Mary Moloney - KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY / Merrimack Valley



Posted by Mary Moloney on 3/19/2019

Buying a home is a lengthy process that requires months or even years of planning. The end result, however, is to have a home you can truly call your own and to own equity that you can then use later down the road.

Figuring out the right time to buy a home can be difficult for prospective homeowners. Youíll need to have a firm grasp on your finances and personal goals for what you want your life to look like for the next 5 or more years.

Buying a home in more than just a financial commitment. It also means you take on all of the responsibilities of owning that home. Maintenance, both inside and out, can take up a significant amount of your time.

Furthermore, owning a home ties you down to one area. Youíll need to determine if youíre ready and able to settle in one area for the next 5-7 years. This has implications for careers and for family life. Will your job bring you elsewhere? If you change jobs, are there ample opportunities where you live? These are just a couple of the questions youíll need to ask yourself before deciding whether youíre ready to buy a home.

To simplify the process, Iíve created a checklist for some of the things youíll need before youíre ready to buy a home. While this list does cover the basics, there may be other factors unique to your circumstances that youíll have to take into consideration.

So, if youíre thinking about buying a home sometime in the near future, read on for the checklist. And, keep in mind that these are not necessarily mandatory before buying a home. But they will give you the best chance of making a solid investment and securing financial stability.

The home buyerís preparedness checklist

  • Raise your credit score to 750 or more. A score in the ďexcellentĒ range will help you get the lowest possible interest rate on your mortgage. Itís possible to get approved for a mortgage with a score that is much lower, but a high score is ideal and can help you avoid PMI and a high interest rate.

  • Have an emergency fund saved. You donít want to buy a house and then suddenly find yourself needing money for an emergency. Save a monthís worth of expenses before your down payment.

  • Have an active budget plan for saving up your down payment. Creating a dedicated savings account that you automatically have a portion of your pay deposited into is a good way to ensure that you meet your savings goals.

  • Bolster the case for your financial stability. Lenders will want to see that your income is predictable and regular. Keep records of your income, tax returns, and anything else that can help show that youíre making more than enough money to safely lend to.

  • Have open conversations with your family. If youíll be buying a home with a spouse and/or children, discuss what youíre looking for in a home. This can include location, size, etc. Itís a good idea for everyone to be on the same page before you ever start shopping for a home.

  • Get preapproved. Getting preapproved for a home loan will make you a better prospective buyer in the eyes of sellers.

  • Run the numbers again. Aside from your mortgage payments, youíll also have to pay utilities, trash removal, property taxes, and any other expenses related to the home. Make sure you can comfortably afford these while still contributing to savings.




Tags: Buying a home   checklist  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Mary Moloney on 3/15/2019

Some Highlights:

  • Interest Rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage have dropped to 4.41% from near 5% in 2018.
  • Take advantage of more inventory coming to market in the spring to find your dream home!
  • Buying now will allow you to start earning equity today!




Tags: Untagged  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Mary Moloney on 3/15/2019

7 Things To Avoid After Applying for a Mortgage! | Simplifying The Market

Below is a list of7 Things You Shouldnít Do After Applying for a Mortgage!Some may seem obvious, but some may not!

1. Donít change jobs or the way you are paid at your job!Your loan officer must be able to track the source and amount of your annual income. If possible, youíll want to avoid changing from salary to commission or becoming self-employed during this time as well.

2. Donít deposit cash into your bank accounts.Lenders need to source your money and cash is not really traceable. Before you deposit any amount of cash into your accounts, discuss the proper way to document your transactions with your loan officer.

3. Donít make any large purchases like a new car or new furniture for your new home.New debt comes with it, including new monthly obligations. New obligations create new qualifications. People with new debt have higher debt to income ratiosÖ higher ratios make for riskier loansÖ and sometimes qualified borrowers no longer qualify.

4. Donít co-sign other loans for anyone.When you co-sign, you are obligated. As we mentioned, with that obligation comes higher ratios as well. Even if you swear you will not be the one making the payments, your lender will have to count the payment against you.

5. Donít change bank accounts.Remember, lenders need to source and track assets. That task is significantly easier when there is consistency among your accounts. Before you even transfer money between accounts, talk to your loan officer.

6. Donít apply for new credit.It doesnít matter whether itís a new credit card or a new car. When you have your credit report run by organizations in multiple financial channels(mortgage, credit card, auto, etc.), your FICO score will be affected. Lower credit scores can determine your interest rate and maybe even your eligibility for approval.

7. Donít close any credit accounts.Many clients have erroneously believed that having less available credit makes them less risky and more likely to be approved. Wrong. A major component of your score is your length and depth of credit history (as opposed to just your payment history) and your total usage of credit as a percentage of available credit. Closing accounts has a negative impact on both those determinants of your score.

Bottom Line

Any blip in income, assets, or credit should be reviewed and executed in a way that ensures your home loan can still be approved. The best advice is to fully disclose and discuss your plans with your loan officer before you do anything financial in nature. They are there to guide you through the process.




Tags: Untagged  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Mary Moloney on 3/14/2019

4 Reasons to Buy a Home in the Spring | Simplifying The Market

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogicís latestU.S. Home Price Insightsreports that home prices have appreciated by 4.4% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.6% over the next year.

Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase

Freddie MacísPrimary Mortgage Market Surveyshows that interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage came in at 4.41% last week. Most experts predict that rates will rise over the next 12 months. TheMortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and theNational Association of Realtorsare in unison, projecting rates will increase by this time next year.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. Ayear from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home.

3. Either Way, You Are Paying a Mortgage

Some renters have not yet purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you arepaying a mortgageĖeither yours or your landlordís.

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form ofĎforced savingsíthat allows you to have equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with that equity.

Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you?

4. Itís Time to Move On with Your Life

TheĎcostíof a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But what if they werenít? Would you wait?

Examine the actual reason you are buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, greater safety for your family, or you just want to have control over renovations, now could be the time to buy.

Bottom Line

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.




Tags: Untagged  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Mary Moloney on 3/12/2019

Creating curb appeal is an essential ingredient to attracting potential buyers to a house for sale. Similar to the concept of "dressing for success," when you make a strong first impression, your chances for producing positive results are greatly enhanced.

Looking good from the outside is the first step to capturing people's interest, but that's only the first of several hurdles that you have to clear. The last thing you want to do as a home seller is disappoint prospective buyers when they start looking around inside. That's why it's important to start strong and finish strong! While that may be easier said than done, it's a principle of success you can't afford to ignore.

Once you put your house on the market, there are two factors that could potentially work against you: the elements of time and competition.

  • Time is of the essence: Time can either be your friend or your adversary, depending on how long your house has been on the market. When house hunters see the words "just listed," it creates a feeling of excitement and urgency. For many eager home buyers, those two words mean there's a fresh opportunity to discover the house of their dreams... or at least a reasonable facsimile! It's especially enticing to frustrated buyers who have already looked at a lot of homes, without having found the right one yet. When a new house is listed and put on the market, couples will be thinking and saying "Maybe this house will be the one!" Your challenge as a home seller is to do everything possible and cost-effective to live up to their expectations! An important factor to keep in mind is that the longer a house is on the market, the less appealing it generally is to prospective buyers. Once a house has been languishing on the market for more than a couple months or so, it also puts the sellers at a negotiating disadvantage.
  • Competition is a fact of life: Buying a house is weighty decision. No one takes it lightly, and few buyers are going to make an offer on a house if they haven't looked at several others, too. Well-organized house hunters will have wish lists, "must have" requirements, and detailed notes and recollections about how each house stacks up. So it's important to work with your real estate agent to present your home in its best possible light. When your home compares favorably to other similar properties on market, your chances of getting it sold within a reasonable period of time are greatly improved.
Maintaining an appealing exterior will help give you an inside track in the competitive real estate market, but making sure your property is in good shape from top to bottom will often be the deciding factor in how soon you get to the finish line!







Tags