Posted by Northeast Signature Properties, LLC on 1/14/2019

Your credit score can play a major role in your ability to get the financing that you need to buy a house. As such, you'll want to do everything possible to improve your credit score before you enter the real estate market.

Now, let's take a look at three quick, easy ways to boost your credit score.

1. Pay Off Debt As Quickly As Possible

Get a copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). You are entitled to one free copy of your credit report annually from each credit reporting bureau, and you should take advantage of this perk so that you can learn about your outstanding debt.

If you have lots of outstanding debt, you'll want to start paying this off as quickly as possible. Because the less debt that you have, the more likely it becomes that you can get a favorable mortgage from a credit union or bank.

Don't wait to begin paying off outstanding debt. If you pay off even a small portion of your outstanding debt regularly, you can move closer to getting the financing that you need to acquire a terrific house.

2. Avoid New Credit Cards

A low credit score can be worrisome, and it may cause you to consider a variety of options to manage outstanding debt. However, if your credit score is low, there is no need to take out additional credit cards.

New credit cards may seem like viable short-term options to help you cover various expenses while you pay off assorted outstanding debt. But these cards are unlikely to help you resolve the biggest problem – paying off your outstanding debt to bolster your credit score.

Instead of signing up for new credit cards, it often helps to cut back on non-essential bills. For instance, if you don't need cable, you may be able to eliminate this expense and use the money that you save to pay off outstanding debt. Or, if you have first-rate items that you don't need, you may want to sell these items and use the profits to pay off myriad bills.

3. Keep Your Credit Card Balances Low

Once you have paid off your outstanding debt, you'll want to keep your credit card balances low.

It often helps to have one credit card that you can use in emergencies. If you keep one credit card and get rid of any others, you may be better equipped than ever before to maintain a high credit score.

Lastly, if you require additional assistance as you prepare to kick off a home search, you may want to work with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you narrow your home search to residences that fall within a specific price range. That way, you can avoid the risk of spending too much to acquire a house.

Increase your credit score – use the aforementioned tips, and you can raise your credit score before you launch a home search.





Posted by Northeast Signature Properties, LLC on 1/7/2019

Does your bathroom feel old and kind of grungy, but you don't have the time or the money to have someone do a remodel? There are simple things that you can do to make it feel like a renovation. The assumption is that you are into doing a little "DIY" and that you have a little bit of skill to do that. 

The first thing to consider is painting. 

Lots of bathrooms have the original paint put in by the contractor. You might even have one that has the ceiling and the walls the same color. Choosing colors is probably going to take you the longest, so consider looking at magazines or model homes or even some of the sample books at your local hardware store for pleasing color combinations. If the ceiling is not white—or maybe it is but looks dull—give it a fresh coat of semi-gloss white paint. Remove the AC vents and fan vents and ceiling lights before you paint. 

Most people just put those back up as they did not realize that you can replace them for a little more money, or you can buy a couple of cans of white gloss spray paint and paint them. Even if they are plastic, there is spray paint designed for plastic that works great. If you do not refurbish them, they are going to look ugly next to the new paint. Remove all of the plug covers and tape over the plugs with painter’s tape before you paint the walls. Now if you are ambitious, you can paint the cabinets. This takes a little more time because you are probably going to need to sand them before you paint them. A lovely satin finish gives cabinets a modern glow. 

Change switch plates and outlet covers.

In a bathroom, most electrical covers need replacing before you put them back up. There are a host of different cover plate styles available depending on your budget but just replacing the standard style with new white ones (least expensive) gives a great fresh look. Now if you are handy with electrical work or have a friend that is, you could replace the actual plugs from round to the square, completely updating the look. If you hire an electrician to change out your plugs, now is an excellent time to put in a GFI (ground fault interrupter plug) for safety. 

Faucets and light figures.

The most dramatic features that you can quickly change in a bathroom are faucets and lighting fixtures. Changing these for something new and bright makes it feel like an entirely new place. Faucets are easily replaced and come in a wide range of styles and prices. A new spigot, even atop the same sink and counter-top, feels like it is all new. 

Lighting changes the entire room. If you can find a light fixture that fits your style, it is usually a simple change. But please remember to turn off the electrical breaker switch for the bathroom before you remove the old light. It would be wise to remove your existing light fixtures before you paint because the new light fixture might not cover the same place. Also, consider putting LED bulbs in the new light fixtures. Depending on the “color” you choose (daylight, bright white, etc.) the feel can be much different from traditional bulbs. 

One final suggestion for your lighting: You can replace the light switch with a dimmer switch. Dimmers make a significant change to the bathroom. Now you can set mood lighting—think spa level or movie star dressing room—that once again makes it feels like a different space. Remember, if you choose to install the dimmer switch, you must make sure you use the LED bulbs rated as dimmer bulbs. There are two kinds of LEDs, some that are dimmable and some that cannot. Look for markings on dimmable bulb packages.

Check with your personal real estate agent to see if certain color combinations or fixture metals are trending in your area. Now you have a new looking bathroom, without major reconstruction and all of the mess. Enjoy!





Posted by Northeast Signature Properties, LLC on 12/31/2018

Although you'd like to eliminate as much clutter as possible before you sell your house, doing so may seem like a long, arduous task. Fortunately, you don't have to be a home organization expert to remove clutter from your house quickly and effortlessly.

Now, let's take a look at three creative ways to help home sellers eliminate clutter instantly.

1. Develop a daily declutter schedule

Believe it or not, it doesn't take long to declutter a home, regardless of the size of your house. With a declutter schedule at your disposal, you can set small and large decluttering goals and make daily progress toward a clutter-free house.

Even spending five minutes a day decluttering your house can make a world of difference. Over the course of a week or month, you'll start to notice lots of free space fills your residence – something that homebuyers are sure to appreciate.

Also, don't forget to stick to your declutter schedule as closely as possible. And if you miss a day along the way, there's no need to worry, as you can always try to make up for lost time the following day.

2. Give away one item each day

If you have excess items, why not offer them to family members, friends and others who may be able to use them?

Ultimately, if you strive to give away one item daily, you can declutter your home and help family members, friends and others at the same time.

Giving away items is a quick, simple way to declutter. Meanwhile, offering these items to others enables you to do a good deed, as you'll be able to provide something useful to someone who wants it at no charge.

3. Start with a single trash bag

Fill up a single trash bag with clutter and see what happens – you'll be glad you did.

After you fill a trash bag, you'll likely find that you have many options.

This trash bag may be donated to a charitable organization, one that could use the excess items. Or, you may decide the trash bag items could be sold at a yard sale or listed online for a profit. On the other hand, if you find the trash bag items are damaged and no longer usable, you may choose to dispose of the trash bag altogether.

A gradual approach to decluttering is key, particularly for home sellers who want to alleviate stress as they prepare their residences for the real estate market. With this approach, home sellers can boost their chances of remaining calm, cool and collected as they eliminate clutter.

Lastly, if you need additional assistance with decluttering, your real estate agent may be able to lend a helping hand. This housing market professional can put you in touch with local junk removal companies that can help you eliminate clutter without delay.

Take care of clutter today, and by doing so, a home seller can move one step closer to getting the best price for his or her residence.





Posted by Northeast Signature Properties, LLC on 12/24/2018

Smart home devices enable property owners to automate a wide range of everyday tasks – everything from cleaning each bedroom in a residence to securing a house against burglaries and other threats. Yet not all smart house gadgets are identical. And if a homeowner fails to plan ahead for smart home technology investments, they risk spending money on smart house devices that fail to meet their needs.

Ultimately, there are lots of factors to consider before you purchase a smart house device, and these factors include:

1. Your Residence

Think about how you will use a smart home device in your residence – you will be happy you did. If you consider a smart house device's potential applications, you can determine exactly how you will leverage this gadget in your home.

Oftentimes, it helps to analyze everyday tasks you complete around your home, as well as how a smart house device will help you speed up the process of finishing these tasks. If you spend several hours each week vacuuming your one-floor home, for example, a smart robot vacuum may help you simplify the process of keeping your home dirt- and debris-free. Or, if you frequently need to adjust the thermostat at night, a programmable smart thermostat will help you control your house's temperature like never before.

2. Your Budget

Smart house devices are available across different price points. At the same time, you may have only a finite amount of money to spend on smart home gadgets. If you put together a budget, however, you can minimize the risk of overspending on smart house devices.

Don't forget to shop around for smart home devices, too. Both brick-and-mortar and online stores may offer discounts on smart house gadgets at different times during the year. If you conduct an in-depth search for smart home devices, you may find quality smart house gadgets at budget-friendly prices.

3. The Installation and Implementation Processes

Certain smart home devices require extensive installation and implementation processes. As such, it generally is a good idea to learn as much as possible about these processes relative to any smart home devices you want to buy.

If you believe you can set up and deploy a smart home device on your own, it may be beneficial to consult with a smart house gadget expert before you finalize a purchase. For instance, consulting with a retailer that specializes in smart home devices enables you to learn all about the installation and implementation process associated with a particular smart house gadget. Once you have these insights, you can make an informed decision about whether a smart home device is right for you.

When it comes to evaluating smart home technology, a cautious approach may prove to be best. If you understand different types of smart home devices and how they work, you can find gadgets that complement your individual needs. As a result, you will be better equipped than ever before to make smart home device investments that serve you well for years to come.





Posted by Northeast Signature Properties, LLC on 12/17/2018

Filling out a mortgage application may prove to be a long, arduous process, particularly for those who are buying a house for the first time. Lucky for you, we're here to help you dot the I's and cross the T's on your mortgage application to ensure you can quickly and effortlessly acquire your dream house.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you prepare your mortgage application.

1. Be Diligent

A mortgage application may appear daunting at first. The application may include several pages of questions, and you may have only a limited amount of time to finalize your submission.

When it comes to completing a mortgage application, it generally pays to be diligent. If you answer each mortgage application question to the best of your ability, you likely will have no trouble moving forward with your home purchase.

2. Avoid Guessing

If you're uncertain about how to respond to certain mortgage application questions, there is no need to guess. Instead, search for the information that you need to provide a comprehensive response. This will help reduce the risk of encountering potential problems down the line that otherwise could slow down your home acquisition.

Remember, guessing on a mortgage application probably won't do you or your lender any favors. But if you allocate the necessary time and resources to understand mortgage application questions and provide thoughtful responses, you can minimize the risk of application errors.

3. Ask Questions

Completing a mortgage application sometimes can be tricky. Fortunately, a lender employs mortgage specialists who are happy to respond to your application concerns or questions at any time.

If you're unsure about information that is requested on a mortgage application, don't hesitate to reach out to a lender's mortgage specialists for help. These specialists possess extensive mortgage expertise and can help you complete a mortgage application.

Furthermore, mortgage specialists can offer insights into a wide array of mortgage options. These specialists can explain the differences between fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages and enable you to select the right mortgage option based on your financial situation.

As you prepare to buy a house, you may want to consult with a real estate agent as well. In fact, with a real estate agent at your side, you can seamlessly navigate the homebuying process.

A real estate agent understands exactly what it takes to acquire a house, regardless of the finances at your disposal. This housing market professional can set up home showings, help you submit offers on houses and ensure you can purchase a residence that matches or exceeds your expectations. And if you need help getting a mortgage, a real estate agent may even be able to connect you with the top lenders in your city or town.

Ready to move forward in the homebuying journey? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can finalize a mortgage application and secure the financing that you need to acquire your ideal residence.




Tags: Mortgage   Buying a Home  
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