Larry Costa REALTORģ
CENTURY 21 Classic Gold | 508-272-8028 | larry@larrycosta.com


Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 11/9/2018

In todayís world, everything is online. You probably have started your home search online as well. Itís plain fun to look at real estate. You can dream of living in a place you canít afford. You might never see any of those listings that youíre browsing in person. Should you?


No matter when your home search may become a reality, there are a few benefits to seeing houses in person. 


Youíll See What Your Money Can Get You


What you want and what you can afford may be far apart. You wonít understand the reality of the housing market unless you see it firsthand. By looking at whatís available on the market at a given time, you will be able to see how much house your dollars will buy you. Knowing what you can afford will help you to keep your expectations in check when you do head out to search for a home. Looking at what homes are on the market can actually help you to help your real estate agent find you something that will suit your needs. Thereís nothing worse than telling your agent that you want a home thatís impossible to find.


Youíll Meet Real Estate Agents


By going to open houses, youíll be able to meet different real estate agents. Through this process, you could very well meet the agent who will help you to find your dream home. If you like the way an agent is helping to sell a home, youíll very likely get along with them as a buyer. 


You Will Know How Much Competition You Have


If youíre attending open houses and find that there are many other people there the same time as you, it could be a sign that the market has tight competition. A lot of open house attendees means that prices are higher because the competition is fierce. You may have to offer above asking price in order to secure a deal on a home.


Youíll Learn Different Areas


Open houses can bring you to places you may have never thought of living before. Youíll get a sense of what different neighborhoods are like if you spend some time exploring through attending open houses. 


Youíll Learn What You Can Live With


Itís easy to have a concrete picture in your mind of what you want in a home and what you can deal with. When you see houses firsthand, you may be able to open your mind a bit as to the type of home youíre seeking.  


 





Tags: Buying a home  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 10/19/2018

If youíre hoping to buy a home in the near future there are several financial prerequisites that you should aim to meet. Ideally, youíll want a sizable down payment, a verifiable income history, and a good credit score.

It takes time to build credit. For most people, it can be several months or even years before they see a double-digit change in their credit score. However, if you have a low credit score and want to give it a quick boost, there are ways you can make a big difference.

But first, why should you focus on your credit score?

Credit scores and mortgages

When you apply for a mortgage there are several factors that your lender will take into consideration. One of their top concerns will be your credit score. This score is like a snapshot of your financial reliability. It tells lenders how much risk is involved in lending to you.

As a result, lenders will increase your interest rate if you are high risk and lower it if you are lower risk. To be a low risk homeowner, youíll want your score to be in the high range, (usually 700 or above).

Credit change potential

Depending on your financial history, it can be more difficult to raise your score in a shorter period of time. If you are young, donít have a long credit history, or havenít had many bills to pay in your lifetime, your score will be more malleable than someone who has had low credit for years due to late payments.

In the United States, you have to be eighteen to open up a credit card or take out a loan by yourself (this is different from getting a loan co-signed by a parent or guardian).  You can also ask your parents or guardians to add you as an authorized user of their credit cards. This will let you build credit without having to settle for the high interest rate credit cards you would be eligible for.

If you happen to have a low score (anywhere between 300 - 600), the good news is you can achieve a larger change over a shorter amount of time than someone who already has a high score.

So, how do you achieve that change?

Credit errors

One of the easiest ways to quickly improve your score is to check for errors in your credit report. You can get a free report each year from the three main credit bureaus--Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.

Look out for bills that have been mistakenly put under your name and for collections that shouldnít be on your account.

Avoid new credit

One thing that can do short-term harm to your credit score is opening or attempting to open new lines of credit. That can be a store card, a loan, or getting your credit checked by a lender.

If you want to build credit quickly, making several inquiries could land you with a lower score than where you started.

Pay your regular expenses with credit

A good way to gain credit points in a few months is to pick a monthly expense to use your credit card for. Pay off your full balance at the end of each billing cycle to earn the most points while avoiding building up too much interest.





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Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 10/5/2018

Buying a house should be a fast, simple process. However, problems sometimes can arise that prevent a homebuyer from discovering his or her dream residence.

Ultimately, there are many factors to consider before you purchase a house to ensure you can avoid myriad homebuying hurdles, and these factors include:

1. Your Home Needs

No two houses are identical, and much in the same vein, no two homebuyers have the same definition of the perfect residence. As such, a homebuyer should consider his or her dream home demands prior to kicking off a home search.

Making a checklist of home "must-haves" and "wants" is paramount. With this checklist in hand, a homebuyer will be able to refine his or her home search and map out the property buying journey accordingly.

It may be helpful to consider your day-to-day activities as you evaluate where you want to live too.

For example, if you work in the city, you may want to find a house that is located near public transportation. Comparatively, if you have kids, you may want to consider houses that are located close to top schools.

2. Your Budget

You know that you want to buy a house. On the other hand, you still have no idea how much money is available to ensure you can make your homeownership dreams come true.

When it comes to buying a house, it pays to meet with banks and credit unions. With pre-approval for a mortgage, you'll know precisely how much you can spend on a house.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, set up consultations with several potential lenders. Then, you can learn about all of your mortgage options and select a mortgage lender that matches or surpasses your expectations.

3. Your Homebuying Timeline

Are you looking to buy a home as soon as possible? Or, can you afford to take a wait-and-see approach throughout the homebuying journey?

Examine your homebuying timeline and plan ahead as much as possible. By doing so, you can boost your chances of finding a terrific house and minimize stress as you browse the real estate market.

Regardless of your homebuying timeline, it always helps to work with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can take the guesswork out of searching for a residence and ensure you can discover a stellar house at a budget-friendly price.

Typically, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about new residences as they become available. He or she also will provide honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations and respond to any homebuying concerns and questions.

Let's not forget about the support that a real estate agent can provide during homebuying negotiations, either.

A real estate agent is happy to negotiate with a home seller on your behalf. That way, he or she can help you secure a great house without having to worry about paying too much.

Streamline the process of acquiring your ideal residence. Consider the aforementioned factors, and you can keep things simple as you proceed along the homebuying journey.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 8/31/2018

There's no denying the truth Ė the real estate market can be complicated. As such, regardless of whether you're a first-time or experienced homebuyer, you'll want to do everything you can to prepare for the process of purchasing a new residence. So what does it take to ensure you can land your dream home in any real estate segment? Here are three tips for both first-time and experienced homebuyers: 1. Understand the Speed of the Real Estate Market. A newly listed residence may sell only a few hours after it reaches the real estate market. Thus, you'll want to stay on top of houses as they become available in cities and towns where you'd like to relocate; otherwise, you risk missing out on what could be your perfect residence. Remember, the real estate market moves fast, and homebuyers who hesitate likely will struggle to score their dream homes. To accelerate the homebuying process, you'll want to get pre-approved for a mortgage. By doing so, you can submit an offer without having to commit significant time and resources to secure financing for your dream home down the line. Also, if you're interested in a home and feel comfortable with a residence, don't wait too long before you submit an offer. Because if you do, you could lose your dream home to another homebuyer. 2. View Any Home Purchase as an Investment. Although you have no plans to purchase a home and sell it at a later date, the future remains unpredictable. As a result, you should view any home you check out as a long-term investment and try to find a residence that you believe will increase in value. Typically, what you pay for a home is unlikely to represent your residence's total value in five or 10 years. But homebuyers who view a home purchase as an investment will understand that a residence's value will fluctuate over time and dedicate the time and resources to maximize a home's value, too. Look beyond a home itself to determine whether you are comfortable with a residence as a long-term investment. For instance, if you buy a newly constructed home in an up-and-coming area, the residence's value may rise quickly in the foreseeable future. On the other hand, if you purchase a "fixer-upper," aka a home in need of significant repairs, you may need to consider setting extra money aside to complete home improvement projects to help optimize this residence's value. 3. Work with an Experienced Real Estate Agent. Although you've done plenty of research about the housing market, it never hurts to have an experienced real estate agent at your disposal. A real estate agent is happy to assist you during every step of the homebuying process. That way, if you encounter any homebuying hurdles, this real estate professional can help you overcome these challenges without delay. Employ a real estate agent who possesses comprehensive industry experience and who makes you feel comfortable and confident as you explore the real estate market. And ultimately, your real estate agent should be able to help you find your dream home.





Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 8/10/2018

If youíre hunting for a new home and have come across one that fits all of your requirements and more, it can seem like the only thing you can do is make an offer and wait.

However, your first choice could also be another buyerís dream home. And, if a higher bid isnít feasible, you have to find other ways to win over the seller. One way this can be achieved is through writing a letter to the owner of the home.

If youíre bidding on your dream home, writing a letter the the owner can be anxiety inducing. Choosing what to reveal and finding the right words can be scary, even for the most seasoned writer.

So, in this article weíre going to walk you through writing a letter to a seller to give you the best possible chance of winning the bid for a new home.

Tell them why you love their home

If youíve fallen in love with certain aspects of the home, thereís a good chance the sellers did too. Be personal in your explanations. Rather than just say you love the location, mention that it is a perfect distance to walk to the playground with your children or pets. This will help buyers better understand you and your story.

If you have family who lives nearby, or if the home has features that can greatly improve the life of you, your family, or your pets, be sure to mention this in the letter as well.

Donít press or plead, just be polite

It can seem desperate and off-putting to receive a letter pleading with you to sell your home to someone. So, when youíre writing your letter and you come to the end, simply thank the buyer for their time and for reading, compliment them once more, and wish them luck in their new home.

Revise and review

It can be tempting to send your letter immediately after writing it, especially if writing is you donít like writing in general. However, itís always a good idea to revise. I suggest writing your letter one night, then reading it again the next evening to give yourself time and distance from it--this way youíll be reading it with fresh eyes and will be able to find any wording that sounds strange or confusing.

Itís also a good idea to run your writing through a free proofreader like Grammarly. And, finally, there is no substitute for having an editor. Ask one of your friends or family members to read the letter and give you feedback.

Stand out from the crowd

There are a few things you can include in your letter to set you apart from other potential buyers. Including a family photo will help the sellers put a face to the names you mention in the letter.

It can also be helpful to print and mail the letter, rather than sending it electronically. Since we so rarely receive a physical copy of a letter these days (unless itís from a bill collector), it can be nice to receive something positive in the mail for a change.




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