Key Questions to Ask a Mortgage Lender

Ready to buy a home? You’ll likely need a mortgage to ensure you can afford your dream residence. Lucky for you, many banks and credit unions are happy to help you discover a mortgage that suits you perfectly.

Ultimately, meeting with a mortgage lender may seem stressful at first. But this meeting can serve as a valuable learning opportunity, one that allows you to select a mortgage that is easy to understand and matches your budget.

When you meet with a mortgage lender, here are three of the questions to ask so you can gain the insights you need to make an informed decision:

1. What mortgage options are available?

Most lenders offer a broad range of mortgage options. By doing so, these lenders can help you choose a mortgage that meets or exceeds your expectations.

Fixed-rate mortgages represent some of the most popular options for homebuyers, and perhaps it is easy to understand why. These mortgages lock-in an interest rate for a set period of time and ensure your mortgage payments will stay the same throughout the duration of your mortgage.

Meanwhile, adjustable-rate mortgages may prove to be great choices for many homebuyers as well. These mortgages may feature a lower initial interest rate that rises after several years. However, with an adjustable-rate mortgage, you’ll know when your mortgage’s interest rate will increase and can plan accordingly.

2. Do I need to get pre-approved for a mortgage?

Pre-approval for a mortgage usually is an excellent idea, and for good reason.

If you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you may be able to enter the homebuying market with a budget in mind. That way, you can pursue houses that fall within a set price range and avoid the risk of overspending on a home.

On the other hand, you don’t need to be pre-approved for a mortgage to submit an offer on a home. But with a mortgage in hand, you may be able to gain an advantage over the competition, one that might even lead a home seller to select your offer over others.

3. How long will a mortgage last?

Many mortgages last 15- or 30-years – it all depends on the type of mortgage that you select.

A lender can explain the length associated with various mortgage options and highlight the pros and cons associated with these mortgages.

Moreover, you should ask a lender if there are any prepayment penalties if you pay off your mortgage early. This may help you determine whether a particular mortgage is right for you.

When it comes to finding a lender, don’t forget to meet with several banks and credit unions. This will allow you to discover a lender that offers a mortgage with a low interest rate. Plus, it enables you to find a lender that makes you feel comfortable.

If you need assistance in your search for the right lender, be sure to reach out to a real estate agent. This housing market professional can provide details about local lenders and ensure you can accelerate your push to acquire your dream residence.

Quick, Easy Ways to Determine the Ideal Home Price

If you intend to list your residence, you’ll need to think about how you’ll price your residence. However, what you initially paid for your home is unlikely to match its value today. And if you set an initial asking price that is too high, you risk alienating potential homebuyers.

Lucky for you, we’re here to help you determine the ideal initial asking price for your residence to increase the likelihood of a fast home sale.

Now, let’s take a look at three quick, easy ways to establish a competitive price for your house.

1. Look at Housing Market Data

Housing market data is easy to find and can show you how your residence stacks up against recently sold homes in your area.

Evaluate the prices of recently sold local residences that are comparable to your own. With this housing market data in hand, you can better understand pricing trends for houses in your city or town.

In addition, don’t forget to check out the prices of available houses in your region. This housing market data will help you understand the current state of the real estate market.

2. Conduct a Home Appraisal

A home appraisal is valuable because it allows you to receive a property valuation from a home expert. When the appraisal is complete, you may be able to prioritize various home improvement projects as well.

During a home appraisal, a property expert will examine your home’s interior and exterior. This property expert also will assess the prices of recently sold and available homes in your area, including the prices of residences in your neighborhood. Following the appraisal, you’ll receive a property valuation.

If a property valuation falls below your initial expectations, there is no need to worry. Remember, you can always perform assorted home maintenance and upgrades to boost your house’s value.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Work with a real estate agent throughout the home selling process – you’ll be glad you did. A real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that you can get the best price for your residence, regardless of the housing market’s conditions.

A real estate agent first will learn about you, your home and your home selling goals. Next, this housing market professional will list your residence, promote it to large groups of homebuyers and host home showings and open house events. If a homebuyer submits an offer on your residence, your real estate agent will help you analyze the proposal and determine whether to accept, reject or counter it.

Furthermore, a real estate agent is happy to respond to any home selling questions. This housing market professional knows exactly what it takes to sell a residence, and as such, is ready to respond to your home selling queries at all times.

Get the best price for your home – use the aforementioned tips, and you can price your house appropriately.

Cost-Cutting Tips For Home Insurance

Home insurance can be one of the more significant expenses when you’re a homeowner. You may feel that you’ll be stuck in the same monthly premium month after month, but there’s plenty of ways that you can save on your home insurance by making a few cuts here and there. 

Get A Higher Deductible


Just like any kind of insurance, the higher that your deductible is, the lower your premiums. The main problem with this is that when you need to make a smaller claim, the insurance may not cover any of the cost. Compare the risk of paying for expenses out of pocket to the benefits of a lower insurance premium. 

Get An Alarm System

Having an alarm system can help you to save money on your home insurance. The types of alarm systems that are directly connected to police departments or a central monitoring place will save you more money. You’ll need proof of this in order to get a discount. 

Other alarm systems like CO2 detectors and smoke alarms are generally required by law in a home, but check with your insurance company. You could save a little extra for your efforts to protect your family and home. 

Use One Insurance Company For Everything

Most insurance companies offer more than one type of insurance. This means that they love customers who use their policies to cover everything. Bundling your home, auto and life insurance with one company can help to save you some cash.

Own Your Home

Yes, paying your mortgage off completely sounds like a feat. Once the mortgage is paid off, however, you’ll have lower insurance premiums. This is for the simple reason that insurance companies feel that once you own the home, you’ll be more mindful of taking care of it. 

Think Before You Build

Building an addition on a home or putting in a swimming pool may sound like a great idea at first. You’ll need to think of how these construction projects will affect your premiums. A swimming pool raises your liability risk. Wood structures are considered highly flammable and cost more to insure. Many things that you put in your home can drive up the cost of your policy.  

Review Your Policy Often

You always have the right to do some comparison shopping once you get an insurance quote from one company. The place you work for may even offer some sort of group rate for insurance. Associations that you belong to may also be able to help save you some money. Do a little ground work and you may be able to save big just by comparing policies and levels of coverage.                  

Assess Your Valuables

The whole point of insurance is for you to be able to replace your valuables if damaged or stolen. If items in your home have changed, you may want to reassess the contents of your home and just how much coverage you need. If you have less to replace, you’ll save on your insurance premiums because the value of your policy will go down.

Choosing Between Single-Family Home and Condo

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, it’s 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 homeowner’s part. It’s 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.

How to Expedite the Home Buying Process

Buying a house is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your life, both financially and otherwise. Just like retirement funds, buying a home and paying off your mortgage can be a significant long term investment.

It will take time to prepare for buying a home. You’ll need to build credit, save for a downpayment, and find a degree of financial stability to ensure you can pay your mortgage each month.

This article is catered towards homebuyers who have already met those prerequisites and are ready to jump in and start hunting for houses. For those of you curious about exactly how long it will take from the time you view your first house until you close the deal on your new home, read on.

Home buying by the numbers

On average, buyers can spend 30-60 days looking at homes and anywhere between 15 and 60 days longer to close on a home. Of course, these numbers depend on a lot of things such as how eager you are to buy, how  effectively you’re able to work with agents and sellers, and on just sheer luck.

How can I speed up the process?

Preparation is the number one thing to focus on when it comes to buying a home. First, double check your finances. This means taking time to run a credit report and challenging any errors that may be lowering your credit.

Next, take time to sit down and discuss with your family (if applicable) your moving goals. Are you trying to move closer to someone’s place of business or to a particular school district? Having these discussions will make it easier to eliminate houses and to narrow your search, saving you time in the long run.

Before you start looking at homes, it’s a good idea to being the process of getting preapproved for a loan. This can take weeks, so you want to get this step done early to know where you stand when it comes time to start house hunting.

Next you’ll want to meet with a real estate agent who has extensive knowledge of your area. They’ll send you listings that meet your criteria, stylistically and financially.

The offer and closing

Now that you’ve found the right home, you’ll have to enter the next part of the process: making an offer and closing. This step isn’t entirely within your control. Some sellers will delay in accepting, others will reject, and others will give a counter offer. The best way to save time on this step is to give a reasonable offer from the start, showing the seller that you are serious and worth negotiating with.

Once your offer has been accepted, your work is still far from over. There will be a lot of paperwork to fill out, but you’ll also have to schedule a home inspection to ensure there are no problems with the home that you haven’t already been made aware of.

Once all of these steps are complete, you will have purchased a new home.

Open house on 12/10/2017 at 8 Jenness Street Lynn, MA 01904


Date: 12/10/2017 Time: 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM  
For Directions: feel free to contact me.  
For more information: click here for the full details  

Are you looking for a CONDO ALTERNATIVE, townhouse style, in a GREAT walkable neighborhood? One with low maintenance? a small yard? THREE bedrooms? BIG sunporch? hardwood floors? newly renovated with NEW carpeting in the bedrooms? Stainless appliances? Granite countertops? Fenced yard (mostly!)? with a full 2nd floor bathroom WITH the bedrooms? full basement WITH your own laundry AND storage? Updated circuit breaker panel? Mostly NEW thermalpane windows? This cute and cozy single family could be the answer to YOUR prayers!! . A true RARE find for this price range for Ward One in a walkable location!! Easy to show!

Single-Family – 8 Jenness Street Lynn, MA 01904 now has a new price of $259,900!

Are you looking for a CONDO ALTERNATIVE, townhouse style, in a GREAT walkable neighborhood? One with low maintenance? a small yard? THREE bedrooms? BIG sunporch? hardwood floors? newly renovated with NEW carpeting in the bedrooms? Stainless appliances? Granite countertops? Fenced yard (mostly!)? with a full 2nd floor bathroom WITH the bedrooms? full basement WITH your own laundry AND storage? Updated circuit breaker panel? Mostly NEW thermalpane windows? This cute and cozy single family could be the answer to YOUR prayers!! . A true RARE find for this price range for Ward One in a walkable location!! Easy to show!

This is a Colonial style home and features 6 total rooms, 1 full bath, 3 bedrooms, 0.05 Acres, and is currently available for $259,900.

For complete details click here.