Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 8/3/2014

Sometimes reading the description of a home for sale can be like trying to interpret a foreign language. Some of the information is pretty straightforward but often agents use acronyms or other abbreviations to describe a home and that can leave a potential buyer confused. Here are a few of some more common acronyms or abbreviations that you may see: A/C: Air conditioned                             ATT: Attached                                                                                                                                 BSMT: Basement                                                                                                                     C/Air: Central Air                                                                                                                     C/Vac: Central Vac                                                                                                                   CRNR: Corner                                                                                                                                       EIK: eat-in kitchen                                                                                                                             FROG: family room over the garage—extra space!                                                               HWF or HW: hardwood floors                                                                                                           LA: Living Area                                                                                                                                   MBR: Master Bedroom                                                                                                                     REF: Refrigerator                                                                                                                             SF or s/f: square feet or foot                                                                                                         SS: stainless steel (as in any kitchen appliance)                                                                       Vu: view(s)                                                                                                                                 WBFP: wood-burning fireplace                                                                                                 W/D: washer/dryer                                                                                                                     WIC: walk-in closet Can you think of any more acronyms?





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 6/22/2014

If you are thinking about buying a new home you are probably hoping to get the best value for your money on a house, but what about your home loan? The rate and terms of your mortgage can have a big impact on your wallet. This is why it is so important to shop for just the right home loan. There are two main factors to consider when shopping for a loan: the type of loan and the terms of the loan. Do your homework before looking at home loans. Even one half of a percentage point makes a big difference over the full term of the loan. A 30 year loan of $200,000 at a 5% fixed-rate, will cost you about $22,000 more in interest than if the interest rate was set at 4.5%. Other things to look at when shopping for a home loan are closing costs. Mortgage companies charge additional fees such as origination fees, title charges, appraisals and even credit checks. Make sure to consider these additional expenses when shopping for a home loan. You can also save money by not maxing out your budget. Just because you are pre-qualified for a loan doesn't mean you should spend the maximum loan amount on a home. Don't allow your total house payment (principal, interest, taxes and insurance) to exceed 28% of your gross monthly income.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 5/18/2014

Home prices are at rock bottom and mortgage rates at all-time lows so you may be considering going from renter to homeowner. If you are planning on staying put for a while the choice makes sense. There are a few things to take into consideration before you make the leap from renter to owner. First, you will need to determine how much you can afford. Consult with a mortgage professional to help you determine what kind of mortgage you qualify for. Just because you pay $1,000 a month in rent, doesn't mean you can handle a $1,000 monthly mortgage payment. There are more costs to owning a home than just the mortgage payment. As a homeowner you will also be responsible for property tax, home insurance, utilities, and repairs. To prepare for those costs plan on adding about 40 percent to your base cost. So, if your mortgage is $1,000, add about $400 a month for a better estimate of costs. Before you make a rash decision see if you really can afford the cost difference. Once you know the cost difference spend a few months depositing the difference between your rent payment and your cost estimate in the bank. In the previous example you would deposit $400 a month into savings. If you've been able to keep up the deposits and pay your other bills, that's a sign you can afford to buy. Now that you have been saving more you have more money to put toward the down payment of your new home. These are just a few tips to get you started. Once you have a better financial picture it will be time to start shopping. That is when the fun begins.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 4/13/2014

After lots of searching you have found the house that you'd like to call home. Next step, you'll need to make an offer. Purchase contracts vary from state to state but a basic offer includes the price you're willing to pay for the house, your financing terms, and contingencies. When it is time to put your offer on paper you will want to make sure it is well planned. There are seven key elements to a good offer: 1. A realistic offering price In order to put forth a great offer you will want to set your price based on similar homes recently sold in the neighborhood. Your real estate agent will help you look at comparable properties to determine that price. You will also want to keep in mind the state of the market in your area. If homes are selling quickly and receiving multiple offers, you'll need to bid competitively. If home sales are slower you may want to be a little more conservative in your offer. 2. Realistic financing terms Always make sure you are pre-approved for a loan before making an offer. Include proof that you are pre-approved with your offer, many lenders will give you a letter. 3. A property inspection clause A home inspection clause will give you a chance to have the property inspected. You will want to use a professional home inspector to thoroughly inspect the property you are buying. 4. Any concessions or contingencies Sometimes there are additional items that should be covered in the offer. You will want to outline any concessions like closing costs or repairs. If you are financing your home you will need to include a financing contingency. 5. Conveyances Always put in the offer what is included in the sale. For instance, a washer and dryer or any other items that are included in the sale of the property. 6. A deadline An offer should always include a deadline for a response. 7. It is all in writing Everything should always be in writing. Never rely on verbal agreements.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 3/9/2014

If you live in or are buying an older home you may be concerned about asbestos. Asbestos was banned in 1978 because of the health risks associated with it. Asbestos fibers are dangerous when inhaled.  The microscopic fibers can become lodged in the respiratory system and lead to asbestosis or scarring of the respiratory tissues. Asbestos was commonly used as a binder and fire retardant in many building products. It can typically be found in acoustical ceiling tiles; thermal insulation of boilers and pipes; steel fireproofing, cement asbestos siding and roofing; tile and sheet floor coverings. Inspectors are most concerned with what is known as friable asbestos (easily crumbled or pulverized to powder) and often recommend it be removed. It should always be removed and disposed of by a qualified contractor. Contact the Environmental Protection Agency for an updated list of qualified testing and or mitigation contractors.