Over the last 12 months, the real estate market in the Boston/Metro-West area has been awfully turbulent, extremely competitive, and at times rather unpredictable. As for acquiring the house you desire soon: you can TRY to navigate this process personally or you can work with an ‘expert’ who save you time, keep money in your pocket, will free you from all of the aggravation that comes with buying a property, and then some!
Regardless of how you choose to act, I wanted to be of assistance for you. In the next section of this page, I’ve put together a 7 step series of action-items to help you trim time, ramp up results, and get you into your first home at the lowest possible cost, as hassle free as possible.
1. Check the selling prices of comparable homes in your desired area. Web sites such as Zillow and Trulia can give you a general idea of what you should expect to pay. You can also do a quick search of actual MLS listings in your area on a number of Web sites, including the site of the National Association of Realtors or by clicking the images on the right side of my website. Better yet, this is one of the services I offer as your buyer’s agent to make sure you don’t overpay! (it’s free too!)
2. See what you can afford. Use Bankrate’s mortgage calculator to see what your payment would be. Of course, you’ll only be able to get approximate numbers until you know the actual specifics of your transaction.
3. Find out what your total monthly housing costs would be, including taxes and homeowners insurance. To get a feel for the maximum amount you should spend, including taxes and insurance, use MSN Real Estate’s home affordability calculator.
In some areas, what you’ll pay for your taxes and insurance escrows can almost double your mortgage payment. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average yearly premium can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousands. (This actual number will depend on whether you’re purchasing a condo or a single family) Either way, have no fears: I can help you to secure great homeowners insurance at an affordable cost!
To get an idea of what you’ll pay in insurance, pick a property in the area where you want to live and make a call to a local insurance agent for an estimate. You won’t be obligated to get the insurance, but you’ll have a good idea of what you’ll pay if you buy. For an idea of what you’ll pay in taxes, Zillow publishes property-tax information for homes throughout Massachusetts.
If you prefer to automate this portion of the “due-diligence” process, I can help you out with this. As a buyer’s agent, this is one item of a long list of things I do to help clients find their ‘ideal’ home as fast possible! You can thank me later 🙂
4. Find out how much you’ll likely pay in closing costs. The upfront cost of settling on your home shouldn’t be overlooked. Closing costs include origination fees charged by the lender, title and settlement fees, taxes and prepaid items such as homeowners insurance or home-owners association fees. You can see what closing costs average in your state by looking at Bankrate.com’s annual closing cost survey. Your lender should also be able to give you an accurate closing cost schedule… I can make some excellent recommendations for lenders.
5. Look at your budget and determine how a house fits into it. Fannie Mae recommends that buyers spend no more than 28% of their income on housing costs. Go much past 30% and you risk becoming house poor. If you’re a little “unsure” about how all these numbers compute, don’t worry – this is yet again one of the things I will help you with.
6. Talk to reputable real-estate agents in your area about the real-estate climate. Ask them if they believe prices will continue leveling off or do they think the Boston/Metro-West area has hit bottom or will rise soon? What trends are impacting the community that you should know about? In 5, 10, 20 years+ what should you be thinking about when pertaining to resale value?
7. Remember to look at the big picture. While buying a house is a great way to build wealth, nurturing your investment can be labor-intensive and expensive. When unexpected costs for new appliances, roof repairs and plumbing problems arise, there’s no landlord to turn to, and these costs can drain your bank account quickly. I personally know this to be true – I’m attaining to these calls all the time from my personal rental tenants and my daughter who has recently become a 1st time home buyer in the Greater Boston area.
As you can imagine, there is an onslaught of things to keep in mind as you begin the buying process. To help you strategize, goal-get, and maximize your return-on-investment, I have put together several blog posts and specialty websites that I believe you’ll find helpful.
To the futures of your 1st time home-buying success,
Authority On 1st Time Home Buying
(617) 775-9167 | Email Me Directly
PS – When you visit this webpage, you will be connected to a page that will help me help you in the fastest way possible. If you were interested what it costs to work with me, it’s FREE.
I get paid ONLY when you close on your home. If I am unable to help you find or successfully close the transaction for the home you want to claim “yours”, I will be owed nothing for my time – talk about a risk free guarantee!
PPS – I have 25+ years of experience for you to leverage. Over the past 5 years, I have been one of the top 25 producers for the entire Century 21 organization in New England. As I write to you today, I hold in my possession handfuls of sellers waiting to speak with us.