Catherine Cuddy | Framingham Real Estate, Malborough Real Estate, Southborough Real Estate


Selling a house should be quick and easy. Yet issues may arise that make it tough to enjoy a fast, profitable house selling experience.

Common problems that come up during the home selling journey include:

1. Lack of Curb Appeal

Dedicate time and resources to bolster your residence's curb appeal – you'll be glad you did. Remember, your residence only gets one chance to make a positive first impression on homebuyers. If your house impresses buyers when they see it for the first time, buyers may continue to pursue your home and submit requests to view your residence in-person.

To improve your house's curb appeal, you should mow the lawn, trim the hedges and perform various home exterior upgrades. Take an objective view of your home's exterior to identify any problems that may make buyers shy away from your residence. Then, you can correct these issues.

2. Initial Asking Price Is Too High

If your home's initial asking price fails to account for your house's condition and the current state of the real estate market, you may struggle to sell your residence. In fact, in this scenario, it may be many weeks or months before you receive an offer to purchase your residence.

Before you list your house, you may want to conduct a property appraisal. This enables you to receive a home valuation from a property expert. With this valuation in hand, you can set a competitive initial asking price for your house, thereby increasing the likelihood of a quick home sale.

3. Buyer's Market in Place

In a buyer's market, there may be an abundance of available houses and a shortage of property buyers. Thus, if a home seller is not careful, this individual may struggle to achieve the best-possible results.

Analyze the real estate market closely, and you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's one. If you find that homes linger on the real estate market for many weeks or months before they sell, you likely are preparing to enter a buyer's market. As a result, you'll need to go above and beyond the call of duty to differentiate your house from the competition.

When it comes to selling a house in a buyer's market, it may be beneficial to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you craft a plan that ensures you can seamlessly navigate the home selling journey, regardless of the current real estate market's conditions.

A real estate agent first will meet with you and learn about your home selling goals. He or she next will develop a personalized home selling strategy and promote your residence to prospective buyers. And if you receive an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent will help you review this proposal and determine the best course of action.

Take the guesswork out of the home selling journey – collaborate with a real estate agent, and you can get plenty of help as you get ready to sell your residence.


Photo by Alexander Mils from Pexels

If your wealth is tied up in your home, how can you free up some cash? A reverse mortgage is available to homeowners with mostly or fully paid-off mortgages. The monthly payments, which come from the lender to you, are not counted as taxable income. But there are mortgage taxes, and interest rates on reverse mortgages are somewhat higher than the current rate for a normal mortgage.

The FHA's Ever-Popular Reverse Mortgage Offering

Are you 62+? Consider the home equity conversion mortgage, available through the FHA. An approved counselor will lay out the process and point you to a qualifying lender. 

Then, here's what you should expect:

  • There are initial and annual fees, as well as recording fees.
  • Expect credit checks.
  • And yes, you do need an appraisal, inspection and a title search. 
  • In contrast to the usual custom with a regular mortgage, as the AARP points out, you'll probably have to pay the home insurance and local property taxes yourself.

The more you borrow, and the longer the term of your loan, the heftier cumulative interest charges you'll pay.

The Other Ways to Get to Your Home Equity 

Of course, you might sell and downsize. Not ready for that move? Think about...

Cash-Out Refinancing

If your credit score is 640 or above and you have a mortgage, consider cash-out refinancing with the FHA. This replaces your present mortgage with a larger one. The larger loan pays off your mortgage, replaces it and gives you the extra funds in a lump sum. You can be younger than 62. 

The Private Reverse Mortgage

Put up your home as collateral and enter a loan agreement with a close friend or relative. It's not altogether "private" — private reverse mortgages have a standard interest rate, governed by the IRS — but the rate is lower than a bank's.  

The HELOC 

A home equity line of credit (HELOC) empowers you to tap into your home equity. It's something like a credit card: there's a set credit limit. You only need to pay interest on what you withdraw. Note that HELOCs do not come with fixed interest rates.   

The Home Equity Loan

An alternative to the reverse mortgage that can work when you need cash upfront is the home equity loan. You'll pay interest on the lump-sum amount.

Best of Luck (and Patience)!

If there's one thing you must have before applying for a reverse mortgage, it's patience. A reverse mortgage, like a conventional mortgage, involves a full approval process, including those pesky calls and queries about proof of your capacity to repay the loan.

But the result can make it all worthwhile. 


Photo by JamesDeMers via Pixabay

Having a well-organized bathroom is a homeowner’s dream. To get your bathroom organized you just need a little time and effort, and the will to rid yourself of a few unnecessary items. 

Purge — Everyone has a tendency to over-purchase and overstock on bathroom products every once in a while. In order to really organize your bathroom items in a useable way you’ll need to pair-down to what you actually use. If you can’t make yourself give away the items you don’t really use, gather them in a storage container and put them in the back of the cabinet until you’re ready to purge them. Once you have all the items you use set aside you can further divide them to begin organizing. 

Organizers and Containers — When you know how much space and the type of items you need to store, you can determine what organizers to buy. Decide what items need to live on the counter or vanity and what items are best placed in drawers and cabinets.

With a couple simple steps, you can keep your products clean, organized, easy to use and put away again. Enjoy getting ready for work or to go out while saving on time and stress.


Photo by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash

While the hurricane season may still be a couple of seasons away, now is a great time to start thinking about how best to protect your home in the event of a hurricane, tornado, or similar high wind storm situation. During high wind situations, windows can easily become broken as a result of flying debris and, once broken, that debris and window shards can cause a significant safety issue and increase the risks of other types of property damage. So protect your home, your belongings, and, most importantly, your family by considering the following preventative measures of protecting your windows during hurricane watches and other storms:

Protecting Your Windows During Hurricane Watches

Install storm shutters. When your home is in the line of a hurricane watch or other big storm, one of the most important things you'll be advised to do is to install plywood over your windows to prevent flying debris from shattering them. Obviously, should you live in an area with frequent storms, this can get tedious. So instead, consider the more permanent solution of installing storm shutters.  Storm shutters come in a variety of styles, all of which are designed to allow homeowners to easily cover their windows with a more protective shield in the event of high winds. 

Upgrade to hurricane impact windows. Upgrading to hurricane impact windows is perhaps the safest thing a homeowner can do in preparation of storm season. Impact windows are incredibly durable windows that are made out of multiple layers of tempered glass and have the added benefit of being incredibly insulated for both sound and climate. 

Looking to Sell Your Home?

Both storm shutters and hurricane impact windows are great investments homeowners can make to improve the value of their home as, after all, what family doesn't want to live in a safer, more durable home? And if you're ready to sell feel free to reach out, so we can start your home selling journey together. 


Image by Ricarda Mölck from Pixabay

If you've heard people talk about "subject-to" real estate, you might be curious what that means and if it would be a good investment for you. Briefly, "subject-to" real estate means you're buying the property but the loan on that property stays in the name of the existing seller. You're making your purchase "subject-to" the existing mortgage or lien.

Why Would Someone Buy Real Estate This Way?

When you buy a "subject-to" property, you don't have to get a mortgage in your own name. That can be perfect for people who don't want to tie up their credit or funds. It also works well for those who might not be able to qualify for an existing mortgage. Since you're not putting your name on anything that involves the mortgage, you're free and clear from that standpoint. But you'll own the house, and you'll make the mortgage payments.

Is This a Good Wealth-Building Tool?

This can be a great tool to build wealth when it's used correctly. It's very important that you continue making the seller's mortgage payments on time, and that you get everything in writing. But since you don't have to qualify for a mortgage yourself, you can choose great properties that people really want to sell. Often, this is because the owner is in foreclosure. By buying the property "subject-to", the owner doesn't have to go through foreclosure proceedings and have that on their credit report.

How Much Risk is Involved in This?

As with any type of investment, there is always risk. The biggest concern is that the seller of the property will file for bankruptcy. When that happens, the house could be included in that filing and would be foreclosed upon by the lender. You could lose your investment, since you aren't the one who has the property's mortgage in your name. Another risk is the due-on-sale clause in the seller's mortgage. Almost all mortgages have these, but they're often not enforced. Still, if the lender wanted to enforce that clause, they could demand that the entire mortgage be paid if the deed transfers into your name.

How Many "Subject-to" Properties Can Someone Own?

Theoretically, there's no limit to the number of "subject-to" properties that you could own. As long as you can make the payments, you can keep buying these properties. You don't need any credit to get started, and you won't really need much cash, either. You'll simply have to be willing to take a little bit of risk to build up your real estate portfolio. With that in mind, though, it's not a bad idea to have an attorney help you, at least right at first, to be sure you're protecting yourself and the seller as much as possible.




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