RE/MAX Advantage I



Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 6/23/2021

For those who want to enjoy a seamless homebuying experience, it helps to prepare accordingly. That way, you will be ready to identify and address any hurdles that come your way during the homebuying journey.

Ultimately, there are lots of things you can do to avoid a complex homebuying journey, such as:

1. Establish Homebuying Criteria

If you enter the housing market with homebuying criteria in hand, you can search for residences that match your expectations. Best of all, you may be better equipped than ever before to streamline your quest to find and acquire your dream home.

To craft homebuying criteria, think about what you require from a house. For instance, if you need a home that is located near your office in the city, you can hone your house search to residences in or near the city itself. On the other hand, if you want a home that offers two or more bedrooms, you can search for a house that provides the space you need.

You may want to create a list of home must-haves, too. This list may help you simultaneously narrow your home search and speed up the homebuying journey.

2. Know Your Homebuying Budget

There is no need to focus on homes that fall outside your price range. Instead, develop a homebuying budget, and you can avoid the risk of wasting time pursuing a house that you are unable to afford.

Oftentimes, it helps to meet with banks and credit unions before you launch a home search. These financial institutions can teach you about different home financing options so you can develop an effective property buying budget.

Banks and credit unions can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage as well. Once you have a mortgage in hand, you will know precisely how much you can spend to acquire your ideal residence.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Let's face it – no one wants to encounter roadblocks during the homebuying journey. Fortunately, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these homebuying experts are happy to help you achieve your desired results.

A real estate agent can offer comprehensive insights into the homebuying journey. He or she also can help you conduct an in-depth home search, set up house showings and much more.

In addition, a real estate agent understands the challenges associated with buying a house. He or she will help you alleviate stress throughout the homebuying journey and ensure you can make informed decisions along the way. Plus, a real estate agent is ready to provide homebuying recommendations and suggestions at your request.

When it comes to navigating the homebuying journey, you may want to start planning today. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can map out a successful homebuying journey. And as a result, you can boost the likelihood of purchasing a house that will serve you well both now and in the future.




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Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 6/16/2021

Sometimes the simplest habits can yield the greatest results. Making to-do lists is the perfect example of a productive habit -- especially if you're getting ready to sell your home.

When putting your house on the market, here are a few tips to keep in mind for staying on track and avoiding delays.

Organization: As a home seller, there are a lot of things you can do to prepare your house for real estate showings.

Making lists can be an extremely effective way to reinforce goals, clarify objectives, and remind yourself what needs to be done. Knowing your priorities for the day (and week) can strengthen your confidence and help you avoid that feeling of being overwhelmed. On the other hand, when you lack clarity and keep forgetting important tasks, frustration and pessimism can creep in, causing you to lose your edge.

Like any method of staying organized and focused, making lists is not without its potential pitfalls. Priority lists are of little use if they get misplaced, buried under other documents, or forgotten about for days or weeks. Ideally, your list of important tasks should be readily accessible, highly visible, and regularly updated. While some people like to use old-fashioned written lists in a spiral-bound notebook or legal-size pad of paper, others may prefer their mobile devices, computer, or a reminder app.

The benefit of creating a list and checking off items as you progress is that it helps keep you focused, goal oriented, and organized. The sooner you create a priority list of tasks, the greater your efficiency will be in getting them done.

Motivation: Although your real estate agent will handle most of the details related to selling your home, there are still dozens of tasks you'll need to be involved in. Keeping your home and property well maintained, presentable, and in a state of good repair are among them. If you're like most home sellers, however, your plate is already full with family responsibilities, career demands, and other obligations. Fortunately, there are strategies for balancing your priorities.

The three keys to getting important stuff done in a timely way are: effective time management, prioritization, and staying motivated. Selling a house is a team effort involving you, your family, your real estate agent, and other professionals. Doing your utmost to keep your real estate objectives on the "front burner" will help keep the sales process moving forward and make a good impression on potential buyers.

Goals, in general, should be specific, attainable, measurable, and deadline-oriented. As motivational writer Napoleon Hill said, "A goal is a dream with a deadline." When you fail to assign a target date or deadline to a house-selling task, it's all-too-easy to let that goal slide and cause you to lose your advantage.





Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 6/9/2021

Do you ever wish that they taught a class in high school called, “Things You’ll Actually Need to Know In Life?” You’d learn how to prepare your taxes, what investing is, and how to buy a home.

Unfortunately, all of these important life lessons tend to be self-taught; you pick them up along the way and learn from your mistakes.

However, it needn’t be that way. Our goal today is to give you an accurate idea of what to expect when you’re buying your first home. We’ll go over a typically home buying timeline and discuss how long each step can take. This will give you a better idea of how long it will take to close on your first home.

Step 1: Build credit and save for a down payment

Estimated time: 2+ years

The first step of buying a home is to make sure you’re financially secure enough to do so. While there are ways to purchase a home with low or no down payments (See FHA, USDA, and VA loans), generally it’s wiser to wait until you have a sizable down payment saved. This will save you money in interest and mortgage insurance in the long run.

Next, you’ll need to start working on your credit. If your credit score took some hits due to late payments when you were younger, now is the time to start fixing those mistakes by making on-time payments and paying off outstanding balances.

Step 2: Have a plan for the next phase of your life

Estimated time 6+ months

One of the most important, and least talked about, parts of buying a home is understanding what it means to own a home. If you have a spouse, partner, or family, you’ll need to be in agreement that you’re prepared to stay in one place for the next 5 or more years.

Buying a home is expensive and you won’t want to go through the process of closing on a home if you aren’t sure you’ll stay. This means making sure your career won’t bring you elsewhere in the near future.

Step 3: Get prequalified and preapproved

Estimated time 1-3 days (depending on how much initiative you take)

Getting prequalified for a mortgage takes minutes. You simply fill out an online form and the lender will give you an idea of the type and size loan you could qualify for. Be forewarned: they’ll also use this information to call and bother you about getting a mortgage from them.

Once you’re prequalified, it’s just a matter of working with the lender to provide the correct documentation for pre-approval.

Getting preapproved takes a bit longer (1-3 days), since it requires a credit check and some work on your part--namely, gathering and sending income verification.

Once you’re preapproved, you can safely start shopping for homes without worrying that you’re wasting time looking at homes that are overbudget.

Step 4: House Hunting

Estimated time: 30+ days

It’s a seller’s market. So, if you’re buying a home right now there is competition out there. You’ll need to dedicate a substantial amount of time to researching homes online, contacting sellers’ agents, and following up on calls. Like before, the amount of effort you put into this process determines how quickly and smoothly you’ll get through it.

Step 5: Making an offer and closing

Estimated time: ~50 days

Average closing times for buying a home has grown to 50 days according to a recent study. However, by securing financing ahead of time and acting quickly, you can drastically cut down the time of these process to as little as two weeks.




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Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 5/26/2021

If you're planning to sell your house soon, you should prepare for the property selling journey. This can mean identifying potential home selling obstacles so that you can address these issues right away.

Now, let's take a look at three issues that house sellers commonly face, along with tips to address these problems.

1. Exorbitant Initial Asking Price

You may believe your house is worth more than you originally paid for it. However, there is no guarantee your home's initial asking price will fall in line with buyers' expectations. And if you ultimately set a high initial asking price for your home, your residence may linger on the real estate market for an extended period of time.

Oftentimes, it helps to evaluate the housing market in your city or town. This enables you to see how your residence stacks up against comparable houses. Then, you can use this housing market data to price your house appropriately.

You may want to conduct a home appraisal as well. Once you obtain an appraisal report, you can use the report's property valuation to determine how to price your house.

2. Poor Curb Appeal

How your house looks to buyers is key. If your residence has a messy front lawn, deteriorating siding, and other exterior problems, it is unlikely to garner buyers' interest.

For a home seller, it is important to allocate time and resources to boost a house's curb appeal. By mowing the lawn, repairing cracked or damaged home siding and performing other property improvements, a seller can instantly upgrade his or her residence's curb appeal.

If you need help with home improvements, you can reach out to local professionals. With assistance from landscapers and other home improvement specialists, you can quickly transform your house's appearance from drab to fab.

3. Cluttered Home Interior

If you have collected a vast array of antiques and artwork over the years, you may want to remove these items from your house before you sell it. Remember, the goal of a home seller is to make it easy for a buyer to envision what life may be like if they purchase your residence. If your house is filled with myriad personal belongings, it may be tough for a homebuyer to do just that.

To cut down on clutter inside your home, you can always host a yard sale or list various items online. You can also donate any unwanted items to a local charity, or give them to family members or friends.

As you get set to sell your house, don't forget to hire a real estate agent, too. This housing market professional can help you identify and resolve potential home selling obstacles. In addition, they will do whatever it takes to help you get the best price for your house.

Ready to list your residence? Consider the aforementioned home selling issues, and you can take steps to minimize these problems prior to embarking on the house selling journey.




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Posted by Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team on 5/19/2021

One of the best things that you can add to your home is a solar power system. These can be costly but they save you a lot in the long term on utility costs. While government programs have scaled back for these energy saving improvements over the years, there’s still many benefits to them. You can even get a loan specifically for installing solar power to your home.


Before you take the leap, you’ll want to know for sure if solar will really add value to your home. Of course, you want a return on your investment. 


The good news is that there’s no doubt about it that installing solar panels does definitely add value to your home. There’s one caveat to the value: You should own your   solar power system as opposed to leasing it through a solar company or a power purchase agreement. 


Homes that have solar panels sell for more money simply because they offer a definite return benefit to the future owner. 


Does A Leased Solar System Offer The Same Benefits?


Owning your solar system will save you more money in the long run than leasing your system. When you own a solar power system, the FHA requires that the total value of your solar system be added to the total value of your home when you go to sell it. If you lease the panels, this value cannot be added to the home during an assessment.   


If you have financed the system, the rules may be a bit more lenient. While you technically don’t own the system, you are paying towards owning the system yourself. Each lender will have their own standards for this, so check with them for specifics, as your home must meet certain standards and eligibility requirements. 


Securing A Mortgage With A Leased Solar System


If someone is looking to secure a mortgage with a leased or currently unowned solar energy system, there are a few hurdles that you might face through the process. These problems include:


Solar lease payments must be included in the buyer’s debt-to-income ratio. 

The panel owners must have a third-party insurance to cover damage to the property that’s being mortgaged in the event of malfunction or faulty installation of the panels.         


Solar Panels Are An Overall Great Investment


It’s really hard to go wrong if you purchase or finance your solar panel system. As long as you own the system, value will be added to your home. You’ll also save on your own utility bills. Your home will undoubtedly become more attractive to buyers if you decide to sell your home in the future.




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Mark Consolmagno Michelle Curran Team
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