Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 11/9/2014

What is your dream home? It is a water-front home, a cabin in the woods, a city apartment or a home on a cul de sac in a suburb? The phrase “dream home” means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Here are some things to consider when looking for your dream home: Square Footage Consider how much room you need in your home. Do you need a media room or a finished basement? Three decades ago the average home size was 1,645 square feet. Now the average home size has gone up to 2,195. Recent trends have shown house sizes again decreasing as buyers evaluate what they truly need. Floorplan Think about how you will use your home, will you be entertaining? Do you like your home with rooms that are intimate and have a traditional feel? Or do you prefer an open floor plan? The way you use your home will dictate the type of floor plan you ultimately choose. Extras What kind of extras are you looking for in a home? Do you want granite counter tops, high-end appliances, or other extras?  That will also affect price. Decide what you want and make sure it fits your budget. Landscaping The bigger the better may not be the case when it comes to a lawn. A big lawn means lots of landscaping. If you are willing to perform the necessary upkeep you may opt for a large yard; if not, your dream home may be a home with a smaller yard or even a condo. Location Choosing a neighborhood is important when picking your dream home. If you have a family or are planning one in the future you most likely will want to look at school systems.  Other considerations are commute time to work, location to stores, highways, the ability to walk to venues and public transportation.    





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 9/14/2014

If you are thinking about buying a new home one thing that you should take the time to research is who your potential new neighbors might be. A great tool to know more about the area you are thinking about buying in is the Official Sex Offender Registry Site. This free service can locate registered sex offenders in any area. Click here to locate registered sex offenders in your area. Just enter an address and it will show a map. The site will show you photos (where available) addresses, convictions and other information about the offender. Also included are statistics on crime in the area. It is important to consider this when thinking about not only the safety of your family but also how this could affect the resale of the home.





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 12/29/2013

If you are looking to buy a home you may be wondering how you will be able to come up with the down payment. One way that many buyers come up with down payment money is from gifts.  If you are planning on using gift money to help buy a home there are some guidelines you will need to follow. Here are some simple rules: 1. Get a Gift Letter If you are getting gift money to help you buy a house you will need a gift letter. The letter has a few requirements:

  • Have the letter hand-signed by you and the gift-giver
  • State the relationship between the buyer and the gift-giver.
  • State the amount of the gift.
  • State the address of the home being purchased.
  • A statement that the money is a gift and not a loan that must be paid back.
  • A statement that says: “Will wire the gift directly to escrow at time of closing.”
2. Document a paper trail Mortgage underwriters want proof of where the money came from and where it went. Get copies of transactions showing the withdrawals and deposits. You will also need to make sure that the transaction is for the exact amount of the gift. Following these simple guidelines will get you to the closing table hassle free.    





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 11/10/2013

Buying your first home can be confusing. Securing a mortgage is one of the most important parts of the home buying process. Making sure that you have the right loan and have chosen the right loan officer are among the things a first time buyer has to do to start the process. Here are some more tips on how to ensure a successful purchase: 1. Make sure your deposit is in order. Talk to your loan officer about what amount of a deposit is required for the purchase and type of loan. You will also want to make sure the funds are accounted for and readily available. You can expect deposits to run anywhere between 3 and 20 percent of the purchase price. 2. Plan to have a cash reserve in addition to your deposit. You may want to have a reserve of at least two months mortgage payments. 3. Ask your lender to go over all the fees that apply to the purchase. It is better to be prepared and know how much the actual purchase will cost. These costs are typically added into your loan but there may be some out of pocket expenses too. 4. Consider how much you can comfortably afford not how much you have been approved for. These numbers may vary considerably. Your mortgage costs should not be more than 30% of your household income. 5. The lowest rate is not always the best deal. You will want to look at not only the rate but also the terms and fees associated with the loan.