In my personal and professional life, I'm committed to building community and connections. To this end, I've planned an event for Thursday, Feb 28 from 6-8pm at White Buffalo in Providence, along with my friend and real estate partner, Kristin Walcott-Matthews. This will be a casual evening of networking, info sharing, & support with other home buyers--past, present, & future!
With our past & current clients in mind, we're offering the opportunity to share stories, resources, & tips about the home buying adventure.
For current home owners, we'll provide you with our updated resource list--Looking for a new plumber or electrician? Perhaps a handyman for a new light fixture? Need to get those gutters or windows cleaned this Spring--we've got you!
Tired of renting & thinking about buying a house but not sure where to start? We'll kick start your plan & provide you with our Home Buyer Packet.
Of course there will be wine + light fare! Don't be shy--swing by & say hello! All are welcome regardless of home buying experience or ambitions.
About White Buffalo:
Specializing in locally made gifts, home goods and curiosities, White Buffalo is an awesome, female owned store located on Broadway in the West End of Providence! The store is across from Columbus Theatre & has something for everyone!
According to the National Association of Realtors, more than 80% of home searches start online. I'd guess that estimate is on the low end. The Zillow/Trulia/RedFin's have made the home buying search seem so easy! But it's also a rabbit hole of frustration that you can get sucked into! As your Realtor I can make the home search easier by setting up a customized search for you that is fed directly from MLS--this is where all of the home listings come from! Click on the image below to see an interactive example of a broad home search limited only to 3+ bedrooms and priced $150-$199k.. Ask me how I can create a customized search for you!
Rhode Island’s housing market continued to gain strength in 2017 according to the latest report from the Rhode Island Association of Realtors and its subsidiary, State-Wide Multiple Listing Service. For the fifth consecutive year, the number of single-family homes sold rose year-over-year, eclipsing previous records. The data reveals that 11,282 single-family homes were sold in the Ocean State last year, up from 11,066 in 2016. The median price of those sales climbed 6.3 percent to $255,000.
Condominium sales saw a significant increase last year, rising 12.4 percent from the prior year. The median sales price of condominiums sold in 2017 rose 7.6 percent to $215,000.
Sales in the multifamily home market rose nearly 15 percent in volume and median price, indicating that housing has regained a reputation as a favorable investment. The 2017 median multifamily home sales price was the highest since 2007 when it reached $255,000. At $209,000, last year’s median price was 132 percent above the low seen during the crux of the housing downturn in 2009 of $90,000.
Understanding the ACTUAL cost of buying a home is wicked confusing--especially if it's your first time buying a home! I remember when I was buying my first home that pinning down the numbers seemed overly complicated. Your lender should be willing to take the time to break each cost down for you--from your down payment to monthly mortgage payment to closing costs, etc. But don't just rely upon your lender for these numbers! You can also be proactive and learn how to use a mortgage calculator. Once you know what numbers to project, you have the ability to figure out if the numbers work for you.
There's an app for that! While Zillow isn't perfect it certainly provides home buyers and sellers with an assortment of tools to make well-informed decisions. I like Zillow's mortgage calculator tool , it's pretty easy to use and will get you close to an accurate monthly mortgage amount. I also like their mortgage calculator app for my phone to crunch quick numbers. I'm happy to sit down with you and show you how to fill in these numbers accurately so that you can fully understand the financial side of the home buying process.
First you need to know what numbers to project:
Once you've filled in each item you will be able to see your projected Monthly Mortgage payment amount. Not sure what those numbers are that you need in order to fill in each blank? Again, I'm happy to help!
In addition to the numbers above, you can also figure out how much money you need to bring to the closing.
It's important to be a well informed home buyer and I am committed to making sure that I provide my clients with all of the information and current tools available to help them to make the decisions that are in line with their home buying goals and priorities.
Here are some industry tips that I've learned along the way. Sellers need to be sure to ask the right questions when interviewing agents to list their house.
1. Professional Photography: Regardless of the home size, the photos are the first impression & they need to showcase your home in the best possible light. Cell phone photography just won't cut it! And unless your agent is also a professional photographer, you should expect that he or she will be hiring someone else to handle the photography. Do your research---ask to see a few examples of their previous listings. Once the photos have been taken & the listing is posted make sure you have reviewed it & that you are are completely satisfied with the listing (would you buy your house if you saw the photos as a buyer?).
2. Expanded online presence: From social media to enhanced Zillow listings. Your agent should be able to describe the additional social media & online presence that he or she will be able to generate for more exposure of your home. SEO searches, Google+ posts, Facebook Ads, IDX search engines, etc. Your home deserves every effort & there is much more that can be done in addition to submitting a listing on MLS.
3. Follow through: Do what you say, say what you mean! Your agent should be clear about the services that he or she will provide. Your agent should be accessible & available. You should not feel like your agent is too busy.
4. Organizational Systems: Your agent should be able to outline the systems that are in place to keep your listing on track & moving forward at all times. From electronic signature platforms, to apps that develop a shared timeline to meet deadlines, there are a lot of moving parts to a real estate sales transaction & your agent needs to have systems in place in order to stay in charge.
There's a lot more to it than just putting up a For Sale sign and posting a listing on MLS! Ask me how I am successful & how I make sure my sellers are over the moon with the service I provide!
Summer has come to an end and you probably are thinking you've lost the opportunity to sell, and need to wait till next summer. But that's far from the truth! Although it's not as hectic and crazy with the swarm of buyers on the market, the fall season brings out the most serious of lookers. They are the pool of buyers that waited out the summer frenzy to find their perfect home in the fall, and you don't want to miss these buyers! They are ready to make a move, today! And selling in a slower period does not equate to less money. That's a misconception that home owners have based on untrue data that floats around. With the right agent, and your home being priced correctly, you can get a great deal selling your home during the fall season. And might actually prefer it. Here are the top 3 benefits to listing during the fall season.
1. Serious Buyers - Let's be honest, if buyers are out during the busy season, looking for homes, they are serious and ready to buy. Although the summer brings in a large crowd, that crowd contains a lot of people that are excited by the season, and fall into the "trend" of house hunting. These people end up not really being serious about the process, and tend to hold off for another time. If people are investing time to look during the fall season, they are more likely to be interested in actually buying your home, instead of touring it.
2. Less Competition - Selling in the fall isn't something many families can accomplish due to personal schedules. That's why a significant amount of homes get listed during the summer season. Which means that summer time brings in a lot of competition. Selling in the fall means the potential house next door that has slightly more perks that may have been listed during the summer, doesn't make your home sit stagnant, since everyone wanted your neighbor's house. It also doesn't devalue your home because of the house that could go up next door that could be under-priced in your neighborhood, and draw all of the attention. With a slower season, you get dedicated attention to your property, which increases the chance of a sale.
3. Easier to Find Your Dream Home - Not only do you get to benefit from a slower season during the selling process, but you can also benefit on the buying side. With less competition on your dream house, you can get a better deal. The summer brings a lot of missed opportunities for buyers on their dream homes, because they go off the market instantly. This will give you the opportunity to get your home on the market and take your time to find the right one to resize into. A much calmer pace to the transaction will make it less stressful, and everyone all around happier. Don't feel rushed into buying a home overnight during the summer, it could turn into a headache. If you want a far more peaceful transaction, that has calmer pace, then selling during the fall is perfect for you.
Finally ready to make the transition into home ownership? That's exciting! And while it's common to turn to friends and family for insight into the home buying process, there's a lot of misinformation that's rampant, in addition to some not-so-great-but-well-meaning-advice, that I'd like to set straight!
1. MYTH: THE FIRST STEP IS SEARCHING FOR A HOME
You know the saying, "Don't put the cart before the horse," well that's important to remember when it comes to buying a home. You don't want to start looking for a house until you sit down with a lender and discuss what the bank will qualify you for. If you fall in love with a house that's $250,000 only to find out that you currently qualify for $200,000 you can get your hopes crushed and waste a lot of time. Don't start the process on the wrong foot and make sure the numbers line up.
2. MYTH: YOU DON'T NEED A REAL ESTATE AGENT
Commissions are paid by the seller. That means that working with a buyers agent doesn't cost you a penny. YES! This is true! Commissions are set between the seller & the sellers agent before the house is even listed. Whether or not the sellers agent finds a buyer that does not have his/her own agent, the commission remains unchanged. This is so often misunderstood! Having a real estate agent on your side means you'll avoid outdated listings and scammers (there are lots of them), you'll be properly represented when it comes to navigating the legalities of contracts and buying a home, and you'll be represented in your best interest throughout the entire process. Why wouldn't you want an awesome negotiator working to ensure you get the best from the transaction? For FREE!
3. MYTH: YOU CAN'T BUY A HOME WITH BAD CREDIT
Within reason, this is a myth. Some lenders can work with credit scores down to the low to mid 500's but you have a better chance of qualifying if your credit score is at least in the 620+. I have lenders that I recommend that can help you to mend your credit--helping you to identify the payments & priorities to increase your credit score. There are a lot of factors that go into pre-approvals, but your credit doesn't have to be a sore thumb during the process.
4. MYTH: YOUR DOWN PAYMENT HAS TO BE 20%
Think you have to sell an arm and a leg to buy a home? Not at all! An FHA loan only requires 3.5% while a conventional only requires 5%. There are a lot of programs that can potentially help you with down payment assistance, you can even put 0% down! USDA and VA loans are the most popular 0% down programs, although RI Housing also has some great options. If you qualify, this can take a big chunk off the amount of cash you have to bring to the closing table. RI Housing currently has a program for first time buyers, First Down, that offers $7500 towards closing costs or as a down payment assistance.
5. MYTH: DOWN PAYMENTS ARE THE ONLY UPFRONT COST
This is one of the biggest misconceptions. There are a lot of costs that go into buying a home that I want my clients to be aware of. Once you have a home under contract, you will have 10 business days to conduct a home inspection. I will provide you with a list of home inspectors that I can confidently recommend who will inspect the structural & mechanical integrity of the home as well as conduct a pest & radon inspection. Home inspections range from $350-$700 depending upon the square footage. If you are getting a mortgage, the home will have to be appraises. An appraisal can range from $300-$700 dollars. You will also need to secure a home owners insurance policy & pay for the first year upfront. Home insurance for a single family is $1200-$1500. In addition to your down payment, you will also need to account for closing costs. In certain situations, closing costs can be negotiated to be covered by sellers, we will discuss the best strategy when we cross that threshold!
I'm happy to further discuss the home buying process, I hope that you find this information is useful!
Address: 900 Hopkins Hill Road West Greenwich, RI
Year Built: 1989
Bedrooms: 3 (first floor master bedroom suite)
I really love this home! The property lot is wonderful--private, rich in RI history (stone walls, perennials & gardens planted by former owners, & an historic cemetery)! The house is in great condition--two year old roof, new heating system & hot water tank, the exterior shingles do not show signs of wear & tear. The layout is fantastic, the hardwood floors are in great condition & the stone fireplace is stunning. Yes, the kitchen could use some updating, there's wallpaper in the bathrooms that need to be changed, & the upstairs carpet is likely not what you had in mind. But those are easy fixes & ones that would instantly make this property truly yours!
The basement is large & has high ceilings, ideal for finishing. And the additional building has two large truck bays & an unfinished loft---ideal for an office or studio. You'll feel like you're in the middle of nowhere, quiet country solitude, but you're just 5 minutes from Wickford Junction, a quick commute to 95 & all of our modern conveniences. Click below for full property description.
Quick overview :
January sales statistics released at the end of February by the Rhode Island Association of Realtors show a strong surge in closing activity at the beginning of the year. Single-family home sales rose 21 percent compared to January of 2016. The median sales price of those sales was $225,000, $1500 less than the prior year.
Realtor data also portrays a continuously shrinking inventory of homes for sale with 13.2 percent fewer homes on the market this January than in January of 2016. Pending sales, which foretell closing activity in the months ahead, fell for the second consecutive month.
In keeping with the other sectors of the market, the number of multifamily home sales rose 20 percent in January from January of 2016. This sector also saw the largest gain in median sales price of all property types with an increase of 20.8 percent. Both listings and sales under contract were down from 12 months earlier however, a sign that sales of multifamily properties could abate in the months ahead.