Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 11/12/2017

In a high competition market, you may be tempted to do whatever you can to entice the seller to accept your offer. Buyers write offer letters, provide large down payments, or waive the inspection. Sometimes, this strategy includes removing contingencies from your contract. 


Beware. Removing contingencies can easily become a nightmare for you as a buyer. Certain contingencies should be kept no matter how much you think you should waive them for enticement. 


The Home Inspection Contingency


This contingency is basically universally recommended by realtors everywhere. This contingency allows you to get a licensed home inspector who will check the property. The inspection typically should be done about 7 days from the time you sign the purchase agreement for the home. 


Following the inspection, you as the buyer can request that the seller make certain repairs. The seller can either make the repairs or provide a counter offer. If youíre not satisfied or cannot reach an agreement, you can back out of the deal and still get your money back. 


Without this contingency, youíll never know whatís wrong with the home until you move in it. Itís a huge risk to take to move into a home without understanding all of its moving parts. Is the roof stable? Has the basement flooded? Will the appliances last? There are plenty of questions that you might have about a home that can be answered simply through an inspection. 


Financing Contingency


This is an important contingency. Your offer on the property will depend on being able to get the financing you need to purchase the home. With this protection in place, in the event that you canít get a loan, youíll get your deposit on the home back. Be sure that the clause specifies the number of days that would be recommended by your lender to have the mortgage approved.   


Appraisal Contingency


This could be the most important contingency of all. This protection could possibly save you thousands of dollars of a headache. Once an offer is accepted on a home, youíre far from done. The lender will typically order an appraisal. If the appraisal comes in lower than the offer you made on the home and agreed to pay, you may have some problems. 


The lender will only lend you what the house is worth. If the appraisal comes in lower, youíll need to make up for tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket. Make sure you have an appraisal contingency included in your contracts!  


As you buy a home, remember how important contingencies can be in the process.            




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Posted by Thomas Murphy on 11/5/2017

If you're moving homes, odds are you have a lot on your mind. You're trying to keep track of all your boxes, making sure the moving truck arrives at both locations on time, and focusing on getting all of your belongings to your new home in one piece. In all of this chaos, it's easy to overlook basic safety precautions. If you have a moving day coming up, read these important safety tips to make sure you and your belongings arrive safely.

Packing boxes

  • Practice good lifting technique.†It has long been taught that you should "lift with your knees" when picking up heavy objects. However, if you look at the people who lift things for a living, professional weightlifters, you'll notice that they use a combination of muscles.Before lifting, test the weight of the object to see if it's feasible for you to move alone. Then make sure you can get a good grip on the box. When lifting, be sure to keep your chest facing the object and avoid twisting your back. Lift from a squatting position relying mostly on your leg muscles.It's also a good practice to stretch and warm up your back before lifting to avoid injuries.
  • Pack properly.†To ensure the safety of you and your possessions during the move, be sure to use boxes that are the correct size and pack them fully. Empty space in boxes can cause them to crush one another and tip over in the moving truck, harming you or your fragile belongings.Double up on tape on the bottom of your boxes and tape a "plus" sign so that the box is reinforced fully. This will stop heavy objects from falling out of the bottom of the box and breaking, and from hurting your feet.

On the road

  • Stack smart, not higher.†When stacking boxes, always put the heavier boxes on the bottom. Don't stack them too high or too close to the door of the truck. Think of stacking boxes as playing a game of Tetris--an organized stack will have much better stability than a disorganized one.
  • Test drive the route.†Driving in an unfamiliar place is difficult enough without having to do it towing all of your most valued possessions. Travel the route beforehand to get a feel for the roads and for safe places to stop for gas or food.

In your new home

Once you arrive at your new home it's easy to let your guard down and start dreaming about relaxing on the sofa in your empty living room. However, you should ensure the safety of you and your belongings first.
  • Don't leave things unattended.†Even if your neighborhood is a safe place you should still keep track of where your boxes are outside at all times.
  • Unpack the truck safely.†If you can't reach a box, use a step ladder to get it down. If boxes are too heavy to move, use a dolly.
  • Clear the path.†It's easy to lose track of objects and trip over a box in the hallway when carrying your bed frame in. Make sure you and your helpers keep the paths clear while moving.




Tags: Real estate   Safety Tips   home   moving   safety   moving day   house   tips   advice  
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Posted by Thomas Murphy on 10/22/2017

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 Thomas Murphy on 10/15/2017

Applying for a mortgage is one of the biggest decision that an individual can make in his or her lifetime. As such, it is important for a first-time homebuyer to dedicate the necessary time and resources to employ the best mortgage lender Ė without exception.

So what does it take to hire the ideal mortgage lender? Here are three tips to help a first-time homebuyer quickly and effortlessly choose the right mortgage lender.

1. Consider a Variety of Lenders

There is no shortage of top-notch lenders in cities and towns across the United States. Thus, a first-time homebuyer can meet with a variety of credit unions and banks to explore all of the mortgage options at his or her disposal.

Spend some time learning about lenders in your area. Look at each lender's experience and reputation, and you may be better equipped than other homebuyers to select the ideal lender based on your individual needs.

Furthermore, conduct face-to-face meetings with lenders. These meetings will allow you to learn about a wide range of mortgage options and will make it easy for you to make an informed decision.

2. Ask Plenty of Questions

When it comes to getting a mortgage for the first time, there is no need to leave anything to chance. Instead, ask plenty of questions as you consult with assorted lenders, and you can gain the insights you need to pick a lender that matches or exceeds your expectations.

Remember, there is no such thing as a "bad" question, particularly when it comes to mortgages. If you meet with various lenders, you can get all of your mortgage concerns and queries addressed without delay.

A first-time homebuyer who asks lots of questions may be able to avoid potential financial pitfalls down the line too. In fact, this homebuyer should have no trouble selecting a great lender who can fulfill his or her mortgage needs for years to come.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Let's face it Ė selecting a lender may prove to be exceedingly difficult. Fortunately, a real estate agent is happy to provide honest, unbiased advice to help you find the right lender in no time at all.

A real estate agent understands the challenges of obtaining a terrific mortgage, and as a result, will do everything possible to help a homebuyer discover a lender that can provide outstanding support day after day. Plus, a real estate agent can even help a homebuyer alleviate stress as he or she searches for the right lender.

Let's not forget about the support that a real estate agent can provide throughout the entire homebuying journey, either. Typically, a real estate agent can keep a homebuyer informed about new residences as they become available, set up home showings, negotiate with a home seller on buyer's behalf and much more.

Get the right mortgage any time you choose Ė use the aforementioned tips, and a first-time homebuyer can streamline the process of selecting the ideal lender.




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Posted by Thomas Murphy on 10/8/2017

When youíre searching for a home to buy, youíll probably attend many different open houses. The open house is meant to help you get a feel for different properties. While you canít get to know all the ins and outs of a home in a short time, you can get an understanding of some of the best things (and not so great things) about a property. Below, youíll find some of the biggest warning signs that a property may not be all that it appears to be. 


Thereís A Lot Of Odor Masking Elements In Place


When you walk into an open house, you may get the smell of freshly baked cookies or a lovely candle. While these are great marketing techniques, they also can be a tactic to hide things. Perhaps there are some offensive odors in the house from mold, leaks, smoke, or mildew. You may not be prepared to deal with these kinds of problems once you move into a home. 


You Notice Glaring Issues


While the home inspection will reveal many problems that may be invisible to the casual observer, you should still be on the lookout for issues on the surface of the home during the open house. These issues can include cracks in the ceiling or walls, cracks in the floor, or even squeaky floor boards. If you happen to see patchy walls in the home, that could indicate that repairs have been made several times. Be alert for these potential problems.


Does The Home Look Well-Kept?


When you pull up in front of the home is the lawn trim? Does the home appear clean? While everyone would hope that a homeowner would clean up their property before an open house, small and big things like this can indicate a bigger problem. If the home is not cared for on the surface, how many other underlying maintenance issues are there in the home? Neglected regular maintenance can cause larger problems of all kinds in a home.


Strange Cosmetic Fixes


A freshly painted wall could be suspect of a big problem. Under the paint could be mold, cracks, or other issues. Some homeowners do put fresh paint on their walls before selling in order to give the home a neutral feel. However, you should be on the lookout for other signs of problems in the home.          


Channel Your Inner Detective


While you donít need to dig as deep into a home as a home inspector does, you should be on the lookout as you scan a home for the potential livability for you. Things like glaring cracks in the ceiling, or a strong odor of cigarette smoke could be signs of future problems living in the home. The open house is your time to find a home that fits you and your life, so make the most of the opportunity.  




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