Sherry Bourque - RE/MAX Main Street Associates



Posted by Sherry Bourque on 1/6/2019

A home showing enables a property buyer to get an up-close look at a residence. After a showing, a property buyer can determine whether a house matches his or her expectations. And if a property buyer likes a house, he or she may be ready to take the next step in the homebuying journey.

Ultimately, a showing is crucial for a property buyer. And if you fail to plan accordingly for a home showing, you risk missing out on the opportunity to identify your ideal residence. Lucky for you, we're here to help you get ready for a house showing and ensure you can use this opportunity to your advantage.

Let's take a look at three tips to help you prepare for a house showing.

1. Create a Checklist

You may have already learned about a home from a listing. However, there is only so much information available in a home listing. But if you craft a checklist prior to a house showing, you'll be better equipped than ever before to get the insights you need to determine if a home is right for you.

Include any questions you have about a home in your house showing checklist. Also, you may want to include areas of a home you want to review during a showing in your checklist.

2. Give Yourself Plenty of Time

There is no reason to rush through a home showing. Because if you fail to allocate the proper amount of time to conduct a showing, you may struggle to obtain the insights you need to make an informed decision about a house.

Clear your schedule for at least an hour before and after a showing Ė you'll be glad you did. This should give you sufficient time to arrive at a home and take an in-depth look at all areas of the property.

Of course, if you find that one home showing is insufficient, there is no need to stress. You can always schedule a follow-up showing to further review a residence.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent can teach you everything you need to know about buying a house. Plus, he or she can help you get the most out of any home showing, at any time.

Typically, a real estate agent will attend a house showing with you. He or she can provide home insights as you walk around a residence and respond to your property buying concerns or questions. In addition, a real estate agent is happy to provide homebuying recommendations and suggestions. And if you're ready to submit an offer to purchase a home following a showing, a real estate agent can help you do just that.

As you get set to attend a home showing, you should prepare as much as you can. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can get ready for a home showing and use this opportunity to decide whether a particular residence will be able to serve you well for years to come.




Tags: Buying a home   showing  
Categories: Buying a Home   showing  


Posted by Sherry Bourque on 12/30/2018

The rent vs buy dilemma is something that Americans have been facing for decades. Both options have their benefits, and itís really a matter of timing and preferences when it comes to choosing which is best for you.

However, there are a lot of things to consider before making this decision. So, in todayís post weíre going to break down some of the benefits of renting an apartment and of buying a home. That way you can make your decision with a clearer picture of what each situation looks like.

One thing to note first, however, is that it isnít always as simple as buy vs rent. Some living situations draw on the pros of each type of living. For example, living in a condo might be a good option for people who want the privacy and independence of owning their own home, but who also donít have the time or desire to keep up with maintenance.

So, as we compare buying and renting, keep in mind that the features of each are not mutually exclusive.

Renting an apartment

Most people who are living on their own for the first time start off renting. For younger people just out of school, renting offers the first taste of independence without the prerequisites of homeownership.

When you rent your first apartment, youíll learn the skills associated with budgeting for your monthly expenses, making your rent payments on time, and will start learning some of the skills that it takes to run a household.

In terms of monthly costs, apartments can vary greatly. Depending on where you live (and how luxurious the apartment is) you could end up having rent and utility payments that are much lower or much higher than mortgage payments for a house.

However, apartment leases often come with the benefit of utilities, trash removal, and other expenses built in. They also typically require the landlord to maintain the apartment and the land it sits on.

Live in the northern part of the country and hate shoveling snow? Make sure your lease specifies that your landlord will provide snow removal.

One technique that many renters take is to find an apartment that is small and affordable while they save up for a home. In this case, itís worth living with fewer amenities if your end goal is saving for a down payment.

But, what if you want to own a home someday but havenít quite decided where you want to settle down? Maybe your work keeps you moving from place to place or youíve always wanted to move away to somewhere new.

Renting is typically a better option for those who arenít quite sure what their plans are for the next coming years. They can have a stable place to live while they figure things out and plan their next move.

Buying a home

Once youíve rented a home for a while, you might become increasingly aware that you want more space and more control over your home.

Youíre also likely noticing how much money you spend on rent each month that is essentially a net loss.

When you buy a home, your mortgage payments might be going to the bank, but someday the money youíve paid toward that home will be yours in the form of equity. You can then use this as a down payment for another home.

This financial benefit cannot be understated. Since house values dependably increase over time, owning a home is a great investment toward your future.

So, those are the main pros and cons of renting vs buying a home. Think about your circumstances and determine which one makes the most sense for you right now. Then, start planning for the future.




Categories: Buying a Home   rent vs buy  


Posted by Sherry Bourque on 12/16/2018

Making an offer on a home youíd love to buy is arguably the most stressful part of the buying process. Youíll be worrying about making the right offer, whether youíve presented yourself in the best possible light, and just how much competition youíre up against.

Today weíre going to help you alleviate that anxiety by giving you the most common real estate offer mistakes to avoid, and show you how you can increase your chances of getting the perfect home for you.

1. Do your research on the house

You have a lot of research to do before making an offer on a home. Youíll want to know the price the home formerly sold for and improvements that have been made and that will need to be made if you move in.

It also helps to know the sellerís situation. Are they on a deadline and moving out-of-state? If so, they might be tempted to take one of the earlier offers they receive.

2. Know your own financial limits

Before you ever make an offer youíll need to know how much you can spend. This isnít just a matter of offering the maximum amount youíre preapproved for. Youíll have to factor in moving expenses, final payments on your last rent or mortgage, changes in utility costs, and more.

3. Donít offer your full preapproval amount

Sellers who know that youíve offered your maximum preapproval amount may be wary of selling since they know you lack room to negotiate your budget and therefore might have a higher chance of backing out of the offer. They might favor other buyers who have room to negotiate and account for unexpected changes in their budget or of rising interest rates.

4. Avoid aggressive negotiation

We know the stakes are high for everyone involved in making a real estate deal. However, sellers are more likely to accept the offer of someone they trust and like over someone who seems to be trying to gain leverage.

Always be cordial with your offers and support them with numbers--explain to the seller why you chose the number you did, so that they can understand your reasoning.

5. Donít attempt to gain leverage by waiving a home inspection

By law, you are allowed to have a home professionally inspected before purchase. Waiving this right is sometimes misconstrued as a way to tell a seller that you trust them and donít want to cause them any unnecessary headaches.

The reality of the matter is that if you truly do want to own their home, sellers understand that you want to know what youíre buying.

6. This isnít the only house you can be happy in

Hunting for a home is hard work. Once you find one that seems perfect for you or your family, it can seem like everything depends on your offer being accepted.

However, the fact is there are endless houses on the market, and next week a new one could be put up for sale that is even better than the home youíre hoping for now.

If your offer isnít accepted and you donít feel comfortable committing to a higher price, move on to the next house knowing that you made the best decision under the circumstances.





Posted by Sherry Bourque on 12/2/2018

Buying a new home is an exciting experience. Who doesnít love new thingsóand a new home at that? But a new home is also challenging and intimidating. If you have left a home that you adored then this new home has high expectations. And if itís your first home then such an investment is a big step and can be intimidating for that reason. But one thing that can be agreed upon is the need for this house to feel like your home. Letís look at a few simple tips for making your new house truly feel like your home.

Family Heirlooms: Have a family heirloom that has been passed down from generation to generation? These types of keepsakes could range from an afghan that a great-grandparent or grandparent had knit, various antiques, clocks, diaries and recipes. You can display recipes on a kitchen counter or you can even get creative and design custom wallpaper from the recipe cards. Grandfather clocks fit the atmosphere of home offices and formal living rooms. There are tasteful ways to add each one of these into your home and preserve the memory of these keepsakes.

Photos & Artwork: What better way to bring personality and familiarity into a home than photos of family and friends or artwork from a favorite artist or of your favorite place. A popular approach is a grid-like arrangement created on large, open walls. This is one way to display many beloved photos without creating clutter on tables or other pieces of furniture. A long wall along a hallway would be a great place to display larger photos or artwork that would run horizontally. This is especially nice for sequenced pieces such as change of season photos.

DIY projects: Add your personality to your home with DIY projects. Mason jars, glass vases, and wine bottles can be turned into beautiful home dťcor with only a few materials and a couple hours. Items like rope, artificial flowers, ribbon, and glitter are just a couple examples of supplies that can be used to turn those simple items into a homemade masterpiece.

Memories: Last, but certainly not least, create memories.This is the easiest and quickest way to make a house feel like a home. Things as simple as cooking dinner with your loved ones and as extravagant as starting a family are amazing memories to make. And the first time you remember something special happening in your home will be an amazing feeling. Youíll truly feel like youíve left your mark and turned four walls into something extraordinary.

Itís crucial that you add your personal touches to your home, especially if itís going to be your forever home. Itís the place you will spend most of your time, besides work. The tips above are just a couple examples of ways to help add your personality in the home. Be creative and most of all be genuine and your home will feel like itís been yours forever.  





Posted by Sherry Bourque on 11/11/2018

Conducting an in-depth home search may prove to be difficult, particularly for individuals with limited time and resources at their disposal. Fortunately, there are lots of things that you can do to streamline your home search and discover your ideal residence without delay.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you seamlessly navigate the homebuying journey.

1. Create Homebuying Criteria

Not all homes are created equal, and the dream house for one buyer may differ from the dream house for another. However, if you craft homebuying criteria, you can define your dream house and map out your property search accordingly.

Think about the features you want to find in your dream residence. For instance, if you want to own a house that features a dazzling backyard, you can explore residences that offer this feature. On the other hand, if you want to purchase a home that boasts multiple bedrooms, you can search for residences that provide plenty of space.

Consider where you want to reside, too. By doing so, you can narrow your home search to residences in a select group of cities and towns.

2. Know Your Homebuying Budget

Get pre-approved for a mortgage Ė you'll be happy you did. If you enter the real estate market with a mortgage in hand, you'll know exactly how much you can spend to acquire your dream residence. Then, you can search for houses that fall within your price range.

Obtaining a mortgage will require you to meet with banks and credit unions. You should review mortgage options from a variety of banks and credit unions, as this will allow you to select a mortgage that complements your finances.

Don't hesitate to ask mortgage questions, either. Banks and credit unions employ home financing specialists who are ready to respond to your mortgage queries. Plus, these specialists can offer home financing insights to help you make an informed mortgage selection.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent understands the challenges associated with finding a great house at an affordable price. Thankfully, he or she can make it easy for you to conduct an in-depth home search in no time at all.

Typically, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about new houses that become available in your preferred cities or town. If you want to view any of these homes, a real estate agent will set up a house showing. And if you find a home you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase this residence.

As you get set to search for your dream home, you should try to prepare as much as you can. By using the aforementioned tips, you can simplify the process of conducting a comprehensive home search. Best of all, you can use these tips to discover a wonderful home that is sure to serve you well both now and in the future.







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