Bob Barcelos | Methuen Real Estate, Lawrence Real Estate, Andover Real Estate, Salem Real Estate


Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases that you’ll ever make in your lifetime. You’ll spend decades of your life making mortgage payments to pay off your home loan. Buying a home is more than just simply finding a place to live. It’s also a financial decision. Your home helps you to build equity, gives you tax deductions, and helps you to have some security in your financial future. 


One of the biggest questions that you’ll have when you buy a home is “How much can I spend?” To answer this question, you’ll need to dig a little deeper. 


Do You Have Money For A Down Payment?


The standard amount of money that you’ll need for a down payment is 20 percent of the purchase price of a home. If you don’t have the money for a full down payment, you’ll need to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI). This could add up to be an extra cost of hundreds of dollars per month in additional insurance payments on top of your mortgage and every other kind of expense that goes along with buying a home. You’ll need to take the time to save up for a down payment if you’re a first time homebuyer. If you already own a home, the equity that you have in that home can help you with the down payment.


What Are Your Other Financial Responsibilities?


There’s more to buying a home than just the monthly mortgage payment. You’ll need to get insurance, pay taxes, and have some money set aside for repair and decorating costs. You’ll need to look at your monthly income to find out just how much you can afford on a home. You should take an honest look at your lifestyle and existing expenses in order to determine a comfortable monthly mortgage payment for you.    


Know Your Credit Score


Your credit score will be a major factor in how much house you’ll be able to afford. Your lender will use your credit score and credit history to help determine what type of interest rate you’ll get and how much they’re willing to lend you in order to buy a home.


Understanding what you can afford for a home purchase is crucial before you even start shopping. It’s a good idea to meet with a lender to get pre-qualified. This is different than getting pre-approved. Your lender will give you a general idea of how much you can spend on a home without digging too deep into your finances. Getting pre-qualified is a great place to start when you’re looking at the numbers of being a homeowner.


Image by Виктория Бородинова from Pixabay

Build-to-rent is a major term right now for investors. The industry has seen a serious leap in interest in just the past year, making nearly everyone in the real estate space sit up and take notice. We'll look at the special nature of these properties and which attributes make a property more valuable than another. 

The Hot Spots 

Build-to-rent generally refers to a single-family property built to be used by renters rather than owners. It's popular because it's difficult to profit off of a new build, especially when you take into account the price of the land, materials, and permit costs. The areas that are exploding with these properties tend to be affordable cities with plenty of available infrastructure.

Atlanta, Houston, Charlotte: these hot spots are attracting young renters who may not have a sizable down payment saved for a new house, but they're still willing to pay for the right amenities. It's making it relatively easy for investors to recoup their money (and then some). 

The History of Build-to-Rent 

This trend got its start after the recession churned out countless foreclosures and short sales, but has since morphed into its own asset class. Once home prices started to creep back up, investors saw that there was plenty of money to be made in renting even after the economy returned. Today, the build-to-rent industry is largely driven by new homes. Developers may build several dozen homes in a single area, making it easier for property managers to respond to renter requests and perform regular maintenance.  

What's Behind the Success

The most successful build-to-rent properties are those in highly popular areas that would otherwise be too expensive to the everyday renter. Less than half of all millennials have any kind of substantial savings to put toward homeownership, and even the Baby Boomers are starting to turn toward renting (whether they need to or not). In addition, home appreciation has slowed over the past few years and new tax rules don't exactly make it an open-and-shut case that owning is the best choice available. 

Investors who have the opportunity to get involved in build-to-rent will likely be happy they did. The key is to look for properties that are sensible in nature. Avoid those in areas that make it difficult to build (either through expensive permits or restrictive building codes). Opt for properties in nice areas made with affordable, durable materials. This will cut back on maintenance and increase your profits in the long run. 


The homebuying journey is exciting, particularly for an individual who is pursuing a residence for the first time. Ultimately, there are many questions that a buyer should consider before he or she searches for a house for the first time, and these include:

1. What is my "dream" home?

Perhaps the most enjoyable part of the homebuying journey involves defining your dream residence. Because once you define your dream residence, you'll be able to narrow your house search and move closer to purchasing your first home.

Think about what you absolutely require in a new home. For example, if you want to own a house in a region where the weather is hot and humid year-round, you may require a central air conditioning system. Or, if you want to enjoy a fast, easy commute to work, you may want to pursue residences close to your office.

2. How much can I afford to spend on a house?

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is essential. Because if you have a mortgage in hand when you begin your house search, you may be able to gain a competitive advantage over rival homebuyers.

To obtain a mortgage, you should meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can teach you everything you need to know about fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages.

In addition, don't hesitate to get expert insights into assorted mortgage options. The longer you wait to get pre-approved for a mortgage, the longer you may need to wait to kick off your home search. Thus, you risk missing out on a potential dream house if you fail to get your home financing in order.

3. Do I need to hire a real estate agent?

Hiring a real estate agent is a must, especially if you plan to embark on the homebuying journey for the first time. In fact, a real estate agent can help you quickly and effortlessly navigate the housing market and discover your ideal residence in no time at all.

Typically, a real estate agent will offer comprehensive assistance at each stage of the homebuying journey. He or she first will meet with you, learn about your homebuying goals and help you craft a homebuying strategy. A real estate agent then will keep you up to date about houses that match your criteria and set up home showings. And when you find a home that you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer and negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf.

Let's not forget about the advice that a real estate agent will provide, either. A real estate agent is unafraid to be honest with you and will provide feedback throughout the homebuying journey. Also, if you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them.

Take the guesswork out of finding and acquiring your first house – employ a real estate agent, and you can receive plenty of support as you move along the homebuying journey.


Buying a new home is a joyous occasion, one that should be celebrated by family members and friends. However, telling people about a new home purchase sometimes can be tough, particularly for those who may be leaving roommates or others behind.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you alleviate the stress and worry commonly associated with telling family members or friends about a new home purchase.

Here are three tips to ensure you can remain calm, cool and confident as you inform your loved ones about your decision to buy a new home.

1. Prepare As Much As You Can

Purchasing a house is a life-changing decision, and as such, your loved ones may have concerns. Therefore, you should plan ahead for any questions that you could face about your new house.

Why did you decide to buy a home in a particular city or town? How much did you pay for a house? And what does your home purchase mean for your loved ones? These are just some of the questions that you should prepare to face when you share the news about your new home purchase with loved ones.

Also, it is important to realize that you and your loved ones won't always see eye to eye. And if a family member or friend disagrees with your home purchase, accept his or her opinion and move forward.

2. Take a Proactive Approach

When it comes to informing others about your home purchase, it is always better to err on the side of caution. Thus, taking a proactive approach will ensure you can directly inform the most important people in your life about your home purchase.

Communication is key between family members and friends. With a proactive approach, you can inform your loved ones about your homebuying decision and minimize the risk that they will hear the news from a third-party.

Don't leave anything to chance as you determine who to tell about your home purchase. If you believe there is a risk that a loved one will be left in the dark about your new home, be sure to reach out to this individual directly.

3. Understand the Emotions Involved with a New Home Purchase

A new home purchase represents a new opportunity for you and your family. If some family members and friends feel left out of your upcoming move, many emotions may bubble to the surface.

Keep the lines of communication open with family members and friends – you'll be glad you did. That way, loved ones can share their thoughts and feelings about your new home purchase and understand you will allocate the time needed to hear them out.

If you need extra help as you get ready to tell loved ones about a new home purchase, don't be afraid to ask your real estate agent for assistance, either. This real estate professional understands the intricacies of purchasing a home and can provide expert guidance throughout the homebuying journey.


Applying for a mortgage is one of the biggest decision that an individual can make in his or her lifetime. As such, it is important for a first-time homebuyer to dedicate the necessary time and resources to employ the best mortgage lender – without exception.

So what does it take to hire the ideal mortgage lender? Here are three tips to help a first-time homebuyer quickly and effortlessly choose the right mortgage lender.

1. Consider a Variety of Lenders

There is no shortage of top-notch lenders in cities and towns across the United States. Thus, a first-time homebuyer can meet with a variety of credit unions and banks to explore all of the mortgage options at his or her disposal.

Spend some time learning about lenders in your area. Look at each lender's experience and reputation, and you may be better equipped than other homebuyers to select the ideal lender based on your individual needs.

Furthermore, conduct face-to-face meetings with lenders. These meetings will allow you to learn about a wide range of mortgage options and will make it easy for you to make an informed decision.

2. Ask Plenty of Questions

When it comes to getting a mortgage for the first time, there is no need to leave anything to chance. Instead, ask plenty of questions as you consult with assorted lenders, and you can gain the insights you need to pick a lender that matches or exceeds your expectations.

Remember, there is no such thing as a "bad" question, particularly when it comes to mortgages. If you meet with various lenders, you can get all of your mortgage concerns and queries addressed without delay.

A first-time homebuyer who asks lots of questions may be able to avoid potential financial pitfalls down the line too. In fact, this homebuyer should have no trouble selecting a great lender who can fulfill his or her mortgage needs for years to come.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Let's face it – selecting a lender may prove to be exceedingly difficult. Fortunately, a real estate agent is happy to provide honest, unbiased advice to help you find the right lender in no time at all.

A real estate agent understands the challenges of obtaining a terrific mortgage, and as a result, will do everything possible to help a homebuyer discover a lender that can provide outstanding support day after day. Plus, a real estate agent can even help a homebuyer alleviate stress as he or she searches for the right lender.

Let's not forget about the support that a real estate agent can provide throughout the entire homebuying journey, either. Typically, a real estate agent can keep a homebuyer informed about new residences as they become available, set up home showings, negotiate with a home seller on buyer's behalf and much more.

Get the right mortgage any time you choose – use the aforementioned tips, and a first-time homebuyer can streamline the process of selecting the ideal lender.




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