George P. Goulas - KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY | 508-509-3833 | G@AllworthRealty.com


Posted by George P. Goulas on 10/10/2018

There are countless reasons a homeowner might want to sell their home and buy another. Some want to move for a change of scenery or to relocate for work. Others are parents with a recently empty nest who want to downsize to something more affordable that meets their needs.

The good news for second time homebuyers is that you already have an idea of what to expect when buying a home. The research, paperwork, disappointments, and delays that come with buying a home can all be prepared for. However, if you have the burden of selling your old home, finding a temporary place to live, and then moving into a new one, your responsibilities can be doubled or tripled.

In this guide, weíll go over how to prepare for selling your old home and moving into the new one. Weíll cover some common mistakes and offer some advice to keep you sane throughout this daunting (but exciting!) process.

Buying or selling first

For most homeowners, selling first makes the most sense financially. Holding onto a second house often means having to make two mortgage payments at once. Similarly, selling first will give you a much clearer idea of your budget for your new home.

Depending on market conditions, your home may or may not sell for as much as you were hoping. Itís important to keep this in mind before signing onto a new mortgage.

Moving logistics

Once you sell your home, youíll have to work out living and storage arrangements until you are ready to move into your new home. It may seem easy at first--just rent for a couple months until your move-in date, right? It isnít always that simple, however, as deals can sometimes fall through and you can find yourself with a move-out date from your own home without having finalized a deal on your new home. Because of this, many homeowners elect to may their current mortgage for an extra month or two until they can move in to their new home. 

Research your options for short-term living and storage in your area. See if you can work with moving companies who will give you a discount for helping you move twice; once to the storage facility and again to your new home.

One way around this is to time your move out and move-in dates so that you donít have to worry about storage. Some homebuyers will even move into the new home before officially closing on the home (i.e., take possession before closing). While this may be convenient, it can also be dangerous for the buyer and the seller.

Plan meticulously

One of the best piece of advice we can give is to stick to your schedule and keep good records during your buying and selling processes. Make sure whoever buys your home is aware of your plans for moving out and that anything that could delay those plans (inspection issues, moving logistics) are taken care of.  

Keeping track of all this information can be difficult, so donít be afraid to keep a daily list or planner of the things you need to take care of, and never be afraid to reach out to your real estate agent who will often be able to advise you on the best way to make your move as smooth a process as possible.





Posted by George P. Goulas on 10/3/2018

Sometimes, being in the hunt for a home feels like being in a race you canít win. You should craft an offer that they cant refuse in order to get ahead on the house hunt. The real estate market can be hot or cold. No matter what the market is like, having a solid offer can be very beneficial to you as a buyer. Hereís some tips for you to get the offer you make accepted:


Get Preapproved


When you get preapproved, youíre showing the seller that youíre a serious buyer. Being preapproved gives you a shorter closing time and helps you to clear any financing hurdles before you get to them.


Avoid Lowball Offers


Make sure that you check out the prices of other homes in the neighborhood. Your real estate agent can help you to do this research. Often, youíll need to offer the asking price or above if itís a sellerís market. If all the research leads you to offer somewhere in the neighborhood of the asking price for a home, youíll want to abide with that.


Too Many Contingencies Turn A Seller Off


The financing contingency is the agreement that is put forth to help a buyer get out of the deal if financing falls through. Youíll need to be sure that you actually have the cash on hand to help you if the appraisal falls short, however. While this isnít recommended, it can give you a leg up in the buying process if you know what youíre doing. 

Another thing that you might consider is waiving the inspection. This does however, remove the ability to be sure that a home is in livable condition. This is another way to give yourself an advantage in the home search process, but itís not recommended. A better way to keep the inspection and streamline the process is to shorten the inspection time by having the inspector ready to go immediately.  


Add A Clause To Increase Your Amount


You are able to add an escalation clause into a deal. This will automatically increase your deal by a predetermined amount if the seller gets more than one offer on the home. Thereís a cap on these deals, so it doesnít work like an auction. Itís a good option and it causes sellers to have to disclose the competing offers. Typically, this wouldnít be the case. The only way youíd be out of the deal is if other offers exceed your cap.


Be Smart With Negotiations


You can offer to pay closing costs and home warranties instead of the seller having to pay them. Costs associated with the closing can be extensive, so offering to pay these fees can be very appealing to the seller. 


Get Personal


Itís difficult for sellers to part with the home that they love. If you get a bit personal and write a letter or send a video message to the sellers, you may often appeal to them on another level. In the letter, you may want to address how well the sellers have taken care of the home and express your desire to continue your life in the home in the same fashion. Many times, this is really a great way to connect with your seller and give you a better chance of getting your offer accepted.




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Posted by George P. Goulas on 9/26/2018

Receiving a low offer on a home can be frustrating for a seller. But, youíre likely to see at least one or two offers on your property that are lower than you would like.

Right now, the housing market is filled with young professionals burdened with student loans, rising costs of living, and stagnating wages. So, itís no wonder that theyíre trying to save money anywhere they can.

In todayís post, weíre going to talk about what to do when you get a low offer so you can set yourself up for a sale that youíre happy with.

Donít refuse outright

The first thing to know about low offers is that they can sometimes turn into something that both you and the buyer are happy with. Many successful home sales started at a number that the seller considered too low, but--through negotiation--was brought to a higher price and better deal overall.

Many sellers are uncomfortable with the idea of negotiation. Most people seldom negotiate prices unless they are buying a car, and even then would prefer to avoid the hassle.

For others, negotiation is a normal part of everyday life. Flatout refusing an offer, especially if you arenít receiving many other higher offers, could be a missed opportunity.

Compare your asking price with similar homes nearby

Odds are that you and your agent have already done your research and found an asking price that is comparable in your neighborhood. But home prices fluctuate. To reassure yourself that your asking price is fair, take another look at homes up for sale that are around the same age and size of your home.

Take time to craft a counteroffer

Once youíve had time to talk the offer over with your family and real estate agent (and maybe vented a bit), itís time to come up with a counteroffer.

There are a few options for making a counteroffer that donít involve significantly lowering the amount you stand to gain from the home sale. First, you could offer to relieve the buyer of some of the closing costs, such as paying for the inspection. Or, if you planned on leaving new appliances in the home, you could lower your asking price but take the appliances when you move.

Weigh your options

If the buyer still wonít raise their offer close to your asking price, itís probably a good time to move on and rethink your sale strategy.

Take some time to consider the sale as a whole. If you arenít receiving many other offers, it might be time to consider lowering to price or rethinking your marketing plan. You might consider repainting and taking new photos, or changing up your listing to highlight some other features of the house.





Posted by George P. Goulas on 9/21/2018

Open House, Sunday 9/23 From 11-12pm. MAGNIFICENT CAPE NEAR DUDLEY TOWN LINE! HERE'S YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO ENJOY THE COUNTRY LIVING IN THIS BIG, BEAUTIFUL HOME WITH ALL THE FABULOUS FEATURES YOU'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR. NEW GRANITE KITCHEN WITH STAINLESS STEEL APPLIANCES, NEW GRANITE BATHS WITH HIGH-ELEVATION VANITIES, HARDWOOD FLOORS, & HEATED GARAGE WITH PLENTY OF ROOM FOR STORAGE. PARTIALLY FINISHED WALK-OUT BASEMENT WITH HEAT, MANY BRIGHT LIGHTS & PLENTY OF ELECTRICAL OUTLETS WOULD MAKE A GREAT EXERCISE ROOF OR GAME ROOM. YOUR FAMILY & FRIENDS WILL ENJOY THE HUGE WRAP-AROUND DECK CONNECTED TO THE FRONT PORCH, WHERE YOU CAN SIT & ENJOY NATURE IN YOUR PRIVATE BACKYARD WITH WATER-FRONTAGE ON BAKER POND INLET WHERE YOU CAN LAUNCH YOUR CANOE OR PADDLE BOAT FOR DIRECT ACCESS TO BAKER POND FISHING. THE HOUSE IS SET BACK FROM THE ROAD FOR YOUR FAMILY'S PRIVACY & SAFETY, WITH A LONG PAVED DRIVEWAY ON 1.78 ACRES SURROUNDED BY NATURE. MANY UPDATES YOU MUST SEE TO APPRECIATE! CALL NOW FOR INFO!

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts





Posted by George P. Goulas on 9/19/2018

The US government has been helping Americans achieve their goal of homeownership for decades. Through programs offered by the Federal Housing Authority, the USDA, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, millions of Americans have been able to afford a home who would have otherwise struggled.

The focus of todayís post is one such service: loans offered through the USDA Rural Development program.

If youíre hoping to buy a home in the near future but are worried about being able to save up enough for a down payment or build your credit score in time, USDA loans could be a viable option.

Letís take a look at some of the common questions people have about USDA loans:

Do I have to live in the middle of nowhere to get a USDA loan?

The short answer is ďno.Ē rural development loan eligibility for your area is laid out on a map provided by the USDA. Most of the suburbs outside of major cities, as well as nearly all rural areas, are covered by the rural development program.

Can I qualify for a USDA loan if Iíve previously owned a home?

Yes. You may be eligible for a loan as long as youíre not the current owner of a home that was purchased through the rural development program. So, for example, if you own a home financed through the USDA and wanted to buy a second home and rent out the first one, you wouldnít be able to finance your second home through the USDA.

How does the USDA loan guarantee work?

When you buy a home, a lender asks you to make a down payment. If you donít have a down payment, the government (USDA, VA, or FHA) insures the down payment on your home rather than you paying it up front.

Will I have to pay mortgage insurance?

Unlike other subsidized loans, rural development loans require a ďguarantee feeĒ rather than PMI (private mortgage insurance). The guarantee fee is 1% the total mortgage amount and this can typically be financed into the loan (so you donít have to pay up front). In addition to the guarantee fee, USDA loans also charge an annual premium for the lifetime of a loan.

What are the qualifications for a USDA loan?

To find full eligibility information, complete the survey on the USDAís eligibility website to find out if you qualify. However, the general qualifications are:

  • U.S. citizenship

  • Buying a home in a qualifying area

  • 24 months of income history

  • A credit score of 640 or higher for streamlined processing

  • Income high enough so that your monthly payments do not exceed 29% of your monthly earnings

What is the direct loan program?

The USDA really offers multiple urban development loans. The guarantee program, for which most single families utilize, and the direct loan program. Direct loans are designed for families who have the greatest need. You can also find out if youíre eligible for a direct loan by filling out the questionnaire on their website.









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