Whether you are a recent transplant to the area or have been a New Englander all of your life, it’s just hard to resist the charm of the classic New England style. The crisp clean lines and simplicity make one feel instantly at home. Keep reading this blog post to discover how you can add a touch of New England charm to your home.
New England style still holds its roots from it's early settlers to RI, like Roger Williams, and the many other famous first families to land on the shores of "Rogue's Island". Look for simple, rustic, colonial era styled furniture. Ideally, it should be a handmade piece built for quality to last the tests of time. Speaking of time, no New England home is complete with at least one antique and preferably one handed down generation to generation. If you are not so fortunate to have an heirloom piece start hunting the antique fairs for one you love.
New England homes are deeply inspired by their natural surroundings. When choosing colors for your home think sky blues, sunny yellows, sea foam greens, sandy beige, pine greens and nautical navy. If you need some inspiration, visit the beach or some nearby woods to gather your color inspiration.
New England style may be simple but it’s not devoid of visual interest. If you don’t have at least something covered in plaid you should consider a shopping excursion in the near future. Whether it’s a blanket, kitchen curtains or even some wallpaper, having plaid is practically a must. Braided rugs are another New England staple and not always one limited to floor coverings. You can also find braided table runners, placemats, coasters, chair pads, and potholders.
Books, books, and more books. A large home library is not hard to find in New England homes. Collect interesting titles and visually appealing book spines for a collection that makes a statement to your guests. Nature landscapes, seashells, lobsters, ducks, and shells are all common themes found within this homey decor style. Woven baskets and rustic pottery are also New England staples to be placed on shelves or hung from hooks. Shelving and hooks will be your best friend as New England style maintains it’s clean simplicity by having a place for every item and keeping them off the floor.
A wood stove and/or fireplace are practically required, if you want to add true, cozy New England charm. And while a stack of split wood and some fireplace tools are a practical necessity, they also a complimentary form of decor. Invest in a visually appealing log rack and hearth toolset. White washed walls and wide wood plank floors, usually of pine, are another classic New England feature hearkening back to its first settler roots you will want to look for when home shopping or replicate in your redesign. If you’ve been lusting after New England style homes gracing the pages of your favorite interior decorating magazine it’s probably time to add some of that charm to your own home. Whether you just add a few touches by switching up your decorations or overhaul your house top to bottom you should have a better idea of how you too can have a cozy New England style home.
Bidding on a house here in Rhode Island can be a stressful process, especially when you’ve found the home of your dreams. While the wait to hear back on if your bid has been accepted can be a time of anxious anticipation there are things you can do to make it less so. By being prepared ahead of time and knowing what to expect, you can create a smoother, and therefore, less stressful bidding process. Keep reading this blog post for some tips on how to do just that!
Know what you’re willing to spend.
Deciding on what your ideal price is and what the maximum amount you would be willing to spend, before you begin the bidding process is recommended. This is an ideal step to take before beginning house hunting as well. Doing so will allow for a more streamlined bidding process, especially if there is a bidding war. Knowing when an offer is just too far out of your budget will prevent financial stress now and in the future as well.
Get pre-approved for a mortgage.
Before putting in your bid, get everything you need in order to ensure that you are pre-approved for a mortgage. Once you are pre-approved you can then show the seller your pre-approval paperwork when placing your bid. This will help you look more serious about your offer and even a more attractive buyer to the seller.
Schedule your home inspection.
Scheduling a home inspection before placing a bid will allow you to make a more informed offer on the house you are interested in. To get the most out of your inspection, have a list for the home inspector prepared in advance, for any concerns you may have about the house, based on your walk through. Ask your real estate agent for a referral to a few good inspectors to choose from, that have good reputation for service and competence.
An experienced RI real estate agent knows best.
Listen to any advice your real estate agent may have for you throughout the bidding process. They are experts in the home buying field and familiar with the different intricacies of home buying procedures, based on extensive experience with negotating. Not every home buying process is the same and an experienced real estate agent should be familiar with variations to each sale. If your real estate agent suggests a course of action follow suit to ensure that the buying process goes more smoothly. While we can’t guarantee an entirely stress-free experience when bidding on a house, there are the things you can do to help ease any anxiety that comes with attempting to buy your dream home. With preparedness and a smart real estate agent, like those here at Samborsky Homes in Cranston, RI at your side, you can feel more confident and less anxious in your bidding process. Once you have the keys to your new home in hand you will be glad you took the steps necessary to create a smooth and successful process!
After some considerate thought, you've decided to put your house up for sale on the real estate market. However, as a first-time home seller, there's plenty you'll need to know to make sure you can maximize your house's sale price. Here are three tips that every first-time home seller needs to know before you list your house for sale on the real estate market in Rhode Island:
1. Be realistic when you price your house. What is your home's value? It's the million-dollar question that every home seller needs to consider, because how a home seller prices his or her house may determine how quickly a residence sells. Ultimately, you'll want to be realistic when you price your house. You'll want to find the sweet spot, i.e. a price that makes your house attractive to prospective homebuyers in RI, yet ensures you receive fair value for your residence. To price your residence appropriately, be sure to get your house appraised. Also, you'll want to look at the prices of similar homes that currently are listed on the real estate market or sold recently, as this will enable you to determine the right price. Of course, pricing your home competitively will increase the chances that it will generate a lot of interest. And if you do your homework, you're sure to find a fair price that meets your needs as well as the needs of prospective homebuyers, whether you are the city of Providence, the suburbs of Warwick and Cranston or the wooded beauty of Exeter, RI.
2. Think about what you'll want to do with your appliances. Do you want to bring your major appliances (like your refrigerator, washing machine and dryer) to your new house? If not, you'll want to account for these items and include them in the price of your existing home, as part of the sale price. Comparatively, you may be able to use your appliances in a home negotiation. For instance, you might seal the deal with a homebuyer who is on the fence about making an offer on your home if you offer to include your appliances in the purchase price. On the other hand, if you're in love with your appliances, you need to be prepared to bring them with you to your new home. As such, you may need to lower the asking price for your house to account for the fact that a homebuyer will need to buy new appliances.
3. Take a proactive approach to promoting your house. When it comes to selling your house, you'll want to make it as simple as possible for RI homebuyers to find all of the information they need to understand why your residence is a great choice. For instance, using high-resolution photographs to showcase your residence online can be exceedingly valuable. You also can eliminate clutter from your home and maintain a clean, spacious residence, one that homebuyers can view at any time. Don't forget to collaborate with a first-rate real estate agent, too. With an experienced real estate professional at your side, you'll be able to promote your home to the right homebuyers at the right time consistently. Our agency uses the aforementioned tips and can help you get ready to sell your house, while you can also increase your chances of optimizing your residence's value in any real estate market.
Looking to purchase your first home? Not sure if you want to purchase a single-family home or a condo? What you purchase will be determinant on your thoughts about the below information. Take a look at the various differences between single-family homes and condos and decide the pros and cons for yourself.
Location: Based on your price range, you will typically be able to purchase a condo in a location where you would otherwise not be able to purchase a home. But in return, you are often getting less square footage, closer by neighbors, and smaller outdoor living space. If you sacrifice a downtown city location for a location right outside of the city, you will get more for your money. Do you want to be able to walk to restaurants, shops and maybe work or is a home with free parking a more attractive option to you? It all depends on what is most important to you.
Privacy: There will be less privacy when owning a condo versus a home, as neighbors are much closer. Condos typically share a wall with one another, some on just one side and some on both sides. This is an important detail to take into consideration when deciding between a condo and single-family home.
Additional Costs: HOA fees or homeowner association fees are monthly fees that condo owners must pay. The fees cover things such as utilities, reserve and contingency funds, amenities, maintenance and repairs, which includes lawn care, snow removal, trash removal, exterior upkeep, etc. These costs vary depending on the condo amenities and policies. However, it’s important to be aware that there is the possibility that these fees increase if there is not enough in the reserve to cover unforeseen costs. When owning a home, there are no HOA fees. This means that a homeowner needs to be cognizant of the additional costs of owning a home. Will you purchase a lawnmower and snow blower or hire a service? Will you have the additional funds to pay for unforeseen expenses? These are important questions to consider.
Restrictions: Owning a condo has some limitations as there will be restrictions that would not exist when owning your own home (unless you purchase a historical home). There are often restrictions dealing with the exterior of your home, parking restrictions as well as having certain barbecues on decks. Condos are an attractive choice for those looking for a low maintenance lifestyle. And owning and maintaining a home will take more work on the homeowner’s part. It’s important to figure out exactly what you want out of a home before you decide on one or the other, but knowing the difference between a single-family home and a condo is a first step.
If you're considering putting your home on the market, one of your first priorities should be making the property look its absolute best. The trick is to do this without spending a pile of money. While a do-it-yourself approach is the most economical way to handle home staging, getting professional advice can help you stay on track, in terms of both money and time. There are a lot of talented and knowledgeable home staging consultants out there, but the benefits of hiring them are not always worth the cost. Whereas, the advantage of working with a seasoned real estate agent or Realtor is that they have the ability to size up the visual appeal of a home and make recommendations on how to improve it. If they've been in the real estate business for a few years, they've received buyer feedback from literally hundreds of house hunters. As a result, they're very familiar with all the pet peeves potential buyers typically have, such as outdated decor, ugly wallpaper, cluttered living spaces, hideous artwork, tacky wallpaper, inadequate lighting, unpleasant odors, overgrown yards, or any aspect of a property that is cracked, peeling, broken, or in disrepair.
Where to Begin With Home Staging
If you're looking for free home staging ideas, you can always ask your friends and family for suggestions, but they might be hesitant to give you the unvarnished truth. Not only that, but their taste in decorating or landscaping may be less than exemplary! However, if you do know someone who has a knack for decorating, furniture arrangement, and/or landscaping, then they could be a great source of helpful suggestions, ideas, and inspiration. A good starting point for discovering economical ways to bring out the best in your home is the Internet. You'll get a wealth of practical ideas by Googling the phrase "increasing your home's value." Not only will you learn some useful home staging ideas from reputable websites, but you'll also notice many recurring themes for improving the look and feel of your property. Staging your home effectively involves a combination of common sense, knowledge of home buyer psychology, and the ability to objectively evaluate (and improve upon) a property's marketability.
Cost-Effective Home Staging Advice
A real estate agent or Realtor who has been showing houses for years has gathered an immense amount of informal feedback on what attracts and repels prospective buyers. While it doesn't take a home staging expert to pick out the obvious issues that need to be addressed, you'd be surprised at what a real estate agent with a trained eye and a few years of experience can notice. Improvements and changes which seem trivial to you may actually have a significant impact on how fast you're able to sell your home. In preparing your property for sale, one of the major factors to consider is the age-old concept of "cost versus benefits". Enhancing the appearance of your home beyond a certain point can produce diminishing returns, so it's a good idea to get a professional opinion when mapping out a house staging strategy. If you're lucky enough not to need any major repairs on your home, then preparing to put your property on the market can be as simple as eliminating clutter, keeping your home impeccably clean, and making sure your lawn is consistently well manicured -- which, of course, is easier said than done! A fresh coat of paint, here and there, can also make a world of difference, when it comes to making a positive first impression on potential buyers.
There is a common misconception among the general public that using a real estate agent when purchasing a home will be costly. What consumers don't realize is that they won't actually be saving themselves any money by foregoing the use of a buyer's agent. Buyers often inaccurately assume that they'd get a better deal by working directly with the listing agent of a specific property, rather than by adding a buyer's agent into the mix to professionally represent their interests. This belief is grounded in the ideology that if there's only one agent involved, only one agent is being paid. While this is true, the money-saving theory behind this type of one-agent-transaction is being misconstrued. There is, in fact, only one agent being paid, in this case the listing agent, however, this agent will then receive the full commission from both sides of the negotiation. The same monetary value is wielded whether one agent or two agents are involved in the contract. This fact makes the alleged shortcut of using one agent inconsequential. The drawbacks of dealing directly with a listing agent as a buyer, however, are quite substantial. The listing agent is contractually obligated first to represent the interests of the seller. So the listing agent represents the seller's best interests by law, period. By hiring a buyer's agent, the buyer is therefore actively ensuring that their best interests are protected, as their interests are of the utmost importance to their buyer agent. If you are a potential home buyer, looking to purchase a new house or to make a real estate investment, allow a real estate agent to act on your behalf using buyers agency status. A successful buyer's agent is not only obligated, but happy to hold you, the buyer, as his or her number one priority in every part of the purchasing process from offer to closing. As your buyer's agent, my job would be to help you and only you. How can I help you buy real estate here in Rhode Island today?
Buying your first home should be an exciting and rewarding time. Unfortunately, however, some first time homeowners would confess that the term 'stressful' would be a more appropriate description for such an experience. Despite the rumors, however, there is no need to be intimidated as a first time buyer if you take the initiative to get prepared for the process beforehand.
Contact three separate mortgage companies. The point of contacting multiple mortgage sources is being able to discover all of your available financing opportunities. Shop around for different rates and different options. Some banks offer VA or FHA financing for example, while others do not. Some banks offer mortgages for first time buyers like RI Housing. You wouldn't purchase smaller items, such as a laptop, without doing your research, would you? Your future home should be no different. Don't settle for the first option you're offered.
The information you need to prepare yourself for the buying process is out there already! Some mortgage brokers or real estate attorneys offer educational seminars for first time buyers. Search for a seminar in your community! Don't settle. Realize what some home-seekers have overlooked or misunderstood in the past, there's no cost for you, as a buyer, to have a buyer's agent. Using a buyer's agent will keep your best interests in mind and will benefit you in the long run. Interview a few different real estate agents in order to find someone you are comfortable with. Most real estate agents, including myself, would be happy to sit down and simply have a conversation with you! I have worked with thousands of buyers and sellers over the years. So let's work together to make this process a great one. Experience matters!
Sellers 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!
Whether you buy your first home later in life, or directly from college, buying your first home is a major milestone in your life. For that reason, there are things you need to be knowledgeable about before your purchase is complete. You will want to safeguard yourself so you know that you are getting a home and a loan that you can afford. Here are a few tips from mortgage and real estate pros to help prepare you for the biggest purchase of your life.
Use a Professional Agent
If you are a buyer, then there is no reason not to use a real estate professional. It does not cost you any more money to hire an agent. That agent will do more than find you that perfect house. You will discover that after you find a house is when you will need that agent the most. The agent will use their expertise to present your offer to the seller and then address issues that may arise between contract and closing.
Remember, location, location, location. This is very important when buying a house. Location plays a big part in determining the market value of the home. Before you start the house hunting process, make sure you know what neighborhood is a good location for you. Also, it would be good to have an idea of what style home you are looking for. Real estate moves quickly, so if you see a property that you love, you should move on it before someone else does.
Find a Mortgage that Works for Your
It sure can be tricky business trying decide what kind of loan is right for you. There are many different types of loans that you should be aware of. There is an Adjustable rate mortgage which has an interest rate that is linked to an economic index. So as the index changes your interest rate and payments may go up or down. There is also a 30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage as well as a 15-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage. Some state and county maximum loan amount restrictions may apply.
Look Into Rhode Island Housing Loans
RI Housing Loans offer Extra Assistance for First-time Homebuyers like Tax Credits and reduced Interest rates. Go to:
www.rhodeislandhousing.org to learn more.
Home Buyer Alternatives for First Timer
Saving for a first home can sometime seem like it’s a hill that too steep, but don’t worry there are assistance programs that can help. The Federal Housing Administration offers loans to people with a credit score as low as 640, low down payments and down payment assistance. There are also VA and USDA loans: Certain active members of the military and veterans as well as qualifying residents of designated rural areas can qualify for a 0% down-payment housing loans that are free of mortgage insurance fees.
How Much Do You Have to Put Down?
It really depends on what type of loan you have. If you have a conventional loan then you may have to put as much as 20% down. It is possible to put 5% down on a conventional loan if you don’t mind paying mortgage insurance. If you go with the FHA loan you will need at least 3.5 % down. For people who are relying on others to help with down payments, an FHA loan may be a good option. First time home buyers need to look around and know that there are a multitude of down payment assistance offers by state or local governments.
There can be a lot of hidden fees in closing costs; first time home buyers should be aware of these costs. These fees are typically included in the closing costs, including fees for commissions, appraisals, inspections, certifications and surveying. There will also be fees for government record changes, tax and title services and transfer taxes.
Going green has been a term that has been floating around for some time the past few years. As fears of global warming and overall global awareness have increased rapidly, the ideas soon follow. It's an interesting and empowering idea, reduce your global footprint and preserve the earth.
The best part is that in some cases, you can save money even with little to no investment. If you are looking to install something like solar panels on your house, there is a federal program for both a business or a person that provides an investment tax credit of 30%.
Depending on the state there are state funded programs that are similar and even programs. The state programs are similar to the electric car incentives in that they are slowly disappearing, which makes now a good time to make a decision. Energystar.gov has more information on the specifics. As mentioned that is only one path, there have been companies that claim to decrease your electric bills. This is achieved through leasing. A low monthly fee to lease the solar panels and a reduction on your total monthly bill - at least that is the idea.
There are many knowledgeable professionals in the New England and surrounding areas, who may be able to assist you further. For example SolarCity provides exactly what was described above. Keep in mind the results will vary depending on where you live and even the seasons. A free consultation never hurt anyone though, you could spend less and go green in the process.