Blog :: 12-2017

First-Time Homebuyer Tips: Eliminate the Risk of Submitting a Lowball Offer

A first-time homebuyer may believe that he or she can submit a "lowball" offer on a residence, even if a house has been available for many weeks or months. However, the risks associated with submitting a subpar proposal are significant, particularly for a homebuyer who wants to purchase a top-notch residence as soon as possible.

Ultimately, a lowball offer may result in an instant "No" from a home seller. Perhaps even worse, the proposal could sour potential negotiations between a homebuyer and home seller and cause a property buyer to miss out on an opportunity to acquire his or her dream residence.

When it comes to buying a house for the first time, there is no need to risk submitting a lowball offer.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help a first-time homebuyer avoid the temptation to make a lowball proposal.

1. Evaluate a Wide Range of Houses

An informed first-time homebuyer may be better equipped than others to provide a competitive offer to purchase his or her ideal residence.

For example, a homebuyer who assesses a broad range of houses in a particular area can determine a price range for similar residences. Then, if this homebuyer would like to submit an offer on a house, he or she can use housing market data to submit a fair proposal without delay.

With housing market data, a homebuyer can determine whether he or she is operating in a buyer's or seller's market too. That way, this homebuyer can leverage housing market insights to quickly and effortlessly put together a competitive offer on any residence, at any time.

2. Understand Your Finances

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage usually is a great idea for a first-time homebuyer. With a mortgage in hand, this homebuyer will be able map out a homebuying journey based on his or her finances.

To receive pre-approval for a mortgage, a homebuyer will should meet with several banks and credit unions. These lenders can offer details about a variety of mortgage options and help a homebuyer make an informed mortgage decision.

After a homebuyer is pre-approved for a mortgage, he or she can submit an offer on a house and understand exactly how much money is available for a home purchase. As a result, this homebuyer can put his or her best foot forward with an initial offer, thereby reducing the risk of submitting a lowball proposal.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

The homebuying journey can be long and complicated, especially for those who are pursuing a house for the first time. Fortunately, a first-time homebuyer can collaborate with a real estate agent to obtain deep housing market insights.

A real estate agent is happy to provide honest, unbiased home offer recommendations. By doing so, this housing market professional can help a first-time homebuyer submit the best offer on a residence – without exception.

Ready to purchase a home for the first time? Use the aforementioned tips, and a first-time homebuyer can avoid the danger of submitting a lowball offer on a residence.

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2018 Housing Predictions: A Look Into The Crystal Ball

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As 2017 comes to a close and we make our resolutions for 2018, we may wonder what’s in store for the year to come. Will the stock market hit an all-time high as the U.S. tax bill becomes law? Will the new Red Sox manager be the ticket to winning the 2018 World Series? Will improvements in conversational artificial intelligence help Siri hear you better? Will New England see 70-degree temperatures in February? And if so, will we fret or rejoice?

As for the housing market, a look into the crystal ball reveals an economic environment that is favorable.

New Home Sales

New homes are expected to be a “primary driver of sales in 2018,” as 1.33 million housing starts are predicted next year — up from 1.22 million in 2017, according to Freddie Mac’s September Outlook report, which gauges future real estate activity. Total home sales are expected to increase about 2 percent from 2017 to 2018, according to the report.

Home Prices

Economists also predict that the uptick in housing starts, coupled with a moderate increase in mortgage rates, will help slow the run-up in home prices next year. Freddie Mac forecasts a 4.9 percent increase in home prices in 2018, down from the 6.3 percent growth seen so far this year. 

Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates also are also predicted to rise from near-record lows in 2016, prompting predictions that refinancings will fall to 25 percent of mortgage activity in 2018 — the lowest share since 1990, according to Fannie Mae.

Cash-Out Activity

Still, homeowners likely will continue building equity next year. In the second quarter of 2017, the dollar volume of equity cashed out was $15 million, up $1.2 million from the first quarter. As home prices rise, cash-out activity has been rising, too.

While we can’t predict the future, the forecast certainly looks promising for the 2018 housing market.

Source: “Looking Ahead to 2018,” Freddie Mac Outlook (Sept. 21, 2018)

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    Kitchen Organization Tips

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    Your kitchen is an often used room and can become cluttered very quickly. There are plenty of strategies that you can use to keep the room in order. Below, you’ll find tips that will help you to keep your kitchen decluttered and your supplies organized once and for all! 

    Make Space For Storage

    This sounds like an obvious need in any room of the house, but the kitchen is a place where you need ample storage. There are a few ways to do this. Outside of your cabinets, you can install freestanding storage units, like shelving or extra cabinets. Even an armoire can help you to have a space to beautifully display your dishes. 

    Under your sink, you can keep your most frequently used items like soap, sponges, and detergent in easy to access solutions. Either install a small turntable, or simple get bins that can be labeled and pulled out as needed. This will keep everything you need together neat and tidy. It will be difficult to actually disorganize this space once you have completed this small task. 

    Coffee Time

    What would a kitchen be without coffee? If you brew a cup of joe every morning, you’ll want easy access to coffee supplies. Dedicate a space next to the coffeemaker where you’ll keep the coffee, mugs, beans, and other supplies. You can even keep your travel mugs near this space within reach when you’re running out the door. If there’s little room on the counter, hang hooks on the wall to keep coffee mugs and travel mugs out of the way.

    Tackle The Trash And Recycling

    There’s nothing worse than having trash and recycling all over your kitchen. Keep these items concealed in dedicated cabinets. The perfect place for the trash and the recycling is next to the sink since that’s the most convenient location for the trash to be in. 

    The recycling will follow the same pattern as it needs to be rinsed out and ready to go outside in the bins.  

    Keep The Family Organized

    A kitchen is a great place for you to have a center of communication for your family. This is where a bulletin board can be placed with important documents. A calendar listing all of the family’s activities and appointments can be hung for everyone’s reference. This area make use of a small space that would otherwise be wasted in your kitchen. It also serves a dual purpose in keeping the family organized.

    Small changes can make a big difference in the kitchen when it comes to clutter, storage, and organization. Once you get started, keeping the clutter at bay can be very easy.

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      That's A Wrap! Making the Holidays a Little Brighter

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      The Farrelly team is as local as they come, so community involvement is very important to us. Sadly, even within our lovely and tight-knit community of North Reading, there are children who are neglected or abused. The Department of Child and Family Services (DCF) works in partnership with these families and communities to keep children safe.

      At Farrelly Realty Group we strive to make a positive impact on the lives of children and families, including those who rely on assistance and guidance from the DCF. In support of our goals, this holiday season we partnered with Burlington Self Storage and Bunratty Tavern to help over 100 children in need. With the help of the DCF, members of our community had a chance to sponsor a child or donate clothes and toys. We reached out, and our benevolent community responded -- with bells on!

      The Gift of Community

      On December 10th, 2017 the Bunratty Tavern in Reading was the site for a Wrapping Party to wrap the abundant toys and clothes that were so generously donated. Our team at Farrelly Realty Group along with administrators from the Department of Children and Families and many neighbors and friends gathered together to make a difference in the lives of children and families in the Middlesex County! The support was overwhelming and we are truly grateful for the donated gifts and time of so many members of our wonderful community.

      Thank you for making the holidays a little brighter! Check out some of the pictures from the event … and Happy Holidays!

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        Tips To Help With Your Home Search

        Before you even start the home search, research is key. There are a few areas that you should look closely at in every home that you’re touring in order to make an informed decision about each property and your future in it. 

        Check The Foundation

        When you’re walking around the home, note creaky floors, cracks in the walls, and water drainage issues. Maybe you won’t even be able to see if the foundation has any cracks in it or not with your own two eyes. A certified home inspector will, however, be able to tell you what is happening on the property. Cracks in the foundation or major foundational damage can be incredibly costly to you as a homeowner. You’re going to want to know about these issues ahead of time. 

        Do Some Investigating

        Taking a walk around your desired neighborhood can give you a lot of valuable information. You may be able to talk to neighbors who will give you a bit of information about a property. Even wandering around the neighborhood or attending yard sales can help you to see what’s going on, if you can see yourself living there, and if there are any major issues that you should be aware of. 

        Be Likable

        Sellers prefer to sell a home to a buyer who they like. if you see that you have something in common with the seller like the fact that you’re both veterans, you should send a letter along with your offer to let the seller know your connection. It’s also helpful to send an offer letter that lets the seller know how much you love the house and that you can see yourself living in the home. It never hurts to add a personal touch to a home offer.  

        Keep Your Options Open

        Just because a home doesn’t consist of the modern decor you picture yourself living in, doesn’t mean it can’t be changed. If a home happens to be older with less present-day decor in it, be sure to keep an open mind as to the potential that the home has for you.

        Make A Strategic Offer

        We know that prices that end in 9 are a bit more attractive to the psyche than prices that end in a flat zero. If the asking price for a home is $310,000, you may be tempted to offer $320,000 to shell out the competition, but you may be better off offering an odd number like $312,000. Sometimes a small difference makes a big impact in the eyes of the buyer. Work with your realtor to see if a home you’re interested in has any other offers. Your agent can help you to find a good price point for your offer as well.

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