Forget everything you've heard about buying a home in the last two years. The housing market in 2023 is going to be an entirely different affair. Some experts are predicting a more balanced market. But that won't necessarily make homeownership more affordable as interest rates are on the rise.
So, what's a savvy first-time buyer to do? Here are some tips from our real estate agents that will help you bring your homeownership goals to fruition.
Find the right home for you this year around the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Contact us to learn how we can help you navigate the 2023 real estate market.
Moving is stressful in its own right, but when you add holidays to the mix, your anxiety can skyrocket. Unfortunately, sometimes you have no choice. While we may not be able to resolve all of your moving issues, our real estate agents have a few tips to make the process a little easier.
If you're relocating and haven't yet found the perfect house, contact us. Our real estate professionals will be happy to help you find it and will probably have plenty of other tips to make the move as smooth as possible.
The thought of buying your first home is exciting. However, before picking out curtains and decorations, you must consider whether it's the right investment for your future. Our real estate agents suggest you consider the five following considerations before your heart settles on any first home.
Cost of Ownership
Is the home affordable? This is the first and most important question any homebuyer should ask about Berlin homes for sale. Calculating the cost of ownership goes beyond the mortgage, taxes, and down payment. You must factor in all the costs of owning the home, including the cost of renovating the home, homeowners insurance, utility bills, HOA fees, and maintenance. Generally, you never want to spend more than 30% on monthly housing expenses. The lower your ratio, the more comfortable you will be, and the easier it will be for you to maintain the property.
The Condition of the Property
Many homes are in exceptional condition, but some may need some improvements. Always have a home inspected by an insured home inspector. It is imperative to confirm that the foundation, roof, plumbing, and electrical systems are in good condition and don't require extensive repairs or replacement.
Before you settle on a neighborhood, consider how close you'll be to the places you visit on a regular basis. Is it close enough to work, school, and stores? Decide how far you're willing to drive to reach these destinations. You'll also want to research long-term property values in the neighborhood you're considering. A home is typically the biggest purchase you'll make, and you want to ensure you make the right choice financially.
Longevity and Lifestyle
Is the home a property you will grow into and out of, or is it somewhere you can see yourself spending the next 30 years? Many homes are built in neighborhoods where neighbors become like family. Similarly, many homes can be remodeled and renovated to fit your needs as they evolve. Considering these aspects can help you determine whether a property is the right fit for your long-term plans.
How Big is the Home
Always factor in the size of the home and your expected needs over the next five to 10 years. Smaller homes are less costly and easier to maintain, they are a great way to save money each month and be used to purchase a larger home when the time comes.
We'd love to help you find the ideal first home for your needs. We encourage you to contact us to learn more about the homes currently on the market and the real estate trends we see emerging in the region.
Our real estate agents know it's easy to get excited about North Conway homes for sale. As a prospective buyer, however, you should always be careful to take the right steps to protect your interests. One of the most important of these is to hire a home inspector before you go forward on a transaction.
A home inspection job is simple: Document the property's condition from top to bottom and make you aware of any potential issues. A home inspection report is exhaustive, often holding dozens of pages, covering every element of every room (and often, the exterior spaces).
The main issues a home inspector looks for are those that can lead to a large repair bill in the future. If a home inspector finds problems, this can lead to negotiating leverage for potential buyers.
Most conventional home lenders require you to have a home inspection before they come through with funding. Even if you are planning to pay in cash, however, a home inspection is essential. It helps prevent surprises that can complicate homeownership in the future.
Choosing a reputable home inspector who will provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision is vital. As the buyer, you usually pay 100% for the home inspection and often have a time limit. Even if time is tight, compare your options before you decide.
Here are some key questions to ask:
Contact us to find out more about White Mountains real estate today.
When closing day is right around the corner, it's natural to wonder what to expect. While each closing is a little different than the last, some things are universal to each one. Our real estate agents will help guide you through the process and ensure you're prepared when the "big day" arrives.
After months of pouring through listings for Berlin homes for sale, you finally found the right home. What next? While you may assume it's as simple as handing over a check and taking the keys, a few more steps are involved in closing before you can take possession of your new home (or conclude the sale of your home.)
Once a date and location are agreed upon, sellers and buyers have work to do beforehand. In most cases, the location will be the attorney's office, agent's office, or escrow agent's office. Before closing, sellers must complete any agreed-upon repairs and construction works. Or, in lieu of this, provide confirmation via a contract that the work to be done is scheduled at an agreed-upon date and standard (i.e., scope, materials, contractor selection, etc.)
Sellers will also need to make the home available for a home inspection, and just 24 hours before closing, make the home available for the buyer and their agent to conduct a final walk-through.
Buyers and sellers should bring government-issued photo IDs with them. Passports and driver's licenses are sufficient. Both buyers and sellers have to sign a bevy of documents and forms. Crucially, the buyer will make an earnest money deposit into the escrow account and confirm they have the homeowners insurance and other documents required for the underwriting.
When everything goes to plan, the seller will transfer the deed to the buyer, and the buyer will transfer funds from their financial institution to the seller. Both parties will confirm that the title is free and clear of liens or encumbrances. And your agent, the escrow agent, attorney, and lender will answer any questions either party may have about the sale.
Once the money is transferred, the home is officially sold, the buyers can move in, and sellers can move on. From start to finish, the closing process can take anywhere from two weeks to two months, depending on the sale and any conditions attached to it.
Before closing, sellers should remove their possessions from the property and clean the home so it's tidy when the new owners arrive. It doesn't have to be spotless, but it is a nice gesture.
Sellers will also want to put in a change of address form with the post office and notify creditors, banks, and family/friends of the new address. Sellers should also set aside all the warranties and manuals for appliances, fixtures, HVAC systems, etc. Most homeowners do this by leaving these in a clearly marked bag in the kitchen.
Sellers should also "shut down" the home. This means turning off water valves, adjusting thermostats so the house isn't too hot/cold, and ensuring that all doors, windows, etc., are tight and locked.
We know you have many questions about the closing process, and we're happy to help guide you through the steps and stages. We encourage you to contact us to learn more about the many ways our real estate team can help you find the home of your dreams.