Tag Archive for 'buying a home'

What to Expect at Closing

HR.Donna_3144CroppedIn order to take the mystery out of the closing for first time home buyers, here are some basics on the process:

  • You do a walk-through the day before or morning of the closing to ensure the house is in the same general condition as when the offer was made and things are left that were supposed to be there (e.g. appliances).
  • Your lender hires a closing agent to create a statement outlining the loan amount, loan costs, recording fees, title insurance premiums, escrows for insurance & taxes, state transfer tax, tax prorations, and the deposit.  This shows how much money you bring to close.
  • You are charged for any oil/propane/cordwood left.  This may be put on the closing statement or paid by personal check to sellers at closing.
  • Be prepared to sign lots of paperwork at the actual closing!  The money you bring to closing should be on a bank check or previously wired to the closing agent.

Your agent will help you through this process, but knowing what to expect can alleviate many concerns.  Give me a call if you want an experienced REALTOR® helping you!  603-526-4116, Donna@DonnaForest.com, www.DonnaForest.com

Real estate markets are local, and we have the real scoop on ours.  Coldwell Banker Milestone Real Estate

Real Estate Buyer Etiquette

HR.Donna_3144CroppedThere are certain unwritten rules of etiquette buyers should follow when they are out looking at homes.  Most are common sense and just plain ole being courteous!  Below are some tips for being a courteous buyer.

  • Take shoes off.  Mud, snow, rain – you may be out looking in all types of weather so don’t tramp through a house with your wet/dirty shoes on.  Take them off and go in your socks or bring clean shoes to wear.  Extra tip – check your socks for holes before heading out!
  • Control your kids.  They shouldn’t play with the toys they found or run unattended through the home.
  • Be on time.  When showings are set up, the seller leaves the house, a listing agent meets you there along with your buyer’s agent.  Being late impacts many people, not to mention it may  put the whole showing schedule behind.  Unavoidably detained?  Then call your agent for a heads up.
  • Don’t spend an hour viewing a home you already decided you dislike.  It’s okay to do a quick look and say it’s not to your liking.

If you are looking for a buyer’s agent to help navigate successful home buying, then contact me and follow me on Facebook!  603-526-4116; Donna@DonnaForest.com; www.DonnaForest.com

You’ll be moving in the right direction with Coldwell Banker Milestone Real Estate.

Reflecting on the 2015 Local Real Estate Market

HR.Donna_3144CroppedAs 2015 comes to an end, I started reflecting on the year and what I’ve observed. I thought it might be helpful for buyers and sellers if I shared a few thoughts. In no particular order, here are my words of wisdom!

  • Most buyers don’t want a project. They don’t have the inclination to fix up a house. Sellers need to repair/ update their homes in order to sell.
  • Sellers should disclose everything; good and bad. Not disclosing will end up costing you.
  • Location, location still holds true. Today’s buyers want to be near amenities and closer to town. Rural areas hold less appeal; targeting about 11% of the buyers.
  • Antique homes take longer to sell – only about 8% of the buyers are looking for one.
  • If you wait to find the “perfect” home to buy, you will never find a home.
  • Home prices have risen since 2013. You will end up paying more for a house the longer you wait to buy.

And lastly, it still is a good time to purchase a home. Low pricing, historically low rates, and good inventory combine to make perfect buying conditions. Thinking of buying or selling? Give me a call!  Donna Forest 603-526-4116, www.donnaforest.com, donna@donnaforest.com

You’ll be moving in the right direction with Coldwell Banker Milestone Real Estate.

Looking to Close Your Home Quickly? New Time Clock for Closings

HR.Donna_3144CroppedA new rule from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau went into effect Oct. 3 requiring lenders to give consumers more time to review their loan documents. Mortgagors must give borrowers the terms of their loan and final charges & fees at least 3 days before the closing (7 days if sent by mail). It is designed to protect you from surprises at the closing table. Sounds pretty simple, right? Well the reality is, it is a massive change in the way lenders do business from new forms to new timetables. The 3 day period is mandatory and this waiting period can start over again if one of 3 changes occur: 1) The annual percentage rate increased more than 1/8th; 2) The loan product changes like switching from a fixed rate to an adjustable; or 3) A pre-payment penalty is added. Other alterations don’t require a new 3-day review like revisions to taxes, utility prorations, etc.

Until lenders have some time under their belt in dealing with these new regulations, buyers & sellers need to be prepared. 60 day closings may be the normal, last minute changes most likely will not be authorized, required paperwork will need to be completed earlier, and buyers & sellers should have a backup plan in the event something triggers a new 3-7 day waiting period and you can’t close as scheduled. Contact me if you are looking to work with a knowledgeable REALTOR® who can help you successfully navigate the buying or selling process!  Donna Forest, Broker Associate, 603-526-4116, www.DonnaForest.com, donna@donnaforest.com.

Known for service, trusted for results – Coldwell Banker Milestone Real Estate.

New People in Town?

Take a walk around New London and you’re apt to see the “Pumpkin People” sprouting up all over the town!  We’re all having a little fun and friendly competition.  The Town’s Rec. Department will be judging the new pumpkins in town on October 25.  The contest is open to all residents, businesses and organizations.  Click here for more information.  Have fun making your people!  Meet our new family – another satisfied buyer who bought from “The Best Team in Town”!

Pumpkin people 2015Teamwork from the Team that works – Coldwell Banker Milestone Real Estate.

Waiting to Buy Could Cost You

HR.Donna_3144CroppedIf you’ve been on the fence about buying your first house or moving up to a larger one, waiting until next year may ultimately mean more money out of your pocket. Why? Not only are home prices rising, the interest rate you pay on a mortgage is also expected to increase. The higher the rate, the greater the payment will be.  Let’s look at an example of how this impacts a mortgage payment. Say you found your dream home today and are getting a loan for $250,000. Current mortgage rates are around 4% so the monthly payment is $1194 (principal and interest only). By this time next year, rates are projected to increase to around 5% and home prices are also expected to increase about 4.3%.   To buy that same house, you now are getting a loan for $260,750 and the monthly payment is $1400. The difference in payment is $206 more a month! Over the course of a year, that is $2472. Hmm, I’m sure you could think of plenty of things to do with that kind of extra money! Bottom line, if you seriously want to buy, waiting until next year does not make sense. Contact me if you want to take advantage of today’s rates and pricing to find your new home.  www.donnaforest.com, donna@donnaforest.com, 603-526-4116.

Real estate markets are local, and we have the real scoop on ours. Coldwell Banker Milestone Real Estate

New Listing – Stately Colonial in New London, NH

Meticulously maintained, stately colonial with many period details, terrific curb appeal and wonderful, easy living.  Recently renovated master bedroom suite that exudes comfort and relaxation, two additional bedrooms, inviting living room with fireplace and a large upholstered window seat facing rock walls and established gardens.  Dining room with pellet stove inserted into fireplace, built-in china cabinet and access to a screened porch.  Den, office and many delightful features make this a one of a kind offering.  Sit on the screened porch and listen to the loons fly overhead from Otter Pond to Lake Sunapee.  Relax, you’re home!  Offered at $585,000.  For more photos and details, visit www.NHEasyCountryLiving.com.

Brennan-ExteriorBestEmily Campbell, Listing Agent, 603-526-4116

You’ll be moving in the right direction with Coldwell Banker Milestone Real Estate.

New Listing – Spectacular Setting on 55+ Acres in Wilmot, NH

Lovely, custom contemporary cape surrounded by 125 acres of conservation area, sit on its own private 55 acres overlooking a marsh and year-round Kimpton Brook, abounding with all forms of wildlife.  Soaring open spaces, 3 bedrooms, 4 baths and central air.Detached, oversized, heated garage/office/workshop, perfect for a home business.  Enjoy your own nature retreat!  Offered at $500,000.  For more photos and details, visit www.NHPrivacyandViews.com

2015-05-13 11.58.31Anne Marie Appel, Listing Agent, 603-526-4116

“Word of Mouth” is the best advertisement, and we love it when you refer your friends and family to Coldwell Banker Milestone Real Estate.

6 tips for Winning a Bidding War

Donna and Maxi 044Lately, I’ve been surprised to see our market area starting to experience multiple offer situations.  While not an every day event, it certainly pays for buyers to be prepared should they find themselves in a bidding war.  Here are some tips to help put your offer in the best position.

1.  Keep contingencies to a minimum.  Decide what inspections you can live without and don’t add in extra clauses.

2.  Find out the seller’s ideal closing date and use it for your closing date.

3.  Keep all contractual due dates in as short of time frame as possible.

4.  Be prepared to offer over the asking price.  With multiple offers, money talks and usually the higher price wins.

5.  Cash offers beat offers with loan conditions.  (Unless the offered price is significantly higher than the cash offer.)  Present a pre-approval letter with your offer if it is based on obtaining a loan.

6.  Even though you may be getting financing, you can write the offer as a cash sale with no loan contingency.  You must be confident you will get the loan with no issues.

Bidding wars are emotionally tough as someone always loses out.  Give your best and final offer so you have no regrets if you don’t get the home.  Contact me if you want to work with a buyer’s agent to help you navigate the challenges of buying a home.  603-526-4116, donna@donnaforest.com, www.donnaforest.com

Real estate markets are local, and we have the real scoop on ours. Coldwell Banker Milestone Real Estate

Dealing with a Low Appraisal

Donna and Maxi 044Despite the growing evidence the real estate market is on the upswing, within one week I heard about two sales in our office coming in with low appraisals.  Any time a lender is used in the purchase, it involves an appraisal.  The appraisal is how the lender ensures the size of the loan doesn’t exceed the value of the house used for collateral.  Before throwing in the towel, here are some moves that may keep the sale alive.

  • Buyer requests a review of the appraisal or a second appraisal.  This is a long shot as the lender will need a compelling reason to doubt the appraisal.  It’s worth combing through the appraisal for any missing information on upgrades, updated systems, added rooms, etc.  Make sure the comps used match the property.
  • Seller and buyer split the difference – buyer adds cash and seller reduces the price.
  • Buyer makes up the difference if they have enough cash on hand.
  • Seller reduces the purchase price to meet the appraised value.

It’s a difficult and trying time.  Assess the facts, leave emotions aside and listen to your agent’s advice.  Contact me if you want to work with a REALTOR® who knows how to problem solve your way to success.  603-526-4116, donna@donnaforest.com, www.donnaforest.com