Tips

Ready to buy a home?

Ready to buy a home?

3 steps to prepare yourself, and 3 steps to prepare your financeshomebuyer, real estate, stone ridge properties, newburyport, amesbury

Are you thinking of purchasing a home? Before you take the plunge, take these steps to prepare yourself and your finances.

3 Steps to Prepare Yourself

Meet with Local REALTORS

Stop into your local Real Estate offices and speak with some agents. You will be working closely with your agent for months, so you want to make sure that you feel valued by your agent and that he or she understands your needs. In-person meetings are a great way to quickly assess whether your buyer’s agent will be a good fit. You can also ask for referrals within your community, chances are there are some wonderful agents that your network has worked with in the past.

Set-up Email Alerts

Your agent can set you up with email alerts for properties that meet your criteria and needs. You can also set these up for yourself on a variety of real estate websites. Once you set up your home alert, for example, 4 bedroom, 2 bath single-family house between $330,000 - $500,000, you will receive daily notifications about properties that are available in your area within that criteria and work with your agent to set up a time to see the property.

Visit Open Houses

Go with your agent, or on your own! Find out where the Open Houses are in your area in by checking with your agent, or by looking online and through local newspapers, and take a look at the homes in your price range. This is also a great way to meet real estate agents.

3 Steps to Prepare Your Finances

Check your Credit

When you start the process of purchasing your home, you will realize that this is not the time for surprises. The last thing you will want is to be shocked by is your credit rating. Your credit card may offer a free credit tracker or you can use a service like Experian to request a current credit report. If you are buying a property with a spouse or a family member, you will want to ask them to check their credit as well. Looking over your credit report in advance of formally applying for your mortgage will give you time to address any issues or questions or concerns in advance of meeting with your mortgage broker.

Get Pre-Approved

A mortgage pre-approval indicates to Agents and Sellers that you are serious about purchasing a home. Being pre-approved for a mortgage is a fairly straightforward process, you will need to select a lender and provide them with basic personal information and income details. Need help finding a lender? Your real estate agent can recommend someone to you based on your personal situation. For example, if you are a veteran or self-employed they will direct you to someone with experience with loans that will meet your needs. Your bank pre-approval amount will help inform the price range of your new home.

Don’t Go on Any Shopping Sprees

No new boats or cars until you close on your home! Once you have been pre-approved for a mortgage, or are beginning the formal mortgage process, you will not want to have any irregularities or questionable activities appear on your credit report. Large purchases can quickly turn your approval into a denial.

We would be happy to meet with you and help match you with an agent, and address any concerns or questions you have about the purchasing process. Contact us today!

What is the value of home staging?

What is home staging and should I consider it for my home?

If you have ever toured a home that is completely empty, you know how difficult it can be to imagine what your furniture might look like in the rooms, or to estimate how large certain spaces really are. The emptiness can be confusing - conversely, too much clutter in spaces can also be overwhelming.

One way to solve this problem for real estate agents and clients is home staging. The goal of staging is to increase the appeal of the home to the highest number of potential buyers, in order to sell the property quickly and for a high value. There are many strategies for effectively staging your home depending on how much time and money you would like to invest.

Some home-staging strategies:

  • Removing clutter
  • Rearranging room layouts to be open and inviting
  • Moving excess furniture into storage
  • Changing lighting
  • Introducing plants and other inexpensive artwork or home accents
  • Styling shelving

Most Realtors agree that a well-staged home may increase the value of the home as well has help to sell it more quickly. Even staging one or two rooms can impact the marketability of a home.

Rooms that Realtors often recommend staging are:

  • Living Room
  • Kitchen
  • Master Bedroom
  • Dining Room
  • Bathroom

If you are interested in selling your home and learning more about if home-staging would be a good option for you, contact your Stone Ridge Properties Realtor.

TIPS: Declutter & Downsize

Kids off to college in the fall? Planning to list your home this spring, or maybe in the next few years? A house clear of clutter is easier to sell, plus, there are many benefits to taking the time to go through belongings and clear the clutter in your home - you can even reduce your stress by simplifying.

declutter, downsize, open space, living room

What to Keep

Before you begin to declutter, establish a list of the things you won’t want to part with during this process. Some of these may be photographs, family heirlooms, and documents such as tax returns, birth certificates or marriage licenses. Sentimental items should make the cut as well. Making a conscious decision to keep things that have special meaning to you will make the process of letting go of the rest a bit easier.

5 Tips to Start Decluttering

Once you have decided to downsize or declutter your home, get out a calendar and make a timeline for completing each section of your house. The process will take some time (think basements, garage.) If you are moving, you will want to give yourself 3-5 months to complete the process.living room, declutter, downsize

Before you begin, setup bins for donations, recycling, and trash. You won’t want to throw everything in trash bags since there will be many items that can be used by someone in need.

Start small. Before stepping into your bedroom closet, or boxes in the basement, choose a room that won’t have many items of sentimental value or won’t be too overwhelming to tackle. A bathroom or a kitchen are manageable options (you won’t lose sleep over tossing expired multivitamins or an extra whisk!)

Enlist a declutter buddy. Have a friend keep to you accountable! You can create a pile of items that you aren’t sure you are ready to part ways with. A second opinion can help you decide what stays and what goes into the donate bin.

If you are moving to a smaller space, you may need to downsize your collections of items such as books, shoes or even wine glasses. Make sure to give yourself a hard limit of how many of each item you want to keep, it will make choosing easier.

Relax and enjoy! Don’t plan to declutter the whole house in a weekend. That creates unnecessary stress. Give yourself a simple reward each time you complete a space, and give yourself time to enjoy your hard work!