Maureen Giuliano - Classified Realty Group


Classified Realty Group



Posted by Maureen Giuliano on 1/19/2018

If you are thinking of buying your first home, you’re thinking of making the single biggest purchase of your entire lifetime. Real estate is complex. From getting finances in order to understanding the entire process to securing the home you love, there’s so much that you’ll need to know when it comes to buying your first home. 


What Is A Down Payment?


A down payment is a one-time cash payment that you’ll provide at the closing table when you buy a home. How much your down payment is will have an effect on how much your monthly mortgage payment will be. It will also affect your initial home equity value. 


Should You Keep Renting?


First, you’ll need to think of a savings goal and a timeline. The general rule is that if you own a home for at least 5 years, you have gotten your “money’s worth” out of the closing costs and the fees you paid at the time you purchased your home. If you don’t think you’ll stay in a home for at least 5 years before making another move, you may want to consider renting until you know where you want to settle. 


What Can You Afford? 


You’ll need to calculate just how much home you can afford. Look at potential monthly mortgage payments plus taxes, fees, insurance, utilities and other monthly expenses that you have.


In dual-income households, it’s nice if the living expenses can be covered just by one person’s paycheck. Once you have an idea of your budget, you can price out homes that will meet your needs and be in your price range. 


Why You Should Save More


The best practice in buying a home is to put 20% down on the house. With this sizable down payment, it will be easier to get approved for a mortgage. You’ll also avoid needing PMI (private mortgage insurance.) This is an additional cost for people who put down less than a 20% down payment. This can cost you a lot of money each month, so it’s best to save as much as you can for that initial down payment. 


Don’t be discouraged. You can still buy a home with a lower percentage of a down payment, but you’ll have to pay for the PMI and include the additional expense in your budget. The Federal Housing Administration has many different options available that allow you to put a smaller down payment on a home, so do your homework.  


How To Save 

           

Once you get an idea of about how much you’ll spend on your home, you need to take action and start saving. There are many ways that you can save automatically without even thinking about it. You can choose a fixed amount or percentage of your paycheck and save it automatically into the house fund. Save as much as you can so you’ll be able to make your home purchase more quickly. You may even want to consider putting your money into a money market account for a higher return on your savings once you reach a certain goal. 


Don’t Forget To Save Your Bonuses


Whether you have received a gift or a sizable Christmas bonus, make sure that you put that money away towards your home purchase. Every little bit helps. While we may have an inclination to want to spend the money on more immediate things, you’ll be happy that you saved your money when you head to purchase your house! 


Use Your IRA


The IRS allows a tax benefit for first time home buyers. You can take out up to $10,000 out of your IRA or Roth IRA for a first time home purchase. Your Roth IRA account must be at least 5 years old in order for you to do this. Distributions from this account are tax-free, but you’ll need to pay tax if you withdraw form a traditional IRA. You should discuss any withdrawals that you do make with your financial advisor and your tax advisor. This could be an opportunity for you to build your wealth in a new way, so make an informed decision. 


Happy saving and happy house hunting!





Posted by Maureen Giuliano on 1/12/2018

Deciding to put up a fence on your property may seem like a simple decision, but there are a lot of things to consider before hiring a contractor to get it done.

One question to ponder is whether your neighbors might be offended or annoyed by the sudden appearance of a fence near the edge of their property. The answer to that question would partly depend on your relationship with your neighbor, the size of your lot, and whether the fence is tasteful or an eyesore. The problem with that standard is that "tasteful" is in the eyes of the beholder!

Tall fences can and sometimes do have a way of changing the look and feel of your immediate neighborhood, so the installation of a fence could potentially cause resentment from other property owners. The decision to put up a fence on your property is a personal one, but there's also a lot of value in maintaining friendly neighbor relations. (It can be a delicate balance!)

One Step at a Time

In some places, local ordinances or Homeowner Association rules may impose restrictions on fences and other structures. Many towns and municipalities require that you (or your contractor) obtain a building permit before putting up a fence, so a quick phone call or email to the appropriate local official can shed light on requirements, restrictions, and other assorted rigmarole!

Since the cost of installing a fence can easily run into the thousands, it always pays to get a few estimates and proposals from reputable fence companies. Other decisions include choosing the best height and composition of the fence. Fencing materials range from metal and chain link to vinyl and wood. Composite fencing materials are also an option.

Your choice will depend on a lot of factors, including cost, durability, maintenance aspects, and appearance. Online information, free brochures, and meetings with contractors can help you learn more and make an informed decision.

Once you've moved beyond the potential issues of installing a fence on your property, there are several distinct advantages to fencing in your back yard.

  • Enhanced privacy: While "privacy" can mean different things to different people, a tall fence offers an immediate solution to a variety of privacy-related problems. 
  • Pet containment: If you don't always have the time or energy to take your dog(s) for a walk in the neighborhood, it's a major convenience to be able to let them out in a contained area to relieve themselves and get a little fresh air. It can also be a good way to keep them safe and out of trouble!
  • Wildlife barrier: Although there are often gaps at the bottom of fences that prevent fences from being completely wildlife-proof, a properly installed fence can drastically reduce the chances of wildlife sneaking their way into your back yard. Whether you want to protect your vegetable garden or pets from wild animals, a solid fence can be the barrier that you need.
  • Increased security: While fences are not always an impervious barrier to burglars, trespassers, and other intruders, it does provide some protection from those potential threats.
If you're searching for a new home or looking to improve your existing property, the right kind of fence can provide you and your family with a myriad of benefits.





Posted by Maureen Giuliano on 1/5/2018

Moving to a new house means big changes for everyone involved, but for a dog, it can be an especially confusing time. While you can talk to a child ahead of time to explain to them what to expect we, unfortunately, do not have the same ability to communicate with our beloved pets about the big changes ahead. The good news is, there are a few things you can do to make the move a smoother process for both you and your dog. Ahead of time - if it's close enough, visit the new house with your dog prior to moving to familiarize them with the new environment and neighborhood. Also, pack your dog's belongings (toys, bowls, bed, food) together so you can be prepared to pull it out first when you arrive at the new house. During the move - consider having your dog stay with a friend or doggy daycare on moving day. This will save your dog from the stress of their surroundings changing during the move. You also won't need to worry about where your dog is while doors are being left open or if they are underfoot during the moving process. If moving over a distance - take frequent breaks to let your dog out to walk around and avoid feeding him right before the journey in case they are prone to car sickness. Talk to your dog in a calm voice throughout the moving process to comfort them, they can pick up on our emotions so trying to remain calm yourself will cue to your animal that everything is okay. Stay safe - before letting your dog loose into your new yard you will want to ensure that it is free of potentially poisonous plants they may try to eat and check for any holes in fences they may try to squeeze through. You will also want to update your dog's tag and/or microchip with your new address and phone number. Maintain structure - keep old bedding and toys to give your dog some familiarity in their new environment. If you are looking forward to replacing their bed, waiting until your dog is settled into the new house is ideal. Stick to regular routines that were in place before the move where possible. This includes things like walks, feedings, and times you are away from the house. Have fun - when you arrive, allow your dog to explore the new house and yard. Take them for a walk around the new neighborhood, play their favorite game with them and get them tired out so they will be more relaxed when it's time to settle in for the night at home. Bonding time - spend quality time with your dog to reassure them that moving to the new home is a positive experience. Try to spend the first few days after the move at home with your dog to spend time with them and monitor how they are adjusting. Moving can be an exciting process for both you and your dog with a little bit of preparation. Setting up ahead of time before your dog's arrival to the new home and spending quality time together not only makes for a smoother move in experience but also gives you the opportunity to strengthen the bond between you and your dog!




Tags: moving tips   Dog safety   dogs  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Maureen Giuliano on 12/29/2017

Are you in a hurry to acquire a deluxe residence as soon as possible? Ultimately, you'll need to prepare accordingly to ensure you can beat dozens of homebuying rivals as you search for the perfect house.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help homebuyers accelerate the property buying journey.

1. Track the Housing Market Closely

A diligent homebuyer will monitor the housing market and keep track of new houses as they become available. By doing so, this property buyer will be better equipped than others to pounce on an opportunity to purchase a top-notch house at a budget-friendly price.

Also, a homebuyer should consider getting pre-approved for a mortgage. With a mortgage in hand, a homebuyer can enter the real estate market with a clear understanding of how much he or she can spend on a house. Then, this homebuyer can map out his or her house search.

2. Don't Hesitate to Submit a Competitive Offer

If you walk through a home and feel comfortable with the residence, don't wait to submit a competitive offer on it.

Remember, the early bird catches the worm. And a homebuyer who waits too long to submit a competitive offer on a residence risks losing it to a rival.

To define a competitive offer, consider the current asking price for a residence as well as the prices of comparable houses in the same city or town. This housing market information will help you understand how one house stacks up against another and ensure you can submit a data-based homebuying proposal.

Furthermore, look at how long a home has been available. If a house has been on the market for several months, a property seller may be more likely to accept an offer that falls under his or her initial asking price.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

For those who want to relocate to their dream home in the near future, hiring a real estate agent is a must.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to discover a terrific house that won't force you to break your budget. As such, he or she will work with you throughout the homebuying process and ensure you can get the best results possible.

Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings, negotiate with home sellers on your behalf and much more. This housing market professional will even allocate the necessary time and resources to learn about your homebuying goals and help you achieve these aspirations in any way possible.

Let's not forget about a real estate agent's active listening skills, either. A real estate agent will listen to your homebuying concerns and questions and is happy to respond to them at any time. That way, you can receive expert guidance as you navigate the homebuying process.

Ready to speed up the homebuying journey? Use these tips, and you can boost your chances of acquiring a wonderful residence at a price that matches or exceeds your expectations.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Maureen Giuliano on 12/22/2017

Many house hunters are so focused on finding the ideal house, yard, and neighborhood, that they sometimes sacrifice one of their main objectives: a short commute to work.

At first, a long drive to the office may seem like a small price to pay for finding your ideal house, but your outlook might change when the tedium of commuter gridlock becomes a daily burden.

Fortunately, there are ways to ease the stress of being stuck in rush-hour traffic twice a day.

Car pooling: By sharing driving responsibilities with one or two other people, you can reduce the overall stress of your trip to the office. You can also save money on gas, highway tolls, and parking fees. Assuming you find carpooling companions whose company you enjoy, time will pass a lot faster. Then, of course, there's the advantage of less wear and tear on your car. Although carpooling may not be as idyllic as living 15 or 20 minutes from work, it can be an effective way to ease the burden of back-and-forth driving.

Telecommuting: As technology advances and more and more people are adapting to it, the option of working from home is becoming increasingly popular. When you consider the many options there are for document sharing and communicating remotely, you may have a strong case for proposing a work-from-home arrangement with your employer. Even though it may be necessary to meet face-to-face with coworkers, colleagues, and clients a few days a week, the ability to split your work time between home and office can save you time, money, and aggravation. As long as you can maintain your productivity working from home, it may turn out to be a life-changing arrangement! Granted, it doesn't work for everyone, but it may be well worth looking into -- at least on a part-time basis.

Public Transportation: If you happen to live close to a train station, then public transportation might be the perfect solution to an otherwise long, tedious drive into the city. Instead of concentrating on road signs and traffic conditions, you can read a book, listen to your favorite music, or prepare for a meeting or presentation. You can also check your email, get a head start on your work day, or even sneak in a few minutes of sleep or meditation.

While the best option for many people is to buy a home that's within 30 minutes of their job or business, that may be difficult to accomplish for couples working in different locations. Long commutes can infringe on important aspects of your life, though, including family time, relaxation time, and being able to get things done around the house. Not having enough time to "recharge your battery," every day, can eventually take its toll on your health, your relationships, and your outlook on life. If finding a house close to work is not panning out, then alternatives like telecommuting, carpooling, and public transportation may be, at least, a partial solution.