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


Posted by Lauren Davis on 11/8/2017

There’s many different reasons why you might want to consider choosing a mortgage payment over a monthly rent check. But there’s also a few drawbacks to buying a home. One big obstacle is that of the down payment. When you’re renting a property, there’s a lower amount of money that you’ll need to come up with in order to secure a place to live. With a 20% down payment required to buy a home, saving for that down payment seems a lot more daunting than renting. There’s so many financial advantages to owning a home.  With quite a few factors to consider, buying a home may not be so far out of reach for you. 


Rates Are Low


Even though mortgage rates fluctuate from time to time, they’re still low enough that it makes sense to buy a home and make it a much cheaper monthly cost than renting.  


Rental Rates Are Not Guaranteed


Your rent is not guaranteed to stay the same over time. The price can go up after the lease ends. Another problem with renting is that the landlord can decide that he wants to make improvements to the building at any time, even improvements that you’ll be required to move out for. You could end up in a bind fairly quickly if you’re put in this situation. 


If you buy a home, the only change to your expenses would be if you choose an adjustable rate mortgage or if there’s changes in property taxes and insurance rates. Your expenses are more predictable when you buy a home. 


You’ll Build Equity When You Buy A Home


One of the top reasons to buy a home is to enable you to build equity. Over time, you’ll have a piece of property that will provide cash that you’ll be able to tap into when needed. Home equity doesn’t replace the other ways that you save, but you’ll have another source of financial backing. Your monthly mortgage payment is in essence going into the “bank” of your future. 


There’s Plenty Of Tax Breaks For Homeowners


This is one known financial benefit of owning a home. The initial years of your home ownership mainly go towards paying down the interest on the home. The good news is that this expense is tax deducible. Also, you’ll benefit financially when you sell your home as you won’t have to pay tax on gains you have earned if you live in your home for at least half the time within the 5 years before you sell. Home insurance and mortgage insurance are also tax deductible. 


While the idea of buying a home may seem like a feat, financially, it’s a smart decision. When you’re renting, you don’t see a return on the monthly check that you shell out. If you own a home, you own it and it’s your to do with as you please. You get out of your home what you put into it. 





Posted by Lauren Davis on 1/13/2016

The recent drop in homes prices, affordable mortgage rates and the popularity of television shows showing investors turning over homes has many people wondering if they can make money flipping homes. Flipping a house simply means buying and then selling a home quickly for profit. There are different ways to do this, but if you are interested in buying and selling houses, or just want to find a good deal to invest your money in. You will want to follow some tips on how to make sure you make money and not end up busting the budget. 1. KNOW THE AREA It is not just about the house you want to buy but also the area. Focus on buying homes in an area that holds value and where homes sell quickly. The golden rule of a home, location, location, location, applies here as you will want the home to be able to be sold quickly. Get to know the average costs and days on market for homes in that area. The more information you have about the market you have chosen, the better decisions you can usually make when it comes time to buy. 2. DO NOT GET EMOTIONAL This is a business venture; your goal is to make money. Emotions and money rarely mix well. Do not get emotional about house flipping. When choosing colors, fixtures and carpets go neutral, you will not be living in the home. Be careful of becoming too attached to the flip. Choose a price to sell the home, do not overprice the home. Overpricing typically leads to you holding the flip longer thus reducing your profit. 3. KNOW YOUR LIMITS If you are new to flipping homes, it is important to know your financial and work limits. The budget will always be more than you anticipate, plan for unexpected problems. Start with homes that mainly have cosmetic problems. Look for houses that need new, modern paint or updated fixtures. Homes where the outside yard and landscaping are unappealing are usually a great buy and can yield more profit. Curb appeal is usually a problem that can be fixed very easily and relatively inexpensively while greatly increasing the value of the home. 4. HAVE AN EXIT STRATEGY The point of flipping is to get in and out as quick as possible. Every day that you own the homes costs you money. Have a plan and know exactly what you're going to do with the home before you buy. Make a schedule of when work will get done and drop dead date of the house going back on the market. If you don't know if you can sell it quickly, don't buy it.





Posted by Lauren Davis on 12/24/2014

Going to college can be a very expensive endeavor as a result of the financial requirements and obligations.  It requires a lot of financing from textbooks, to housing accommodations, transportation and other miscellaneous expenses.  This does not even include the cost of tuition. There are several ways of handling these costs effectively without going broke. Here are a few suggestions to assist in your financial planning. 529 College Plans This is a form of investment that allows parents to set aside some money towards their kid’s education, allowing it to appreciate in value tax free.  This implies that when you withdraw from your savings, as long as the funds are used for the purpose of your child’s education, you will not be taxed. Irrespective of your income, and other family members can contribute to a 529 account. Coverdell Education Saving Accounts (ESA) This account functions like an IRA. But in this case, it is for education and not retirement. With this form of savings, you can make contributions up to $2000 with post tax dollars and allow the money to grow tax free. When you withdraw, you are not taxed on the money or interest as long as it is used for the purpose of education. IRA and Roth IRA Accounts Basically, these accounts are investment accounts used to save money for college or retirement with no significant taxes. They come as deductible and non deductible accounts. In order to qualify for this type of accounts, your income as well as an existing retirement plan is taken into consideration. With a deductible IRA, tax is deducted from your annual contributions. When you make withdrawals, you will be taxed based on your contributions and earnings. Roth IRA, contributions are not tax deductible and your earnings are also tax free if your withdraws after a five year period are used for an appropriate expenses like college tuition.





Posted by Lauren Davis on 7/29/2012

It is a great time to be a real-estate investor. If you are looking to jump in the investor market low home prices and low interest rates make this a great time. According to Zillow.com. the real-estate market is starting to recover: U.S. houses lost $489 billion in value during the first 11 months of 2009, but that was significantly lower than the $3.6 trillion lost during 2008 and things only continue to look up. While the timing may be right, you will need to have all your ducks in a row. An investment purchase is different than your typical purchase. Consider your options. Have a strategy and know what kind of investor you would like to be. Ask yourself if you want to be a landlord, or are you planning on flipping or restoring and reselling properties. What types of properties are you interested in? There are many choices from land, to apartment buildings, residential housing and other commercial real estate. Partner with experience. Real estate agents experienced in investment property deals know what to look for in a deal. You may also want to consider asking a more experienced real-estate investor for advice. If you plan on becoming a landlord make sure to familiarize yourself with the local laws regarding being a landlord. Location, location, location. If you buy a property with hopes of renting it out, location is key. Homes in high-rent or highly populated areas are ideal; stay away from rural areas where there are fewer people and a small pool of potential renters. Also, look for homes with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms in neighborhoods that have a low crime rate. Also think about potential selling points for your property. If it's near public transportation, shopping malls or other amenities, it will attract renters, as well as potential buyers if you decide to sell later. The more you have to offer, the more likely you are to please potential renters. Have capital lined up. Speak to potential lenders or a financial planner about what you will need for assets and cash flow. You will need to have enough assets to handle the ups and downs that could come with investing. Most experts suggest a fallback of about six months of mortgage payments for landlords. You will need this in case or vacancy or repairs. If you're planning to fix up a home and sell it, you will need reserves to cover the costs to maintain the home while it is on the market. Becoming a real-estate investor is much different than being a residential homebuyer. A buying decision is a business decision not one based on emotions.





Posted by Lauren Davis on 6/17/2012

There are many ways that you can invest in real estate. One way is by purchasing land. This option can be a very lucrative choice, as long as you keep the few important points in mind. The reason why purchasing land could be a viable option is because you get to pick your location, and build a home to your specs. This will allow you to find your own contractors to construct your building for you. By having full control over who you choose and what you pay, it becomes easier for you to save on costs. Keep in mind that while you do have full control over who you choose to build on your property, it also means that there will be more responsibility hanging over your shoulders. For example, you would need to make sure that you have all the right permits to construct your building, and you also have to make sure that you choose the right contractors; otherwise the whole project can turn into a big catastrophe. Therefore, before deciding to purchase a piece of property that is completely void of any buildings, take some time to do some research, as this will save you a lot of headache in the long run. Buying land in a down market can also be a great investment. Land is becoming harder to come by, which is creating a higher demand for land and in turn bringing the price up. Buying land now and holding onto to it could bring some great return. Think about it in 10 years from now there will be a lot less land and your lot could be worth a pot of gold. Invest now and reap the rewards down the road. Think of it like a savings account, you deposit money into a piece of land and watch your money grow!