Debra Doherty's Blog
If you're in the market to buy your first home, you're probably experiencing a variety of emotions, ranging from excitement to trepidation. Owning your first home is a major accomplishment and lifestyle change, but it also brings with it a lot of responsibility. Not only will you have to make mortgage payments every month and pay property taxes on time, but you can no longer turn to your landlord when the furnace quits or your refrigerator dies. As former U.S. president Harry Truman once said, "The buck stops here."
Understanding Your Credit Rating
One thing you might want to become acquainted with before diving into a full-fledged house search is your credit report. Your credit score, as determined by the three major credit reporting companies, is a reflection of your ability and willingness to pay your bills on time. Banks and mortgage companies factor in this information when deciding whether to approve you for a loan. Your credit score also has an impact on the interest rate you're offered. Also called a "FICO" score, this scale ranges from a low of 300 points to a high of 800. The higher your score, the more desirable you're viewed as a potential loan customer.
If you'd like to find out where your credit score stands, you can get that information for free (once a year) from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Unlike lenders, they don't take into account factors like income and length of employment. The main things they look at are payment history, amounts owed, and length of credit history. If your credit cards are maxed out or you've been late with payments, then that will lower your credit score and make it more difficult to obtain the most favorable interest rates and loan terms. Fortunately, there are a number of commonsense measures you can take to improve your credit score. Side note: Errors may occasionally crop up in your credit report, so it pays to review them on an annual basis and dispute erroneous or outdated information.
Steering Clear of Other Pitfalls
While buying your first home can seem like an intimidating process, an experienced real estate agent can guide you and make the journey a lot easier. A licensed agent can help you get the process rolling, keep you on track, and resolve problems. There are plenty of situations in life where going it alone is a viable strategy, but buying your first home is not necessarily one of them. By working with a real estate agent, you'll avoid unnecessary frustration, stress, and costly mistakes. You'll also stand a greater chance of finding just the right home for your needs, desired lifestyle, and budget.
138 Chestnut, Lowell, MA 01852
391 East Merrimack, Lowell, MA 01852
Your home represents a one-of-a-kind property, and as such, you'll want to do everything you can to promote it to your friends, family members and, of course, your neighbors.
Ultimately, your neighbors can play a significant role in generating interest in your home. And if you incorporate your neighbors into the home selling process, you may be able to boost your chances of a quick sale and maximize your chances of optimizing the value of your house.
So what does it take to work with your neighbors throughout the home selling process? Here are three tips to help you do just that.
1. Transform an Open House into a Block Party.
If you host an open house, invite your neighbors – you'll be glad you did! By doing so, homebuyers can learn about your house as well as experience what it's like to live in your neighborhood.
Your neighbors may be able to provide insights into your neighborhood that homebuyers might struggle to find elsewhere. And if you invite your neighbors to an open house, you should have no trouble generating plenty of interest in your house in no time at all.
2. Share Your Home Listing with Your Neighbors.
As soon as your home listing becomes available, be sure to share it with your neighbors. This will enable you to extend your home listing's reach and boost your chances of connecting with a broad array of interested homebuyers.
Also, encourage your neighbors to provide feedback about your home listing. A neighbor's feedback could make or break your home listing, and any insights that a neighbor can provide may help you put your home listing over the top in the eyes of homebuyers.
3. Collaborate with an Experienced Real Estate Agent.
Employing a friendly, experienced real estate agent is paramount, regardless of whether you're selling your residence in a buyers' or sellers' market. With a top-notch real estate agent at your disposal, you'll be able to bolster your chances of connecting with your neighbors and highlighting your residence to the right homebuyers at the right time consistently.
Your real estate agent takes pride in his or her work, and as a result, will be happy to provide tips to help you incorporate your neighbors into the home selling process. In fact, your real estate agent may be able to introduce you to neighbors and help you foster positive relationships with them that may allow you to accelerate the home selling process.
Perhaps best of all, your real estate agent is ready to respond to any concerns or queries during each stage of the home selling process. That way, if you ever have questions about your home listing or homebuyers' offers for your house, your real estate agent will be able to offer expert guidance to help you make the best possible decisions.
Spend some time getting to know your neighbors and your real estate agent. This may enable you to improve your chances of selling your home in any real estate market, at any time.