Annemarie Torcivia - RE/MAX  Trinity



Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 10/14/2019

The homebuying process can be stressful, particularly for those who are purchasing a house for the first time. From the time it takes to find your "dream" home to the final closing, there may be many hurdles that you'll need to overcome to secure your ideal home. As such, it sometimes can be difficult for a first-time homebuyer to maintain a positive outlook during the most challenging times.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you remain calm, cool and collected throughout the entire homebuying cycle.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help first-time homebuyers maintain a positive outlook at each stage of the homebuying journey:

1. Establish Realistic Expectations

Although first-time homebuyers would like to believe the property buying journey will be quick and seamless, it is important to realize that problems can arise without notice. However, homebuyers who understand the ins and outs of purchasing a house should have no trouble identifying potential issues and minimizing their impact.

For example, a homebuyer who defines his or her ideal residence can narrow a home search accordingly. This homebuyer also will be able to check out a variety of houses based on assorted property buying criteria and boost his or her chances of discovering the perfect residence without delay.

A homebuyer who establishes realistic expectations will be ready for the worst-case scenarios too. And if this homebuyer submits an offer to purchase a home that ultimately gets rejected, he or she will remain confident and be ready to restart the homebuying cycle from stage one.

2. Become an Informed Homebuyer

A first-time homebuyer who learns about the housing market can improve his or her chances of getting the best possible results.

Allocating the necessary time and resources to understand the differences between a buyer's market and a seller's market, for instance, can make a world of difference for any homebuyer, at any time.

Furthermore, an informed homebuyer may be more likely than others to get pre-approved for a mortgage. With a mortgage in hand, this property buyer can set a budget for his or her home search and increase the likelihood of securing a terrific house at an affordable price.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to purchasing a home for the first time, why should a homebuyer leave anything to chance? Instead, a homebuyer can work with a real estate agent to reduce the risk of potential pitfalls throughout the homebuying cycle.

A real estate agent is happy to respond to a homebuyer's concerns and questions as the property buying journey progresses. This housing market professional will even help a homebuyer maintain a positive outlook, regardless of what happens. That way, a real estate agent can assist a homebuyer through both good times and bad and ensure a property buyer can purchase a first-rate house that matches or exceeds his or her expectations.

Take advantage of these tips, and any first-time homebuyer can keep things positive at each stage of the homebuying cycle.




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Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 8/26/2019

Looking for the perfect place to call home? Is your vision of home that iconic white-picket fence ranch in the suburbs? Or, do you love the walkability of an urban neighborhood? Do you dream of a large backyard with room to host the neighborhood barbecue? How about being near to great schools? Extensive libraries or museums? Sports facilities? A neighborhood park? A nearby school?

Every year, various rankings for cities make it into the new: Best Cities to Live in America; Where to Life; Best Places to Live; Best Small Towns; Best Cities for Millennials; Top Ten Cities for [insert demographic here]. 

Investigate before you head across town … or across the country. 
The perfect location for someone else may not be the perfect home for you. Before chasing someone else’s dream, consider these factors that might better inform your home search:

Think about what’s important for you.
Do you value more space, better schools, a larger home? Or, does being near family and long-time friends give you a sense of “home,” of belonging? Do you want to be nearer work, so the commute is shorter, giving more time for “life”? These are not new questions. Families have moved from cities to the suburbs and back again for decades.

Consider what you might be giving up.
Moving to the city might mean access to cultural events, restaurants, a short commute, while the suburbs might offer that large home with a yard, or the perfect school. In either event, a move might take you away from friends, or give you the opportunity to make new ones.

Is it Family Friendly?

The criteria researchers use to determining a location's "family friendliness" include:

- Job market
- Commuter times and delays
- Crime rates
- School rankings
- Median household income
- Cost of living index
- Home affordability
- The percentage of homeownership

Different cities rank differently in each category in different years, so don’t just rely on the most recent reports to determine where you might want to live. Check back over the past few years and look for trends … Are the schools improving? Is there more dedicated greenspace? Has public transportation improved? Are the demographics change?

If you have school-age children, don’t just look at the elementary schools. In no time at all, your starry-eyed first-grader will be approaching graduation. It’s not all about academics either. Children need exposure to other opportunities and extra-curricular activities as well.

On the other hand, if you’re thinking of starting a family, you also need to check out hospital maternity suites (or birthing alternatives), daycare facilities, toddler playgrounds and opportunities for young parents to gather.

Of course, none of the lists, rankings, and surveys matter if the commute from your job is so long that you’ll miss out on all your kids’ ballgames and activities.

The perfect place for you to call home and to raise a family might be a new place where you’re sharing a new adventure together … but it might just be the neighborhood you know best and have already called “home.”

No matter what you determine, utilizing an expert real estate professional can match you up with the perfect place you, and your family will make into the home you’re looking for. 





Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 8/19/2019

The homebuying process sometimes can be tough to navigate. Fortunately, we're here to help you achieve the optimal results throughout the homebuying cycle.

Now, let's take a look at three questions that every homebuyer needs to consider as he or she pursues a home:

1. What is my "dream home" definition?

If you know what you want to find in your "dream home," you may be better equipped than ever before to streamline your home search. Thus, it generally helps to establish a list of home must-haves and wants to guide you along the homebuying journey.

As you check out a broad range of houses, don't forget to update your list of home must-haves and wants too. By doing so, you may be able to further accelerate your home search.

2. What can I afford to pay for a home?

The prices of homes vary based on location, size and other factors. As such, you may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage to ensure you know exactly how much you can spend to acquire your ideal residence.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage can be fast and simple. If you meet with banks and credit unions, you can learn about all of the mortgage options at your disposal.

Of course, you should ask plenty of questions any time you meet with mortgage specialists. This will enable you to evaluate myriad mortgage options and choose a mortgage that complements your finances perfectly.

3. How can I quickly and effortlessly achieve my homebuying goals?

The homebuying journey differs from buyer to buyer. However, homebuyers who work with real estate agents typically can boost the likelihood of achieving the best-possible results during the homebuying journey.

A real estate agent knows the ins and outs of the housing market. He or she can teach you about the real estate sector and help you narrow your home search. Also, a real estate agent is unafraid to be honest with you and will offer unbiased recommendations to ensure that you can make an informed homebuying decision.

Let's not forget about the comprehensive assistance that a real estate agent can provide throughout the homebuying cycle, either. A real estate agent will keep you up to date about available houses that match your homebuying criteria. In addition, he or she will set up home showings that enable you to check out residences in-person. And once you discover your dream residence, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive offer to acquire this house.

Furthermore, a real estate agent is ready to respond to any of your homebuying concerns and questions. As a result, a real estate agent will allow you to quickly and effortlessly navigate the homebuying journey.

When it comes to buying a house, there is no need to worry. If you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can get the support you need to make your homeownership dream come true.




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Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 8/5/2019

Closing costs are usually an unavoidable part of buying a home. While there are ways to reduce some closing costs and fees, they are an expense you will likely have to consider when it comes time to save for a home.

On average, buyers can expect to pay between 2 and 5 percent of the purchase price in closing costs and fees.

In this article, we’re going to break down those costs and talk about some ways to plan for, or limit, the fees associated with closing on a home.

A breakdown of closing costs

Most closing costs in a real estate transaction are paid for by the buyer. When getting approved for a mortgage, your lender is required to provide you with an estimate of the closing costs. This is called a “Closing Disclosure statement” which overviews the details of your loan.

Different lenders will charge varying amounts in fees. Some are even willing to waive certain fees. But, we’ll discuss that later.

For now, let’s focus on the closing costs buyers typically have to pay:

  • Attorney fees - a flat-fee or hourly rate depending on the attorney

  • Origination fees - an upfront fee charged by the lender for processing your mortgage application

  • Prepaid interest or discount points - a payment for the interest that will accrue on your mortgage from the time you close until your first mortgage payment is due

  • Home inspection fee - the fee that a professional home inspector charges to inspect a home

  • Escrow deposits - Usually split with the seller, this is the fee charged by an escrow agent

  • Recording fees - fees for legally recording the new deed and mortgage

  • Underwriting fees - fees paid to the lender for researching your mortgage case and determining whether or not to approve your application

These are just some of the many fees that can be due upon closing on a home. Depending on where you live, which lender you choose, and the type of mortgage you secure, your closing costs will vary, so it’s a good idea to shop around for a lender and mortgage type with reasonable closing costs.

Reducing closing costs

Some lenders offer no-cost, or low-cost mortgages. However, these savings often come with a higher interest rate which, over the lifespan of your loan, can cost you more in the long run.

You should also be aware of the different loan types that you may be eligible for. FHA loans, USDA loans, and VA loans are all designed for buyers hoping to make lower down payments on their home.

Each loan type provides different amounts due at closing. Fortunately, your mortgage lender will be able to give you an estimate of costs for each loan type.

Want to get an estimate of the closing costs you’ll have to pay when you buy a home? You can use this online calculator to see an average.




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Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 7/29/2019

Regardless of when or where you search for a house, a home buying checklist is essential. With this checklist in hand, you can quickly and effortlessly discover a residence that suits you perfectly.

Now, let's take a look at three factors to incorporate into your home buying checklist.

1. Your Home Buying Timeline

Account for how much time is available to find and purchase a house. That way, you can boost the likelihood of getting the most out of the time and resources at your disposal.

As you create a home buying checklist, consider how much time you have before you need to relocate from your current address. Then, you can see how much time you have to pursue your dream home and evaluate the steps you will need to take to make that process run smoothly.

2. Your Home Must-Haves and Wants

Consider what you absolutely require from your new home. For instance, if you need a house that is close to your office in the city, you should check out homes in or near the city itself. Or, if you require a home that offers ample space for you and your children, you should hone your search to residences that have two or more bedrooms.

Of course, it helps to create a list of home wants and needs when you develop a house buying checklist. With the ability to evaluate your home needs at any time, you will be better equipped when deciding if a particular house is right for you.

3. Your Home Buying Budget

You know you want to purchase a house, but your current financial situation may be limited. Fortunately, if you prepare a home buying budget, you will know how much you can spend on a residence and map out your search accordingly.

Oftentimes, it helps to meet with credit unions or banks before you begin a home search. Credit unions and banks can teach you about different types of mortgages and how they work. Plus, these financial institutions can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage.

For those who want to streamline the home buying journey, it's a good idea to hire a real estate agent, too. A real estate agent can help you craft a home buying checklist, as well as provide tips and guidance as you search for your ideal house.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to find a terrific house at a budget-friendly price. First, a real estate agent will help a buyer evaluate the local real estate sector and narrow their home search. A real estate agent will also help a buyer discover a home that matches their expectations. Finally, a real estate agent will work with a buyer to put together a competitive offer to purchase this residence.

Craft a home buying checklist today – you will be happy you did. Once you have a home buying checklist, you can more seamlessly navigate the house buying journey.




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