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


Posted by Lauren Davis on 7/26/2017

When you narrow the numbers of houses that you're serious about buying, weather is probably the last thing that you think about. But, depending on where you buy a house, you could be inviting very hard weather conditions into your life. And you don't have to move to a coastal area to experience harsh weather.

Storms do more than damage your house

You don't have to live in Florida or along the New Jersey shore for serious weather storms like hurricanes and flooding to change the way that you and your family live. If you've ever had to vacate your house due to the threat of a weather storm, you know how quickly a storm can alter your best laid out plans.

Let the frequency of storms be high, occurring once a quarter or more, and you could be forced to store protective plywood, plastic window coverings, salt and shovels in your basement or garage. It might not take long to get into a cycle of covering windows and doors only to remove plastic and wood coverings a few days later.

This cycle alters your plans. It can also cause you to fear high winds and hard rains. For example, you could start to fear that a dark sky signals that a storm is going to rip through your house even if weather forecasters say that the area will experience no more than a heavy rain.

Understand what you get into when you buy a house in a stormy area

Some people have developed weather fears to the point where they order everyone in their house to turn off all electric appliances as soon as the sky grows dark during the daytime. These people may have experienced an electrical shock during a weather storm and convinced themselves that someone will always get electrocuted during a storm if appliances are left on.

Those are just a few fears that you could develop if you buy a house in an area that has a lot of damaging weather storms. As previously mentioned, there are also costs, including storm preparation and storm clean up and repair costs, associated with living in a house that's located in a high storm area.

Avoiding these costs and clean up headaches can be as simple as holding a conversation with your realtor. Make sure that you know which type of homeowner's insurance coverage you should get for the area that you buy a house in.

Homeowners insurance to deal with severe weather storms

Theft, fire and tornado damage might be included in general insurance packages. However, you may have to request coverage for earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, mudslides and hail damage. After you get the necessary homeowner's insurance coverage, you need to know how to travel in storms.

For example, you should know that it's not advisable to drive onto flooded streets, as even a slight dip in the road could cause water to rise,  potentially trapping you in your vehicle. The fact that bridges freeze before flat roadways is another important point to remember.

Understand all costs that you could incur if you buy a house in an area that experiences tornadoes, earthquakes and excessive rain and flooding. Also, familiarize yourself with the amount of work that you will have to do to remove weather elements like snow and ice, excessive mud from mud slides and hail.

Allergies are another weather storm related condition that you need to educate yourself about. Buy a house in a heavily wooded area and your allergies could cause you to feel groggy, tired and listless for days. The same goes for houses located in areas where weather invites insects like mosquitoes and fruit flies.





Posted by Lauren Davis on 5/31/2017

Tiny houses are all the rage. There are even multiple shows on HGTV based solely on tiny houses. So why is there so much hype around this type of home? And is it just a fad or are tiny homes here to stay? A tiny house is somewhere between 100 and 400 square feet. Some tiny homes have a loft bedroom while some keep it on the main floor. For added living space, some tiny homes have an outdoor shower and toilet. They also contain a small kitchen and living room area. There is very minimal storage in tiny homes (obviously). Tiny houses are on wheels so you can travel with your home or buy/rent a plot of land to keep it on. Letís take a look at why tiny homes are so popular. Simplistic life: As detailed above, tiny homes are, as the name suggests, tiny. And with that comes a simplistic life. You cannot have bounds of Ďthingsí as there is just not enough storage. Therefore, tiny homes bring you back to the basics, just the necessities. This is often an important reason why many are transitioning to tiny homes. So many live too large with too much stuff and at some point it just becomes too much. More money for experiences: There are countless people living paycheck to paycheck and a large majority of that has to do with their mortgage. Even the smallest homes can cost between $100,000 to $150,000, but many tiny homes range between $35,000 and $75,000. Purchasing a tiny home will leave you with a smaller mortgage and therefore more disposable income to spend on life experiences or even saving for retirement. Who doesnít want to travel to world rather than sitting in your home for the rest of your life because all of your money went to paying for it? More free time: With a drastically smaller space than normal homes that leaves you with less cleaning and maintenance. Therefore, leaving you with more time in life to do other things. Also, since you have a much smaller mortgage you may not need to work that 60-hour corporate job anymore. You can take a much less demanding job or career, working fewer hours and making less money, but having the additional time to really experience life. So what do you think? Do you think you could see yourself living in a tiny home?




Tags: buying a home   home   tiny houses  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Lauren Davis on 3/29/2017

Before you even start the home search, research is key. There are a few areas that you should look closely at in every home that youíre touring in order to make an informed decision about each property and your future in it. 


Check The Foundation


When youíre walking around the home, note creaky floors, cracks in the walls, and water drainage issues. Maybe you wonít even be able to see if the foundation has any cracks in it or not with your own two eyes. A certified home inspector will, however, be able to tell you what is happening on the property. Cracks in the foundation or major foundational damage can be incredibly costly to you as a homeowner. Youíre going to want to know about these issues ahead of time. 


Do Some Investigating


Taking a walk around your desired neighborhood can give you a lot of valuable information. You may be able to talk to neighbors who will give you a bit of information about a property. Even wandering around the neighborhood or attending yard sales can help you to see whatís going on, if you can see yourself living there, and if there are any major issues that you should be aware of. 


Be Likable


Sellers prefer to sell a home to a buyer who they like. if you see that you have something in common with the seller like the fact that youíre both veterans, you should send a letter along with your offer to let the seller know your connection. Itís also helpful to send an offer letter that lets the seller know how much you love the house and that you can see yourself living in the home. It never hurts to add a personal touch to a home offer.  


Keep Your Options Open


Just because a home doesnít consist of the modern decor you picture yourself living in, doesnít mean it canít be changed. If a home happens to be older with less present-day decor in it, be sure to keep an open mind as to the potential that the home has for you.


Make A Strategic Offer


We know that prices that end in 9 are a bit more attractive to the psyche than prices that end in a flat zero. If the asking price for a home is $310,000, you may be tempted to offer $320,000 to shell out the competition, but you may be better off offering an odd number like $312,000. Sometimes a small difference makes a big impact in the eyes of the buyer. Work with your realtor to see if a home youíre interested in has any other offers. Your agent can help you to find a good price point for your offer as well.





Posted by Lauren Davis on 3/8/2017

Thereís numerous reasons why the name on a title to a home may not be the same as the name thatís on the mortgage loan. These reasons include:


  • Only one buyer had stable credit
  • Only one person was on the loan application
  • One person was released from the mortgage


No matter why this is the case, having your name on the mortgage but not on the title to a home can affect you and people residing in the home in different ways. 


Why Would Only One Name Be On The Mortgage?


If people are looking to get a home or refinance a home, but only one person has good credit a decision must be made. For the best possible mortgage rates, youíll want to person with the best credit to be the primary loan holder. This may mean that you need additional legal documents in the process.  


The person with lower credit may still be able to have their name placed on the title to the home. Anyone who plans to contribute financially to a home, even if not on the mortgage, should place their name on the title. This would be one instance when a name would be on the title to a home and not on the mortgage loan. In this case, a person has property rights, but no legal-financial responsibility to the home. Itís important to agree on the home arrangement that youíre considering. This would be done through a will or a legal contract. This way, all parties are protected in regards to the ownership of the home should something happen to the individual whose name is on the mortgage.


Legal Things To Consider


Those who are listed on the mortgage are the people who are responsible for house payments. If a personís name isnít on the mortgage, it doesnít release them from complete responsibility from the home. If your name is on the title to the home but not on the mortgage, the bank generally has first dibs on the home if thereís a lapse in payments. If you want to keep living in the house, youíll have to keep making payments on the home. If you canít make the mortgage payments, youíll risk going into foreclosure. 


Taxes


An issue that can come up if your name is not on the mortgage is that you cannot use the home youíre living in as a tax deduction. Even if you make payments on the home, in order for you to get tax benefits, your name must be on the mortgage stating that youíre legally responsible for the home. If you are paying for the mortgage because your name appears on the title to the home, you arenít legally entitled to pay, giving away your rights to tax benefits. If youíre married, filing jointly, and only one name appears on the mortgage, however, you can use this as a tax deduction. This becomes an issue if two unmarried people buy a home together.  


Ask For Legal Assistance


Whenever you have an issue with the title of your home or with names on the mortgage, itís good to consult legal counsel. The attorney can assist you in determining who is legally responsible for the home and if the people listed on the title of the home are correct. This can help save you from trouble at a future date.


Since credit scores and loans can get messy at times during the home buying process, itís good to understand all the implications of home mortgages and titles.




Tags: mortgage   buying a home  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Lauren Davis on 11/30/2016

After a thorough review of the real estate market, you've found your dream home. Now, you just need to submit a fair offer that the home seller will accept. Regardless of whether you're shopping for a home in a buyers' market or a sellers' market, you'll want to avoid the risk of submitting a "lowball" offer, i.e. an offer that a home seller will turn down immediately. Remember, if you want to land your ideal home, you'll likely need to submit an offer that is attractive to a home seller. And if you know what it takes to minimize the dangers of submitting a lowball proposal, you'll be better equipped to secure your dream house quickly. Making a fair offer on a home is simple Ė here are three tips to ensure you can avoid the dangers of submitting a lowball offer: 1. Review the Real Estate Market. As a diligent homebuyer, you've probably checked out dozens of residences in your search for the perfect home. Along the way, you might have even noticed that home prices vary depending on the size and condition of a residence. The real estate market remains in a constant state of flux, and what a home is worth today is unlikely what it is going to be worth in five years. However, a homebuyer who evaluates real estate market trends as well as prices of similar homes in a particular area should have no trouble submitting a fair offer on his or her dream house. 2. Evaluate the Condition of the Home. Keep in mind that the condition of the home may impact its short- and long-term value. Thus, you should try to submit an offer that accounts for the overall condition of a residence. For instance, a home's old furnace may need to be replaced in the near future, and doing so could prove to be both costly and time-consuming. But if you consider the cost of a new furnace installation in your proposal, you may be able to justify submitting an offer that is below a home seller's initial asking price. Or, in some cases, you may be able to convince the home seller to repair or replace this furnace to seal the deal. 3. Understand Your Budget. You've been pre-approved for a mortgage and know your budget for a new home. When you submit an offer, you should keep your budget in mind and ensure you'll be able to make the mortgage payments if a home seller accepts your proposal. A homebuyer who understands his or her budget can explore residences within a set price range. And ultimately, this homebuyer will be able to eliminate the chance of submitting a lowball offer on a house that he or she may be unable to afford down the line. When in doubt, don't be afraid to discuss your options with your real estate agent, too. This professional can offer insights into how much similar homes in an area have sold for recently, along with other housing market resources and tips to help you secure a house at a fair price. Avoid the dangers of submitting a lowball offer on a home, and you'll be better equipped to land your dream residence without delay.