You can own a home!!

Are you wondering if buying a home is a possibility for you?

Do you dream of personalizing a home to your own tastes and lifestyle?

Are you tired of paying your landlord’s mortgage and being limited their rules?

Being a first time home buyer is very exciting – and a little bit scary for some :), but I have an awesome team of experienced professionals who can help get you ready and guide you through the entire process.   I am just a call, an e-mail, or a click away to start your home search so let’s find time to chat about your needs, your wants, and your budget.  In the meantime, here are 3 Tips for Making Your Dream of Homeownership come true…Making Your Dream of Homeownership a Reality

First Time Home Buyers are one of my specialties and I have many satisfied “first timers” who made it through the process.  Happy to make a connection if you’d like to talk with someone who has recently been through a complete transaction from searching on-line to getting their keys at the closing table.  And as they will all attest to, I have lots of stories to share from my vast experience in real estate over the past 20+ years 🙂  Every deal seems to have its own nuances these days, but be assured, I have a solid reputation in the real estate industry, I always have an eye on the big picture while working through the little details, and I am committed to the goals of my buyers and sellers.

 Always happy to be of any assistance to you or anyone you know who is thinking about buying or selling a home. I love to work hard for my clients and your referrals throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Jen McMorran, Realtor

Jennifer McMorran, Realtor, SRES
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA & RI Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate
Kensington Real Estate Brokerage
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor

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Massachusetts & Rhode Island.
Boston – Attleboro – Providence
and the communities in between.

Basics of Buying a Home

MAR LogoThe Massachusetts Association of Realtors is such a wonderful resource for agents and consumers.  Check out the buying process – “simplified”.

10 Steps to Buying a Home

1`. Are you ready to buy and own a home?Family Home Purchase
2. Get a handle on your credit score

3. Get pre-approved for a mortgage
4. Determine what you can afford
5. Decide what you want in a house
6. Get help and consider working with a REALTOR®
7. Make an offer
8. Home inspection
9. Purchase & sale agreement

10. The closing

 

  1. Are you ready to buy and own a home?

This might seem like a simple question, but there is a lot to owning a home. There is the actual process of buying the home to the demands of being a home owner. If you are prepared and owning a home is right for you, then follow these next steps.

  1. Get a handle on your credit score

The vast majority of home buyers need a mortgage loan to buy a home, but because of the recent financial crisis, securing financing can be difficult.  Lenders make their decision on whether to issue a loan based on the likelihood they will be paid back. To do this, they look at your credit score.  The higher your credit score, the better chance you have for obtaining financing. Unfortunately, there can be errors on your credit reports that can impact your credit score. To prevent this, make sure to obtain your credit report from any of the three credit reporting companies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) and correct any errors prior to applying for a mortgage. https://www.annualcreditreport.com

  1. Get pre-approved for a mortgage

“Pre-approval” means you have met with a loan officer, your credit files have been reviewed and the loan officer believes you can readily qualify for a given loan amount with one or more specific mortgage programs. Based on this information, the lender will provide a pre-approval letter, which shows your borrowing power and that you have the ability to go through with a purchase.

  1. Determine what you can afford

While getting a pre-approval letter is an important step, determining what you can afford is a personal decision. Only you know what feels comfortable. Remember, in addition to your loan payment (that includes principal, interest, taxes and insurance) there are also heating and cooling costs, water and sewer bills and potentially maintenance and association fees.

  1. Decide what you want in a house

Make a list of the features and benefits you want in a home. Consider such things as pricing, location, size, schools, amenities and design. Consider your priorities. If you can’t get a home at your price with all the features you want, then what features are most important? For instance, would you trade fewer bedrooms for a larger kitchen or a longer commute for a bigger lot and lower cost? Finally, consider your needs in several years.

  1. Get help and consider working with a REALTOR®

A local REALTOR® truly knows the local market. They have been in many of the houses that are for sale in the market that you have seen online. They understand why certain homes in certain neighborhoods are priced the way they are.  They are also in the best position to help you find the house that most closely matches what you want in a home. Most importantly, a REALTOR® will be looking out for your interests

  1. Make an offer

Once you have found a house that you would like to buy, you need to make an offer to the owner. In a typical situation, you will complete an offer along with a $1,000 deposit that your REALTOR® will present to the owner and the owner’s representative. The owner, in turn may accept the offer, reject it or make a counter-offer. The owner’s response will determine your next step. (Please note: In some markets, it is not unusual to go directly to signing a purchase & sale agreement. Working with a local REALTOR® will be able to easily guide you through the process)

  1. Home inspection

After your offer is accepted, it is routine to have a home inspection. During these examinations, a licensed inspector determines if there are material physical defects and whether expensive repairs and replacements are likely to be required in the next few years. Such inspections for a single-family home often require two or three hours, and you should attend. This is an opportunity to examine the property’s mechanics and structure, ask questions and learn far more about the property than is possible with an informal walk-through.

  1. Purchase & sale agreement

Provided you are satisfied with the home inspection, the next step is to sign a purchase & sale agreement. This document details the specifics of the transaction, such as: repairs to be completed; fixtures to remain with the property the property’s status regarding lead paint; and, if a septic system exists, the confirmation of a Title 5 certificate (in Massachusetts).  The closing date is finalized and a five percent deposit is made (which is held in escrow until the closing). If you have any questions about your legal rights or responsibilities, you should consider consulting an attorney.

  1. The closing

This is the day when you will become a home owner, but there are several steps that are necessary. Prior to closing you will have a walk-through of the home you are buying. This is to make sure repairs (if any) were made and that the house is in the same or better condition than when you made the offer. Most lenders will require that you have a home owner’s insurance binder (proof of insurance) before they will close the loan. Many buyers also purchase title insurance that is bought with a one-time fee at closing. Title insurance protects owners in the event that title to the property is found to be invalid. After signing the loan documents (and there are many), the sellers will receive the remainder of the payment from the closing attorney and you’ll be handed the keys.

Disclaimer:
These steps are intended to provide a general guideline on how the home buying process works, however every transaction can have its own special situations or circumstances and might not be covered in this document. This publication is intended for educational use only. Opinion or suggestions in this publication do not necessarily represent the official policies or positions of the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS®.   The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® does not accept responsibility for any misinterpretation or misapplication by the reader of the information contained in this article.  The publishing of this material does not constitute the practice of law nor does it attempt to provide legal advice concerning any specific factual situation.  FOR ADVICE ON SPECIFIC LEGAL PROBLEMS CONSULT LEGAL COUNSEL.

First Time Home Buyer Myths

Have you been thinking about buying your first home?
What do you think is holding you back?

Make sure to get the facts before:
* spending more money on increasing rents which
may limit your ability to save for a down payment
OR
*you miss out on still historically low interest rates.

Slaying-Myths-KCm

I am so pleased to work with a variety of lenders that I trust to get the job done.   I only recommend Mortgage Officers who are willing to take the time to answer questions, explain processes, and work with you on accomplishing your goals.   And, always feel free to contact me as well with any questions or happy to set up a meeting … just call/text 508-930-5259 or jen.mcmorran@gmail.com.

Jen McMorran, Realtor

Jen McMorran, Realtor
508-930-5259
jen.mcmorran@gmail.com
http://www.jenmcmorran.realtor
http://www.BeHomeBeWell.com
Kensington - Jen McMorran

New Construction Specialist, First Time Home Buyers,
Townhomes & Condominiums, Exhisting Home Sales, Antique Homes

Working with buyers and sellers from Providence, RI to Boston, MA.

 

What’s your goal?

Family Home Purchase

Does your new home search include…

a nice house

in a location that makes sense

with a mortgage you can afford?

Sounds pretty reasonable to me.

Are you feeling “stuck” because you have to sell you current home?

Are you afraid you won’t sell your current home
for as much as you think you should?

I can’t stress enough the importance of getting all of the facts
and considering the whole situation.

Maybe you’ll have to sell your current home for less than what you paid for it. Or, maybe you are even going to sell it for less than what you owe on your mortgage. I’m sure the thought of bringing a check to the closing table to sell your house seems unbearable,
BUT… what if that allowed you to purchase your next home? That’s sounds better, right?

Try thinking of it as a cost associated with your purchase and not a loss on your sale.

Mortgage rates are still low and very affordable.   New housing inventory is steadily trickling on to the market.  Let’s determine the most likely selling price for you home.    Then let’s set up time with a mortgage officer to determine the price point you can afford and feel comfortable with on your next home purchase.

First time home buyerThere may be some bumps in your journey to a new home.

Ultimately, though,  if you end up in a home you like,
in a location that works
with a mortgage you can afford,
isn’t that really the goal and worth it?

I can be conveniently reached by phone 508-930-5259, text 508-930-5259 or e-mail jen.mcmorran@gmail.com.

 Whether buyer, selling, or both, let’s determine your goal and create a plan to reach it.

Jen McMorran, Realtor * 508-930-5259 * jen.mcmorran@gmail.com
*Kensington Real Estate Brokerage *

New Construction Projects:

Flynn Terrace KitchenFlynn Terrace:  3BR, 2.5BA Townhomes with 2 car garages. Starting at $314,900
*Open House, Saturday 12-2 * 1400 Commerce Way, Attleboro*

Brigham Hill:  New custom homes. Will build to suit. Starting at $500,000.
24  Brigham Hill53 Brigham Hill, Attleboro * Open House, Sunday 12-2
Up and Ready! 3BR, 2.5BA Colonial with walk-out basement and solar power! $475,000

First-Time Home Buyers… Five Common Mistakes (and how to avoid them!)

First Time Home BuyersTis the season … the Spring housing market is taking off.  If you are first time home buyer, now is the time to get prepared with the basics so you can take advantage of new inventory coming on the market and the continued low interest rates still under 4%  (and if you’re new to it all, under 4% is great!).

5 Common First-Time Home Buyer Mistakes

Finding Home1.  They don’t ask enough questions of their lender and end up missing out on the best deal.

 2.  They don’t act quickly enough to make a decision and someone else buys the house.

 3.  They don’t find the right agent who’s willing to help them through the home buying process.

4.  They don’t do enough to make their offer look appealing to a seller.

5.  They don’t think about resale before they buy. The average first-time buyer only stays in a home for four years.
Source: Real Estate Checklists and Systems, www.realestatechecklists.com.

 

How to Avoid 5 Common First-Time Home Buyer Mistakes

1.  They don’t ask enough questions of their lender and end up missing out on the best deal.
ASK QUESTIONS!
What is the current interest rate? What will my monthly payment be including taxes & insurance?
What happens if the rate goes up?
What happens if the rate goes down? Is there a program to make sure I get the lower rate if it decreases before I close? Is there a fee for that program?
What are the fees involved with this loan? Will I be charged PMI (private mortgage insurance)? Can I avoid that?
What do I need for a downpayment?
Can I get a gift of money from friends or family to put towards my downpayment?
If I am buying new construction which won’t be ready for a few months, can I lock an interest rate in now? Are there any extended rate lock programs available?

2.  They don’t act quickly enough to make a decision and someone else buys the house.
The Spring market can move at a fast and furious pace … BE PREPARED and READY to make an offer!  
If there is a listing you love and think is a good value, chances are hundreds of other buyers and agents are thinking the same thing. Let’s set up a search NOW so you get daily updates of homes in your price range. Even if you are thinking Summer, now is the time to get comfortable with the market and a better feel for what you like and what you can afford.
Then, set up time to meet with a mortgage officer. This is a great time of year to do it since you already have much of the paperword handy from filing your taxes.  They will consider your credit score, income, debt, and assets when figuring out the mortgage amount for which you will quality.  Remember, you need to be comfortable with the monthly payment!!  You know your lifestyle, so even though you may qualify for a higher  mortgage amount that doesn’t mean you have to search that high.  If you are a solid borrower, they will give a prequalification or pre-approval letter that we can then present to strengthen any offer you may make.  If the mortgage company, feels you need to wait a bit to work on credit or decrease debt, ask them what specific things you should work on and pay off – it will make a difference.

3.  They don’t find the right agent who’s willing to help them through the homebuying process.
I truly enjoy sharing the knowledge I have gained over the years both personally and professionally to make a first time home buyer as comfortable as possible with the process. I have no expectations of you except that you will be honest, willing to listen & learn, and ask a million questions along the way. You’ve never done this before and honestly things are constantly changing in Real Estate. Friends and family will have their opinions, but remember how important it is to get the facts and to form your own opinion. I am ready to guide you from starting your search to closing on your first home.

4.  They don’t do enough to make their offer look appealing to a seller.
There is more to an offer than just sale price. As a buyer’s agent, I always urge buyers to think about presenting a strong offer.
Present a $1000 check as a deposit with the offer (If the offer is accepted, that money will be applied to the amount you ultimately need to bring to the closing anyway. If the offer is not accepted, the check gets handed back to you.)
Have a pre-approval letter from a reputable bank ready to submit with your offer.
Think about the closing date – would a quick closing work better for a seller or an extended closing? Maybe a seller would like flexibility with a closing date because they are searching for a new home themselves or building one?
Are you looking to have closing costs paid for so there is less money out of your pocket? If you are in a bidding war with other buyers, consider offering over the ask price so you can finance your closing costs into the mortgage (The seller would credit you back that amount at closing. Sometimes this can lead to issues with the bank’s appraisal of the property so make sure to discuss with your buyer’s agent.)
Time is of the essence when selling a home. Make sure dates for inspection, Purchase and Sale signing, and mortgage commitment are reasonable but not drawn out. A seller does not want to lose marketing time if your deal is not going to go through.

5.  They don’t think about resale before they buy. The average first-time buyer only stays in a home for four years.

You likely will not be in your first home forever. Think into the future about when you try to sell this home. If it is a hard location to sell now, it is most likely going to be a hard location later as well. When you sell, you will be paying the agent’s commissions (typcially 5%). Do you think this home will appreciate to cover that and allow you to purchase a new home? Are there major projects that need to be done now? Buyers are going to want those projects to be completed when you sell or they are going to expect a drastically reduced price to adjust for that. Every property will have its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s discuss those now and anticipate how to correct for them in the future.  Your offer should reflect your concern with resale value.

I really do enjoy working with First Time Home Buyers so please let me know when you are ready to start the process.
I am ready to guide you through the whole the process, from search to close!

Jen McMorran, Realtor * 508-930-5259 * jen.mcmorran@verizon.net
Kensington Real Estate Brokerage * www.jenmcmorran.realtor

We’ll Leave the Light On For You!

Kensington Office

Such a nice feeling to get out of the house yesterday and back to a little taste of normal. The dogs and I couldn’t do our favorite three mile walk through the trails over at World War I Park in North Attleboro (due to the three feet if snow!!), but we were able to get the kids on the bus and head off to enjoy three laps up and down the plowed roadways and hills around the park.  It was so nice – felt like we had the whole park to ourselves. So pretty. So peaceful.

My day certainly picked up pace after that with appointments, researching updates for buyers and sellers, and getting marketing set for the weekend. (Not to mention homework, chauffeuring to dance, and getting dinner ready before one last drop off to an Art Class then back to the office to finish up a few things.)

Kensington OfficeArriving to this welcoming scene in the middle of winter last night reminded me how lucky I am to work in such a warm comfortable yet productive environment.  If you have been
*wanting to find out more about buying a home,
*wondering if selling your home is the right move,
*interested in New Construction,
*curious what your home might be worth,
*want to explore investment options,
*or a First Time Home Buyer who needs a quick overview of the whole process and would love to pick my brain about real estate, I am happy to schedule time to chat at the office!

At Kensington, we have the technology, space, and comfortable environment to make meeting up easy.  Evenings after work or before your busy day starts are fine with me!  Just give a call/text 508-930-5259 or e-mail jen.mcmorran@verizon.net and let’s find a time.   And, of course, we’ll leave the light on for you… 🙂

Jen McMorranJen McMorran, Realtor   *   508-930-5259   *   jen.mcmorran@verizon.net
Kensington Real Estate Brokerage   *   http://www.jenmcmorran.realtor

The Big 5 and Your Credit

Loving that buyers can start off the new year with mortgage rates still in the 3’s AND for First-Time Home Buyers, the 3% down payment loans are back – yay!!

First Homes are the Best

Low down payments, low interest rates… now what do you need to take advantage of both?

First, you’ll want a great buyer’s agent, like myself of course 🙂  I will help you find a home that suits your lifestyle & negotiate terms that fit your budget.

You will also need a trusted mortgage officer to help you secure a mortgage with a lender.  And, finally, lenders are going to want to see good credit to give you the most flexibility with down payments and the best rates. Now, what goes into a good credit score?

Click this link to  The 5 Biggest Factors Affecting Your Credit  as explained by Amy Fontinelle on Investopedia.com (which, by the way, is a site full of understandable information for consumers).

1. Payment History (35%)
2. Amounts Owed (30%)
3. Length of Credit (15%)
4. New Credit (10%)
5. Types of Credit in Use (10%)

Your credit score reflects the amount of risk a lender may be taking when they loan money to you.  It indicates how responsible you have been in taking out credit and paying back those loans and bills.  If you have not shown stable repayment of debt, expect a low credit score (and expect that banks may not want to loan you hundreds of thousands of dollars for a new home or that they may charge you much more to borrow from them).  On the flip side, if you have taken out credit and managed it well, your score will be higher rewarding you with better rates and more options for loans. This article takes only a few minutes to read, but is great information for years to come whether working to maintain your credit or rebuild it.

Jen McMorran Jen McMorran, Realtor
jen.mcmorran@verizon.net
508-930-5259
First Time Home Buyers
Existing Home Sales
New Construction
Antique Homes

Kensington Real Estate Brokerage – Servicing clients from Boston to Providence! North Attleboro, Attleboro, Plainville, Wrentham, Mansfield, Norton, Foxboro, Sharon, Seekonk, Cumberland, North Smithfield, Providence, Lincoln

What a Difference Wednesday … 3% Down Payments!

Great news for some of my favorite clients … First Time Home Buyers!

Fannie Mae announced a new 3% down payment option for qualified first time buyers!!  Some homeowners with Fannie Mae loans may also be able to refinance with a 97% LTV (loan to value) which is good news for those who would not qualify under HARP (home affordable refinance program).

Give a shout if you’d like help connecting with a mortgage professional.  So important that you are comfortable with your mortgage officer. I’d be happy to share my favorite and most trusted contacts with you!

December 08, 2014
Fannie Mae Announces 97 Percent LTV Option for First-Time Homebuyers
Lower down payment enables qualified borrowers to access credit
Callie Dosberg
202-752-3117

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Fannie Mae (FNMA/OTC) announced an option for qualified first-time homebuyers that will allow for a down payment as low as three percent. Building upon Fannie Mae’s successful lower down payment program offered through state Housing Finance Agencies, the 97 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) option will expand access to credit for qualified first-time homebuyers that may not have the resources for a larger down payment. These loans will meet Fannie Mae’s usual eligibility requirements, including underwriting, income documentation and risk management standards. These loans will require private mortgage insurance or other risk sharing, as is required on purchase loans acquired by the company with greater than 80 percent LTV. Read more

Jen McMorran Jen McMorran, Realtor
jen.mcmorran@verizon.net
508-930-5259
First Time Home Buyers
Existing Home Sales
New Construction
Antique Homes

Kensington Real Estate Brokerage – Servicing clients from Boston to Providence! North Attleboro, Attleboro, Plainville, Wrentham, Mansfield, Norton, Foxboro, Sharon, Seekonk, Cumberland, North Smithfield, Providence, Lincoln