The St. Martin Team - Westford MA Real Estate
Westford Massachusetts | 978-935-9500 | Info@StMartinTeam.com



Posted by St. Martin Team on 7/19/2018

If youíre searching for a home and are looking for a deal, you may turn to homes that are listed as ďFor Sale By Owner.Ē These homes tend to be a great deal for the sellers, but not necessarily the buyer. This makes it all the more important that you hire a buyerís agent for yourself. Your agent can check a bit of the work that the owner is doing without hiring a real estate agent for himself. When buying a for sale by owner property youíll want to do all of the same things that you would do if you were buying a property that was for sale through a realtor including:


  • Check the asking price through comps
  • Get a property inspection
  • Make an offer and complete contract negotiations
  •  Check how long the home has been on the market


Just because a home is for sale by an owner, thereís no need to give up on the normal procedures that one goes through in buying a home. You have the right to have a buyerís agent represent you in the transaction. Beware though as some for sale by owners are not willing to pay commission to any agents including buyersĎ agents. Be sure that the contracts are clear in this area so that you donít fall in love with a home only to find out that you canít use your agent in the transaction.


Other Points To Consider In A For Sale By Owner Transaction


You may need to hire an attorney, especially for an estate sale or short sale. 


You still need a home inspection and have the right to back out of the sale if something isnít satisfactory about the home. The home inspection is important because it can reveal serious problems with a home such as high levels of radon, issues with the furnace, or a possible plumbing disaster waiting to happen.           


You may want a C.L.U.E. Report 


This type of report tells you what kind, if any, insurance claims have been made on the property in the past 5 years. The report will detail the date of the claim, the cause (if a natural disaster) and the amount that was paid to fix the damage. 


You should still get pre-approved


Getting pre-approved before buying a home is just something that should be automatic for buyers. It really lets the seller know that youíre serious about purchasing a property.


Buying a for sale by owner home is the same as purchasing any other property. Youíll just need to be an informed buyer through the process in order to make sure youíre doing whatís right for you.        





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Posted by St. Martin Team on 7/12/2018

Buying a home is the mark of an important milestone in your life. While youíre very excited, you need to be prepared for all of the costs that are associated with buying a home. There are a few different costs that go into buying a home that are often overlooked. Before you dive into the home buying process, youíll want to be prepared.



The Closing Costs


Many homebuyers have gone smoothly through the process of buying a home until they get to the closing table. They suddenly realize that they need a bit more cash than they anticipated. You probably were more than prepared with your down payment, but thereís other costs that are associated with buying a home. Some costs that you should be prepared for include:


  • The home appraisal
  • Attorneyís fees
  • lenderís fees
  • Underwriting fee
  • Processing fees
  • Inspection fees



Youíll receive a disclosure up front to help you understand all of the charges and cash that you must present when your signing the final documents for the purchase of the house. Keep in mind that many of these fees can be negotiable. 


Decorating Your New Home


Once you move into a new home, youíre going to want to decorate the space. You may need a some new furniture. Perhaps you own no furniture and need to furnish the entire house. Youíll want to budget for this. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to fill up your home with items that wonít break the bank yet look good in the home. Places that you can shop include online sources like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. You can even check out local second hand stores for some great deals on furniture and decor that is in good condition. The important thing is that you understand how much youíll need to buy as you move into the home.   



Escrow Accounts


The escrow account typically holds the insurance and taxes for the home. Funds are withdrawn as premiums and payments are due. Not every lender has these set up, but you should be prepared to have the money up front for the home insurance and even the taxes at the closing table.  


Improvements Around The Home


There will be plenty of things that youíll want to do around your new home to spruce up the place and make it your own. From planting bushes in the front to flower gardens outside to fresh coats of paint, youíll quickly discover how expensive it is to be a homeowner. 

     

If youíre preparing to buy a home, now you understand why saving is so important! Investigate all the costs that youíll need to pay up front while youíre in the midst of buying a home to avoid any surprises.





Posted by St. Martin Team on 7/5/2018

Adding your house to the real estate market today may prove to be a great decision. In fact, there are many terrific reasons to list your home today, including:

1. You may be able to generate a profit on your house.

If you maintained your home over the years, the residence may have increased in value. Thus, you may be better equipped than other home sellers to generate a profit on your residence.

Furthermore, if you're preparing to enter a seller's market, you may be able to earn a significant profit in no time at all.

A seller's market frequently includes an abundance of homebuyers and a shortage of home sellers. As such, if you add a high-quality house to a seller's market, it may be only a matter of time before you receive multiple offers at or above your initial asking price.

2. You can downsize your home or upgrade to a larger residence.

Although your current residence may have served you well for an extended period of time, now may prove to be a great time for a change. Fortunately, if you add your house to the real estate market, you can take the next step to downsize your residence or upgrade to a larger residence.

For those who want to downgrade, it may be simple to sell a house and get rid of excess items at the same time. Then, you can relocate to a smaller residence that better suits your budget and personal needs.

On the other hand, those who want to move into a bigger and better residence can explore a vast array of residences any time they choose. After a home seller finds a buyer for his or her residence, this individual will have plenty of funds to pursue a superior residence as well.

3. You can embark on a new adventure.

Selling a home opens new doors for any individual, at any time.

For example, you can use the funds from your home sale to go on a cross-country journey. Or, you may choose to move closer to family members and friends in another area of the country. Regardless of which option you choose, you won't have to worry about being saddled to a home mortgage after you sell your residence.

Consider the short- and long-term ramifications of selling your house, along with what you'll do immediately following a home sale. By doing so, you can map out the next stage of your life.

Of course, if you ever have concerns or questions about selling a house, it is always best to consult with a real estate agent. With a housing market professional at your side, you can receive expert insights throughout the home selling journey.

A real estate agent will keep you up to date about offers on your house and offer honest, unbiased home selling recommendations. In addition, he or she is ready to respond to your home selling queries at any time.

Get ready to sell your home Ė meet with a real estate agent, and you can take the next step to add your residence to the real estate market.




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Posted by St. Martin Team on 6/28/2018

When you sell your home, thereís a cost associated with getting a return on your investment. Certain mistakes that many sellers make when deciding to sell their home can actually cost thousands of dollars in expenses. Before you decide to sell, read on to see what you can do to avoid unnecessary consequences.


Hire A Professional To Sell Your Home


Many people think that they can sell their home on their own. Itís the best practice to hire a professional to sell your home. Even in a sellerís market, a realtor can help you to get the best price on the sale of your home.


Remove Your Things Before The Sale Of The Home


Your clutter will undoubtedly affect the value of your home. People canít see what their life would be like in your home if thereís too many things in the way. While one manís trash sometimes is another manís treasure, it certainly isnít in the case of selling your home. 


Donít Leave An Empty House For The Showing


While too much clutter is bad, it does make a difference for the home to actually be lived in. If possible, donít leave a completely empty home. Buyers need something to help them visualize what life will be like living in the home. Home searchers want to see how functional the home will be for them. 


Donít Neglect Repairs


You should take care of any repairs that need to be made before your home goes on the market. Any repairs that you donít make will likely be discovered during the home inspection. Before you even list your home, make sure that you take care of any major issues that are around your home like a leaky roof or cracked tile. This will save you a major headache later, because you wonít need to scramble to fix things after the home inspection. Buyers will also be more impressed with the home if thereís little to fix. 


Donít Overprice Or Underprice Your Home


If you donít properly price your home, it could lead to a few major issues. You may be left wondering if you could have made more money on your home. On the flip side, your home could sit on the market for a long time, leaving buyers wondering what could be wrong with your property as to why itís not selling.


Be Sure To Stage The Home


People will purchase a home based on what they see and how they feel. If your on-the-market home doesnít look polished, there will be less interest in it. You donít need to go overboard and make your home look like something out of a magazine, just make sure itís clean. Things like dirty laundry on the floor, trash laying around, and papers on the tables are big turn offs for buyers. 


With a little planning, the sale of your home should be a smooth and profitable one.





Posted by St. Martin Team on 6/21/2018

In a not-so-distant future, American homeowners may not have to worry about blackouts any longer. Teslaís giant battery recently powered up Australiaís grid after a power outage in just milliseconds. And, with new, green technologies, constantly being pursued, it could be within reach to say goodbye to blackouts once and for all.

However, weíre not quite there yet. And, if you live in the colder areas of the country, youíre also at the beginning of the worst season for snow and ice that can wreak havoc on power lines.

So, to help get you prepared, Iíve written this list of things you can do to start preparing yourself, your family, and your home for your next power outage.

Read on for the list.

1. Emergency supplies list

Itís vital to have the supplies on hand before a power outage hits so that you donít have to be wandering around your home in the dark fishing for things you might not even have.

To avoid this, itís a good idea to keep a supplies bag packed and tucked away somewhere safe. Itís also important that your family knows where this bag is located in case youíre away when the power goes out.

Now, letís make your list:

  • Flashlights and batteries - Two quality flashlights with batteries should be on everyoneís emergency list. Make sure your batteries were recently bought and that they are of high quality that wonít run out of juice in just a few minutes. Also, consider including a wind-up flashlight that doesnít require batteries for use in case you forget to replace your old batteries.

  • Radio - Most of us keep our cell phones charged up, but weíve all been guilty of letting them get too low on charge. In these situations, itís good to have a battery-powered radio to listen to the news.

  • Power bank - Speaking of cell phones and their poor battery life, consider buying a power bank and keeping an extra charging cord in your bag. Make a note to charge up your power bank every few weeks to ensure it will be charged when you need it most.

  • Cash - If the blackout effects more than just your neighborhood, many storesí ATM and credit card machines may be down. Itís a good idea to have a stash of cash for emergencies.

  • Optional: generator - while you donít need to buy a generator for your average power outage, it can help if you live in an area that experiences them frequently.

2. Familiarize yourself with your home

Find out where the shutoff valves for water are, learn the layout of your circuit breaker, and learn how to use the manual release on your garage door.

If you have an electric stove, consider purchasing and learning how to use a small propane grill for emergencies.

3. Best practices during a blackout

If you have children, make sure they know what to do if the power goes out when youíre not home. Especially during the winter months, it gets dark out early enough that many parents havenít even arrived home from work yet. So, be sure your kids know not to start lighting candles in dangerous places and keeping the refrigerator open for extended periods.

Finally, itís a good idea to turn off power strips and unplug appliances that were turned on when the power went out. This can stop surges from damaging your appliances and save you money.




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