Empire Real Estate Group



Posted by Empire Real Estate Group on 12/8/2017

Once you have found the home that you want to live in, put in the offer, and start the process of closing on a home, you may feel like youíre ďhome free.Ē The hard part may technically be over, but thereís one more important thing that you need to think about before you get the keys to your place: Closing costs. 

A few days before you head to sign all of your paperwork to close on the home, your lender will send you a detailed report of different closing costs that you need to pay upon the settlement of the property. 


Closing Costs Defined


Closing costs are what you pay to the lender and third parties. These are due at the time of closing on the property and must be paid up front. You should estimate that your closing costs will be between 2 and 5 percent of the purchase price of the home.


Everything Included In Closing Costs


Closing costs cover both one-time and recurring fees that are a part of your home purchase. The one-time fees are things that are generally associated with buying the home. These would include attorneys fees, lender fees, home inspection fees, document prep fees, underwriting fees, credit report fees, and realtor fees. Youíll also need a bank issued check for your down payment at this time.  


At closing, an escrow account will be set up. This is like a forced savings account that will be drawn from to cover things like taxes, insurance, loan interest, and title insurance. These are all very important costs that are a part of buying a home.     


Do Your Homework Ahead Of Time


The best way to deal with closing costs is to be prepared ahead of time. Talk to your lender in order to get an estimate of the closing costs. From there, youíll need to decide if you need to finance your closing costs or simply pay them up front. There are advantages to both approaches. Sometimes, lenders will look at you as less favorable if you need to finance all of your closing costs. It all depends on the terms of your loan. This is why research is vital.


Compare Rates And Lenders


Itís important not to go with the first lender you talk to. Get some recommendations from your realtor and friends to see who might be a good fit for you. Every lender specializes in something different, so you want to be sure that who you chose is a good fit for you. 


The most important thing that you can do with closing costs and the financing of your home is to get educated!     





Tags: Buying a home  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Empire Real Estate Group on 12/4/2017


562 Silver Lake St, Athol, MA 01331

Single-Family

$166,900
Price

6
Rooms
4
Beds
1/1
Full/Half Baths
Motivated seller, perfect home located in an excellent neighborhood, plenty of yard for the kids to explore in the back with a walk out basement. Oversized living room with hardwood floors for family functions or having the friends over to watch the big game. Large Master bedroom also boast hardwood floor and closet space. Three good sized bedrooms upstairs for the children or guests. Spacious kitchen with cabinets, counter tops, flooring, stove and refrigerator. Adorable full bathroom on first floor with half bathroom upstairs which includes new standup shower. Tankless hot water heater for plenty of hot water on demand and new electrical throughout. Garage can be heated and has oversized walk in door as well.
Open House
No scheduled Open Houses

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Tags: Real Estate   Single-Family   Athol   01331  
Categories: Price Change  


Posted by Empire Real Estate Group on 12/1/2017

Bad credit happens. Maybe you were late on some loan payments, or maybe you got a bit to swipe-happy with a credit card while you were in college. Or, maybe you were like many other Americans who took a financial hit during the housing crisis. Regardless, it can take a long time to recuperate from a bad credit score.

If youíre hoping to buy a home but have poor credit, it can seem like you donít have many options. However, there are many mortgages designed with such people in mind.

In this post, weíre going to discuss some of the options for people interested in home ownership who have low credit and ways they can achieve this goal without taking on high interest loans.

First thingís first: start prioritizing your credit

Even if you want to buy a home within the coming months, itís always a good idea to start building credit. It does take several months to see a substantial difference on your credit report, but starting now will save you in the long run and will show lenders that youíre making a difference.

To give your credit score a boost in the shortest time possible, set all of your bills on auto-payment, repay and late bills such as medical expenses, and set up payment plans wherever needed. If possible, become an authorized user on someoneís credit card and use that for everyday expenses like groceries. Doing so will help you build credit without opening new cards that have high interest.

Many types of mortgages

Mortgages come in many shapes and forms. Since lenders are in competition with one another, you can often find loans that cater to underserved markets. In this case, that market is people with low credit scores.

Call some local lenders and ask if they have programs for people with low credit. Often they will point you toward first-time homeowner loans and USDA-guaranteed mortgages. Other times they might offer loans with high down payments. But, youíll never know until you ask.

USDA and FHA Loans

Currently, USDA loans have a minimum credit score of 620. For FHA loans, lenders recently reduced the minimum score to 580. With these loans, you can pay a low, or no, down payment and still receive a mortgage loan.

The first step to getting approved for either type of loan is getting in contact with a lender to determine your eligibility. Eligibility is based on other factors such as your income, and in the case of USDA loans, the location of the home.

Other Options

If your score is lower than 580 or you donít qualify for a USDA loan, you can still find other options. One would be to pay a higher down payment on the home. This would help ensure the lender that you are able to provide income to make payments in spite of your credit history.

Another option would be to reason with your lender of choice. Most of the application process comes down to numbers, but if you can show a lender that you have substantial, reliable income, and have been making rent payments for multiple years, these can both help build your case.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Empire Real Estate Group on 11/24/2017

One of the first and most important things that you should do when you buy a home is to be sure that youíre on top of your finances. Before you even begin the home search, youíll need to be sure that you have money in the bank and know your credit score. What you really need is a plan. 


Set Up A Savings Account For Your Future Home


Having a separate account set up just to help you save for your down payment and other home costs can be very helpful. Find a bank with a bit of a higher interest rate. Often, online banks are your best bet. If youíre able, set up automatic transfers from one account to another for a set amount each month. Youíll be saving before you know it! 


Set Goals


If you have no idea of what you want, it will be difficult to understand what you need to do to get there. Typically, itís a good idea to have 20% of a homeís purchase price saved for your down payment. Putting 20% down also helps you to avoid the additional cost of PMI, also known as private mortgage insurance. Once you have a goal, donít look at the big picture. Break down your big goal for savings into smaller bits to make it less overwhelming. 


Make Savings Automatic


Weíve already mentioned the idea of setting up an automatic transfer, but you can do even more. When you are gifted money, instead of spending it, put it in your home savings account. If you get a bonus from work, save it. If you get a raise, live off of your previous income and use the additional income for savings. All of these little actions add up fast. When you make savings habit, itís easier to reach your goals. 


See Where You Can Cut Costs


Thereís probably plenty of places that you can cut costs in your budget. Sit down and see how much your expenses actually are compared to how much you actually do spend. Can you opt out of cable TV? Maybe you can reduce the speed of your internet connection, or find a cheaper cell phone plan. If you take a close look at your expenses, thereís probably plenty of ways for you to  cut back and save.


Sell Your Stuff


Weíre not talking about selling your essentials, but if you have things around your home that youíre not using, thereís a better use for them. You can probably get some extra cash for these items by selling them. Itís so simple to sell things on the Internet these days that you can make some money and get rid of unwanted things pretty easily.  


Focus

With a bit of focus, hard work and diligence, you can save up enough money for a down payment on a home. Donít forget to keep all of the other aspects of your financial life in order such as paying your bills on time and not opening new credit accounts. Good luck with your savings goals!





Posted by Empire Real Estate Group on 11/17/2017

Whether youíre shopping for your first house or your next house, finding a listing you love is exciting. You browse the pictures, check out the property facts, share the link to your significant other, and maybe even schedule a showing.

With the exciting prospect of owning a new home that has all or many of the features youíre looking for, it can be easy to forget about certain details that matter. Most of us look for similar things in a house--close proximity to work, enough bedrooms, an upgraded kitchen, and so on.

In this article, weíre going to give you a list of things to investigate about the house youíre looking at to get a better idea of whether or not itís the perfect match for you and your family.

1. Re-read the listing

If youíre like me and get lost in the photos of a home and forget to make note of the details, be sure to go back and check out the listing a second time. It will likely give you important details of the house that you overlooked on your initial visit.

Look for things like the year the house was built, information of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, and the total acreage of the lot and square footage of the home. These things are hard to accurately represent in the listingís pictures, but will likely be important to your decision of whether or not you should view the home.

2. Do your online research

The number of things you can learn about a home and neighborhood on the internet is astounding. We suggest that before you go to visit a home, you spend 10-20 minutes on Google researching the following topics:

  • School district ratings. If you have or plan to have school-aged children, youíll want to know what your options are for your childís education. Itís often a good idea to check out the local schoolsí websites to see what

  • Commute times. With Google Maps and similar sites, you can plan out what your new commute will be and see how long it will take. You might find different routes that will save you time or avoid traffic (we could all use those extra few minutes in bed every morning). Google Maps isnít always accurate when it comes to morning traffic estimates, but itís a good place to start.

  • Amenities. Having moved into a neighborhood that has no grocery stores within a 20-minute drive, trust me--youíll want to know whatís in the area. Use Google Maps to find stores, gas, schools, parks and trails, hospitals, and other things youíll want close by.

  • Street view. While weíre on Google, use street view to take a remote look around the neighborhood. Youíll be able to see how the infrastructure looks--if the neighborhood is taken care of and if there are sidewalks that offer a safe place to walk or jog.

  • Crime ratings. Donít get too caught up in this section. Crimes happen everywhere, but this is a good way to see if the area youíre moving to is a safe place

3. Donít be afraid to ask questions

If, after all of your online research, you decide you want to go view a home, donít be shy when you arrive. Itís understandable that you wouldnít want to be a burden in someone elseís home. But remember--if youíre considering living there someday youíll want to know as much as possible before making an offer.

Test the plumbing, ask about average utilities, and donít be afraid to introduce yourself to neighbors and ask them questions about the community. The more you know, the better. Happy sleuthing!