Ellen McLaughlin - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage



Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 4/21/2019

Home values continue to rise. Many people use their home equity in order to get a bit more financial security. The home equity line of credit can have many different benefits for you. From home improvement projects to a much-needed vacation, you can get the funds that you need for whatever you wish. Turn to your home equity with some careful thought, however. You could end up owing more than your home is worth, which defeats the purpose of tapping into your home equity to begin with. 


Make Your Decision Smart


Your home equity can be a good thing to tap in to if youíre not planning on spending like crazy. Maybe you just want a little extra cash on hand for emergencies. Youíll be prepared for anything unexpected. This could be a smarter decision than just blowing a bunch of money on a vacation, for example. 


Some smart things that you can use your home equity for include:


  • Home renovations
  • Emergency funds
  • College education funds
  • Cash advance


These ideas are investments that can help you to achieve other goals. You should be sure that youíre able to pay the money back. These projects or financial endeavors are much more suited to smart spending than just randomly spending money, buying a car, or other things that will put you in serious debt.


Home Equity Fluctuates


As the market changes, the amount of home equity that youíll have to tap into does as well. The state of the housing market can actually dictate to you how much money youíll be able to get. If the market isnít good, you could end up in the negative financially, so do your research. 


How To Get Your Home Equity


There are a few ways that you can draw from your homeís equity. The first rule that you should understand is that you cannot borrow more than 80% of what your home is worth. Take a full remortgage your home, giving you the full 80% amount that your home is worth in order to take a lump sum. Alternatively, you can take a cash-out refinance where you set the amount of money youíd like to take out of your homeís equity as you refinance the home. You can also take out whatís called a ďhome equity line of credit,Ē which allows you to use the amount of your homeís worth as a credit card of sorts. You borrow money as you need it.     


The biggest issue with refinancing is that of planning. Itís important to know why youíre refinancing and what youíre planning on doing with the money. Used wisely, home equity can really be a great financial tool.





Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 4/14/2019

If youíre trying to sell your home, there are many things you need to think about. One of the reasons that itís wise to hire a realtor is that they can handle a lot of the difficult stuff for you. From home showings to phone calls to sealing the deal, your realtor will be with you every step of the way. 


One thing that you can do to help your realtor out is trying to avoid things that will scare off buyers in your home. While some things are out of your control (weíre looking at you radon), you can check and remedy a lot of problems before a buyer even sets foot in your home.


Leaky, Aging Roof


Roofs last around 20-25 years. If itís been forever since you have paid attention to your roof, youíll need to take a second look before selling. Your buyer is going to either ask for some kind of rebate or go for a home with a newer roof. Roofs are one of the things that home inspectors often see the most problems with.  



Outdated Gutters


If your gutters are in disrepair, you might want to have them cleaned or replace them altogether. Faulty gutters are often what causes problems with the roof. If rain water or snow melt canít properly drain from the gutters, more leaks may be found in the home.  


Old Appliances


If your appliances are outdated, consider replacing them. Buyers donít want to move into a new home only to need to head out to buy a new refrigerator, range, or dryer. Buyers like things to be ready for them, and theyíre willing to pay for it. Youíll definitely get a return on your investment when you buy new appliances.    


Outdated Or Neglected HVAC System


Itís important to keep up with regular maintenance when it comes to your heating and cooling system. Keep it clean and keep regular maintenance appointments. These systems are costly to repair and buyers do not want to deal with these issues immediately (or ever if they could avoid them!) Get the HVAC system serviced before you put a for sale sign out front to keep your buyers happy throughout the inspection and sale process.   


High Price


Your realtor will be a big help in assisting you to price your home right. They will perform a CMA (comparative market analysis) in order to help you find the sweet spot for pricing your home. An overpriced listing will make buyers wonder. A property must be priced right in order to get buyers through the door to even look at the home.





Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 4/7/2019

If you discover a house that you want to buy, it generally is a good idea to submit a competitive offer. That way, you can move one step closer to acquiring your ideal residence.

However, the hours after you submit a home offer can be stressful, particularly for a buyer who fails to plan accordingly. Lucky for you, we're here to help you stay calm, cool and collected as you wait to receive a seller's response to your offer.

Let's take a look at three tips to help you get ready to handle a seller's response to your homebuying proposal.

1. Plan for the Worst-Case Scenario

Even the worst-case scenario is not the end of the world for a buyer who is awaiting a seller's response to a home offer. In fact, if a seller rejects your proposal, you can always reenter the housing market and continue your pursuit of your dream home.

As you await a seller's response to your home offer, you should not stop searching for available houses. Because if you continue your home search, you'll have no trouble moving forward in the homebuying journey if a seller rejects your home offer.

2. Consider All of Your Options

If you submit a home offer and a seller says "Yes," what should you do next? Consider how you'll proceed if a seller accepts your proposal, and you'll be better equipped than ever before to enjoy a seamless homebuying experience.

On the other hand, it helps to prepare for a potential counter-offer from a home seller as well. If you are open to negotiating with a seller, you may be able to find common ground with him or her and finalize a home purchase.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent knows all about the stress that is commonly associated with submitting a homebuying proposal. He or she can help you minimize this stress and ensure you can achieve the best-possible results throughout the homebuying journey.

Typically, a real estate agent will work with you to submit a homebuying proposal. This housing market professional then will keep you up to date as you await a seller's response to your offer. And if you have any concerns or questions during this time, a real estate agent is happy to respond to them.

A real estate agent will make it simple to streamline the homebuying journey too. For instance, if a home seller accepts your offer, a real estate agent will be ready to help you move forward with a property inspection and appraisal. Conversely, if a home seller rejects your proposal, a real estate agent will be prepared to work with you to help you discover another house that matches or exceeds your expectations.

The waiting period after you submit an offer on a house may prove to be a challenging time. Fortunately, if you plan ahead for this period, you can maintain your confidence and continue to move forward in the homebuying journey.





Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 4/5/2019

This Condo in Amesbury, MA recently sold for $704,747. This Mid-Rise style home was sold by Ellen McLaughlin - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.


60 Merrimac St, Amesbury, MA 01913

Condo

$684,900
Price
$704,747
Sale Price

5
Rooms
2
Beds
2/1
Full/Half Baths
Phase II Now Open!! Every home having breathtaking views of the Merrimack River & featuring one/two bedroom & penthouse designs ranging from 1,545 to 2149 sf. Enjoy the expansive private balconies & glass walls designed to maximize the outstanding scenic water views. Add'l highlights include designer kitchens & baths, appliance allowance, natural gas fireplace, high definition security/intercom system providing guest entrance & gas hook-ups for outdoor grilling. Add'l building features include a grand lobby w/elegant details, mail & package area, heated garage, enclosed heated recycle/refuse center & storage. A lush garden courtyard w/seating as well as a professionally landscaped river walk add to the communityís amenities. Hatter's Point-for buyers who want breathtaking water views, value maintenance-free living in a community that is convenient to local shops, restaurants & amenities. Model photos are samples.

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Tags: Real estate   condo   Amesbury   01913  
Categories: Sold Homes  


Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 3/31/2019

In a competitive housing market--like the one we have today--sellers are fielding numerous offers, especially in desirable urban and suburban hubs.

If youíre hoping to buy your first or second home, it can be tough to make offer after offer with no success.

However, there are some things you can do to help ensure your time house hunting is well-spent and to increase your chances of getting your offer accepted.

In todayís post, Iím going to give you a few tips on how to win a bidding war on your dream home.

All-cash offer

The most effective way to ensure that your offer is accepted is to make it in all cash. Cash offers drastically simplify the real estate transaction process, making things easier on the seller.

Most buyers, especially first-time buyers, wonít be able to make an all-cash offer on a home. However, people who are downsizing after their children moved out or are buying a retirement home may find themselves in the ideal financial situation to be able to leverage a cash offer.

If that sounds like you, consider a cash offer as part of your bidding strategy.

Waive the financing contingency

If youíre new to real estate contracts, you might be wondering what a contingency is. Essentially, a contingency is an action that needs to be completed before the contract becomes valid and the sale becomes final.

There are a number of different contingencies that can be found in a real estate contract. However, the most popular are for inspections, appraisals, and financing.

If youíre planning on taking out a mortgage to purchase the home, a financing contingency protects you in case you arenít able to secure the mortgage in time. In other words, youíre not on the hook for a home you canít pay for.

In some special situations, buyers might decide to waive the financing contingency, signaling to the sellers that there wonít be any hang-ups or delays from the buyer regarding financing the home.

Waiving this contingency comes with risks (namely, being responsible for coming up with the money to pay for the home). However, there are ways to safely waive a contingency.

The most common approach is to get a fully pre-approved letter from a lender. The important distinction here is that your mortgage needs to be pre-approved and underwritten (not just pre-qualified), otherwise you again risk getting denied the mortgage in the last moments before buying your home.

Crafting a personal letter

Sometimes all it takes to win a bidding war is to be the sellerís favorite candidate. Take the time to write them a personalized letter. Explain what you love about their home and why itís perfect for your family.

Avoid talking about big changes youíll make. Remember that they probably put a lot of time and money into the home, making it exactly the way they want it, and wonít appreciate you making huge plans to undo their work as soon as theyíre out the door.


Using one, or a combination of, these three techniques, youíll be able to give yourself an edge over the competition and increase your chances of getting your offer accepted.