Eliane Consalvo - LAER Realty Partners



Posted by Eliane Consalvo on 4/22/2018

???Robert Frost's poem, Mending Wall, poses an interesting question about whether "good fences make good neighbors."

On one hand, there are several advantages to having your property surrounded by a fence, especially if you or your neighbors have dogs or small children running around.

If you happen to have a vegetable garden or fruit trees in your backyard, a well-constructed fence can also help keep out ravenous deer, rabbits, raccoons, skunks, foxes, and other wildlife.

There's no doubt that fences can serve a variety of useful purposes, ranging from privacy and safety to wildlife control and home security. While it can be beneficial to mark off your property boundaries and keep your backyard private, a question to consider is whether a large fence -- especially a new one -- sends the wrong message to your neighbors.  Striking the perfect balance between privacy and friendly neighbor relations can be tricky at times, but there are compelling reasons to stay on good terms.

  1. Security reasons: If you take the time to chat with your neighbors every now and then, they'll have more of a tendency to keep an eye on your property when you're on vacation or just away for the day -- especially if you ask them.  People tend to be more helpful, observant, and protective of others with whom they share a bond or have a sense of community. In contrast to that, if they don't even know your name and haven't exchanged more than a few words with you in years, they'll be less inclined to pay attention to who's on your property and whether they belong there or not.
  2. Sharing resources: Keeping the lines of communication open with your neighbors is beneficial on many levels. When you have a friendly, ongoing relationship, you won't feel reluctant to ask them for help when your car battery's dead and you're running late for work. Trusted neighbors can also provide you with valuable information, such the names of dependable home improvement contractors or how to arrange a free pickup of household clutter that you want to donate to the Salvation Army.
  3. Quality of life: When you're regularly greeted by friendly neighbors, your neighborhood will feel like more of a welcoming and upbeat place to live. It may be necessary for you to set the example or make the first move, but once a friendly atmosphere has been created in a neighborhood, it's relatively easy to keep it going.

So while you may not want your neighbors to get in the habit of stopping by your home to chew the fat, every day, it can be worth your while to greet them by name, offer help whenever possible, and be the kind of good neighbor you'd like them to be. Setting a positive example may be all that's needed to establish a cooperative relationship and possibly even a life-long friendship. And, if all else fails, keep in mind the words of Benjamin Franklin: "Love thy neighbor, but don't pull down your hedge!"





Posted by Eliane Consalvo on 4/15/2018

Whether you’re a first time homebuyer or a seasoned homeowner, the terminology of mortgages can be confusing. Since buying a home is such a huge financial decision, you’re also going to want to make sure you understand every step of the process and all of the conditions and fees along the way.

In this article, we’re going to explain some of the common terms you might come across when applying for a home loan, be it online or over the phone. By learning the basic meaning of these terms you’ll feel more confident and prepared going into the application process.

We’ll cover the acronyms, like APRs and ARMs, and the scary sounding terms like “amortization” so that you know everything you need to about the terminology of home loans.

  • ARM and FRM, or adjustable rate vs fixed rate mortgages. Lenders make their money by charging you interest on your home loan that you pay back over the length of your loan period. Adjustable rate mortgages or ARMs are loans that have interest rates which change over the lifespan of your loan. You may start off at a low, “introductory rate” and later start paying higher amounts depending on the predetermined rate index. Fixed rate mortgages, on the other hand, remain at the same rate throughout the life of the loan. However, refinancing on your loan allows you to receive a different interest rate later down the road.

  • Amortization. It sounds like a medieval torture technique, but in reality amortization is the process of making your life easier by setting up a fixed repayment schedule. This schedule includes both the interest and the principal loan balance, allowing you to understand how long and how much money will go toward repaying your mortgage.

  • Equity. Simply state, your equity is the the amount of the home you have paid off. In a sense, it’s the amount of the home that you really own. Your equity increases as you make payments, and having equity can help you buy a new home, or see a return on investment with your current home if the home increases in value.

  • Assumption and assumability. It isn’t the title of a Jane Austen novel. It’s all about the process of a mortgage changing hands. An assumable mortgage can be transferred to a new buyer, and assumption is the actual transfer of the loan. Assuming a loan can be financially beneficial if the home as increased in value since the mortgage was created.

  • Escrow. There are a lot of legal implications that come along with buying a home. An escrow is designed to make sure the loan process runs smoothly. It acts as a holding tank for your documents, payments, as well as property taxes and insurance. An escrow performs an important function in the home buying process, and, as a result, charges you a percentage of the home for its services.

  • Origination fee. Basically a fancy way of saying “processing fee,” the origination covers the cost of processing your mortgage application. It’s one of the many “closing costs” you’ll encounter when buying a home and accounts for all of the legwork your loan officer does to make your mortgage a reality--running credit reports, reviewing income history, and so on.  




Tags: Mortgage   terminology  
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Posted by Eliane Consalvo on 4/8/2018

As a home seller, it is essential to do everything possible to promote your house to the right groups of property buyers. However, as you approach the finish line of a home sale, you may encounter a "persistent" homebuyer. And if this happens, the home selling process may come to a screeching halt.

A persistent homebuyer may be more likely than others to demand home improvements or a price reduction to finalize a house sale. As a result, you may need to decide whether to accommodate this homebuyer's requests, continue to negotiate with him or her or walk away from a potential home sale altogether.

So what does it take to deal with a persistent homebuyer? Here are three tips to help you do just that.

1. Understand the Housing Market

Are a homebuyer's requests valid? If so, they are likely to be based on housing market data. Therefore, if you analyze the housing market closely, you can better understand a persistent homebuyer's demands and proceed accordingly.

Take a look at the prices of comparable houses in your city or town. By doing so, you can determine how your house's price rates against the competition.

Also, don't forget to assess the prices of recently sold homes in your area. This housing market data will help you understand the demand for houses in your city or town and determine whether you're operating in a seller's or buyer's market.

2. Stand Your Ground

A persistent homebuyer may be in a hurry to purchase your house. As such, he or she may push you to make rash decisions that may not be in your best interest.

For home sellers, it is important to take a step back and evaluate all aspects of any home selling decisions. And if you feel uncomfortable with a homebuyer's requests, you should feel comfortable walking away from a possible home sale.

Ultimately, declining a homebuyer's requests and walking away from a home sale is far from ideal. On the other hand, doing so will allow you to reenter the housing market and restart the home selling journey with a fresh perspective.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

If you're unsure about how to deal with a persistent homebuyer, you're probably not alone. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available nationwide to help you handle tough negotiations with any homebuyer, at any time.

A real estate agent understands the art of negotiation and can share his or her housing market expertise with you. That way, you can get the support you need to make informed decisions at each stage of the home selling journey.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will respond to your home selling queries as the property selling journey progresses. No question is too big or too small for a real estate agent, and this housing market professional is happy to answer your home selling questions time and time again.

Take the guesswork out of dealing with a persistent homebuyer – use these tips, and you can boost your chances of getting the best results from the home selling journey.




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Posted by Eliane Consalvo on 4/1/2018

Cleaning. It’s not an activity we are all particularly enthusiastic to partake in, yet is a very necessary one. After investing in a new home you want to make it maintain its value over time by keeping it in tip top shape. However, life happens and as days become weeks and weeks become months it’s easy to get caught up in the flow of life and forget those once in awhile cleaning tasks that need to be done throughout the year. Never forget another cleaning task again by creating a seasonal cleaning calendar. For best results combine your everyday calendar with your cleaning one so you have everything at a glance. Spring

  • Inspect roof for any damage that could have occurred from the harsh Winter weather.
  • Look for any other Winter related damage around the parameters of your house.
  • Scrape, sand, prime and/or paint any spots around the home that need it.
  • Clear out lawn and garden beds from any debris to make way for new growth.
  • Plan out your Spring and Summer planting, gardening and landscaping projects.
  • Sort through winter clothes before storing them for the season. Donate any items your children may have outgrown and repair anything that needs mending.
  • Clean your home top to bottom by wiping down ceilings, walls and baseboards.
  • Vacuum and wipe down window panes and sills.
  • Consider holding a yard sale to get rid of any extra clutter that may have gathered over the year.
  • Deep clean the carpets in your home.
  • Clean out the inside of your fridge and vacuum the coils on the back.
  • Test all smoke detectors.
  • Have your air conditioner serviced before the hot weather hits.
  • Pressure wash your house and garage siding as well as your driveway.
Summer
  • Spray insecticides and bug repellants.
  • Inspect fire extinguishers and purchase some if you do not already own any.
  • Flip and rotate mattresses and couch cushions.
  • Regularly prune trees and shrubs.
  • Drain and/or flush your water heater.
Fall
  • Clean all patio furniture before storing it for the winter.
  • Touch up any paint that may be peeling and worn from the Summer heat.
  • Check seals on windows and doors as well as caulking. Make sure your home is well-sealed to prevent any energy leaks over the Winter months.
  • Clean out the gutters along your home.
  • If your home has chimneys have them professionally inspected and cleaned.
  • Schedule a furnace inspection before the cold weather hits.
  • Take the time to clean and organize your kitchen to prepare for holiday cooking.
  • Test and replace batteries in fire alarms.
  • Rake up leaves to prevent debris buildup.
  • Install storm windows to prepare for colder weather.
  • Clean and organize your attic and/or basement.
  • Sort through your family's’ Summer clothes before storing them for the season. Donate any your children have outgrown and repair any that need mending.
Winter
  • Change your furnace’s filters throughout the season as needed.
  • Check the grout around your home and repair as needed
  • Program your thermostat for maximum energy savings.
  • Schedule a termite inspection.
  • Clean out the vents to your dryer.
  • Before packing holiday decorations up for the year ensure they are clean, organized and in working order.
While cleaning may or may not be your favorite activity it is one that must be done throughout the year. Creating a seasonal cleaning calendar will help to keep these tasks at the forefront of your mind and your home in prime condition. At the end of the year you will have a well-maintained home and can feel good about the hard work you put in to make your house and clean, and welcoming home!





Posted by Eliane Consalvo on 3/25/2018

You've attended an open house – now what? Ultimately, there are many questions for homebuyers to consider after they attend an open house, and these include:

1. Did the home match or exceed my expectations?

It is important to understand whether a home is one that you could enjoy both now and in the future. And if you found that you liked a home after an open house, you may want to proceed with an offer on this residence.

Usually, it is a good idea to carry a checklist of your homebuying wants and needs that you can use throughout an open house. With this list in hand, a homebuyer can identify a house's strengths and weaknesses.

If you ever have concerns or questions during an open house, don't hesitate to find the listing real estate agent for assistance too. By doing so, you can gain the insights you need to determine whether a particular house is a viable long-term investment.

2. What would life be like if I purchased the home?

An open house can bring out a broad range of emotions in homebuyers, particularly if these individuals see things that they like in a residence.

For example, a homebuyer who sees a large outdoor deck may envision summer barbecues with family members and friends. Or, a homebuyer who views a spacious kitchen might picture dinner parties that he or she could host in the future.

If a home brings out positive feelings, it may be a keeper. As such, a homebuyer who feels good about a home after an open house may want to move forward with an offer.

3. Am I ready to submit an offer on the home?

Submitting an offer on a house can be tricky. On the one hand, you don't want to overspend to acquire a residence. Conversely, you want to submit a competitive offer that matches the home seller's expectations.

After an open house, it never hurts to meet with a real estate agent. Then, you can outline your homebuying goals and determine whether now is a good time to submit an offer on a residence.

If you decide to proceed with an offer, ensure that the proposal is fair and is submitted in a timely fashion. In all likelihood, the home seller will have 24 to 48 hours to accept, decline or counter your proposal. Once you receive a home seller's decision on your offer, you can determine the next step on your homebuying journey.

Lastly, if a home seller rejects your offer, there is no need to worry. With an expert real estate agent at your side, you can check out other open house events in your area. And as a result, you should have no trouble accelerating the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

Alleviate stress as you decide how to proceed after you attend an open house – consider the aforementioned factors, and you can determine whether a particular residence is right for you.




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