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Buying Investment Property: What to Look for in a Realtor

When it comes to purchasing investment property, there are many different considerations. Price matters, certainly, but location, condition of the building, and what you plan to use the property for are all a part of the decision-making process. With that in mind, real estate investors shouldn’t try to find and buy properties on their own. It’s much safer to work with a good Realtor who can provide listings and information for all the real estate for sale in the Portland Maine area. READ MORE

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There Can Be a Cost By Waiting to Purchase

In many instances, prospective buyers believe that the longer they wait to purchase a home or property, the better off they are, but the opposite is actually usually true. The reason for this is because instead of home prices and interest rates going down, in these tough economic times, they end up usually going up. Home prices rose in 41 states and D.C. in the 1st quarter of 2013. Many prospective home buyers are finding themselves in quit a predicament simply because they chose to wait on their purchase. It seems like more often than not, interest rates are going higher and higher and this is very bad for prospective home buyers because they end up spending much more money in the long run. Obviously, when a home price goes up, the prospective buyer will have to pay more for the home initially, but if the interest rate goes up, which it often does, the prospective home buyer will need to pay the higher interest rate and then some. The interest rate can impact the prospective home buyer for years to come since the actual rate of the home increases just because the interest rate increases. For instance, if the term is 30 years and the total monthly payment is $1,500, then just a small increase can raise the home price significantly. If the home price is at a certain point, then if the interest rate increases, they will not be able to purchase the same home since the price of the home will have raised and they would not be accepted into that category. So, as you can see, waiting on a home purchase can not only cause the prospective home buyer to pay out more money initially, but it can impact their opportunity of getting their dream home overall. The best bet for any prospective home buyer is to purchase as soon as possible before the price of the home, or worse, before the interest rate increases. READ MORE

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Types of Mortgages

In regards to home ownership, there are two main different mortgages that are available. The first type is the fixed mortgage and the second type is the adjustable rate mortgage. A fixed mortgage is defined as a mortgage rate that stays the same for the duration of the mortgage length. That means, if you have a fixed mortgage, your monthly payments will not go up or down, they will stay static at one rate. A fixed mortgage is usually preferable to an adjustable rate loan because there is no chance of the rate going any higher, but there are some benefits to an adjustable mortgage rate as well. An adjustable rate mortgage, or ARM for short means that interest rates will change over time. The good thing about an adjustable rate mortgage is that the rate could go down, but it could conversely also go up. The deciding factor on if the rate in an adjustable mortgage goes up or down is dependent on the market at that time, so there is really no predicting or knowing if the market will stay steady, go higher or go lower, some might say they know, but the reality is that it is usually a luck of the draw. Overall, it has been shown that adjustable rate mortgages usually end up raising causing the home owner to pay more than they would have with a fixed mortgage rate. Another types of adjustable rate mortgage is the hybrid adjustable rate mortgage. This hybrid mortgage type is different than the usual adjustable rate mortgage because the home owner pays a fixed amount for a certain number of years and then starts to pay an adjustable amount for the remaining amount of years left on their mortgage. A hybrid adjustable rate mortgage is gaining popularity with many different individuals because unlike a fixed mortgage rate, a hybrid adjustable rate mortgage starts off at a lower rate saving people money in the beginning stages of their mortgage period. READ MORE

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What Not to Do When Selling a Home

When selling a home, it is vital that certain steps are completed, while it is advisable that other steps are not. In terms of selling your home, there are many things that can actually hinder your home sale itself and that will significantly hurt you and your bank account in the long term. The first thing that you must never do when selling a home is to have your pets around when prospective buyers are walking through your home. While your pets may be cute, not every prospective buyer will think so, and furthermore, if you have your pet around during the walk-thru process, the prospective buyer might not be able to think clearly about the sale and get frustrated or off track. Overall, it is best to keep pets out of sight when prospective buyers are looking in your home. The next thing that is absolutely detrimental to a home sale is stale smells, or otherwise, nasty odors throughout your home. Not only is it important that your home appears spotless when you are trying to sell it, but it is also important that it smells fresh and clean as well. Make sure there are no cigarette smoke odors, pet odors, or even worse, mildew odors lurking in your home while prospective buyers are there or it could negatively influence the sale. The next thing never to do when trying to sell your home is for the seller to follow prospective buyers around while they look through your home. While you may be in the vicinity, it is in bad taste if you follow every prospective buyer around like a hawk and become their shadow. In order to make a great sale, sellers must learn to let go a little bit and give prospective buyers some room to breathe, as well as some time to realize that they do in fact want to buy your home! READ MORE

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Why Credit Scores Are Important When Buying a House

One of the easiest and quickest ways to secure a great mortgage rate is by having a good credit score. The truth is that the majority of companies will first check your credit score to decide the rate that you will receive. If you have little to no credit or if you have a low credit score, then this will hinder or almost entirely null your chances of getting a good percentage rate or any loan for your mortgage whatsoever. Your credit score is important, but what is just as or even more important than your actual score are the other things that are indicated on your credit score. It is frowned upon greatly if you have, for instance, repossession on your credit score, credit card debts or even an eviction that is noted. Many companies will demand that you fix these issues on your credit score before you are ever given a good mortgage rate. A credit score is your calling card in the real estate world and aside from anything else, it is the most important piece of paper that you will have to show in order to get a loan or good mortgage rate. Credit scores are very helpful in also securing a better price on real estate as well. When a company sees that you have a high credit rating, then you appear much more trustworthy and reliable than an individual with a less than desirable credit rating. A high credit rating might be able to get you money off your entire property purchase, special perks such as lower monthly payments and also a smaller down payment, etc. If you do currently have a low credit score, then there are ways that you can repair it and make it high once again. Simply contact the companies that have written marks on your credit report and do what you can to remedy the situations, either by paying the debt or asking them to remove the mark from your credit score. READ MORE

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Waterfront Properties For Sale in Maine

Maine is a beautiful area to live and primarily because of all the wonderful waterfront properties that are available within the real estate sector. Maine is home to very unique coastal properties as well as lakefront properties that are perfect for a wide variety of individuals that appreciate nature and splendor. These waterfront properties in Maine offer a high level of distinction from the rest of the properties in the area and there are many different types of waterfront properties in Maine that range from inexpensive to extremely lavish. Some waterfront properties in Maine include properties in Mooselookmeguntic Lake which are very reasonably priced, waterfront vacation rentals, properties that sit next to a river or stream, luxurious waterfront estates that are large and hold amazing amenities, coastal properties, island properties, properties that are close to a pond and much, much more. A wonderful aspect about waterfront properties in Maine is the fact that not only is there water in its wonderful sparkling beauty, but also pine trees that shade and offer an extra added benefit of being among nature’s bounty. The peaceful serenity that one will be able to have living in a waterfront property in Maine is unparallel and fantastic. Choose from homes as well as condos within the abundance of waterfront property offered in Maine. Some of the waterfront developments are brand new and some offered hold a significant historical value. There is a perfect waterfront property in Maine for whatever you choose, since there is so much to pick from. Many of the waterfront properties are located within a stone’s throw from the water and the air quality is significantly cleaner and fresher than in other areas of Maine farther from the water. Take a look at what gorgeous waterfront properties are available in Maine today! READ MORE

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Understanding the Earnest Money Deposit

What it is and why it’s good to include it as part of your real estate transaction.

Earnest money is specifically used to show that a buyer is serious about purchasing a property in regards to real estate transactions. Earnest money is paid by the buyer to the seller and shows a level of commitment and integrity towards the purchase and it is used as a down payment if and when the buyer goes through with the offer. If the buyer does not go through with the offer, then the earnest money is left to the owner and not returned to the buyer. Earnest money is vital to how real estate actions are perceived by buyers as well as sellers because they demand a certain level of seriousness in regards to purchasing the property to the seller. Many buyers can be interested in a property, but unless earnest money is exchanged by the buyer to the seller, a serious transaction cannot take place. Earnest money wins the appreciation from the seller to the buyer and instills that the property is practically in the buyers hands and earnest money gives the buyer first priority on a property sale. The reality is still that unless the property has been fully sold, it is still the property of the owner, but earnest money can give a buyer the reality that the property is close to being theirs. Earnest money is a great tool used in real estate transactions and can convince a seller to go with one buyer over another. If a buyer utilizes the earnest money tool, then they are giving top priority for the property, even if all the paperwork has yet to be signed. Earnest money is similar to a promise from the buyer that they will be purchasing the property. It is a good idea for sellers to instill earnest money into their real estate transactions because then they have much less of a threat of getting short-changed by a buyer who says one thing and then does the opposite. Earnest money gives a verbal promise a level of backing that works to benefit the entire real estate transaction. READ MORE

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Buying a Second Home or Vacation Home

These days, many home owners are choosing to purchase second homes. The second home that many people choose to purchase these days can be used for many different reasons, but primarily, the majority of people buy second homes to use as their vacation home. A second home is usually a reasonable distance from an individual’s primary home and it is a home that they live in a few months or even a few weeks out of the year. But, in order to be classified as a second home, the home that is purchased cannot be rented out or used as a timeshare. The second home that many people purchase is usually a one-unit property and could be similar to a cottage or bungalow. A second home is actually a great alternative for individuals and families that love to travel but are not interested in constantly getting hotels and other temporary places to stay. A second home affords people the ability to vacation consistently while having the comfort of staying in a place that they can call home. READ MORE

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For Sale by Owner Advice

For Sale by Owner or FSBO is commonly referred to when a home is sold by the owner without the usage of a real estate agent or broker. The home owner represents themselves and may consult with real estate professionals along with a lawyer, but do not pay a commission for the sale of their home. If you are interested in selling your home and you are the home owner, there are several tips and tricks that will make the process easier. In order to successfully sell your home under a FSBO, it is important to ask advice from friends and family. Have others take a look at the state of your home and ask them what they think could be improved. This will give you amazing insight into how potential buyers will view your home once on the market. The next tip is to not be afraid to spend money on upgrading your home. The reality is that many potential buyers that are looking to purchase a home is interested in an updated home that they do not have to spend a lot of money in upfront. That means that everything in your home should be updated to the specifications of the other homes in the area and even more so, if you want to make a quicker and more profitable sale. Don’t fret about spending money on upgrading anything that seems it doesn’t work properly or efficiently and if you have extra money to spend on painting, carpeting and other vitals within your home, do it, because everything upgraded will add up to a better sale. The technique of home staging is also a great way to engage in a successful FSBO. Place modern furniture and lighting concepts in order to showcase your home to the best of its ability. When you are showing your home to potential buyers, don’t have anyone else in the home, and leave your pets out of the equation all together. Potential buyers want to visualize how your home will be when they live there, and anything that does not make them feel like it could be their home will sway them from purchasing it altogether. READ MORE