Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith - Century 21 North Shore / Cape Cod

Posted by Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith on 3/15/2018

Paying off a mortgage early is a dream of many homeowners. By making larger payments on your home loan, you can cut years off of your loan term and save thousands of dollars in interest payments that you can use toward savings or investments. But in an economy that has seen decades of wage stagnation and increasing costs of living, it can often seem like an unattainable goal.

With some planning and initiative, however, there are ways to pay off your home loan before your term limit.

In todayís post, weíre going to talk about three of the ways you can start paying off your mortgage early to avoid high interest payments and save yourself money along the way.

1. Refinance your mortgage

If youíre considering making larger payments on your mortgage, it might make sense to look at refinancing options. Most Americans take out 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages.

If you can afford to significantly increase your mortgage payments each month, you could refinance to a 15-year mortgage. This will save you on the number of interest payments youíll have to make over the years. But, it will also help you secure a lower interest rate since shorter term mortgages typically come with lower interest rates.

This option isnít for everyone. First, refinancing comes with fees youíll have to pay for upfront. Youíll have to apply for refinancing, get an appraisal of your home, and wait for the decision to be made.

But, youíll also have to ensure that you can keep up with your higher monthly payments. If your income is variable or undependable, it might not be the safest option to refinance to a shorter term mortgage.

2. Make extra payments

An option that entails less risk than refinancing is to simply increase your monthly payments. If you recently got a raise or are just reallocating funds to try and tackle your mortgage, this is an excellent option.

Depending on your mortgage lender, you may be able to simple increase your auto-pay amounts each month, streamlining the process. Otherwise, itís possible to set up bill-pay with most banks to automatically transfer funds to your lender.

3. Bi-weekly payments or one extra payment per year

Making bi-weekly instead of monthly payments is an option that many homeowners use to pay off their mortgages early. Bi-weekly payments work by paying half of your monthly payment once every two weeks.

The vast majority of homeowners make 12 monthly payments per year. But by switching to 26 bi-weekly payments, you can effectively make 13 full monthly payments in a year without seeing too much of a difference in your daily budget.

This doesnít seem like much savings in the short term, but letís take a look at how much you could save over the term of a 30-year mortgage.

On a 30-year fixed mortgage of $200,000 with a 4.03 annual interest rate, you would make a monthly payment of $958.00 and a bi-weekly payment of $479.

Over 30 years of an extra monthly payment, you could save nearly $20,000 on the total interest amount and pay off your mortgage almost 5 years early.

Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith on 3/8/2018

Many hopeful homebuyers seek to save money by buying a fixer-upper and doing most of the renovations themselves. This is a proven method for those who have a knack for home improvement and arenít afraid to get their hands dirty.

However, estimating the cost of a remodel can be difficult. There are many costs you may not be aware of, and others that are easy to go over budget on.

In this article, weíre going to talk about the cost of an average remodel, and some lesser-known costs that you might be forgetting to factor into your budget.

Average remodeling costs

As you might guess, the cost of a remodel can vary greatly. Things like the size of the home, the number of rooms youíre remodeling, and the type of repairs youíll be making all factor into the equation.

Some repairs can be quite costly. Septic system replacements can cost several thousands of dollars depending on the type of system you need. And, if youíre buying an old home, youíll need to look out for expensive fixes like asbestos removal and foundation damage.

According to one report, most Americans spent between $17,000 and $61,000 on their remodel, with the average renovation cost being around $37,000.

If youíre hiring a contractor for the bulk of your remodel, expect them to charge between 10% and 15% of the total cost.

Lesser known costs of a home renovation

Remodeling a home isnít as simple as looking up a contractor and telling them to give you the bill once itís finished, and thatís probably a good thing because odds are you would be shocked by the cost.

First, youíll pay a contractor to do a walkthrough and estimate costs. Next, youíll need to get any permits that are required for your renovations.

If you plan on doing the renovations yourself, there are a few costs youíll need to consider. First, understand that you likely wonít be able to take advantage of all of the discounts that contractors can, meaning your building materials may be more expensive than expected. Similarly, the cost of tools for the project adds up quickly. And, when you make mistakes--we all do, weíre only human--youíll be paying for it out of pocket.

Knowing your long term goals

An important consideration for a remodel is to look toward the future. Do you want to sell your home within the next few years? If so, you might consider going with less expensive materials--such as generic kitchen cabinets rather than custom-built--to save money while still increasing the value of the home.

However, if you plan on being in this home for decades or more, it may be worth the extra money now to make sure you are happy with your home for years to come.

Remodeling a home can be a memorable and rewarding endeavor. You get the chance to take a house that you see potential in and make it truly your own. Now that you know the costs, youíll be better prepared for planning your home renovation.

Tags: renovations   budget   Remodel  
Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith on 3/1/2018

A garage sale represents a great opportunity for a home seller. This event enables you to eliminate clutter from your home as well as earn extra cash that you may be able to put toward your future residence. As such, a garage sale should not be taken lightly, and you should do everything you can to prep for this event. So what does it take to host a successful garage sale? Here are three tips that you need to know: 1. Make Your Garage Sale a Family-Friendly Event. It's tough to put together a garage sale on your own. However, you may be able to enlist family members and friends to help you transform an ordinary garage sale into an instant success. Family members and friends can help you organize the items you'd like to sell, offer assistance to shoppers who may be interested in various items and ensure you're able to clean up after your garage sale is complete. Of course, you should offer incentives to encourage family members and friends to help you with your garage sale, too. Whether it's hosting a barbecue in conjunction with your event or offering each helper a share of your garage sale profits, it's important to show your family members and friends that you appreciate their hard work and dedication as they work toward making your garage sale a success. 2. Avoid the Dangers of Overpricing. As a home seller, the goal of your garage sale should be to get rid of any excess items in your house. Thus, you need to avoid the dangers associated with overpricing, because asking too much for numerous items will do little to generate interest among shoppers. Try to be flexible about pricing during your garage sale. Typically, shoppers may ask to negotiate a price on an item, and you should be willing to reconsider your initial price if necessary. A successful negotiation will result in a win-win situation in which both you and the shopper are happy with the results. And with a flexible approach to pricing, you should have no trouble getting rid of a wide range of items at your garage sale and earning substantial profits along the way, too. 3. Don't Forget About the Importance of Customer Service. A customer-oriented approach is paramount throughout your garage sale, and it may enable you to maximize your sales during the event as well. If a shopper has a question, try to respond immediately. Or, if a shopper is ready to check out, provide service with a smile. A friendly, positive attitude can make a world of difference during a garage sale. Therefore, you should remain courteous and approachable during your event and be ready to assist shoppers in any way you can. Hosting a garage sale may seem like a major challenge, particularly for home sellers who lack extensive time and resources. But with the aforementioned tips, you can get organized and make the most of your garage sale.

Posted by Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith on 2/26/2018

This Condo in Dennis, MA recently sold for $135,000. This style home was sold by Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith - Century 21 North Shore / Cape Cod.

78 Center Street , Dennis, MA 02639



Sale Price

Total Rooms
This is an estate sale some furniture could be included in sale. First floor unite in rear of complex, well off the street. All one level living with private storage area in basement. Heat and Cable included in Condo fee Close to everything Dennisport has to offer. Hard to find this type of listing

Tags: Real Estate   Condo   Dennis   02639  
Categories: Sold Homes  

Posted by Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith on 2/26/2018

This Single-Family in Sandwich, MA recently sold for $365,000. This Ranch style home was sold by Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith - Century 21 North Shore / Cape Cod.

34 Shore Drive , Sandwich, MA 02644



Sale Price

Total Rooms
RAMBLING Renovated RANCH with pond access and views! Step inside this pretty contemporary home featuring cathedral wood ceilings, new wall to wall carpet & fresh paint in every room! The kitchen is truly the heart of this home offering large center island breakfast bar, granite countertops, white cabinetry & young appliances. Eating area with slider to private back deck for entertaining. Three bedrooms, master with private bath & slider to deck. Large living room with Intrepid Vermont Castings wood stove & large picture window framing peeks of Pimlico Pond. Updates in last 10 yrs; furnace, roof, windows, 200 amp electrical plus an addt'l 100 amp service in the oversized heated 2 car garage! Partial finished room in basement, plus room to expand. Title 5 in hand - quick close ok!

Categories: Sold Homes