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 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 10/19/2017

Looking to purchase your first home? Not sure if you want to purchase a single-family home or a condo? What you purchase will be determinant on your thoughts about the below information. Take a look at the various differences between single-family homes and condos and decide the pros and cons for yourself. Location: Based on your price range, you will typically be able to purchase a condo in a location where you would otherwise not be able to purchase a home. But in return, you are often getting less square footage, closer by neighbors, and smaller outdoor living space. If you sacrifice a downtown city location for a location right outside of the city, you will get more for your money. Do you want to be able to walk to restaurants, shops and maybe work or is a home with free parking a more attractive option to you? It all depends on what is most important to you. Privacy: There will be less privacy when owning a condo versus a home, as neighbors are much closer. Condos typically share a wall with one another, some on just one side and some on both sides. This is an important detail to take into consideration when deciding between a condo and single-family home. Additional Costs: HOA fees or homeowner association fees are monthly fees that condo owners must pay. The fees cover things such as utilities, reserve and contingency funds, amenities, maintenance and repairs, which includes lawn care, snow removal, trash removal, exterior upkeep, etc. These costs vary depending on the condo amenities and policies. However, itís important to be aware that there is the possibility that these fees increase if there is not enough in the reserve to cover unforeseen costs. When owning a home, there are no HOA fees. This means that a homeowner needs to be cognizant of the additional costs of owning a home. Will you purchase a lawnmower and snow blower or hire a service? Will you have the additional funds to pay for unforeseen expenses? These are important questions to consider. Restrictions: Owning a condo has some limitations as there will be restrictions that would not exist when owning your own home (unless you purchase a historical home). There are often restrictions dealing with the exterior of your home, parking restrictions as well as having certain barbecues on decks. Condos are an attractive choice for those looking for a low maintenance lifestyle. And owning and maintaining a home will take more work on the homeownerís part. Itís important to figure out exactly what you want out of a home before you decide on one or the other, but knowing the difference between a single-family home and a condo is a first step.





Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 10/12/2017

When youíre shopping for a home, thereís so much to consider. Between the questions of what neighborhood you should live in and what style house you like, you need to think of the most important thing: finances. When you think that youíre financially ready to buy a home, you often will get the notion that itís a good time to just start shopping. Thereís several steps that you must take first before you start shopping for a home. One of the first steps you should consider taking before you make the leap into home ownership is to get preapproved. While buyers still tend to skip the preapproval process, doing this can help you immensely throughout the home buying process. While it may seem an insignificant and kind of boring step, getting preapproved is important for your finances. It may even help you to land in a home that you love faster. Itís actually detrimental to make an offer without a preapproval, because some lenders wonít accept an offer without one. Many realtors verify and require that offers come along with the stamp of preapproval. What Does Getting Preapproved Involve? You may have heard of a prequalification. This is much different from being preapproved. Prequalification involves buyer provided information, just to get a sense of how much they can spend on a home. Preapproval involves credit scores, bank statements, tax returns and more. This process states exactly how much lenders will be willing to give to the borrower. All of the documents needed for preapproval are the same exact documents needed for a mortgage. This helps you as the borrower prepare ahead of time as well. These are some of the kinds of documents that youíll need for preapproval: Pay stubs W-2s from the previous year Federal tax returns from the past two years Two Months of Bank Statements from all of your accounts A credit report While a preapproval is only one step in the long process of buying a home, it speeds up the later steps of securing a mortgage. The process also helps buyers face their financial reality. Donít put off the important process because you fear that you wonít be approved for the amount that you need. Itís also common for buyers to assume that because someone they know has been approved for a certain amount of money that they will be able to get that same loan amount as well. This isnít always the case and another great reason to get preapproved. Errors On Credit Reports Often, there are errors on credit reports. Thatís why you need to check them often. If you have some errors on your credit report, getting preapproved is a great way to check if there are any errors and give you time to fix them before you apply for a mortgage.




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Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 9/14/2017

The prospect of buying your first home is both exciting and nerve-wracking. On one hand, owning your own house is the final step of financial independence. Youíre no longer accountable to a landlord and their rental agreement. On the other hand, buying a home is a huge financial decision that will determine where you live for the next several years.

As a first-time buyer, thereís a lot to learn about buying a house. Youíll often hear homeowners say, ďI wish I knew that before buying this house.Ē So, in this article, weíre going to give you some common mistakes that first-time buyers make so you can have the best possible experience in the home buying process.  

1. Underestimating the costs

When first-time buyers get preapproved for a mortgage, they sometimes see this as permission to spend whatever amount theyíre approved for. However, even after closing costs, there are a number of other expenses youíll need to account for in your budget.

Youíll be responsible for maintenance, utilities, taxes, and repairing things when they get old. If all of your money is tied up just paying your mortgage and other bills, you wonít have anything left over to maintain your house.

Furthermore, living your life just to make your mortgage payments is draining. Instead, buy a house that gives you enough room to save for retirement, vacations, a family, or whatever else you see in your future.

2. Prequalify first

Before you start shopping for homes, make sure you meet some basic prerequisites. Youíll need a solid credit score, steady income history, and money saved for a down payment. You might set yourself up for disappointment looking at homes that are outside of your spending limit if you donít get prequalified first.

3. This probably isnít your last home

While itís okay to dream about the future, donít set unrealistic expectations for your first home. You can always upgrade later on, and building equity in your first home is a good way to help you do that.

4. Donít get too attached to your ďdream homeĒ

So, youíve been shopping around for a few weeks and finally found the perfect house. If everything goes well your offer could get accepted. But if it doesnít, donít worry about it. There are constantly new houses appearing on the market, and thereís a good chance youíll like one even more than this one.

5. Donít waive contingencies without good reason

Contingencies are there to protect you. They might seem like a way to needlessly complicate a contract. Or, you might think that waiving them makes you look better in the eyes of the seller. However, both sellers and their agents know that contingencies serve an important purpose.

The three main contingencies youíll want when buying a home are an appraisal contingency, financing contingency, and an inspection contingency. Unless youíre buying under special circumstances, youíll want to keep all three in your contract. 





Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 9/7/2017

For many people, nothing beats condo living. As such, the demand for condos continues to grow, and many property buyers are relocating to condos across the nation.

Before you buy a condo, however, it is important to remember that condo living is different from living in a traditional house. Therefore, property buyers who plan accordingly can set realistic expectations for condo living.

How can a property buyer find out what it's like to live in a condo community? Here are three tips to help you prepare for condo living.

1. Learn About Condo Communities in Your Area

Condo communities come in all shapes and sizes, and you should take a close look at the condo communities in your city or town to find out what they're all about.

Even a quick drive through a condo community may prove to be exceedingly valuable. This will enable you to see the size and style of assorted condos, along with the distance between the properties themselves.

After you view a few condo communities, consider what you'd like to find in your ideal residence. This will enable you to compare and contrast your home must-haves versus what condos offer and map out your property search accordingly.

2. Meet with Current and Past Condo Owners

Do any family members or friends who currently live in a condo community? If so, schedule a meet-up with them so they can share their thoughts and views on condo living with you.

Nothing beats firsthand knowledge about condo communities. By meeting with current or past condo residents, you can better understand the pros and cons of condo living.

Be sure to come up with a list of questions before you meet with current or past condo residents as well. Remember, the more you prepare, the better off you'll be as you determine whether condo living is right for you.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent has a simple goal: to help you find a residence that you'll be able to enjoy both now and in the future. As a result, this housing market professional can set up condo showings for you, allowing you to find out what it's like to live in a condo community.

In addition, a real estate agent can provide extensive details about what to expect if you decide to purchase a condo. This real estate professional can provide a copy of a condo community's homeowners' association (HOA) rules, inform you about any HOA fees and offer details about community pools and tennis courts that may be available to condo residents.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is happy to offer honest, unbiased condo buying recommendations. He or she can provide you with plenty of information about a broad assortment of condos to help you make an informed purchase decision.

When it comes to browsing condos, don't leave anything to chance. Instead, collaborate with a real estate agent, and you can explore a variety of condos any time you choose.




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