Evelyn Doane - William Raveis Real Estate - Cape Cod



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.





Posted by Evelyn Doane on 4/24/2016

If you are looking to buy a home you may be wondering how you will be able to come up with the down payment. One way that many buyers come up with down payment money is from gifts.  If you are planning on using gift money to help buy a home there are some guidelines you will need to follow. Here are some simple rules: 1. Get a Gift Letter If you are getting gift money to help you buy a house you will need a gift letter. The letter has a few requirements:

  • Have the letter hand-signed by you and the gift-giver
  • State the relationship between the buyer and the gift-giver.
  • State the amount of the gift.
  • State the address of the home being purchased.
  • A statement that the money is a gift and not a loan that must be paid back.
  • A statement that says: “Will wire the gift directly to escrow at time of closing.”
2. Document a paper trail Mortgage underwriters want proof of where the money came from and where it went. Get copies of transactions showing the withdrawals and deposits. You will also need to make sure that the transaction is for the exact amount of the gift. Following these simple guidelines will get you to the closing table hassle free.    





Posted by Evelyn Doane on 3/13/2016

Buying a new home is a significant investment and it's best to get it right the first time. To achieve this, it is important that you take into consideration lots of important factors before signing on the dotted line. Many people, in a state of euphoria and excitement hurry into making  decisions that they later regret. There are many important elements involved in purchasing a home that need serious consideration to avoid long term remorse.  Here are some important factors to consider when you are looking to purchase a home. The Condition Of The home The condition of the home you are buying is very important as it should be a true reflection of the purchase price. Here are a few specific issues you must keep an eye open for.

  • Start in the kitchen, make sure all appliances are functioning. Make sure the integrity of the kitchen cabinets are intact. Turn on the tap and leave it running for a few minutes to make sure there are no problems with the drainage system.
  • What is the capacity of the hot water system? Is it sufficient for the needs of the entire family? Check for leaks, rust and aging indicators. Be careful with this as repairing a hot water system is quite expensive.
  • Examine the walls carefully, were they recently painted? If so, do not be deceived, a fresh coat of paint could be masking existing cracks in the walls resulting in an investment of thousands of dollars to repair.
  • Tap the walls to perform a preliminary termite infestation check. You may need the services of a professional to do this for you.
Financial Requirements After certifying that all is well with the home, you can then proceed to negotiations. Although this requires some skills, here are a few tips.
  • There is no harm in negotiating as much as possible, push as far as you can. Some individuals hire a negotiator for this, as cool as this may seem, it may not be the best idea as you are the only one who can effectively communicate your needs. It is recommended you do the negotiation yourself. You will be amazed at how much you can save.
  • Make sure you are familiar with the entire terms and conditions. What is the down payment? What is the payment plan? Are you comfortable with it, what is the interest rate? You must be familiar with all these factors before signing on the dotted line.
The History Of The House
  • It would be nice if you had a little insight into the history of the building. How do you go about this? Ask the neighbors, do your due diligence. Inquire about previous owners, ask about recent renovations, get a feel for the vibe in the neighborhood.  Get as much information as possible, in short learn the story of the house before making it your home.
In summary, there is a lot of joy and sense of fulfillment that is associated with buying a new home. In order to make this joy last, you have to get it right the first time, taking the aforementioned into consideration would help you achieve this.