Robert S. Soltz CRS, GRI, CBR, RECS
Sagan REALTORS ® | 781-479-0852 | bob@ownproperty.com


Posted by Robert S. Soltz CRS, GRI, CBR, RECS on 9/11/2017

Once you have found the home that you want to live in, put in the offer, and start the process of closing on a home, you may feel like you’re “home free.” The hard part may technically be over, but there’s one more important thing that you need to think about before you get the keys to your place: Closing costs. 

A few days before you head to sign all of your paperwork to close on the home, your lender will send you a detailed report of different closing costs that you need to pay upon the settlement of the property. 


Closing Costs Defined


Closing costs are what you pay to the lender and third parties. These are due at the time of closing on the property and must be paid up front. You should estimate that your closing costs will be between 2 and 5 percent of the purchase price of the home.


Everything Included In Closing Costs


Closing costs cover both one-time and recurring fees that are a part of your home purchase. The one-time fees are things that are generally associated with buying the home. These would include attorneys fees, lender fees, home inspection fees, document prep fees, underwriting fees, credit report fees, and realtor fees. You’ll also need a bank issued check for your down payment at this time.  


At closing, an escrow account will be set up. This is like a forced savings account that will be drawn from to cover things like taxes, insurance, loan interest, and title insurance. These are all very important costs that are a part of buying a home.     


Do Your Homework Ahead Of Time


The best way to deal with closing costs is to be prepared ahead of time. Talk to your lender in order to get an estimate of the closing costs. From there, you’ll need to decide if you need to finance your closing costs or simply pay them up front. There are advantages to both approaches. Sometimes, lenders will look at you as less favorable if you need to finance all of your closing costs. It all depends on the terms of your loan. This is why research is vital.


Compare Rates And Lenders


It’s important not to go with the first lender you talk to. Get some recommendations from your realtor and friends to see who might be a good fit for you. Every lender specializes in something different, so you want to be sure that who you chose is a good fit for you. 


The most important thing that you can do with closing costs and the financing of your home is to get educated!     





Tags: Buying a home  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Robert S. Soltz CRS, GRI, CBR, RECS on 6/12/2017

Employing a real estate agent offers an ideal first step for those who want to buy the perfect residence, and for good reason.

With a real estate agent at your disposal, you'll be better equipped than other homebuyers to find a wonderful house at a price that matches your budget. Plus, your real estate agent will be able to help you navigate each stage of the homebuying process.

What should you expect after you hire a real estate agent? Here are three things that will happen:

1. You'll narrow your home search.

What are you looking for in the perfect house? Ultimately, you'll need to narrow your home search to ensure that you can discover your dream residence without delay.

Luckily, your real estate agent will allocate the necessary time and resources to help you narrow your home search. By doing so, you'll be able to move one step closer to finding a first-rate home that you can enjoy years to come.

2. You'll visit a wide range of high-quality houses.

Your real estate agent will set up home showings and keep you up to date about open houses in your area. That way, you can stay on top of the housing market, browse a broad array of top-notch residences and find one that suits you perfectly.

As you browse houses, don't forget to provide your real estate agent with questions. This will enable you to make a more informed decision about how to proceed following a home showing or open house.

Furthermore, your real estate agent wants feedback to guarantee that you can explore houses that correspond to your lifestyle and budget. And if you view a home that fails to meet your criteria, let your real estate agent know immediately. This will make it easier for your real estate agent to find houses that meet or exceed your expectations, and as a result, may help you accelerate the homebuying process.

3. You'll submit your first offer on a home.

If you've reviewed a variety of houses and find a residence that you would like to purchase, now is the perfect time to submit an offer.

Your real estate agent will offer recommendations to ensure that you can submit a competitive offer on a house. In addition, this real estate professional can provide details about how long a home has been available, if a home seller has lowered the price of a residence recently and other factors that may impact your initial proposal.

Submitting an offer on a house can be stressful, but you can always reach out to your real estate agent for support. Your real estate agent will keep you up to date about whether a home seller accepts, rejects or counters your offer. And if you receive a "Yes," your real estate agent can help you take the next step toward acquiring your dream home.

Before you begin a home search, hire a real estate agent – you'll be happy you did. A real estate agent can simplify the homebuying process and help you achieve your homeownership dreams.




Tags: Buying a home  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Robert S. Soltz CRS, GRI, CBR, RECS on 5/8/2017

Whether new or old, many homes can have issues that aren’t obvious from photos. Many of the most common problems in a home have to do with the plumbing system. Since water can be so damaging, it’s especially important to get these issues out in the open prior to sale.

Some sellers might be aware of their plumbing issues, others may have no clue at all. Oftentimes, if a home was previously occupied by only one or two people who didn’t entertain many guests, they may not be aware of the strain that a larger family could have on things like the septic system.

In this article, we’ll cover some of the most common plumbing issues that a home has and help you identify these issues before you buy a new home.

The small fixes

Let’s start with some problems that are common and simple to address. When touring a home or performing an inspection, test all of the home’s faucets. Dripping faucets might not seem like a big issue, but the cost of wasted water can add up on your utility bill.

Leaking pipes are another issue that is seemingly harmless, but can lead to bigger problems that could cost thousands of dollars to repair. Check ceilings, floors, and underneath cabinets for signs of water damage.

Flush the toilets in the house to see if they continue running. Toilets that continue running water is often a simple fix, like replacing the chain or flapper in the tank. However, a leaking toilet could be symptomatic of a bigger problem that could include having to replace the toilet.

Sewer line and septic systems

Ask the owner about the history of the sewer or septic system. Find out if they’ve had problems recently and when the last time they were taken care of. If there is a septic tank or field on the property, look for signs of issues such as the grass having been dug out, water pooling in the yard, or foul smells in the area.

When it comes to septic and sewer issues, always reach out to a professional. They will be able to give you an accurate assessment and estimate of costs.

Inspect the pipes

Spot-checking the pipes in the home will tell you a lot about the state of the plumbing. Pipes that are old, worn, and lacking insulation are signs that plumbing issues could be coming. Rust is a major red flag. The water lines that lead out of the house for lawn faucets should also be wrapped to avoid freezing in the winter months.

Hot water heater

Just like the septic system, you’ll want to ask about the history of the home’s hot water heater. If it’s over ten years old, you might have to replace it soon after purchase.

You should also consider the size of the hot water heater. You’ll want to be sure it can accommodate your expected water usage. If children are in your future, having a bigger hot water heater might be something you want to plan for to avoid cold showers in the morning.





Posted by Robert S. Soltz CRS, GRI, CBR, RECS on 4/3/2017

Many factors come into play when determining whether you can afford to buy a house. Since the monthly rent for an apartment is often close to what a mortgage payment would be, you can't help but wonder if your rent money would be better spent building equity in your own home.

While this is often the case, first-time home buyers often underestimate or overlook expenses that accompany home ownership. Although a mortgage broker or bank loan officer can help you calculate the maximum mortgage you can afford, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you weigh your options.

  • Create a detailed budget. By taking the time to figure out how your income stacks up to your monthly expenses, you can get a clearer picture of your financial situation. If you have a good credit score, a positive monthly cash flow, and enough funds to pay closing costs and a down payment, then home ownership may be a viable option. (Your credit score, which you can obtain once a year for free from the three main credit reporting companies, will have a major impact on both your interest rate and your monthly mortgage payments.)
  • Factor in other expenses: Figuring out your current budget is relatively easy, but predicting your future budget as a homeowner can be a lot more challenging. A big part of the equation will depend on the amount of property taxes and school taxes that will be tacked on to your mortgage costs. A real estate agent can provide you with those figures, as well as other information you need to calculate how affordable it would be to live in a particular house. They have access to a wide range of relevant information, such as utility expenses, water bills, and homeowner association fees (if there are any). Since property taxes sometimes cover the cost of services like garbage and yard waste collection, you may not have to factor in those items into your projected budget. Your real estate agent can help you come up with a rough estimate of home maintenance costs -- especially if they're familiar with the history of the home you're considering buying. As the process moves forward, a property inspector can provide you with more details about the condition of the home and whether any costly repairs are likely to be needed soon.
  • Home maintenance and furnishing costs: Other possible expenses to consider when estimating the cost of home ownership include yard maintenance, landscaping, HVAC service calls, electrician services, plumbing repairs, and homeowners' insurance. If you're a first-time home owner, there's also a good chance you'll need to buy some furniture to fill out those additional rooms!
  • Buying your first home definitely takes a lot of planning, budgeting, and research, but the rewards of owning your own home will more than justify the effort!





    Posted by Robert S. Soltz CRS, GRI, CBR, RECS on 2/6/2017

    Living in an area that receives lots of tourist traffic offers rewards and challenges. Depending on your personality and lifestyle, buying or renting a home in a location that attracts thousands of tourists a day might be perfect. These lists of rewards and challenges could save you time, money and frustration. They can also help to prepare you for life in a city that, like a magnet, pulls in scores of people from around the country or world each day.

    Rewards

    • Entertainment, arts, cultural and educational events abound in these cities. Many high profile events take place within several blocks, making it easy for you to take part in the events without having to travel far.
    • People from diverse backgrounds visit and live in a major metropolis. It’s a great way to interact with people from all over the world.
    • Food is as rich and diverse as are the people who live in the area. Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian or meat eater, you’ll find something that pleases your appetite. Highly respected chefs often operate or prepare meals at restaurants in these fast-paced cities. When you dine, you could be feasting on a meal prepared by one of the world’s top chefs.
    • Professional sports teams make their home in the busiest towns. If you live in a city like Boston, New York or Miami, you’ll have a pick of professional sports teams that you can root for.
    • Finding an excellent college or university to attend should be easy. Schools in major cities are among the top in the nation.In addition to attracting talented students from around the country, these postsecondary schools attract some of the sharpest students in the world.
    • Thriving business districts are located in popular cities, giving you more opportunities to land a job that aligns with your passions.

    Challenges

    • When you go downtown, you’ll have to move in and out of crowds. Buy or rent a house in a city like Orlando, Honolulu or New York and, during peak tourist seasons, you may find yourself weaving in and out of people just to walk down sidewalks.
    • Parking is not cheap. Expect to spend money each time you drive into town and need to park. That or opt to take public transportation when you visit high traffic spots in the city.
    • You won’t see a lot of trees and grass in the busiest parts of town. If you’re a nature lover, you may prefer buying a house 30 minutes or more away from the heart of the city.
    • Homes in popular cities are pricey. Apartment rents are higher in popular cities too. Work with an area savvy real estate agent to find the best housing options.

    Buy or rent a house in a tranquil part of town and you might not feel like you’re living in a town that operates at high octane levels. You might not feel like the streets of the town that you live in are brewing with millions of people, locals and tourists. What you will have is the option to withdrawal from crowds or go into bustling, thriving places like shopping, arts, sports and cultural communities within minutes. That alone is a rare option that smaller, less talked about cities generally cannot offer.




    Categories: Uncategorized  




    Robert S. Soltz CRS, GRI, CBR, RECS