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5 Tips For First-Time Homebuyers In
2022

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the current market, you are not alone. The power is in the seller’s hands which can leave many feeling discouraged during the buying process. There is a house out there waiting for you, I promise. It may take a bit of flexibility and patience, but together we can get it done! Here are some tips to help prepare first-time homebuyers for the experience. 

Understand the Current Market (make sure you are ready to buy!)

You might already be past this point in the homebuying process, but it is worth it to take a good look at the current housing market and not be too hasty with any decisions. Buying your first house is a very personal decision, and only you can decide if the time is right! Although you cannot predict or try to perfectly time the purchase in any market, be sure to have a basic understanding of what the real estate market looks like in your specific area. Start attending open houses and comparing home amenities to prices to gain some knowledge of what to expect. This will help keep your expectations reasonable, giving you an advantage over other buyers.

Know What You Can Afford

First and foremost, get preapproved by a local mortgage lender or a mortgage broker to see what you can qualify for. There are also plenty of resources out there to help you understand what type of home you can afford, but be sure to have a very solid sense of this before beginning your search. The Washington Post describes the four key components of affordability as:

  • How much you have saved for a down payment
  • How much your household earns
  • What debt you carry
  • Your credit score

Though the market is beginning to shift-interests are on the rise. Inventory levels are also starting to increase, but the market remains brisk and in certain markets, offers are still coming in fast and over asking.

To find success in this market, I recommend finding a property that is below your budget and submitting an offer over the asking price. An offer above asking will immediately help you stand out against other competitive buyers and show the sellers you are committed and genuinely interested in their home.

Other Expenses to Remember

Knowing how much you can afford in terms of a house is a great start, but you have to remember the many other expenses that come with the purchase. When investing in a house, a home inspection can be an invaluable tool that may save you a lot of money and stress down the line. Whether you choose not to have an inspection done or not, you should have money saved for potential future repairs to your home. They may need to be done sooner than you think! Be sure to familiarize yourself with average closing costs so that you are not surprised by extra fees once you have found your perfect house. Similarly, you should have extra money set aside for moving costs, which can really add up if you are moving long distance.

Solidify your Wants and Needs

If you have a long list of must-haves it might be time to zero in on what is most important to you. In most markets, it can be tricky to find a home that checks every single box on your list. However, there are still homes that are just what you need. Narrow your list down to two or three must-haves that are the most important to you. Things like size, layout, number of bedrooms, and bathrooms should be at the top of your list, while smaller items that can be altered later like granite countertops and special appliances should be near the bottom.  

Find the Right Realtor

The process of home buying can be stressful- but it can also be fantastic and exciting to look for your new home! Be sure to work with a Realtor who shares your enthusiasm for the process, they can make all the difference in getting you into the home of your dreams. Not all agents are created equal- especially in a competitive seller’s market. Working with a professional with years of experience can help ease your mind. In particular, you should be looking for someone with many positive reviews, a proven track record, and plenty of knowledge about the area. 

If you’re looking to buy in the Northshore of Massachusetts, I would be happy to work together to find you a home that works for you. Contact me today to get started!

5 Reasons to Sell this Winter

Every winter, I hear the same sentiment from many of my clients; “I thought the market slows down in the winter so it would be a good time to keep my home off the market.” Many sellers want to wait until spring or summer to put their house up for sale. However, If you’re planning to move, now is actually a good time. Between low inventory and eager buyers coming off the 2021 market, it’s truly the perfect time to sell your home.

Here are 5 reasons why now is a great time to sell your home. 

Low Inventory

The start of the new year and colder temperatures always lead to a cooling real estate market. For example, in Denver, there are only about one-third as many homes for sale in winter as in spring or summer. Many sellers take time off over the holidays or simply think moving during the winter would be too much work. However, according to Zillow’s latest report, while inventory is trending down, the growth in home values continues to trend up. A mass of eager buyers combined with low inventory gives winter sellers better control over their home sales. Moving companies are also offering great deals for those looking to move during the off-season. 

Eager Buyers

Summer 2021 was one of the most competitive markets I’ve seen in years. U.S. homes spent an average of 31 days on market in 2021—the lowest median selling period in more than 15 years! Due to the competitive market, many buyers walked away from 2021 without their dream homes. These buyers are still on the hunt and are waiting for new homes to enter the market. You very well may end up in a bidding war if you consider selling.

New Year New Buyers

A new year is a time of change for many individuals across the country. From new jobs, company relocations, moving closer to family, or even just personal changes, many are looking for a change of scenery. Many of these buyers can’t start new jobs or opportunities until they have a home base and are eager to make a quick sale. These buyers are anxious to find a home and often present high cash offers!

Growing Competition

According to Zillow’s latest market report, the seasonal housing cooldown may end early this year. The usually slow winter housing market is set to be saturated with sellers before the snow has even melted! If you’re even considering selling, get ahead of the competition and take advantage of the low inventory and eager buyers that are waiting for new listings. 

Increasing Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates have been consistently low over the past few years. However, they recently saw a slight increase.  While this increase is still slight and has no indication of halting the 2022 housing market, rising rates can still give some buyers pause. Get ahead of rising rates and place your home on the market this winter!

Thinking about selling? Contact me today  for a FREE market analysis for the value of your home or to learn about the current market and the selling process. I’d love to help!

Welcome to the North Shore

First and foremost, what is the North Shore? The North Shore is the region north of Boston located along the Atlantic coast. Over the years, there has been much debate over which towns and cities should and should not be included in the official North Shore.

Some believe the North Shore includes the entire coastline from New Hampshire to Boston and is made up of the following:

Beverly, MA

Danvers, MA

Essex, MA

Gloucester, MA

Ipswich, MA

Lynn, MA

Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

Marblehead, MA

Nahant, MA

Newbury, MA

Newburyport, MA

Peabody, MA

Revere, MA

Rockport, MA

Rowley, MA

Salem, MA 

Salisbury, MA

Saugus, MA

Swampscott, MA

Winthrop, MA 

However, The Boston Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s North Shore Task Force, defines the North Shore as also encompassing Cape Ann and several other communities:

​​Amesbury, MA

Beverly, MA

Boxford, MA

Danvers, MA

Essex, MA

Georgetown, MA

Gloucester, MA

Groveland, MA 

Hamilton, MA

Haverhill, MA

Ipswich, MA

Lynn, MA

Lynnfield, MA

Manchester, MA

Marblehead, MA

Merrimac, MA

Middleton, MA

Nahant, MA

Newbury, MA

Newburyport, MA

Peabody, MA

Rockport, MA

Rowley, MA

Salem, MA

Salisbury, MA

Saugus, MA

Swampscott, MA

Topsfield, MA

Wakefield, MA

Wenham, MA

West Newbury, MA

No matter what you define as the “official” North Shore, we can all agree that the region has so much to offer. From historic towns, stunning beaches and picturesque views it is the perfect place for a day trip, vacation or even your home base!

Looking for travel advice? Check out our North Shore guides to find out what to do, where to eat and everything else about our favorite towns and cities.

Visit Beverly

The North Shore’s best-kept secret, Beverly, has something to offer for the whole family.  “The Garden City,” only 40 minutes away from Boston’s downtown, has easy access to the city, beach, countryside and beautiful wildlife. Read On

Visit Salem

Named by TravelMag.com as one of the top 30 most charming small cities in the U.S., there is a lot to love about Salem, Massachusetts. Whether you’re interested in the atmosphere, the rich history, the people, or the restaurants, Salem has something to offer everyone. Read On

Visit Marblehead

When you think of New England coastal towns, you may think of Gloucester, Rockport, and Newburyport—gorgeous fishing towns where you are guaranteed to find a classic sailboat magnet at a cute boutique shop on the main stretch. But there’s another iconic coastal town on the North Shore that is somewhat of a hidden gem. A quaint town that offers a timeless quality and a sense of belonging. Read On