Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 5/24/2020

If you’re planning on buying a home in the near future and are confused about many of the terms associated with mortgages, you’re not alone. Real estate is its own industry with its own set of processes, terms, and acronyms. If you’re new to the home buying process, there can be somewhat of a learning curve to understand what each of these terms means.

Since buying a home is such a huge investment and life decision, there’s a lot of pressure on home buyers to make sure they get everything right. This makes for a stressful situation for buyers who don’t feel like they understand the terminology of things like mortgages, appraisals, credit reports, and other factors that contribute to the home buying process.

To alleviate some of those concerns and to make the home buying process run more smoothly, we’ve compiled a list of the most common, and most commonly confused, real estate words, terms, and acronyms. That way, when you’re talking things over with your real estate agent or your mortgage lender, you’ll be confident that you understand exactly what’s being considered.


Read on for our real estate terminology glossary.

  • Adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) - This is one type of home loan. Mortgage rates with this type of loan fluctuate throughout the repayment term of the loan. The fluctuation is based on a market indicator.

  • Fixed rate mortgage (FRM) - Another type of home loan, a fixed rate mortgage has a rate which does not fluctuate, remaining constant for the life of the term, most commonly 15 or 30 years.

  • Appraisal - An appraisal is the determination of the value of a property. Appraisals are used when purchasing and selling a home, as well as when refinancing a home loan. Appraisers are required to be licensed or certified in each state and are usually paid for by the lender.

  • Appreciation - An increase in a property’s value, most commonly due to market inflation, or the general increase in home prices over time.

  • Depreciation - A decrease in a property’s value, due to either market deflation (uncommon) or the wear and tear on a home that comes with age.

  • Closing costs - The costs and fees that a buyer is responsible for when purchasing a home or taking out a mortgage. These include underwriting fees, inspections, appraisals, transfer taxes, and more. Closing costs typically range from 2% to 5% of the total loan amount.

  • Contingency - Home purchases have contracts to protect the interest of the buyer, seller, and lender. Contingencies are provisions designed to protect the buyer or lender should something occur in the time leading up to closing on (or purchasing) the home. One common contingency is the buyer’s right to have a final inspection of the home before closing to ensure no new issues with the home have occurred.

  • Private mortgage insurance (PMI) - Buyers who cannot afford a down payment of %20 typically are required to take out a private mortgage insurance policy. This policy protects the lender should the borrower default (fail to repay or meet the conditions of their loan).






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Posted by Thomas Murphy on 5/17/2020

Believe it or not, the costs associated with selling a house can add up quickly. If a home seller fails to budget accordingly, he or she risks costly, time-intensive home repairs following a property inspection. Perhaps worst of all, this scenario may force a home seller to miss out on an opportunity to get the best price for his or her residence.

With a home selling budget in place, you can increase the likelihood of a profitable home selling experience. If you know what it takes to set up a home selling budget, you may be better equipped than ever before to streamline the home selling process.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you establish a home selling budget.

1. Assess the Condition of Your House

Before you list your house, it helps to perform a comprehensive home assessment. That way, you can identify potential upgrades both inside and outside your house and evaluate the costs associated with these home improvements.

Typically, a home inspection enables you to learn about your house's strengths and weaknesses. This inspection requires a property expert to assess your house and may take several hours to complete. Then, once the inspection is finished, you'll receive an inspection report that you can use to determine which home improvement projects that you may need to complete sooner rather than later.

2. Establish Home Improvement Priorities

Although you might want to give your residence a complete overhaul, there may be only limited time and resources at your disposal. Thus, you'll want to establish home improvement priorities to ensure you can maximize your time and resources.

Think about which home improvement projects are necessary. These projects should rank at the top of your list of home improvement priorities, as failure to complete them may prevent you from optimizing the value of your house.

As you establish home improvement priorities, don't forget to assess the costs associated with various home upgrades. This will help you achieve the best-possible home improvement results without spending beyond your means.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent understands exactly what it takes to sell a home, regardless of the current housing market's conditions. In fact, this housing market professional can make it easy to map out a successful home selling budget and ensure you can quickly and effortlessly navigate the home selling process.

With a real estate agent at your side, you'll receive expert support throughout the home selling journey. A real estate agent will learn about your home and help you identify ways to enhance your residence. Plus, a real estate agent will offer recommendations to ensure you can upgrade your house on a budget.

If you're getting ready to sell your house, it helps to collaborate with a real estate agent. Reach out to local real estate agents in your area, and you can get the support that you need to establish a home selling budget.




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Posted by Thomas Murphy on 5/10/2020

There are many different ways to upgrade and create the perfect outdoor space. You can upgrade what you already have by adding simple things to it, you can accessorize, or you can overhaul the entire area by starting from scratch. It’s always a good idea to take these three approaches and use a mix of the strategies.    


Go For Durable


Sometimes many different types of patio furniture end up being a little stuffy and high maintenance. While these sets can be beautiful, they may not be practical to suit your needs. If you live in an area where you need to put away your furniture for the fall and winter season because you don’t have use of the outdoors, plan accordingly with the type of outdoor accessories that you buy. 


You’re better off going for value and finding durable, yet stylish furniture that will stand the test of time. Otherwise, you’ll be replacing your furniture every year without fail. Go a bit more traditional than bold and work your outdoor style around that.


Choose Your Colors First


If you start with furniture, you’re left to figure out how to accessorize. There’s no rule that says you can’t find the accessories you want first before you begin to buy furniture. Find your cushions and outdoor rugs first. Then, move on to finding furniture that meshes well with those colors and styles.


Use The Outdoors To Accessorize


Whether you’re replacing your existing patio furniture, or just looking to recreate your space, you can use more than throw pillows and an outdoor rug to accessorize. Find planters that match well with the style you’re looking to achieve. Add in greenery and flowers that will only accent the look. There are a number of options of the types of planters that you can choose from hanging plants to large pots to planters on pedestals. Get creative with your plants and spice up your space. Is your outdoor space near your vegetable garden? Be sure to highlight your hard work and use that as a sort of focal point for your entire outdoor space.


Be Practical


If you’re spending a lot of time outside grilling, you’re going to want a table and chairs available, so there’s no need to truck food in and out of the house each night for dinner. It also would be a good idea o have some storage for food prep items like grilling tools, extra plates, and more just to keep everything you need in one place. These storage items are an important piece to your outdoor space. Whether you are primarily using a deck, patio, or the pool area, thinking practically can really be a big help in decorating.




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Posted by Thomas Murphy on 5/3/2020

The home selling journey can be long and time-consuming, particularly for those who are listing a residence for the first time. Lucky for you, there are many quick, easy ways to avoid the danger of becoming a "typical" home seller, i.e. someone who lacks the skills and know-how to generate plenty of interest in his or her property.

Now, let's take a look at three tips that you can use to become an expert home seller.

1. Review the Current State of the Housing Market

The housing market often fluctuates. As such, a buyer's market today may quickly morph into a seller's market tomorrow.

Ultimately, an expert home seller will allocate the necessary time and resources to learn about the current state of the real estate market. He or she will be able to identify housing market patterns and trends and collect extensive real estate market data to map out the home selling journey accordingly.

To learn about the housing market, take a look at some of the houses that are currently available in your city or town. Evaluating available houses in your area will allow you to find out how your residence stacks up against the competition.

Also, assess the prices of recently sold residences in your region. This may help you differentiate between a buyer's market and a seller's market.

2. Analyze Your House's Interior and Exterior

For a home seller, it is paramount that his or her residence makes a positive first impression on potential homebuyers. And if you enhance your house's interior and exterior, you may be able to boost your chances of a quick, seamless home sale.

A property appraisal usually represents a great starting point for home sellers. This appraisal involves a full evaluation of your house by a property inspector. Then, you'll receive a report that outlines your home's strengths and weaknesses and will help you plan any home improvement projects.

Also, it is important to remember that there are many simple ways to upgrade your home's exterior and interior.

Home exterior improvements like mowing the front lawn and clearing dirt and debris from walkways can make a world of difference in the eyes of homebuyers.

Removing clutter from your home offers multiple benefits as well. De-cluttering allows you to free up space inside your residence as well as get rid of unwanted items.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

There is no need to navigate the home selling process on your own. Fortunately, you can hire a real estate agent to help you remove the guesswork as you proceed along the home selling journey.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to promote your residence to large groups of potential property buyers. In fact, he or she will set up property showings and open houses, offer honest, unbiased home selling suggestions and respond to your home selling queries at any time.

Don't settle for an "average" home selling experience. Instead, use the aforementioned tips, and you can become an expert home seller in no time at all.




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Posted by Thomas Murphy on 4/26/2020

Want to make your homeownership dream a reality? Get pre-approved for a mortgage, and a first-time homebuyer can move closer than ever before to acquiring his or her ideal residence.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to receive pre-approval for a mortgage, including:

1. You can establish a realistic homebuying budget.

Entering the housing market for the first time can be challenging. In fact, many first-time homebuyers struggle to establish realistic expectations before they begin their home search. And as a result, these homebuyers may end up spending too much for a house.

Fortunately, getting pre-approved for a mortgage enables a homebuyer to enter the real estate market with a budget in hand. This ensures a homebuyer can avoid the temptation to overspend on a residence.

Pre-approval for a mortgage also allows a homebuyer to map out his or her homebuying journey. With a plan in place, this homebuyer may be better equipped than others to acquire a top-notch residence that matches or exceeds his or her expectations.

2. You can speed up the homebuying journey.

Although a first-time homebuyer can always submit an offer on a home without a mortgage in hand, doing so may be tricky. In some cases, it may even slow down the homebuying process, especially if a homebuyer has to allocate significant time and resources to find a mortgage lender.

On the other hand, a homebuyer who gets pre-approved for a mortgage should have no trouble accelerating the property buying cycle. This homebuyer will know exactly how much money is at his or her disposal, and as a result, can speed up the homebuying journey.

3. You can gain a competitive advantage over rival homebuyers.

In many instances, a home seller may be more likely to accept a proposal from a first-time homebuyer who has been pre-approved for a mortgage versus an offer from a buyer who still needs to obtain a mortgage.

A homebuyer who has a mortgage likely won't have to wait too long to acquire a house. Conversely, a homebuyer who needs to apply for a mortgage after an offer has been submitted may need to wait many weeks or months to complete a home sale.

Clearly, there are many great reasons for a first-time homebuyer to receive pre-approval for a mortgage. For homebuyers who want to ensure the best results possible, it certainly helps to collaborate with an experienced real estate agent too.

An experienced real estate agent understands the ins and outs of the housing market and will do whatever it takes to help a homebuyer streamline the property buying journey. This housing market professional will set up home showings and negotiate with a home seller on a property buyer's behalf. Plus, he or she is happy to provide honest, unbiased recommendations to help a homebuyer make his or her homeownership dream come true.

Take the next step to acquire your dream residence – get pre-approved for a mortgage today, and a first-time homebuyer can get the necessary financing to purchase his or her ideal house.




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