The Daniels and O’Keefe Team's Blog
The number of architectural styles in any given neighborhood can be overwhelming to home buyers, especially if they don't feel immediately called to one type. To help narrow it down, the property you choose should reflect everything from your budget to your lifestyle. The more you account for how you interact with the home, the happier you and your family will be. We'll look at the key questions that can help you decide.
How Will the Future Look?
This question has everything to do with the details of your future goals. Maybe you already know you'll need enough space in the home for a new baby, but have you considered how the property will affect an infant or toddler?
Parents may want to opt for a home without stairs to limit the number of accidents. The same advice goes for those who may find themselves hosting elderly relatives on a regular basis. If you're planning to be an empty nester soon, it may be time to downsize to a cottage so there's less to clean and maintain.
How Practical Is It?
There's no understanding a property until you've really lived in it, but there are ways to forecast the obstacles that can pop up along the way. A modern home may be beautiful in its own way, but the stark angles may feel cold to someone who would prefer a more welcoming traditional home.
If curb appeal is high on your list of priorities, then you may want to opt for a craftsman home. These homes come in all shapes and sizes, so it may be easier to find something in your budget than you think.
If you're planning on hosting parties or events, you need to define how much patio and yard space you'll need for everyone. While any property may feature outdoor amenities, you'll likely have the most luck with a traditional or a ranch.
Selecting a property type is more than just considering how many bathrooms you need and whether you want a formal dining room. You have to consider how the infrastructure and design will either help or hurt your daily routine. A cottage with a cozy breakfast nook will be useless to someone who would prefer to eat in the living room. The more you picture yourself in each of the rooms, the easier it should be to decide on a type.
265 Dutton Road, Sudbury, MA 01776
If you want to purchase a home, it pays to establish a homebuying budget. By doing so, you can enter the housing market with a budget in hand and narrow your search for your dream house.
Now, let's take a look at three best practices to help you create a homebuying budget.
1. Look at Your Finances
Your finances will play a major role in your ability to purchase a home. Thus, you should evaluate your current financial situation closely so you can map out an effective homebuying journey.
Request a copy of your credit report – you'll be glad you did. You are eligible for a free copy of your credit report from each of the three reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) annually. Take advantage of this complimentary perk, and you can gain deep insights into your outstanding debt.
If you have outstanding debt, try to pay this down as much as possible. That way, you can boost your credit score, which ultimately will help you improve your chances to acquire your ideal residence.
2. Meet with Banks and Credit Unions
When it comes to buying a home, meeting with banks and credit unions usually is a great idea. That way, you can learn about your home loan options and get pre-approved for a mortgage.
Apply for a mortgage from several banks and credit unions. Then, you can receive various mortgage quotes and select one that suits you perfectly.
Also, don't hesitate to ask plenty of questions during a lender consultation. Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage professionals – all of whom are happy to help you make an informed mortgage decision. Therefore, if you're unsure about whether to proceed with a 15- or 30-year mortgage or can't decide between an adjustable- or fixed-rate mortgage, you can ask these mortgage professionals for expert advice.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
A homebuying budget is tricky to establish on your own, especially if you are entering the real estate market for the first time. Fortunately, a real estate agent can help you plan ahead for all stages of the homebuying cycle.
During a real estate agent consultation, a housing market professional will learn about your homebuying goals. Next, this professional will help you establish realistic homebuying expectations and ensure you can discover a great house at a budget-friendly price.
Of course, let's not forget about the world-class support that a real estate agent provides after you kick off a home search, either.
A real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you informed about open houses and offer homebuying recommendations and suggestions. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf to help you get the best price on a house.
Ready to begin your search for your dream home? Use the aforementioned best practices, and you can craft a homebuying budget and start your homebuying journey.
Plants have been used to make medicine for centuries, but some stand out above the rest for their many healing properties. Some plants make teas or, with aloe, their leaves broken open and the gooey ooze used as a balm. From aiding in digestion to soothing burns and insect bites, these houseplants are known for their healing properties. Fortunately, most are deceptively easy to grow indoors as houseplants.
This easy-to-grow herb has a range of health properties. Mostly it’s an anti-everything: anti-microbial, antioxidant, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory. As a result, it may reduce swelling and help prevent infection. As an antioxidant, it helps fight off the free radicals that cause chronic diseases such as cancer.
The next time you walk past a tiny sage plant in a four-inch pot at the nursery, you might bring it home to live on the windowsill of a south- or west-facing window.
You can grow ginger simply by bringing a root home from the supermarket and plopping it into a pot filled with soil. It will eventually sprout roots if kept in the right conditions. Pick a bumpy piece of ginger and soak it overnight in water. Cut the root into smaller pieces and plant them in a tall, deep container. Keep them warm and moist, and you should soon have sprouts. Once you have your very own ginger plant, you can use it for many things, including:
Soothing nausea and motion sickness
Curing upset stomach
Decreasing arthritis pain
To harvest your ginger plant, simply cut a fresh piece from the root when needed and return the rest to the soil.
Basil is an herb used in pasta sauces, pestos and more. It adds a zesty element to your dishes and can give your health a nice boost. Basil is best known for its healthy components which include vitamins A and C, manganese, iron and the good fatty acid. Use it as an antioxidant or antiseptic. Basil can also help relieve gas, soothe your cough and lessen nausea. As a houseplant, it’s a good option to have on hand. It’s also attractive and easy to grow. Basil prefers at least six hours of sun daily and needs regular watering.
If you’ve been thinking about starting a few plants indoors, consider planting ones that have health-driven properties. The ones listed here all have culinary value, and they’re all useful in multiple other ways. And if you enjoy outdoor gardening, you can expand your inventory of medicinal plants.
As always, if you decide to use these plants for any health benefits, be sure to check with your doctor or other medical professional before consuming any new herb or plant for its healing properties.
Federal law allows you to get your credit report free once per year. To do so, go to annualcreditreport.com and request your report. You need to do this at least once a year so that you can correct any errors or missing information.
Differences Between Credit Report & Credit Score
You typically have more than one credit score depending on its use. Two of the most common are the Vantage score and the FICO score. The Vantage score uses a different algorithm from the FICO score. Places such as your employer, auto insurance company or landlord typically use the Vantage score or one similar to it. Housing lenders more often use the FICO score. FICO has as many as 60 different scoring algorithms, as does Vantage scores.
How Are FICO & Vantage Alike?
Currently, both scores range from about 300 (low) to 850 (best). In general, both Vantage and FICO use your payment history, the age of your accounts, balances versus available credit, type of debt you hold and how frequently you seek credit based on recent applications.
Types of debt can be revolving, such as a credit card; secured, like a home or auto loan; personal debt as when you take a consolidation loan, medical and education loans.
How Often Should You Check Your Scores?
While your credit report is free once a year, your credit scores from the three leading suppliers (Equifax, TransUnion and Experian) are not. But frequently, your bank, credit union, credit card providers and other financial institutions offer the opportunity to get them free. You should utilize these promotions as often as you can to keep on top of your score.
Each car payment you make — or when you pay off a credit card — changes your score. It could change by several points overnight too. Since credit “age” affects your score, don’t close old accounts. Periodically make a charge and then pay it off to keep that account active and in the mix.
New laws make it easier to see which score a lender uses too, so if you’re denied credit or offer a higher interest rate than you think you should be getting, you can check it out. When the two scores (Vantage and FICO) differ by a lot, you need to check your credit report to see what might be wrong. While it could just be the closing day of a credit card accounting cycle, it could also be something more serious like identity theft.
The closer you get to purchasing a home, the more you need to be on top of your scores. Don’t wait to review them because a problem can take a while to fix.