific area upon request. Also, many websites are available that publish crime stats regularly, ensuring you can access up-to-date information quickly and effortlessly. Select a home in your dream neighborhood by investigating whether a prospective neighborhood meets all of your needs. This enables you to make an informed decision and benefit from a top-notch home in an outstanding neighborhood for years to come.