Bob Falter, CRS, GRI - ERA Key Realty Services | 508-612-1649 | [email protected]


Posted by Bob Falter, CRS, GRI on 1/16/2019

 If you're in the process of searching for the ideal home for you and your family, there are many things to think about and evaluate.

While factors like the quality of neighborhoods and school districts may top your list, another important feature worth prioritizing is convenience. Since life is already complicated enough, it makes sense to simplify your daily routines whenever possible! The perfect time to set the stage for a simpler, easier lifestyle is when you're shopping for your next home. Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind when looking for ways to help make life easier

Short commutes: When you consider all the advantages of living close to your job or business, the benefits are undeniable! A relatively short daily commute not only helps you manage your stress level, but it also enables you to spend more time with your family... and less time dealing with rush hour traffic! A shorter commute can also save you money on gasoline, wear and tear on your car, and highway tolls.

A first-floor laundry: Unless you find ways to streamline and simplify your weekly laundry tasks, it quickly becomes a burdensome chore! Having to carry loads of laundry up and down basement stairs can definitely be tiring -- both physically and mentally. (It can be even more unpleasant if you buy a house with an unfinished basement.) The solution, of course, is to tell your real estate agent that you'd strongly prefer a home with first floor (or even second-floor) laundry hookups. Persuading your family to cooperate with organizing and sorting their own laundry items is also a good goal, but is easier said than done!

Two-car garage with remote control: After a hectic day at the office (or wherever you happen to work), there's nothing like the convenience of an automatic garage door and a spacious, private parking area waiting for you at home. In addition to the convenience, it's nice knowing your cars will be much more secure in an enclosed garage. It's also a great way to stay dry and warm when unpleasant weather is around.

Proximity to stores: The ideal location for your next home is close to grocery stores, pharmacies, and other services you and your family use on a regular basis. As is the case with job commuting distances, if you can live within a half an hour of places you need to drive to frequently, it makes day-to-day life much easier. While few neighborhoods are "a stone's throw" from everywhere you'll want to go, being close to supermarkets and other essential conveniences can save you time and provide you with a quick solution to having no milk, bread, or dinner food in the house!

So if you are getting ready to buy, or currently in the market, connect with your agent on the essentials you would like in your new home today.





Posted by Bob Falter, CRS, GRI on 12/5/2018

Buying a house is never a simple decision. Aside from all of the financial aspects of purchasing a home, there are numerous life-related considerations youíll need to think about. So, it comes as little surprise that diving head on into the house hunting process can be stressful and taxing to the home buyer.

With all of the different numbers to keep track of--a down payment, closing costs, credit scores, interest rates, and so on--itís easy to get lost in the finer details of your budget. This can lead to even more stress as you try to navigate your way through getting approved for a mortgage and shopping for the perfect home.

In this article, weíre going to give you some tips on how to maintain your budget and reduce stress throughout the home buying process. That way, when you do finally find the house youíve been waiting for, youíll be able to move forward confidently.

Trust the process

Many first-time home buyers enter the real estate market with little knowledge or experience of how things work. Any newcomer to such a huge and complex industry is bound to be flustered with all of the different options available to them.

However, much of the home buying process is relatively standardized. Real estate agents all make roughly the same commission, lenders use similar algorithms to decide how much of a loan youíll be approved for, and real estate contracts contain legal safeguards and contingencies to ensure that you and the sellerís interests are protected.

When shopping for a mortgage or getting pre-approved, itís a good idea to ask friends, family, or read reviews online to find someone you know you can trust. From there, rely on the experts to lead you through the process.

Have a long-term plan

Much of the stress and anxiety around buying a home comes from the uncertainty of the future. Sitting down with your family and significant other and deciding your long-term goals for homeownership is a good way to build confidence and know that youíre making the right choice.

Determining things like location, the number of years you want to live in a home, and what priorities are the most important (school districts, neighborhood safety, etc.) will help you make that plan a reality.

Use the tools at your disposal

If youíre reading this article, you already have started to take advantage of one of the most important resources you have, the internet. Look up real estate terminology youíre unfamiliar with, read up on the different types of mortgages, and take advantage of free online calculators to create what-if scenarios to find out what you might end up paying in closing costs and interests.

Itís also a good idea to check your credit score for free online. You can check your official reports once per year, but for simple credit checks you can look it up each month for free.

Knowing that youíre in good hands with a lender and agent, that you have a basic understanding of industry terms, that you have a long-term plan, and that your finances are in order will all help set your mind at ease and give you confidence as you move forward toward homeownership.





Posted by Bob Falter, CRS, GRI on 10/17/2018

If youíre making the transition from renting an apartment to buying a home, it can be difficult to ensure you have a place to stay while you search.

There are a number of reasons you may need temporary housing while house-hunting. Maybe youíre moving to a new state and need temporary housing while you search in the area. Or, maybe you just donít want to sign a year-long lease on a new apartment that you donít plan on staying in for a full year.

Regardless of the reason, weíve got you covered. In this article, weíre going to talk about how to find temporary housing while you navigate your way toward homeownership.

Short-term rentals and sublets

One of the most convenient way to rent an apartment while you search for a home is to simply find short-term rentals.

Landlords use leases for a number of reasons. Among them is knowing that they can count on a tenant to stay long enough to be worth the hassle of going through the rental process.

However, there are some landlords who cater to people who need to rent for only a certain amount of time--namely business professionals and college students. Landlords rent to these people with short-term leases because they are certain that they will get the full lease amount in pay.

Similarly, searching for sublets is a good way to find an apartment on the short-term. Sublets are often cheaper than their normal renting price because the tenant needs to find someone soon. Youíre especially likely to find a sublet if you plan on moving in May or June when college students are going home for the summer.

Another service that could be helpful is Airbnb. Many people think of Airbnb as a tool for finding a vacation home or spare room while traveling. However, there are also a number of short-term rentals on the site. You can simply enter the dates youíre planning on staying and compare results. Just be sure to read reviews of the house to be sure that youíre dealing with responsible and trustworthy property managers.

Words of caution

While short-term rentals can save you money while you search and help you avoid a lease, they do come with risks. For example, if renting off of Craigslist, never send sensitive data, payments, or bank account information before verifying that they are actually the manager of the property.

If you do decide to sublet an apartment, take photos when you move in so that tenants or landlords donít try to hold you liable for any damage caused before or after you leave.

Finally, if you decide to go with a service like Airbnb or extended stay hotels because they appear cheaper than renting, remember that you wonít be able to store your belongings there and might have to pay for storage and a moving truck to transport your belongings. These extra fees can add up quickly over a couple months.

Once youíve determined your options for temporary housing, hunting for your new home will become much easier.




Tags: renting   house hunting   sublet  
Categories: renting   house hunting   sublet