Bill Aibel | Cambridge Real Estate, Somerville Real Estate, Boston Real Estate, Newton Real Estate


Want to buy a house for the first time? Create a budget, and you can move one step closer to transforming your homebuying dream into a reality.

Now, let's take a look at three budgeting tips that every first-time homebuyer needs to know.

1. Don't Wait to Start Saving for a Down Payment

In most instances, a down payment on a home ranges from 5 percent to 20 percent. With a large down payment, you may be able to reduce your monthly mortgage expenses.

A lender may be more willing to provide you with a favorable mortgage if you can afford an above-average down payment. This means if you have plenty of money for a down payment, you could save money over the life of your mortgage.

2. Take a Look at Your Outstanding Debt

Student loan charges, credit card bills and other outstanding debt may make it tough for you to get the financing that you need to buy a house. Fortunately, if you pay down your outstanding debt as much as possible, you can boost your chances of buying your dream house.

Evaluate your current spending and make cuts if possible. For example, if you dine out several times a week, it may be more cost-effective to buy groceries and cook your own meals. Then, you'll have extra money that you can use to pay off outstanding debt and save for a house.

3. Understand Your Credit Score

Do you know your credit score? If not, you may be missing out on opportunities to eliminate outstanding debt and increase your home savings.

You are eligible for a free annual copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Take advantage of this perk, and you can receive insights into your credit score.

If you obtain your free credit reports and find outstanding debt, you should try to pay off this debt sooner rather than later. Because the longer that you wait to pay off outstanding debt, the longer it may take you to acquire your ideal residence.

Furthermore, if you discover errors on a credit report, contact the reporting bureau immediately. This will enable you to fix any report errors before you get a mortgage.

If you need additional assistance as you map out a homebuying budget, it often pays to collaborate with a bank or credit union. In addition to providing you with multiple mortgage options, a lender will offer expert recommendations to help you budget for your first home purchase.

Lastly, don't hesitate to reach out to a real estate agent as well. This housing market professional is happy to help you get in touch with the best lenders in your area. And when you're ready to kick off your inaugural homebuying journey, a real estate agent can provide you with the support you need, precisely when you need it.

Use the aforementioned tips, and you can establish an effective homebuying budget.


If you intend to purchase a house soon, it helps to prepare for the home buying journey. In fact, if you identify potential issues before you start your quest to find your dream home, you could avoid them during your property search.

Now, let's take a look at three common issues that plague homebuyers, along with tips to address these problems.

1. Lack of Home Financing

In some instances, a homebuyer will check out residences and find one that matches their expectations. Next, this buyer will submit an offer to purchase a home that ultimately gets accepted. At this point, however, the buyer may discover that they lack the necessary financing to acquire this home.

Entering the housing market with financing in hand is ideal. If a buyer gets pre-approved for a mortgage, they will know precisely how much money is available for a home purchase. As a result, this buyer can map out their home search accordingly.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, it helps to meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can teach a homebuyer about his or her mortgage options. Plus, they can help you make an informed mortgage selection.

2. Tight Home-buying Timeline

If you have only a limited amount of time to move from your current address, you may rush to purchase a house. In this scenario, you risk making a rash home purchase – something that may prove to be problematic both now and in the future.

For buyers who face a tight home-buying timeline, there is no need to stress. If you make a list of home-buying tasks you need to accomplish, you can take a step-by-step approach to the property buying journey.

3. Unrealistic Home-buying Expectations

You may expect to buy your dream residence without delay. Yet the real estate market offers no guarantees. And in certain instances, it may take many weeks or months before a buyer finds a house that they want to purchase.

To establish realistic home-buying expectations, it usually is a good idea to work with a property buying expert. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and they can provide home-buying insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.

A real estate agent is committed to a homebuyer's success. As such, he or she will work with a homebuyer and help them prepare for the housing market. A real estate agent will also set up home showings and provide feedback about available residences in a buyer's preferred cities and towns. And if a buyer finds a house that they want to purchase, a real estate agent will help this individual put together a competitive home-buying proposal, too.

When it comes to purchasing a home, you should plan for the best - and worst-case scenarios. If you consider the aforementioned home-buying issues before you begin your house search, you can boost the likelihood of enjoying a successful property buying experience.


This Condo in Cambridge, MA recently sold for $1,050,000. This Courtyard style home was sold by Bill Aibel - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.


7 Linnaean St, Cambridge, MA 02138

Condo

$995,000
Price
$1,050,000
Sale Price

6
Rooms
3
Beds
2
Baths
Rare offering in the much sought after Radcliffe neighborhood convenient to Harvard and Porter. Stylish and elegant best describes this 3 bedroom, 2 bath top floor condo in this classic 13 unit "Harlow" building. Windows are large and abundant & flood this home with natural light from 3 sides of the building. The kitchen and baths were professionally designed and beautifully renovated with timeless and high quality fixtures and materials. Inset, painted cabinetry, high end appliances (Sub Zero/Bosch/Wolf) and honed Carrera countertops are featured in the kitchen. Magnificent bathrooms include imported fixtures, a claw foot tub/shower in one bath and a large walk-in shower in the master bath. Richly detailed moldings, high ceilings, maple flooring, working fireplace, skylights and many closets are highlighted by the spaciousness and flexible floor plan. Re-coated roof, gas fired central heat, common laundry, private storage and a building owned rental apt. complete this fine package.

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This Condo in Watertown, MA recently sold for $525,000. This Townhouse style home was sold by Bill Aibel - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.


18 School Ln, Watertown, MA 02472

Condo

$525,000
Price
$525,000
Sale Price

6
Rooms
4
Beds
2
Baths
Unique, stylish & spacious best describe this 1,525 sq ft, south-facing two-level condo in East Watertown near the Cambridge line. The main floor features an open kitchen/dining area with access to a private porch. The adjoining LR with rich hardwood flooring, detailed woodwork & high ceilings create that perfect blend of period character & modern living. The floor plan is flexible. The main floor has 2 bedrooms. One has direct entry into the full bath and can be used as a master BR. Storage and closets are plentiful. The lower level, with 2 additional bedrooms & another bath, has a separate entry- ideal for home offices & guest space. Large basement storage and laundry shared with only one other unit is funded by the HOA. Replacement windows, a new roof, gas fired heating system combined with a beautifully maintained unit make for a turnkey investment. Steps to public transit, proximity to Cambridge, as well as restaurants, coffee shops, and a grocery store all within walking distance

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Appliances have a certain lifespan of use, and then, unfortunately, they tend to break down one way or another. Depending on the age of the appliance and the amount of the repair cost, you should make an informed decision as to what will be a good for your finances and your home.


So, when the fridge stops producing cold or the dryer stops drying things, you may go into panic mode and try to either buy a new appliance or call a repair person. Before you make a snap judgment, you should take a step back. It’s important to ask the question: 


Is it worth getting this repaired?


If you are able to get an estimate of how much the repairs will cost, this will give you a good place to start. This is the fastest way for you to get the answers that you need. If the life of the appliance is going to only be a few years, you may be better off investing your money in a new appliance. The cost of a repair can run somewhere around 20-30 percent of the cost of replacing the appliance completely.


Understand The Life Expectancy Of Each Appliance


Some appliances are meant to last for a decade, others will last for a shorter period of time. As a general rule of thumb, if your appliance is over 7 years old and breaks down, you should probably replace it rather than repair it. It will be a better investment in the long run. Some typical lifespans for appliances are:


  • Dishwasher 9 years
  • Freezer 13 years
  • Range 15 years
  • Dryer 13 years
  • Washing Machine 10 years


Before you replace your broken appliance, there are a few things you should understand. First, sometimes, it really isn’t broken. A plug could be loose or a circuit could have tripped. You would hate to spend the money on a new appliance rather than deal with a simple problem. Troubleshoot the problem yourself by taking a peek at the owner’s manual first.              


Pricing Appliances 


Once you have repair estimates, you should find out how much it will be to replace your appliance completely with a similar model. Make sure that you factor in things like the removal of the old appliance, the taxes, and the installation. By running the numbers, you’ll know if you can afford a new appliance or not compared to the repair costs. 


New Features


If you have been dreaming of a refrigerator with an ice maker, it may be a good decision for you to spring for a new model. If you love the features you have, you’ll want to either price similar units or do the repairs. Really, your budget and needs very much dictate your decision for new appliances. Consider the options and make the repair or replacement call based on your needs.