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 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.      





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 11/3/2013

To buy or not to buy that is the question. There are reasons for or against homeownership on both sides of the fence. So here are the pros and cons of buying a home. You decide... Pros: 1. It Costs Less- With record low interest rates, and low home prices a mortgage payment on a house can be less than a rental payments. 2. Equity -If you own a home rather than rent you are building equity. If you pay rent you have nothing to show for it. If you own a home you are building equity. Even if housing prices stay flat part of your mortgage payment goes towards the principal balance and eventually you will own the home. Cons: 1. You Could Get a Better Money Return-A home may not be the best return on your money. You may find a better return on capital in the stock market. If you are just looking at it in a strictly financial way there are better investment strategies. Historically, the S&P 500 has returned an average of 13.4% -- 4.8% higher than the 8.6% average return on housing. 2. It is a Big Commitment-You can't just sell your house and move quickly. It is a long term decision. If you job requires frequent moves this can be a significant consideration. Now that you have seen some of the pros and cons the decision is ultimately up to you and what is best in your circumstance. The pros cannot be disputed. Low rates and prices almost make buying a no-brainer if it fits within your financial situation.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 9/15/2013

There are so many things to think of when buying a home. It can be difficult to think of everything when you are house shopping. When you tour potential homes it can be easy to get caught up in things that may not be as important after you move in like storage, parking, and privacy. When home shopping you should make a checklist of the things you must have in a home so you don't get caught up in the new granite countertops or the beautifully decorated master bedroom. Think function over style when making a buying decision. Here are some things you may want to consider putting on your must-have list. Storage When walking through a home make sure to make note of the amount of storage. A good staging job can disguise a home with too little storage. Imagine the home with no furniture and picture your furniture and belongings in place. If you are seriously interested in the home bring a sketch pad and measure the rooms and draw a quick sketch of walls, doors, windows and closets. Location Consider the location of the home to places you frequently travel. You may only be a few miles from the store or work but what is the commute like? Do a practice run at rush hour from the home to your work. If you are moving near public transportation give that a try too. Make sure to try the commute both ways. Enough Power and Water Imagine waking up the first morning in your new home and finding out the water pressure is barely enough for a shower or the water gets cold half way through.  It is important to determine if the plumbing and wiring can accommodate your lifestyle. Check the size of the hot water tank and run a few plumbing items at a time to check the water pressure. Talk to your home inspector about the electrical system. Make sure the home inspector knows the kinds of electrical equipment you run and the number of people that will be living in the home. Privacy Many buyers overlook privacy until it's too late. Try to spend some time in the house. Look out the bathroom and bedroom windows and test what you see. Do a walk-through of the home and pretend to go through your day. Sit in the back yard and on the deck to see and listen to the neighbors.




Categories: Buying a Home