Donna Coffin - ERA Key Realty Services - Distinctive Group



Posted by Donna Coffin on 9/13/2019

Closing costs are usually an unavoidable part of buying a home. While there are ways to reduce some closing costs and fees, they are an expense you will likely have to consider when it comes time to save for a home.

On average, buyers can expect to pay between 2 and 5 percent of the purchase price in closing costs and fees.

In this article, weíre going to break down those costs and talk about some ways to plan for, or limit, the fees associated with closing on a home.

A breakdown of closing costs

Most closing costs in a real estate transaction are paid for by the buyer. When getting approved for a mortgage, your lender is required to provide you with an estimate of the closing costs. This is called a ďClosing Disclosure statementĒ which overviews the details of your loan.

Different lenders will charge varying amounts in fees. Some are even willing to waive certain fees. But, weíll discuss that later.

For now, letís focus on the closing costs buyers typically have to pay:

  • Attorney fees - a flat-fee or hourly rate depending on the attorney

  • Origination fees - an upfront fee charged by the lender for processing your mortgage application

  • Prepaid interest or discount points - a payment for the interest that will accrue on your mortgage from the time you close until your first mortgage payment is due

  • Home inspection fee - the fee that a professional home inspector charges to inspect a home

  • Escrow deposits - Usually split with the seller, this is the fee charged by an escrow agent

  • Recording fees - fees for legally recording the new deed and mortgage

  • Underwriting fees - fees paid to the lender for researching your mortgage case and determining whether or not to approve your application

These are just some of the many fees that can be due upon closing on a home. Depending on where you live, which lender you choose, and the type of mortgage you secure, your closing costs will vary, so itís a good idea to shop around for a lender and mortgage type with reasonable closing costs.

Reducing closing costs

Some lenders offer no-cost, or low-cost mortgages. However, these savings often come with a higher interest rate which, over the lifespan of your loan, can cost you more in the long run.

You should also be aware of the different loan types that you may be eligible for. FHA loans, USDA loans, and VA loans are all designed for buyers hoping to make lower down payments on their home.

Each loan type provides different amounts due at closing. Fortunately, your mortgage lender will be able to give you an estimate of costs for each loan type.

Want to get an estimate of the closing costs youíll have to pay when you buy a home? You can use this online calculator to see an average.




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Posted by Donna Coffin on 9/9/2019

Don't miss out on this opportunity to own this two family in sought after Belmont neighborhood. This home needs work and is being sold in "as is" condition. The first floor has a new boiler, new oil tank and consists of 2 bedrooms, living room, dining room and kitchen with pantry. Hardwood floors. The second floor has a similar layout but also has an office or den and enclosed porch. Some newer windows. All utilities are separate with the exception of water. Perfect for the contractor or investor....this could be an income producing property. First floor is occupied. Has been occupied by family throughout the years. Never rented.

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts




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Posted by Donna Coffin on 9/6/2019

If youíre in the market to buy a home soon, you probably have a long list of things to look for. You also are most likely focused on savings and shopping around for the best mortgage rates. You may know everything that you should do when youíre buying a home, but has anyone told you what you shouldnít do? Read on to discover some of the worst practices of people searching for a home. 


Lack Of Research


You need to search for a home before you even set out to look at properties in person. While youíll want to work with a realtor, you should know what you want before you start working with him. Your agent will be able to set up alerts for you that enable you to see properties put on the market as soon as they become available. This search will be tailored to your wants such as a large yard, master bathroom, or separate dining area. If you understand what your needs will cost you in relation to your budget ahead of time, working with a real estate agent will be a more fruitful experience.


Not Letting Your Real Estate Agent Do Their Job


Real estate agents are experts in the housing market. Your agent will research prices and help you to understand what a reasonable offer on a property will be. Your agent has the tools to get you the information you need to make an informed offer on a property. Sellers get insulted if an offer is well below the asking price. Trust that your agent knows what heís talking about. 


Youíll have a close relationship with your agent throughout the house hunting process. Youíll need to make arrangements with your agent to go to open houses and home showings. Your agent will accommodate you to the best of his ability. All you need to do is communicate with them. 


Not Looking Beyond The Online Search


If you are out and about and see a property for sale that interests you, donít assume that itís out of your reach. Sometimes the online searches miss things. A property may include (or not include) something that youíre looking for. You can take down the address where you saw the ďfor saleĒ sign and speak with your real estate agent about it.


Skimming Over Properties


When you have the opportunity to look at a property, really take the time to view it. You can miss a lot of details by quickly going over a property due to your first impression. Thereís a lot of things that you may not see if you donít look at the details of a home as you walk through it.       





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Posted by Donna Coffin on 8/30/2019

Itís a good financial practice to check your credit report and score periodically. You want to be sure that no one has stolen your identity and that all the information on the report is correct. It may sound simple to check your credit, but there are so many sources that you can get it from and so many options that it can be a dizzying process. Read on to learn more about the basics of checking your credit and credit score. 


Your Credit Score Comes From Different Sources


You can check your credit score from one source and find that the score varies from place to place. Why? There are a few different scoring models that are used to calculate scores. There could be as much as a 50 point difference between sites. There are also three credit reporting agencies. Each one uses a different method to calculate credit scores. Each method provides lenders with different information to allow them a picture of what type of borrower you will be. 


Checking Your Score


Many different apps allow you to check your credit score. These enable users not only to see their scores but to see what can be done to improve the userís credit report and score. You canít see your credit report on these apps, but you can always head to annualcreditreport.com to check the full scope of your report. This is the only official site to pull your credit report fro the credit bureaus.  Finding the right app to check your credit score is simple, it only takes a few minutes to sign up. 


How Are Credit Scores Calculated?


Your credit score is calculated using a few different factors. Each credit bureau uses the formula a bit differently. Scores range from 300- 850. Itís pretty rare to see perfect credit at 850. Anything over 700 is considered ďgoodĒ or excellentĒ credit. You need at least a score of 600 to obtain loans in most cases. The higher your score, the better the interest rate will be.     



When Is The Best Time To Check The Score?


Before you apply for any large loan, itís a good idea to check your credit rating. Taking a peek will allow you to see where you stand. You donít want  to apply for a loan and end up being surprised by problems with your credit. Many apps allow you to check your score on a monthly basis. Itís easy to stay on top of your credit score and especially important to know where you stand when you buy a home.   




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Posted by Donna Coffin on 8/23/2019

Personal development goals require practical efforts to achieve. While it may seem as if these activities are insignificant, they quickly add up to just what you need to grow. Take the time to practice these few tips that are sure to strengthen your stand on the personal growth front.

Start with a New Hobby 

An excellent way to up your game in the personal development front is to learn something new at every chance you get. Go out of your comfort zone and find up a new hobby. Try something demanding that will compel you to go beyond your comfort zone. Any hobby that stretches you further to your breaking point will do just fine. Keep learning!

Endeavor to Read Every Day

Learning is the key to personal growth. And not just education but continuous learning. As you eat daily to grow, you should read daily to develop too. The more books you read, the denser your knowledge bank. Get good books aimed at growth and be sure to read every day.

Face Your Fears

Fear is like a roadblock that keeps you from crossing to the other side. It represents things you have never tried or things you gave up trying to accomplish. Either way, it prevents you from climbing to the next level of your growth. It is time to face your fears. Pick up those things you thought you could never do. Try again at the things that proved extremely difficult the last time. Make a list of your fears and check the boxes as you overcome them.

Explore with a New Language

Personal growth requires active efforts to learn something new. Remember to keep searching for something new to learn. You could try learning a new language. It is both entertaining and educative. Make sure you take every chance as they come. Donít stop learning. Donít stop growing.

Get a Workout Plan

Getting in shape boosts your confidence, which has a significant pull on your personal growth. It doesn't have to be a daily routine. A weekly routine will do just fine as long as you get things going. Improving your health removes the mental block that stops you from growing. Give it a try! 

Self-growth is a decision you have to make at some point in life. It has never been an easy task for anyone. Yet, it is a task that is worth taking on. You should consider these tips as you set out on your journey toward self-growth. You will be happy you did.




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