Monday, December 3, 2018
Sunday, December 2, 2018
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Thursday, November 8, 2018
Friday, November 2, 2018
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Thursday, October 25, 2018
Saturday, October 13, 2018
Did you buy a new home recently? If so, Congratulations on your new home! Here are some tips for setting up and settling in for you and your family.
1. Pack your necessities in one place. Keep important documents and necessary items packed in one place separate from the rest of your things to ensure they stay safe and accessible in the transition.
2. Change your address. The United States Postal Service allows you to change your address easily on their website. Don’t forget to also change it with your bank, auto insurance company and voter registration.
3. Get the basic moving supplies. Purchase a basic toolbox and stock up on cleaning supplies to make any quick fixes before you unpack.
4. Set up utility services. Contact your cable and utility providers to set up service at your new address.
4. Learn the neighborhood routine. Check the trash and recycling schedule for your new neighborhood. Review any Homeowners’ Association (HOA) guidelines to familiarize yourself with your new routine.
5. Unpack the kids first. Start with your kids’ rooms so they have something familiar to help them acclimate to their new home. They’ll also have things to do when you unpack the rest of the house.
6. Meet the neighbors. Introduce your family to the folks in your neighborhood. Bring a fun treat, like cookies, to leave a good impression.
7. Celebrate! Give yourself some time to relax after unpacking — then throw a party! Housewarming gifts and familiar faces will make your new house feel like home.
Monday, October 8, 2018
HOW TO HANDLE A BIDDING WAR
So you have found the home of your dreams, it has all the features you want, and it is in the right neighborhood. Even the price is right, but suddenly you find yourself in a bidding war with one or more people who also think this is the perfect home.
This can be a stressful and sometimes even heartbreaking experience, but what knowledge should you arm yourself with before entering a bidding war with other potential buyers?
Here are a few important tips to remember in order to get the house of your dreams without breaking the budget.
KNOW YOUR BUDGET
Having a good idea of what you can afford and knowing your target price can really prevent you from making a bid that you may ultimately not be able to honor. The best way to do this is to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you begin house hunting. That way you will be certain of what you can afford, and if you do find that perfect house you will be able to move quickly to make the purchase.
KNOW ITS VALUE
While the home for which you are involved in a bidding war may be the house of your dreams, paying considerably more for it than it is worth is never a wise choice. To avoid getting yourself into this situation, do your homework before making an offer. Look at the value of similar homes in the area, and contact a real estate agent or expert to determine the fair value.
KNOW WHAT YOU'RE PAYING FOR
Getting the results of a home inspection, determining what features actually come with the house, and knowing how much you will have to spend to get it in livable condition will give you a clearer picture of what you are paying for, what comes with the house, and what your budget can hold.
The fears in any bidding war are that your bid will not be the highest, or that the bidding will keep raising the price higher and higher.
To prevent this from happening your best approach in any bidding war is to bid right the first time. If you are prepared to bid, making your best offer first time around will prevent your bid from being rejected due to another higher offer. Bidding odd amounts can sometimes make the difference between your bid or another being the highest.
In general, being caught in a bidding war for a home you really want is always a stressful situation, but armed with these few tips you can end up with the house you want at the price you are prepared to pay.
Thursday, October 4, 2018
You put your home up for sale and it simply didn't sell. Undoubtedly, this has created a lot of stress, inconvenience and anxiety for you and your family.
Perhaps you already bought another home. Maybe you needed this home sold because of a job change. Regardless of the reason, it's certainly a burden! What Should You Do?
The first thing to do is to take a step back and analyze the situation. Try to assess what factors led to your home not selling. In the next couple of days, I'll outline four reasons why homes tend to sit on the market. Here is the first one:
IS THE PROPERTY OVERPRICED?
Overpricing your property is usually the number one reason it did not sell. Assuming your neighborhood or area has homes with similar features (number of bedrooms and baths, lot size, etc.) on the market for a lower price, buyers will naturally buy those properties first.
The price of your property should be competitively priced with these other homes. That means if you want to sell your home, price the home at or slightly below the comparables. Your real estate agent will help you establish the best price based on the competition. Again, pricing your property above comparable properties can easily cause it to languish.
Another problem with pricing higher than competitive properties is the price reductions.
Most homeowners will reduce the price once they realize their home is priced higher than the competition. When your real estate agent enters the price reduction in the MLS® System, the property is probably at or near where it should have been priced in the first place.
The problem now is you missed a lot of the buyers the first round that bought comparable homes for the same price you have just reduced your home to.
To overcome this situation, you are going to have to make sure your new, reduced price is extremely competitive.
If your price reduction still leaves the asking price of your home higher than any comparables, your home will probably continue to languish. Your real estate agent will help you assess the competition and help you establish an asking price that will get the home sold.
Monday, October 1, 2018
Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Paying off your mortgage is one of the biggest financial goals of most homeowners, and retiring debt-free can certainly give your golden years a greater sense of financial freedom and stability.
Whether you're nearing retirement age or are just looking to reduce your largest debt load more quickly, here are some great tips for paying off your mortgage faster!
PRINCIPAL VS INTEREST
Essentially, to pay off your mortgage you have to reduce the principal owing on your property. There are really two ways you can do this without dramatically reducing your monthly budget.
INCREASE YOUR MONTHLY PAYMENTS
Even increasing your monthly payments by a small amount can take years off the life of your mortgage. You can also choose an accelerated plan whereby you can make weekly or biweekly payments rather than monthly. This will allow you to make a few extra payments each year.
Combining these efforts can really have a surprising effect on the principal of your mortgage over a short period of time. There are a number of free online calculators that can help you figure out the exact numbers for your particular situation.
REDUCE YOUR INTEREST RATE
If increasing your monthly payments is not an option, you can still pay off your mortgage faster by refinancing your mortgage to negotiate a lower rate.
Keep your eye on the financial markets to gauge the best time to make this move, and seek out the advice of a REALTOR® or financial advisor to confirm that this is a viable option for your current financial situation. If you have a good history of payment and an excellent credit score, finding a lender shouldn't be a problem.
MAKE A LUMP SUM PAYMENT ON YOUR MORTGAGE
Another way you can decrease your mortgage principal and pay off your mortgage faster is by making a large lump sum payment. If you have come into extra money, have received a large income tax return, or just have a considerable amount of savings, this may be a wise financial decision.
It will also dramatically decrease the amount of interest you will pay over the life of your mortgage and thus save you money. Just be sure your mortgage does not include a clause that will penalize you, and then determine whether it is still a good choice before going ahead.
The satisfaction a homeowner feels when they make that last mortgage payment is really unmatched by any other financial achievement, and following these simple steps can more quickly make that dream a reality.
Selling a home is stressful for everyone, and having young children in the house can add to the stress for the parents. Let's face it-kids have a way of making a mess in a hurry and leaving it behind for someone else to deal with. They are also problematic in other ways when it comes to selling your house.
Of course, you can't ask your kids to move out while you sell-but you can find some smart solutions to the difficulties of selling a home in which children are living.
LOWER THE CLUTTER QUOTIENT
During the home selling process, pack up some of your kids' excess toys and other items and put them in storage. Let them help pick which items will stay out, and if the sale process goes on for a while let them trade a few items now and then. Removing a portion of the clutter that comes with kids will make it a lot easier to keep the house clean and ready to show, preventing the stress of trying to clean up a mess of toys when people are on their way to see the house.
SET UP A SHOWING PLAN
Whenever possible, you should try to show the home when your children are not there. They can be a major distraction to potential buyers and may say or do things that could cause you some embarrassment or put the buyer off. Try to set up showings while your children are at school or extracurricular activities. If you have to do a showing when they are normally home, enlist help. Ask a friend or family member if they would mind having the kids over for a while, or even just taking them for a walk while the house is being shown.
KID FRIENDLY, BUT NOT TOO KID FRIENDLY
For some buyers, a home that is set up for kids is a plus; for other buyers it might cause them to see the house in a different light and pass on it. Try to keep the kids' items contained to one space, and reduce the number of kid-friendly features such as high chairs or potty stools that buyers might not want to walk around when they see the house. Some things can be moved just before a showing if you need them every day, but others should be removed entirely during the selling process.
Your kids are a big part of your life, and it's their home, too-but bear in mind that buyers sometimes have trouble seeing past clutter and too much kid stuff. Keep it as clean as possible, while still livable for the whole family.
In today's market many foreclosed properties are being offered at auction. In fact, you will occasionally see them listed or advertised in your local paper. They may say "home for sale by auction" or "estate sale."
While there are deals to be made, this tactic can also backfire if you haven't properly prepared. Know the area where your potential properties are located. Check out what other properties in the area have sold for. Find out if any zoning changes have been approved in the area.
Make sure you research every property you're interested in as far as what's owed. Is there more than one mortgage, any other liens against the property, what about property taxes, are they up to date? Make sure you've inspected the subject properties. You don't want to end up having to spend tens of thousands of dollars on repairs once you've become the proud new owner.
Have a set price you will pay, and walk away if the bidding goes over that price. Auctions are notorious for the bidding frenzy that takes place.
You need to have financing in place. Most auctions expect the full purchase price to be paid within thirty days. Auctions can and are, cancelled at the last minute. Make sure you call the auction house the day before and the day of the auction to make sure it's still on.
Did you notice I've always mentioned 'properties' not just one property? That's because at an auction, there's a good chance you'll be outbid by someone else. Having more than one property on your list of prospects will keep you from thinking that you MUST get a specific property.
The above are just tips, but you really shouldn't go it alone.
Contact a licensed real estate agent, who's been through the process many times. They'd be happy to be your guide from beginning to end, and help set up property inspections, discussions with contractors, and review the areas where you're looking to purchase. Give the Galli team a call if you want to be more informed about foreclosures and have us help you get one of them. 9044697828
Friday, September 21, 2018
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Wednesday, August 29, 2018
DISPELLING REFINANCING MYTHS
“Refinancing” is a scary word for many people, but that shouldn’t be the case for you.
For many homeowners, refinancing can not only lower your monthly payments and help with your monthly budget, but it can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
YOU’RE NOT TOO LATE.
For years now, we’ve been hearing that interest rates will be on the rise, and although there have been some small increases, you’re still in a great position to drastically lower your interest rate.
The general rule is if your mortgage interest rate is more than one percent above the current market rate, you should consider refinancing.
IT’S NOT TOO TIME CONSUMING.
Don’t brush off refinancing just because it seems like a long and daunting process. An informational call with a lender to see how rates compare will only take a few minutes.
There are also some programs for streamlining the application process. And besides, isn’t the amount of money you could save worth the time and effort?
ARMS CAN BE REFINANCED, TOO.
Seeing your Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) increase after the introductory period can be incredibly stressful and place a squeeze on your budget. Many people assume they’re stuck, but ARMs can be refinanced, just like fixed-rate mortgages.
You can even switch to a shorter term fixed-rate mortgage, such as 15 or 23 years. The longer you’re planning to stay in the home, the more sense it makes to look into refinancing.
Sunday, August 26, 2018
Saturday, August 25, 2018
Home inspection is an important part of the home sale process, both for buyers and sellers. When it’s time for you to hire an inspector, here are five things you should be thinking about:
1. It’s your choice: You are not bound or obligated to use any particular inspector. Your real estate professional may have some recommendations, but it’s ultimately up to you. Ask around and choose wisely—better to pay a little more now for a highly-respected inspector than to be surprised by a problem that the inspection didn’t reveal.
2. Looking for big problems: The inspector will be focused on the integrity of the home—safety, electrical work, foundation, load-bearing walls, etc. The inspector is not there to point out problems with ugly paint colors or light fixtures.
3. The report: There are hundreds of items to inspect in a home, so the inspector’s report will focus on the basics: What’s damaged, what needs repaired, etc. The report should be easy to read and understand.
4. Code of ethics: Though the inspector is working for the party that pays the inspector’s fee, the inspector will not deliver a report that intentionally hides or omits damaging information about the home. The report is private between you and the inspector, but if you’re the seller, you’re required to disclose any problems that the inspection reveals.
5. The inspector is not liable: Even the best inspectors can’t find every single problem in a home. They can’t see inside the walls or through the floors, so there could still be problems lurking. If a problem is revealed down the road, the inspector can’t be held responsible.