Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 1/12/2020

Moving can be fun, exciting, and stressful all at the same time. With so many things happening and so much to keep track of, it can be easy to get overwhelmed.

 When youíre stressed and trying to multitask, thereís also an increased risk of personal injury and damaged belongings.

 While it may seem worth it to overlook safety in order to save time or money on moving day, itís important to remember that you and your familyís health and well-being is much more important than saving a few minutes or dollars.

 In this article, weíre going to give you a few simple moving day tips that will help keep you and your belongings safe so you can rest easy on the first night in your new home.

 Ask for help

Many moving day injuries result from one person attempting to lift, carry, or move items that really require more hands. Itís easy to see how this mistake is made. Everyone is busy with their own tasks, whether theyíre packing boxes or cleaning.

To avoid injury when lifting items, know your limits and always ask for help. If you donít feel comfortable moving heavy items, now is no time to push yourself--youíll be needed throughout the day, so depend on your family or hired movers.

Plan your route

Many damages and injuries occur when we havenít properly prepared. Know the terrain of the place youíll be carrying your items to. Plan ahead for the size of staircases, dangerous hills, or ruts in the ground. Put safety cones down in dangerous areas so no one is hurt or drops fragile items.

Load your truck wisely

Whether youíre moving far away or just a few blocks, a lot can go wrong once the truck starts moving. However, even if you donít have many fragile items inside, thereís the risk of boxes toppling on you and your family when unloading the truck if the boxes havenít been stacked wisely.

First, try to keep boxes lighter than what youíre comfortable carrying. Itís easier to move more boxes than to struggle with one particularly heavy one.

For heavier items, utilize equipment like dollies, hand trucks, and furniture sliders to protect you and your belongings.

Finally, practice smart loading and unloading techniques in your moving truck. Load the heaviest items (like appliances) first, and put lighter boxes on top of them. Think of loading like a game of Tetris--always aim for a strong foundation to stack on top of to avoid boxes falling on you or each other.

Take breaks

On moving day you may be on various deadlines, whether itís moving trucks or getting things unloaded before sunset. However, itís important that you take several breaks while loading and unloading, especially if youíre moving on a hot day.

First aid

Sometimes, even if you do everything right, mistakes can happen. Itís important to be prepared for when they do. Make sure you have a first aid kit in your moving truck that contains unexpired first aid supplies.

Be sure to have your cell phone handy and know the location of the nearest hospital in case of an emergency.

If you follow these tips, you should be on your way to having a successful, injury-free moving day.




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Posted by Thomas Murphy on 1/5/2020

It can be difficult to find the extra savings to put towards your first home as a renter. With rent and utility prices rising, most peopleís paychecks are leaving them with less and less savings at the end of the month.

Buying your first home, however, can be a great long-term financial decision. It will help you build equity, and, eventually, youíll be able to use that equity toward another home or toward retiring.

In todayís post, weíll talk about some of the ways to save for a down payment while renting an apartment.

How much to save

In order to make the most of your first home purchase, youíll want to save up as much of a down payment as possible. This will help you receive the lowest interest rate and reduce the amount youíll pay toward interest.

If you can manage to save 20% of the loan, youíll also be able to waive private mortgage insurance (PMI), that would otherwise set you back around $100 per month or more.

Smart ways to save while renting

If youíre ready to get serious about saving for your first down payment, letís talk about the best way to approach your savings plan.

Pay off small debts

If youíve had that lingering credit card debt that youíve never quite paid off, now is the time. Take a look at your current debts. Pay off the smaller balances first and focus on debt with the highest interest rate.

This will enable you to start making larger deposits toward your down payment savings sooner and can help you avoid needlessly paying interest on small loans and credit card debt.

Open a dedicated account or CD

The best way to make sure you contribute to your down payment savings plan is to open a savings account or take out a CD (certificate of deposit).

A savings account with a high-interest return is a good option for people who are worried that they may need to access their funds before theyíre ready to buy a home.

If youíre comfortable with not being able to access your funds until a set date, then a CD could help you save more money.

Since CDs are a one-time payment, many people choose to combine both CDs and high-interest savings accounts to achieve their savings goals.

Regardless of which option you choose, be sure to shop around for the highest interest rate. Online banks tend to have higher rates than traditional banks and are also easy to sign up for.

Direct deposit a portion of your pay

Opening a bank account or CD wonít do you any good if you donít commit to contributing to it. If you are paid via direct deposit, visit your HR office and ask them to reassign a portion of your weekly pay to your new account.

By following these tips, youíll be able to better prepare for your down payment. Donít  wait! The sooner you start saving, the sooner youíll be able to purchase your first home.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 12/29/2019

Do you know how to get your house ready for the real estate market? If not, you may miss out on opportunities to showcase your home to the right buyers. Perhaps even worse, you may struggle to maximize your home sale earnings.

When it comes to selling your house, it usually helps to plan ahead. Fortunately, we're here to help you do just that.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get your house ready to sell.

1. Clean As Much As Possible

Let's face it Ė a messy kitchen, bathroom or bedroom is an eyesore. And if you fail to clean your house prior to listing it, you risk alienating buyers time and time again.

Cleaning is a necessity for home sellers, regardless of a house's age or condition. If you allocate time and resources to ensure each room in your home looks pristine, you can increase the likelihood that your residence will make a positive first impression on buyers.

Mopping the floors, wiping down walls and taking a room-by-room approach to home cleaning generally is recommended. In addition, if you need extra assistance, you can always hire a professional home cleaning company.

2. Perform Home Exterior Maintenance

Although you may spend a lot of time cleaning your house's interior, you shouldn't forget about your home's exterior as well.

Ultimately, how your home's exterior looks may dictate how quickly your residence sells. If your house boasts a beautiful front lawn and immaculate exterior, a buyer may fall in love with your home instantly. Conversely, if your home's front lawn is uncut and your house's siding is damaged, your residence is unlikely to impress potential buyers.

When it comes to home exterior maintenance, it helps to do as much as you can. Trim the front lawn, repair damaged home siding and perform assorted home exterior maintenance. By doing so, you can immediately bolster your house's curb appeal.

3. Remove Clutter

Over the years, you may have collected a lot of items. But these items may make your house appear smaller than it actually is Ė something that all home sellers should try to avoid.

If you have a large collection of clutter, you may want to consider selling or donating various items. Or, you can always rent a storage unit for assorted belongings and move these items to your new residence after your current house sells.

Clearly, there are many ways to prepare your house for the real estate market. If you want to ensure the best-possible results from the home selling journey, you may want to reach out to a real estate agent too. This housing market professional can guide you along the home selling journey and ensure you can get the support you need to achieve your desired goals.

Start getting your house ready to sell Ė use the aforementioned tips, and you can quickly and effortlessly enhance your residence before you list it.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 12/22/2019

Your ultimate goal as a home seller is to make your residence as desirable as possible to potential buyers. If you transform your house into a must-buy, you could reap the benefits of a quick, profitable home selling experience.

To better understand how to enhance your residence before you list it, let's take a look at three tips to help you transform your home into a must-buy.

1. Upgrade Your House's Interior

Consider how buyers may perceive your residence as soon as they walk through your house's front door. Then, you can prioritize home interior upgrades.

By cleaning each room of your house, you can enhance your residence's interior. If you need help with home cleaning, you can always hire professionals to assist you, too.

Also, it may be beneficial to add a fresh coat of paint to the walls in your bedroom or other areas of your house. Because if you can make it easy for buyers to fall in love with your home's interior, you could speed up the property selling journey.

2. Perform Home Exterior Repairs

Curb appeal may play a key role in your home selling experience. If you residence boasts outstanding curb appeal, you may be able to differentiate your home from other available houses in your city or town.

To improve your residence's curb appeal, you may want to repair or replace any damaged home siding. In addition, mow the lawn and trim the hedges, and you can show off the true beauty of your house's lawn.

You may want to remove any lawn ornaments or decorations from outside your house as well. That way, buyers may be better equipped than ever before to envision what life may be like if they purchase your residence.

3. Eliminate Clutter

Clutter may fill up various rooms throughout your home. If you want to achieve the best-possible home selling results, now may be a great time to eliminate as much clutter as you can.

If you have items you no longer need, you can always sell these items or give them to friends, family members or local charities. On the other hand, if you have assorted personal belongings you want to keep outside your house, you can rent a storage unit.

As you get set to embark on the house selling journey, you may want to hire a real estate agent. With a real estate agent at your side, you can transform your residence into a must-buy in no time at all.

A real estate agent understands all aspects of the home selling journey. He or she will offer tips and recommendations to help you promote your residence to dozens of prospective buyers. Plus, a real estate agent is ready to respond to any of your home selling concerns and questions.

Allocate time and resources to upgrade your home, and you could generate lots of interest in your residence as soon as you list it.




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Posted by Thomas Murphy on 12/15/2019

Image by Ricarda MŲlck from Pixabay

If you've heard people talk about "subject-to" real estate, you might be curious what that means and if it would be a good investment for you. Briefly, "subject-to" real estate means you're buying the property but the loan on that property stays in the name of the existing seller. You're making your purchase "subject-to" the existing mortgage or lien.

Why Would Someone Buy Real Estate This Way?

When you buy a "subject-to" property, you don't have to get a mortgage in your own name. That can be perfect for people who don't want to tie up their credit or funds. It also works well for those who might not be able to qualify for an existing mortgage. Since you're not putting your name on anything that involves the mortgage, you're free and clear from that standpoint. But you'll own the house, and you'll make the mortgage payments.

Is This a Good Wealth-Building Tool?

This can be a great tool to build wealth when it's used correctly. It's very important that you continue making the seller's mortgage payments on time, and that you get everything in writing. But since you don't have to qualify for a mortgage yourself, you can choose great properties that people really want to sell. Often, this is because the owner is in foreclosure. By buying the property "subject-to", the owner doesn't have to go through foreclosure proceedings and have that on their credit report.

How Much Risk is Involved in This?

As with any type of investment, there is always risk. The biggest concern is that the seller of the property will file for bankruptcy. When that happens, the house could be included in that filing and would be foreclosed upon by the lender. You could lose your investment, since you aren't the one who has the property's mortgage in your name. Another risk is the due-on-sale clause in the seller's mortgage. Almost all mortgages have these, but they're often not enforced. Still, if the lender wanted to enforce that clause, they could demand that the entire mortgage be paid if the deed transfers into your name.

How Many "Subject-to" Properties Can Someone Own?

Theoretically, there's no limit to the number of "subject-to" properties that you could own. As long as you can make the payments, you can keep buying these properties. You don't need any credit to get started, and you won't really need much cash, either. You'll simply have to be willing to take a little bit of risk to build up your real estate portfolio. With that in mind, though, it's not a bad idea to have an attorney help you, at least right at first, to be sure you're protecting yourself and the seller as much as possible.




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