Kristen Meleedy, CBR's Blog
Want to sell your home? Like many home sellers, you're probably on the lookout for a real estate agent who can help you get the best price for your house.
Choosing the right real estate agent usually will require you to perform comprehensive research. You'll need to examine the credentials and skills of many real estate agents in your area. Plus, you may want to sit down and chat with various real estate agents to find one who can simplify the home selling process.
Ultimately, there are several questions you should ask a real estate agent before you hire him or her to sell your house, including:
1. What is your home selling experience?
No two homes are identical, and much in the same way, no two real estate agents are exactly alike. As such, you should learn about a real estate agent's experience to ensure he or she possesses the expertise necessary to sell your house.
For example, if you're selling a condo, you may want to hire a real estate professional with condo experience. Or, if you're looking to sell your home as quickly as possible, you should find a real estate agent who knows how to promote a home across social media and other platforms.
2. How will you keep in touch?
What good is a real estate agent if this professional fails to keep you informed throughout the home selling journey?
With the right real estate agent at your side, you'll be able to stay up to date along each stage of the home selling process. In fact, this professional will provide you with updates about offers on your home, requests to view your residence and much more.
Furthermore, your real estate agent should be easily accessible via phone and email. This means if you need support at any point during the home selling journey, your real estate agent will be able to assist you.
3. Can you provide references?
An expert real estate agent should have no trouble connecting you with past clients. That way, you can find out how this real estate professional has helped previous home sellers accomplish their goals.
If you connect with a real estate agent's past clients, you can get a better idea about how this real estate professional responds to various home selling challenges. As a result, you'll be better equipped to determine if this real estate agent is the right person to help you sell your house.
4. How will you market my house?
A real estate agent should go above and beyond the call of duty to market your house to the right groups of homebuyers. This professional typically will allocate extensive time and resources to learn about you and your home selling needs and help you plan accordingly.
Finding out how a real estate agent will promote your home is essential. With this information, you can understand whether a real estate agent will do everything possible to showcase your residence to potential homebuyers.
Use the aforementioned questions, and you can select the right real estate agent to help you sell your home.
130 Mayflower Rd, Braintree, MA 02184
When you’re self-employed, it’s difficult to decide whether you are ready to buy a house. After all, your income might come in spurts instead of having a regular check every week or two. Being prepared for the mortgage process increases the chance that your application will be approved. Self-employed people have more hurdles to jump because of the nature of their income, even those that make six or more figures.>
Difficulties in Qualifying for a Mortgage
Since you’ve probably done a ton of research on mortgages and finding your dream home, you already know the basics—make sure your credit is good, how much down payment you’ll need and what you are able to afford. You may have a pretty good idea of what documents you need to provide and already have them ready. However, those pesky tax returns might come back to bite you.
The biggest problem in qualifying for a mortgage when you’re self-employed is your tax returns. Most business people take every deduction allowed. However, while that’s great for your pocket since you pay less tax, it’s bad for applying for a mortgage.
Part of your self-employment tax returns is your expenses. You probably claim things like utilities, cell phones, business meals and travel and have a ton of depreciation. When a lender looks at the tax returns, it doesn’t add those things back in—except for depreciation. While you might make $300,000, your adjusted gross income on your tax return is going to be the number the lender looks at. If it’s $10,000, you’re not going to qualify for that loan.
You could amend your taxes or you could wait for two years and not claim anything on your taxes. However, that means you will be paying heavily to the IRS. Or, you could find a lender who does non-conforming loans. Some lenders are sympathetic to self-employed people and will use other methods of verifying income. Some banks may look at your deposits for a year instead. They’ll still ask for your tax returns, but will not use them to qualify your income.
Your tax returns help lenders figure your debt-to-income ratio. While lenders are supposed to use your gross income, that does not hold true with self-employed borrowers. Lenders look at the adjusted gross income on your tax returns. That number is often lower than net income because of the expenses you deduct.
A lender adds up your debts and divides that number by your adjusted gross income. If you have a proposed mortgage payment of $1,200, a car payment of $650 and other credit lines, including credit cards of $500, you have $2,350 in debt. If your self-employed monthly income is $8,000, your debt-to-income ratio should be about 29 percent. But wait a second. That’s not the number on your tax returns.
If the adjusted gross income on the last two years of tax returns is $4,000 and $2,500 respectively, then your average monthly income is going to be $3,250 (add the two together, then divide by 2). That means your debt-to-income is actually 72 percent. The highest a lender will “give” you is 43 percent, though most will only consider your application if your debt-to-income is 39 percent not including your new mortgage and 33 percent including your new mortgage. In this example, a lender who uses deposits instead of tax returns will show a debt-to-income ratio of 29 percent.
If you are ready to purchase a house and want to learn more about qualifying for a loan, feel free to reach out. Together, we'll be able to get you into the home of your dreams, despite the hurdles.
130 Mayflower Rd, Braintree, MA 02184
Have you ever wondered how to locate the best place to eat? Whether you are new to an area or just looking for more choices to refresh your repertoire a time of culinary exploration may be the answer to your search.
New to an area
Being new to an area comes with many of its own challenges and changes and food can be an excellent way to experiment and shape your experience into your own. Trying new dishes can create new traditions for you and your family for years into the future or simply help you to find your new favorite place to go out.
Or been here forever
Likewise, if you have lived in an area for most of your life, someone may ask you where the best place for a certain food is and if you find yourself in the uncomfortable position of not knowing this is a great way to expand your horizons- or at least your answers.
What cuisine are you starting with
Pick a culinary type to start. It can be a local favorite like New York pizza or Memphis BBQ, whatever is in your area. Or, it can be a personal favorite. But you might want to see if there are more great options out there for you.
Make a list
Once you have picked a cuisine look for listings of top rated local places. Start online or with apps for finding restaurants, but don't forget to check with people around you who have tried local restaurants—neighbors, local newspapers, groups that you are a part of all can be a rich resource of information. Make a list of the places that you want to try; this may consist of locations that everyone mentions or that has great stars, atmosphere or prices. Don’t forget to include some hole in the wall places on your list as these can have some of the best food around. Start with your top 10 and one by one, maybe once a week, try them out.
Try it all- if you can
When you get to each place, make sure to try several things if you can. A great way to do this is to go with friends, and each person orders something different for the table to taste. Ideas of things to order can be the special of the day/chef's special, your favorite dish, something that a reviewer suggested that got the restaurant on your list in the first place, etc.
Get started, have fun, and don’t stop
Go on a culinary adventure through town and discover your area and yourself like never before while having fun in the process. Start by talking with your local real estate agent for tips on where to start or to get your list going. Don’t stop at just one cuisine, figure out your next one, keep going and have fun!