The St. Martin Team - Westford MA Real Estate
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Posted by St. Martin Team on 3/18/2021

When you put your home up for sale, it can be an emotional time. You need to say goodbye to a place where you have lived for at least a small portion of your life. You created memories in that home, and now, itís the job of a new family to make new memories. 


Once the home is well on its way to being sold, there will be an appraisal of the property. Itís scary as a seller to think that the appraisal has the ability to actually halt the entire sale of the home. It can be a confusing process, to say the least, to have your home appraised. You have determined your listing price and received an offer on the home already. It seems like backtracking to value the home after this part of the sale process is complete. 


The Appraisal Removes The Tension


The appraisal is one of the factors that bridges the worlds of the buyer and the seller. As a seller, the things that you think add value to your home may not be all you have hoped them to be. As a buyer, you want to be sure that youíre paying a fair price for the home. Below, youíll find some common myths about home appraisals and the truth about them. 


The Appraisal Is Not The Same As An Inspection


The home inspection is used as a tool to protect the buyer. Although the appraisal is used as a protection for the buyer, the two are separate entities. The inspector looks at everything in the home that can be a problem including leaks, cracks, and faulty electrical systems. The home appraiser is simply meant to find the objective market and the estimated value of the home in that market.


The Appraisal Isnít How Much The Buyer Will Pay


While the appraisal gives a good estimate of the value of a home, it doesnít take every single factor into account. Itís one version of how much the home should be priced at. What the appraisal does affect is the contract on the home. 


If the appraisal doesnít match the contract price, letís say that the home is appraised lower than what youíre paying for it, the lender will not make up the difference. It can become a discussion between the buyer and the seller to see who will pay for the additional uncovered cost of the home. The buyer can pay the difference themselves. The seller may decide to cover the difference themselves. Either way, this is where the home buying process can get kind of messy.


Bigger Homes Donít Necessarily Appraise For More Money


Just because a home is bigger, doesnít mean that itís worth more than the smaller home next door. A larger home could have issues with age such as an older roof, or less complex fixtures. If a smaller home is more updated, it very well could appraise for more. Donít count on the square footage to dictate the appraisal price of a home.




Tags: Buying a home   appraisal  
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Posted by St. Martin Team on 3/11/2021

Believe it or not, buying a condo can be a quick, easy process, particularly for those who understand their homebuying needs.

Ultimately, there are several factors to consider before you purchase a condo, including:

1. Your Budget

How much can you afford to spend on a condo? You should evaluate your homebuying budget closely to ensure you can cover all of the costs associated with condo living.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage usually is ideal. With a mortgage in hand, you can browse a wide range of condos and find one that matches your budget perfectly.

Furthermore, don't forget to account for homeowners' association (HOA) fees before you buy a condo. HOA fees will vary depending on the condo community, and you should learn about them in advance so you can budget accordingly.

2. Property Size and Location

How much space do you need to accommodate your family? Consider the short- and long-term ramifications of a condo purchase, and you should have no trouble finding a condo that is the right size for you.

If you're uncertain about how big of a condo that you'll need, don't hesitate to consult with a real estate agent. This housing market expert will learn about your homebuying needs and help you narrow your search for the ideal condo.

Also, be sure to consider the location of a condo. If you want to find a place to live near school or work, you should search for condos that will help you cut down on your commute time.

3. Condo Rules and Regulations

Condo living is different from living in a traditional house. In a condo community, you'll have your own property, but there may be numerous condo rules and regulations in place that you'll need to follow at all times.

For example, many condo owners cannot modify a property's exterior without first getting approval from an HOA board. This means if you want to paint your condo bright pink or upgrade the property's windows, you'll need to ask the HOA board for permission.

Examine a condo community's rules and regulations prior to purchasing a condo. This will enable you to review the HOA board's mandates and determine whether you would feel comfortable following these rules and regulations.

When it comes to finding a condo, there is no need to look for a property on your own. Conversely, if you work with a real estate agent, you can take the guesswork out of searching for a top-notch condo.

Finding a real estate agent with condo experience is essential. This real estate professional will set up condo showings, keep you informed about new condos as they become available and negotiate with property sellers on your behalf. That way, this real estate agent will make it easy for you to acquire a first-rate condo at a budget-friendly price.

Kick off your search for the perfect condo today, and you can move closer to securing a condo that will serve you well for an extended period of time.




Tags: buyer tips   Condo   Buying a home  
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Posted by St. Martin Team on 2/25/2021

For a first-time homebuyer, it is important to realize that a home seller's acceptance of your initial offer provides no guarantees. In fact, a homebuyer will still need to complete a home inspection before a home sale is finalized.

A home inspection is a valuable opportunity to learn about any potential issues with a house. After the inspection is finished, a homebuyer has the opportunity to submit a counter-proposal, rescind a proposal or keep his or her current offer intact.

Ultimately, hiring the right home inspector can make a world of difference for a homebuyer. With an expert home inspector at your side, a homebuyer can gain insights into a house's pros and cons and determine whether a house is a viable long-term investment.

So what does it take to employ the right home inspector? Here are three tips to help a first-time homebuyer do just that.

1. Conduct an Extensive Search

Search far and wide for a home inspector Ė you'll be glad you did. If you allocate the necessary time and resources to locate a skilled home inspector in your area, you can boost your chances of identifying potential home problems before you complete a home purchase.

A first-time homebuyer can begin a search for an expert home inspector online. A simple web search is sure to provide plenty of results, and a homebuyer then can perform an in-depth review of local home inspectors' credentials.

Furthermore, don't hesitate to ask family members and friends for assistance. If a loved one recently sold a house and had a great experience with a home inspector, it may be worthwhile to hire this same professional to perform your home inspection.

2. Look at a Home Inspector's Background

How many years of industry experience does a home inspector have? What are past clients saying about a home inspector? And how does a home inspector approach each job? These are some of the questions that a first-time homebuyer should consider as he or she assesses a home inspector's background.

In addition, a homebuyer can always reach out to a home inspector directly to learn more about this professional's experience. A face-to-face or phone conversation with a home inspector may require only a few minutes to complete and can help a homebuyer make an informed decision.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent can help you discover your dream house as well as put you in touch with the top home inspectors in your area. As a result, this housing market professional will ensure you can purchase a first-rate house that matches or exceeds your expectations.

If you're uncertain about whether to hire a particular home inspector, it never hurts to consult with a real estate agent. By doing so, you can gain honest, unbiased tips to determine whether a home inspector is the right person to evaluate your residence.

Employ the best home inspector prior to completing your home purchase Ė use these tips, and a first-time homebuyer should have no trouble hiring a superior home inspector.




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Posted by St. Martin Team on 1/28/2021

The homebuying journey may seem daunting at first. Lucky for you, we're here to help take the guesswork out of finding and acquiring your dream house.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you approach the homebuying journey with poise and confidence.

1. Be Diligent

A diligent homebuyer may be better equipped than others to enjoy a seamless and successful property buying experience. In fact, this buyer likely will do whatever it takes to find the right house at the right price, regardless of the current real estate market's conditions.

To become a diligent homebuyer, it generally is a good idea to learn about the housing market in your preferred cities and towns. With this information, you can determine whether you're pursuing a home in a buyer's or seller's market and plan accordingly.

Furthermore, it may be beneficial to get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you enter the housing market with a mortgage, you'll know exactly how much you can spend to acquire your dream house.

2. Know Where You Want to Go

Establish homebuying criteria Ė you'll be glad you did. If you know what differentiates your dream house from others, you can quickly and effortlessly search for residences that match your expectations.

Also, you may want to hone your home search to specific cities and towns. For example, if you want to find a house close to your office in the city, you may want to explore residences in or near the city itself. On the other hand, if your goal is to buy a house near the top schools in a particular state, you should narrow your house search based on school rankings and other pertinent data.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

Buying a house is no small feat, and ultimately, there is no reason to try to navigate the homebuying journey alone. Thankfully, you can hire a real estate agent who can provide expert support throughout the homebuying journey.

A real estate agent is a must-hire, and for good reason. He or she will guide you along the entire homebuying journey and respond to any of your homebuying concerns and questions. In addition, a real estate agent offers recommendations and suggestions to help you make informed decisions as you pursue your dream residence.

Usually, a real estate agent will learn about your homebuying goals and craft a personalized homebuying strategy for you. He or she next will keep you informed about available residences that meet your criteria and set up home showings. Once you find your dream residence, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive offer to acquire this house. And if your offer receives a "Yes" from a home seller, a real estate agent will help you finalize your house purchase.

Ready to streamline the homebuying journey? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can kick off a house search and discover your ideal residence in no time at all.




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Posted by St. Martin Team on 1/21/2021

As a homebuyer, you likely will want to do everything possible to secure your dream house at a budget-friendly price. Yet for those who are dealing with an aggressive property seller, achieving the optimal results may prove to be challenging.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you simplify the homebuying process so you can acquire your ideal residence at an affordable price Ė even if you're forced to deal with an aggressive home seller.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you deal with an aggressive property seller and accomplish your desired homebuying results.

1. Remain Patient

It may be tough to deal with an aggressive home seller at times, but those who stay the course can buy a house that matches or exceeds their expectations.

Remember, a patient homebuyer generally is a happy homebuyer. If a buyer avoids rash decisions and remains calm, cool and collected when dealing with an aggressive seller, he or she can boost the likelihood of making the best-possible choices throughout the property buying journey.

2. Focused on Your Desired Results

The ultimate goal of the homebuying journey is to find and buy a house that you can enjoy for years to come. In some instances, an aggressive seller may make it difficult for you to accomplish your goal. But if you prioritize the end results of the homebuying journey, you may be better equipped than others to secure a terrific residence.

If you focus on the big picture, you may be able to reduce the risk that minor issues with an aggressive home seller could slow down the property buying journey. And if you do whatever it takes to achieve your desired homebuying results, you may be able to find unique solutions to various problems.

Don't forget to maintain open communication with a seller. If you open the lines of communication with a seller, both you and a seller can work together to ensure all parties are satisfied with the results of a home sale.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

If you're uncertain about how to deal with an aggressive seller, you may want to hire a real estate agent. That way, you'll have an expert negotiator at your disposal.

A real estate agent is happy to negotiate with a home seller and his or her agent on your behalf. By doing so, a real estate agent will minimize the risk of potential property buying delays.

Let's not forget about the frequent updates that a real estate agent provides during a negotiation with a property seller, either. A real estate agent will keep you informed about seller negotiations and ensure you can move along the homebuying cycle. And if you ever have concerns or questions during the homebuying journey, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them at your convenience.

Manage the homebuying journey like never before Ė use the aforementioned tips, and you can avoid the headaches commonly associated with dealing with an aggressive property seller.




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