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



Posted by Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith on 4/12/2018

House hunting can be time-consuming. With so many houses currently on the market and so little time to spend visiting homes, it’s important to narrow down your search as much as possible before attending a showing.

Fortunately, in today’s digital world, it’s possible to learn a great deal of important information right from your phone or computer.

In today’s post, I’m going to give you some advice on researching the homes you’re thinking about making an offer on. We’ll talk about researching the neighborhood, and--of course--the house itself.

Putting together all the stats on the home

Let’s start with, arguably, the most important thing to research: the house itself. When you want to learn about a home, the best place to look is usually the real estate listing. Since most of us discover homes through listings, odds are you’re already on this page. However, there’s a lot of information in a listing, so take the time to go through it and gleam whatever you can from the home’s description.

Next, Google the house address and click on listings from other real estate sites. Oftentimes, a house that has been sold before will have multiple listings across the internet with different data.

Once you’ve scoured the listings, head over to the county assessor’s website to look at records of the home’s ownership. This will tell you who bought and sold the home and when. There’s much you can learn from this data, especially if a home is being sold frequently. You can also use this information to contact previous owners to ask them questions about the home that the current owner might not know the answer to.

Snooping around the neighborhood

If the house is nearby, simply driving through the neighborhood can tell you a lot. You can visit the neighborhood during rush hour to see what the traffic is like, for example.

However, it isn’t always practical to take the time to visit a house that you aren’t sure you’re interested in. So, what’s the next best thing? Google Maps.

Visit the neighborhood on Google Maps to see what’s in the area. Are there a lot of closed businesses? That could be a sign of a neighborhood in decline. Check for nearby things like parks, grocery stores, and other amenities that could influence your buying decision.

Next, use Google’s “street view” feature and explore the neighborhood. You can see what kind of shape the other homes are in, and find out the condition of infrastructure like roads and sidewalks.

Note addresses of comparable homes in the neighborhood and look up their purchase prices. This will give you an idea of whether the home is being priced appropriately.

If you’re having trouble finding information on a home, such as sale records, try contacting the local assessor. They should be able to point you to a database that will help you in your search.





Posted by Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith on 2/22/2018

As a condo buyer, it is important to find a property that matches or surpasses your expectations. At the same time, you'll want to do everything possible to avoid paying too much for a condo.

What does it take to shop for a condo and avoid the risk of spending too much to acquire your dream residence? Here are three tips to ensure you can pay the right price for any condo, at any time.

1. Browse the Real Estate Market Closely

An informed condo buyer will be able to differentiate a mediocre property from a great one. Plus, this condo buyer will know what it takes to avoid paying too much for a property that is unlikely to deliver long-lasting value.

Take a close look at the current housing market to understand the prices of condos in various cities and towns. By doing so, you can determine the price range for condos that fit your needs.

Don't forget to check out the prices of recently sold condos in your area too. That way, you can understand how long condos typically are available before they sell and map out your condo buying journey accordingly.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Pre-approval for a mortgage will allow you to define how much you can spend on a condo. It also will enable you to reduce the risk of stretching beyond your financial means to acquire your dream condo.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you'll want to meet with several banks and credit unions before you kick off your condo search. This will allow you to learn about both fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages and the pros and cons associated with these mortgages.

Furthermore, don't be afraid to ask lenders how different types of mortgages work, as this will enable you to select a mortgage that corresponds with your budget both now and in the future.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Employ a real estate agent to assist you along the condo buying process – you'll be happy you did. This real estate professional will do what it takes to help you land an exceptional condo at a budget-friendly price.

A real estate agent understands the differences between a buyer's market and a seller's one. As such, he or she can offer tips at each stage of the condo buying process, ensuring you can buy a top-notch condo without spending too much.

In addition, a real estate agent will take the guesswork out of going from condo buyer to condo owner. This housing market professional will set up condo showings, negotiate with condo sellers on your behalf and much more. That way, you can accelerate the process of acquiring a great condo.

Buying a condo at an affordable price may seem impossible at times, but a real estate agent will make it simple for you to do just that. Consult with a real estate agent today, and you can improve your chances of securing a condo without the risk of overspending.




Tags: Buying a home   Condo   buyer tips  
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Posted by Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith on 2/8/2018

Let's face it – purchasing your dream home may prove to be an uphill climb, particularly for a homebuyer who fails to prepare accordingly. Lucky for you, we're here to help you make your homeownership dream a reality and ensure you can discover your ideal residence in no time at all.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get ready to pursue your dream house.

1. Establish Homebuying Criteria

Finding your ideal house can be quick and easy if you establish homebuying criteria before you launch a home search. In fact, with homebuying criteria in hand, you can narrow your house search and speed up the homebuying journey.

To create homebuying criteria, you first should think about cities and towns where you want to live. Next, analyze houses in your preferred cities and towns and consider home must-haves and wants. Once you know exactly what you want to find in your dream house and where you want to reside, you can schedule home showings and move closer to finding your ideal house.

2. Get Pre-Approved for Home Financing

Homebuyers rarely have all the money they need to buy a home. Thankfully, banks and credit unions offer a wide range of mortgage options to make it simple for homebuyers to purchase residences. And if you meet with banks and credit unions, you can review your mortgage options and get pre-approved for home financing.

Obtaining a mortgage may help you streamline your house search because it enables you to establish a homebuying budget that you can use to hone your quest to find your dream home. Perhaps best of all, getting pre-approved for a mortgage may help you resist the temptation to spend beyond your means to purchase your ideal residence.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

Navigating the housing market on your own can be challenging for first-time and experienced homebuyers alike. Fortunately, real estate agents are available who can help you take the guesswork out of pursuing your dream house.

A real estate agent is a housing market expert who understands what it takes to complete a successful home search. He or she will meet with you, analyze your homebuying goals and map out a homebuying strategy. Then, a real estate agent will work with you to help make your homeownership dream come true.

As you conduct your home search, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about new residences that become available in your preferred cities and towns. He or she also will set up house showings and offer insights into the local real estate market. Furthermore, if you find your dream house, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase this residence. And if your homebuying proposal ultimately is accepted, a real estate agent will guide you through the final stages of the homebuying process.

Start your search for your dream house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can boost the likelihood of a successful homebuying journey.




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Posted by Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith on 2/1/2018

Want to acquire the perfect home at the perfect price? You're not alone. As such, you'll likely need to allocate significant time and resources to your home search if you hope to transform your dream into a reality.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you navigate the real estate market so you can move closer to purchasing a top-notch house at a budget-friendly price.

Now, let's take a look at three tips so you can buy your ideal home at a price that matches or exceeds your expectations.

1. Establish Realistic Homebuying Goals

Although you may have lofty dreams of purchasing a deluxe house quickly, it may take some time to find a house that fulfills your needs.

Setting realistic expectations for a home search is ideal for property buyers. With realistic goals, you may be able to avoid disappointments and frustrations along the homebuying journey.

Evaluating the current real estate market often offers a great way to help you map out your homebuying plans. This will enable you to examine the prices of assorted homes, determine which houses you like and define a price range for your ideal house.

Also, it never hurts to look at the prices of recently sold houses, either. This will allow you to see how quickly residences are selling and determine whether you're about to enter a buyer's or seller's market.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

You know that you want to own a house, but how do you intend to pay for it? Ultimately, you may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage – something that can help you accelerate your journey from homebuyer to homeowner.

Meet with banks and credit unions to learn about all of the mortgage options that are available. Then, you can choose a mortgage that will help you avoid the temptation to overspend to acquire your ideal home.

When you consult with banks and credit unions, be sure to ask plenty of mortgage questions as well. That way, you can learn about the ins and outs of various mortgage options and select a mortgage that suits you perfectly.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a housing market expert who is happy to help you make your homeownership dreams come true.

Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you informed about new residences as they become available and offer honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations. He or she will even negotiate with property sellers on your behalf, ensuring you can get the best price on any home, in any real estate market.

With a real estate agent at your side, you can receive expert guidance throughout the homebuying journey. In addition, a real estate agent will respond to your homebuying concerns and questions, guaranteeing you can make informed decisions time and time again.

Ready to acquire your dream home at your dream price? Use these tips, and you should have no trouble purchasing a terrific house without breaking your budget.




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Posted by Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith on 1/4/2018

Applying for a mortgage is one of the biggest decision that an individual can make in his or her lifetime. As such, it is important for a first-time homebuyer to dedicate the necessary time and resources to employ the best mortgage lender – without exception.

So what does it take to hire the ideal mortgage lender? Here are three tips to help a first-time homebuyer quickly and effortlessly choose the right mortgage lender.

1. Consider a Variety of Lenders

There is no shortage of top-notch lenders in cities and towns across the United States. Thus, a first-time homebuyer can meet with a variety of credit unions and banks to explore all of the mortgage options at his or her disposal.

Spend some time learning about lenders in your area. Look at each lender's experience and reputation, and you may be better equipped than other homebuyers to select the ideal lender based on your individual needs.

Furthermore, conduct face-to-face meetings with lenders. These meetings will allow you to learn about a wide range of mortgage options and will make it easy for you to make an informed decision.

2. Ask Plenty of Questions

When it comes to getting a mortgage for the first time, there is no need to leave anything to chance. Instead, ask plenty of questions as you consult with assorted lenders, and you can gain the insights you need to pick a lender that matches or exceeds your expectations.

Remember, there is no such thing as a "bad" question, particularly when it comes to mortgages. If you meet with various lenders, you can get all of your mortgage concerns and queries addressed without delay.

A first-time homebuyer who asks lots of questions may be able to avoid potential financial pitfalls down the line too. In fact, this homebuyer should have no trouble selecting a great lender who can fulfill his or her mortgage needs for years to come.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Let's face it – selecting a lender may prove to be exceedingly difficult. Fortunately, a real estate agent is happy to provide honest, unbiased advice to help you find the right lender in no time at all.

A real estate agent understands the challenges of obtaining a terrific mortgage, and as a result, will do everything possible to help a homebuyer discover a lender that can provide outstanding support day after day. Plus, a real estate agent can even help a homebuyer alleviate stress as he or she searches for the right lender.

Let's not forget about the support that a real estate agent can provide throughout the entire homebuying journey, either. Typically, a real estate agent can keep a homebuyer informed about new residences as they become available, set up home showings, negotiate with a home seller on buyer's behalf and much more.

Get the right mortgage any time you choose – use the aforementioned tips, and a first-time homebuyer can streamline the process of selecting the ideal lender.




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