Posted by Betsy Graziano on 4/24/2017

Buying a house puts valuable equity within your reach. It gives you the authority to decorate, structure and design a property to your liking. Little beats the freedom and power that you will feel after you pay your house off and become the sole owner of a unique property that may be valued at several hundred thousand dollars or more. But, getting approved for a mortgage doesn't just happen.

Proactive steps to first time homeowner savings

The best time to start saving money on your first home is before you start home shopping. If you immediately thought about your credit rating and the importance of going into the home buying process with a strong credit rating, you're on the right track. Keep reading, to learn practical steps that you could take to improve your credit rating.

Also know that there are other important steps to take to save money on your first home. These steps will also help you to save even if you're not a first time homeowner. Top of these steps is financing. Getting pre-approved for a home loan from a reputable lender can give you valuable price leverage.

Pre-approval for a home loan alerts your realtor to how much mortgage you can afford to take on. To save on a house, avoid shopping for houses that are priced at the maximum of your home loan approval rate. See pre-approval when interest rates are low. Items that you need for pre-approval include pay stubs, income tax returns, current loan amounts and your credit score.

More ways to save money on your first home

Shopping for a home loan with your local bank could net you lower mortgage interest rates. This can be particularly helpful if your income is directly deposited into your account and if you have several thousand dollars of savings in your bank account. If you know that you want to buy a house a year from now, start working on your credit score now. Also, start building your bank account savings.

Another way to save money on your first home is to work with a real estate agent who takes a good credit score seriously, a realtor who won't tempt you to take on more house than you can afford right now.

To improve your credit rating, pay down high interest loans. Also, pay down or, better yet, pay off high interest credit cards. If you have accounts in default, also pay these off or, at the least, pay the accounts up so that they are current.

Take charge of the home loan process

Millions of Americans apply for a home mortgage each year. Not everyone is approved. This is a time when being proactive can help you fulfill a dream. Paying off debts and getting caught up in late payments help to improve your credit which, in turn, improves your chances of securing a home mortgage. Getting an okay from a lender is another huge step forward.

Connecting with a mortgage lender before you start home shopping not only gives you money to work with, it is a great way to know what areas you need to work on to increase the amount of money that a lender will loan you. Additionally, if you aren't pre-approved for a home loan, you can find out why you weren't approved and take steps to correct these weak spots.




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Posted by Betsy Graziano on 4/17/2017

Selling your home can conjure up a variety of emotions, ranging from exuberance to sadness. If you associate your home with raising a family or starting a life with your spouse, then putting it on the market can be a bittersweet experience. In addition to the emotional side of things, there's also the stress that inevitably comes with change and uncertainty. Putting your house up for sale raises several fear-based questions in your mind, such as "How long will it take to find a buyer?" On the average, houses remain on the market for a month or two, but it's not unusual for it to take much longer. To complicate matters: If you're in the position of selling your home before you have another one to move into, then your stress level is probably even higher. Although some factors are outside of your control, such as ever-changing market conditions, there are a few ways you can tip the scales in your direction. Pick the Right Real Estate Agent The real estate agent or Realtor you choose can make a big difference in how fast your home sells and the price it ultimately sells for. A seasoned agent can also make the whole experience a lot less stressful by providing regular progress reports and helping you navigate through the various disclosures, inspections, and paperwork that's required. An exceptional real estate pro will also provide you with valuable advice on how to improve the marketability and appearance of your property. Since "time is of the essence" when you put your home up for sale, it's important to get as many qualified prospects walking through your house, as possible. Good salesmanship, competitive pricing, and sharp negotiating skills can also help bring in bonafide offers on your property -- possibly even multiple offers. Stress Reduction Tips For Home Sellers In addition to having the support of a dependable real estate agent, there are also other strategies you can use to maintain your equilibrium.

  1. Make lists of all the things that need to be done, so that you don't wake up in the middle of the night wondering if you forgot to do something important. Staying mentally organized is one of the keys to feeling like you have some control over all the chaos that's going on in your life. Writing things down is also the first step to getting them completed. Keeping track of appointments, documents you need to gather, and professionals to confer with can also help prevent delays, miscommunication, or confusion.
  2. Schedule time for recreation, entertainment, and physical activity. Selling a home can bring with it a lot of ups and downs, so activities like socializing with friends, going for a walk in nature, or meditating can help maintain a positive outlook and a more balanced perspective on things.
Perhaps the most desirable attitude to adopt is to expect the best, but be prepared for temporary setbacks. While it's true that some properties languish on the market for months, countless others have been scooped up by eager buyers in the first week or two on the market. It depends on a lot of factors, including preparation, excellent timing, and a smidgen of good luck!





Posted by Betsy Graziano on 4/10/2017

The square footage of your home is only one factor that comes into play when a utility company determines the amount of your monthly electric bill. The layout of your home also impacts how much energy it takes to cool or heat your home. For example, having more rooms with closed doors at your home could force your central heat or your central air conditioner to work harder to get these rooms to comfortable temperatures.

Fortunately,even if you have lots of closed rooms at your home, there are ways to lower your electric bill. Keep reading to discover easy steps that you can take to save money on your electric bill. Some of the steps take less than five seconds to implement.

  1. Keep doors to rooms that you don't use closed.Open the doors an hour before you plan on spending time in them to allow heat to flow through the rooms.
  2. Install floorboard heaters if you have lots of rooms at your house. This way, you can adjust temperature levels room by room.
  3. Switch to natural gas. Contact your utility provider and ask to see price comparisons on the cost to heat your home using natural gas, electricity, propane or heating oil. The savings may easily cover the cost of purchasing a natural gas furnace.
  4. Turn air conditioners on at night. Keep the thermostat at 70 degrees. Use fans during the day.
  5. Perform regular maintenance on appliances like refrigerators, freezers, washing machines and dryers. Damaged appliances can be great energy drains.
  6. Hang clothes on the line during warm months instead of running the clothes dryer.
  7. Change air filters and ensure that wiring on heating and cooling appliances are in good condition.
  8. Limit the use of lights to when you actually need to use light. You don't have to turn a light on simply because you walked inside a room. Turn lights off when you are not in rooms.
  9. Opt for window treatments and windows that are energy efficient.
  10. Seal cracks in doors and windows.
  11. Place sealants like metal and rubber strips beneath exterior doors. Don't forget the door leading out to your patio.
  12. Wash dishes by hand instead of running the dishwasher.
  13. Cook one large meal a week and eat salads and leftovers throughout the week. For example, you could prepare a large meal on Saturday and take the remainder of the meal to work for lunch.
  14. Turn off devices that rely on electricity before you head to bed. Examples of these devices are laptops, iPods and televisions.
  15. Contact your utility provider and schedule time for them to test your home. At the end of the inspection, ask the service provider representative what you can do to make your home more energy efficient. Depending on your salary, you may qualify for a government subsidy.Check with your utility provider about the subsidy guidelines.

Also, ask your electric company how they calculate monthly residential electric bills. Some utility companies set a monthly baseline usage level for customers. If your electric company raises rates during winter or summer, adjust your temperature settings to keep your bill from going up.





Posted by Betsy Graziano on 4/3/2017

If you're at a loss to explain why your money seems to disappear so quickly, every month, your utility bills may be partly to blame. The solution to lowering your energy-related expenses involves a combination of high-tech approaches and old-fashioned methods. On the high-tech side, it pays to program your thermostat so that you're automatically adjusting your energy usage when your family is sleeping, at work, or at school. There's no need to make the house perfectly comfortable when no one's at home! If the idea of programming electronic devices causes you to break out in a cold sweat, then maybe you can ask your HVAC technician to set it up for you the next time he stops by for a service call or furnace tuneup. (Hey, you never know unless you ask!) Another way to save money on your energy bill is to use your clothes dryer less. This strategy is simple, but effective. Buy an old-fashioned clothes line, hang it up securely in your back yard, and use it to air-dry some of your laundry. I'm not saying it should replace your clothes dryer -- especially in the cold winter months. However, it can be an effective, low-tech method to reduce the energy demands you place on your dryer. There's also the option of drying some of your clothes on a drying rack. Fixing Leaks, Lighting, and Insulation Two common plumbing problems that many homeowners endure are toilets that run 24/7 and faucets that leak. While it may not seem that these relatively minor issues are going to impact your water bill, those leaks can and do add up over an extended period of time. Not only that, but the continual sound of your toilet tank running and your faucet dripping can be quite annoying! If you have the phone number of a reasonably priced plumber who can fix those problems, it'll pay to have him stop over. From an electricity standpoint, you can save money by replacing your incandescent light bulbs with Energy Star certified bulbs. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, these energy-efficient bulbs use 70-90% less energy than standard bulbs, they last 10 to 25 times longer, and produce substantially less heat. The fact that they generate up to 90% less heat makes them safer and more energy efficient, too -- particularly during the summer. As a side note, you can also save energy during the holidays by using Energy Star certified decorative light strings! Yet another way to make sure your home is energy efficient and cost effective is to check the insulation in the attic and other areas. If you're considering purchasing a home that is inadequately insulated, you could consider asking the seller to correct that problem, as a condition of the sale. An alternative approach would be to use that deficiency (and/or others) as a negotiating chip to get the price lowered. Whether you're buying or selling a house, an experienced real estate agent can help you negotiate mutually agreeable terms and successfully guide you through the twists and turns of real estate transactions!





Posted by Betsy Graziano on 4/2/2017

This Single-Family in Walpole, MA recently sold for $510,000. This Raised Ranch style home was sold by Betsy Graziano - William Raveis Delta Realtors.


10 Elmcrest Cir, Walpole, MA 02081

Single-Family

$519,900
Price
$510,000
Sale Price

8
Rooms
3
Beds
2/1
Full/Half Baths
Beautifully Updated Waterfront Property on Turners Pond in Walpole with a large back yard and a private dock to enjoy fishing, ice skating, or kayaking (non power boating). This home features many recent updates including a newer roof, replacement windows, 2 new garage doors, and granite kitchen with stainless steel appliances. Both main level bathrooms feature Turkish Travertine tile while the lower level features Italian Porcelain throughout. Central A/C, Hardwood Floors, Newer Heating System and more. Very desirable location nestled at the end of a cul-de-sac, peaceful yet close to the commuter train and intown shopping. A great opportunity to buy a waterfront home with many upgrades. Move In Ready! Call today to schedule your private showing!

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