Titine Joyce - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Scituate



Posted by Titine Joyce on 3/4/2021

Photo by Olya Adamovich via Pixabay

You’ve decided to start the process of buying a home. Congratulations! Now it’s time to figure out how much money you have, and what you can afford. The goal is to avoid purchasing more home than you can afford, but those variables change. In September 2019, the average price of a new home was almost $363,000. As an average, that may sound a bit steep, especially if this is your very first home.

A home may be one of the largest purchases you make. That’s why it’s important to go in with a clear head and everything aligned. Here are a few tips on learning how to budget when you’re preparing to purchase a new home:

  • Start with the 25% rule

Your mortgage should not be more than 25% of your gross income each month.

  • Consider every source of income you have. That means if you have 2 paychecks each month, each one should be included. If you have side work, that should also be included. That will encompass your total monthly income.
  • Write down your monthly expenses and make sure you leave nothing out. That means your donations to charity, student loans, transportation/gas, movie night, coffee and everything else you spend on a monthly basis.
  • Once you have these figures, subtract the expenses from the income. That will help you determine the max you will be able to pay for your mortgage. It’s also important to have a place to set aside some money for repairs. As a homeowner, things happen.

Any existing debt you have should be eliminated if you can afford it. The lower your debt to income ratio when you start the process, the better off you will be. Additionally, you should save as much as you can for a potential down payment. Depending on the loan, that will be 10 to 20%.

The figures you come up with will give you a good idea of where you stand and is a good starting point for your initial meeting with a mortgage broker. It’s also a good idea to review the types of loans that you may qualify for and look at the requirements. That will give you a general idea of the amount of money you will need to come up with for a viable down payment.

Although things may seem complicated, once you get started, everything should fall into place. Your real estate agent or mortgage broker will be able to provide more insight once you get started. Take your time and don't rush the process. It will be worth your while in the end.




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Posted by Titine Joyce on 2/25/2021

Looking to buy a house? Ultimately, you'll want to attend at least a few open houses in your city or town. By doing so, you'll be able to understand exactly what you'd like to find in your dream house.

Before you attend an open house, there are several factors to consider, and these include:

1. Your Homebuying Budget

With a budget in hand, you can narrow your search for the ideal home. That way, you can avoid the temptation to attend open houses for residences that fall outside your price range.

To establish a homebuying budget, take a look at your current financial situation. Then, consider your future expenses like those related to student loans or children and plan accordingly.

In addition, it never hurts to get pre-approved for a home loan. If you gain pre-approval, you can enter the housing market with a budget in hand and review a broad array of houses that match your budget.

2. Your Homebuying Checklist

If you're living to a warm-weather climate, you may want to own a home with a swimming pool. Or, if you plan to reside near the ocean, you may consider houses where you can dock your boat nearby.

Create a homebuying checklist before you visit open houses. This will allow you to streamline your home search and accelerate the homebuying journey.

Also, it may help to separate your homebuying checklist into "wants" and "must-haves." Although your dream house may not include all of your homebuying checklist "wants," you can use these categories to determine exactly what you'd like to find in your ideal residence.

3. Your Homebuying Timeline

Are you planning to move next week or in the next several weeks? Some homebuying journeys are faster than others, and you'll want to map out your property buying journey based on when you need to move.

For example, if you've accepted a new job in the city, you may need to move quickly to relocate. This may require you to act so you can get settled in a new home before you begin your new job.

Comparatively, if you're in no rush to relocate, you can take a wait-and-see approach to the housing market. And if you attend an open house and like what you see, then you can submit an offer to acquire a residence.

If you're unsure about how to approach open houses, there is no need to worry. In fact, many real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide to assist homebuyers.

A real estate agent can offer expert insights into a home before a homebuyer attends an open house. Plus, this housing market professional can provide honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations and will even negotiate with a home seller on a buyer's behalf.

Get ready for an open house Ė consider the aforementioned factors, and a homebuyer should have no trouble exploring a broad array of residences and finding one that he or she can enjoy for years to come.




Tags: Open House   buyer tips  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Titine Joyce on 2/18/2021

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

Selling a vacation home is a lot like selling any other property, but for a few key differences. One, most vacation homes are far from the people who want to purchase them. Two, most vacation homes are far away from their owners, as well. This distance between owners, sellers, and the property can lead to some marketing challenges.

Working with a team of dedicated professionals can help. If you're a vacation home owner who would like to sell your property sometime in the next few months, working with a capable real estate professional can help the selling process go smoothly and quickly. Here's what you need to know. 

1. Maintain the Property 

Before listing your property for sale, address your deferred maintenance. Is the air conditioner old or in disrepair? Get a tune up or replace the unit. Does the chimney need a new liner? Replace it. Disclose these new repairs to your real estate professional, so they can mention recent repairs in your home's description. 

If you choose not to make these repairs before listing your home for sale, assume you'll have to disclose maintenance problems and (probably) reduce your price. Work with a real estate professional who can help you negotiate a good deal, while keeping in mind that you won't be able to fetch the best price for your property.  

2. Upgrade

Buyers love new features, especially new kitchens, bathrooms and decks. If you're trying to collect the maximum amount for your vacation home, talk to your real estate agent about upgrading parts of the property that are out of date. 

Not all home buyers expect the latest and greatest from their vacation home. If your property is a cabin in the woods, buyers may expect the facilities to be rustic and basic. If you're selling a beach house, buyers may have greater expectations. Your real estate professional will be able to tell you if a home upgrade will do you good, and if so, what kind of home upgrade. 

3. Improve Curb Appeal

Views, scenery and natural surroundings tend to be very important for vacation properties. Work with a landscaping professional or a contractor to improve your vacation home's curb appeal. This may mean planting flowers, installing a pathway, replacing overgrown or unhealthy shrubs and even clearing away trees that block the view. Do this before listing your home for sale, so the house will be ready when the photographer takes pictures. 

4. Get Professional Photographs & a Virtual Tour

Hire a photographer or media specialist to take professional photographs of your property and make a virtual tour. Photographs are very important because buyers may not be local and must rely on pictures to decide which homes are of interest. Virtual tours also make it easier for home buyers to decide which properties are most enticing. The easier it is for your home to be seen from a distance, the more attention it will attract from potential buyers.  

5. Find the Right Real Estate Professional

Work with a real estate professional who is experienced working with remote buyers and sellers. Interview several real estate professionals and ask them which strategies they recommend for selling a home remotely. Choose the real estate professional who has the most experience working with vacation home buyers and sellers, as this will be very important for the successful sale of your property. 





Posted by Titine Joyce on 2/11/2021

A buyer's market can challenge even the most diligent home seller. Fortunately, we're here to help you stir up plenty of interest in your house, regardless of the current housing market's conditions.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get ready to sell your residence in a buyer's market.

1. Assess the Housing Market

You know a buyer's market favors homebuyers over home sellers, but you still have no idea how this market operates. Fortunately, if you allocate time and resources to learn about the local real estate sector, you'll be better equipped than ever before to maximize the value of your home.

Take a look at the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town. That way, you can see how long these homes are generally available before they sell. You also can examine the sold prices of these houses to better understand how you should price your residence.

Furthermore, you should assess the prices of available houses in your city or town that are similar to your own. This housing market data can help you establish a competitive price for your residence from day one.

2. Perform a Home Inspection

A home inspection commonly is performed after a seller accepts a buyer's offer on a house. However, if you perform an inspection before you add your residence to a buyer's market, you can take a proactive approach to address various home problems.

During a home inspection, a property expert will examine your residence and detail his or her findings. You then can use the home inspection results to prioritize home improvement projects and upgrade your residence. As a result, you can enhance your house and find ways to differentiate it from the competition.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Selling a home in a buyer's market is exceedingly difficult, especially for those who choose to work alone. Thankfully, real estate agents are available to guide you along the home selling journey and ensure you can achieve the optimal results.

By hiring a real estate agent, you can receive extensive assistance at each stage of the home selling journey, even in a buyer's market. First, a real estate agent will learn about you and your home, as well as your home selling goals. This housing market professional then will offer recommendations to help you enhance your home and ensure it stands out to potential buyers. Next, a real estate agent will list your residence and host open house events and home showings. And if a buyer submits an offer on your house, a real estate agent will help you review this proposal and make an informed decision.

When it comes to selling a home in a buyer's market, there is no need to worry. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can separate your residence from the competition and boost the likelihood of a profitable home sale.




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Posted by Titine Joyce on 2/4/2021

Your home is your castle, your oasis, your domain. You want your home to be an escape from the stresses of everyday life. For this to be true, there are a few key things that you should have in your home for you to enjoy the ultimate peace that home can bring. If you donít feel that your home is a peaceful place, you definitely need to heed the tips below. 


Have A Peaceful Spot To Relax In 


Every homeowner needs a place that they like to relax in. Your spot in the home should be a regular part of your routine whether itís where you like to drink coffee and read the news, a meditation room, or a home gym. Whatever gives you pleasure and an escape should be a priority in your home and your routine. You donít need a lot of space to accomplish this. Just a small nook in part of a room or a dedicated room in the house will do. Itís easy to create your own little piece of heaven.   


Nice Outdoor Space


Nothing brings peace to the mind and the soul like spending time in nature. For a tranquil escape right in your own home, make use of the outdoors. Do you have a deck or patio area? Can you put a hammock up in the backyard? What about a small bench swing? Any of these simple things can be your backyard oasis. Just be sure to surround these outdoor areas with colorful plants and other relaxing touches like rocks, trees, or even a running water fountain for an added effect.       


A Place To Separate Work And Home Life


If you work outside of the office at all, you probably have a home office space. You need this to be functional for your work, but you also need to remember the importance of separating your work life from your home life. Your home canít be a tranquil place to be if you feel youíre always carrying your work around with you.  


A Place For Inspiration


Most of all, your home should be inspiring. There should be areas of your home where you can sit and think about projects youíre working on, problems youíre facing, or just simply let your thoughts flow. For inspiration, youíll want to include inspiring images, pictures of the people you love, and items that make you plain happy. Your home is one place that helps you to keep the balance in your life. Make sure that you create the relaxing space that you deserve for a happier life!




Tags: Healthy Home  
Categories: Uncategorized