Maureen Harmonay - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Posted by Maureen Harmonay on 2/20/2018

When youíre shopping for a home, one of the most important things is that you feel comfortable in the home. Sure, you can look at the listing and visit the property, but youíll never know what itís like to sleep in a home until you move in. While there arenít many homeowners that offer overnights in order for you to feel out their property listing, there are ways that you can test a home out subtly.

Check Out The Neighborhood

You can learn a lot about a neighborhood just by observing the area. See how many people are out walking around. What is the age group of the people you see? This can give you a great idea of the neighborhood that your potential home is in. You could do this investigating several times at different hours of the day to get a full picture of the area.

Getting out and taking a stroll around the neighborhood is also a great idea to see what potentially living in your new home will be like. Check out public transportation options and local establishments like restaurants and coffee shops. Another great place to check out is local parks and recreation centers. This will allow you to see both the quality and the quantity of the options available to you. 

Test The Plumbing

If you have a chance as youíre walking through a home, touring it, be sure to check out the plumbing. Turn on the faucets. See how the water pressure from the shower is. It seems like kind of a strange thing to think of testing, but itís important. You donít want to move into a house only to find out the water pressure is unlivable and the hot water isnít so hot! 

Check Out How The Windows Work

A home with a breeze is always nice. See if any windows get stuck or are leaking out cold air when shut. This is a subtle way to do your own home inspection of an important aspect of your potential future home. Paying attention to the windows can also help you to hear the noise factor that you might face in the home. Can you hear a lot of traffic? Is the neighborhood quiet? Discovering these things will be very important in your decision to purchase a home.   

How Is The Storage Space?

Look around the homes that youíre considering and see how much storage space youíll have. Is there a basement or an attic or both? How easy are these spaces to access? If a home lacks adequate closet space for storing things like towels, cleaners, clothing, etc, you may find yourself scrambling for ways to keep all of your things in the home once you move in. Make sure the storage space you see is enough for you and your familyís lifestyle.    


Posted by Maureen Harmonay on 2/6/2018

If you want to acquire the best house at the lowest price, it pays to conduct an in-depth home search. In fact, there are many reasons why you should perform a comprehensive house search, and these include:

1. You can define your dream house.

For those who enter the housing market without a clear-cut definition of a "dream home," there is no need to worry. If you perform an extensive house search, you'll be better equipped than ever before to differentiate home must-haves from wants.

Ultimately, the definition of a dream home varies from buyer to buyer. As you map out your homebuying journey, it helps to put together a list of house must-haves and wants so you can tailor your home search accordingly.

Once you determine what you want to find in your dream house, you can assess the housing market and search for your ideal home. Then, when you locate your ideal residence, you should have no trouble submitting a competitive offer and moving one step closer to buying your dream house.

2. You can avoid the dangers associated with paying too much for a home.

Oftentimes, it is easy to attend a home showing and submit an offer on a home. But if you do so without performing housing market research, you risk overspending to purchase your ideal residence.

When it comes to determining the best price for a house, it helps to look closely at real estate market data. This information can help you differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market, analyze the prices of houses in your city and town and much more. Perhaps most important, reviewing housing market data may enable you to avoid the temptation to spend too much to acquire your dream home.

3. You can reduce the risk of purchasing a home that fails to meet your expectations.

An in-depth home search reduces the risk that you'll be forced to "settle" for a home that fails to meet your expectations. Instead, you can allocate plenty of time and resources to search far and wide for your ideal residence. And if you find your dream home, you can rest assured that you'll be able to purchase this residence and enjoy it for years to come.

Clearly, there is a lot to think about if you intend to buy a house in the foreseeable future. But if you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can receive expert support at each stage of the homebuying journey.

A real estate agent will learn about you and your homebuying goals. Next, this housing market professional will keep you informed about available houses in your preferred cities and towns and set up home showings. A real estate agent will even help you submit offers on houses and ensure you can get the best price on any residence, at any time.

Take the guesswork out of buying a house Ė consult with a real estate agent today, and you can get the help you need to make your homeownership dream come true.

Posted by Maureen Harmonay on 12/26/2017

When youíre gearing up to make the largest purchase of your entire life, you have a lot to think about. Thereís also a lot of emotion involved in the entire process. You donít want those emotions to get in the way, causing you unnecessary regret in your purchase. A home is not like a sweater that you can head to the store and return. What do current homeowners wish that they did differently in their home purchase? Below, youíll find some of the most common regrets of homeowners. If you know what to look out for, you can avoid the same kind of buyerís remorse in your own home purchase. 

Not Doing Research First

In hot markets, it can be hard to find the time to do the research and secure the home you want. Before you even begin searching one thing you should have a handle on is location. You probably have a general idea of where youíd like to live. You can research these neighborhoods ahead of time in order to understand the makeup of the area. You should take a look at everything form schools to safety to the amenities close to the location of choice. Do this for a few different areas so that youíre completely prepared before you even head out on the house hunt. Even if you end up in an area you never pictured, if you have a general idea of the spots youíre looking at, it will be much easier to tell what a neighborhood will be like to live in ahead of time. The best advice is not to pin yourself down to searching in one area. 

Not Knowing Anything About The House

If you failed to pay attention during the home inspection, didnít ask a lot of questions, or were just blind to some of the issues that were apparent in the home you bought, you could be in for quite a surprise. Understanding the problems a home has is one thing but knowing how much those repairs are going to cost is another. If you are trying to beat the competition by skipping the home inspection or waiving contingencies, you may end up being pretty unhappy in your new home with an empty wallet. Some repairs cost more than you know and itís important to be aware of what needs to be done in the home before you sign on the dotted line.   

Missing Out On A Big Downpayment

Sometimes that little extra bit of savings can really help. Even though many first time homeowners are simply eager to get into a home, waiting a bit and saving more for a downpayment can significantly lower the longterm costs of homeownership. This includes things like fees, interest rates, and PMI (private mortgage insurance). Also, having a larger downpayment can help you to get a house that you really want when the market is highly competitive. Youíll appear more reliable to sellers. Remember that the higher your downpayment, the lower your monthly payment will be.     


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Posted by Maureen Harmonay on 11/21/2017

An open house can be a life-changing event for a homebuyer. If you plan ahead for an open house, you should have no trouble determining whether a residence matches or exceeds your expectations. And if the answer is "Yes," you can proceed quickly to submit a competitive offer to acquire a house.

What does it take to prep for an open house? Here are three open house preparation tips that every homebuyer needs to know.

1. Understand Your Budget

Before you attend an open house, you should find out how much money is at your disposal. Thus, you may want to meet with banks and credit unions to see if you can get pre-approved for a mortgage. That way, you can kick off your home search with a budget in hand.

Although you know that you have only a certain amount of money to spend on a residence, it may be worthwhile to consider attending open houses for residences with initial asking prices that are above your price range. Because in some instances, a home seller may be willing to accept an offer that falls below his or her initial asking price.

2. Create a List of Questions

A home is one of the biggest purchases that a person can make, and as such, it pays to be diligent. If you craft a list of questions before an open house, you can get immediate responses from the showing agent. Then, you can determine the best course of action.

When it comes to an open house, there is no such thing as a "bad" question. As a homebuyer, it is paramount to get as much information as possible about a residence to determine whether a house is right for you. Therefore, if you create a list of questions in advance, you can improve your chances of getting the most out of an open house.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

If you're uncertain about how to approach an open house, you're not alone. Fortunately, real estate agents are available nationwide who are happy to teach you the ins and outs of the real estate market. By doing so, these housing market professionals will make it easy to take an informed approach to any open house, at any time.

A real estate agent will always keep you up to date about new residences as they become available. Also, if you are interested in homes in a particular city or town, a real estate agent will notify you about open houses in this area. And if you need extra help prepping for an open house, a real estate agent is happy to assist you in any way possible.

Let's not forget about the support that a real estate agent provides throughout the homebuying journey, either. A real estate agent will help you submit an offer on a house, negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf and much more.

Be diligent as you get ready for an open house Ė use the aforementioned tips, and you can fully prepare for an open house.

Posted by Maureen Harmonay on 10/10/2017

Entering the housing market for the first time can be daunting, particularly for those who want to quickly and seamlessly buy a top-notch residence at an affordable price.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline the process of navigating the homebuying process.

Now, let's take a look at three vital tips to help a first-time homebuyer acquire a residence that matches or exceeds his or her expectations.

1. Analyze the Housing Market

The housing market constantly changes, and as a result, differentiating between a buyer's market and a seller's market can be tough. Fortunately, a homebuyer who analyzes the real estate sector closely should have no trouble discovering a variety of outstanding houses at budget-friendly prices.

To assess the housing market, you'll first want to look at the prices of residences that are currently available. This will enable you to better understand the prices of homes in cities and towns where you'd like to live.

Next, you should analyze the prices of recently sold houses in your region. With this housing market data in hand, you can find out whether you're preparing to buy a home in a buyer's market or a seller's one.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

A first-time homebuyer may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage. That way, you can prepare a homebuying budget and narrow your home search accordingly.

To obtain a mortgage, you'll want to meet with several banks and credit unions. This will allow you to learn about all of the mortgage options at your disposal and make an informed mortgage decision.

Furthermore, don't forget to share your mortgage concerns and questions with potential lenders. This will enable you to choose a mortgage that won't force you to overspend to acquire your ideal house.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Let's face it Ė the homebuying journey can be long and arduous, particularly for a homebuyer who is exploring residences for the first time. But with a real estate agent at your side, you can remove the guesswork of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

A real estate agent is an expert of his or her craft, and as such, will do everything possible to help you achieve your homebuying goals.

Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you and learn about your homebuying expectations. This housing market professional also will set up home showings, keep you up to date about new residences that fall within your price range and negotiate with home sellers on your behalf.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will help you alleviate stress throughout the homebuying cycle. A real estate agent understands the challenges of buying a house and will do whatever it takes to help you avoid or overcome potential homebuying hurdles.

Don't miss out on an opportunity to purchase your dream residence Ė use the aforementioned tips for first-time homebuyers, and you can boost your chances of acquiring a terrific house without breaking your budget.

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