Mary Ann Barry - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage



Posted by Mary Ann Barry on 6/26/2019

The definition of a "dream house" varies from homebuyer to homebuyer. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to determine if a residence is right for you.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you evaluate a home so you can decide whether to proceed with an offer to purchase.

1. Review a Home's Features

Think about why you are searching for a home and what you want to find in a house. For example, if you require a home that features a deluxe kitchen, you can narrow your house search accordingly. On the other hand, if you want a home that boasts an above-ground swimming pool, you can focus on houses that offer this amenity.

Consider where you want to reside too. That way, you can hone your home search to a select group of cities and towns and find a residence that is located in one of your preferred locations.

2. Examine a Home's Price

The cost of a home depends on a number of factors, including the residence's age and condition. Of course, the housing market itself plays an important role in a house's cost as well, so you'll want to examine the real estate sector closely. By doing so, you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market Ė or vice-versa Ė and determine if a home's price falls within your budget.

In a buyer's market, there may be an abundance of quality houses available at budget-friendly prices. If you shop for a home in a buyer's market, you may be able to purchase a house at or below a seller's initial asking price.

Comparatively, in a seller's market, there is a shortage of premium houses, and top-notch homes that become available may be in high demand. In a seller's market, you may need to act fast to acquire your dream home. Plus, you may need to submit an offer to purchase that exceeds a seller's initial asking price so you can purchase your ideal residence without delay.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a home selling expert, and he or she is happy to help you weigh the pros and cons of buying a house. In fact, a real estate agent will go the extra mile to ensure you can make the best-possible decisions throughout the property buying journey.

With a real estate agent at your side, you can receive lots of support so you can enjoy a seamless homebuying experience. A real estate agent first will learn about you and your homebuying goals and help you search for a residence that matches your expectations. Next, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase your dream home. And if your homebuying proposal is approved, a real estate agent will help you finalize your house purchase.

Use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble deciding if a house is right for you.




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Posted by Mary Ann Barry on 6/19/2019

Personal financial in your twenties comes with a steep learning curve. One minute youíre studying for your finals and the next youíre expected to suddenly know about APR financing, 401(K)s, and fixed-rate mortgages.

If youíre in your twenties and are facing these new challenges, youíre probably equal parts terrified and excited for the future. And, although it can be anxiety-inducing to step into the world of personal finance, you have one tool to your advantage that your parents and grandparents didnít have: the internet.

So, in this article, weíre going to give you some tips about buying a home and managing your finances in your twenties.

Have an emergency fund

You probably have a lot of things you want to save for. Down payments on mortgages and auto loans, saving money for traveling, beginning your retirement funds, and maybe even starting a family; theyíre all important investments that will take time and financial planning to achieve.

However, one thing that many young people neglect when they first start saving is an emergency fund. There are any number of things that can throw a wrench in your plans in your twenties. You might lose a job and have to live off of savings while hunting for a new one. Maybe something goes wrong with your car and it costs hundreds to repair. Or, you could have unforeseen medical expenses that arenít covered by your insurance. Regardless of the reason, having an emergency fund will help you stay out of unnecessary debt.

Itís recommended to have at least 6 months of living expenses saved in your emergency fund. Once you have this amount saved, itís a good idea to keep it in a separate account to avoid spending it on things that arenít exactly an emergency.

Donít live above your means

We all know that buying a house, going to college, and even buying groceries are all exponentially more expensive than they used to be. However, itís still important to try to adjust your lifestyle to the things you can afford.

This includes the vehicle you drive, the first home you buy, and even smaller purchases you make.

Avoiding lifestyle creep

Related to our last point about living above your means, lifestyle creep is the phenomenon that occurs when you get a raise or a higher paying job: the more we make, the more we spend. However, itís possible to avoid this trend by keeping your finances in check.

The next time you get a raise, make sure that money is put to use in either your retirement fund or savings account. This method is based on the goal of ďgiving every dollar a job.Ē When every dollar you earn has a purpose, youíre less likely to spend it on new video game consoles every six months.





Posted by Mary Ann Barry on 6/12/2019

If this is your first time buying a home, you might be worried that you arenít asking enough questions. Or maybe youíre concerned youíre not asking the right questions--the things that matter the most when making a financial decision as important and life-changing as buying a home.  

While everyoneís situation is unique when buying a home, there are some questions that all buyers could benefit from asking. These questions will help you learn more about the home, how competitive the house is, and how much work youíll need to put into it.

Since time is usually of the essence for people buying a home, it makes sense to ask questions early on so that you donít waste too much time exploring an option that isnít ideal for your situation.

In this article, weíre going to give you 5 important questions to ask when you talk to a seller and their agent so that you can be prepared to make the best decision for you or your family.

1. How flexible is the asking price?

While few sellers or agents will outright tell you if theyíd accept a lower offer, itís still a good idea to ask this question, as it will open up a conversation about the sellerís feelings toward the home and whether theyíre pricing high with the hopes of receiving slightly lower offers.

2. How many offers has the home received?

It may seem counterintuitive, but most agents and sellers will be quite happy to tell you if theyíve received other offers. They know that once you know the current offer youíll have to either come up with a higher offer or move on. Itís a win-win for you and the seller, as it equips both of you with information you need to make the best choice.

3. Why are the sellers moving away?

This question can be personal, so if you receive an answer that suggests itís a family matter, donít press for too many details. However, some sellers and agents will let you know exactly why the house is for sale. From this simple question, you can learn the sellerís timeline for making the sale, details about the schools or neighborhoods, and any other reason that might drive someone to move out of the neighborhood.

4. Are there any problems with the house that you know of?

Although youíll have an inspection contingency in your contract if you do decide to make an offer on the home, itís better to know if there are any issues with the home before going through the bidding process.

Most sellers understand this and will be upfront about any problems with the home, including repairs that need to be made now or will need to be made soon after you move in.

5. What is the average cost of utilities?

Buying a home comes with a lot of added costs and fees. However, many people forget about the changes in the cost of utilities that comes with buying a home--especially if youíre moving from an apartment where some utilities may have been included.

The seller will be able to give you a good estimate on the cost of electricity, garbage removal, internet, heat, and more.




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Posted by Mary Ann Barry on 6/5/2019

Requesting a home showing usually is a great idea if you find a residence you may want to buy. In addition, there are many things you can do to get the most out of any house showing, at any time.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you attend a home showing and determine if a particular residence is right for you.

1. Analyze All Areas of a Home

A home showing enables you to get an up-close look at all areas of a residence. Thus, you should examine each room in a house during a showing so you can envision what life may be like if you acquire this residence.

Don't forget to walk around outside a house, too. By doing so, you can evaluate a home's yard and other outdoor amenities, as well as the condition of a house's roof and siding.

2. Don't Hurry

There is no need to feel rushed during a house showing. Instead, take as much time as you need to walk around a house and perform a full property evaluation.

If you find you still want to know more about a home after a showing, don't stress, either. You can always request a second home showing to further evaluate a residence at your convenience.

3. Ask Questions

A home showing provides an unprecedented learning opportunity. As such, you may want to ask questions as you walk around a house so you can receive instant home insights from a seller's agent.

Furthermore, it is crucial to remember that there is no such thing as a "bad" question. If you are unsure about whether a house suits you perfectly, ask questions about the residence. That way, you can gain the insights you need to make an informed decision about whether to submit an offer to purchase a home or continue your house search.

As you get set to embark on the homebuying journey, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent as well. This housing market professional can help you prepare for a house showing, along with provide insights into the homebuying journey that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.

If you view a house with a real estate agent, for example, you can follow up with this housing market professional after the showing. Next, a real estate agent can help you weigh the pros and cons of a residence. And if you decide you have found your dream home, a real estate agent can help you put together a competitive offer to purchase this residence.

For homebuyers who are on the fence about whether to request a house showing, you may want to consult with a real estate agent right away. With a real estate agent at your side, you can get the support you need to streamline the homebuying journey. As a result, you can work with a real estate agent to find and acquire your dream residence without delay.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Mary Ann Barry on 5/22/2019

You don't need to be a real estate market expert to find and acquire a great house at a budget-friendly price. In fact, if you use common sense during your home search, you should have no trouble achieving your desired homebuying results.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you discover your dream home.

1. Consider Your Home Must-Haves

You know you want to purchase a house, but you still have no idea what defines your ideal residence. However, if you devote time and resources to establish home must-haves, you could speed up your house search.

Think about what will make you happy and what you need from a house. For example, if you want to own a home that is close to your office in the city, you can narrow your home search to residences in or near the city itself. On the other hand, if you require a home that offers multiple bedrooms, you can explore residences that match your needs.

2. Create a Budget

A budget often plays a key role in the homebuying journey. And if you fail to create a budget before you start a house search, you risk checking out residences that fall outside your price range.

To establish a homebuying budget, you should consider your current and future expenses. It may be helpful to make a list of your expenses and compare them against your income. Then, you can determine exactly how much you can afford to pay for a home.

You may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage, too. If you enter the housing market with a mortgage in hand, you can search exclusively for houses that you can afford.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

There is no reason to search for your dream home on your own. If you hire a real estate agent, you can receive comprehensive guidance as you explore houses in your preferred cities and towns.

Typically, a real estate agent is willing to go the extra mile to help you achieve the best-possible results. If you want to purchase a home near a beach, for example, a real estate agent can help you do just that. Conversely, if you want to acquire a top-notch house as quickly as possible, a real estate agent will help you accelerate the homebuying cycle.

Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent can provide as you weigh the pros and cons of submitting an offer to purchase a home, either. If you find a home you may want to buy, a real estate agent can help you determine the best course of action. And if you decide to submit a homebuying proposal, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase.

Want to acquire your dream home? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can use common sense throughout the homebuying journey and make your homeownership dream come true.