Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 7/8/2018

Whether you’re a first time homebuyer or a seasoned homeowner, the terminology of mortgages can be confusing. Since buying a home is such a huge financial decision, you’re also going to want to make sure you understand every step of the process and all of the conditions and fees along the way.

In this article, we’re going to explain some of the common terms you might come across when applying for a home loan, be it online or over the phone. By learning the basic meaning of these terms you’ll feel more confident and prepared going into the application process.

We’ll cover the acronyms, like APRs and ARMs, and the scary sounding terms like “amortization” so that you know everything you need to about the terminology of home loans.

  • ARM and FRM, or adjustable rate vs fixed rate mortgages. Lenders make their money by charging you interest on your home loan that you pay back over the length of your loan period. Adjustable rate mortgages or ARMs are loans that have interest rates which change over the lifespan of your loan. You may start off at a low, “introductory rate” and later start paying higher amounts depending on the predetermined rate index. Fixed rate mortgages, on the other hand, remain at the same rate throughout the life of the loan. However, refinancing on your loan allows you to receive a different interest rate later down the road.

  • Amortization. It sounds like a medieval torture technique, but in reality amortization is the process of making your life easier by setting up a fixed repayment schedule. This schedule includes both the interest and the principal loan balance, allowing you to understand how long and how much money will go toward repaying your mortgage.

  • Equity. Simply state, your equity is the the amount of the home you have paid off. In a sense, it’s the amount of the home that you really own. Your equity increases as you make payments, and having equity can help you buy a new home, or see a return on investment with your current home if the home increases in value.

  • Assumption and assumability. It isn’t the title of a Jane Austen novel. It’s all about the process of a mortgage changing hands. An assumable mortgage can be transferred to a new buyer, and assumption is the actual transfer of the loan. Assuming a loan can be financially beneficial if the home as increased in value since the mortgage was created.

  • Escrow. There are a lot of legal implications that come along with buying a home. An escrow is designed to make sure the loan process runs smoothly. It acts as a holding tank for your documents, payments, as well as property taxes and insurance. An escrow performs an important function in the home buying process, and, as a result, charges you a percentage of the home for its services.

  • Origination fee. Basically a fancy way of saying “processing fee,” the origination covers the cost of processing your mortgage application. It’s one of the many “closing costs” you’ll encounter when buying a home and accounts for all of the legwork your loan officer does to make your mortgage a reality--running credit reports, reviewing income history, and so on.  




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Posted by Thomas Murphy on 7/1/2018

Looking to add your home to the real estate market sooner rather than later? Ultimately, you'll want to look beyond the potential price of your residence as you get your house ready for the real estate market.

For home sellers, price is one of several factors to consider before they list their houses. In fact, some of the top home selling factors to evaluate beyond price include:

1. A Home's Location

A home's location may dictate how quickly you're able to sell your residence. And if you understand the benefits associated with your house's location, you should have no trouble promoting your residence to the right groups of homebuyers consistently.

For example, a home that is located near a big city may prove to be an ideal choice for those who work in the city. On the other hand, a house that is located near top schools could prove to be an ideal option for families.

2. A Home's Condition

Although you've tried to maintain your house's interior and exterior over the years, you may still be uncertain about how your residence will stack up against other houses in a competitive real estate market.

Fortunately, a home appraisal can help you take an in-depth look at your house's condition and map out your home selling journey.

During a home appraisal, a property inspector will examine your residence. The appraisal may take several hours to complete, as a property inspector will investigate your house's interior and exterior.

When a home appraisal is finished, a property inspector will provide you with a detailed report that describes his or her findings. Then, you can use the home insights contained within this report to prioritize myriad home improvements.

With a home appraisal, you can gain deep insights into your house's condition. That way, you can better understand your house's strengths and weaknesses prior to adding your home to the housing market.

3. The Current State of the Housing Market

The current state of the housing market may impact your ability to sell your house, and for good reason.

For instance, if you're operating in a seller's market, there may be an abundance of homebuyers and a shortage of top-notch houses. This means there will be high demand for the best residences, and you may attract plenty of interest in your house as soon as it becomes available.

Let's not forget about a buyer's market, either. In a buyer's market, there are many home sellers and few homebuyers. Therefore, a home seller may need to allocate significant time and resources to stir up interest in his or her property.

For those who are unsure about how to navigate a seller's or buyer's market, hiring a real estate agent usually is an excellent idea. A real estate agent can teach you about the current state of the housing market so that you can get the best results possible during the home selling journey.

Look beyond price before you list your residence, and by doing so, you can boost your chances of a fast home sale.




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Posted by Thomas Murphy on 6/24/2018

The right time to purchase a home varies from person to person. Meanwhile, buying a house is one of the biggest decisions an individual may make in his or her lifetime. As such, it is important to weigh your options closely to determine if now if the right time to buy a house.

There are several things you can do to get ready to pursue and buy your dream home. These include:

1. Make a Plan

Think about the steps you'll need to take to go from homebuyer to homeowner. Then, you can craft a plan to put these steps into action.

Also, it often helps to create a list of homebuying criteria. This list will help you narrow your home search and speed up the process of finding your ideal residence.

You should stay flexible as you conduct your home search too. The housing market fluctuates constantly, and if you maintain flexibility, you'll be ready to adjust your homebuying strategy as needed.

2. Get Home Financing

It usually is a good idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you have a mortgage in hand, you'll know exactly how much you can spend on a home.

Banks and credit unions are available to teach you about all of your mortgage options. Thus, meeting with these financial institutions will enable you to learn about different types of home financing and make an informed mortgage selection.

Of course, you should not hesitate to ask home financing questions. Banks and credit unions employ courteous, knowledgeable mortgage specialists who are happy to respond to your queries. Therefore, if you are unsure about which mortgage option is right for you, these mortgage specialists can help you evaluate all of your options.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent offers expert guidance throughout the homebuying journey. He or she will help you find your dream home and submit a competitive offer to purchase it. Plus, a real estate agent will negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf, help you prepare for a home closing and much more.

In addition, a real estate agent can provide plenty of support during your house search. He or she first will help you craft an effective homebuying strategy and search for properties that meet your criteria. Next, a real estate agent will set up house showings and keep you informed about open house events in your preferred cities and towns. And if a seller accepts your offer to purchase his or her home, a real estate agent will help you set up a property inspection and finalize your house purchase.

For those who are ready to purchase a home, it helps to be prepared. If you take advantage of the aforementioned tips, you can enter the real estate market as an informed property buyer. As a result, you may be better equipped than other homebuyers to enjoy a quick, successful property buying experience.




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Posted by Thomas Murphy on 6/17/2018

Where you decide to live is perhaps one of the most important decisions that you’ll make. The location of your home will determine the property value and how much you can potentially get out of your investment. The location of your home also will determine how you live your everyday life. What’s nearby and how you get around are big factors based on where you choose to live. Here’s what you must consider when choosing where you want to live: 


The Part Of The Country You Live In


Where you choose to live is based on a lot of factors in your life. Yet, the part of the country that you choose to live in has such a big impact on your lifestyle. If you’re planning on staying in your home for a long time, this is an important decision. Although many people have their location chosen for them based on job and family needs, other people work this question out a bit differently. 


City Life Or The ‘Burbs?


If you like peace and quiet, this is an important question. If you live far outside the city, you’ll be able to have a lot more land than if you buy a home within the city limits. Education options are also greater in the city compared to a town or rural area. If you are looking for wider access to entertainment, shopping and medical services, you may need to strongly consider living closer to the city. If you like a bit more quiet, choose the outer limits as a place to live. 


The Neighborhood


Each neighborhood in a particular area has different characteristics. You’ll want to find a neighborhood that fits your personality and needs. You should feel comfortable and at “home” in your neighborhood. Also, you’ll want to be in close proximity to your workplace so that you avoid a long commute. 


What Are The Schools Like?


This is one of the most important questions for people who have a family or are planning to start a family. You’ll need to do some research as to what school systems are like in specific areas that you’re thinking of living in. Keep in mind that you may end up paying a premium to live in a neighborhood that has a good school system.


Neighborhood Culture


Depending upon the neighborhood that you choose, people will either keep to themselves or provide a certain kind of social pressure. In certain neighborhoods there’s more social activity and more pressure to send your kids to certain schools and enroll them in certain activities. 

What’s Next? 


Now that you know how to find the right place to search for a home, you’ll need to figure out what kind of home you’d like to live in. Start making your wish list!





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 6/10/2018

As a homebuyer, it is paramount to establish realistic expectations for the homebuying journey. That way, you can take a step-by-step approach to achieve various goals along this journey and acquire your ideal residence faster than ever before.

Setting realistic homebuying expectations can be simple. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you set realistic homebuying expectations.

1. Assess Your Home Must-Haves and Wants

Dozens of homes are available in cities and towns nationwide. If you establish realistic homebuying expectations, you may be better equipped than others to determine exactly what you want to find in your dream house. As a result, you could reap the benefits of a quick, seamless homebuying experience.

Oftentimes, it helps to create a list of home must-haves and wants prior to searching for a house. This list can be updated as you proceed along the homebuying journey and will serve as a guide to help you discover your ideal residence.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

With a mortgage in hand, you can narrow your home search to residences that fall within your price range. Then, you can speed up the homebuying journey and find your ideal residence in no time at all.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you'll want to meet with banks and credit unions. These financial institutions generally offer a broad array of mortgage options. Examine all of your mortgage options closely, and you're sure to find a mortgage that matches your finances.

Also, don't hesitate to ask mortgage questions when you meet with potential lenders. Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists who are happy to help you in any way they can. Thus, you can gain expert insights from these mortgage specialists that could help you make an informed mortgage decision.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent understands what it takes to purchase a home in any housing market. Therefore, he or she can help you prepare for the real estate market and establish realistic homebuying expectations from day one.

Typically, a real estate agent first will learn about your homebuying goals. He or she then will help you map out a successful homebuying journey, one that concludes with you discovering your dream house at a budget-friendly price.

A real estate agent offers plenty of support at each stage of the homebuying journey too. This housing market professional will set up home showings, keep you updated about new residences that become available and help you evaluate houses. And if you want to submit an offer on a home, a real estate agent will make it easy for you to put together a competitive homebuying proposal.

Achieving the optimal results during the homebuying journey sometimes can be difficult. But if you establish realistic homebuying expectations, you may be able to streamline the homebuying journey and ensure that you can purchase a great house that suits you perfectly.




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