Ron Ouellette
RE/MAX Advantage I | 508-847-7111 | rono@remax.net


Posted by Ron Ouellette on 5/18/2017

Buying a home should be simple. Unfortunately, purchasing a residence can become complicated quickly, especially if you fail to consider the immediate and long-term costs associated with a house.

Ultimately, there are many hidden expenses that a homebuyer needs to consider before he or she purchases a house, including:

1. Utilities

Heating and cooling costs, water fees, electricity expenses and other utility bills may prove to be overwhelming if you're not careful. Fortunately, if you learn about various utility costs now, you may be better equipped to keep your utility bills in check at your new residence.

Ask your real estate agent for information about a home seller's utility bills. By doing so, you can get a better idea about how much your utilities may cost if you decide to purchase a particular residence.

Also, if you plan ahead for your utility bills, you can budget accordingly. Keep in mind that utilities are essential in any home. As such, you'll need to account for these costs in addition to your monthly mortgage payments, regardless of the home you buy.

2. Commuting

If you're moving to a new city or town, you'll want to consider how your move may impact your daily commute to work, school or any other locations that you visit regularly.

Consider a home's proximity to highways. If you move to a house that is located near a major highway, you may encounter heavy traffic at various points throughout the day, resulting in a lengthy commute.

Also, find out whether public transportation is available near your new home. In some instances, you may be able to take advantage of buses, trains and other public transportation options to get where you need to go without delay.

3. Home Upgrades

Although a home may appear to be a dream come true, there are problems beneath a house's exterior that could bubble to the surface after you complete your purchase. Thus, you may want to put aside money for home upgrades that may be necessary in the near future.

For example, an older home may require a new hot water heater and furnace soon. And if you start saving for a new hot water heater and furnace today, you may be able to replace them before it's too late.

A home inspector can help you identify home problems. This professional will conduct an in-depth review of a residence and provide honest feedback about any problems that could escalate quickly.

After a home inspection, you can always ask the home seller to perform the necessary repairs, or you can walk away from a home offer. On the other hand, you can keep your current home offer, move forward with your home purchase and complete the upgrades on your own.

When it comes to planning ahead for hidden home expenses, a real estate agent can point you in the right direction. Your real estate agent is happy to respond to your homebuying concerns and questions and will do everything possible to ensure you are fully satisfied with any residence you purchase.




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Posted by Ron Ouellette on 4/20/2017

When youíre searching for a house, the location is often key. Maybe you have found homes in your desired city or town. Yet, all homes are not created equal. Locations arenít created equal either. Thereís advantages and disadvantages to the type of street that a home is on. If youíre on a main road, you may have more accessibility to what you need, but traffic noise could be a negative aspect of this living situation. Living on a cul-de-sac gives you the best of both worlds. You can be in your desired location, but also enjoy some peace and quiet. Your kids will even have a fairly safe space to play on without worry on your part about traffic conditions. Hereís some of the best reasons to find a property on a cul-de-sac:


Thereís No Through Traffic


No one will be using your street as a shortcut for anything, since itís a dead end! This provides a safety net for you as youíll know the types of vehicles that should be on the street at any given time. Neighbors can be mindful if they happen to see strange people or vehicles lingering in the neighborhood. This allows streets with dead ends to have lower crime rates. Everyone is more alert, because thereís generally so little happening on the street that any activity is noticeable. Criminals also tend to shy away from these types of neighborhoods due to the fact that people are much more aware.  


Itís Better For Children


You always need to watch your children and teach them basic safety rules. Living on a cul-de-sac may actually help relieve a bit of the burden in allowing your children to play more freely. Cars that are traveling down the street wonít be doing so as fast. Your children will be visible right form your home as well.  


Also, since everyone lives so close together and basically in a visible range of one another itís easier to develop neighborhood friendships. Children will be able to play with other kids their own age and have a common meeting spot- at the end of the street! Even as a parent, youíll have a better opportunity to get to know other parents and meet up with those in the neighborhood. Thereís just something about living on a dead-end street that allows for a more tight-knit community.


Home Values Rise


All of the positive things that we have emphasized here about living on a cul-de-sac are part of the reason these properties keep their high values. With better curb appeal, more safety, and a strong sense of a community, itís hard to pass up a chance to live on a cul-de-sac.




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Posted by Ron Ouellette on 3/9/2017

Attending an open house is a great way to learn a great deal about a home in a relatively short amount of time. It allows you to see inside the home with your own eyes, enabling you to notice details that are omitted in photos, whether itís a noisy neighborhood or a smelly basement.

Aside from learning about the home, an open house is also an opportunity to help real estate agents learn about you. Being prepared and professional at an open house could set you apart from other, more casual, attendees helping you make a good impression.

Since most of us donít attend open houses on the regular, and since there probably isnít an Open House Etiquette 101 course you can take at your local college, it can be difficult to know exactly how to prepare for an open house. How should you dress? Should you take notes? Is it rude to take photos? Which questions are welcome and which should be avoided?

In this article, weíll help demystify the open house, leaving you more prepared to leave a positive impression when you go to see what could potentially be your future home.

Appearance

How should you dress when attending an open house? An open house is neither a funeral nor a trip to the beach. The realtor showing the house likely isnít a fashion critic-theyíre there to answer your questions.

In most cases, casual clothing is appropriate. Since youíll be touring the house and yard, however, you might want to avoid heels.

Questions and conversation

An open house is your time to learn all of the relevant facts about a house. Good questions to ask include upgrades to the house, how many offers it has received, and the current ownerís timeline (when they want or need to close by).

There are other topics youíll want to avoid. Donít ask too many personal questions about the sellers. It will make the real estate agent, understandably, uncomfortable. Also be sure not to reveal too many details about yourself. You donít want to mention things like your spending limit as this will remove some of your powers of negotiation.

Itís okay if the furniture and decorations in the home arenít your taste, but itís a bad idea to criticize these items as you tour the house, as you may offend the agent or owners who have decorated.

Being respectful of the owner'sí space

Even though the house is for sale, itís still someoneís home. Itís inadvisable to bring food or drinks without a secure cap into an open house.

We live in a time when everyone photographs and shares everything. But avoid the temptation to take photos when youíre at an open house. Would you want someone going through your home, taking pictures of your valuables, and then sharing them online? Instead, refer back to photos that are available online or from the agent.

When it comes to touring the house, all of the rooms should be viewable. In fact, if thereís a room you canít enter for any reason this should raise a red flag that something is wrong with the home. However, just because you should look in the closets to get an idea of space doesnít mean you should touch or go through the personal belongings of the homeowner.


Follow all of the above open house tips and youíll be sure to leave a good impression.





Posted by Ron Ouellette on 1/12/2017

Buying a home is a big decision and it will most likely become one of your greatest investments. In order to help navigate through the process you will want to assemble the right team. Think of †a group of experienced professionals as your real estate buying team. Here is a list of some of the professionals that you might want to add to your team: Real Estate Agent The real estate agent will represent you and your interests. Always make sure to discuss your agency relationship with your agent so you fully understand the relationship. An experienced agent can help guide you through the process to a successful closing. Mortgage Advisor Unless you are paying cash you will need a loan to buy your home. Your mortgage broker or loan agent who will arrange financing. Your mortgage advisor will search for different loans that match your financial situation. Real Estate Attorney This is the only member of your buying team who can give you legal advice. You should hire an attorney that specializes in real estate to review any contracts. An attorney can usually solve any surprise legal problems before the closing. Home Inspector A home inspector's job is to go through your prospective home a complete physical.†A home inspector†is an objective third party who will produce a report detailing the condition of the structure and systems of the house. Putting the right team together is critical. If you need help assembling a team your real estate agent can provide you with a list of names or ask your friends and family for referrals.





Posted by Ron Ouellette on 10/20/2016

Let's face it Ė you're tired of your current living situation and are ready for a change. Luckily, there are many homes available in your area Ė 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 Ė 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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