Douglas Schmidt - REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West



Posted by Douglas Schmidt on 8/21/2017

Shopping for a new home is difficult and time-consuming. With all of the homes listed for sale, itís tempting to want to visit all of them. However, if youíre juggling house-hunting with your work and personal life, then you likely wonít have time to set aside many hours to visit several homes.

 This is where you can use technology to your advantage. With free, modern tools online you can find out plenty about a house and the neighborhood itís in without ever having to go and visit it. Better yet, you can do so in just a few minutes right from home.

 In this article, weíre going to teach you how to become a real estate investigator from the comfort of your own couch, helping you save time while hunting for the perfect home for you. 

 Know what youíre looking for

While itís okay to browse homes for pleasure, when it comes to getting serious about buying a home youíll want to keep your search as specific as possible. Think about what you or your family need in a house and neighborhood, rather than focusing on idealized versions of those things.

A good way to do this is to sit down and make a list of your budget and the five most important things youíre looking for in a home. These could be things like distance to work, being in a certain school district, or having a certain number of bedrooms. Once you have these details in mind you can begin your search.

Search tools

There are a number of search tools for locating homes near you. The key to searching, however, isnít the tool you use but how you search. Refer to your list for things like room numbers, square footage, and location.

If you donít come up with as many hits as youíd like, try setting up email or text alerts so you can be made aware of the new results for your area.

Once you have a list of about ten properties, youíre ready to start researching them further to see which sellers you want to contact to view the home.

Researching a potential home

Many people are surprised at the number of things you can learn about a home just from a Google search. However, Google will be an indispensable tool in your search for the perfect home.

Letís start our search on Google Maps. Type in the address for the house youíre researching and see if there are any photos of the home that arenít on the listing page. Next, enter the satellite view of the home to get an idea of the layout of the home and property.

While youíre in Google Maps, itís a good idea to browse the local area for businesses, hospitals, schools, parks, and other services that might affect your decision. Then, set a driving route between the house and your place of work to find out how long it would take you to get to work if you moved there.

Once youíre done in Google Maps, head back to the Google search page and browse the results for the address. This could show you information on previous owners, prices, and crime statistics. All of this will be useful information in your search.

Repeat this search method for the rest of your homes on your list and youíll be narrowing down potential homes to visit in no time.





Posted by Douglas Schmidt on 4/17/2017

Finding a home can be intimidating, particularly for first-time homebuyers. As such, you'll want to conduct an extensive search, do plenty of research along the way and ensure any residence you check out meets all of your needs. Ultimately, you'll want to make an informed home purchase. And in order to do so, here are three factors that you'll want to consider: 1. The Current Real Estate Market Do you know the difference between a buyer's market and a seller's one? If not, you may be in trouble, especially if you hope to find a bargain on the real estate market. Real estate prices may fluctuate depending on a variety of factors, including the national economy and supply and demand for houses in a particular area. Thus, you'll want to be thorough and learn as much as possible about the real estate market in your area. Examining the prices of houses in a particular area is valuable, as this will enable you to see what previous homebuyers paid for residences over the past few months. Also, you should meet with a real estate agent who will be able to provide you with extensive housing market data that can help you make the best decision. 2. Your Budget Let's face it Ė a starter home may be one of several residences you own in your lifetime. As a result, it should serve as a viable residence that you can enjoy for at least a few years, then allow you to move on to a bigger and better house. When it comes to searching the real estate market for a starter home, you'll want to take a close look at your budget. By doing so, you'll be able to determine the maximum amount that you can afford for a starter residence and explore homes within a set price range. To establish a budget, you should consult with a lender and try to get pre-approved for a mortgage. That way, you'll know what you can afford, be able to improve your chances of purchasing a starter home that fits your budget and accelerate the process of finding a new place to live. 3. Your Must-Haves Although a starter home is commonly viewed as a short-term residence, there's no reason to settle for a subpar residence. Instead, you can make a list of must-haves and wants for your new home and explore the real estate market for a residence that fulfills your needs. Your must-haves are essentials, i.e. things like central air if you want to move to a warm-weather climate. On the other hand, wants may include things like a swimming pool and other non-essential features. Differentiate your must-haves from your wants by deciding exactly what you need from a starter home. Crafting a list of must-haves and wants will help you determine what is important to you and make it easier to search for residences that meet your homebuying criteria. Use the aforementioned tips to avoid the stress commonly associated with buying your first house, and you should have no trouble finding a great starter residence quickly and effortlessly.





Posted by Douglas Schmidt on 3/13/2017

Rome was not built in the day, and much in the same vein, buying a home may prove to be an exhausting yet rewarding process.

Ultimately, buying a house can be a lot of work. A typical homebuyer may need to commit substantial time and resources to browse the housing market, set up home showings and submit offers on residences. Therefore, homebuyers may experience many ups and downs as the homebuying process moves forward.

What are some of the most common feelings that homebuyers may experience? Here's a closer look at three feelings that you might experience as you search for your dream home.

1. Excitement

Entering the housing market is a time of change, leading to unparalleled excitement.

When you begin your search for the perfect home, you'll likely start with a clean slate. You may be able to move to any city or town in the United States. Or, you can move close to family members and friends. You can even live on your own or with family members and friends.

The possibilities are endless when you start your home search. And with a real estate agent at your disposal, you'll be able to maintain your excitement throughout the homebuying journey.

Your real estate agent will keep you up to date about new homes as they become available. He or she also will learn about your homebuying needs and enable you to narrow your search accordingly. Thus, your real estate agent will help you stay excited as you navigate the journey from homebuyer to homeowner.

2. Stress

Unfortunately, stress is common for homebuyers. As you prepare to check out houses and submit offers on homes, your stress levels may rise accordingly.

Lucky for you, hiring an experienced real estate agent can help you minimize stress levels.

Your real estate agent is happy to respond to your homebuying concerns and queries without delay. By doing so, he or she will help put your mind at ease. And if your stress levels start to rise, your real estate agent is available to provide you with the necessary support to help you alleviate stress.

3. Relief

Relief occurs after a homebuyer secures his or her dream home. At this point, a home seller may have accepted a homebuyer's offer, and a homebuyer likely has completed a home inspection that meets or exceeds his or her expectations. As such, a homebuyer only needs to finalize a purchase agreement to acquire his or her dream residence.

With support from a real estate agent, you can reach the relief stage of the homebuying process quickly. Your real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to streamline the homebuying cycle. As a result, you should have no trouble finding and purchasing your dream home if you collaborate with an experienced real estate professional.

Get ready for the homebuying journey Ė work with an experienced real estate agent, and you can move one step closer to buying your ideal home.




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Posted by Douglas Schmidt on 1/30/2017

Whether you are a buyer or a seller it is time to get off the fence. Despite years of bad news surrounding the real estate market, the time has come when it is both a good time to be a buyer and a seller. Why Buy? Here are just a few reasons why you should get off the fence and buy: 1.†When investors start gobbling up real estate you know it's a good deal. In 2011, investors upped their buying by 64%. †While it is still not time to start flipping for a profit the clock is ticking down to an uptick in prices. 2. Interest rates are historically low. You have been hearing this for a while but they are hovering right around 4%. 3. First-time buyers are in a unique position. They didn't lose money in the housing market. 4. It's a great deal! Prices are at all-time lows. So you may be saving as much as 40% off a home if you buy now. Why Sell? Here are just a few reasons why you should get off the fence and sell: 1. Inventory is shrinking. Demand is up and in certain areas and price ranges there is limited inventory so putting your home on the market now will most likely result in a sale. 2. Mortgage availability has stabilized. Mortgage restrictions are loosening and especially first-time buyers are able to get mortgages as they were not affected as much by the financial crisis. 3. Unemployment is not as bad as you think. One is 30 Americans is unemployed as a result of the recent financial crisis. There are lots of able buyers out there. 4. Houses are selling and some are even going to bidding wars. Homes that are priced according to the market are selling and selling quickly. 5. Don't wait for prices to increase. This could be a long wait.





Posted by Douglas Schmidt on 7/11/2016

Imagine what it will be like when you discover your dream house. In all likelihood, this residence will meet all of your needs, along with your budget. However, it is important to note that the final price of your home is unlikely to be what you'll wind up paying for your new residence. There are many hidden home costs that you should consider before you finalize your home purchase, including: 1. Property Taxes Property taxes are a necessary evil. And even though every homebuyer would like to avoid them, these taxes must be paid consistently. Typically, property taxes are billed annually as a percentage of your assessed home's value. They may total thousands of dollars that you'll be responsible for paying every year, and as such, should be considered when you budget for your home purchase. Although you cannot avoid property taxes, you can plan for them. Homebuyers who budget accordingly, meanwhile, will be able to ensure that they can pay these taxes on time for the length of their mortgage. 2. Utilities You've decided to buy a home, but how do you plan to pay for electricity for your new residence? Or how do you intend to pay to heat and cool your home? Utilities are paramount, and the costs associated with utilities need to be evaluated during the homebuying process. Fortunately, working with an experienced real estate agent ensures you'll be better equipped to understand the utilities costs you may encounter when you buy a new residence. A real estate professional may be able to provide insights into how much utilities will cost based on the size of your home and your individual needs. That way, you'll be able to get a better idea about how much you'll need to save each month for electricity, heat and other utilities. 3. Home Repairs and Maintenance Even a brand new house will require repairs and maintenance over time. And even though every room in a home looks like it is in great shape now, the same may not hold true even a week, month or year from now. Putting aside money each month enables you to prepare for any minor or major home repair or maintenance projects that could arise. Furthermore, those who are in dire need of extensive home repairs may be able to apply for a home improvement loan to ensure they can get any home improvement projects done as soon as possible. Remember, planning ahead usually is a good idea, particularly for homebuyers. Budgeting for the unforeseen costs associated with buying and owning a home is important, and doing so will ensure you're prepared for any challenges that may come your way. Creating a budget and sticking to it can help you find a great home that won't force you to stretch beyond your means. Plus, those who develop a budget that includes potential hidden homebuying and homeownership costs can avoid the risk of falling into debt. Prepare for the hidden costs of buying a new residence, and you'll be able to maximize the value of your purchase.







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