Evelyn Doane - William Raveis Real Estate - Cape Cod



Posted by Evelyn Doane on 10/8/2017

A home showing represents a great opportunity for prospective homebuyers, as it enables homebuyers to get an up-close look at a residence and determine whether to make an offer on it. As such, it is important to prep for a home showing; otherwise, a homebuyer could miss out on a golden opportunity to find the right residence at the right time. So what should you look for during a home showing? Here are three factors that every homebuyer needs to consider: 1. A Home's Exterior Although the home you're visiting caught your eye as you drove past it in your car, you may notice problems when you take a closer look at the residence's exterior. For instance, cracks or chips in the driveway or along the front steps may need to be repaired and may impact the amount that you offer for a residence – or whether you decide to submit an offer at all. Of course, no home showing would be complete without checking out the condition of the house's siding and roof, either. If you're uncertain about the condition of these areas, be sure to ask the home seller's real estate agent for more information. By doing so, you can make a more informed decision about whether a particular residence is right for you. 2. A Home's Heating and Cooling System Ideally, you'll want a house that stays warm in winter and cool in summer. But in many cases, an old heating or cooling system may prevent a homeowner from maintaining comfortable temperatures inside a house at all times. Ask about the age of a heating and cooling system during a home showing. This will allow you to find out if this system will need to be replaced or repaired in the immediate future. Find out about the efficiency rating of a house's heating and cooling system as well. Remember, the higher a heating or cooling system's efficiency rating, the more this unit will be able to save a homeowner on his or her monthly energy costs. And if you find a home that boasts a high-efficiency heating and cooling system, you may be able to save money on your energy bills down the line. 3. A Home's Doors and Windows Do a home's doors and windows open freely? If not, they may be in need of serious repair, which ultimately could put a major dent in your wallet if you decide to purchase a particular residence. The costs to repair or replace defective doors and windows can add up quickly. Thus, you'll want to ensure that all of a house's doors and windows are in great condition before you purchase a residence, and you can learn more about their condition during a home showing. When it comes to finding the right house, you'll always want to consult with a reliable real estate agent, too. Your real estate agent is readily available to assist you in any way possible, and he or she will be able to help you discover a top-notch house that meets all of your needs. Spend some time getting ready for home showings, and you'll be prepared to find an excellent home that you can enjoy for years to come.





Posted by Evelyn Doane on 9/24/2017

If relocation and house hunting is in the foreseeable future for you and your family, making a list of requirements and preferences will help ensure that you're satisfied with your next home.

Checklists are available from a variety of sources, including real estate agents and The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

While it's nearly impossible to find an affordable property that's a short drive from everywhere and that meets all your requirements, creating a prioritized list will help you clarify your goals and help you get the real estate features that are the most important to you and your family. Having a well organized list of priorities will also make it easier and more practical for your real estate agent to locate properties for sale that are aligned with your needs and preferences.

While the ideal home should be comfortably close to jobs, schools, childcare, and supermarkets, there are other conveniences and necessities that are sometimes overlooked by home buyers. Here are a few additional items to consider:

  • Medical and dental offices: Although it's difficult find the ideal house that also happens to be located just a short drive from all your family's medical and dental care providers, it's a goal worth considering when evaluating different properties. Being close to a preferred hospital can also be a desirable feature -- especially if you expect to be looking for top-quality maternity care in the near future.
  • Houses of worship: If you and your family attend religious services several times a month, it would definitely make life easier to live a short distance from your favorite church, synagogue, or mosque.
  • Automotive services: When you need an oil change, state inspection, AC maintenance, or car repair, it's much more convenient to have it taken care of close to home.
  • Transportation: Whether this item ranks high or low on your priority list depends on how often you plan on traveling for work, business, vacations, college, or family visits. For some people, proximity to airports, train stations, bus depots, and major highways can be a major benefit.
  • Recreational facilities: For families with active lifestyles, being close to tennis courts, golf courses, fitness clubs, playgrounds, walking trails, and other recreation facilities would be considered a big "plus". For others... not so much.
  • Entertainment: Again, it depends on individual lifestyles, but some people enjoy going to the movies, restaurants, concerts, and the theater on a regular basis.
The value of creating a list of requirements and a "wish list" boils down to clarifying in your own mind the conveniences, services, and facilities that are most important to you and your family. It's also a more efficient method of communicating your hopes and needs to your real estate agent. His or her objective is to help you find the residential property in your target area that best satisfies the majority of your goals, desires, and dreams.





Posted by Evelyn Doane on 3/12/2017

Investing in a starter home is a great way to become a first time homeowner. Although starter homes generally don’t have as many amenities as more traditional homes,they give you the chance to learn what’s involved in owning a house. You’ll experience the house shopping as well as the closing and financing process firsthand without taking on too much debt.

Amenities you get with starter homes

With a starter home, you’ll also understand the types of repairs that are needed to maintain a house. Rather than guessing at how much you need to budget for house repairs and general maintenance, you’ll see those numbers firsthand. This gives you the knowledge to know if you truly are ready to take on a bigger house investment several years from now.

Amenities and features that generally are built into starter homes offer convenience. Modern starter homes are designed with open floor plans. You’ll have the option to choose hard wood or carpeted flooring. Vaulted ceilings can help your house appear larger. So too can kitchens that have long counters along one side of the kitchen.

Through homeowners associations, you can have someone else mow your lawn, shovel snow and cut away dead trees. You won’t have to clean the community pool or worry about calling to have your garbage removed. Fees that you pay your homeowners association will cover these services. Depending on where you buy your starter home, you may have to share a back yard with a neighbor.

Older homes as starter homes

Older homes that work well as starter homes are built with two to three bedrooms, an unattached garage, basement and a dining room. Bathrooms in these starter homes may be small. Additionally, older starter homes can yield costs savings upfront but require a larger maintenance investment.

Think about your personal needs and wants before you buy a starter home. Avoid buying a starter home because a lender tells you that a down payment is not needed. This step will get you a higher monthly mortgage. Approach buying a starter home similar to how you start out in secondary school before heading straight to college.

Look at the investment as a learning opportunity. You can get the skills to negotiate a great deal on an upscale house down the road. You can also learn what to look for in a neighborhood and community without signing a pricey mortgage.

As a new home buyer, it may make sense to begin with a starter home. If you fall in love with the house, you can invest in upgrades and renovations when your budget allows. Choose a starter home that’s centrally located and you could take shorten your commute to work or even take public transportation. Starter homes are also located near major shopping, business and entertainment hubs. It’s a reason why starter homes are a great way to transition from apartment living to home ownership.




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Posted by Evelyn Doane on 11/6/2016

Finding a home can be intimidating, particularly for first-time homebuyers. As such, you'll want to conduct an extensive search, do plenty of research along the way and ensure any residence you check out meets all of your needs. Ultimately, you'll want to make an informed home purchase. And in order to do so, here are three factors that you'll want to consider: 1. The Current Real Estate Market Do you know the difference between a buyer's market and a seller's one? If not, you may be in trouble, especially if you hope to find a bargain on the real estate market. Real estate prices may fluctuate depending on a variety of factors, including the national economy and supply and demand for houses in a particular area. Thus, you'll want to be thorough and learn as much as possible about the real estate market in your area. Examining the prices of houses in a particular area is valuable, as this will enable you to see what previous homebuyers paid for residences over the past few months. Also, you should meet with a real estate agent who will be able to provide you with extensive housing market data that can help you make the best decision. 2. Your Budget Let's face it – a starter home may be one of several residences you own in your lifetime. As a result, it should serve as a viable residence that you can enjoy for at least a few years, then allow you to move on to a bigger and better house. When it comes to searching the real estate market for a starter home, you'll want to take a close look at your budget. By doing so, you'll be able to determine the maximum amount that you can afford for a starter residence and explore homes within a set price range. To establish a budget, you should consult with a lender and try to get pre-approved for a mortgage. That way, you'll know what you can afford, be able to improve your chances of purchasing a starter home that fits your budget and accelerate the process of finding a new place to live. 3. Your Must-Haves Although a starter home is commonly viewed as a short-term residence, there's no reason to settle for a subpar residence. Instead, you can make a list of must-haves and wants for your new home and explore the real estate market for a residence that fulfills your needs. Your must-haves are essentials, i.e. things like central air if you want to move to a warm-weather climate. On the other hand, wants may include things like a swimming pool and other non-essential features. Differentiate your must-haves from your wants by deciding exactly what you need from a starter home. Crafting a list of must-haves and wants will help you determine what is important to you and make it easier to search for residences that meet your homebuying criteria. Use the aforementioned tips to avoid the stress commonly associated with buying your first house, and you should have no trouble finding a great starter residence quickly and effortlessly.





Posted by Evelyn Doane on 5/15/2016

Ready to buy your dream home? You'll first need to develop an effective budget. Creating and maintaining a budget remains a tall task for even thrifty homebuyers. Fortunately, we're here to help you develop a budget that complements your paycheck and helps you achieve your homeownership aspirations quickly and effortlessly. Here are three tips you can use to budget for an upcoming home purchase:

  1. Know your credit score.
When was the last time you checked your credit score? Ultimately, this score may determine whether you're able to secure a loan with a great mortgage rate, so you'll want to check it regularly. You are eligible to receive a free credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Each report contains information that is used to calculate your credit score, and as such, you'll want to ensure all of your credit reports include accurate information. If you discover an error on any of your credit reports, you should contact the reporting credit bureau immediately. By doing so, you can dispute and fix credit report errors. In addition, you can monitor your credit score to gain a better handle on your finances. Remember, if you have outstanding credit card bills and other debt, you'll want to pay this down as much as possible. This will allow you to bolster your credit score and improve your chances of securing your dream home.
  1. Establish savings goals.
Saving for a new home requires hard work and patience. However, you can establish small, realistic savings goals to work toward buying a new house. For example, do you really need to buy a cup of coffee every morning from an upscale cafe? Or do you need the latest and greatest high-end fashion accessories to spice up your wardrobe? Simple sacrifices can go a long way and may help you accelerate your journey from homebuyer to homeowner. There are many simple ways to save money over an extended period of time. And if you create a budget and try to stick to it consistently, you can move closer to acquiring your dream home.
  1. Become an expert homebuyer.
Buying a home represents a life-changing decision. Thankfully, many great resources are available to help you find the best value for your budget. Meeting with a lender enables you to map out your budget and plan accordingly. This lender can offer expert insights and ensure you can find the best mortgage rate for your upcoming purchase. Also, friends and family members who recently have purchased homes may be able to provide valuable insights into the homebuyer journey, particularly for those who are planning to purchase a home for the first time. When in doubt, it never hurts to receive expert homebuyer advice. And with assistance from lenders and past homebuyers, you should be able to discover the best way to budget for your new home. Devote the necessary time and resources to become an expert homebuyer – you'll be glad you did! As a result, you should be able to obtain your dream home without delay.