Team Zabar-Shulkin | Swampscott Real Estate, Nahant Real Estate, Salem Real Estate


If you plan to buy a house in the near future, you should try to map out the property buying journey. By doing so, you can identify any potential homebuying hurdles and resolve such issues.

To better understand what to expect when you pursue your dream home, let's take a look at three key questions that every homebuyer needs to consider.

1. Where do I want to live?

There is no shortage of high-quality houses available in cities and towns nationwide. As such, it sometimes can be tough to determine exactly where you want to live due to the sheer volume of available homes.

As a homebuyer, it helps to consider your future plans before you kick off a house search. For example, if you intend to enroll in continuing education courses at a university in a particular city, you may want to focus on homes near the city itself. Or, if you prefer to raise your family in a small town, you should plan your house search accordingly.

Don't forget to craft a list of homebuying criteria too. This list will help you further narrow your home search and focus on properties that have features that match your needs.

2. What can I afford to spend on a house?

Buying a home may prove to be virtually impossible if you fail to obtain a mortgage. Lucky for you, many banks and credit unions offer mortgages to homebuyers and can teach you everything you need to know about home financing.

Meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. That way, you can analyze a broad range of mortgage options and select a mortgage that corresponds to your finances.

In addition, it may be beneficial to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Once you are pre-approved for a mortgage, you can enter the real estate market with a budget in hand.

3. How can I achieve my desired goals?

The homebuying journey can be tough to navigate, regardless of whether you're a first-time or experienced property buyer. But if you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can achieve your desired results in no time at all.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to discover the right house, at the right price, regardless of the housing market's conditions. He or she will allocate time and resources to learn about your homebuying goals and ensure you can purchase a great residence at a budget-friendly price.

Also, a real estate agent will help you streamline your house search. This housing market professional will set up home showings and keep you up to date about open house events. And when you find your ideal home, a real estate agent will make it easy to submit a competitive offer to purchase this residence.

Take the guesswork out of the homebuying journey – work with a real estate agent, and you can receive comprehensive guidance as you pursue your dream home.


Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay

One of the biggest hurdles people face when looking for a home is applying for a mortgage. While applying for a mortgage is relatively straightforward, finding favorable terms might be more challenging. Many buyers are surprised by how broad the terms of a mortgage might be. With this in mind, it is critical to understand the most common mistakes people make when looking for a mortgage.

Not Looking Locally First

The most common mistake people make when looking for a mortgage is not looking locally first. Many are tempted to use the internet to seek out a loan. While there is nothing wrong with looking around (in fact, this is encouraged), don't forget to head to the traditional bank or credit union a few miles down the road. There are professionals who are interested in building a relationship with the local community often providing more favorable terms.

Assuming All Mortgages are the Same

Don't assume all mortgages are the same. This is far from accurate. Applying for a mortgage can be an involved process that people rarely want to do this more than once. You may assume the next lender will offer similar terms. In reality, some lenders might be willing to wave origination fees or points on the mortgage. Some might even offer a lower interest rate, be sure to ask what special offers may be available.

Not Locking In the Rate

One of the common questions people face when applying for a mortgage is whether or not they would like to lock in the rate. The fear of locking in the rate is that, if the mortgage rates drop, they might miss out on the opportunity to save money. On the other hand, people also forget the alternative. The rate might actually go up. The downside to this is that their monthly mortgage payments may not be affordable anymore. Go ahead and lock in the rate.

Not Putting Enough Money Down

Lastly, many try to save money by not putting enough cash down. When you don't put enough money down, you may end up with a higher interest rate and a higher monthly mortgage payment. Additionally, you may have to purchase Private Mortgage Insurance, also known as PMI, for the lender making the monthly payment even higher. To prevent this from happening, make sure the down payment is large enough to satisfy the lender, usually between 10 and 20 percent.


Selling a home is a big decision with far-flung ramifications. If you're on the fence about selling your house, there is no need to wait. In fact, there are many reasons why now may be the right time to list your residence, and these include:

1. You can upgrade or downgrade.

Although your current home has served you well for many years, now may be a good time for a change. Fortunately, you can sell your residence and move into a bigger or smaller home that will suit you perfectly.

It often won't take long to transition from one home to another. In many instances, individuals simultaneously sell their current house and search for a new home. This generally enables an individual to seamlessly relocate from his or her current house to a bigger or smaller residence.

2. You can move closer to family members and friends.

If you find your current home is far away from family members and friends, don't stress. For those who sell a home, it may be only a matter of time before you can enjoy convenient access to loved ones.

By selling your current home, you can explore houses in cities and towns where your loved ones reside. Then, if you purchase a house close to family members and friends, you can visit these loved ones without having to worry about a long commute.

3. You can receive plenty of support throughout the home selling journey.

Listing a home may seem virtually impossible, particularly for someone who previously has never embarked on the property selling journey. Lucky for you, help is available to ensure you can quickly and effortlessly sell your home and maximize its value.

Working with a real estate agent typically is a good idea for first-time and experienced home sellers alike. With a real estate agent at your side, you can get the assistance you need to achieve your property selling goals.

A real estate agent understands the assorted pitfalls that a home seller may encounter. As such, he or she works with a home seller to help this individual address potential problems before they escalate. A real estate agent will collaborate with a property seller to craft a house selling strategy. Next, a real estate agent will put this plan into action and do everything possible to promote a house to prospective buyers. And if a seller receives an offer to purchase, a real estate agent will help this individual review his or her options and determine how to proceed.

In addition, a real estate agent provides a housing market resource unlike any other. He or she is available to respond to a seller's concerns and questions. Plus, a real estate agent is happy to provide home selling recommendations.

Take the guesswork out of selling your home – hire a real estate agent, and you can receive extensive support as you navigate the property selling journey.


Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay

Everyone's ideal home is different. Age, family size, budget and location all factor into the home buying process. Here's a brief look at the types of properties that attract different people.

Apartments

Apartments are usually a stepping stone for young professionals as they save up for a home. They are also convenient for people who move often and don't want to go through the hassle of buying and selling a house. Having maintenance services, various lease options and on-site amenities are strong selling points. Location will play the most prominent role in rent prices and demand.

Ranch-Style Homes & Smaller Houses

Single-story homes, condos and townhomes make solid starter homes for young professionals and couples. If the home is in a reputable school district and/or close to shopping centers and major roadways, it will attract buyers of all ages. Two houses with the same design and square footage will command very different prices and interest depending on the location.

Homes with Large Yards

These types of homes are ideal for families with kids and/or pets. Older buyers who enjoy privacy and quiet will also appreciate the acreage. Many buyers will gladly choose a smaller house with a large yard than the inverse.

Larger Homes

Higher end homes will mostly attract buyers far into their careers who have significant savings. Depending on the location, these homes will often meet with either high demand or stay on the market for a while. High-end homes sell best in a high-income area and will have a niche market in a less affluent neighborhood.

Office Buildings

Companies and small business owners rent offices to grow their operations. Successful enterprises often result in multi-year leases.

Retail Properties

From downtown storefronts to large shopping centers, retail properties can serve as everything from grocery stores to hobby shops to restaurants. The landlord may also receive a percentage of the property's sales on top of the monthly rent.

Mixed-Use Commercial Properties

Multi-story commercial buildings are often home to various businesses. You might see a shoe store next to a dentist with a corporate office above and a restaurant below. These properties are usually bought by experienced investors with substantial assets. They will then rent the space to various businesses as a way to diversify their portfolio and hedge against risk.

Whether you're buying or selling, it pays to choose the best option based on your situation. Having an experienced real estate agent on your side can help you secure a great deal in any neighborhood.


It goes without saying that buying a home is time-consuming.

 First, there’s the financial planning to determine when you’re ready to buy a home. Then you need to get pre-approved for a mortgage and start looking for homes. After viewing several homes you finally find the perfect home. Then comes the difficult process of making an offer and negotiating the cost of the home. If all goes well, your offer is accepted and you get to enter the lengthy mortgage closing process. However, your work is not yet done. You’ll have to move out of your current residence and into your new home. All of this while juggling your work and social life.

 After all of this, it might seem like the only thing left to do is relax in your new home. While it may be true that you certainly deserve a break, there are some things you should do sooner rather than later when you move into your new home.

 In this article, we’ll cover ten things you should do right away once you move into your new home.

1. Home security

Your chief consideration when moving into your new home should be making sure it’s safe. The best first step to take is to change all of the locks on your house. In spite of how trustworthy the previous homeowner may have seemed, you can never be 100% sure who had spare keys to their home. Changing locks is quick and inexpensive, especially considering what’s at stake.

Another important step in home security is to put new batteries in and test all smoke detectors, make sure fire extinguishers are up-to-date, and ensure air filters are cleaned.

2. Set up your utilities

One of the first things you have to do when moving into a new home is to call your utility companies and transfer services into your name. Make a list of the services you’ll need to set up (electricity, water, garbage removal, internet, home security, heating, etc.). This is also a good time to set up online accounts and autopay for these services. It will save you time each month and make it easier to keep track of your bills if you simplify this process from the get-go.

3. Self-inspection

You should have already had the home inspected by a professional prior to closing on the house. However, things can change in the time that someone moves all of their belongings out of a home and you move all of yours in. Wiring can be damaged, pipes banged, windows cracked, and so on. Do a thorough inspection of your home to check for leaks, broken wires, and fire hazards to be sure that your home is in good condition.

4. Deep clean

It might be tempting to just move your belongings into their new places once you arrive at your new home. However, the best time to clean a room is when it’s empty. Before you set up your furniture or fill your cabinets, give them a thorough cleaning.

5. Familiarize yourself with circuit breaker and water valves

When disaster strikes, you’ll want to be ready for it. Get to know your circuit box before the first power outage. Store flashlights in easily accessible places and make sure they have fresh batteries. Similarly, familiarize yourself with the main water shutoff valve in case you have a pipe burst. If the former homeowner lived alone and you have a large family, there’s a chance that the sudden surge in power and water usage could reveal issues with plumbing and wiring that the former owner wasn’t aware of.




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