Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger - RE/MAX Executive Realty



Posted by Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger on 3/21/2018

Buying a home should be simple. Unfortunately, purchasing a residence can become complicated quickly, especially if you fail to consider the immediate and long-term costs associated with a house.

Ultimately, there are many hidden expenses that a homebuyer needs to consider before he or she purchases a house, including:

1. Utilities

Heating and cooling costs, water fees, electricity expenses and other utility bills may prove to be overwhelming if you're not careful. Fortunately, if you learn about various utility costs now, you may be better equipped to keep your utility bills in check at your new residence.

Ask your real estate agent for information about a home seller's utility bills. By doing so, you can get a better idea about how much your utilities may cost if you decide to purchase a particular residence.

Also, if you plan ahead for your utility bills, you can budget accordingly. Keep in mind that utilities are essential in any home. As such, you'll need to account for these costs in addition to your monthly mortgage payments, regardless of the home you buy.

2. Commuting

If you're moving to a new city or town, you'll want to consider how your move may impact your daily commute to work, school or any other locations that you visit regularly.

Consider a home's proximity to highways. If you move to a house that is located near a major highway, you may encounter heavy traffic at various points throughout the day, resulting in a lengthy commute.

Also, find out whether public transportation is available near your new home. In some instances, you may be able to take advantage of buses, trains and other public transportation options to get where you need to go without delay.

3. Home Upgrades

Although a home may appear to be a dream come true, there are problems beneath a house's exterior that could bubble to the surface after you complete your purchase. Thus, you may want to put aside money for home upgrades that may be necessary in the near future.

For example, an older home may require a new hot water heater and furnace soon. And if you start saving for a new hot water heater and furnace today, you may be able to replace them before it's too late.

A home inspector can help you identify home problems. This professional will conduct an in-depth review of a residence and provide honest feedback about any problems that could escalate quickly.

After a home inspection, you can always ask the home seller to perform the necessary repairs, or you can walk away from a home offer. On the other hand, you can keep your current home offer, move forward with your home purchase and complete the upgrades on your own.

When it comes to planning ahead for hidden home expenses, a real estate agent can point you in the right direction. Your real estate agent is happy to respond to your homebuying concerns and questions and will do everything possible to ensure you are fully satisfied with any residence you purchase.




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Posted by Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger on 12/27/2017

Whether you're looking for your first house, a vacation home, or a retirement condo, there's always an element of excitement in finding a new place you can call your own!

Although buying and selling real estate can be stressful, especially if you've never done it before, being prepared and knowing what to expect can help keep things on an even keel.

Similar to planning a vacation or a cross-country trip, you'll want to avoid missed connections, frustrating delays, and wasted time. When it comes to buying a home, a little research, planning, and expert advice can go a long way toward ensuring a smooth journey. Here are a few specifics:

Check your credit score: Your credit rating has a major impact on your ability to successfully apply for a mortgage and be offered a relatively low interest rate. Knowing your credit rating can help you understand your options, avoid unexpected surprises, and take action to correct errors in your credit report or improve your credit profile.

Prepare a wish list: One of the keys to getting what you want in a new home is to clarify and prioritize the features that matter the most to you. Your checklist can include everything from lot size and architectural style to the reputation of the school district and proximity to stores. Some house hunters also place a high value on features like a fireplace, screened-in porch, and an open floor plan.

Find a good real estate agent: A buyers' agent can provide you with an immense amount of help in finding properties for sale that meet your specifications. They can also provide assistance, advice, and guidance on the many steps involved in going from loan applicant to new home owner. An experienced agent can also negotiate the best possible deal, in terms of price, seller concessions, and other advantages.

Meet with mortgage lenders: A crucial step in preparing to become a homeowner is understanding the mortgage application process, knowing how much banks would be willing to lend you, and determining an affordable price range. Meeting with lenders is also the first step to comparing interest rates and choosing a financial institution that would best suit your needs. Here's a helpful tip from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: "Getting a preapproval letter helps you show sellers that you are a serious buyer – but it doesn’t commit you to a lender."

When it comes to searching for and buying a house, probably the best advice anyone could give you is "stay the course!" Let's face it: It's easy to give up, get discouraged, or settle for a home that's less than what you really want. However, when you adopt a "stay the course" mindset, you'll do a better job of staying motivated, focused, and well organized until you find just the right home for you, your family, and your future!





Posted by Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger on 9/21/2016

There's no denying the truth – the real estate market can be complicated. As such, regardless of whether you're a first-time or experienced homebuyer, you'll want to do everything you can to prepare for the process of purchasing a new residence. So what does it take to ensure you can land your dream home in any real estate segment? Here are three tips for both first-time and experienced homebuyers: 1. Understand the Speed of the Real Estate Market. A newly listed residence may sell only a few hours after it reaches the real estate market. Thus, you'll want to stay on top of houses as they become available in cities and towns where you'd like to relocate; otherwise, you risk missing out on what could be your perfect residence. Remember, the real estate market moves fast, and homebuyers who hesitate likely will struggle to score their dream homes. To accelerate the homebuying process, you'll want to get pre-approved for a mortgage. By doing so, you can submit an offer without having to commit significant time and resources to secure financing for your dream home down the line. Also, if you're interested in a home and feel comfortable with a residence, don't wait too long before you submit an offer. Because if you do, you could lose your dream home to another homebuyer. 2. View Any Home Purchase as an Investment. Although you have no plans to purchase a home and sell it at a later date, the future remains unpredictable. As a result, you should view any home you check out as a long-term investment and try to find a residence that you believe will increase in value. Typically, what you pay for a home is unlikely to represent your residence's total value in five or 10 years. But homebuyers who view a home purchase as an investment will understand that a residence's value will fluctuate over time and dedicate the time and resources to maximize a home's value, too. Look beyond a home itself to determine whether you are comfortable with a residence as a long-term investment. For instance, if you buy a newly constructed home in an up-and-coming area, the residence's value may rise quickly in the foreseeable future. On the other hand, if you purchase a "fixer-upper," aka a home in need of significant repairs, you may need to consider setting extra money aside to complete home improvement projects to help optimize this residence's value. 3. Work with an Experienced Real Estate Agent. Although you've done plenty of research about the housing market, it never hurts to have an experienced real estate agent at your disposal. A real estate agent is happy to assist you during every step of the homebuying process. That way, if you encounter any homebuying hurdles, this real estate professional can help you overcome these challenges without delay. Employ a real estate agent who possesses comprehensive industry experience and who makes you feel comfortable and confident as you explore the real estate market. And ultimately, your real estate agent should be able to help you find your dream home.





Posted by Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger on 12/11/2013

For many seniors, the idea of selling the home that they have raised a family in can be met with some resistance. And while many seniors are perfectly capable and comfortable taking care of a large home, there are some who would much rather do away with the hassle of home maintenance and lawn upkeep, opting instead to spend their golden years in a more relaxed setting with a more comfortable climate.  If you find yourself thinking about selling your home and settling in greener pastures, then there are a few things you will need to consider.

    • Are you moving because you want to, or because you think that taking care of your home is becoming a burden?
    • Do you want to move closer to family?
    • Is the climate you currently live in aggravating any medical conditions you may have?
Firstly, you must ask yourself what you'd want in your new residence.  Do you want to live in a place where things like lawn care and home maintenance are taken care of for you, or would you just prefer a smaller home?  Would you like to stay within your community, or are you thinking about an out-of-state move?  Florida has long been known for its retirement communities, but places like Arizona and New Mexico are quickly becoming retirement hot spots due to their affordability and warm climate. A few things to consider.
      • Availability and access to medical care
      • Would you like to have access to a swimming pool for exercise?
      • Are you open to the idea of living in an area with group activities?
Once you've settled on a potential destination, it's time to establish how much your home is worth.  A qualified real estate agent can help you through this process. For more moving tips for seniors, please click here.