Posted by Amanda Bruen on 3/20/2018

Buying a condo represents a life-changing investment. As such, you'll want to allocate the necessary time and resources to ensure that purchasing a condo is right for you.

So what does it take to determine whether to purchase a condo? Here are three tips for those who are evaluating the pros and cons of buying a condo.

1. Understand What Condo Life Is All About

A condo and a house are two very different types of properties. Thus, you'll want to understand what condo life is all about before you purchase a condo.

For example, homeowners likely will have a front yard and backyard that they will need to maintain year-round. Homeowners also can plant a garden, install an in-ground pool and perform various home maintenance and upgrade projects at any time.

On the other hand, condo owners frequently live in closer proximity to one another in comparison to homeowners. This means condo owners likely won't have to mow their own lawns or shovel their walkways in winter. However, condo owners might lack the space to set up a personal garden, and they may require homeowners association (HOA) approval to complete any home exterior modifications as well.

2. Know the HOA Fees

Although you'll pay a mortgage as part of a condo purchase, you will still need to consider the HOA fees in addition to your monthly mortgage costs.

HOA fees cover the costs of insurance, maintenance and other property expenses. Plus, if your condo's roof is severely damaged or destroyed, you should be covered thanks to your HOA fees.

To learn about your HOA fees, you can contact the HOA directly. Also, your real estate agent will be able to provide insights into the HOA fees associated with a condo.

3. Collaborate with an Experienced Real Estate Agent

When it comes to purchasing a condo, all real estate agents are not created equal.

Finding a real estate agent who possesses many years of experience with condos is paramount. This real estate agent will be able to help you understand the ins and outs of condo life, examine HOA fees closely and discover whether a condo purchase is right for you.

Furthermore, your real estate agent should be able to help you along each stage of the homebuying journey. He or she will be able to set up condo showings, assess condos that match your price range and provide expert homebuying tips as you move along the homebuying journey.

Perhaps best of all, your real estate agent understands that the process of buying a condo can be challenging. As a result, your real estate agent is happy to respond to your concerns and queries. That way, if you're uncertain about purchasing a condo, you can consult with your real estate agent and get the best support possible.

Hire a real estate agent with condo experience – you'll be glad you did. With this real estate professional at your disposal, you should have no trouble finding your dream condo in no time at all.

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Posted by Amanda Bruen on 3/17/2018

Beautifully renovated home featuring a spacious open floor plan & tons of natural light! This home has the blending of old world charm, coupled with modern amenities. This 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath, antique Colonial has undergone a complete transformation. New heating, tankless H2O, electric, plumbing, windows, roof, kitchen, flooring and amazing woodwork, as well as custom moldings, & deep attention to the finished details. Gourmet kitchen features custom cabinetry, granite counters, and stainless steel appliances! Expansive living room with recessed lighting. Spacious, modern bedrooms with great closet space! The private back yard is flat & fenced. A perfect spot for summer entertaining. Great opportunity to join the prestige Newburyport neighborhood! Prime location less than a block away from a waterfront park. Off street parking near downtown restaurants, & shops. 1/4 mile from high school. This home is truly one that you don’t won't want to miss out on.

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts

Posted by Amanda Bruen on 3/13/2018

You already know that closing costs on a home can come at a hefty price. There are a few ways that you can actually cut down on the amount of closing costs that you may have on a home. 

Compare The Costs

You have the right to shop around for a lender who offers the lowest closing costs. You can even ask your lender to match the closing costs of another lender that may have them for a lower fee. Certain fees that are included in the closing are negotiable and flexible. You’re allowed to shop around for inspections, title searches, surveys, and the like. There’s nothing that says you have to go with the company recommended by your lender for each. There should be a list of services that is included in the closing costs on your estimate that you receive form the lender.

Question What Each Fee Covers

When you get the loan estimate, don’t just accept it. Take a look at each item and inquire what the fee includes. See why each item costs as much as it does. Be on the lookout for fees with similar names. The lender could be double charging you without your knowledge. It’s always good to be informed especially where large investments are involved.        



You have the right to negotiate with your lender on the closing costs. You can ask for obscure and unnecessary costs to be taken off from the closing. Getting the closing disclosure form as soon as you can will also help you to settle any discrepancies before it’s too late. 

Ask The Seller

Some sellers will even be willing to sweeten the deal for you by either lowering the sale price of the home or covering some or all of the closing costs. Depending on the market, you may be able to get the seller to help reduce your burden of the closing costs. 

If You’re Refinancing 

Every time that you refinance your home, you’ll need to pay closing costs. There are a couple of ways that you can save in this situation. One is to waive the appraisal altogether. If the home has recently been appraised, you may be able to waive the appraisal completely. You can also request an automatic appraisal rather than a full appraisal in order to save some money.

The other option that you have when refinancing to save money is to save on the title insurance. You can ask for what’s called a re-issue date, which is a less expensive rate for the title insurance for refinancers.

Closing costs are a part of the process when you buy a home. If you’re careful, you might be able to save some money on these mandatory fees.

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Posted by Amanda Bruen on 3/6/2018

You know that you want to sell your house. However, you're still unsure about how to determine a "fair" price for your residence.

Ultimately, setting a fair price for your home may be easier than you think – here are three tips to help you establish the best price for your house.

1. Study the Housing Market

The housing market constantly changes. Therefore, a buyer's market today may transform into a seller's market tomorrow.

As a home seller, it is essential to analyze housing market data. That way, you can identify real estate market patterns and trends and plan your home selling journey accordingly.

Check out the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town. With this housing market data in hand, you may be better equipped than ever before to differentiate between a buyer's market and a seller's market.

Also, don't forget to assess the prices of available residences that are similar to your own. This housing market data will help you see how your residence stacks up against the competition. It may provide you with the ability to narrow the price range for your home too.

2. Conduct a Home Appraisal

A home appraisal offers a valuable learning opportunity, particularly for a home seller who is uncertain about his or her house's strengths and weaknesses.

Typically, a home appraisal provides a home seller with plenty of actionable insights about the condition of his or her property. The appraisal often helps a home seller prioritize home improvements as well.

During a home appraisal, a property inspector will analyze a house over the course of several hours. After an inspector's evaluation is complete, he or she will provide a home seller with a report that offers comprehensive insights about a home's condition.

A home appraisal can provide a home seller with a better idea about how to price his or her house in its current condition. Then, a home seller can complete assorted home improvements that may help him or her boost a residence's value.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

It never hurts to get expert support as you try to determine the best price for your house. Thus, collaborating with a real estate agent can make a world of difference for a home seller in any housing market, at any time.

A real estate agent can provide guidance as a home seller preps his or her residence for the housing market. This professional can respond to a home seller's price concerns and questions and help a home seller determine what constitutes a fair price based on the current housing market's conditions.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will help you promote your residence to the right groups of homebuyers consistently. As a result, he or she can help you stir up plenty of interest in your home – something that may lead to multiple offers.

Ready to list your residence? Use these home selling tips, and you can determine the best price for your house.

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Posted by Amanda Bruen on 2/27/2018

After you receive an offer to buy your house, you likely will have only a short period of time to determine whether to accept this proposal. As such, pressure can add up quickly, which often can make it tough to make the best-possible decision.

Fortunately, we're here to help you analyze your options and determine how to proceed with a homebuying proposal.

Let's take a look at three steps that every home seller should take after receiving a homebuying offer.

1. Weigh the Pros and Cons

Make a pros and cons list to examine a homebuying proposal – you'll be glad you did. With this list, you can assess the advantages and disadvantages of accepting a homebuying offer and proceed accordingly.

If you accept an offer, you can move forward in the home selling process. On the other hand, if you don't feel that an offer matches your expectations, there may be no reason to accept this proposal.

2. Evaluate Your Home Selling Goals

Consider your home selling goals as you evaluate an offer to buy your house. By doing so, you can determine whether an offer falls in line with your goals.

For example, if your goal is to sell your house as quickly as possible, the amount of the offer may not matter. In this scenario, you may want to accept a homebuying proposal to accelerate the home selling process.

Comparatively, if your goal is to maximize your profits, you will need to determine if a current offer is the best proposal that you could receive. If the answer is "Yes," then you may want to proceed with a home sale. Or, if the answer is "No," you may want to reject or counter a buyer's proposal.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Let's face it – evaluating a homebuying proposal can be difficult, particularly for a first-time home seller. If you consult with a real estate agent, however, you can get the help you need to make an informed decision about an offer.

A real estate agent can offer lots of housing market data to help you understand the current value of your house. Plus, this housing market professional can provide recommendations about whether to accept, reject or counter a homebuying proposal.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will serve as a guide throughout the home selling journey. He or she can keep you up to date about any offers on your house, perform deep analysis of all homebuying proposals and ensure you can determine the best course of action on any offer, at any time.

Let's not forget about the housing market expertise that a real estate agent possesses, either. A real estate agent understands there is no such thing as a "bad" question. Thus, a real estate agent will respond to any home selling queries that you may have.

Take the guesswork out of assessing a homebuying proposal – use the aforementioned steps, and you can determine whether to accept an offer on your house.

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