Alyx Akers
Five College REALTORS ® | 413-320-6405 | AlyxAkersRealtor@gmail.com


Posted by Alyx Akers on 12/29/2019

Purchasing a condo should be fast and easy. However, negotiations with a condo seller can quickly become stressful and may put your chances to acquire your dream condo in danger.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you simplify the process of negotiating with a condo seller to ensure you can purchase your ideal property.

Here are three tips to help you navigate tough negotiations with a condo seller.

1. Consider the Condo Seller's Perspective

Think about the condo seller's perspective and try to find common ground with this individual. By doing so, you and the condo seller may be able to agree to terms that meet the needs of both sides.

When you initially submit an offer on a condo, ensure your proposal accounts for the condo's condition and the current state of the real estate market. That way, you'll be able to avoid the risk of submitting a "lowball" offer that falls below a condo seller's expectations.

Also, maintain open lines of communication throughout the negotiation process. This will allow you to listen to a condo seller's concerns and respond accordingly.

2. Collect Plenty of Housing Market Data

If a condo seller believes you are unwilling to pay a sufficient price for his or her condo, it is always a good idea to present housing market data to back up your offer.

Explore the housing market closely to learn about the prices of comparable condos in nearby cities and towns. This will allow you to see how a particular condo stacks up against similar properties in terms of price and condition.

In addition, check out the prices of recently sold condos in your area to identify housing market patterns and trends. With this real estate market information at your disposal, you'll be able to make an informed decision about whether to continue to negotiate with a condo seller or consider other properties.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent will negotiate with a condo seller on your behalf. Therefore, he or she will help you minimize the stress and anxiety that is commonly associated with condo negotiations.

Typically, a real estate agent will submit an offer on a condo and wait to hear back from a condo seller. If a condo seller decides to negotiate, a real estate agent will work with you throughout the negotiation process.

A real estate agent will listen to your condo buying concerns and questions and respond immediately. He or she also will provide honest, unbiased recommendations to help you make informed decisions during negotiations with a condo seller. This real estate professional will even share your concerns with a condo seller to help you get the best results possible.

When it comes to a negotiating with a condo seller, there is no need to worry. If you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can take the guesswork out of condo negotiations. And ultimately, you may be able to move one step closer to buying a condo that meets or exceeds your expectations.




Tags: Condo   buyer tips   Buying a home  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Alyx Akers on 12/22/2019

Anyone can buy a home – all it takes is hard work and diligence to evaluate your home financing options. Fortunately, we're here to help you streamline the process of finding the financing that you'll need to pay for a residence.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you determine how you will afford a house.

1. Take a Look at Your Current Financial Situation

Put together a monthly budget that outlines your current spending patterns. This will enable you to review how much you earn, what you're paying for housing and other pertinent financial information.

After an in-depth review of your current financial situation, you'll be better equipped than ever before to determine how much you can pay for a house. Then, you can create a homebuying budget to help you move closer to acquiring your dream residence.

2. Get a Copy of Your Credit Report

In all likelihood, a lender will receive your credit score to determine whether you are a viable candidate for a mortgage. If you request a copy of your credit report today, you can learn about your credit score and take steps to improve it before you apply for a mortgage.

The three major credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) provide one free copy of a credit report annually. If you submit a request for your credit report, you can gain unprecedented credit insights in no time at all.

Furthermore, if you find errors on a credit report, don't hesitate to contact the reporting bureau. This will enable you to fix any credit report mistakes prior to applying for a mortgage.

3. Reach Out to Local Lenders

Banks and credit unions are happy to meet with you and discuss a variety of mortgage options. These lenders are available in cities and towns nationwide and can teach you everything you need to know about home financing.

Ultimately, lenders can explain the home financing process and ensure you can avoid any potential pitfalls along the way. And if you ever have mortgage concerns or questions, lenders are available to respond to them at any time.

If you need extra help prior to kicking off a home search, you may want to contact a real estate agent as well. This housing market professional understands the ins and outs of purchasing a house and can help you plan accordingly.

Oftentimes, a real estate agent will meet with you and learn about your homebuying goals. This housing market professional then can ensure you won't have to break your budget to afford a terrific residence.

If you want to buy a home but have limited finances at your disposal, a real estate agent is happy to assist you. Or, if you are searching for a mortgage but don't know where to begin, a real estate agent can put you in touch with top lenders.

Work with a real estate agent, and you can improve your chances of acquiring a first-rate house at an affordable price.





Posted by Alyx Akers on 12/15/2019

You can ask any homeowner-buying and owning a home is expensive. Mortgage payments, property taxes, utilities, and other bills quickly add up.

If you want to buy a home but don’t have a large down payment saved, odds are you’ve discovered something called private mortgage insurance (PMI).

PMI is an extra monthly payment that you make (on top of your mortgage payment) when you don’t have enough to make a large (20%) down payment on your home.

However, if you want to buy a home and don’t want to tack on an extra monthly payment for PMI, you have options. In today’s post, I’m going to talk about some ways to avoid paying PMI on your mortgage so you can save more money in the long run.

PMI Basics

Before we talk about getting rid of PMI, let’s spend a minute on what to expect when you do have to pay it.

PMI typically costs 0.30% to %1.15% of your total loan balance annually. That means that your PMI payments will decrease a moderate amount as you pay off your loan.

Furthermore, once you have paid off 22% of your loan, your PMI will be cancelled and you’ll only be responsible for your regular monthly mortgage payments.

Getting PMI waived early

With conventional loans, you can request to have your PMI cancelled once you’ve paid off 20% of the mortgage. However, many buyers with PMI are using some form of first-time buyer loan, such as an FHA loan.

With an FHA loan, you’ll be stuck with PMI for the lifetime of the loan if you don’t make a down payment of 10% or more. That’s a lot of PMI payments, especially if you take out a 30 year loan, and it can quickly add up.

If you have an FHA loan with FHA insurance, the only way to cancel the insurance is to refinance into a non-FHA insured loan. And remember--refinancing has its own costs and complications.

Making it to the 20% repayment mark

On conventional loans, the best way to get rid of PMI is to reach your 20% repayment mark as soon as possible. That could mean aggressively paying off your mortgage until you reach that point.

This can be achieved by making extra payments, or just paying more each month. However, you don’t want to neglect other debt that could be accruing costly interest in favor of paying off your loans. Make sure you do the math and find out which debt will be more expensive before neglecting other debt.

Once you do reach the 20% repayment mark, you’ll have to remember to apply to have your PMI canceled with your lender. Otherwise, it will be canceled automatically at 22%.





Posted by Alyx Akers on 12/8/2019

Searching for a house should be a fun, exciting experience. It represents an opportunity to discover a residence that you can transform into your very own home. As such, conducting an effective home search may require both hard work and patience to ensure that you can achieve the best-possible results.

Ultimately, there are many factors to consider as you search for your ideal house, and these factors include:

1. Location

A home's location can have far-flung effects on a homeowner's day-to-day activities, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.

For example, a city home may provide quick, easy access to a wide range of attractions. On the other hand, this home may be located near major highways, which could create traffic problems for those who need to commute to school or work regularly.

As you search for your dream house, consider where you want to live both now and in the future. If you enjoy the hustle and bustle of city life, you may want to pursue houses in big cities. Or, if you prefer the serenity of small town living, you can search for a top-notch home in the suburbs.

2. Home Condition

It is paramount to assess a house's condition. Otherwise, you risk making an offer on a home that may have many "hidden" problems that probably will need to be corrected in the foreseeable future.

A home requires maintenance over time, and an older house may be more susceptible than others to costly, time-intensive structural problems. Thus, depending on a home's age, you may need to account for many potential upgrades sooner rather than later.

It also may be worthwhile to find out which home upgrades that a home seller has already completed. If a seller recently replaced a house's roof or heating and cooling system or performed other major home upgrades, you may be able to reap the benefits of these house updates for years to come.

3. A Home's Price

The initial asking price of a home rarely, if ever, is set in stone. Therefore, if you find a house that is priced above your budget, you may be able to negotiate the house's price with the seller.

If you find a house that you want to buy, it helps to submit a competitive offer right away. This offer should account for the age and condition of a house, as well as the current housing market's conditions. And if the offer meets a seller's expectations, he or she should have no trouble accepting the proposal.

Lastly, if you need help searching for a house, you may want to hire a real estate agent as well. This housing market professional can keep you up to date about new houses that become available, provide plenty of homebuying tips and suggestions and help you submit an offer on your dream house. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is happy to respond to your homebuying questions, guaranteeing that you can make informed decisions at each stage of the homebuying journey.





Posted by Alyx Akers on 11/24/2019

Finding the ideal home for your family's needs is no easy task, but if you stay organized and focused, the right property is sure to come along!

One of your most valuable resources in your search for a new home is an experienced real estate agent -- someone you trust and feel comfortable working with.

They'll not only set up appointments for you to visit homes in your desired price range and school district, but they'll also help keep you motivated, informed, and on track. Once you know and have shared your requirements (and "wish list") with them, your agent will be able to guide you on a path to finding the home that will best serve your needs -- both short- and longer term.

In addition to proximity to jobs, good schools, and childcare, you'll probably want to pick a location that's close to supermarkets, recreation areas, and major highways. If you have friends or family in the area, then that would also be a key consideration.

While your immediate needs are a good starting point for creating a checklist of requirements, it's also a good idea to give some thought to what you may need in the future. Plans to expand your family, possibly take care of aging parents, or adopt pets are all factors to consider when looking at prospective homes to buy.

If you have college-age children or recent graduates in the family, you might have to save room for them in your new house. Many grads need a couple more years of financial and moral support from their parents (not to mention home-cooked meals) before they're ready to venture out on their own. Houses with a finished basement, a separate in-law apartment, or even a guest cottage on the property are often well-suited for multigenerational households.

In many cases, people tend to buy a home based on their emotional reaction to it, and then justify the purchase with facts. For example, if the price was right and a particular house reminded you of your childhood home, then that combination of elements could prompt you to make an offer on the house -- assuming those childhood memories were happy!

Sometimes prospective buyers might simply love the look and feel of a neighborhood or the fact that there's a spacious, fenced-in back yard in which they can envision their children or dogs happily (and safely) playing.

According to recent surveys, today's buyers are attracted to homes that have energy efficient features, separate laundry rooms, and low-maintenance floors, counter tops, and backyard decks. Gourmet kitchens, stainless steel appliances, a farmhouse sink, a home office area, and outdoor living spaces are also popular features. Although your tastes may differ, many house hunters also like design elements such as subway tiles, hardwood floors, shaker cabinets, pendant lights, and exposed brick.

When it comes to choosing the home that you and your family will live in for the next few years, your top priorities will probably include a sufficient amount of space, plenty of convenience, and a comfortable environment in which you and your loved ones can feel safe, secure, and happy for the foreseeable future!







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