Click the images to take a video tour!
Many people come to their Realtor with an attorney already on board. They figure the attorney is of no concern to their agent thinking that if they know the attorney or have dealt with them before, that lawyer is the best option. They may think a recommendation from a friend covers all the bases. Besides price, most people haven’t considered the critical factors below about the attorney they hire to successfully close their real estate transaction.
Here’s a Top 10 List of questions you should know the answer to before bringing your attorney on board-
Is there an attorney you are considering that you would like feedback about? Have you had a good or bad experience you would like to share? Is there something you would add to the list above? Your questions and comments are welcome below.
Ronald and Sara were a happy young couple ready to jump into home buying and get their first home together. When they called me, they knew what they wanted, a four-bedroom home with nice property and a pool in the million dollar range. There was a house, in particular, they had seen online that they were very excited to see right away. They thought this could be it, and they would be buying their first home.
I was excited for them too! I asked if they had spoken to a mortgage professional yet. They had not, so I gave them a few reputable contacts to reach out to and told them they should have a mortgage pre-approval before they started looking. They asked why, and I told them that the pre-approval serves three critical purposes, one, it confirms that they are eligible for a loan, two, it lets them know what their spending limit is and what the associated monthly payments will be, and three, it positions them as strong and qualified buyers when presenting an offer for the home they want to buy.
So they forged ahead, chose a lender, and sought their pre-approval. But they were soon shocked and disappointed to learn that they would not be eligible for a mortgage for at least another year.
Ronald and Sara were a power couple with great jobs and ample income. Sara had a Ph.D. and was the director of a graduate school. Ronald was an emergency room physician.
But, what they didn’t realize was that all the student loans they were paying off gave them a ratio of debt to income that was too high to get a mortgage. So we found a nice home for them to rent for a year. In the meantime, they worked hard with the credit expert company, North Shore Advisory to ensure they were on the fast track for managing their debt and raising their credit scores within the one-year timeline they had set as a goal.
Fast forward a year later, and they sailed through the pre-approval process to obtain a Certified Pre-Approval from William Raveis Mortgage, got engaged, and found and closed on a gorgeous new home in the university area of Fairfield, Connecticut!
Ronald and Sara also managed to jet-set off to Africa for a pre-honeymoon celebration on safari before returning to their new home to plan their wedding! Clearly they were perfectly situated to live happily ever after, but what were the lessons learned along the way?
Always get a pre-approval before you start shopping for a home so that you know where you stand, avoid unexpected setbacks, and can position yourself as a competitive buyer. Besides, an offer to purchase a property is not complete or acceptable without a pre-approval letter from your lender or proof of cash.
Be sure your pre-approval is of the utmost quality, as they are not all created equal. Recent changes to national lending regulations add extra time sensitivity and make this more important than ever. There are a number of new technology enhancements available that can make the whole mortgage process faster, easier, and more transparent for consumers.
William Raveis Mortgage is the only mortgage banker to provide a Certified Pre-Approval. This means that when they present a Certified Pre-Approval to a buyer, they have completed a full review of credit, income, and assets, reviewed supporting documentation and double-checked it all via an automated underwriting system to ensure that when the big day comes, the buyers get their loan and the sale goes through.
Last, but not least, it’s important to be aware of all the factors that can impact your credit score because, the lower your score, the more you will pay for your mortgage, (as well as insurance and other things). In fact, it’s a good idea to check your credit well in advance of applying for a loan so that you have time to work on it if need be. Visit North Shore Advisory, Inc. for an expert resource about credit tips and strategy. Once you have your good credit and Certified Pre-Approval in place, make sure you don’t do anything that can change your credit score before you close! Even a tiny negative change to your credit can bump up your interest rate and suddenly put your dream home out of reach. So check with your lender or Realtor about things you should or should not do during your home purchase process.
Then you are ready to make your dream home come true!
For questions about the process of buying or selling a home, or if you’re thinking about a move this season, send me a note below!
Six Hot Trends that are Super Cool for Consumers!
an engaging experience that also saves them time. In addition to creative videos, this includes 3D touring, virtual reality, drone photography, virtual staging and even hologram projection of furniture into rooms. 3D tours enable viewers to virtually walk through a property while using their computer mouse to “go” anywhere in the home. The tool also creates a virtual doll house that lets buyers float through the floors and get an overall feel for the layout, orientation, and flow. Inman News recently talked about virtual reality tours that use special goggles to create an experience close to being there in person as well as gear that projects holograms of furniture into a space to visualize it “for real”. Last, but not least, busy or far-away consumers can benefit from a live virtual tour via Skype.
Which trends to you think have the most promise? What other trends are you seeing that are consumer driven? From a consumer perspective, what new technology services would you like to see?
For more information or questions about your moving plans, contact me using the form below.
Well, the winter weather was balmy for awhile, but we’re off to a brisk start for the New Year. It’s a perfect time to dream about summer, so mark your calendars for some great beachfront open house events you can look forward to!
Lordship Lifestyle at Russian Beach
OPEN HOUSE: Sunday, January 24, 1-3 PM
Visit this better-than-new colonial with a new price of $859,000 and water views from every room! Enjoy an open flow, high ceilings, ample light and a private fenced yard for relaxing and entertaining.
Kensie Point on the Sound
OPEN HOUSE: Sunday, February 28, 1-3 PM
Come to the beach in Fairfield to see this turnkey beachfront condo priced at $845,000 and enjoy the fabulous water views!
Come to the beach and make an offer that can change your life!
Contact us with any questions or to request more info-
You might say the phenomenon is like a rollercoaster ride when a house changes hands. It goes from someone’s beloved home to being the commodity of ‘a house’ and then back to a dear home again when the new owners move in.
And during this process, the lives of those connected to the transfer undergo such a monumental, emotional and bittersweet transition.
Cathy and Sal passionately enjoyed two decades of raising a family on Charles Street in the Fairfield Beach area. They always celebrated holidays to the hilt. Their elaborate lawn displays each Halloween included their camouflaged kids as spirited spooks who actively taunted trick-or-treaters before handing out candy. And their Christmas displays included every conceivable festive (inflatable and not!) item they had in their attic during the off season! Top these 20 Halloweens and 20 Christmases with a beautiful wedding ceremony for their eldest daughter this past summer, and you have just a few exceptional memories in your chest.
But now that the last of two girls and a boy have grown up and found a place of their own, it was time to move on. They didn’t expect it all to happen so quickly, but they priced their house to sell , staged it to look great and had it under contract for above their asking price in just 23 days!
Cathy and Sal found another fantastic home near the shore in New York and will be much closer to their family. This was an exciting change and the start of a new chapter, yet I know Cathy was fighting back the tears as she waved goodbye to her old house and smiled for the picture before making the full transition to her new home.
Today Charles Street welcomes a new family with two little boys, and like Cathy and Sal, they’re ready for lots of new good times to be had!
For questions and about your own transition, just send me a note below, and I’m happy to help. -Linda
A seasoned recruiter for a financial firm on Merritt 7 in Norwalk Connecticut, Annie knew a good candidate when she saw one. The perfect asset for the current position was one she had already recruited once before, and that would be her husband! Given their relationship, Annie’s boss had to step in and seal the deal, but Andrew was on board in no time.
The next step was to move from their home in Avon to a town closer to Norwalk that was affordable and had good schools. Annie’s boss lived in Fairfield and was a strong advocate. She convinced Annie and Andrew that this town would fit the bill.
So Annie and Andrew’s agent in Avon called me to help them find a new home in Fairfield. We spoke on the phone, and I set up their online search. Immediately Annie saw something she liked and came to see it the next day. Andrew couldn’t get free until the weekend, and by then the house was gone. Three more times, the timing was too late or multiple bids got in the way, and three more homes were lost. Homes in their price range in the Fairfield university area were in extremely high demand and flying off the shelf!
Although Andrew liked the homes he had seen, he was still having a little trouble understanding the value for the prices in Fairfield compared to Avon. Annie and I gushed about the treasured amenities in Fairfield such as the gorgeous beaches, convenient train stations, chic eateries, vicinity to Manhattan and the fantastic vibrant community. I wish I had this video tour of Fairfield at the time! Still, Andrew just shrugged his shoulders and went with the flow, primarily motivated by a quick commute.
Finally, a lovely pricier home had a price reduction. We immediately went to see it and this time lucked out. Annie and Andrew landed a beautiful expanded Cape on a pretty university area street. They lost no time starting to make memories with their little son George, their new neighbors and all the block parties scheduled for the year.
A short time later, Annie sent me a note that said, “Hi Linda, we love the house, and we have fallen in love with Fairfield. We have only been in the house a little over a month, but it truly feels like home, and I would say George agrees! We cannot thank you enough for all of your help. You were terrific to work with, patient and helped us every step of the way. Relocating to a new area is overwhelming, and you really made us feel at ease throughout the whole process. Thanks again for everything. We hope to see you around town!”
So we welcome Annie and Andrew to Fairfield and the university area along with some of our other recent new neighbors, Ping and Danian and Rich and Chris. Annie and Andrew’s story is all about taking that leap toward the next chapter of exciting new beginnings- A new love. A new job. A new town. A new home. Follow your dreams, and the rest is history in the making!
For questions about your next move, contact me any time!