RE/MAX On the River, Inc.



Posted by North Shore Real Estate Home Group on 12/29/2020

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

It may be tempting, when buying a home remotely, to jump at the first great deal that fits your checklist. But, number of beds and baths aren't everything. Location matters, too. So does the school district if you have school-age children. Don't be afraid to delve deeply into a property that you're thinking of buying sight unseen, because failure to do so could lead to some serious buyer's remorse. Here's the checklist of items to cover and questions to ask before you buy a home long-distance. 

Neighborhood Crime Statistics

Sites such as ADT.com and Cityrating.com can help you learn about crime rates in your potential new neighborhood. The local police department or sheriff's office is a good resource, too. All are easy to find online once you know the address of the home or county in which it's located. Find registered sex offenders living nearby and whether your new neighbor has a collar for burglary. 

Costs of Getting There

If you're searching remotely for homes that are close to your new job location, ask your employer about job relocation assistance. Sometimes employers have packages in place to help with the logistics involved in relocating for work. A package might include financial assistance for multiple items, including:

  • Costs associated with moving companies.
  • Costs associated with storage facilities.
  • Cost to rent or own a home in the new location.
  • Costs associated with selling your existing home.
  • Having financial help to get you and your family settled in before your first day of work at your new job is a great perk. It goes a long way toward alleviating the stress of relocation. 

    HOA Restrictions

    Homeowner's Associations can be beneficial in keeping housing values steady in your target area, but they can be costly, as well as restrictive. Is your new home governed by an HOA? If so, expect to pay monthly dues, and read up on the restrictions before you commit. If you plan to change the color or layout of your new home, you may have strict guidelines you're required to follow. 

    Reputation of the Local Schools

    Parents of school-age children should also be concerned with the school district they're moving into. Your real estate agent should be a good resource for the best schools in the area, but it never hurts to Google. The best schools have a low student-to-teacher ratio, strong test scores compared with the rest of the state and plenty of support programs in place for students and parents.

    A little homework done from the comfort of your home office can help you score the remote home purchase of your dreams. Don't be afraid to play investigator throughout your new target neighborhood. 




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    Posted by North Shore Real Estate Home Group on 12/22/2020

    Paying off a mortgage early is a dream of many homeowners. By making larger payments on your home loan, you can cut years off of your loan term and save thousands of dollars in interest payments that you can use toward savings or investments. But in an economy that has seen decades of wage stagnation and increasing costs of living, it can often seem like an unattainable goal.

    With some planning and initiative, however, there are ways to pay off your home loan before your term limit.

    In today’s post, we’re going to talk about three of the ways you can start paying off your mortgage early to avoid high interest payments and save yourself money along the way.

    1. Refinance your mortgage


    If you’re considering making larger payments on your mortgage, it might make sense to look at refinancing options. Most Americans take out 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages.

    If you can afford to significantly increase your mortgage payments each month, you could refinance to a 15-year mortgage. This will save you on the number of interest payments you’ll have to make over the years. But, it will also help you secure a lower interest rate since shorter term mortgages typically come with lower interest rates.

    This option isn’t for everyone. First, refinancing comes with fees you’ll have to pay for upfront. You’ll have to apply for refinancing, get an appraisal of your home, and wait for the decision to be made.

    But, you’ll also have to ensure that you can keep up with your higher monthly payments. If your income is variable or undependable, it might not be the safest option to refinance to a shorter term mortgage.

    2. Make extra payments

    An option that entails less risk than refinancing is to simply increase your monthly payments. If you recently got a raise or are just reallocating funds to try and tackle your mortgage, this is an excellent option.

    Depending on your mortgage lender, you may be able to simple increase your auto-pay amounts each month, streamlining the process. Otherwise, it’s possible to set up bill-pay with most banks to automatically transfer funds to your lender.

    3. Bi-weekly payments or one extra payment per year

    Making bi-weekly instead of monthly payments is an option that many homeowners use to pay off their mortgages early. Bi-weekly payments work by paying half of your monthly payment once every two weeks.

    The vast majority of homeowners make 12 monthly payments per year. But by switching to 26 bi-weekly payments, you can effectively make 13 full monthly payments in a year without seeing too much of a difference in your daily budget.

    This doesn’t seem like much savings in the short term, but let’s take a look at how much you could save over the term of a 30-year mortgage.

    On a 30-year fixed mortgage of $200,000 with a 4.03 annual interest rate, you would make a monthly payment of $958.00 and a bi-weekly payment of $479.

    Over 30 years of an extra monthly payment, you could save nearly $20,000 on the total interest amount and pay off your mortgage almost 5 years early.




    Categories: Uncategorized  


    Posted by North Shore Real Estate Home Group on 12/15/2020

    Two terms that you may have heard when talking about real estate is fair market value and assessed value. These two terms are not the same or even interchangeable terms. 


    The assessed value of a home can often be higher than the price the house is being sold. These properties can often be seen as a “bargain” in the real estate community. The problem is that this is often a red flag. The property may be overassessed by the town which means the taxes are higher than necessary. 


    Homes can also be listed at a higher price than the assessed value. Contrary to popular belief, a low evaluated cost doesn’t mean that the value of the home is less than the asking price. The asking sale price for a property is based on many factors, none of which are what the town deems the property is worth. 


    Fair Market Value


    Fair market value is what a buyer is willing to pay with no outside influence. As a homeowner, the best way to determine the fair market value of your home is to look at what’s real estate agents call a “Comparative Market Analysis” or CMA. The agent will look at similar properties in the area that have recently sold- generally within the last six months. This analysis will often include things that the assessor doesn’t take into account when pricing a home.


    The Appraisal


    When you buy a home, and the appraisal is done for the lender when the buyer is obtaining a mortgage, the purpose is specific. The lender is protecting themselves and the buyer. The lender wants to be sure that the property they are lending money on has a value greater than or equal to the purchase price of the home. Appraisals are also done in this manner when homeowners are refinancing the house. 


    Challenging Assessed Values


    Often, homeowners will buy a property and then later challenge the assessed value of a home for tax purposes especially if the owner feels that the assessed value is worlds apart from the fair market value of the home. If you believe that the assessed value is out of sync with the fair market value of the house and out of line based on the values of another home in the town, you need to file what’s called a tax abatement. Your city or town hall has all of the necessary information for submitting these forms. From there, each city and town has their own timelines for how long the tax assessor has to address this.                  




    Tags: best value   home value  
    Categories: Uncategorized  


    Posted by North Shore Real Estate Home Group on 12/10/2020

    This Condo in Peabody, MA recently sold for $480,000. This Townhouse style home was sold by North Shore Real Estate Home Group - RE/MAX On the River, Inc..


    1605 Huckleberry Court, Peabody, MA 01960

    West Peabody

    Condo

    $489,000
    Price
    $480,000
    Sale Price

    6
    Rooms
    3
    Beds
    2/1
    Full/Half Baths
    Being home for the Holidays just got a lot more comfortable and enjoyable! Take comfort in this exceptional craftsmanship with four finished levels that give you space for everything you hold near and dear. Everything has been so tastefully remodeled; you will think that you have stepped into the Pottery Barn. From the gorgeous white kitchen with stunning granite counters and high-end stainless-steel appliances to the living room featuring a modern electric fireplace. The lower level has a family room, full bath, and a laundry room. The master suite has awesome closet space and a full bath. The fourth level is bright and airy and is the perfect place for a home office or bedroom. Recent updates include newly refinished floors, new heat pump, and electric fireplace. This West Peabody townhouse, located in Huntington Woods, complete with tennis courts, swimming pool and a clubhouse, gives you a lifestyle that is hard to beat.

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    Tags: Real Estate   Condo   Peabody   01960  
    Categories: Sold Homes  


    Posted by North Shore Real Estate Home Group on 12/8/2020

    Image by skeeze from Pixabay

    For those who embrace a sense of nostalgic charm, older homes have an undeniable allure. The yesteryear designs and attention to detail are often absent in new construction. As attractive as the idea of living in a glorious Victorian or period home may be, it’s also imperative that you take an extra-long look at older homes. While it’s true that many homes age like fine wine, some can turn to vinegar as well. Consider answering these three things before putting down 20 percent, securing a mortgage, and signing off at the closing.  

    1: Older Homes Enjoy Better Quality Construction, But . . .

    There’s a funny thing about the word “but,” that should prompt potential homeowners to sharpen their focus. It’s generally true that many older homes were routinely constructed with sturdier materials that are now considered “high-end.” In fact, structures built from the 1860s to 1920 employed lumber that is both thicker, and stronger by the square inch. The reason is that older homes utilized “slow-growth” timbers. Today’s wood generally comes from “fast-growth” trees. The wood density is vastly stronger in slow-growth, which is one reason many have stood the test of time. Now here’s the “but.”

    Your ability to find slow-growth lumber would take a Herculean effort. That’s why it’s essential to understand that you may not be able to restore an older home to its original glory, only emulate it.

    2: Homeowners Insurance Can Be Tricky With Older Homes

    Take a moment and think about how you plan to approach your homeowners insurance to satisfy the lending requirements. Most people want to secure the least expensive policy, as long as it covers total replacement costs in the event of a natural disaster or fire. Therein lies the rub, “total replacement costs.”

    A substantial difference exists between current building costs, and the revenue required to build a new version of your period home. The lumber already mentioned may not exist, and its modern-equivalent is generally considered a high-end material. Now add in unique architectural attributes, and you likely have a structure with a replacement value that far exceeds the average new construction costs.

    In terms of your homeowners policy, it’s up to you to secure a quote from a construction outfit that specializes in older homes. Using that measure, your premium is likely to uptick. But unless you get full coverage, the coverage is likely to fall far short.

    3: Older Homes Are Less Usually Expensive

    Whether you have a passion for older houses or just want to purchase the maximum affordable living space, there’s plenty of good news. It may seem almost counterintuitive to old-home lovers, but the market tends to devalue them, much like automobiles. That depreciation can be a substantial perk as long as the house remains structurally sound and relatively unblemished.

    Most people come to the real estate market with a set spending budget. The older home can deliver increased living space as well as a robust ambiance for less than its new-home counterpart. For those who simply adore older homes, it’s a lot like buying a fine wine or rare painting at a discount. What’s of primary importance when purchasing an older home is to follow through with a determined inspection that identifies any potential issues and conduct thorough due diligence before closing.




    Categories: Uncategorized  




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