5 Common First Time Home Buyer Mistakes

homeOne would think that for such a major financial investment, people would make sure that they were getting top notch representation.

When someone needs dental work, they make sure they find a skilled dentist who they have confidence in. When one needs an attorney, they seek one who has the proper expertise to truly represent their best interests.

However, when people decide to purchase real estate, especially first time buyers, they are too ofter duped into a false sense of security when they meet a “high volume” agent.

Many “top producers” care much more about their image and income, than they do their clients! This leads to all too common breach of fiduciary responsibility to protect their clients best interests, resulting in innocent purchasers getting stuck with not such great deals.

The good news is that there are also some really great, caring, humanistic agents who care deeply about their clients and make sure that they get the best possible property and terms for their budget.

I wanted to share a few first time buyer mistakes I found in Realtor Magazine that I thought were important to share.

Common first time buyer mistakes [courtesy of Realtor Magazine]:

   1. They don’t ask enough questions of their lender and end up missing out on the best deal
   2. They don’t act quickly enough to make a decision and someone else buys the house.
   3. They don’t find the right agent who’s willing to help them through the home buying process.
   4. They don’t do enough to make their offer look appealing to a seller.

   5. They don’t think about resale before they buy. The average first-time buyer only stays in a home for four years.

As always, I appreciate your real estate questions and will reply in a timely fashion.

Sam Webb, Broker Associate, Realtor
International President’s Circle
Email: Sam.Webb@NEMoves.com
Free MLS for my Clients: SamWebb.com
Cell 781-893-1195

Heating Systems & Fuels – What does it all mean?

Clients often ask me what kind of heating systems are best, I thought you’d find this excerpt interesting. In New England we do have a few other types of systems, such as steam, geothermal and solar. In addition we have a variety of ways heating and cooling can be distributed, cast iron radiators, steam, baseboards, radiant, though ducts are the most common.

I found the post below from American Southwest Magazine interesting, and thought you might as well, enjoy!

Technician servicing heating boiler

In some areas of the US, temperatures have dropped into single figures, and even into minus digits in several other locations. Inevitably, homeowners want to know how to heat their homes affordably and efficiently. Central to this is the question of whether an oil or gas furnace is the best solution. If you are looking for a furnace for your home, these are the advantages and disadvantages of each type:

The majority of gas furnaces have an AFUE rating of eighty-nine to ninety-eight percent, whereas oil furnace AFUE ratings tend to fall between eighty and ninety percent. While gas furnaces have greater efficiency than oil furnaces, they usually cost ten to twenty-five percent more than oil furnaces of the same size. Modern furnaces can be up to thirty percent more efficient than models that were made a decade ago.

Notwithstanding, as far as fuel prices go, gas is definitely more beneficial. The US Energy Data Administration reports that the average home spends $690 on heating with natural gas over the winter months. This compares to $2558 spent with heating oil, $1448 spent with propane (in the Midwest), and $964 spent with electricity. The price of oil is more erratic and prone to fluctuate in response to global events. In contrast, the production of natural gas is centered around Canada and the US, which secures a more reliable supply. Maybe due to this factor, roughly half of American households are heated using gas right now, compared to roughly eight percent of households with oil heating.

Oil furnaces are easily and frequently maintained by the delivery firm (a service agreement is needed). However, servicing is more comprehensive, because of soot and dirt accumulation ˗ oil filters have to be changed and chimneys have to be cleaned regularly. Gas furnaces hardly require any maintenance (service agreements are not needed), however gas offers less warmth than oil per BTU. Gas furnaces are cleaner and less noisy, but they are more expensive than oil furnaces. Always use a certified and trustworthy HVAC firm, and obtain multiple quotes prior to making any significant investment in your property.

Original by: American Southwest Magazine

Have any questions about heating systems in general? Feel free to comment or reach out to me directly.

Sam Webb, Broker Associate, Realtor
International President’s Circle
Email: Sam.Webb@NEMoves.com
Free MLS for my Clients: SamWebb.com
Cell 781-893-1195

What IS Real Estate Consulting?

hands on computerChoosing where to buy a house or condo is a vitally important decision. Consulting with an expert who has experience and knowledge of local and regional communities can have a huge impact on ones success and outcome.

Once you’ve done your research on schools and community services as well as commuting options and you are ready to hone in on specific communities you want to engage with someone who has a broad array of  knowledge in real estate. One who has knowledge relative to construction, heating, ventilation, landscaping, grading and many related fields, along with a strong network of attorneys and finance people.

The entire legal process of purchasing or selling any piece of real estate can be difficult & stressful or it can be exciting and enjoyable. Working with one who possesses the skills I’ve mentioned has an amazing impact on what one actually gets in or out of their investment. Zillow can be a powerful tool for reviewing homes, agents and more. Check out my Zillow profile and let me know if I can help you!

Sam Webb, Broker Associate, Realtor
International President’s Circle
Email: Sam.Webb@NEMoves.com
Free MLS for my Clients: SamWebb.com
Cell 781-893-1195

Snow What?

snowy path in the woodsAll dug out from the Big Storm? Make sure you remember to clear:

1. Walkways 
2. Stairs 
3. Heating system vent pipes! 

Remember that today’s modern, high efficiency heating systems have “direct” venting out the wall, about sill height.

When it comes to gas and oil fired systems, these vents can become blocked from snow. When this happens Carbon Monoxide can be prevented from exhausting and thereby create a potentially deadly environment inside a dwelling.

So clear all walking and driving surfaces for slip and fall safety, but remember to clear heating system vents to avoid even more serious threats to one’s life.

Now is also a good time to clear snow from roofs that are prone to ice damning, as the melt and freeze cycle we often get at this time of year is sure to create ice damning in vulnerable areas.

Happy trails and stay warm!

Sam Webb, Broker Associate, Realtor
International President’s Circle
Email: Sam.Webb@NEMoves.com
Free MLS for my Clients:SamWebb.com
Cell 781-893-1195

Clean Air is Vital – 5 Things to Consider When Buying a Home

Dust1. An important consideration should be paid to ventilation systems, particularly in bathrooms, kitchens, as well as attics.

2. Properties need to breath as do heating and ventilation systems. Next in the lowest level of the house we look for any signs of moisture especially around any bulkheads and base of foundation walls. If there are any odors, dampness, mustiness, then one should check for mold.

3. Once one is comfortable with the level of air exchange, then the next thing to do is close up the house and come back in 24 hours to start a radon and or air quality test(s).

4. Air ducts are prone to trapping not only dust and dirt, but spores and other bacteria as well. So ducts should be professionally cleaned every couple of years. One way to know that they are becoming dirty is the air filters getting excessively dirty quickly. Under normal conditions, HVAC systems air filters should be replaced every 90 days.

5. Pet dander and hair are another source of fresh air contamination. Not all pets shed, but if there are several pets in a home and they are the type that shed, their dander can easily get into carpeting, cloth furniture, bedding and the ventilation system. So if you come across a property with these issues, know that it will take deep cleaning to eradicate.

I hope these tips will help you in your real estate search, as always feel free to ask me any questions and I’ll reply in a timely manner.

Have a Happy New Year!

Sam Webb, Broker Associate, Realtor
Email: Sam.Webb@NEMoves.com
Free MLS for my Clients:SamWebb.com
Cell 781-893-1195

Finding an Agent Checklist: Important Ways An Agent Impacts Value

Anyone who is thinking about buying a home needs to know these vital facts to ensure they get a better than average deal. Most people don’t realize it but each real estate transaction involves around 350 touches or interactions (email, phone, documentation, etc.).

This is why a trusted, proven broker, who takes his or her fiduciary responsibility to obtain the best price and terms seriously is imperative to the process. You need someone who will truly represent his or her clients best interests and always be sure this is the primary focus of any purchase or sale. As a result, well represented clients can save lots of money and get more for their money.The questionnaire

Key qualities to be on the lookout for when choosing abroker are that they are professional and also available for you. When you make a meeting you want to know this person will be on time. With how connected we are these days you can find out a lot of information from a simple Google search.

Other bonus qualities may be but are not limited to: building construction knowledge, strong negotiation skills and a real network of allies (lawyers, lenders, movers, handyman to make moving easier.) Overall things like this will help with the ultimate buying/selling process and make your move much more enjoyable.

Let me know if you’re looking for a broker, I’d be happy to help!

Sam Webb, Broker Associate, Realtor (I’ve also got my builder’s license, too!)
International President’s Circle Top 2%
Email: Sam.Webb@NEMoves.com
Free MLS for my Clients:SamWebb.com
Cell 781-893-1195