Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA
RE/MAX Leading Edge | 781-944-6060 | marilynellis@remax.net


Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 12/7/2017

When you buy a home, thereís more to shop for than just the right place to live. Before you settle with a lender, you should shop around a bit. You want to be sure that your lender has your very best interests in mind when youíre in the midst of making one of the biggest purchases of your lifetime. Below, youíll find some of the most important questions that you need to ask a lender while youíre in the process of buying a home.


Do You Offer Any Special Programs?


Choosing the right lender involves choosing a firm that offers the types of programs that will be helpful to your specific situation. You should look for a lender that offers a wide array of loans to suit your needs. Beware of any lender who tries to push you into a certain type of loan, especially if you donít feel that it is a good fit for you. 


Do You Understand The Terms Of Certain Types Of Loans?


If you are seeking a certain type of loan, you probably should tell your lender that upfront. Of they seem familiar with it and have worked with the loan before, youíre in good hands. If the type of loan that youíre looking for is more uncommon, then you may need to shop around carefully for the right lender who understands your needs. 


Do I meet The Qualifications For Specific Loans?


The requirements for the same loan at two different lenders could be different. Things like your credit score could be a big factor. If you have a less than desirable credit score, this would also prompt you to want to look around a bit. You should know that different lenders have different terms and looking at a few lenders could be beneficial to you.


What Are The Mortgage Rates?


Youíll need a general ballpark idea of what rates will be for you when you finally secure that home loan. Keep in mind that rates fluctuate often and that an estimate will be just that. Itís not a number that will be set in stone, however, it will give you a good place to start as you shop around for a loan. 


Do You Help With Down Payments?


There are many down payment assistance programs available and your lender can help you to navigate them. The more you put down, the better your interest rate will be. If the amount that youíre able to put down on a home is a factor for you, definitely discuss it with your lender.


Can You Provide Pre-Approval Proof?


In hot real estate markets, youíre going to need some proof that youíre pre-approved in order to have the upper hand once you put in an offer on a home. Your lender should be able to provide your real estate agent with a certified letter of your pre-approval and the amount. 


Choosing the right lender is just as important as choosing the right realtor and the right home to buy. Itís just another part of the home buying process!




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Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 11/30/2017

Buying a retirement home is a big decision. And doing so before you retire is a smart decision. However, youíre also in a completely different place than you will be when youíre retired or as you age. You donít know what the future holds. Itís easy to take our mobility for granted until we lost it. There are a few things you should look for in a home to plan for the future and whatever it may hold.

Many empty-nesters look to downsize when buying their next home. And this very well might be the perfect option for you. But first, consider how often and how many guests you may want to have over at a time. Will you host holiday dinners or want to have room for grandchildren to stay for the night? If you have a large family or one that is growing many couples find they want the room to host dinners or have a pull-out couch.

Youíll also want to plan ahead for the future when choosing the size and layout of your new home. Even if you downsize itís wise to put wide hallways and a single floor plan on your wishlist as you house hunt. If either of you has mobility limitations in the future youíll be glad to have such an accessible home.

The lower your monthly payments on your new mortgage, the better. But more ideally youíll want to consider homes in a price range that allow you to pay in full. Again, keeping retirement in mind keeping bills to a minimum so that either one of you can cover all costs on one sole income could save you from hardship down the line. Retirement is very different from what it used to be, often many people find themselves needing to take on part-time work to get by. Keeping expenses well below your monthly income can help to ensure you can spend your retirement years enjoying life in the way you want to.

In general, when planning retirement itís best to live below your means. Not only do you want to account for inflation costs but also for any unexpected large expenses that could crop up such as home repairs, emergency care, or car maintenance. Having an idea of what your future budget will be as well as your current one will help you make the best decisions for the years ahead now.

Buying a retirement home can save you money in the long run on bills like heating and electric. However, house hunting for the perfect home entails a lot more decisions that many couples realize. Remember to plan for your life both now and later when putting together your must have features for your new home.





Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 11/23/2017

Although your condo has served you well for many years, now may be a great time to look to move out of your condo and into a new home.

Ultimately, there are many reasons why you might want to sell your condo, including:

1. Your condo is too small.

Your condo was large and spacious when you initially moved into it a few years ago. However, as you have accumulated items and your family has grown, your condo now lacks the space you need.

If you find that your condo is too small for your family, there's no need to worry. In many instances, a condo offers a great starter home, and it is common for people to look to upgrade from a condo to a house.

Lucky for you, interest in condos is rampant across the United States. This means you should have no trouble stirring up interest in your condo if you ever decide to sell it.

2. You want to capitalize on a seller's market.

The housing market fluctuates constantly. As such, when a seller's market arrives, it may prove to be the best possible time to maximize the value of your condo.

In a seller's market, there is a shortage of quality properties available and an abundance of homebuyers who are searching for their dream residences. Meanwhile, if you own a top-notch condo, you may be able to add it to the real estate market and receive a hefty sum for your property.

To learn more about how a seller's market works, consult with a real estate agent. This real estate professional will be able to educate you about the ins and outs of a seller's market. And if you decide to list your condo, your real estate agent will be able to help you price it competitively from the get-go.

3. You want greater flexibility to complete home improvement projects.

Let's face it Ė your homeowners association (HOA) does an excellent job to maintain your home's exterior, but it would be great to have the flexibility to complete a home exterior project without the HOA's approval.

Condo living involves trade-offs. Typically, condo owners will pay HOA fees that guarantee walkways are shoveled in winter, lawns are cut in spring and summer and other day-to-day home maintenance tasks are performed regularly. On the other hand, if you want to repaint your home's exterior, you'll likely need the HOA's approval to do so. And if you decide to add a fresh coat of paint to your home's exterior on your own, you will probably receive HOA fines and penalties.

As a homeowner, you'll never have to worry about asking an HOA's permission to update your house's exterior. Instead, you can paint your home any color you'd like, plant a garden in your front yard, install a swimming pool in your backyard and much more any time you choose.

Ready to add your condo to the real estate market? Employ a real estate agent, and you can boost your chances of optimizing the value of your condo.




Tags: Condo   condo fees   condo rules  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 11/16/2017

Ready to acquire your dream home? Although you might have already located your ideal residence, you may need to negotiate with a home seller. By doing so, both you and a home seller will be satisfied with the final results of a property transaction.

However, a homebuying negotiation sometimes can be tricky. And if you fail to keep your cool throughout a negotiation, you may miss out on the opportunity to purchase your dream residence.

What does it take to remain calm during a homebuying negotiation? Here are three tips to help you do just that.

1. Take Your Emotions Out of the Equation

Don't take it personally if a home seller wants to negotiate. Instead, view it as an opportunity to ensure all parties involved in a home sale get the best results possible.

In many instances, it's easy for homebuyers to let their emotions get the best of them. But if you feel overwhelmed by stress and frustration, it is essential to take a step back and assess the situation. That way, you can avoid making any rash decisions that could put your chance to purchase a top-notch house in danger.

Try to maintain a positive outlook throughout a homebuying negotiation. Also, don't hesitate to reach out to family members and friends for support, as these loved ones likely can help you analyze any homebuying hurdles and find ways to overcome them.

2. Know Your Options

You may invest many hours in a homebuying negotiation, and you might even make various concessions along the way. But despite your best efforts, there are no guarantees that your homebuying negotiation will be successful.

For homebuyers, it is important to remember that there are plenty of houses available in cities and towns nationwide. Therefore, if a homebuying negotiation goes sour, you can walk away and start a new search for a terrific home.

3. Consult with Your Real Estate Agent

When it comes to negotiating a home purchase, a real estate agent can make it easy to streamline the process of acquiring your dream residence. This housing market professional can serve as a liaison between you and a home seller. As such, he or she will do everything possible to deliver exceptional results for all parties involved in a homebuying negotiation.

Your real estate agent can take the guesswork out of a homebuying negotiation. This real estate expert can respond to any concerns or questions you may have throughout a negotiation. In addition, he or she will provide honest, unbiased recommendations to help you make informed homebuying decisions.

Perhaps best of all, your real estate agent can help you alleviate stress during a homebuying negotiation. He or she will provide you with world-class guidance, enabling you to stay calm, cool and collected as you search for your ideal residence.

Don't let your emotions overwhelm you during a homebuying negotiation. Conversely, use the aforementioned tips, and you can maintain your composure throughout a homebuying negotiation and boost your chances to acquire a first-rate house.





Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 11/9/2017

A lawyer maybe the last person that you think of contacting during the home selling process. After all, if you hire a lawyer when you sell your house, you reduce the amount of profit that you get to keep from the sale of your home. Factor in your real estate agentís commissions and you could decide that bringing on a lawyer simply is not worth it.

Yet, a lawyer could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars on the back end of a house sale. Following are a few ways that selling your house with the help of a lawyer could pay off.

Attorneys could save you legal fees related to problems that arise from the sale of your house

  • Ensure that you meet all required legal disclosures. States like California have strong house disclosure rules. Not only do you have to disclose of known defects with your house, you also have to sign disclosure forms in some states. A lawyer could let you know if youíre required to pay for a home inspection before you sell your house. An attorney could also let you know how soon before closing you are required to get your house inspected.
  • Trees with limbs that hang over your neighborís property are another area that a real estate lawyer can advise you on. For example, a real estate attorney may know whether or not you have to remove hanging limbs if a tree produces fruit that could fall onto your neighborís property and cause damages.
  • Contingencies like how to handle counter offers can also be written up by a real estate lawyer. If the buyer presents you with contingencies, the lawyer that you work with while selling your house could look the contract over, ensuring that you get a good deal.
  • Should your house be in foreclosure, a real estate lawyer can let you know what to expect during the foreclosure process. A good real estate attorney could also work with lenders and help you avoid losing your home, giving you enough time to sell the property and potentially earn a profit.
  • If youíre selling a house that you formerly rented to tenants, by working with a real estate attorney you can stay within the guidelines of tenant removal notices, occupancy rules and leasing agreements. You could also work with a real estate attorney to draw up lease to own agreements. This option may work well when selling to first time homeowners, especially if the homeowners are concerned about taking on the responsibility of owning a house but are, on the other hand, prepared to move into a place of their own.

If youíreselling your house on your own, without the support or guidance of a licensed real estate agent, consider working with a lawyer who is familiar with the real estate market. A lawyer who understands property tax laws, defect reporting,property boundaries and housing discrimination regulations could help you to avoid legal errors. The attorney who you contract with to help sell your house could also increase the level of confidence that potential home buyers have in the deal.




Tags: mortgage lawyer   lawyer  
Categories: Uncategorized