Cathy Toomey
Stone Ridge Properties | 978-609-3970 | cathyt@stoneridgeproperties.com


Posted by Cathy Toomey on 9/12/2017

The process of buying a home is anything but cut and dry. There will undoubtedly be some twists and turns along the way. First, you need to be pre-approved for a mortgage. Then, youíll need to find a home that fits both your needs and your budget. Finally, youíll put in an offer on a place and hope for the best throughout the rest of the process.


There are plenty of things that you can do as a buyer to make buying a home both easier and more streamlined. Below, youíll find some of the best tips that are specifically for those seeking to buy a home. 


Give Them An Offer They Canít Refuse


When there is a low quantity of homes and a high number of buyers, competition can get fierce. When the market is like this, youíre not guaranteed to get a property that you put an offer on. It may take making several offers on homes in order for you to finally get the keys to your dream house. 


You never want your offer to be too low. A low offer could be insulting to sellers and instead of being countered, could just be outright refused. Make an offer too high and you still have a problem. A high offer may be accepted, however, itís not going to be approved by your mortgage company for you to borrow that much for the purchase. If an offer is accepted and a home appraises for less, you may be left with thousands of dollars that you need to pay on the spot in order to secure the home. 


The best way to present an attractive offer is to work with an expert realtor who can do the appropriate research and let you know what a good offer on the home would be.           


Know Your Contingencies


After an offer on a home has been accepted, you need to get to work on the contingencies that youíre going to want on the home. Your realtor will also be a huge advocate in this area. Contingencies will include things like the right to do a home inspection, the appraisal contingency, and the contingency that youíll only be able to move forward with buying the home if you have appropriate financing. These protect you as a buyer so that if something falls through, youíll be able to back out of the deal without a penalty.


Donít Go Credit Happy


Once your offer is accepted and your financing is in place, donít head out to buy tons of new furniture and appliances for your new home. Your credit matters until you get the keys to the house. Opening new credit cards or adding significant debt can affect your credit score negatively, possibly putting a damper on your home purchase. Hold off on making purchases until after you move into the house.    





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Posted by Cathy Toomey on 8/8/2017

Ready to enjoy a successful homebuying experience? Ultimately, becoming a resourceful homebuyer will make it easy to transform your homeownership dream into a reality.

A resourceful homebuyer possesses the skills and know-how needed to streamline the property buying cycle. Plus, this homebuyer will be better equipped than others to maximize the time and resources at his or her disposal and speed up the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

Now, let's take a look at three tips that you can use to become a resourceful homebuyer.

1. Know What You Want from a Home

You know that you'd like to own a house, but what are you looking for in your dream residence? As a resourceful homebuyer, you'll know exactly what you'd like to find in the perfect home. That way, you can narrow your home search.

Creating a checklist of dream home "must-haves" usually is a great starting point for a resourceful homebuyer. This checklist will enable you to determine what features you want in your ideal residence.

In addition, keep in mind that every house has its pros and cons. And if you set realistic homebuying expectations from the get-go, you'll be able to boost your chances of finding a home that can serve you well for years to come.

2. Take Advantage of Housing Market Data

There is no shortage of housing market data available. With this information in hand, you should have no trouble entering the housing market with the resources that you need to succeed.

Examine the prices of available houses in cities or towns where you'd like to live. By doing so, you can better understand how much it will cost to acquire your dream residence.

Also, check out the prices of recently sold houses in areas that you're considering. This housing market data will help you differentiate between a buyer's market and a seller's one and ensure you can map out your homebuying journey accordingly.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Even a resourceful homebuyer knows his or her limitations. Luckily, real estate agents are available nationwide, and these housing market experts can help homebuyers fill in the gaps along the property buying journey.

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of purchasing a great home at an affordable price. This housing market professional will set up home showings for you, keep you up to date about new residences as they become available and negotiate with property sellers on your behalf. Furthermore, he or she is happy to respond to any homebuying concerns and questions at any time.

Let's not forget about the confidence that a real estate agent provides to a homebuyer, either. A real estate agent will help you seamlessly navigate the property buying journey. Thus, he or she will simplify the process of acquiring a top-notch residence that matches or exceeds your expectations.

Start your homebuying journey today Ė use these tips, and you can become a resourceful property buyer.




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Posted by Cathy Toomey on 6/20/2017

When youíre searching for a house, the location is often key. Maybe you have found homes in your desired city or town. Yet, all homes are not created equal. Locations arenít created equal either. Thereís advantages and disadvantages to the type of street that a home is on. If youíre on a main road, you may have more accessibility to what you need, but traffic noise could be a negative aspect of this living situation. Living on a cul-de-sac gives you the best of both worlds. You can be in your desired location, but also enjoy some peace and quiet. Your kids will even have a fairly safe space to play on without worry on your part about traffic conditions. Hereís some of the best reasons to find a property on a cul-de-sac:


Thereís No Through Traffic


No one will be using your street as a shortcut for anything, since itís a dead end! This provides a safety net for you as youíll know the types of vehicles that should be on the street at any given time. Neighbors can be mindful if they happen to see strange people or vehicles lingering in the neighborhood. This allows streets with dead ends to have lower crime rates. Everyone is more alert, because thereís generally so little happening on the street that any activity is noticeable. Criminals also tend to shy away from these types of neighborhoods due to the fact that people are much more aware.  


Itís Better For Children


You always need to watch your children and teach them basic safety rules. Living on a cul-de-sac may actually help relieve a bit of the burden in allowing your children to play more freely. Cars that are traveling down the street wonít be doing so as fast. Your children will be visible right form your home as well.  


Also, since everyone lives so close together and basically in a visible range of one another itís easier to develop neighborhood friendships. Children will be able to play with other kids their own age and have a common meeting spot- at the end of the street! Even as a parent, youíll have a better opportunity to get to know other parents and meet up with those in the neighborhood. Thereís just something about living on a dead-end street that allows for a more tight-knit community.


Home Values Rise


All of the positive things that we have emphasized here about living on a cul-de-sac are part of the reason these properties keep their high values. With better curb appeal, more safety, and a strong sense of a community, itís hard to pass up a chance to live on a cul-de-sac.




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Posted by Cathy Toomey on 6/6/2017

For first-time homebuyers, going from property buyer to property owner may seem virtually impossible. Lucky for you, we're here to help you take the guesswork out of buying a home.

Now, let's take a look at three questions that every first-time homebuyer needs to consider:

1. What is my "dream" residence?

One first-time homebuyer's definition of a "dream" residence may differ from another's. As such, you should consider what you'd like to find in a dream house before you begin your real estate search.

Creating a checklist of "must-haves" and "wants" in your house often serves as a great starting point for first-time homebuyers. This checklist will enable homebuyers to consider what they'd like to find in a dream home and plan accordingly.

Also, it is important to establish realistic expectations before you kick off a home search.

Many terrific houses are available in cities and towns nationwide, but no home is likely to have every feature that you desire in a dream residence.

Therefore, if you establish realistic expectations for your home search, you can avoid potential let-downs as you explore a broad array of high-quality houses.

2. How will I pay for a home?

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is vital for a first-time homebuyer, and for good reason. With pre-approval for a mortgage, you'll know what you can afford to spend on a home before you enter the real estate market.

Many banks and credit unions are happy to meet with you to discuss your mortgage options. These lenders can outline the differences between adjustable- and fixed-rate mortgages, help you assess your credit score and ensure you can make an informed mortgage decision.

Furthermore, lenders can answer any mortgage questions that you may have. They can help you evaluate your current financial situation and enable you to obtain a mortgage that won't force you to revamp your day-to-day budget.

3. How do I begin searching for a house?

Beginning a home search is easy, particularly for first-time homebuyers who work with expert real estate agents.

An expert real estate agent understands what it takes to find a wonderful house at a budget-friendly price. In fact, he or she will do everything possible to help you navigate the housing market quickly and effortlessly.

Typically, an expert real estate agent will keep you up to date about new homes as they become available, set up home showings and submit home offers on your behalf. This housing market professional also will offer honest, unbiased recommendations throughout the homebuying journey to help you select a house that matches or exceeds your expectations.

When it comes to exploring the housing market, there is no need to work alone. Fortunately, you can hire an expert real estate agent who can help you get the best results possible during the homebuying journey.

Want to acquire your first home? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can move one step closer to owning a top-notch house.




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Posted by Cathy Toomey on 5/23/2017

Let's face it Ė homebuyers constantly compete with one another, especially if a new home is added to the real estate market that fulfills the requests of a large assortment of homebuyers in a particular area. Thus, you'll want to do whatever you can to gain a competitive advantage over other homebuyers, as this competitive edge will enable you to discover the right home quickly and efficiently. So what does it take to obtain a competitive advantage over your homebuying rivals? Here are three tips to help you gain a competitive edge over homebuyers in any real estate market: 1. Act Fast. The early bird catches the worm, and the same holds true for homebuyers who want to find the best homes in a competitive real estate segment. Homebuyers who act quickly are more likely to find great homes as soon as new residences hit the real estate market. Also, these homebuyers will be in an ideal position, one that enables them to check out a recently listed home quickly and make an offer without delay if a residence meets their needs. Study the real estate market carefully, and you'll be better equipped to make a move on a recently listed house faster than other homebuyers. Also, be sure to get pre-approved for a mortgage, as this will enable you to submit an offer without having to worry about committing extensive time and resources to get approved for a mortgage down the line. 2. Offer More Than the Asking Price. What can you do to ensure your offer stands out to a home seller? Offer more than the asking price for a residence, and you can improve your chances of securing your dream home. In the event that a home seller receives multiple offers for his or her residence, offering more than the initial asking price will help your offer stand out from others. Therefore, you'll be able to reduce the risk that you could miss out on your ideal house if you submit an offer that exceeds a home seller's asking price. 3. Work with an Experienced Real Estate Agent. When it comes to finding your dream home, why should you be forced to leave anything to chance? Instead, hire an experienced real estate agent, and you'll be able to enjoy a long-lasting competitive edge over other homebuyers. Typically, a real estate agent will possess extensive industry know-how and experience, ensuring that he or she can help you find your perfect residence immediately. This professional also will be ready to respond to any concerns or queries and ensure you are fully supported during every step of the homebuying process. From determining your ideal budget for a new home to setting up home showings, a real estate agent can make it easier for you to check out many wonderful residences in cities and towns nationwide. As a result, hiring a real estate agent could mean the difference between settling for an average house and discovering your dream residence in any real estate market. Gain the competitive edge you need in any real estate market, and you should be able to make an offer on your dream home instantly.




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