Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 3/25/2018

Buying your first home is a big endeavor, both financially and personally. Homeownership means taking on new responsibilities and bills, but it also means true financial independence.

If youíre hoping to buy a home in the near future, you might be wondering what you should be doing now to put yourself in the best position when it comes time to buy a home. Well, youíre in luck. Todayís post is a simplified list of all of the things you can be doing today to start making your way toward your ultimate goal of homeownership.

1. Pay off small debts

The first thing youíll want to do to start saving for a down payment is to make sure youíre not pouring money down the drain to credit card companies for interest rates. If you owe small amounts of money (or less than $1,000), now is the time to aggressively pay down those debts.

The goal here is to get your credit cards to a place where you pay off your balance in full each month, avoiding interest while still earning rewards and building credit.

2. Speaking of creditÖ

One of the most important aspects of buying a home is your credit score. Take the time to learn about the 5 main things that contribute to your credit score and then work on ways to improve your score in those areas.

3. Donít open any new accounts if you can help it

Once you start getting closer to applying for a mortgage, you wonít want any new inquiries on your account that are temporarily lowering your score. If you need to open a new account to lift your score, then do so well in advance of applying for a mortgage.

4. Get serious about saving for a down payment

There are a few ways to proactively save for your down payment; none of them include setting money aside when you feel like it. Start by opening a dedicated account and direct-depositing a portion of your pay into that account each week.

If you have an emergency fund in place, you might be in a position to use a CD or certificate of deposit. These give the highest earnings from interest out of any form of savings. The catch? You canít withdraw from the account until you reach your savings goal without a penalty. If you know you wonít need to dip into these funds before theyíve matured, a CD is an excellent way to save.

5. Find out how much house you can afford

Homes are expensive. but, if itís your first home, you might need to borrow the maximum amount form the bank to find a house that youíll love. To find out what is a reasonable amount to spend on a home, youíll need to consider your monthly mortgage, bills, taxes, insurance, and any other expenses. Leave yourself room for savings, emergencies, and to live a little. You wonít be able to enjoy your home much if you have to spend your days struggling to afford it.

6. Career planning is vital

A good career is a balance between stability and upward mobility. Donít be afraid to be on the lookout for new positions with higher pay and better opportunities, even if youíre happy with your current job.

If youíve been in your position for a while, consider asking for a raise. Research salaries for other people in your position and go to your boss equipped with data to show that show you deserve a raise.




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Posted by Thomas Murphy on 3/18/2018

If you are thinking of buying a home in the near future, thereís one three-digit number that could be oh so important to you. That number is your credit score. Read on to find out how a credit score can affect you and the steps you can take to be sure that your credit is in good standing when you head to apply for a mortgage. 


What Is A Credit Score?


Your credit score is checked by lenders of all kinds. Every time you apply for a loan or a credit card, thereís a good chance that your credit score is being pulled to see if you qualify for the loan. Your credit score is calculated based on the information on your credit report. This information includes:


Payment history

Debt-to-credit ratio

Length of credit history

New credit accounts opened


The areas with the most impact on your score is your payment history and your debt-to-credit ratio. This means that on-time payments are super important. You also donít want to get anywhere close to maxing out your credit cards or loan amounts to keep your score up. 


Whatís A Good Score?


If youíre aiming for the perfect credit score, itís 850. Most consumers wonít reach that state of perfection. Thatís, OK because you donít have to be perfect to buy a house. If your score is 740 and above, know that youíre in great shape to get a mortgage. Even if your score is below 740 but around 700 or above, youíll be able to get a good interest rate on your mortgage. Most lenders typically look for a score of 620 and above. Keep in mind that the higher your credit score the better your interest rate will be.    



What If You Lack Credit History?


Most people should get a credit card around age 20 in order to begin building credit. You can still qualify for a mortgage without a credit history, but it will be considerably harder. Lenders may look at things like your rent payments or car payments. Lenders want to know that youíre a responsible person to lend to. 


What If Your Score Needs Help?


It doesnít mean youíre a hopeless case if you lack good credit. Everything from errors on your credit report to missed payments can be fixed. The most important thing that you can do if youíre buying a home in the near future is to be mindful of your credit. Keep an eye on your credit report and continue to make timely payments. With a bit of focus, youíll be well on your way to securing a mortgage for the home of your dreams.        






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Posted by Thomas Murphy on 3/11/2018

If you have a lot of items that you need to move from one address to another, it may be tempting to try to complete your relocation as quickly as possible. However, when it comes to moving day, it pays to take a slow, steady approach.

Ultimately, you should try to plan plenty of breaks throughout moving day. There are many reasons why it can be beneficial to schedule regular moving day breaks, including:

1. You can help your moving team stay focused.

Let's face it Ė even the most diligent person can get tired of moving big, heavy boxes. Fortunately, regular breaks enable an individual to sit down, relax and regain the necessary strength to complete a successful move.

When it comes to moving day, regular breaks can help all members of a moving team stay on track. Even providing moving team members with a few minutes each hour to grab a beverage or snack can deliver long-lasting benefits. In fact, with regular moving day breaks in place, moving team members may gain extra motivation to work hard and do the best job possible.

2. You can reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.

Over the course of moving day, a moving team can become tired and exhausted. Without rest, moving team members risk making costly mistakes as well.

On moving day, it is always better to err on the side of caution. If you provide your moving team with regular breaks, you can reduce the risk of moving day accidents and injuries.

3. You can enjoy both work and play.

Moving day can be tough on all parties involved, so why not try to inject a little bit of fun along the way? Thankfully, regular breaks can provide a moving team with the support it needs to get through a stressful experience.

For example, you may want to consider hosting a pizza party during a moving day lunch break. This celebration gives moving team members the opportunity to enjoy a delicious lunch, converse with their peers and, perhaps most important, earn a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of moving day.

You also can provide lots of delectable snacks and tasty beverages that a moving team can enjoy during breaks. These treats will help a moving team maintain its energy levels and remain sharp.

If you need extra assistance on moving day, don't hesitate to hire a moving company, either. This business employs courteous, professionally trained specialists who understand the ins and outs of moving. As such, a moving company can help you seamlessly navigate all stages of the moving process.

Lastly, if you need help as you prep for moving day, it never hurts to contact a local real estate agent. In addition to helping you buy or sell a house, a real estate agent can put you in touch with the best moving companies in your area.

Schedule regular breaks during your move Ė you'll be glad you did. With these breaks in place, you can increase the likelihood of a successful transition from one address to another.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 3/4/2018

Establishing a competitive initial asking price for your house often can be difficult. Fortunately, we're here to help you determine the ideal asking price for your home, regardless of the current housing market's conditions.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you set the right initial asking price for your home.

1. Study the Housing Market

How does your residence stack up against the competition? Evaluate the prices of comparable houses in your city or town, and you can narrow your home price range.

Furthermore, it helps to examine the prices of recently sold residences in your area. With this housing market data, you can find out whether you're preparing to enter a buyer's or seller's market. Then, you can map out your home pricing strategy accordingly.

2. Conduct a Home Appraisal

A home appraisal offers a valuable learning tool for a home seller. It allows a seller to receive expert insights into the value of his or her residence. As a result, a seller can get a property valuation from a home appraiser and use this figure to establish a competitive home asking price.

In addition, it may be beneficial to conduct a home inspection prior to listing your house. An inspection enables you to learn about any problems that may affect your house's value. And if you choose, you can use a home inspection report to prioritize assorted home repairs that may help you boost the value of your house.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you're unsure about how to price your residence, there is no need to stress. In fact, you can hire a real estate agent to receive comprehensive support at each stage of the home selling journey.

A real estate agent is happy to help you assess your house and determine the right price for it. He or she is unafraid to be honest, and as such, will offer unbiased home pricing recommendations. That way, you can establish a competitive price from day one of the home selling journey and increase the likelihood of a quick home sale.

Also, a real estate agent goes above and beyond the call of duty to assist a home seller. This housing market professional will set up home showings and open house events to showcase your residence to prospective buyers. Plus, he or she will keep you up to date about offers on your residence. A real estate agent will even negotiate with a buyer's agent on your behalf to ensure you can maximize your home sale earnings.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will respond to your queries throughout the home selling journey. If you ever have home selling concerns or questions, you can simply talk to your real estate agent and receive expert support.

Take the guesswork out of pricing your residence Ė use the aforementioned tips, and you can set a competitive price for your home in any housing market, at any time.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 2/25/2018

Youíve made it through the bidding process and youíve finally unpacked the last of your boxes. Itís finally time to show off your new home to your friends, family, and new neighbors! Throwing a party can be intimidating, especially a housewarming party since it's not every day you move to a new house. If you donít know where to start to host your housewarming party keep reading for some tricks and tips below. Send out the invites. In the age of technology sending out e-vites is as easy as a few clicks and saves on postage, however, physical invitations include the opportunity to add a handwritten note to your loved ones and new neighbors. This adds a personalized and thoughtful touch to let them know you look forward to having them attend your party. You may also want to consider allowing guests to bring a friend. Doing so will also help you expand your social circle in your new community and make new acquaintances more comfortable. Including a reply by date will give you the opportunity to know how many guests to expect and allow you to plan accordingly. Clean and stock your home. A tidy home will impress your guests. Ensure that every room is spick and span as your guests will be hoping to see each room in your new home. Make sure your bathroom is well stocked for your guests. Think items like toilet paper, soap, air freshener, and extra towels. Go the extra mile and make your home smell good with lightly scented candles or an oil diffuser. Plan your menu. Skip the sit-down dinner in favor of finger foods. You will also want to keep dietary restrictions in mind when creating your menu, include a few vegetarian, dairy free and/or gluten free options to play safe. Creating a few different table spreads will allow for guests to mix and mingle throughout the house and avoid an overcrowded room. Greet guests. Be sure to greet incoming guests at the door or assign someone to do so for you to create a welcoming atmosphere for your party. Offer to take any coats or bags and make introductions to other guests to encourage a sociable atmosphere. Entertain. Have some simple games on hand to occupy guests like horseshoes or tic-tac-toe. Youíll also want to have a playlist prepared ahead of time to encourage a party atmosphere. If putting together a playlist isnít your thing look into a music service that will automate one for you so that all you need to do is pick the atmosphere you would like for your party. The idea of hosting a party might seem like the last thing you want to do after the stress of buying and moving house however you can throw a party that is just as much fun for you as it is for your guests. By planning a casual housewarming party you can put in minimal planning and focus more time on having fun with your friends, family, and new neighbors.




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