Evelyn Doane - William Raveis Real Estate - Cape Cod



Posted by Evelyn Doane on 7/22/2018

From the time an offer is made on a property, and the deal is done, you may face quite a few challenges. Whether youíre buying or selling a home, the process can be dizzying. There are a lot of things that go on from the time an offer is accepted, and the closing table is reached. The entire process of home buying and selling is designed with built-in protections to help both buyers and sellers avoid feeling a lot of regrets. Below, youíll find some familiar situations in the buying and selling process, and whatís available to help you avoid disappointment.


Once An Offer Is Accepted, Is It Binding? 


If you were overzealous to accept an offer on the home youíre selling and wish you had looked at others before making a decision, youíre not out of luck. Once youíre under contract, youíre obligated to sell to a buyer. The reason you may want to look at other offers is that it doesnít hurt to have a ďbackupĒ buyer. If something falls through with the first buyer, the second buyer in line becomes automatically under contract. While you may not necessarily sell for more, in this case, thereís a sure way available to help you sell your home fast. 


The Buyer Doesnít Have The Financing They Thought They Did


If a buyerís financial backing falls through or if the buyer is unable to get financing by the closing date, as a seller, you can walk away. Any financial changes to the contract that would impact you as a seller including a change in the type of loan, downpayment amount, or any variation from the contract terms allow the seller to end the contract unscathed. 


Something Wasnít Disclosed About The Property


Not everything is required to be disclosed by a seller. It all depends upon the rules within the state where you are buying. Understand whatís required to be revealed. If you feel uncomfortable with something, you can inquire about it, or add a contingency to have the problem addressed. Things like a death on the property can't be changed, for example. Your state may not even require that these events be disclosed.


The Home Inspection Raised Some Concerns 


If the home inspection reveals some issues that the seller isnít willing to fix, you have the right as a buyer to walk away. In many cases, these problems would be things like wiring or plumbing issues. 


The Property Appraised For Less Than The Offer


If the property appraises for less than what you offered for the home, you may feel quite upset as a buyer. Donít worry! There are a few things that you can do. Lenders wonít give you more than what the property appraises for. You can, however, bring more of your own cash to the closing table. You can also wait for the seller to adjust the asking price, or withdraw your offer altogether. The problem with the last solution is that you may lose any earnest money deposits      






Posted by Evelyn Doane on 7/15/2018

If a seller is motivated and your offer is the only one that comes in on a home for sale, you may have an easy time getting the home of your dreams. If there are multiple offers on a property, itís a different story. 


If thereís competition, itís simple math that your odds in favor of you getting the home are reduced. You need something that will grab the sellerís attention. Writing an offer letter can be just what you need to sway the decision in your direction. Even if your offer is less than what other people have put on the table, an offer letter is a perfect way to get the attention of the seller.


What To Include


You may wonder what you should include in an offer letter. Youíre charming the sellers in a way, but also giving them an opportunity to get to know you. If someone has lived in a home that they have loved for a long time, theyíll be happier knowing the next occupants will be just as happy living on the property.


What Do You Like About The Property?


You should include a lot of positive things involving the property and your ability to care for and maintain it. Tell the seller about the features you most love about the house. You should let the seller know that they hard work they have done over the years has paid off and you appreciate it. Do you like the skylights? Does a remodeled kitchen get your attention? Is the deck a great feature for you to entertain on? Let the seller know any and everything that enticed you to put an offer on the property in the first place. 


Share Some Of Your Life


You donít have to get overly personal or mushy, but you should include a bit about yourself and why you chose this property among the many you have seen. Maybe you grew up in the neighborhood. Maybe the home is perfect for your expanding family. Whatever the reason is for you to want this particular house you need to let the seller know. 


In addition to personal details, you can include a pre-qualification letter, demonstrating your ability to afford the home. This helps sellers to feel comfortable with your financial background and continued upkeep of the property.  



What Not To Include


While your plans for a property may be grandiose in your mind, donít tell a seller what you plan to do with the proeprty in your offer letter. Itís nice that you want to update the kitchen, or re-do the bathrooms. Itís an insult of sorts to the seller so just omit these items. Keep your offer letter positive and brief and you may be well on your way to securing the property of your dreams.       




Tags: offer letter  


Posted by Evelyn Doane on 7/8/2018

With rent prices shooting soaring across the country, many young Americans who were previously happy renting while they saved for a home are now turning to other options.

One common solution is a starter home. If you want to keep your monthly mortgage prices low while being able to build equity and slowly save for your ďforever home.Ē a starter home can be a great option for first-time buyers.

When does it make sense to buy a starter home?

Buying a home means mortgage payments, home maintenance and repairs, and closing costs. However, they can also be a great introduction to the responsibilities of homeownership.

Better yet, starter homes allow you to build equity that can be used toward the down payment of your next home, something that first-time buyers often struggle with. This could help you secure a lower interest rate and avoid costly private mortgage insurance (PMI).

Sounds great, right? But when shouldnít you buy a starter home?

It might not make sense to buy a starter home if you donít plan on living in it at least 3-4 years. You might find that the cost of renting is less than that of your mortgage payments and closing costs if you donít live in the home long enough to reap the rewards.

It also might not be a good idea if your family is going to outgrow a small home in the next few years for the same reasons mentioned above. That makes it all the more important to discuss your long term plans with your spouse before considering a home.

Things to look for in a starter home

1. Resale value

One of the most important aspects of your starter home should be the ability to resell it in the future. Now, there is an endless number of factors that go into the marketability of a home. Key factors include the condition of the home and keeping it well-maintained, as well as the location of the home. Buying a starter home in an area that will attract young professionals down the road is typically a good investment.

2. Small size = low price

It probably goes without saying, but finding a home with a low price, at the expense of square-footage, is most often a smart choice when it comes to starter homes.

Small homes are cheaper to buy, cheaper to heat, and cheaper to maintain. However, since housing prices are trending upward, youíll likely still see a positive return on your investment in ~5 years time when youíre hoping to buy again.

3. Reasonable home improvements

If you can spare the time, buying a starter home that needs some work can be an excellent investment. It can be more difficult later on when you have a large family to care for and less time to focus on making improvements.




Tags: first home   starter home  
Categories: starter home   first home  


Posted by Evelyn Doane on 7/1/2018

For the most part, itís safe to say we all know to come prepared when buying an older home. But did you know that the buying process of a new construction home comes with its own quirks? The customization and relationship with the builder through the process makes for a unique experience when buying a new construction home.

Hereís what you need to know:

Some developments have site registration policies. This means that they require you to come with your agent for at least the first couple visits. Donít be caught off guard. When planning your viewings be prepared to work with your agent's schedule as well as your own.

Instead of asking to lower the cost ask when negotiating ask the builder to pay closing costs or to include upgrades. Youíll have an easier time getting a yes to these requests as builders donít like to lower costs and gain a reputation for doing so in the process.

New construction homes arenít a final product when purchasing. Because of this, itís critical to get details on paper to protect yourself during the buying process. Details to include are how the home will be finished, any and all timelines, and what will happen if, for whatever reason, the home is not finished in time. Get all of this in writing to create a binding contract.

Ask questions! When touring the model house be sure to ask what comes standard and what is an upgrade. Get costs of upgrades that catch your eye so that you can plan your budget. When planning this budget you will also want to leave wiggle room as this will be a quote and not final cost. Your agent can help you create a list of common features that are standard and/or upgradable as well as ballpark costs.

Budget Tip: When deciding on upgrades know which are easier to have done during construction. Prioritize those over those that can easily be done after. Think upgrades that include wiring or getting into walls and ceiling for whatever reason.

New construction homes often come with a warranty. Itís important to know what this covers and what it doesnít. Understand your cancellation rights and hire a real estate lawyer to review contracts and any important documents.  

Research the builder and if possible talk to other residents in the neighborhood. Ask them about their experience both during the buying process and living in the development afterward.

One thing that often catches home buyers off guard is when the builder requires you to get pre-approved by their lender even if you use your own lender. This is to safeguard themselves by ensuring you pass their lenders requirements for a safe investment. Itís also important to keep in mind that you may even get better rates and fees from the builder's lender.





Posted by Evelyn Doane on 6/24/2018

When you stop and think about all the details you have to take care of as a homeowner, it sometimes feels like you're running a business! That's especially true if have to coordinate everything from family doctor appointments to home remodeling projects.

Many people get so caught up in their daily routines and responsibilities that they lose sight of all the things they actually can handle, do overcome, and can accomplish!

No matter how organized and motivated you are, though, problems, oversights, and blunders do occasionally happen. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to minimize the chances of making mistakes or forgetting something important.

Don't depend on your memory. Writing and revising lists of daily priorities, appointments, and reminders can be a valuable strategy for organizing your day. Mobile devices also have scheduling capabilities, note taking apps, and calendar features that can help you stay on track. When you commit a priority to writing or set up a reminder on your cell phone or tablet, you're increasing the probability that you'll remember appointments, fulfill obligations, and keep household projects moving forward.

Start with small steps: One challenge many people struggle with is motivating themselves to tackle an important project around the house. For example, let's say you desperately need to paint a room, straighten out a closet, or organize your filing system. Whether you're "too busy to turn around" or just plain unmotivated, it can be difficult to get started on a home improvement or organization project!

While you may have a few pet theories on why you can't seem to get started on a project, it might boil down to Newton's Laws of Motion. Back in the 17th century, physicist Isaac Newton stated that a stationary object (one that's not moving) tends to stay out of motion -- unless it's acted on by an outside force! Granted, he may not have been talking specifically about human beings, but the same principle seems to apply. Whether you're trying to get out of a warm, comfortable bed in the morning or take advantage of your new gym membership, it's often difficult to nudge yourself into action when you're in a state of rest. It's a problem we all have at one time or another.

The solution is to start small and build momentum as you go. Taking small steps at first, such as buying the supplies you need for a home improvement project, can often provide the extra push you need to get started. Telling a friend or family member that you're going to accomplish something this weekend can also help propel you forward.

If you need help in remembering things, consider buying a couple notebooks for writing daily lists. If you view yourself as a "technophobe," make it your mission to learn how to use the calendar app on your phone or tablet.

In addition to old-fashioned schedule reminders like wall calendars, appointment books, and desk calendars, you can even send yourself reminders via email or enlist the help of friends, family, or colleagues to remember appointments and priorities.

However, regardless of how many memory devices you use to organize your schedule or tackle household projects, keep in mind the motto of U.S. President Harry S. Truman: "The buck stops here!"