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
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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

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

5 Key Decision Factors in Choosing Where You Want to Live

While some people know exactly which city or town they want to live in, many people, in this transient society are open to more that one option. People who move to a new area are often focused on their commute to a new job.

Even if you have been in the same job and plan on being there for several more years, choosing a living location is an important decision and one that you want to thing a bit more long-term about.

Here are some of what I believe to be the most important factors to consider when you are looking to buy a property:

  1. Job location, proximity and stability
  2. Lifestyle needs, such as recreation, shopping, transportation
  3. Schools, if you have or plan on having children in a public school system.
  4. Friends in the area.
  5. Community you will be living in.

Early on, I suggest you look closely at each of these items and decide how much of a trade-off you are willing to make for each line item. For instance, would you prefer to get more “house/condo” for your money by living a little further from a major city, but have to commute more? Or, would you prefer to live in a city and be comfortable with less space?

Once you’ve started to get a real feel for your preferences, then you can actually begin scouting out the areas you are considering to get a better feel for your future neighborhood and homeWELCOME HOME!!

Thinking about a specific location? Concerned with your current commute and looking to move? I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to comment on this post or reach out to me directly.

Sam Webb, Broker Associate, Realtor
International President’s Circle Top 2%
Email: Sam.Webb@NEMoves.com
Free MLS for my Clients:SamWebb.com
Cell 781-893-1195

What You Want vs. What You Need

buying a homeYou have your own thoughts, and wants when it comes to where you want to live, what type of property you want, even the kind of relationship you want.

And then there are your needs. Many of us are often driven by our wants for more, bigger, faster, nicer, stronger and so on. However, our Needs are often significantly less than we think they are. Our consumerism society is bombarding us with “things” to buy that will give us happiness. For example, most people don’t “need” a 25 room multiple million dollar home – and this usually doesn’t lead to a happier life.

I came across a great article the other day, where Joshua Becker talks about how many people tend to actually lead a happier life when they own a smaller home, he focuses on his mother’s experience with her recently purchased smaller abode. Check out his article here.

When it comes to housing, you need a roof over your head, a bathroom, heating system and other essentials to protect you. Many people who own modest homes or condos are very happy because they appreciate what they have and don’t have to worry about excess property they need to maintain.

Have you had a real estate experience you’d like to share? A question? I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to comment on this post or reach out to me directly.

Sam Webb, Broker Associate, Realtor
International President’s Circle Top 2%
Email: Sam.Webb@NEMoves.com
Free MLS for my Clients:SamWebb.com
Cell 781-893-1195

7 Tips To Prepare Your Home for Winter

woodsWinter is coming and it is the season to get properties preserved and ready (especially in New England, never know what you’re gonna get!)

As the leaves fall and the daylight gets shorter there are some important things to do, most of them are often overlooked so here’s a starter list of tips to protect your property from the cold:

1. Gutters! Be sure to have them cleaned or if you are handy, clean them yourself, to protect against damage from ice damning.

2. Exterior water lines (sprinkler systems), hoses and faucets must be completely drained and left open for any possible water/ice to escape.

3. Fall fertilizer is really one of the most important ones, because it nourishes the root systems and gets it prepared for early growth in the Spring.

4. Snow stakes along edges of road and driveways, for plowing and snow blowing protection of the landscaping.

5. Lawnmowers, add stabilizer to fuel or even better run till completely emptying gasoline.

6. Make sure that you have some sand or ice melting material–before you need it.

7. Be sure that your electricity lines are not in danger of limbs coming down on them.

Feel free to comment with questions and share any of your own tips below or reach out via email and I will be happy to answer them!

Also check out my site to see what else is currently on the market.