Dino Rossi
RE/MAX Preferred Properties | 617-969-0676 | [email protected]


Posted by Dino Rossi on 3/17/2019

?

The idea of homeownership can seem daunting if you doubt you can save up a down payment. After all, even a modest house on a conventional mortgage requires twenty percent plus the closing costs. When saving up seems out of reach, try these creative tips to grow your nest egg:

Delay gratification

A lofty word for a simple idea, delaying gratification means doing without for now so that to attain a specific goal. Nearly every budget has discretionary funds—what’s left over after paying rent, utilities, and other necessary bills. Once you’ve identified what’s left over, you get to decide how to spend it. When homeownership is the goal, some purchases become less necessary, and others can wait until you’ve attained your objective.

First, open a savings account specifically for your down payment. Consider setting it up in a credit union or a different bank from your regular financial institution so that the extra effort it takes to move it into your regular account mitigates the temptation to use it to pay bills.

Then, consider ditching these items for less expensive alternatives (or altogether) and putting the savings directly into your new account. Treat the savings as an expense, the same way you did the bill payment, or else the extra funds could just slip away:

  • Gym membership: finding a less expensive gym or utilizing a local park for workouts could save you an extra $35-50 per month.
  • Dump satellite or cable. Try to opt for less expensive online streaming alternatives or plan regular evenings with friends to share viewing your favorite shows. Depending on the plan you have, savings can really add up and more time socializing with friends is a bonus.
  • Instead of expensive meals out, plan a movie or game night at home. Invite friends and share potluck or have everyone bring ingredients to cook together.
  • Local libraries have current books, DVDs, audiobooks, and magazines so make a habit of stopping there to check them out instead of paying for your own. Many electronic media memberships have options for sharing with a friend or family member and qualifying for free books and audios.
  • Make saving a game. See who saves the most each week—you or your spouse/partner—and allow that person one small indulgence—a latte, for example, or an evening free of the children for a spa bath.

Set a price on each of these events and pay that amount into your savings account. If you don’t isolate the savings, you’ll find it harder to keep it up.

Find alternative income

You could take a second job to add to your savings or a freelance gig. Put 100 percent of what you've paid into your savings account. Other options include monetizing a hobby (if it doesn’t cost you more money than you make) to sell online or through local outlets. Perform seasonal jobs such as raking leaves, shoveling snow or washing windows.

Put all loose change in a piggy bank (or coin jar). Determine to spend only paper money, then save all the loose change. When the jar or bank is full, take the coins to the bank or a coin-counting machine. Discipline yourself to put the cash in your savings account though so it doesn't slip through your fingers.

As you near your savings goals, reach out to your real estate professional for tips on finding the perfect home in your budget.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Dino Rossi on 3/10/2019

Your xeriscape plan now includes ornamental grasses for volume, flowering plants for color through the seasons and succulents for intense greenery, texture and ground-coverage. What about height? And shade! Shade trees are typically not tolerant of drought conditions, but there are a few different options, depending on your climate. So, what trees can you plant in your yard to continue your eco-conscious gardening quest? Here are a few ideas to add shade and stature to your yard. 

Oak — There are many varieties of oak trees. Most are drought tolerant, enjoy full sun and provide great shade for your yard. The oak that's best for you depends mostly on your climate zone and size of the yard. The following are three beautiful oak trees to consider. 

Live Oak — Enjoy a sizeable shade-heavy tree with this oak species native to America. Live Oak grows to about sixty feet, and its branches can expand up to 120 feet in width. Give your oak care while it establishes itself. Help it develop a branch structure with pruning during its first three years and enjoy your tree through mature growth and beyond. Establish this tree in your garden now and share with those who come after you for centuries.

Bur Oak — The Bur Oak can withstand extreme heat and drought and still grows up to eighty feet tall, and eighty feet wide. This oak does have a slow growth rate, increasing in size just up to twelve inches each year. The shade created by Bur Oak is dense, and its bark adds unique texture to your yard.

Red Oak — An incredibly stately tree, the Northern Red Oak is a fantastic choice for your yard. Growing slightly shorter in stature to the Live and Bur Oak, the Red Oak fits a smaller yard size with just a sixty to a seventy-foot height at maturity and a forty-foot width. Red oaks are particularly useful if you want fast growth in your yard. This tree gains up to two feet each year. 

Hackberry — Known by experts as one of the most robust trees capable of surviving in a variety of soils and conditions, the Hackberry should be on your list as a possible addition to your xeriscape. The Hackberry grows at a medium pace, around twelve to twenty-four inches per year and up to sixty feet tall and wide at maturity. Beautiful leaves and red berry-like fruit make this tree great for shade coverage and color. 

Sugar Maple — For an enormous burst of color in the fall add a Sugar Maple to your yard. Leaves change from deep green to red to orange to yellow creating a rainbow of interest. This moderately drought tolerant tree can grow in many climate zones and reaches up to seventy-five feet and fifty feet wide at its mature size. With a medium growth-rate, the Sugar Maple sees twelve to twenty-four inches of grown per year.

Trees are a more expensive part of your landscaping investment so be sure to research and select the best species and variety for your area. With proper selection and careful establishing these additions will provide color and shade to your xeriscape yard. Pair with your ornamental grasses, flowering plants, and succulents for the perfect drought-tolerant yard design.

If a xeriscape home is essential to you, tell your realtor now. They can help you find the yard design you want before you buy the property and save you the cost of an overhaul. Or, they can find a better deal for you on a home lacking in landscaping to keep room in your budget to create your dream xeriscape.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Dino Rossi on 3/3/2019

Entering the housing market may be difficult for a buyer. In many instances, buyers worry about paying too much for a house. On the other hand, the temptation to overspend on a house sometimes can be overwhelming for a homebuyer who is concerned about losing his or her dream residence to a rival buyer.

Fortunately, we're here to help you determine exactly what you can afford to pay for a house, thereby reducing the risk of spending too much on a residence.

Let's take a look at three tips to ensure a buyer can purchase a great house at the right price.

1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

A mortgage generally is a must-have for a homebuyer. If you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you can start searching for houses that fall within your financial limits.

To learn about your mortgage options, you should meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. These financial institutions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists who can teach you about myriad mortgage options.

Also, don't hesitate to ask questions as you search for a mortgage. If you understand all of the mortgage options at your disposal, you can make an informed mortgage decision. Then, you'll be able to start pursuing houses with a budget in hand.

2. Assess the Housing Market

The real estate market frequently fluctuates. As such, you should look closely at housing market data to find out whether you're preparing to search for a house in a buyer's or seller's market.

Oftentimes, it helps to look at the prices of recently sold houses in your area. This will allow you to see how much sellers received for their homes, as well as how long these houses were available before they sold. That way, you can use this housing market data to narrow your price range and establish realistic expectations for your home search.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a housing market expert. Therefore, a real estate agent can make it simple for you to pay the right price for your ideal house.

Typically, a real estate agent will want to meet with you before you start your home search. He or she then can learn about you and your homebuying goals and help you craft a homebuying budget. As a result, a real estate agent will allow you to refine your home search, ensuring you can check out high-quality houses at budget-friendly prices.

Let's not forget about the support that a real estate agent delivers throughout the homebuying journey, either. A real estate agent will set up home showings and keep you up to date about new houses that fall within your price range. And if you'd like to submit an offer on a house, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive proposal as well.

Pay the right price for your dream house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can boost the likelihood of discovering the right home, at the right price.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Dino Rossi on 2/24/2019

One of the most famous books around, with over 18 million copies in print, and that holds the title as the longest running "New York Times" bestseller ever, is What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Now in its fifth edition, this pregnancy bible walks parents through what to expect during the nine months leading up to and including delivery.

Buying a home is nearly as momentous as having a baby, and yet, most potential buyers don’t really know what to expect when closing on their home purchase. In fact, knowing what to expect is even more urgent because closing happens in a much shorter time-frame, in as little as 12 days in some cases.

So, what should you expect?

The one part those home-buying reality shows leave out is the closing. So, to many buyers, it remains a mystery until they're in the middle of it. Even real estate professionals get nervous about closing. It's the moment where anything can go wrong, and everything can go right! It begins with mountains of papers to sign and ends with a handful of keys in exchange for a lot of money. So just what is closing and what should you expect?

“Closing” is short for closing the deal or completing the transaction. During closing several significant things happen: Title of your home transfers from the seller to the buyer; the proceeds of the sale (everything remaining after any seller’s fees are paid) distribute to the seller; and if financing the home, the buyer signs the mortgage note, pays fees, insurances, taxes, and real estate commissions. A lot of things happen at closing, so give yourself plenty of time to understand each aspect of the process if it’s your first time around.

At the time of closing, your agent and your loan officer will inform you about what you need to bring to the meeting. Bring identification, so have your driver’s license or passport on hand. You’ll need a cashier’s check for your down payment and the closing costs that appear on your HUD-1 Settlement Statement. This three-page document outlines exactly what your obligations are at closing and in the future. In addition, small items crop up at closing that might need additional funds (furniture you requested the seller leave behind, extra propane or heating oil you're buying directly from the seller) and last-minute requests. 

You'll be signing lots of papers. These legal documents obligate you for many years to come, so make sure you understand them. Also, make certain your name is spelled correctly on every page and every addendum. If you're purchasing with a partner or spouse, make sure the legal designation is as you want it. Changing it later may be difficult.

Recognize that while you may have a close estimate of closing costs, you will not know the exact amount until the day of closing, so round up a bit and have extra funds on hand. Sometimes you can swing a deal for the seller to pay all closing costs, but you’ll still be liable for pro-rated taxes, association dues, insurance, and other buyer obligations.

Don't be surprised by fees. Ask your agent to go over all the charges with you so that you know which ones you pay for and which ones the seller pays for.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Dino Rossi on 2/17/2019

Although your home gym has helped you stay in shape for many years, packing your dumbbells, an elliptical and other exercise equipment prior to moving day may prove to be exhausting. Fortunately, we're here to help you take the guesswork out of packing your exercise equipment.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you prepare your exercise equipment for moving day.

1. Handle Your Weights with Care

Weights come in many shapes and sizes, and you should allocate plenty of time and resources to ensure your weights won't move while in transit.

For small weight plates and dumbbells, you can wrap these weights in packing paper and place them in a small box. However, you should try to avoid putting too many weights in a single box.

If you have heavy weights and barbells, you should wrap these weights in packing paper and place them directly on the floor of your moving day vehicle. Secure the weights with rope or straps, and you can keep the weights in place.

2. Take Photographs of Your Exercise Equipment

Let's face it – disassembling an elliptical, treadmill or other exercise equipment can be challenging. Perhaps even worse, putting your exercise equipment back together at your new home may be virtually impossible, particularly for those who struggle to stay organized.

Before you disassemble any exercise equipment, take a photograph of the equipment itself. Capture images of your exercise equipment from all angles, and you'll be better equipped than ever before to properly put this equipment back together once you reach your new address.

Also, keep all screws, bolts and other small exercise equipment parts in a plastic bag. You can attach this bag to the equipment itself to avoid the danger of losing these parts during your move.

Don't forget to keep track of the steps that you follow to disassemble exercise equipment too. That way, you'll know exactly what you'll need to do to quickly reassemble your exercise equipment.

3. Get Help from Family Members and Friends

Exercise equipment can be large, heavy and difficult to move on your own. Thus, you should not hesitate to reach out to family members and friends to help you safely pack and move your exercise equipment from Point A to Point B.

Furthermore, professional moving companies are available to help you transport exercise equipment to your new house. A moving company employs friendly, professionally trained staff members who are happy to help you simplify the process of moving your exercise equipment to any location, at any time.

If you need extra assistance prior to moving day, you may want to contact a real estate agent as well. In addition to helping you buy or sell a residence, a real estate agent can offer expert moving tips, put you in touch with top-rated moving companies in your area and much more.

Get your exercise equipment ready for your upcoming move – use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble packing and moving your exercise equipment to your new house.