Titine Joyce - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Scituate



Posted by Titine Joyce on 3/25/2021

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The home you've been searching for is on the market, and now you’re ready to buy it. But can you afford it? How do you know? The internet is filled with mortgage calculators to help you determine what your mortgage payment will be. You simply plug in the numbers — the selling price, interest rate, down payment amount — and voila! Out pops your payment amount for the next 30 years.

Closing Costs

Your mortgage payment, with principal and interest, might tell you what to expect to pay the bank but multiple other factors add to the cost of homeownership. First, you'll have closing costs. Your real estate professional can give you an approximation of what these may be but the exact numbers won't be available until the closing is official. Closing costs include things like points and prepaid interest based on the day the loan closes.

Taxes

While you may know your tax costs for the first few months of homeownership, changes in levies, tax rates, and property evaluations can raise rates unexpectedly. If your home is in a developing community, costs of roads, streetlights, and other infrastructure get passed to homeowners in the form of special assessments, taxes, and fees.

Homeowner Association Fees

When your community has shared property such as playgrounds, pools, parks, and clubhouses, expect to pay monthly homeowner association (HOA) dues. These may come as a separate bill or be paid from an escrow account that your bank sets up. Like taxes, homeowner association dues and fees may raise each year to compensate for inflation or maintenance needs. If your HOA takes care of fences, roofs, and building exteriors, be prepared for periodic assessments. This may happen more frequently if your home is in a storm-prone area since wind and hail can cause considerable damage.

Periodic Maintenance

Whether you have an HOA or not, your home requires regular maintenance. When this is your first time as a property owner, you might not realize all the things covered in your rent. You'll have annual inspections to your heating and air conditioning systems, checks on your in-ground sprinklers, and pest control. You’re also responsible for attending to leaky faucets and running toilets, replacing the HVAC filters, replacing batteries in smoke detectors, and repairing anything that breaks.

When you’re ready to start shopping, your professional real estate agent can help you understand the costs as well as the advantages that come with homeownership in your area.





Posted by Titine Joyce on 8/8/2019

A pre-constructed condominium is an excellent way of getting a new space at a decent price. One of the advantages of getting a pre-constructed condominium is that it can be customized to match your style. Here are the things you be aware of when buying a pre-constructed condo:

1. Many pre-construction condominiums get delayed. Understand that many condo projects are not always ready at the expected time provided by the developers. Therefore, you should plan to move in six months later than the proposed move-in date. 

2. Expect to put up to 20 percent down. You may buy a resale condo with as little as 5 percent down payment. But, such is not the case for pre-construction condominiums. The standard is about 15 to 20% down payment except in a few instances.

3. You will have to pay HST. Newly built condos are subject to HST, unlike resale condos. It is worth noting that your purchase may qualify for the New Housing Rebate Program of the GST/HST

4. New-build condo may attract additional closing cost. Your purchase price can be increased by 1 to 3 percent through expenses like utility connection fee, HST on new appliances, as well as builder/developer adjustment charges. 

5. You may be a tenant sooner than you planned. You should also be aware that your condominium may be ready for moving in before the building project completes. In that case, the building cannot be set up as a condo corporation. Instead, you can rent the unit from a developer instead of owning it.

6. Your condo fee may rise. Condo developers attract prospective buyers with reduced monthly maintenance fees. The fees will increase after two or three years of staying in your home. These condo fees can increase significantly, so you must keep that in mind during your budget planning. 

7. Lock in your mortgage rate beforehand. Developers usually work with their preferred mortgage providers. If you are in this circumstance, you will have the opportunity to lock in at current low-interest rates. This low-interest rate will come into play as soon as you close on your condominium. 

8. The building may not look exactly like what you saw in the video or showroom. Developers have the right to adjust their plans. The indoor-outdoor may not be what you saw in the video as some features may be optional or at additional costs.

Speak to your real estate agent today about your condo deal to know what to expect before starting.




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Posted by Titine Joyce on 11/24/2016

Buying a new home is a significant investment and it's best to get it right the first time. To achieve this, it is important that you take into consideration lots of important factors before signing on the dotted line. Many people, in a state of euphoria and excitement hurry into making  decisions that they later regret. There are many important elements involved in purchasing a home that need serious consideration to avoid long term remorse.  Here are some important factors to consider when you are looking to purchase a home. The Condition Of The home The condition of the home you are buying is very important as it should be a true reflection of the purchase price. Here are a few specific issues you must keep an eye open for.

  • Start in the kitchen, make sure all appliances are functioning. Make sure the integrity of the kitchen cabinets are intact. Turn on the tap and leave it running for a few minutes to make sure there are no problems with the drainage system.
  • What is the capacity of the hot water system? Is it sufficient for the needs of the entire family? Check for leaks, rust and aging indicators. Be careful with this as repairing a hot water system is quite expensive.
  • Examine the walls carefully, were they recently painted? If so, do not be deceived, a fresh coat of paint could be masking existing cracks in the walls resulting in an investment of thousands of dollars to repair.
  • Tap the walls to perform a preliminary termite infestation check. You may need the services of a professional to do this for you.
Financial Requirements After certifying that all is well with the home, you can then proceed to negotiations. Although this requires some skills, here are a few tips.
  • There is no harm in negotiating as much as possible, push as far as you can. Some individuals hire a negotiator for this, as cool as this may seem, it may not be the best idea as you are the only one who can effectively communicate your needs. It is recommended you do the negotiation yourself. You will be amazed at how much you can save.
  • Make sure you are familiar with the entire terms and conditions. What is the down payment? What is the payment plan? Are you comfortable with it, what is the interest rate? You must be familiar with all these factors before signing on the dotted line.
The History Of The House
  • It would be nice if you had a little insight into the history of the building. How do you go about this? Ask the neighbors, do your due diligence. Inquire about previous owners, ask about recent renovations, get a feel for the vibe in the neighborhood.  Get as much information as possible, in short learn the story of the house before making it your home.
In summary, there is a lot of joy and sense of fulfillment that is associated with buying a new home. In order to make this joy last, you have to get it right the first time, taking the aforementioned into consideration would help you achieve this.