Kathy Foran - REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West



Posted by Kathy Foran on 1/18/2015

Housing prices are low, rates are low but how can you buy a house when your funds are also low?  How can you save money for a house while prices and rates are still good? Saving for a home can be different than just saving because you have save such a large amount of money and you don't know exactly how much you'll need.  Here are some strategies on how to save up: 1. Start with small goals. Try saving for closing costs or another smaller amount and then add another goal. Break the down payment into 3%, 5%, 10%, and 20% levels, to help make the savings goal more achievable. 2. Try saving a specific amount of money every month. Instead of saying I want to save $6,000 a year it is easier to say I will save $500 a month. Smaller, more achievable milestones are always good motivators to savings. 3. Ask for help. If people ask what to give you a gift for your wedding, birthday etc. ask them to contribute to your home savings plan. Online sites like SmartyPig make it easy to get other people involved in your savings goals. 4. Create a visual goal graphic. Create a vision board or some kind of graphic that represents what you are saving for. It always helps to see what you are saving for and have a constant reminder. Hopefully, you'll be on your way to a new home in no time.





Posted by Kathy Foran on 12/21/2014

Before you sign the papers to purchase your home, you will want to get one important thing done: a home inspection. This essential task will not only give you insight into the potential problems a home has, it was also give you the ability to renegotiate based on what is found. Knowing what to expect is the first step. A home inspection should include the condition of the roof, attic, walls, ceilings floors, windows and doors, the heating and cooling system, plumbing and electrical systems, the foundation and basement. All these areas of inspection as done only if accessible. For example: if the roof is covered with snow, an inspector will look at what they can, but the snow may obstruct the view. The cost of an inspection can vary depending on your location. Getting a variety of prices from different licensed inspectors can help you find the best deal in the area. While the cost may make you want to skip out on an inspection (with all the money you are spending to by the house, one more cost can feel enormous), not getting one can really hurt your wallet later on. Major structural issues, leaks, and toxins can cost big bucks to fix. A multi page detailed report will be created based on the inspection, including recommendations. This should be reviewed carefully to estimate the amount of work that will be involved in maintaining and/or fixing the house. While that roof the report mentioned isn't leaking today, if the inspector mentioned that it may need to be replaced soon, figure it will. Then of course, there are more immediate areas that may need attention, that you will have to plan on addressing right away. Finally, if there are major issues with the house, you can negotiate this into your offer. All offers should be made contingent on the inspection, so that once the inspection is done, the offer can change. So if that roof is already starting to leak, you can bring down the offer price to be able to put money towards a new roof right away. No matter if you are buying a year old home, or one from 1950, a home inspection is a must when making an offer. Skipping the inspection will only increase the risk of damage to your finances down the road. Better safe than sorry!




Categories: Buying a Home  


Posted by Kathy Foran on 11/23/2014

Sometimes reading the description of a home for sale can be like trying to interpret a foreign language. Some of the information is pretty straightforward but often agents use acronyms or other abbreviations to describe a home and that can leave a potential buyer confused. Here are a few of some more common acronyms or abbreviations that you may see: A/C: Air conditioned                             ATT: Attached                                                                                                                                 BSMT: Basement                                                                                                                     C/Air: Central Air                                                                                                                     C/Vac: Central Vac                                                                                                                   CRNR: Corner                                                                                                                                       EIK: eat-in kitchen                                                                                                                             FROG: family room over the garage—extra space!                                                               HWF or HW: hardwood floors                                                                                                           LA: Living Area                                                                                                                                   MBR: Master Bedroom                                                                                                                     REF: Refrigerator                                                                                                                             SF or s/f: square feet or foot                                                                                                         SS: stainless steel (as in any kitchen appliance)                                                                       Vu: view(s)                                                                                                                                 WBFP: wood-burning fireplace                                                                                                 W/D: washer/dryer                                                                                                                     WIC: walk-in closet Can you think of any more acronyms?





Posted by Kathy Foran on 11/16/2014

When buying a home the last thing you do before you sign on the dotted line is go to the house and do a final walkthrough. This is different than the home inspection and done just prior to the final closing of the sale. The purpose of this walkthrough is to make sure the house will be delivered as agreed in your contract. You want to make sure the seller is leaving the house in working order and no problems with the house have occurred since the last time you where there. Here’s a quick checklist that will help you make the most of your final walkthrough: -Bring your purchase contract with you and verify that all items agreed to in the contract have been taken care of -Make sure the home and the exterior are free of personal belongings -The home and exterior should also be free of trash -Test all the appliances - Confirm all the light fixtures are working - Turn on ceiling fans as well as exhaust fans in the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry area. -Check to make sure that the garage door remotes are in working order - Go through the house and turn on every faucet and flush all the toilets - Run the garbage disposal and trash compactor - Open and close all the windows and doors to make sure they are opening and latching properly - Look for any damage on the ceilings, floors, and walls such as new scratches, cracks, or other issues - Finally, account for all keys to the property This is an important step to take and could save you lot of headaches. This allows you to be able to resolve any problems before you close on the house.





Posted by Kathy Foran on 11/9/2014

Is it a seller's market? A buyer's market? Depends on the day and which media outlet you happen to be listening to. One thing is sure the market is changing. Here are some ways to know what kind of market it is: These are the signs of a buyer's market High inventory or more than six months of inventory currently on the market. Sale prices are higher than active listing prices. Lower closed sale numbers. Declining median sales prices. Higher DOM or days on the market. Here are some signs of a seller's market Low inventory or less than six months of inventory currently on the market. Sale prices are lower than active listing prices. Higher closed sale numbers. Increasing median sales prices. Lower DOM or days on the market. These are signs of a balanced market Three to six months of inventory is currently on the market. Sale prices are similar to active listing prices. Stable sales numbers. Flat median sales prices. Days active on the market are approximately 30 to 45 days. If you want to know how to figure out the months of inventory there is a simple way to do that. Take the total number of active listings and the total number of sold or closed transactions on the market last month. Divide the number of total listings by the number of total sales, which results in the number of months of inventory remaining. Then you can determine what type of market it is.