Vanessa Duguerre | Brockton Real Estate, Stoughton Real Estate, Dorchester Real Estate


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You may be looking for ways to make the transition into homeownership a little more affordable or perhaps you dream of owning a vacation home. In these cases, combining resources with a close friend or relative may be a good option. Working together can provide you with more buying power and lower monthly payments but be sure you’re prepared to share this major financial investment before you make a final decision. 

Consider these points before moving forward with a joint homeownership arrangement:

Mortgage application: One of the toughest parts of co-buying a house is determining how to handle financing. Before you begin your property search, discuss who will apply for the mortgage. If you opt to apply jointly, understand that all applicants will have to provide credit history as part of the process.

Property ownership agreement: It’s a good practice to hire a lawyer to work with you on a property ownership agreement. The agreement should outline details like ownership percentages, how the mortgage payments and maintenance tasks will be divided and what happens if you want to refinance or sell the property. Establishing a property ownership agreement at the outset prepares you to more easily resolve issues or make important decisions about your property as time passes.

Form of ownership: The form of ownership you chose will have a significant impact on your legal right to the property. It is advisable that you choose a type of ownership that fits your relationship. Some of the options that you can consider are:

  • Joint tenancy with right survivorship: This option is perfect for longtime partners. If one partner passes away, their share is awarded to the other partner.

  • Tenancy in common: This option allows a party to inherit the ownership of a property from another individual. In this case, when a partner passes away, their share will go to their heir while their co-tenant retains their percentage of the property. A challenge with this option is that the heir may not want to share a property with the original partner and could force a sale.

Co-buying a home can be an excellent opportunity and a great arrangement. However, it is essential that you consider the pros and cons of the agreement before making a final decision. Consult with your real estate agent for information about co-ownership and your local housing market.


After you receive an offer on your home, how should you respond? Ultimately, there are many questions for a home seller to consider before accepting a proposal, including:

1. What is my home worth?

Did you get your home appraised before you added it to the real estate market? If so, you may want to review a home offer in contrast to your home appraisal. This will give you a better idea about whether the offer is "fair" based on your home's condition.

If you have not received a home appraisal, there's no need to worry. In fact, there are many ways to assess your home to determine whether to accept or decline a proposal.

Check out the prices of comparable residences in your city or town. This will enable you to see how these houses are priced and better understand how to proceed with an offer.

Also, review the prices of homes that recently sold in your area. With this information, you can learn about the current state of the housing market.

2. Are there any other offers to consider?

As a home seller, you'll likely have 24 to 48 hours to respond to an offer on your residence. But if you receive multiple offers at the same time, you'll want to evaluate these proposals in conjunction with one another.

Even if you receive two offers for the exact same price, these proposals may differ.

For example, a homebuyer who has financing in hand will be able to streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner. On the other hand, a homebuyer who submits an offer without financing in hand may require additional time to secure a mortgage from a bank or credit union.

Take a close look at all of the offers on your home. Review these proposals with a fine-tooth comb, and you'll be able to make an informed decision.

3. Does this offer meet or exceed my expectations?

An offer on your home may fall short of your initial asking price, but this offer can still meet or surpass your expectations.

Consider what you hope to accomplish as a home seller as you review an offer.

For instance, if your goal is to sell your home as quickly as possible, you may be more inclined to accept one of the first offers you receive. Or, if you can afford to remain patient, you may want to take a wait-and-see approach to ensure you get an offer that matches or exceeds your initial asking price.

4. What will happen if I accept the offer?

After you accept an offer on your home, a homebuyer likely will want to complete a home inspection.

If the home inspection goes well, the homebuyer probably will proceed with his or her purchase. If it does not, you may need to complete home maintenance or repairs to finalize the purchase agreement.

Remember, if you accept an offer, there are still several steps that will need to be completed before you sell your house. With an expert real estate agent at your side, you'll know exactly what to expect at each stage of the home selling process.


Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Zoning laws have been in place in the United States for many years. They serve communities in a number of ways. As a home buyer, it is important to know and understand the zoning laws that cover any property you consider purchasing. 

Structures

Generally, residential zonings laws indicate what kind of structures can be built in a particular area. Some residential zones are restrictive and allow for only single-family homes within a neighborhood, other locations may welcome multi-family complexes. Some commercial zones allow space for both businesses and housing in the same area. If the home you are considering is in a location like this, be prepared for businesses to change and grow, potentially impacting the neighborhood.

Business

If you run a business from your home or plan to do so, be aware that this activity can be restricted within a residential zone. The general aim of this restriction is to keep traffic issues at bay as well as to limit noise or other disruptions within a neighborhood. Even if your business is conducted virtually, it’s still wise to check with your local zoning board to gain an understanding of the rules specific to your community.

Animals

Perhaps your dream is to raise goats or maybe you plan to move a flock of chickens with you when you relocate. Residential zones can have different rules that govern animals on your property. In some cases, farm animals are not allowed at all while other zones may limit the number of animals you can keep within a certain amount of acreage. 

It is possible to request a zoning change in some cases but the process can be difficult and long drawn out. With that in mind, it is best to know and understand local zoning laws before entering into an agreement to purchase.


Going away on your vacation should be a time of relaxation and enjoyment. For some of us, however, we spend some of that time worrying about our homes, our pets, and all of the housework we have to catch up on when we get back.

One way to alleviate some of this anxiety is to employ a house-sitter while you’re away. In this article, we’re going to talk about getting your home ready for the sitter so that they can keep things running smoothly while you’re away.

Finding a house-sitter

There are three groups of people you should consult about finding a house-sitter for your home: friends, family, and neighbors. Many young people still living with their parents will be happy to get away for a week or two and have a house to themselves for a change.

An added benefit of asking an acquaintance or relative is that you can usually be assured that they’ll take good care of your home while you’re away.


In terms of payment, leaving them money for groceries and delivery is a good way to thank them for watching your house and pets while you were away.

Getting your house ready for the sitter

You might be at a loss of where to begin when it comes to leaving a note of things to do while you’re away. A good way to make sure you don’t miss anything is to keep a list in your phone and add to it throughout the day whenever you complete a task that you want the house-sitter to do.

You’ll also want to make sure you provide contact numbers for you and whoever else is away on vacation with you, and store the house-sitter’s number in your phones as well.

Next, make sure your home is emergency-ready. That includes checking the smoke detector and flashlight batteries. If you have a security system, it’s a good idea to let them know that someone will be watching your home while you’re away and provide their name in case your house-sitter accidentally sets off the alarm.

Finally, take care of anything you need to do before leaving, such as paying utility bills, putting fresh linens in the bedroom and bathroom, and parking your unused vehicles in a safe place.

Tip: It might be a good idea to lock or hide any alcohol, tobacco, etc. that’s in the house, especially if your house-sitter is underage.

Now, let’s talk about some things to include on your list to leave for the house-sitter:

  • Recycling information (sort or no-sort)

  • Which day to take out the garbage cans and recycling

  • Information about pets: when/how much to feed, treats, walks, when they need to go outside, which vet to call in case of emergency, etc.

  • Location of keys for shed, house, etc.

  • Garage door opener

  • Reminder to take in the mail

  • Pool filter and cleaning procedure

  • Watering plants


Looking to sell your condo? With assistance from a real estate agent, you can maximize the value of your property.

When it comes to selling a condo, hiring a real estate agent is a must. This housing market professional will set up condo showings, negotiate with condo buyers on your behalf and much more.

As a condo seller, it is important to do everything possible to get the best price for your property. And if you understand what it takes to find the right real estate agent, you may be able to streamline the condo selling journey.

Ultimately, there are many factors that condo sellers need to consider when they evaluate a real estate agent, including:

1. Condo Selling Experience

It is essential to hire a real estate agent who possesses condo selling experience. This housing market professional can take the guesswork out of selling a condo.

A real estate agent with condo selling experience will promote your residence to the right groups of property buyers. This will ensure your condo will stir up plenty of from interest from property buyers as soon as it becomes available.

Plus, a housing market professional can teach you about the real estate sector and help you plan accordingly. He or she will ensure you can avoid any potential hurdles as sell your condo too.

2. Communication Skills

Does a real estate agent go above and beyond the call of duty to stay in touch with condo sellers? If not, he or she may struggle to sell your condo.

A real estate agent should keep you informed at each stage of the condo selling journey. This housing market professional also should respond to your condo selling concerns and queries – without exception.

Perhaps most important, a real estate agent should be unafraid to be honest with you. With an honest real estate agent at your side, you can receive unbiased condo selling recommendations and make informed choices throughout the condo selling journey.

3. Client Referrals

How do past condo sellers rate a real estate agent? Ask a real estate agent for client referrals, and you can receive unparalleled insights into what it's like to work with this housing market professional.

Client referrals are great tools to help you decide whether a particular real estate agent is the best person to guide you along the condo selling journey. These referrals can provide you with insights into a real estate agent's professional demeanor and personality that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere. As a result, client referrals may prove to be exceedingly valuable to condo sellers.

If you need help selling a condo, allocate the necessary time and resources to hire a real estate agent – you'll be glad you did. Real estate agents are available nationwide and understand what it takes to sell a condo in any housing market. Therefore, working with a real estate agent may help you speed up the condo selling process and optimize the value of your property.