Francesca Volpe - RE/MAX Alliance



Posted by Francesca Volpe on 5/21/2018

Believe it or not, getting pre-approved for a mortgage can be quick and simple, even for a first-time homebuyer. In fact, here are three tips to help a first-time homebuyer streamline the process of receiving pre-approval for a mortgage:

1. Meet with Several Lenders

Many mortgage lenders are available in cities and towns nationwide. Meanwhile, these mortgage experts are happy to teach first-time homebuyers about assorted mortgage options and help them get pre-approved for a mortgage.

Set up face-to-face meetings with various lenders in your area. That way, a first-time homebuyer can gain unparalleled insights into a wide range of mortgage options.

In addition, don't hesitate to ask questions during meetings with banks and credit unions. Mortgage lenders possess comprehensive mortgage expertise, and as such, a first-time homebuyer can rely on these mortgage professionals to receive the support that he or she needs to make an informed decision.

2. Understand Your Credit Score

Do you know your credit score? Ultimately, a first-time homebuyer's credit score may dictate his or her ability to obtain the ideal mortgage.

An individual can request a free copy of his or her credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) once a year. This report may prove to be exceedingly valuable, as it can help a homebuyer identify opportunities to improve his or her credit score before a mortgage application is submitted.

Also, if you identify errors in your credit report, it is paramount to contact the agency that provided the report immediately. This will allow you to correct any potential errors quickly and ensure that they won't affect your ability to get the best possible mortgage.

3. Consider Your Homebuying Budget

A first-time homebuyer may have lofty expectations prior to entering the real estate market. However, this individual should consider his or her finances before submitting a mortgage application.

With a budget in hand, a homebuyer can establish realistic expectations as he or she tries to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Plus, this homebuyer may be better equipped than others to obtain pre-approval for a mortgage and accelerate his or her search for the perfect residence.

Lastly, it may be worthwhile for a first-time homebuyer to meet with a real estate agent to learn more about assorted mortgage options.

A real estate agent understands the challenges associated with purchasing a house for the first time. As a result, this housing market professional can teach a homebuyer about all aspects of the property buying journey and help this buyer plan accordingly.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can set up home showings, keep a homebuyer up to date about new residences as they become available and negotiate with a home seller on a buyer's behalf. This housing market professional will even provide honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations to make it easy for a property buyer to acquire a top-notch residence at a budget-friendly price.

Move one step closer to purchasing your dream house – use the aforementioned tips, and a first-time homebuyer can speed up the process of getting pre-approved for a mortgage.




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Posted by Francesca Volpe on 5/14/2018

As a homebuyer, you'll want to do everything possible to guarantee a quick, seamless homebuying journey. Because if you're not careful, you may be forced to deal with a nightmare homebuying experience.

Ultimately, there are many ways to ensure that you can avoid a nightmare homebuying experience, such as:

1. Narrow Your Home Search

Although you know that you want to buy a home, it pays to consider exactly what you'd like to find in your ideal residence. By doing so, you can narrow your home search and avoid the homebuying nightmare of pursuing residences that fail to meet your expectations.

Think about which features are must-haves for your new home, as well as which features you can afford to live without.

For example, if you require a home that is close to your office, you can search for houses near your workplace. On the other hand, if you want to live in a small town, you can remove city residences from your home search.

Establish priorities as you search for your dream house – you'll be glad you did. If you separate your home must-haves from your wants, you can simplify your home search and move one step closer to finding your ideal residence.

2. Get Your Finances in Order

How much can you afford to spend on a house? Create a homebuying budget, and you can avoid the risk of browsing available residences that fall outside your price range.

To determine how much money you have available for a home purchase, it often helps to meet with local banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can provide details about a variety of mortgage options and help you select a mortgage that corresponds to your finances.

Also, you should check your credit report before you buy a home. You are entitled to a free annual copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Take advantage of this perk, and you can learn your credit score and take steps to improve it prior to purchasing a house.

3. Hire an Experienced Real Estate Agent

An experienced real estate agent understands both the homebuyer's and home seller's perspectives. As such, this housing market professional can help you analyze a home seller's point of view and negotiate the best price on any home, at any time.

Typically, an experienced real estate agent will meet with you and learn about your homebuying goals. This housing market professional then will map out a homebuying journey, one that helps you streamline the process of acquiring your ideal house.

Let's not forget about the assistance that an experienced real estate agent can deliver throughout the homebuying journey, either. A real estate agent can provide expert insights into the housing market and help you make informed decisions, thereby reducing the risk of a nightmare homebuying experience.

Take the guesswork out of buying a home – use the aforementioned tips, and you can minimize the risk of a nightmare homebuying experience.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Francesca Volpe on 5/7/2018

When you budget to buy a home, you sit down, do the math, and try to estimate what all of your monthly costs will be. There are so many monthly costs that come with being a homeowner that can make the whole process complicated. Sure, you have taken the standard costs into account like home insurance, property taxes, and even utilities. But there are a few out-of-the-box costs that you’ll need to consider for your house hunt.


Flood Or Other Natural Disaster Insurance


Natural disasters are costly and devastating. Many homeowners who live in areas that are affected by natural disasters like floods and earthquakes often opt for additional coverage for their homes. Premiums for earthquake and flood insurance often end up being very high. As a natural disaster strikes, these premiums can go up even more. If you live in one of the high-risk areas for natural disasters, you’ll want to check with your insurance agent ahead of time to plan for the additional costs that these special kinds of insurance will incur.


Water Costs During A Drought


There are many areas across the US that suffer drought conditions from time to time. Your water bill can skyrocket during these times. It’s best to continue conserving water and watch your bill closely in order to try and save some costs. There’s not a whole lot you can do otherwise to control your bill. You’ll need to stay prepared with some extra cash on hand in case of these emergencies and know that costs can rise due to different environmental conditions.  


Tax Hikes And Special Assessments 


As a homeowner, you’ll need to prepare for different kinds of assessments and tax increases. If your condominium complex needs significant repairs then you’ll probably end up paying an assessment to help offset the costs. This is what comes with belonging to a homeowner’s association. 


You can’t prevent that the town is building a brand new school that requires a tax increase, nor can you prevent roof damage on one of the buildings in your complex. Financially, this is a hidden cost of homeownership that you should be prepared for. 


Unexpected Maintenance Costs And Home Furnishings


Once you move into a home, you’ll need to prepare for the unexpected. The dishwasher may need to be replaced. The roof may need repair. The walls may need some paint. 


When you buy a home you may also need a bunch of things to furnish the home. These could include dishes, pots and pans, sofas, beds, and more. You don’t want to leave your new home completely empty! You also don’t want to be without vital appliances like an oven or a sink for too long if they are outdated or in disrepair. This is why it’s a good idea to have extra money on hand to deal with any of these costs.


The best rule of thumb to follow when buying a home is to always be prepared with a but of extra cash on hand to avoid major issues down the road.           






Posted by Francesca Volpe on 4/30/2018

An open house represents a valuable opportunity for a home seller. If a seller plans ahead for an open house, he or she may boost the likelihood of hosting an unforgettable event that showcases the full beauty of a residence. As a result, this seller may receive multiple offers on his or her home as soon as the open house reaches its conclusion.

Believe it or not, preparing for an open house can be easy. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help a home seller get ready for an open house.

1. Perform Extensive Cleaning

A neat, tidy home is ideal, particularly for a home seller who wants to enjoy a fast, profitable home selling experience. Thus, if you allocate the necessary time and resources to clean your residence now, you may be better equipped than ever before to host a successful open house.

To clean your home's interior, you'll want to take a room-by-room approach. Wipe down each room's walls, mop or vacuum the floors and remove any debris.

Moreover, you should spend some time mowing the front lawn, trimming the hedges and performing assorted home exterior maintenance. And if you need extra help along the way, don't hesitate to reach out to a professional landscaping company, either.

2. Declutter As Much As Possible

Clutter can make it tough for a homebuyer to envision what life may be like if he or she buys your residence. Therefore, you'll want to remove as much clutter as possible prior to an open house.

Oftentimes, it helps to rent a storage unit where you can store assorted clutter until you finalize a home sale. A storage unit generally provides a safe and affordable option for home sellers who want to safeguard various belongings over the course of several weeks or months.

On the other hand, it may be beneficial to sell excess items online or host a yard sale. Because if you can sell items that you no longer need, you can declutter your home and earn extra cash at the same time.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Hosting an open house may prove to be challenging, particularly for those who are trying to work alone. Fortunately, real estate agents are available who can help you take the guesswork out of getting ready for any open house, at any time.

A real estate agent is happy to provide comprehensive support at each stage of the home selling journey. As such, he or she will help you enhance your home and ensure it is open house-ready.

Usually, a real estate agent will offer personalized recommendations to help you prep your residence for an open house. This housing market professional also will promote your open house in the weeks and days leading up to the event. And when the open house ends, a real estate agent can provide honest, unbiased event feedback as well.

Host a successful open house – use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble achieving the best-possible results during an open house.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Francesca Volpe on 4/23/2018

Having equity in your home is an incredibly valuable thing. It allows you to borrow against your house and shows that the value of your investment is rising. Equity defined is the difference between your home’s value and the amount you still owe on the home. Equity allows you to move forward with other properties and sell your current one. 


As you pay down your mortgage, your equity increases. There is, however, always a risk of an equity slide where values drop a bit. There are a few ways that you can help your home’s equity value to increase faster.


Pay Towards The Principal


The first few years that you’re a homeowner, you’ll be paying a lot towards the interest and only a little towards the principal value of the loan. The quicker you pay down your home loan, the faster you’ll increase the equity of your home. Check your budget and see how much extra you may be able to pay. Then, talk with your lender to see if there are any pre-payment penalties. 


Complete Home Improvement Projects


You may not know that many home improvement projects can increase the value of your home substantially. There are many projects that you can complete in your home that won’t break the bank yet will give you a significant return. You can start simple, or think big. Some of the best home improvement projects that will add value to your home include:


  • Complete kitchen remodel
  • Replacing countertops
  • Refinishing cabinets
  • Installing new appliances
  • Replacing garage doors
  • Bathroom remodel
  • Putting on addition
  • Landscaping renovations


Any of these home improvement projects can add value to your home, bringing the equity value of the home up. Even if you’re not planning on taking out any equity in your home for some time, any improvement projects that you choose to do are beneficial for both you and how your home affects your finances.  


Increase The Amount Of Your Downpayment


You can increase the value of a home before you even buy it. If you put the traditional 20% down on a house, you’ll build equity a bit faster than if you put down a lower amount such as 3% or 5%. If you have already purchased your home, you can ask your lender to do what’s called a cash-in refinance. This type of refinance is where you bring cash to the refinancing closing table in order to lower the balance of your mortgage.   





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