Robin Spangenberg
Northeast Signature Properties, LLC | 508-277-4144 | [email protected]


Posted by Robin Spangenberg on 9/16/2018

Buying a home is one of the biggest financial milestones youíll reach in your life. If youíre a first-time homebuyer, it can be scary to take the plunge and make a down payment on your first home.

Down payments are one element that makes up the factors which determine your monthly mortgage payments, and in turn, how much youíll be paying toward your home in total. So, itís important to understand just how much to save for a down payment.

In this article, weíll talk about down payments, why they matter, and your options for saving up for a down payment.

Why down payments matter

A down payment is simply the amount of money a buyer pays at the time of closing on the house. Down payments help assure lenders that you will make your monthly mortgage payments because you have invested a substantial amount of money into the house and therefore risk losing your down payment if you fail to pay the mortgage and your house is foreclosed on.

If youíre eager to buy your first home, you may want to make the smallest down payment possible so you can move in sooner. However, a smaller down payment typically means a larger monthly mortgage payment. Thatís because your mortgage payment depends on several factors.

When a lender determines how much they will lend you towards your home and how much your monthly mortgage payments will be, their formula takes into account your down payment, your credit score, and the value of the property. The higher your credit score and the higher your down payment is, the less your monthly payments will be.

Mortgage types and down payments

Many first time home buyers cannot afford large down payments on their first home (20% or more). As a result, there are loan types insured by the Federal Housing Administration that are offered for as low as 3.5% of the mortgage amount.

If you arenít approved for an FHA loan but plan on making a down payment of less than 20%, you can still buy a home with private mortgage insurance (PMI). With PMI you pay a monthly premium for your insurance in addition to your monthly mortgage payments.

How long and how much to save

So, how much should you save? The short answer is as much as possible. However, if you need to move soon because of life circumstances, it isnít always an option to hold off on moving for long periods of time.

If youíre currently renting each month at high prices, it might make more sense to put that money towards your first home, an asset which will likely increase in value, rather than spend it on rent which you get no return on.  

One of the best ways to save for a down payment is to set up a new cash savings account that will automatically deposit a portion of your paycheck each week. Having an off-limits account is a great way to save without the temptation of spending it on luxuries if the money would normally be sitting in your checking account.

Another option is to start investing. If youíre in no rush to buy a home and have the financial resources, investing pays off much more than a savings account does when it comes to increasing assets.

Regardless of how you choose to save, the most important takeaway is that you take action now to start saving and you donít deviate from your savings plan for any reason.




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Posted by Robin Spangenberg on 9/11/2018

Cute 1 bedroom, 1 bath Bungalow style home with large yard and 1 car detached garage. Tons of storage space, laundry hook-ups in basement. Landlord installing low flow water fixtures. $1,500/month rent + utilities. References, 1st, last & security deposit required. October 1st occupancy preferred.

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts




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Posted by Robin Spangenberg on 9/9/2018

If you're ready to sell your home, you may wonder if the time is right. Timing is truly everything when youíre selling a home. If you have some flexibility, it might be a good idea to wait to sell your home. Even with time constraints, there are a few strategies to employ that can help you find the sweet spot in your time frame.


The Month Matters


Itís widely accepted in the real estate community that the best time to sell a home is in the spring. Since people want to get moved in over the summertime, May could be the best month of the year to put your home on the market. 


Why Spring?


Springtime offers favorable weather conditions in most places. The good weather means that itís easy for buyers to get to open houses. Homes will also look more attractive with green grass and flowers blooming. Parents also want to get their kids settled into a new home and new neighborhood over the summer months before they start a new school. 


Competition


The favorable conditions along with the urgency of springtime buyers translate into more competition which equates to a better price tag for your home because buyers are willing to pay more due to the anxiety of wanting to find a place. 


The Day Of The Week Matters


Most buyers start looking for homes when they have free time which is generally on the weekend. That means the end of the week- preferably a Thursday- is a good day to pick to list your home. Homes that were listed earlier in the week will be farther down on the search page. Buyers will be more likely to see your listing first the later in the week that itís listed.   


Consider Your Needs


While timing is a good marketing strategy to sell your home, you need to go by your own timeline. If you need to move due to a job change or other life circumstances, you canít wait to sell. There are pros to selling during many different times of the year; it just may not be as busy or competitive on the buyerís side of things. Selling your home fast might not be a sure thing. No matter what time of year you decide to sell your home, just make sure itís inviting to buyers.         




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Posted by Robin Spangenberg on 9/2/2018

Your outdoor lighting is perhaps one neglected area of your home. For both safety and beauty, the outdoors deserve a certain amount of attention when it comes to lighting. There are plenty of ways that you can make your outdoor lighting both welcoming and practical.


Layer It


Just as you would inside your home, you should try to layer your lighting. To do this, you should include many different kinds of lighting especially lighting that brightens the outside walls of the home, highlights landscaping elements, and even some overhead lighting.


Use Decorative Lighting


Decorative lanterns and lamps are an easy way to add lighting to your outdoor spaces. You can let them stand on their own, spread them out, or you can group them and line them up in certain areas like a wall or a table. Candles are also a great way to multi-purpose practical lighting with decorative lighting. 


Light Your Steps


Itís important to provide adequate lighting on stairs and decks. Anywhere that people can trip is a place that needs adequate lighting. Solar powered lights are perfect for these uses.


Use String Lights


String lighting hung overhead can be perfect for courtyards, decks, roofs, or even trees and shrubbery. If you donít have anything to hang string lights from, you can always get creative using posts and planters. This is a great non-permanent solution for you to have some pretty lighting available.


Donít Draw Too Much Attention To Your Property


While you want adequate lighting on the outside of your property, you also donít want to draw attention to an area of your yard. The whole neighborhood doesnít need to know that youíre out on your deck, hanging out. Choose lighting that provides an inviting glow without an overpowering brightness.            


Use Table Lamps


You may have thought that table lamps are only for the indoors, but think again. Your outdoor setup can be the same as your indoor setup. Put table lamps down on your outdoor tables for adequate illumination. Be sure that the lamps youíre using are rated for the outdoors. 


If you use the right techniques and always be sure that youíre following safety protocols,  you can find success with your outdoor lighting scheme. When your home is properly lit, the best part is that youíll be able to enjoy the outdoors of your home much more thoroughly during seasonable times. Youíll also have an increased sense of security and comfort in and around your home. Itís well known that burglars are deterred from intruding on well-lit properties. Set up your outdoor lighting right and get the outdoor season off on the right foot.




Tags: lighting   outdoors  
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Posted by Robin Spangenberg on 8/26/2018

Want to relocate to a condo? With assistance from a real estate agent, you should have no trouble moving into the condo of your choice.

Employing a real estate agent with condo experience is ideal, particularly for property buyers who are considering condos for the first time. However, it is important to note that not all real estate professionals with condo experience are created equal, and some stand out for all the right reasons.

Ultimately, there are several factors to consider as you search for a real estate agent to help you find the perfect condo, including:

1. Expertise

How many years has a real estate agent been assisting condo buyers? Does a real estate agent know how to get information from a homeowners' association (HOA)? And can a real estate agent set up condo showings at your convenience? These are just a few of the questions that condo buyers need to consider before they employ a real estate agent.

As a condo buyer, there is no need to settle for a subpar real estate agent. In fact, real estate agents with condo expertise are available across the country. And if you conduct a comprehensive search for the right real estate agent, you should have no trouble finding a real estate professional who can guide you along each step of the condo buying journey.

2. Communication Skills

How does a real estate agent keep in touch with his or her clients? Try to find a real estate agent who provides regular updates throughout the condo buying process. This real estate professional will make his or her clients a priority and do whatever it takes to help them get the best results possible.

Ideally, you should be able to get in touch with a real estate agent via phone, email or text. And if a real estate agent is unavailable, you usually should expect to hear back from him or her within a few hours at most.

A real estate agent who is readily available will be able to provide you with the condo buying support that you need, any time you need it. As a result, this real estate professional can keep you up to date about new condos as they become available, the state of negotiations with a condo seller and much more.

3. Client Satisfaction

Are past clients satisfied with the support that they received from a real estate agent? Ask a real estate agent for client referrals to find out.

Reaching out to past clients can provide you with a better idea about how a real estate agent will assist you during the condo buying journey. That way, you can determine whether you will feel comfortable working with this real estate agent or if you should consider other options.

Dedicate the necessary time and resources to find a great real estate agent to help you find your dream condo. By doing so, you can move one step closer to making your condo ownership dreams come true.




Tags: Condo   Buying a home   buyer tips  
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