Pat Baker - REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West



Posted by Pat Baker on 3/17/2017

Let's face it – you're tired of your current living situation and are ready for a change. Luckily, there are many homes available in your area – you just need to find a residence that fits your needs and budget. The homebuying process sometimes can become time-consuming and exhausting, but we're here to help you take the guesswork out of finding a residence and ensure you can discover your dream home quickly and effortlessly. Here are three tips that you can use to speed up the homebuying process: 1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage. Why should you look at homes you cannot afford? Instead, you can get pre-approved for a mortgage and search for residences that suit your budget perfectly. Many lenders are available that offer financing for homebuyers nationwide. As a result, you may be able to evaluate a variety of lenders to ensure you're able to get the lowest interest rate on your mortgage. Before you begin your home search, get pre-approved for a mortgage – you'll be happy you did! And remember, if you are pre-approved for a mortgage, you may be able to improve your chances of a home seller accepting your offer over others (i.e. from homebuyers who still need to get financing) as well. 2. Employ a Home Inspector. After you submit an offer for a residence, you'll want to hire a home inspector who can evaluate this property to the fullest extent. A home inspector serves as an unbiased third-party who possesses the experience and know-how needed to evaluate a residence. Therefore, this inspector will be able to identify any problem areas before you buy a house. With the right home inspector at your side, you can boost your chances of finding the right home without delay. This inspector will empower you with the insights you need to make an informed homebuying decision, one that could deliver significant benefits both now and in the future. 3. Work with a Real Estate Agent. Although you'd like to find a home as quickly as possible, you may lack the time and resources needed to fully review the real estate market. By hiring a real estate agent, however, you can streamline the process of exploring the real estate market in your area. A real estate agent will collaborate with you, learn about your wants and needs and provide information about residences that match your preferences. This professional can even set up home showings and keep you up to date about open houses in your area. Thus, your real estate agent serves as a dedicated housing market resource and will do everything possible to ensure you can find the perfect home. You'll likely discover a broad assortment of real estate agents available in cities and towns across the United States. And to find the right real estate agent, you'll want to meet with this professional and make sure you're comfortable working with him or her as you embark on your search for your dream residence. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble accelerating the homebuying process.




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Posted by Pat Baker on 2/10/2017

Moving is stressful. You have to worry about cleaning out your old home, preparing your new one and all of the logistical headaches that come with it. If that weren't enough, you still have to balance your work and family life with the demands of moving into a new home. With all of those factors taken into account, it's easy to make mistakes on moving day. Today, we'll cover five of the most common mistakes people make while moving to a new home and how to avoid them.

1. Thinking you don't need help

None of us want to burden our friends or our wallets for moving. But unless all of your belongings fit in a suitcase and you're moving to a furnished apartment you're going to need some help. Whether it's friends, family, or professional movers, make sure you have enough people to help you with the moving process. Don't worry, you can repay them with free food or a good tip accordingly.

2. Assuming your help is reliable

If you're counting on friends and family to help you move, check in with them a few days in advance to make sure they're still available. Give them details for the exact time and place they're needed. As a courtesy, order everyone pizza at the new house in exchange for their help. If you're hiring a mover, do some research before you commit to one. Read customer reviews and testimonials, make sure they have all required licensing, and so on. Call to confirm on the day before the move to make sure no mix-ups have been made.

3. Not taking traffic into account

If you and your movers are on a deadline, take traffic into account for your move. Do a test run along the moving route during the hours you'll be traveling to find out how long it will take. This will also help you plan out stops for gas if needed. Another good practice is to print out directions to the new home and give them to everyone who will be driving. This way you and your moving van know exactly which route to take.

4. Forgetting overnight necessities

Necessities like a tooth brush, deodorant, soap, and cell phone charger should be packed in a separate bag that stays with you. This way it won't get lost among your boxes and regardless of where you're sleeping that night you'll know where to find the important items you need.

5. Not planning for their pet

Moving your belongings is easy, but moving your pet will require extra planning. You'll have to ready your crate, pet food, toys, litter box or dog bags, and anything else your pet needs. You'll also need to look out for your pet during the move since doors will be opening and closing and they'll be in a new (potentially frightening) environment. If you can, have someone pet sit for you on moving day. If that isn't possible, keep the pet in an empty room with everything they need until you've settled in, checking up on them periodically.




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Posted by Pat Baker on 8/12/2016

Buying a home can be a daunting and nerve-wracking experience, especially if it's your first time. Many first time homebuyers go into the process with little preparation other than financial planning. One great tool to have if you're entering the housing market for the first time is a timeline to owning your first home.

Why you need a timeline

There are innumerable benefits to having a timeline for buying a home. There's are several steps and a lot of information to remember during the buying process. Having a timeline will make sure you stay on top of those steps. Knowing that you're keeping up with your end of the deal will help you feel more relaxed and confident as you enter into this important step of your life. It will relieve anxieties that you are forgetting something or that you are overwhelmed and behind on the process.

Before you start...

There are a number of helpful tools to making a timeline. If you're the type who is constantly on your laptop or smartphone, you can keep your timeline in a document or spreadsheet there and make sure it's synced up between your devices so you can refer to it when needed. If you're more of an App kind of person, there are several apps on the market for helping you keep on schedule. They'll give you updates periodically and remind you when an upcoming task is due. Do you still keep a hard copy planner and carry it in your bag wherever you go? If so, consider drawing up a physical timeline that you can refer to. Just make sure you write it in pencil because you will invariably need to update it now and then.

Dates for your timeline

Here are some items you should strongly consider putting on your home buying timeline. Everyone's timeline is different because each person has their own requirements when it comes to how soon they want to move. Give yourself realistic dates and look ahead on the calendar to make sure your items don't conflict with holidays or upcoming vacations. TIMELINE ITEMS
  1. Consider more than finances. Before contacting realtors or even before browsing listings online think about your own goals. If you're moving with another person think about your futures and where your careers may take you. The first date on your timeline should be a long discussion about the future and what you would like it to look like.
  2. Crunch the numbers. Consider your savings, expenses, current income, and projected income. As a general rule, don't look into buying homes over 2-3 times your income.
  3. Research lenders. Odds are you'll have a mortgage for quite some time, therefore you'll want to make sure your relationship with your lender is ideal. Read reviews, speak with several lenders, and talk to your friends and family about their experiences.
  4. Research insurance. The sooner you know how much you'll be paying in insurance the better.
  5. Get pre-approved.  Doing this early tells home sellers that you are a qualified buyer.
  6. House hunt. This is the fun part. Give yourself plenty of time to consider options.
  7. Make an offer. Consider the features of the home, the cost of he homes in the neighborhood, and the seller's disposition toward the home (whether they need to sell it quickly or are just testing the water).
  8. Double check your contracts. Re-read all of your paperwork and make copies/back it up.





Posted by Pat Baker on 7/8/2016

If you're searching for a new home open houses can present many learning opportunities. It's your chance to gather information--not only about the particular home you're touring, but also about buying homes in general. It's also your chance to get used to working with real estate agents to learn what they can offer you. Many people arrive at an open house with an open mind. This isn't a bad thing, but it is good to be prepared with some questions for the agent. In this article, we'll talk about some important questions that will help you make the most informed real estate decisions as possible. But first, let's talk open house preparation in general.

Open House Etiquette

Many people expect to be pounced upon by an agent at an open house like a salesman in a furniture store. However, you'll most likely find that the agent is hands-off at the open house, letting you take a look around unbothered. Here are some tips for good open house etiquette to leave a good impression as a potential buyer.
  • Sign in to the guestbook. Or, if you do decline, do it politely
  • Ask for permission before you take photos
  • Ask the real estate agent your questions casually and give them time to speak with other guests--interrogating the agent will make it an uncomfortable meeting for everyone
  • Save probing questions or criticism until you leave. You'll get a chance to speak with the agent again, but don't want to seem rude at your first meeting.

Top Five Questions

  1. Why are the owners selling the home? This one question will give you several details about the home. If they are selling because of the neighbors or problems with the home this question will give you insight into those important buying factors.
  2. Has the listing price changed?  Fluctuation in the price of the home can mean the seller is on a timeline or that the house isn't receiving any offers at the original price. This information could mean that there is some flexibility in the price of the home.
  3. Are there any problems with the home? Most states require the seller to disclose problems with the house. There are many issues that could affect the value of a home that aren't in plain sight, such as plumbing and electrical work. Don't be afraid to ask when the last time the roof was repaired or when any other major work was done on the house.
  4. What is the neighborhood like?  If you aren't familiar with the area you're moving into this is a very important question to ask. Real estate agents should be experts on the area they work in and will be able to give you information about noise levels, schools, traffic, and so on.
  5. What is the cost of utilities?  Everyone uses different amounts of electricity and water. That being said, each home also has its own level of efficiency. If the home has outdated lighting and appliances or if the faucets let out a high volume of water, you might be surprised at how much your future utility bills will be.





Posted by Pat Baker on 3/11/2016

Buying a home is a very important decision. Before you rush into a home you should consider all the factors. Making sure you end up with the right home involves figuring out exactly what features you need, want and don't want in a home. Before starting your search, you should make a "wish list" to decide which features are absolutely essential, which nice “extras” are if you happen to find them, and which are completely undesirable. The more specific you can be about what you're looking for from the outset, the more effective your home search will be. Also keep in mind, that in the end, every home purchase is a compromise. Create your own personalized "wish list" and when you're finished filling it out; share it with your real estate agent. Become an educated buyer •The web is one of the best ways to search for homes today. With this website, you can receive daily emails with new and updated listings from the towns and price range of your choice. •Search the entire MLS for all homes, condos, land, multi family, commercial properties, and past sold properties at your convenience. •View full listing sheets showing amenities, taxes, lot sizes, beds, baths, rooms, siding, fireplaces, garages, room sizes and much more. •Get property addresses and see where the properties are located on MapQuest. •Check schools and community profiles of your preferred towns. •Save preferred listings in your own file to view anytime. •Calculate approximate mortgage payments for specific properties. Home Inspection Once you have made an offer on a home, you will need to schedule a home inspection, conducted by an independent authorized inspector. It is extremely important to hire a reputable inspector so that you know exactly what you are buying. Do not hesitate to ask friends, family, and co-workers for advice. If you are satisfied with the results of the inspection, then you can proceed with the sale. If the inspector finds problems with the property, you may want to negotiate with the seller to lower the price, or to pay for certain repairs. Appraisal Your lender may require you to get an appraisal of the house you want to buy, to make sure it is worth the money that you are borrowing. You may select your own appraiser, or you may ask your real estate broker to help you with this task. Homeowner's Insurance Lenders require that you have homeowners insurance, to protect both your interests and theirs. Like everything else, be sure to shop around for insurance that fits your needs. Settlement or Closing Finally Make Sure Before you Buy Finally, you are ready for the closing. Be sure to read everything before you sign! You should have both your real estate broker and an attorney present at the closing to ensure that all is in order.







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