Kathy Foran - REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West



Posted by Kathy Foran on 7/2/2017

When you buy a home, there’s more to shop for than just the right place to live. Before you settle with a lender, you should shop around a bit. You want to be sure that your lender has your very best interests in mind when you’re in the midst of making one of the biggest purchases of your lifetime. Below, you’ll find some of the most important questions that you need to ask a lender while you’re in the process of buying a home.


Do You Offer Any Special Programs?


Choosing the right lender involves choosing a firm that offers the types of programs that will be helpful to your specific situation. You should look for a lender that offers a wide array of loans to suit your needs. Beware of any lender who tries to push you into a certain type of loan, especially if you don’t feel that it is a good fit for you. 


Do You Understand The Terms Of Certain Types Of Loans?


If you are seeking a certain type of loan, you probably should tell your lender that upfront. Of they seem familiar with it and have worked with the loan before, you’re in good hands. If the type of loan that you’re looking for is more uncommon, then you may need to shop around carefully for the right lender who understands your needs. 


Do I meet The Qualifications For Specific Loans?


The requirements for the same loan at two different lenders could be different. Things like your credit score could be a big factor. If you have a less than desirable credit score, this would also prompt you to want to look around a bit. You should know that different lenders have different terms and looking at a few lenders could be beneficial to you.


What Are The Mortgage Rates?


You’ll need a general ballpark idea of what rates will be for you when you finally secure that home loan. Keep in mind that rates fluctuate often and that an estimate will be just that. It’s not a number that will be set in stone, however, it will give you a good place to start as you shop around for a loan. 


Do You Help With Down Payments?


There are many down payment assistance programs available and your lender can help you to navigate them. The more you put down, the better your interest rate will be. If the amount that you’re able to put down on a home is a factor for you, definitely discuss it with your lender.


Can You Provide Pre-Approval Proof?


In hot real estate markets, you’re going to need some proof that you’re pre-approved in order to have the upper hand once you put in an offer on a home. Your lender should be able to provide your real estate agent with a certified letter of your pre-approval and the amount. 


Choosing the right lender is just as important as choosing the right realtor and the right home to buy. It’s just another part of the home buying process!




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Posted by Kathy Foran on 4/2/2017

You've found the home of your dreams, can afford the regular mortgage payments and even accounted for your closing costs, too. Clearly, you're in a great position to cover the costs associated with your home consistently, right? Even the most diligent homebuyer may encounter unforeseen costs along the way. Fortunately, we're here to help you prepare for these miscellaneous expenses. Here's a closer look at three miscellaneous homebuyer costs that you'll need to consider before you purchase a residence: 1. Homeowners Association Fees Planning to move into a condo? You'll want to find out what the homeowners association (HOA) fees are before you close on your residence, as these costs can add up quickly. HOA expenses usually cover the costs associated with keeping your lawn clean and looking great, clearing snow from roads and driveways in winter and other condo community costs. As such, these fees may wind up costing you several hundred dollars each month – a hefty sum that every condo owner needs to know about. To find out if HOA fees will affect your monthly budget, be sure to consult with your real estate agent. This professional should be able to get in touch with a HOA and determine exactly how much you'll need to add to your budget each month to account for these costs. 2. Unexpected Income Changes Your income may change over the life of your mortgage, and as such, you should try to plan accordingly. For example, consider what may happen if your full-time work schedule is reduced to part-time hours. This may prove to be exceedingly difficult, particularly if you don't have a Plan B in place to pay your mortgage. When it comes to potential income changes, it always is better to err on the side of caution. And a homeowner who has an emergency fund in place may be able to cover regular mortgage costs even if his or her everyday wages are reduced. 3. Emergency Medical Bills Unfortunately, medical emergencies can arise without notice and wreak havoc on a homeowner's budget. But even though these emergencies can put a financial strain on a homeowner, this homeowner still will be responsible for making regular mortgage payments. Emergency medical bills, like unexpected income changes, should be accounted for as part of an emergency fund. Furthermore, homeowners who contribute to this fund monthly can accumulate finances that will be readily available in even the worst-case scenarios. Buying a home requires a significant financial investment, but homebuyers who prepare accordingly will be able to ensure that they can manage any financial hardships that could come their way. No homebuyer wants to consider financial hardships, but working with a resourceful and intelligent real estate agent may help you prepare for the worst. This real estate professional may be able to offer guidance and tips to help you budget for your new residence and ensure that you'll be prepared for any emergencies as well. Plan for your new home purchase as much as you can, and ultimately, you'll be better equipped to make regular mortgage payments and manage any financial hardships along the way.





Posted by Kathy Foran on 2/5/2017

When you decide that you want to buy a home, you probably hope it will all happen overnight for you. There’s some bad news though. It can take between 6 weeks and 6 months to buy a home! It could take even longer if you face a few roadblocks or inventory happens to be low in your area. There’s so many variables when it comes to getting a place to live that everyone has a different experience during their home buying process. 


A Long Road


Even if you decide to buy a home today, and find a home you love tomorrow, there’s a bit of a “grace” period before you actually get to own the home. There’s many different steps that you’ll need to complete in order to successfully secure a home.  


Pre-Approval


The first step that you need to complete when you want to buy a home is that of getting pre-approved. The lender will look at your debts, income, and credit history in order to get a complete financial snapshot of you. With this information, the lender will be able to tell you just how much house you can afford. This will be given to you in the form of a maximum loan amount. If your loan amount is $300,000, you can’t be shopping for $400,000 homes. The pre-approval process generally only takes a few days, but everyone’s circumstances are different.


Get An Agent


Before you even start on the house search, you’ll need to find a real estate agent who can help you on your home search and knows how to secure the home transaction. Do a little research on agents in your area. You can also ask around amongst your family and fiends to see if they have recommendations. Who you pick for your agent can have an impact on how smooth your home search process and transaction will be. 


Start Searching For A Home


Start your home search online. With today’s technology, online home searches save those shopping for a home a lot of time. By simply looking at details and listing descriptions, you can narrow down the number of homes you‘d like to see in person. The online home search is a way to screen homes and eliminate the ones that you have no interest in. 


It never hurts if you are driving around and see a “for sale” sign. You can take down the address and look it up later. If you’re interested, you can always set up an in-person showing with your realtor.               


How Much Time Should You Expect To Spend? 


When it comes to how long you’ll be searching for a home, you’ll need to be realistic. If you’re only doing casual weekend searches, it could take a bit more time than if you have a bit more flexibility in your schedule. Then, you have the final steps to look forward to which include:


  • Negotiations
  • Mortgage underwriting
  • Escrow
  • Closing


All of these final steps can take varying amounts of time from a few weeks to a few months to complete. Patience and diligence are indeed requirements when it comes to buying a home.





Posted by Kathy Foran on 11/13/2016

real estate shopping onlineSellers beware! Most sellers realize there will be a bit of negotiation once an Offer to Purchase is made on their property. Sellers may receive an offer that is lower than what their property is listed at. In this case it is common for the seller to counter that offer, the counter to be accepted or denied at the discretion of the potential buyer. Due to the anticipated negotiation process, it may seem like it would make sense to put your house into MLS at a value far over the value that you understand your property is worth. Sellers feel that if their end game is receiving X amount of money for their house, if they list it at X+15, and after negotiations accept their originally desired amount of X, it seems like they participated willingly in negotiations and accepted below asking price for the sake of the buyer. This idea is good in theory, but does not actually work to the benefit of the seller for the following reason: Listing your house at the exact price you're looking to receive allows for maximum exposure potential via MLS. In order to search for a listing on MLS, you must enter a minimum and maximum price range. Buyers seeking homes at your desired price of X will not see your listing in their MLS search because of the additional 15 you've added to your listing price. Their search will be cut short at X and as a seller, you will lose potential buyers. For more information on allowing for maximum exposure potential for your property please contact me!





Posted by Kathy Foran on 10/16/2016

You may think buying a short sale is a good deal and many times it can be a good option. Short sales can also be fraught with complications and often can easily fall apart. Here is a list of things to be aware of so your short sale doesn't become a long shot. • When a house is placed for sale as a short sale the owner doesn't always have the authority to sell the house at the advertised price. The owner hopes the bank will accept that price as a short sale. • The negotiating process is far different than a regular sale. You often will first negotiate with a seller but remember the bank has the final say-so. • You are making an offer to purchase blind because many lenders will not even discuss a short sale with a seller until a purchase contract is in place. There is no guarantee the lender will even accept a short-sale offer. • Short sales often are not short at all. They can be long, drawn-out affairs. Be prepared for it to take months. • Even though the lender may have taken their time on the short sale approval, once approved the lender often require the sale to close within a short period of time. Due to the way many short sales happen, a buyer may have to put out money for a home inspection, appraisal, credit report and application fees paid to their lender and the sale may not even happen. So while short sales can often be a good deal they can also be a long shot. Take your time, do your research and be sure to work with a real estate professional to help guide you through the potential pitfalls of a short sale.