Yvonne McNamara
SUCCESS! Real Estate | 508-858-8044 | ur@homewithyvonne.com


Posted by Yvonne McNamara on 10/14/2018

Applying for your first home loan can seem scary or daunting to many first-time homeowners. However, this process, if done correctly, can save you thousands or tens of thousands of dollars on interest over the lifetime of your loan.

Before you apply for a loan, there are several documents you’ll want to gather and steps you’ll want to take to ensure the application process goes smoothly. In today’s post, we’ll talk about one specific aspect of the mortgage application process--credit scores.

Credit scores may seem confusing. However, since they can so drastically affect your home loan interest rate, it’s important to understand their implications.

Credit checks and mortgages

One of the things that all lenders will want to see before approving you for a home loan is your credit score. If you’re thinking of applying for a mortgage, odds are that you’ve been working to build credit by paying off loans and credit cards on time each month.

The three main credit bureaus in the U.S. are all required to give you a yearly free credit report. This is a detailed document that outlines your lines of credit, payment dates, and amounts. It’s a good idea to get a detailed credit report and check for errors before applying for a loan.

Unlike a hard “credit inquiry,” a free report does not affect your credit score, so you don’t have to worry about dropping a few points by requesting one of these reports.

When applying for a mortgage, however, lenders will perform a hard credit inquiry to determine your borrowing eligibility. This is a part of the pre-approval process and is typically unavoidable.

This is important to note if you are planning on applying to multiple lenders. Be aware that each “prequalification” and “preapproval” may come with a temporary drop in your credit score.

Since credit inquiries make up a total of about 10% of your credit score, these inquiries can make a difference in the short term. For this reason, it’s a good idea to avoid opening new cards or taking out other loans (such as an auto loan or student loan) within six months of your mortgage application.

If you aren’t sure of your current score, you can always check for free from websites like Credit Karma and Mint.

One last thing to note about credit scores and their relationship to mortgages is that most lenders use a specific type of score known as a FICO score. In fact, every adult in the United States with a credit score will have three FICO scores, one from each major credit bureau.

So, when checking up on your credit score, it’s good to remember that each score will be slightly different and your lender’s score may not reflect what you see online.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Yvonne McNamara on 10/7/2018

When moving one of the room most families dread packing the most is their child’s. Overflowing toy boxes, stuff crammed under the beds, and who know’s what in the closet. It’s an epic task to take on, usually with just as much cleaning needed as packing. But with a move comes a new room and a clean slate. 

Here are my top tips to keeping an organized child’s room (and for longer than 2 hours):

The most important step is to downscale the amount of stuff your child has. Toys are usually the number one culprit when it comes to a child’s clutter. Plan a day to have a massive clean sweep with your child where you work together what toys stay and which need to go. The more you can clean out the less you’ll have to move and the easier it will be to organize at the new house.

As you decide what stays think about the different categories the remaining toys fall into it. Which does your child reach for the most? Do they like to play with trains and action figures at the same time but just legos by themselves? Asking yourself these questions will help you to create organizational categories that make sense to your child.

Once you have some categories decided on, think about how to organize them. What systems do you already have in place and how do they work for your child? One of the biggest stumbling blocks families face in maintaining an organized home with children is a lack of understanding for how much a child can handle.

Keeping things simple with baskets and buckets toys can be placed in can make a huge difference in how tidy a room stays. Zippered, closed, sectioned or stacked containers, especially for young children, are harder to manage. Paired with piles of toys a child can become quickly overwhelmed at cleanup time.

By cutting down on the number of toys your child has, organizing them in a way that makes sense to how your child plays with them and opting for open containers sets your child up for cleaning success. The simpler you can make it the easier it is for them to take on the task. Pairing this setup with learning habits like cleaning up one set of toys before moving on to another will keep your child’s room tidy for months, and even years, to come.

And the biggest secret to avoid clutter from building up again? Before each birthday, holiday or gift receiving event go through your child’s toy collection and clean out what they no longer use to make room for new toys. If you want to go even further, encourage friends and family to gift your child experiences instead of material goods for celebrations.




Tags: playroom   child   organize  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Yvonne McNamara on 9/30/2018

Finding the ideal home for your family's needs is no easy task, but if you stay organized and focused, the right property is sure to come along!

One of your most valuable resources in your search for a new home is an experienced real estate agent -- someone you trust and feel comfortable working with.

They'll not only set up appointments for you to visit homes in your desired price range and school district, but they'll also help keep you motivated, informed, and on track. Once you know and have shared your requirements (and "wish list") with them, your agent will be able to guide you on a path to finding the home that will best serve your needs -- both short- and longer term.

In addition to proximity to jobs, good schools, and childcare, you'll probably want to pick a location that's close to supermarkets, recreation areas, and major highways. If you have friends or family in the area, then that would also be a key consideration.

While your immediate needs are a good starting point for creating a checklist of requirements, it's also a good idea to give some thought to what you may need in the future. Plans to expand your family, possibly take care of aging parents, or adopt pets are all factors to consider when looking at prospective homes to buy.

If you have college-age children or recent graduates in the family, you might have to save room for them in your new house. Many grads need a couple more years of financial and moral support from their parents (not to mention home-cooked meals) before they're ready to venture out on their own. Houses with a finished basement, a separate in-law apartment, or even a guest cottage on the property are often well-suited for multigenerational households.

In many cases, people tend to buy a home based on their emotional reaction to it, and then justify the purchase with facts. For example, if the price was right and a particular house reminded you of your childhood home, then that combination of elements could prompt you to make an offer on the house -- assuming those childhood memories were happy!

Sometimes prospective buyers might simply love the look and feel of a neighborhood or the fact that there's a spacious, fenced-in back yard in which they can envision their children or dogs happily (and safely) playing.

According to recent surveys, today's buyers are attracted to homes that have energy efficient features, separate laundry rooms, and low-maintenance floors, counter tops, and backyard decks. Gourmet kitchens, stainless steel appliances, a farmhouse sink, a home office area, and outdoor living spaces are also popular features. Although your tastes may differ, many house hunters also like design elements such as subway tiles, hardwood floors, shaker cabinets, pendant lights, and exposed brick.

When it comes to choosing the home that you and your family will live in for the next few years, your top priorities will probably include a sufficient amount of space, plenty of convenience, and a comfortable environment in which you and your loved ones can feel safe, secure, and happy for the foreseeable future!





Posted by Yvonne McNamara on 9/23/2018

Being a homeowner can be a bit overwhelming at times. It can easily become difficult to juggle your homeowner responsibilities with your family and work obligations while still taking time for yourself to relax. It's a problem made even more difficult when you don't plan ahead for things like home maintenance. Aside from keeping your home in good condition, some maintenance issues are also safety issues, making them all the more important to find time to tend to. So how can you make time to complete maintenance tasks and ensure you don't forget about them? In this article, we'll help you make a maintenance calendar that will help you hold yourself accountable to keep your home safe and in good condition.  

What should be on your calendar?

Each home is unique and will require different types of maintenance. But in general, most homes share characteristics that can be applied to your situation. We'll break up maintenance into two categories: safety and upkeep. Safety For the well-being of you and your family, be sure to add these items to your list:
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors checked (monthly)
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide batteries changed (every 6 months)
  • Fire extinguisher checked (every 12 months)
  • Test door and window locks (every 12 months)
Upkeep Many items in your home will stop working properly if you don't practice good maintenance. Some of the most important items to practice maintenance on are:
  • Inspect your HVAC filters (every 3 months)
  • Clean the drains of your sinks and shower (every month)
  • Test seldom used objects like spare bathroom sinks and toilets (every 2 months)
  • Clean refrigerator coils and vent (every 6 months)
  • Replace water filters in refrigerator, sink, etc. (every 6 months)
  • Clean your gutters and drainage system (every 12 months)
  • Repair ripped window and door screens (every 12 months)

Seasonal maintenance

If you live in an area that has significant climate changes throughout the seasons, then there are an whole host of maintenance tasks required to prepare for the change of weather. Some common tasks include:
  • Turning off outdoor water to avoid frozen pipes
  • Replacing door screens with glass
  • Cleaning, installing, and uninstalling air conditioners
  • Sealing or repaving walkways and driveways
  • Cleaning chimneys
  • Dusting off heaters
  • Inspecting your roof shingles

Creating your calendar

Now that you know what to put in your calendar, its time to decide how you're going to make it. If you carry your smartphone with you everywhere and check it constantly, it might be a good idea to use a good calendar app, preferably one that syncs with your other calendars (work, Facebook, etc.). Google Calendar allows you to categorize calendar events by colors, sync between accounts, and invite others to events (such as when you need your family's help with something on your list). If you're not big on technology, you could always keep a calendar attached to your refrigerator or in a frequented spot in the house that you and your family will remember to check often. Whichever method you choose, the important thing is to find one that works for you so that you don't forget these important items to keep your house, home, and family safe.    




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Yvonne McNamara on 9/16/2018

The home selling journey may include many ups and downs, particularly for a seller who fails to plan ahead. Fortunately, we're here to help you set realistic expectations for the home selling journey so you can achieve the optimal results.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you establish realistic expectations for the home selling journey.

1. Know Your Home

Your home's condition may have deteriorated over time. Therefore, the value of your house today is unlikely to match what you initially paid for your home.

To understand the current valuation of your house, you may want to perform a home appraisal. This will enable you to receive a property valuation from an expert home appraiser. Then, you can use this valuation to establish a competitive price for your residence.

2. Conduct a Home Inspection

Although you may have performed a wide range of home upgrades over the years, underlying house problems may persist. Thankfully, a home inspection makes it easy to learn about myriad home problems before you add your house to the real estate market.

During a home inspection, a property expert will examine your residence both inside and out. Following the inspection, you'll receive an inspection report with detailed findings about the condition of your house.

Examine the results on a home inspection report closely – you'll be glad you did. If you analyze the inspection results, you may be able to discover innovative ways to enhance your residence. And if you perform property improvements, you may be able to boost your house's value and increase the likelihood of a fast, profitable home sale.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you're unsure about how to kick off the home selling journey, there is no need to stress. In fact, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide who are happy to provide comprehensive insights into all aspects of selling a house.

A real estate agent can teach you about the ins and outs of the housing market. By doing so, a real estate agent will help you understand how to price your home and promote it to the right groups of buyers.

Moreover, a real estate agent will deliver in-depth support at each stage of the home selling journey. He or she will set up home showings and open house events, negotiate with a buyer's agent on your behalf and help you review offers on your house. And if you ever have concerns or questions about selling your home, a real estate agent is available to respond to them right away.

Working with a real estate agent can help you transform an ordinary home selling experience into an exceptional one. Perhaps most important, a real estate agent can offer honest, unbiased recommendations to ensure you can maintain realistic expectations throughout the home selling journey. And as such, a real estate agent can help you quickly and effortlessly accomplish your desired home selling results.




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