Francesca Volpe - RE/MAX Alliance



Posted by Francesca Volpe on 9/17/2018

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 youíre ďhome free.Ē The hard part may technically be over, but thereís 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. Youíll 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, youíll 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


Itís 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 Francesca Volpe on 9/10/2018

Thereís a lot more to interior design than simply picking out the latest trends in home decor. Design principles are also used to make the atmosphere of your home spacious and welcoming, and to make your home livable in a practical way.

 In spite of the fact that most people will own a home someday, no one is ever really taught interior design. So, it comes as little surprise that so many people are missing out on simple techniques that can drastically improve their home.

 In todayís article, weíre going to share with you some of the best interior design and decorating secrets to help you spruce up your home and make it more practical at the same time.

Low ceiling? No problem

Having a low ceiling can make it difficult to decorate and make your home seem spacious. One great workaround is to avoid tall furniture and seek out chairs with low backs, and bookcases that are wide rather than tall.

Omit hanging lights and ceiling fans and used recessed lighting instead to maximize your space and avoid having taller guests having to dodge objects hanging from the ceiling.

Finally, paint the ceiling white and remove crown molding to give the impression of openness.

Making small rooms feel larger

If you have a small home it can feel difficult to keep things uncluttered while still making sure you have everything you need. There are a few ways to make rooms feel more spacious that donít involve throwing out your belongings.

First, add mirrors to give the illusion (literally) of space. A single or group of mirrors can be a nice decorative touch that makes a room seem much larger than it is.

Next, paint and decorate with mainly light colors or white. Dark colors will make a room feel smaller.

Lastly, take advantage of hidden storage space, such as tables with drawers underneath, and avoid putting decorations on too many surfaces. Filling the room up with objects will make it appear smaller.

The size of decorations matter

Thereís a rule in interior decorating called the ďcantaloupe rule.Ē It states that you should avoid using decorations that are smaller than a cantaloupe.

However, that doesnít mean this rule canít be artfully broken. A better description would be that you should omit several small decorations in favor of just a few large ones.  

Create a color palette

When choosing the color of your furniture, walls, and decoration it can be easy to just choose whichever color you like for that object rather than what works well in your home. Try making a color palette to adhere to when shopping for these items.

Create a house-wide palette and a palette for each room. Stick to three or four colors that complement each other well for each room, and make sure they arenít too starkly contrasted from other rooms in your home.

If you arenít sure about how to design a color palette there are several free online tools you can use to help.





Posted by Francesca Volpe on 9/3/2018

Owning a home is one of the biggest financial undertakings that youíll ever have. There are some benefits to owning a home. Many of these benefits come each April when we file our taxes. There are a few very commonly overlooked tax breaks that homeowners have the chance to claim as deductions that you might not be taking advantage of. 


Going Green


Thereís many different tax breaks that are available on a state-by-state basis based on green improvements that have been made to a home. Rates vary, but can save you a significant amount on your taxes. Aside from the money that youíre already saving on utility bills, the solar panels that you have installed, the low-flow toilet you put in, or the new efficient windows that you replaced can really save you some significant money. Check with your tax preparer for specific details on the savings that you can have from your state and even city or town based on these home improvements. 


Mortgage Interest Tax Savings


This tax break is one of the biggest motivators for people to take the leap into homeownership. Since you have the ability to write off a significant amount of mortgage debt, in some cases 1 million dollars, it makes renting look less and less attractive. To take advantage of this deduction, however, youíll need to itemize your deductions. This is not something many taxpayers actually do. If you want to take advantage of the mortgage interest deduction and the property tax deduction, youíll need to start itemizing each and every tax deduction that you have. 


For many people, itemizing the deductions wonít even add up. This is why many people avoid it altogether. For people in this situation, it may make more sense to take the standard deduction. If you are eligible to itemize, however, as a homeowner, you definitely should take advantage of these benefits. 


Interest On Home Improvement Loans


If you have recently taken out a loan to do some major work around your home, the interest on this loan could be tax deductible. While many loans that may be greater than 100% of the property value arenít eligible for tax deductions, up to $100,000 of your debt on a home improvement loan can be tax deductible. 



Private Mortgage Insurance


You may be eligible to deduct your PMI premiums from your taxes. The amount of deduction that you can claim is dependent on your AGI (adjusted Gross Income) and may be less if that number is above $100,000.


If youíre a homeowner and feel that you havenít been taking advantage of all of the tax breaks that are available to you, itís important that you get more information on how to get these benefits.





Posted by Francesca Volpe on 8/27/2018

If your home has lingered on the real estate market for many months, there is no need to worry. Revisit your home selling strategy, and you can find innovative ways to promote your house to the right groups of buyers.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you revamp your home selling strategy.

1. Consider the Homebuyer's Perspective

One of the reasons why your house might have failed to generate interest from homebuyers is you have not effectively accounted for the buyer's perspective. Fortunately, now is a great time to take a fresh approach to highlight your home to dozens of prospective buyers.

Think about why you bought your house in the first place. Then, you may be better equipped than ever before to prioritize home upgrades and ensure your residence matches or exceeds buyers' expectations.

Furthermore, it may be beneficial to cut down on clutter inside your house. Because if you have a clutter-free home, you can make it easy for buyers to envision what life may be like if they purchase your residence.

2. Assess Your House Listing

A home listing is important, particularly for a seller who wants to stir up significant interest from buyers. If at first your home listing misses the mark with buyers, you can always revise it as needed.

Ensure all of the information included in your home listing is accurate and up to date. That way, you can help buyers make an informed decision about your residence.

In addition, include high-resolution photographs in your home listing. With top-notch photographs incorporated into your home listing, homebuyers can view each room of your house at their convenience. Plus, these photographs may help you differentiate your residence from other available houses.

3. Reinvent Your Home's Curb Appeal

Curb appeal can make a world of difference in any housing market, at any time. If you enhance your house's curb appeal, you may be able to move one step closer to selling your house.

Trim the hedges, mow the lawn and perform other home exterior improvements as soon as possible. Also, if you need assistance with home exterior upgrades, you can always reach out to landscapers and other home improvement professionals for support.

Hiring a great real estate agent may help you streamline the home selling journey too. In fact, a real estate agent who understands the ins and outs of the housing market can offer lots of guidance as you sell your home.

A great real estate agent will set up home showings and open house events, negotiate with a buyer's agent on your behalf and help you prepare for a home closing. And if you ever have concerns or questions along the home selling journey, a real estate agent is available to respond to them.

Accelerate the home selling journey Ė use the aforementioned tips, and you can rework your home selling strategy and boost the likelihood of a fast, profitable home sale.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Francesca Volpe on 8/20/2018

Although property buyers fall in love with a home for different reasons, there are four factors that generally cause people to prefer one house over another.

For sellers, the cost of making their home more appealing to buyers can vary widely. It depends on how recently they've painted, updated, and made improvements to their property -- both inside and out.

When it comes to owning and maintaining a residential property, one thing's for sure: Deterioration is going to happen! It's also human nature to postpone taking care of needed updates, minor repairs, and issues like fading paint. Even though the condition of your home may feel comfortable to you, prospective buyers will see things through a different lens. If you think you're "too close to the trees to see the forest," your real estate agent can provide you with valuable tips and an objective point of view.

While there are a lot of qualities house hunters look for when they're sizing up a house, here are a few key factors that can make the difference between a quick sale and a home that lingers on the market for months or more.

  • Brightness: Inadequate light -- both natural and artificial -- can have a negative impact on the impression your home makes on potential buyers. If you're fortunate enough to have newer windows that let in lots of natural light, then the look and feel of your home will be much more appealing. Heavy drapes can detract from that effect, as can overgrown bushes and trees. Lighting fixtures that are noticeably outdated or glaringly bright will also work against you. Since one of your objectives as a seller is to make your home as appealing and cheerful as possible, proper lighting is a feature that's well worth keeping in mind.
  • Cleanliness: A factor that comes in "a close second" to brightness is cleanliness (Some might even put it in the number-one spot). Visible signs of dust, dirt, spills, or smudges can make an otherwise attractive home unappealing to prospective buyers. Undesirable odors can also turn off most, if not all people that come over to check out your house. A solution for some sellers is to have their house cleaner stop by more often to help them stay one step ahead of dirt, grime, and household messes.
  • Freshness: There are a lot of ways to create a feeling of freshness in your home, including opening windows (weather permitting), adding a coat of neutral-colored paint to scuffed walls, and displaying fresh flowers in a couple rooms -- especially the kitchen. Baking soda can also help eliminate unpleasant odors in your refrigerator, sink, and garbage disposal.
While all homes for sale have different needs, in terms of staging, decorating, cleaning, upgrading, and repairing, a seasoned real estate agent can point out strategies, ideas, and improvements that will help you put your best foot forward!