Chris Werme and Mike Boland - ERA Key Realty Services - Westborough



Posted by Chris Werme and Mike Boland on 6/2/2020

It can be difficult to find the extra savings to put towards your first home as a renter. With rent and utility prices rising, most peopleís paychecks are leaving them with less and less savings at the end of the month.

Buying your first home, however, can be a great long-term financial decision. It will help you build equity, and, eventually, youíll be able to use that equity toward another home or toward retiring.

In todayís post, weíll talk about some of the ways to save for a down payment while renting an apartment.

How much to save

In order to make the most of your first home purchase, youíll want to save up as much of a down payment as possible. This will help you receive the lowest interest rate and reduce the amount youíll pay toward interest.

If you can manage to save 20% of the loan, youíll also be able to waive private mortgage insurance (PMI), that would otherwise set you back around $100 per month or more.

Smart ways to save while renting

If youíre ready to get serious about saving for your first down payment, letís talk about the best way to approach your savings plan.

Pay off small debts

If youíve had that lingering credit card debt that youíve never quite paid off, now is the time. Take a look at your current debts. Pay off the smaller balances first and focus on debt with the highest interest rate.

This will enable you to start making larger deposits toward your down payment savings sooner and can help you avoid needlessly paying interest on small loans and credit card debt.

Open a dedicated account or CD

The best way to make sure you contribute to your down payment savings plan is to open a savings account or take out a CD (certificate of deposit).

A savings account with a high-interest return is a good option for people who are worried that they may need to access their funds before theyíre ready to buy a home.

If youíre comfortable with not being able to access your funds until a set date, then a CD could help you save more money.

Since CDs are a one-time payment, many people choose to combine both CDs and high-interest savings accounts to achieve their savings goals.

Regardless of which option you choose, be sure to shop around for the highest interest rate. Online banks tend to have higher rates than traditional banks and are also easy to sign up for.

Direct deposit a portion of your pay

Opening a bank account or CD wonít do you any good if you donít commit to contributing to it. If you are paid via direct deposit, visit your HR office and ask them to reassign a portion of your weekly pay to your new account.

By following these tips, youíll be able to better prepare for your down payment. Donít  wait! The sooner you start saving, the sooner youíll be able to purchase your first home.





Posted by Chris Werme and Mike Boland on 5/28/2020


27 Edson Ave, Rutland, MA 01543

Single-Family

$299,900
Price

6
Rooms
3
Beds
1/1
Full/Half Baths
Pride of ownership certainly shows in this meticulously maintained 3 bedroom cape near the center of town. Gorgeous custom kitchen with recent cabinets, quartz countertops, hardwood flooring, SS appliances and farmhouse sink. The full bath was remodeled in 2019 with tile flooring and tub surround. 1st Floor master with 1/2 bath. Warm & inviting family room with fireplace. 2nd floor offers 2 nice size bedrooms. Interior freshly painted. Basement is partially finished and is heated. Beautifully landscaped level lot with 2 storage sheds, fire pit, stockade fence & wood deck. Come take a look. This home is loaded with upgrades and extras, inside and out. Triple pane windows with custom blinds, recent bulkhead stairs, oil tank, electric panel, roof, heating system... (See attached list of updates)
Open House
No scheduled Open Houses






Categories: New Homes  


Posted by Chris Werme and Mike Boland on 5/26/2020

Houseplants are a great way to make your home feel more comfortable, colorful, and--in the winter--to bring a bit of living nature back into your life until spring arrives.

There are houseplants that will thrive in just about any location of your home. Plus, you can find houseplants that are low-maintenance or ones that are a bit more rewarding as you care for them and watch them grow.

In todayís post, Iím going to list the best houseplants for each room of your home. Iíll cover ďimpossible to killĒ low-maintenance plants and some that require a bit more work. Iíll also cover large and small plants, as the size will often depend on the available space in the rooms of your home.

Read on for the list of the best houseplants for each room of your home.

Bedroom

The bedroom is a place for rest and relaxation. You donít want anything too high maintenance or too big and bright. Lavender gives off a calming scent that is perfect for your cozy sleeping space.

Lavender is relatively low-maintenance, just be sure to water sparsely in the winter time, and only when the soil has dried out completely to avoid root rot.

Lavender works in other rooms as well, such as on a kitchen windowsill where it can be used for cooking.

Bathroom

The bathroom tends to be a humid place without much spare room. A single aloe vera plant near a light source can be a great accent.

Extremely low maintenance and useful after a day out in the sun, the bathroom is a perfect home for aloe vera. Simply snap off a leaf and use the gel inside for your burn.

Office

There are a few choice places for plants in the home office. A large snake plant in the corner of the room is a great way to add some life and color. Similarly, a money tree is easy to care for and fun to watch grow as you braid its stem (and whatís a more fitting place for a money tree than the place where you make your money!?).

For the desk, a small cactus or succulent will do the trick, as you donít want it to take up too much room.

Living room

For the living room, we can finally start talking about some of the bigger houseplants on the list. A Norfolk Island Pine looks like a small pine tree (though it technically isnít one) and it can grow several feet high indoors. This is a great choice for homeowners in colder climates who donít want to fill their house with unfitting tropical looking plants.

Palm and Yucca, on the other hand, are perfect for homes in warmer climates. They can grow several feet high and fill up empty spaces in a large living room with ease. Thereís a reason these are used in so many hotel and office building lobbies--theyíre easy to care for and can grow large enough to fill the void in a big building.

Windowless rooms

Most plants will need at least indirect sunlight to stay healthy through the year. But, if you have a windowless room in your home that you want to brighten up with a houseplant you have options.

Dracaena, snake plants, and creeping fig all grow well in little to no light and are easy to take care of.  




Tags: decorating   houseplants  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Chris Werme and Mike Boland on 5/19/2020

Image by Andy Dean Photography from Shutterstock

In past housing markets, it was common for investors to flip houses. Unfortunately, when the housing bubble burst, many buyers couldn't update and sell the homes they'd bought. After a bit of a downturn, the trend has picked back up. However, savvy investors know that the housing market has much tighter margins than it has in the past. If youíre thinking about getting into the house-flipping game, consider the following tips as you get started.

Here are some tips to protect your potential investment:

  • Not every housing market is profitable: Many homes can be purchased, renovated, and potentially sold in every part of the country. But some locations do not have the sort of economic growth that makes property flipping viable. Know your market and local property values. Keep in touch with whatís happening in the community and be prepared with a plan B in case the home doesnít sell.

  • Do your homework. There are fewer deeply discounted homes available to investors. Plan to pay the full price in cash but arrange a contingency to have the home inspected. If the inspection reveals issues, especially with primary systems such as electrical and plumbing, walk away. Or, offer the seller a lower price to account for needed repairs, and potentially get a better deal. Anything revealed during the inspection that the seller did not fix your responsibility to repair or replace before you can flip the property.

  • Respect your margins. Unlike in reality shows the profit made from buying and selling a home is not as large as it appears. When you find undervalued homes, you need a cushion built-in for the rehab. If the difference between what you paid and the new selling price is insignificant, itís not a sound investment. Avoid purchasing property that requires thousands of dollars of repairs or upgrades. You'll end up with a lovely home, but little to no income to show from it.

  • Constantly monitor the inventory. Fewer homes on the market mean finding one with flip potential is more difficult. 

Seek help from a professional

Maintain a close relationship with your real estate professional so that when potential homes come on the market, youíre the first to hear. Your real estate professionals know the local market. They watch the trends and know who is buying, who is selling, and who is holding. They also know which repairs and upgrades are essential to make a quick sale. Let them guide you.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Chris Werme and Mike Boland on 5/12/2020

Home prices may vary greatly throughout the country. But, buying a home is most likely the largest purchase you will make in your life.

Deciding just how much to spend on your home isnít just a matter of numbers--it also depends on your lifestyle and long-term goals.

In todayís post, Iím going to give you a few ways you can help determine how much is a safe amount to spend on your home so that youíll feel confident moving into the home buying process that youíre making the best decision for you and your family.

Mortgage as a percent of your income

Like most large purchases, buying a home typically isnít dependent on the amount you have in the bank. Rather, it depends on several factors including your income, credit score, and the type of lifestyle you want to maintain.

One of the simplest ways to determine how much house you can afford is to figure out what percent of your monthly income your mortgage and insurance will be.

For most homeowners, a mortgage payment that is 25% of their income or less is ideal. So, if you earn $6,000 per month, you donít want your monthly mortgage payment to exceed $1,500.

This ď25% ruleĒ does have one flaw, however, and that does not--and cannot--account for each individualís financial circumstances.

Letís say, for example, that you earn $6,000 per month, but that you have a large monthly car payment and are trying to aggressively pay off your student loans. You might find that paying another $1,500 toward a mortgage on top of your current bills is bringing you over budget, especially when combined with your other monthly expenses and retirement contributions.

Plan for homeowner expenses

Another caveat to determining how much to spend on a home is that the home itself will require a budget for maintenance. When renting an apartment, repairs are mostly the responsibility of the landlord or property manager.

Homeownership, on the other hand, requires you to make the repairs yourself or hire a professional. And, if you neglect these repairs, you might find that they cost you even more in the long run or drive down the value of your home.

Create a comprehensive budget

Throughout a given personís life, theyíll experience raises, promotions, layoffs, medical expenses, childcare costs, and any other number of financial changes. While it isnít possible to foresee all of the financial fluctuations youíll experience in life, it is always helpful to have a comprehensive budget.

What do I mean by ďcomprehensive budgetĒ? The goal of a good budget is to know where each dollar of your income is currently going and to have a plan for each cent that you make. This is a proactive approach to budgeting that will give you an exact number for the amount you can afford when it comes to a mortgage payment.

Within your budget, itís vital to account for things like an emergency fund, retirement, savings for vacations, and so on.

If you take this due diligence, not only will you have a better sense of where your money goes, but youíll also be confident in knowing exactly how much you can spend on a home.




Tags: Buying a home   budgeting  
Categories: Uncategorized  




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