Lauren Davis
REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West | 508-254-0449 | Lauren@LaurensListings.com


Posted by Lauren Davis on 4/18/2018

Most homeowners would love to be able to pay off their mortgage early. However, few see it as a possibility when they take into account their earnings and other bills.

 There are, however, a few ways to pay down your mortgage earlier than planned. But first, letís talk about when it makes sense to try and pay off your mortgage.

 When to consider paying off your mortgage early

If you recently got a promotion, have someone move in with you who contributes to paying the bills, or recently got a secondary form of income, you might want to consider making extra payments on your mortgage.

However, having extra money doesnít always mean you should spend it immediately on your home loan.

First, consider if you have a large enough emergency savings fund. It might be tempting to try and throw any extra money at your mortgage as soon as possible, but there are other financial commitments you should plan for as well.

If you have kids who will be applying to college soon, remember that student aid takes into account their parentsí finances. If your children plan on applying to institutions with high tuition, then your equity will be counted against you.

Refinancing to pay your mortgage early

Refinancing your home loan is one option if youíre considering increasing the payments on your mortgage. If you can refinance a 30-year loan to a 15-year loan with a lower interest rate, youíll save money in two ways--your lower interest rate and the fact that youíll be accruing interest for less time.

There is a downside to refinancing. Once you refinance, youíre locked into your new payment amount. So, if your higher income isnít dependable, it might not make sense to commit to a higher monthly payment that you arenít sure youíre going to be able to keep paying.

Thereís also the matter of refinancing costs. Just like the costs associated with signing on your mortgage, youíll have to pay closing costs on refinancing. Youíll need to weigh the cost of refinancing against the amount youíll save on interest over the term of your mortgage to see if it truly makes sense to go through the refinancing process.

Paying more on your current loan

Even if you arenít sure that refinancing is the best option, there are other ways you can make payments on your mortgage to pay it off years sooner than your term length.

One of the common methods is to simply make thirteen payments each year instead of twelve. To do this, homeowners often use their tax returns or savings to make the thirteenth payment. Over a thirty year mortgage, this could save you over full two years of added interest.

A second option is to make two bi-weekly payments rather than one monthly payment. By making biweekly payments you have the ability to make 26 payments in a year. If you were to just make two payments per month then you would make 24 total payments. Over time, those two extra payments per year add up.




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Posted by Lauren Davis on 4/13/2018

Don't miss this well maintained, one level living home with beautiful backyard on a cul-de-sac close to rail trail, schools, shops and restaurants. The living room has great natural light courtesy of a large picture window. The bright kitchen has white cabinets, granite counters and a window overlooking the backyard and is open to a spacious dining area with built-in shelving and a slider out to the deck for summer grilling convenience. The large family room is perfectly situated off the dining area and also has access to the deck, as well as lots of windows, a skylight and recessed lights. There are three bedrooms including the master which boasts an en-suite bathroom. One bedroom is currently used as a den. Updates include windows on the front side of the house (2016), water heater (2014), garage door (2015), bedroom carpets (2017), driveway (2011), roof (2007). All this plus Holliston's highly ranked schools offering French & Montessori programs.

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Posted by Lauren Davis on 4/11/2018

To maximize the value of your house, you may need to perform a wide range of home improvements. Fortunately, there are many quick, easy ways to ensure you won't have to break your budget to upgrade your residence before you add it to the real estate market.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you save money on home improvements.

1. Receive Multiple Quotes from Professionals

When it comes to performing comprehensive home repairs, it generally is a good idea to err on the side of caution by hiring professional contractors. However, hiring professionals to complete home improvement projects may put a major dent in your day-to-day finances.

If you request multiple quotes for home improvement projects, you can shop around for the best price. Plus, you may be able to negotiate the price from a professional if you have various competitor quotes at your disposal.

2. Consider Do-It-Yourself Projects

In many instances, a home may not require a full overhaul. Conversely, you may only need to perform a series of minor upgrades to ensure your residence is show-ready.

When possible, it may be beneficial to try to perform home improvement projects on your own. If you complete simple tasks like removing clutter from your home's basement or mowing your front lawn, you can simultaneously enhance your residence and avoid the costs associated with hiring professionals.

If you're unsure about how to perform certain home repairs, there is no need to leave anything to chance. In these scenarios, reach out to professionals for expert support, and you can minimize the risks associated with trying to complete these tasks on your own.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Finding the best ways to cut costs on home improvements can be tricky. Luckily, real estate agents are available who can help you get your house ready for the real estate market, even if you're dealing with a tight home improvement budget.

Typically, a real estate agent will be able to assess your house and help you establish home improvement priorities. This housing market professional then can put you in touch with the top home improvement professionals in your area, as well as provide tips to ensure you can quickly upgrade your residence on your own.

A real estate agent also will serve as your expert guide throughout the home selling journey. He or she will help you list your residence and promote it to dozens of potential buyers. Plus, a real estate agent will host home showings and open house events that enable buyers to get an up-close look at your residence. And if you receive offers on your house, a real estate agent will help you review these proposals and make an informed decision.

There is no reason to overspend to upgrade your residence. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can save money on home repairs and prep your house for the real estate market faster than ever before.




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Posted by Lauren Davis on 4/4/2018

When itís time to list your home, you probably have two main questions in mind for your real estate agent. The first is how much can I get for my home? The second is how much commission do you take? Obviously, you want to get the most money in return for your investment. 


Many sellers hire the very first agent they meet and this isnít necessarily the right process. Selling a home is a huge undertaking. As a seller, youíll want to dig a bit deeper in order to find the agent who is right for you.


What Experience Do You Have?


It sounds like such an obvious question, but many sellers fail to ask their real estate agents what kind of experience they have. Homes are very expensive business transactions. You want someone who has some experience under their belt to help you get the most bang for your buck in the sale of your home. While thereís no amount of experience thatís ďrequired,Ē your agent should have some experience selling homes. The ability of an agent to handle deals is very important. 


How Will You Market My Home?


You canít really sell anything without some kind of marketing efforts. There are many different ways to market a home including direct mailing, online advertising and sending the property to the MLS for wide search availability. Itís important that your real estate agent knows how to market a home. 


How Will We Communicate


This is an important question. You donít want to hire a real estate agent just to find that they are often unavailable and leaving you wondering whatís happening in the sale of your home. In this age, itís important to remember how many different ways that we can communicate. Thereís e-mail, texting and of course old fashioned phone calling. You want to make sure that the agent you choose to help you sell your home will be open to communicating in the ways that are most convenient for you. 


Will You Be Representing Both Sides Of The Transaction?


Agents have the ability to represent both the buyer and the seller if the buyer doesnít have their own agent to represent them. This is normal and expected especially in special cases. Dual agency is possible and it is legal. However, sometimes you may want someone who is purely ďon your side.Ē If an agent is getting commission from both transactions, you may think itís hard for them to be working for both the buyer and the seller without trying too hard to make a deal. You donít want your best interest to be compromised when youíre selling a home.




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Posted by Lauren Davis on 3/28/2018

If you plan to sell your house, there may be certain items that you want to bring to your new residence. However, various items may prove to be too big, too heavy or too expensive to transport to your new address. But if you leave these items behind, you may be able to make your house more attractive to dozens of potential buyers.

Ultimately, there are many high-quality items that home sellers may choose to leave behind for buyers, such as:

1. Refrigerator

Although your refrigerator has served you well for many years, transporting this kitchen appliance to your new house could prove to be difficult. Fortunately, a buyer may appreciate the fact that you're willing to provide him or her with a top-notch refrigerator as part of a home sale.

For a home seller who intends to leave his or her refrigerator behind, it is important to take some time to clean the appliance. That way, a homebuyer will be able to use the refrigerator as soon as he or she finalizes a home acquisition.

Also, scrub down the refrigerator's shelves, wipe down the appliance's exterior and remove any foods and beverages from the refrigerator prior to moving day.

2. Washer and Dryer

A washer and dryer may cost a homeowner hundreds or thousands of dollars to purchase and install. Luckily, a home seller who includes a washer and dryer in a home sale can make it easy for a buyer to avoid the hassle of finding, buying and installing these appliances.

Ensure that your washer and dryer are working properly before moving day arrives. Remove any dust and debris from the dryer's lint trap, and wipe down the exterior of both the washer and dryer.

3. Furniture

If you own stunning outdoor patio chairs, a deluxe dining room table and chairs or other first-rate home furniture, you may want to include these items in your home sale. By doing so, you can help a buyer furnish his or her home in no time at all.

Selling a home can be challenging, even if you intend to leave behind assorted high-end items for a buyer. Thankfully, real estate agents are available to help simplify the process of selling a residence in any housing market, at any time.

A real estate agent understands that you want to enjoy a quick, profitable home selling experience. To accomplish this goal, a real estate agent will learn about your residence and explore ways to promote it to the right groups of buyers.

Furthermore, a real estate agent will offer expert guidance at each stage of the home selling journey. He or she will set up home showings and open house events, keep you up to date about offers on your residence and help you get ready for a home closing. And if you ever have home selling concerns, a real estate agent will immediately respond to them.

Consult with a real estate agent today, and you can move one step closer to selling your house.




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