Cindy Gordon
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage | 774-249-4824 | [email protected]


Posted by Cindy Gordon on 2/23/2020

If you’re planning on buying a home in the near future and are confused about many of the terms associated with mortgages, you’re not alone. Real estate is its own industry with its own set of processes, terms, and acronyms. If you’re new to the home buying process, there can be somewhat of a learning curve to understand what each of these terms means.

Since buying a home is such a huge investment and life decision, there’s a lot of pressure on home buyers to make sure they get everything right. This makes for a stressful situation for buyers who don’t feel like they understand the terminology of things like mortgages, appraisals, credit reports, and other factors that contribute to the home buying process.

To alleviate some of those concerns and to make the home buying process run more smoothly, we’ve compiled a list of the most common, and most commonly confused, real estate words, terms, and acronyms. That way, when you’re talking things over with your real estate agent or your mortgage lender, you’ll be confident that you understand exactly what’s being considered.


Read on for our real estate terminology glossary.

  • Adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) - This is one type of home loan. Mortgage rates with this type of loan fluctuate throughout the repayment term of the loan. The fluctuation is based on a market indicator.

  • Fixed rate mortgage (FRM) - Another type of home loan, a fixed rate mortgage has a rate which does not fluctuate, remaining constant for the life of the term, most commonly 15 or 30 years.

  • Appraisal - An appraisal is the determination of the value of a property. Appraisals are used when purchasing and selling a home, as well as when refinancing a home loan. Appraisers are required to be licensed or certified in each state and are usually paid for by the lender.

  • Appreciation - An increase in a property’s value, most commonly due to market inflation, or the general increase in home prices over time.

  • Depreciation - A decrease in a property’s value, due to either market deflation (uncommon) or the wear and tear on a home that comes with age.

  • Closing costs - The costs and fees that a buyer is responsible for when purchasing a home or taking out a mortgage. These include underwriting fees, inspections, appraisals, transfer taxes, and more. Closing costs typically range from 2% to 5% of the total loan amount.

  • Contingency - Home purchases have contracts to protect the interest of the buyer, seller, and lender. Contingencies are provisions designed to protect the buyer or lender should something occur in the time leading up to closing on (or purchasing) the home. One common contingency is the buyer’s right to have a final inspection of the home before closing to ensure no new issues with the home have occurred.

  • Private mortgage insurance (PMI) - Buyers who cannot afford a down payment of %20 typically are required to take out a private mortgage insurance policy. This policy protects the lender should the borrower default (fail to repay or meet the conditions of their loan).







Posted by Cindy Gordon on 2/16/2020

Photo by Agung Pandit Wiguna from Pexels


 

You see it in your favorite magazines -- or maybe on Pinterest. The ultimate outdoor dining and entertainment experience has elevated basic hosting to an art form, and you can use your existing set up to create a truly spectacular experience for your family and your guests. Follow the tips below to make the most of your entertainment spread and to create an event your guests won't soon forget.

Choose a Theme

You don't have to have a formal idea of what you'll do, or even list it out in great detail, but "authentic Hawaiian luau" looks very different from "Easter Dinner" so knowing what you want to accomplish helps you create an actionable road map.

Plan the Food

Plan out a menu and order any specialties that you need to; specialty foods, meats and even poultry need to be ordered in advance to ensure you are able to get everything you need when you need it. Depending on your own storage space, arrange to have your purchases delivered. Store on dry ice if needed before the big day arrives.

Determine Seating

Your outdoor entertaining area is probably designed with your own family in mind, but a larger group will need more places to sit and relax. Consider renting pieces and having them delivered and set up for the event. You'll be able to host everyone in comfort and not have to worry about running out of room.

Order decor:

Order the items you need for serving, if you don't already have them on hand. Depending on the size and theme of the gathering, you may need additional plates, flatware, stemware and more. Again, a rental place can furnish you with many of the things you need at surprisingly affordable rates. This is also the time to order flower arrangements, entertainment and other things that will create ambiance.

Clean it up

Your outdoor kitchen is already in great shape, but having a team to up the yard, clean all surfaces and ensure your home is ready to entertain will give you a break and ensure you feel ready to show your place off.

Set up in the Morning

 Even if you have an evening event planned, setting up key pieces in place, making sure drinks are cold enough to share and prepping the food early will allow you the time you need to get ready for your guests and give you the chance to enjoy your own gathering.

Get ready to show off. With the food ready, seating in place, and an outdoor oasis that is truly event ready, you'll be able to show off your entertainment spread and make the most of your home and yard. Careful preparation, paired with attention to detail allows you to share your favorite space with your friends and family, and to show off what you've worked so hard to create.

Outsourcing some food and prep work can help you focus on the actual event and on creating the recipes and experiences you most want to share. Check out any components you are considering doing on your own, just to make sure the DIY approach is truly the swiftest or most affordable way to get ready for your event. 

Start planning a few weeks in advance -- this will give you time to order any decorative items you need and to special order food for your guests. You'll be more relaxed on the big day and be better able to enjoy yourself and your home.




Categories: DIY  


Posted by Cindy Gordon on 2/9/2020

Selling a home may prove to be an uphill climb. Fortunately, if you craft a home selling strategy, you can eliminate guesswork throughout the property selling cycle.

A home selling plan is a must-have, and perhaps it is easy to understand why. This strategy enables you to prepare for potential hurdles you may encounter as you promote your residence to buyers, review an offer to purchase and perform other house selling tasks. Plus, if you allocate time and resources to develop an effective strategy, you could streamline the process of selling your residence.

There are several things you can do to ensure your home selling strategy will deliver the best-possible results. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you craft a top-notch house selling plan.

1. Analyze Your Home

What you originally paid for your house is unlikely to match your home's current value. Luckily, there are various assessments you can use to evaluate all areas of your residence.

A home inspection enables you to identify any underlying house issues and correct such problems before you list your residence. Or, you can always hire a home appraiser who can give you a property valuation.

When it comes to selling a home, it helps to prepare as much as you can. If you conduct a home inspection and appraisal, you could gain valuable insights so you can set a competitive initial asking price for your residence.

2. Upgrade Your House's Interior and Exterior

Your home may have flaws, but you can address these issues right away. By doing so, you could make your house an attractive option to buyers.

Clean each room of your house. Also, eliminate clutter so you can show off the full size of your house.

In addition, mow the lawn and perform other home exterior updates. If you boost your house's curb appeal, you may be able to differentiate your residence from the competition – something that could result in a quick, profitable home selling experience.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent understands what it takes to develop a house selling strategy. Thus, he or she can help you craft a home selling strategy and put this plan into action in no time at all.

Typically, a real estate agent meets with a house seller and learns about this individual's property selling goals. A real estate agent next creates a plan designed to help a seller quickly achieve the optimal results.

A real estate agent offers plenty of guidance throughout the house selling journey too. Therefore, if you are unsure about how to showcase your residence to potential buyers, a real estate agent can deliver support. On the other hand, if you are uncertain about whether to accept or reject an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent can provide an honest, unbiased recommendation.

Use the aforementioned tips, and you can instantly create and implement a successful home selling strategy.





Posted by Cindy Gordon on 2/2/2020

Image by Lisa Fotios via Pexels

If you're like many busy homeowners, the foyer of your home is sometimes treated as an afterthought. It probably contains functional items such as a coat rack and a place to put shoes, but it may lack the aesthetics necessary to provide an inviting introduction to your home. Fortunately, strategies exist designed to make the most of any foyer. Here are five to help you get started.

Wall Art

Wall art personalizes a foyer and makes it seem part of the home rather than simply being a transition area between the outdoors and the home interior. Paintings are a good choice, especially if you're able to position them in a way that makes them a focal point of the foyer. However, paintings aren't the only option — a gorgeous fabric wall hanging or a creative piece of metal art designed to be displayed on a wall will also work.

Warm Lighting

While it's important to have good ambient overhead lighting in your foyer for the sake of optimal visibility, secondary lighting provides a warm accent that welcomes both household residents and guests in the home. An attractive lamp on a table is a nice touch, but if your foyer doesn't have the room, consider installing a couple of wall lights.

Greenery

Adding a plant or two brings life to any foyer. If you feel you don't have enough natural light in your foyer to coax anything green to grow, keep in mind that houseplants such as Peace Lilies and Snake Plants thrive in environments with very little light. If you're lucky enough to have a foyer with a skylight, take advantage of this by hanging some beautiful Boston ferns. Have pets? Be sure to check that your plant of choice isn't poisonous to them.

A Small Seating Area

A small seating area in the foyer can function as a private reading nook, a place to remove or put on outer footwear during times of inclement weather, or simply a place to sit and relax for a moment or two after coming home from a long day at work. Even the smallest foyers can usually accommodate a single chair and a pint-sized table.

Scent

Aromatic pine cones in a basket, a scented diffuser discreetly placed on a table, or a plug-in air freshener in a warm, welcoming scent such as vanilla, cinnamon, or lavender provide a pleasant accent for those just walking in the door. Scented candles are an especially nice touch in the foyer on evenings when you're expecting guests.

If you've recently decided to put your home on the market, creating a welcoming entryway is more important than ever. Please feel free to reach out at your earliest convenience for more information on making the most of your home environment.




Tags: Decor   home improvement  
Categories: Decor  


Posted by Cindy Gordon on 1/26/2020

A buyer's market can challenge even the most diligent home seller. Fortunately, we're here to help you stir up plenty of interest in your house, regardless of the current housing market's conditions.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get ready to sell your residence in a buyer's market.

1. Assess the Housing Market

You know a buyer's market favors homebuyers over home sellers, but you still have no idea how this market operates. Fortunately, if you allocate time and resources to learn about the local real estate sector, you'll be better equipped than ever before to maximize the value of your home.

Take a look at the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town. That way, you can see how long these homes are generally available before they sell. You also can examine the sold prices of these houses to better understand how you should price your residence.

Furthermore, you should assess the prices of available houses in your city or town that are similar to your own. This housing market data can help you establish a competitive price for your residence from day one.

2. Perform a Home Inspection

A home inspection commonly is performed after a seller accepts a buyer's offer on a house. However, if you perform an inspection before you add your residence to a buyer's market, you can take a proactive approach to address various home problems.

During a home inspection, a property expert will examine your residence and detail his or her findings. You then can use the home inspection results to prioritize home improvement projects and upgrade your residence. As a result, you can enhance your house and find ways to differentiate it from the competition.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Selling a home in a buyer's market is exceedingly difficult, especially for those who choose to work alone. Thankfully, real estate agents are available to guide you along the home selling journey and ensure you can achieve the optimal results.

By hiring a real estate agent, you can receive extensive assistance at each stage of the home selling journey, even in a buyer's market. First, a real estate agent will learn about you and your home, as well as your home selling goals. This housing market professional then will offer recommendations to help you enhance your home and ensure it stands out to potential buyers. Next, a real estate agent will list your residence and host open house events and home showings. And if a buyer submits an offer on your house, a real estate agent will help you review this proposal and make an informed decision.

When it comes to selling a home in a buyer's market, there is no need to worry. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can separate your residence from the competition and boost the likelihood of a profitable home sale.