Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA
Leading Edge Real Estate | 781-944-6060 | [email protected]


Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 9/6/2018

Before you launch a home search, it helps to prepare for the property buying journey as much as possible. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to get ready to find your dream house.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you prep for a home search.

1. Establish Homebuying Criteria

If you know you want to buy a home, it generally is a good idea to define your ideal residence as well. That way, you can streamline your house search.

Consider where you want to reside. For example, if you work in the city, you may want to focus on houses in or near the city itself. On the other hand, if you plan to return to school, you may want to search for a home near top colleges and universities.

Think about what features you want in your ideal home, too. If you have always wanted to own a home that boasts a luxurious outdoor swimming pool, for instance, you can map out your home search accordingly. Or, if you want to purchase a residence that features a state-of-the-art kitchen, you can search for a home that offers this amenity.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

A mortgage typically is a must-have, regardless of where and when you search for a home. And if you enter the housing market with a mortgage at your disposal, you will know precisely how much you can spend on a residence.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage can be simple. If you meet with banks and credit unions in your area, you can review your options and select a mortgage that complements your finances.

If you have concerns about home financing, don't hesitate to ask questions. Banks and credit unions employ courteous, diligent mortgage specialists who can respond to your home financing queries. As such, you can work with these specialists to gain the home financing insights you need to make the best-possible mortgage decision.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

As you get set to conduct a home search, there is no need to work alone. If you hire a real estate agent, you can collaborate with a homebuying expert who can take the guesswork out of finding and purchasing a house.

A real estate agent is happy to provide guidance throughout the homebuying journey. He or she can offer tips and recommendations to ensure you can find a terrific home at a price that matches your budget. Plus, a real estate agent will simplify the process of setting up home showings. Perhaps best of all, if you are uncertain about whether to submit an offer to purchase a home, a real estate agent is ready to provide insights to help you analyze all of your options.

Dedicate time and resources to prepare for the homebuying journey. By doing so, you can enter the housing market with the insights you need to succeed.





Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 8/30/2018

If you’re looking for the perfect location to live but can’t quite afford the neighborhood that you’re vying for, a good option is to look for what’s deemed a "up and coming" neighborhood. These areas are where buyers can find the perfect house in a place where property values are only going to increase in the coming years. Buyers may feel that this is a gamble. How can you really tell if a neighborhood is one of these areas? There are a few vital signs that you can find below which show a city or town is on the up and up.


New Concept Businesses Are Moving In


If you hear a new grocery store is going in an area, co-working spaces, or vegan restaurants are coming to town; it’s a good sign that the neighborhood is going to be a happening place very soon. Think organic, Millennial minded ideas that are trendy. The key is to find the things and places that people want most. If you can move into one of these areas before it becomes popular, you have struck property gold. 


Public Transportation Is Nearby


In any urban area, being near public transportation is a huge plus. Being near any major transit is great for property values. Even homes near major routes are attractive. People will always want easier access to work and the things they need.


Think About How An Area Is Perceived


Cities across the country have flipped from having negative connotations to being an area of luxury. It happens slowly, but it starts with how desirable people believe the area to be. What’s considered “hip” can really affect the way an area is perceived.


Are The Homes In The Neighborhood The Same?


There’s often much potential in neighborhoods where all of the homes have the same design. If you see homes in a place where properties could use some TLC, it may be an opportunity for you. Other buyers or house flippers may have the same idea. It will be like a domino effect, and the neighborhood will turn around quickly.  


How Long Have Homes Been On The Market?


If houses in an area have been on the market for an extended period, it could be an opportunity for you to get a bargain. Buyers may shy away from a home just because the area is less than ideal. Your real estate agent can help you to determine places where homes have been on the market for awhile.           




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Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 8/9/2018

Closing costs are usually an unavoidable part of buying a home. While there are ways to reduce some closing costs and fees, they are an expense you will likely have to consider when it comes time to save for a home.

On average, buyers can expect to pay between 2 and 5 percent of the purchase price in closing costs and fees.

In this article, we’re going to break down those costs and talk about some ways to plan for, or limit, the fees associated with closing on a home.

A breakdown of closing costs

Most closing costs in a real estate transaction are paid for by the buyer. When getting approved for a mortgage, your lender is required to provide you with an estimate of the closing costs. This is called a “Closing Disclosure statement” which overviews the details of your loan.

Different lenders will charge varying amounts in fees. Some are even willing to waive certain fees. But, we’ll discuss that later.

For now, let’s focus on the closing costs buyers typically have to pay:

  • Attorney fees - a flat-fee or hourly rate depending on the attorney

  • Origination fees - an upfront fee charged by the lender for processing your mortgage application

  • Prepaid interest or discount points - a payment for the interest that will accrue on your mortgage from the time you close until your first mortgage payment is due

  • Home inspection fee - the fee that a professional home inspector charges to inspect a home

  • Escrow deposits - Usually split with the seller, this is the fee charged by an escrow agent

  • Recording fees - fees for legally recording the new deed and mortgage

  • Underwriting fees - fees paid to the lender for researching your mortgage case and determining whether or not to approve your application

These are just some of the many fees that can be due upon closing on a home. Depending on where you live, which lender you choose, and the type of mortgage you secure, your closing costs will vary, so it’s a good idea to shop around for a lender and mortgage type with reasonable closing costs.

Reducing closing costs

Some lenders offer no-cost, or low-cost mortgages. However, these savings often come with a higher interest rate which, over the lifespan of your loan, can cost you more in the long run.

You should also be aware of the different loan types that you may be eligible for. FHA loans, USDA loans, and VA loans are all designed for buyers hoping to make lower down payments on their home.

Each loan type provides different amounts due at closing. Fortunately, your mortgage lender will be able to give you an estimate of costs for each loan type.

Want to get an estimate of the closing costs you’ll have to pay when you buy a home? You can use this online calculator to see an average.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 7/12/2018

Entering the real estate market and buying your dream home may seem simple at first. However, problems may arise that make it tough to secure your ideal house at a price that matches your budget.

When it comes to finding the right home at the right price, it helps to prepare. Fortunately, we're here to help you get ready to enter the housing market and ensure you can quickly and effortlessly discover your dream residence.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to simplify the homebuying process.

1. Create Homebuying Criteria

Purchasing a house is rarely easy, particularly for a property buyer who has no idea how to kick off a home search. But if you establish homebuying criteria, you can speed up the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

Allocating time and resources to create homebuying criteria is essential because it forces you to consider where you want to live and what amenities you want to find in your dream residence. Plus, once you have homebuying criteria at your disposal, you can start your home search and move one step closer to acquiring your ideal residence.

2. Obtain Home Financing

Home financing is paramount, particularly for property buyers who want to avoid the risk of spending too much to purchase a house. Thankfully, banks and credit unions can teach you about a variety of mortgage options and help you secure the financing you need to buy a home.

Typically, a lender will meet with you and outline your mortgage options. It also will explain the differences between fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages and respond to any of your mortgage concerns and questions. Then, after you review your mortgage options, a lender will help you make an informed home financing decision.

Don't wait to get home financing, either. If you have home financing in hand when you launch a home search, you may be better equipped than other buyers to quickly submit an offer to purchase a home.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

For those who want to avoid challenges throughout the homebuying journey, it generally is a good idea to collaborate with a real estate agent. In fact, a real estate agent will do everything possible to help you identify and resolve homebuying problems before they escalate.

A real estate agent is a housing market expert and is happy to assist you as you proceed along the homebuying journey. If you are interested in houses in specific cities and towns, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about residences that become available in these areas. Or, if you want to submit an offer to purchase a house, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive homebuying proposal. Best of all, if you have homebuying concerns, a real estate agent will address them right away.

Ultimately, buying a house can be easy. Use the aforementioned tips, and you can streamline the homebuying cycle.




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Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 4/5/2018

Looking to move out of a big city? Relocate to a small town, and you can enjoy the simple joys of small town life.

Many people prefer the small town lifestyle, and for good reason. In a small town, you won't have to worry about excess traffic or noise. Plus, many homes are available in small towns nationwide, ensuring you should have no trouble discovering a wonderful residence without having to worry about breaking your budget.

Kick off your search for a small town home today – here are three tips to help you secure a terrific small town house.

1. Study the Local Housing Market Closely

What are you looking for in a small town home? Ultimately, you'll want to consider exactly what you'd like to find in a small town house before you conduct your search for the ideal residence.

Creating a checklist of must-haves is essential. With this list, you'll be able to examine available homes in a small town and narrow your search accordingly.

Also, don't forget to examine the prices of recently sold houses in a small town. This housing market data will enable you to differentiate between a seller's market and a buyer's market.

2. Get Financing Before You Start Your Home Search

Can you afford a small town home? It all depends on the financing at your disposal.

Meet with several banks and credit unions to explore your mortgage options. That way, you can learn about fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages and obtain financing.

If you ever have concerns or questions about home financing, be sure to ask a lender for assistance.

Remember, banks and credit unions employ mortgage professionals who are happy to help you in any way they can. These mortgage experts can teach you about different types of mortgage and offer personalized mortgage recommendations, ensuring you can get the financing you need to make your homeownership dreams come true.

3. Collaborate with an Experienced Real Estate Agent

When it comes to the real estate market, it is always better to err on the side of caution. Fortunately, real estate agents are available in small towns and big cities alike and will do whatever it takes to help you find a great house.

Hiring an experienced real estate agent who understands the properties that are currently available in a small town is vital. This real estate professional will offer tips throughout the homebuying process, guaranteeing that you can make informed decisions at every stage.

Perhaps best of all, an experienced real estate agent will take the guesswork out of buying a small town home. He or she will set up home showings and open houses, keep you up to date about new properties as they become available and negotiate with home sellers on your behalf. As a result, this real estate professional will streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

Take the next step to acquire a home in a small town – use these homebuying tips, and you can locate a small town home that can serve you well for years to come.




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Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA