Lea Cohen | Brookline Real Estate, Newton Real Estate, West Roxbury Real Estate


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With a mortgage, a buyer is applying for financing to purchase the property in its entirety. They're relying on their credit and assets for approval before assuming responsibility of the full property. In a land contract, you're cutting out the need for a formal lender and relying on the seller to approve or deny your application.

The seeming simplicity of the transaction may make some people discount the importance of negotiation. However, there are a few things to keep in mind so both the buyer and seller are comfortable with the terms of the agreement. 

Talk to the Seller 

With a land contract, you may be more beholden to the seller than you would be to a lender in a traditional mortgage. If the seller thinks of you as a tenant rather than an owner of the place, you'll need to discuss their exact involvement over the course of the contract.

Because the seller won't receive the full value of the property upon sale, their financial insecurity is entirely understandable. They may want to check up with you over the phone, in-person, or through a third-party. If you're uncomfortable with the level of oversight, you may need to speak up or find a different property. 

Make sure you understand your obligations during this time. Some buyers are treated as a renter of the property — until it comes time to make significant and costly repairs. If you're responsible for all upkeep, you may be able to negotiate more freedom in exchange for the additional expense. 

Think Through the Finances 

One of the starkest differences between a traditionally financed home and a land contract is the speed of repayments. Even if you do find a seller willing to extend the contract, it can still be a major strain on your finances. As you factor in your current assets and credit score, you should also consider the future.

If the final payment is large enough, it may still require a substantial loan. If your credit hasn't improved enough by the time the contract nears the end, it could be a significant blow to your savings. And if you can't meet the terms of the contract, the seller will get to keep the money you've already paid them (as well as the property). 

Negotiating a land contract means thinking through the repercussions of each clause. While the terms may seem looser than a standard mortgage, there may be strings attached that aren't as obvious at first glance. Ensure that you understand your financial and practical responsibilities before signing on the dotted line. 


No matter how you look at it, putting your home on the market is a life-changing experience!

Not only will it change your future circumstances, but it will have an impact on your day-to-day routine, right now.

If your home is actively being shown by real estate agents, there are a few things you may need to do on a regular basis to make the best possible impression on potential buyers:

Keep it clean: Ordinarily, most homeowners aren't inclined to thoroughly clean their house every day -- or "at a moment's notice." Very few people have the time or motivation to keep their home's immaculate on a constant basis; it's exhausting just thinking about it! However, when your house is being viewed by prospective buyers, cleanliness -- or the lack, thereof -- will be noticed. Although "old habits die hard," it may be necessary to enlist the help and cooperation of your children (and spouse) in keeping the house looking presentable at all times. While it's unrealistic to expect your home to look immaculate day after day, it might be necessary to establish some new rules and standards for your family to follow about picking up clothes, toys, snack wrappers, and food residues. If you can maintain a "semblance of order" on an ongoing basis, then it shouldn't be too difficult to prepare your home for the next showing. While you'll usually get at least 24-hours notice before a house showing is scheduled, there may be the occasional request for a same-day visit.

Appearances count: "Keeping up Appearances" is more than just a popular British sitcom; it's a necessary goal for anyone hoping to sell their home within a reasonable period of time. Doing your best to stage your home in an attractive, inviting way is a key ingredient to a successful home-selling strategy. Setting priorities for curb appeal will also help you put your best foot forward in a competitive real estate market. Although many aspects of home staging are based on common sense and simple home decorating principles, it's difficult to be objective when your family's home is involved. There's certainly a lot of credible information online concerning the benefits of reducing household clutter and leaning toward neutral paint colors, but you can also turn to your real estate agent for tips on enhancing your home's curb appeal, interior appearance, and overall marketability.

Unless the home you're selling is relatively new or completely updated, there are a lot of decisions to make about how much time, energy, and money should be spend on upgrades, repairs, and enhancements. While everyone's situation, budget, and timetable is different, it's usually necessary to correct issues that might be considered a glaring problem or a deal breaker. Sometimes those issues don't come to the forefront, however, until you get specific feedback from agents and prospective buyers.


If you find your dream house, you likely want to submit an offer to purchase this residence as soon as possible. That way, you can avoid the danger of losing your ideal residence to a rival homebuyer.

Although you may strive to quickly submit an offer to purchase your dream residence, it is important to allocate sufficient time to craft a competitive homebuying proposal. Ultimately, there are many reasons to be diligent as you prepare an offer to purchase, and these include:

1. You can avoid the risk of overpaying to acquire your dream house.

You want to buy your dream house, but at the same time, you don't want to pay too much for it. Fortunately, if you allocate time and resources to learn about a home's condition and the current state of the real estate market, you may be better equipped than ever before to submit a competitive offer to purchase.

Analyze a house's condition closely as you put together a property buying proposal. It often is beneficial to consider any potential home improvement projects as well.

Also, take a look at the prices of comparable houses in the same city or town as your dream residence. With this housing market data in hand, you can establish a price range for homes that are similar to your dream residence. Then, you can submit an offer to purchase that accounts for the present state of the housing market.

2. You can submit an offer to purchase that falls in line with a seller's expectations.

It usually is beneficial to consider the seller's perspective as you put together an offer to purchase. By doing so, you can craft a homebuying proposal that falls in line with a seller's expectations.

If you think about the seller's perspective, you may be able to avoid submitting a "lowball" offer to purchase. Because if you understand how a seller may perceive your homebuying proposal, you can submit a competitive offer to purchase that likely will make a positive impression on him or her.

3. You can increase the likelihood of receiving an instant "Yes" from a seller.

With a competitive offer to purchase, a seller may respond with an instant "Yes." As a result, if you craft a competitive homebuying proposal, you may be able to move forward with a home purchase and quickly acquire your dream residence.

As you navigate the real estate market and prepare an offer to purchase your dream house, you may want to work with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can offer honest, unbiased recommendations about how much you should offer to pay for a residence. And if your homebuying proposal is accepted, a real estate agent will help you finalize your house purchase too.

Ready to make your homeownership dream come true? Collaborate with a real estate agent, and you can get the help you need to find your dream home and submit a competitive offer to purchase this residence.


If you are thinking of buying a home in the near future, there’s one three-digit number that could be oh so important to you. That number is your credit score. Read on to find out how a credit score can affect you and the steps you can take to be sure that your credit is in good standing when you head to apply for a mortgage. 


What Is A Credit Score?


Your credit score is checked by lenders of all kinds. Every time you apply for a loan or a credit card, there’s a good chance that your credit score is being pulled to see if you qualify for the loan. Your credit score is calculated based on the information on your credit report. This information includes:


Payment history

Debt-to-credit ratio

Length of credit history

New credit accounts opened


The areas with the most impact on your score is your payment history and your debt-to-credit ratio. This means that on-time payments are super important. You also don’t want to get anywhere close to maxing out your credit cards or loan amounts to keep your score up. 


What’s A Good Score?


If you’re aiming for the perfect credit score, it’s 850. Most consumers won’t reach that state of perfection. That’s, OK because you don’t have to be perfect to buy a house. If your score is 740 and above, know that you’re in great shape to get a mortgage. Even if your score is below 740 but around 700 or above, you’ll be able to get a good interest rate on your mortgage. Most lenders typically look for a score of 620 and above. Keep in mind that the higher your credit score the better your interest rate will be.    



What If You Lack Credit History?


Most people should get a credit card around age 20 in order to begin building credit. You can still qualify for a mortgage without a credit history, but it will be considerably harder. Lenders may look at things like your rent payments or car payments. Lenders want to know that you’re a responsible person to lend to. 


What If Your Score Needs Help?


It doesn’t mean you’re a hopeless case if you lack good credit. Everything from errors on your credit report to missed payments can be fixed. The most important thing that you can do if you’re buying a home in the near future is to be mindful of your credit. Keep an eye on your credit report and continue to make timely payments. With a bit of focus, you’ll be well on your way to securing a mortgage for the home of your dreams.        




In today’s world, many people are concerned about the harm that chemicals may do. Especially in homes with pets and children, families may want to do everything to protect their loved ones from harm. Having chemicals in your home may not only be hazardous, but they could also aggravate certain health conditions like asthma and allergies. There are many things that you can use that are right inside of your own kitchen cabinets to do the same job of cleaning that industrial strength cleaners do. The best part s that you won’t need to worry about your kids or pets getting into dangerous materials. You may also be surprised at what a great job all of these natural cleaners do in cleaning up your home. If you’re trying to save money, you might also   


Stock Up On Supplies


The first thing you’ll need to do if you want to have all natural cleaning supplies is to stock up on the essentials. Specific items do a great job of cleaning that a part of any cleaning recipe. You’ll be surprised at how much you can scrub in your home with just a few simple items.  


Baking Soda


Baking soda is such a versatile cleaner. It does everything from deodorizing to act as an abrasive. You can use it in many places in your home from the kitchen to the bathroom to the plumbing.  


Vinegar


Vinegar works to dissolve scale, gets rid of mold, and cuts down on soap scum. It’s also a fantastic stain remover. It’s a great base to use in many cleaners from the kitchen counters to your shower.  


Hydrogen Peroxide


Peroxide is an eco-friendly cleaner that helps to whiten surfaces. You can even find this substance in your toothpaste!


Borax


This substance helps to cut grease, oil, and dirt. It’s great to clean stainless steel with and is a great stain remover.   


Essential Oils


Essential oils are great to add scent to any homemade cleaners that you have. Get anything from tea tree oil to lemongrass to lavender to eucalyptus scents and use them as a part of your natural cleaning recipes.

Homemade cleaning supplies can save you money, time and even space in your closets! It’s easy to see why stocking up on a few essentials can not only keep your home clean but your home and family safe from harmful compounds as well. Try cleaning with something natural and notice the difference in your home!       





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