John Flavin's Blog
Before buying a home, you may have a number in mind as to how many houses you think that you should look at before you find the house that's right for you. You may wonder if you’ve looked too much or not enough while you’re in the process of searching for a home. The fact of the matter is that how many homes you look at is completely up to you. It’s a very personal preference. If you feel comfortable after looking at one house, you’re probably right. Trust your own intuition!
The average condo buyer takes between 1 to 3 months to find the right property. House buyers take a bit longer, averaging between 3 and 6 months of searching. The home buying process seems to entail a few more questions and a bit of a learning curve, which tends to take more time. This is obviously why first time buyers tend to take more time searching.
How To Have A Successful House Hunt:
Map Out Your Potential Neighborhoods
Before you even get in touch with your realtor, you should have an idea of the neighborhoods you’d like to look for a home in. Drive around your potential towns and hang out there. Go to local restaurants, see the downtown area and check out the grocery store. See how you feel being there, and if you’d like it to be part of what you call “home.”
Know Your Lifestyle
Where your friends live, where you work and what you like to do for fun all have an impact on the type of neighborhood that you’ll choose to search for a home in. If you love to golf, and the nearest course is more than 30 miles away, maybe you should reconsider where you’re searching. Of course, you want your commute time to and from work to be as short as possible.
Decide What You Need
Make a list of everything that you absolutely need to have in your home and neighborhood. Narrow down your wish-list to that of “must-haves.” Then, understand your own budget for a home purchase. Knowing your finances will also give you a better idea of where you should focus your search. Once your focus is narrowed, you’ll be able to work with your realtor more freely. Being able to tell your realtor what you want and what you can afford is a great step in the right direction during the home search process.
Taking the time to know what you want out of where you want to live can help you to search for the right home. So, while there’s no magic number of homes to look at before you buy, it’s a better idea to understand your wants and needs and go from there.
Whether you’re a first time homebuyer or a seasoned homeowner, the terminology of mortgages can be confusing. Since buying a home is such a huge financial decision, you’re also going to want to make sure you understand every step of the process and all of the conditions and fees along the way.
In this article, we’re going to explain some of the common terms you might come across when applying for a home loan, be it online or over the phone. By learning the basic meaning of these terms you’ll feel more confident and prepared going into the application process.
We’ll cover the acronyms, like APRs and ARMs, and the scary sounding terms like “amortization” so that you know everything you need to about the terminology of home loans.
ARM and FRM, or adjustable rate vs fixed rate mortgages. Lenders make their money by charging you interest on your home loan that you pay back over the length of your loan period. Adjustable rate mortgages or ARMs are loans that have interest rates which change over the lifespan of your loan. You may start off at a low, “introductory rate” and later start paying higher amounts depending on the predetermined rate index. Fixed rate mortgages, on the other hand, remain at the same rate throughout the life of the loan. However, refinancing on your loan allows you to receive a different interest rate later down the road.
Amortization. It sounds like a medieval torture technique, but in reality amortization is the process of making your life easier by setting up a fixed repayment schedule. This schedule includes both the interest and the principal loan balance, allowing you to understand how long and how much money will go toward repaying your mortgage.
Equity. Simply state, your equity is the the amount of the home you have paid off. In a sense, it’s the amount of the home that you really own. Your equity increases as you make payments, and having equity can help you buy a new home, or see a return on investment with your current home if the home increases in value.
Assumption and assumability. It isn’t the title of a Jane Austen novel. It’s all about the process of a mortgage changing hands. An assumable mortgage can be transferred to a new buyer, and assumption is the actual transfer of the loan. Assuming a loan can be financially beneficial if the home as increased in value since the mortgage was created.
Escrow. There are a lot of legal implications that come along with buying a home. An escrow is designed to make sure the loan process runs smoothly. It acts as a holding tank for your documents, payments, as well as property taxes and insurance. An escrow performs an important function in the home buying process, and, as a result, charges you a percentage of the home for its services.
Origination fee. Basically a fancy way of saying “processing fee,” the origination covers the cost of processing your mortgage application. It’s one of the many “closing costs” you’ll encounter when buying a home and accounts for all of the legwork your loan officer does to make your mortgage a reality--running credit reports, reviewing income history, and so on.
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If you recently bought or sold a house, it may be only a matter of time before you need to move. Lucky for you, many moving companies are available to help you transport your personal belongings from one destination to the next.
What differentiates a good moving company from a great one? Here are three tips to ensure you can find the perfect company to help you with your upcoming move.
1. Get Multiple Quotes
When it comes to finding a moving company, there is no reason to break your budget. Fortunately, if you shop around, you can select a high-quality moving company that won't force you to overspend.
Reach out to a wide range of moving companies in your city or town. That way, you can receive multiple quotes.
Also, it is important to remember that the lowest price doesn't always guarantee the best service, particularly when it comes to moving companies. And even though price should be a consideration as you evaluate moving companies, it is essential to consider other factors.
The more you research that you perform into all of the moving companies that are available, the better off you will be. With plenty of research in hand, you should have no trouble choosing an affordable moving company that will exceed your expectations.
2. Look at a Moving Company's Experience
No two moving companies are identical, and in most cases, you can enjoy many benefits if you choose a proven moving company over an inexperienced one.
Ultimately, a proven moving company will have sufficient staff on hand to help you transport your belongings to your new address. This company likely employs customer service professionals who are happy to respond to any concerns or questions prior to moving day too.
A proven moving company also can help you alleviate stress as you prep for moving day. This company will go the extra mile to support you in any way possible, and by doing so, ensure you can receive comprehensive assistance when moving day arrives.
3. Ask for Client Referrals
If you're on the fence about a moving company, it certainly won't hurt to ask this business for client referrals.
In many cases, client referrals are difference-makers, particularly if you're struggling to decide between two moving companies.
A moving company should be able to provide you with client referrals at your request. Then, you can reach out to past clients to learn about their experiences with a particular moving company.
Client referrals offer excellent resources as you search for the ideal moving company. In fact, client referrals can provide you with moving company insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.
Lastly, don't hesitate to reach out to your real estate agent for extra help. This housing market professional may be able to put you in touch with a variety of moving companies that can help you relocate your belongings.
Take the guesswork out of selecting a moving company – use the aforementioned tips, and you can find the ideal moving company based on your personal needs and finances.