Author Archive | Kristin Clayton

Good Credit is Key in 2017

Couple in dining room with laptop smilingGood credit is essential anytime, but in a rising rate environment, maintaining good credit is more important than ever when qualifying for a home mortgage.

Lenders view your credit history as the best predictor of your credit worthiness. Your credit history is expressed as a 3-digit number called a credit score. Credit scores range from 300 to 850. The higher your credit score, the easier time you will have getting a mortgage and the better interest rate. Anything over 720 is considered good; 750 is excellent. Read More

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What Home Buyers Want In a New Home

modern kitchen with hardwood floorsAccording to recent surveys, home buyers today are looking for well-designed, environmentally friendly, energy efficient homes with open floor plans. They want smaller homes (McMansions are out of favor) and tech savvy homes with outdoor living spaces. Read More

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Tax Deductions Available to Sellers

3 people looking over paperworkThe biggest tax benefit available to home sellers is an exemption against capital gains taxes on any profit you make on the sale up to $250,000 ($500,000 if married and filing a joint return). You must have lived in the home as your personal residence for 2 out of the last 5 years before the sale. If you meet these criteria, any profit you make on the home up to $250,000 is exempt from taxation under Section 121 of the U.S. tax code. Read More

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3 Ways to Jointly Own Property

3 ladies looking at laptops at tableUnder Massachusetts State law, there are three ways for people to jointly own real estate:

  1. Tenancy by the entirety
  2. Tenancy in common
  3. Joint tenancy with right of survivorship

The type of ownership conveyed may impact what occurs when a person dies intestate or without a valid will. Read More

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Title Insurance – Why Do I Need It?

one family home dusted in snow“Title” is the legal ownership of the property. Lenders usually require borrowers to obtain title insurance to protect the lender against losses resulting from claims against the title. The lender’s title insurance policy, however, does not protect the property owner. If a claim is made it can be financially devastating to an uninsured owner. Read More

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What is a Loan Origination Fee?

Couple looking at loan documentsA loan origination fee pays for the costs a lender incurs in originating the mortgage, such as the paperwork and time it takes to determine if a borrower is qualified for the mortgage. Different lenders may charge different amounts – or nothing at all — for this service. Generally speaking, lenders who charge an origination fee calculate the fee as a percentage of the total value of the loan, usually around one percent, although some lenders may charge a flat fee. Read More

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What Does “As Is” Mean?

When a seller advertises a home “as is,” it does not necessarily mean that there are problems with the home. Rather, by using that term, the seller is merely telling buyers upfront that the seller has no intention of fixing anything that may be wrong with the home. Read More

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Tips for Selling your Home in Winter

Winter is typically the slowest time of the year for home sales. Many sellers take their homes off the market and then re-list them in the spring. But people do have to move all year round. While there are typically fewer buyers in the market in winter, there are also fewer sellers, giving your home a chance for greater visibility. Read More

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How to Avoid Overpaying for a Home

Property values can vary widely in a community and even within a neighborhood, depending on the exact location of the home. A home located at one end of a street can differ in price from a similar home at the other end. Home prices can also vary widely depending on the condition of the property, the motives of the seller and the state of the local economy, proximity to schools, playgrounds, parks, traffic, etc. Read More

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What if My Offer to Buy a Home is Rejected?

If your offer to buy a home is rejected, you need to consider how much you really want the home and how much more money you may be able to afford to offer for it.

There is no “formula” for how much to offer for a home. Every real estate transaction is different; every seller and buyer are unique. Offers should fit the particular situation. Read More

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