John Buccelli - Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty Somerville



Posted by John Buccelli on 7/8/2018

If youíre in the market to buy a home, you have a lot of options. Do you want to buy a fixer-upper? Should you get a home close to the city or nestled in the suburbs? How much can you spend on a home to get the amount of space youíll need for you and your family. There are so many variables that exist in the decision to buy a house.


One thing that many buyers want but arenít sure of is the concept of a ďmove-in-readyĒ home. Sometimes, move-in-ready means that a home is brand spanking new. There should be no work in the house that needs to be done because everything is installed new during construction. As soon as construction is completed, you should be able to move right into the home. 


Other homes that are deemed ready to move right in are those that are relatively new and have very little work to do. If a home has a roof thatís caving in, itís not move-in-ready. If a home needs paint, itís a sure bet that you can move right in. You may just need a bit of elbow grease in some of these situations. Itís your job to let your real estate agent know what you are looking for and what your budget is. Read on to discover the benefits of buying a move-in-ready home. 


You Can Enjoy It ASAP


It takes a lot of work and a lot of cash up front to buy a home. You want to enjoy the fruits of your labor sooner rather than later. If you buy a home that needs little to no work, youíll be able to enjoy it sooner. Thereís no waiting period to move in when you buy a house thatís in excellent condition. You can just start living.


New Upgrades


If you buy a home that you can move right into, you will often get things that are trending at the moment. The best of appliances, technology, and security are just some of the benefits that youíll be able to enjoy when you buy a home that doesnít need a lot of work. 


Good Location


Many times, youíll find move-in-ready homes in great locations. These homes will also give you a great resale value once you head to sell the house in the future.


Motivated Sellers


Whether you buy a brand new home or a home that has been upgraded, these sellers are often very motivated. Builders want to get paid for the work they have done. Sellers of upgraded homes wish to get their homes off of their hands and get a return on their investment.


Finding a move-in-ready home may take some time, but the benefits are definitely worth it.          




Categories: move-in  


Posted by John Buccelli on 7/1/2018

Buying a house is arguably the most expensive purchase most people will make in their lives. With real estate prices steadily rising year after year, many Americans are finding ways to save on housing.

At the same time, rent prices too are increasing, especially around metro areas where many young Americans are entering the workforce. With costs rising and wages stagnating, it can be hard to find an affordable place to live while still building equity that can be used later on down the road.

One option that many Americans are considering is the fixer-upper route. However, it takes know-how and a lot of hard work to make this method a good choice to save you money. In this article, weíll tell you how to make certain buying a fixer upper is a good idea and what costs you can expect along the way.

Adding up the costs

Buying a house that needs work means youíll need to spend a good amount of time calculating costs and getting quotes from professionals. Even if youíre familiar with several home maintenance tasks, there are some jobs that are safer if left to the pros. This isnít only a matter of physical safety, however. If you start a job that you arenít qualified to finish you could end up paying much more than if you had just hired a licensed professional to do the job in the first place.

When estimating costs for reparations and renovations, aim high. Itís better to plan for it to be more expensive and have more left over than to underestimate your projects and go over budget.

Get an inspection report

If you arenít sure whether or not you want to go through with a deal, make sure you have an inspection contingency clause in your contract. This will enable you to back out if the home inspector makes you aware of any costs that you werenít told about by the seller.

Donít forget added costs

There are several closing costs youíll be responsible for as a buyer. Make sure you keep tabs on how much you can expect to spend closing on the home. If youíre going through a mortgage lender, they are required to give you an estimate of closing costs.

Once you know the purchase price of the home and the closing costs, make sure you account for other aspects of your renovations, such as getting required permits.

Borrow wisely

If you do plan on taking out a loan to cover the cost of renovations, be smart with how you get and pay back that money. One option is the FHA 203(k) loan or renovation loan.

Renovation loans help you save on closing costs and simplify the lending process by giving you one loan that accounts for the cost of the renovations and of the home itself.





Posted by John Buccelli on 5/27/2018

If youíre looking to make a new investment in property, buying fixer uppers could be for you. If you want to flip a house in order to sell it for a profit in the future, youíll need to keep a few things in mind when searching for the right houses to flip. 



What Could The Property Sell For After It Is Flipped?


As you look at different properties, think about your end game. Choose a property to flip that you see a lot of potential in. Envision the property and keep a post-flip listing price in mind. Youíll need to have some other numbers in mind when determining the final price for the property. These include:


  • Construction costs
  • Desired profit percentage
  • Fees


Understand the amount of profit that is left for you after all fees and expenses are taken into account. You want to be sure that the property is worth it for you as an investor.


Have A Vision For What The Property Needs


The kitchen and the bathroom are very important when it comes to property values and the attractiveness of a property. many times, these will need to be redone. The kitchen and bathroom also tend to be the most expensive rooms in the home to renovate. Also, consider adding amenities to the home. These could include beverage coolers, kitchen islands, fireplaces, or additional bedrooms. The home should have the things that will appeal to a large number of buyers. Also, consider the area where the home is located. A fireplace may not be as important in Los Angeles as it is in Vermont. Even simple things like changing paint colors make a huge impact in the home. If you need help finding your vision, just remember that buyers want to be able to see themselves in the home.              



Find Dependable Help


If youíre going to flip houses, youíll need to have a list of dependable people ready to get to work. These will include contractors and builders. Youíll eventually build an entire network of people who can be of service to you. You need to avoid making any changes   that are personal to you. No matter how much you love the house, you shouldnít make any elaborate changes that might be seen as ornate by another party. 


Keep Things Fresh


If you stay on top of trends, youíre more likely to get more return on your investment in flipping houses. While you want to stay on budget, technology is key in todayís housing market. People want smart homes with automated lighting, speakers, automated temperature controls, and more. If you donít have the budget to do the whole entire house this way, keep the improvements to key areas of the home like the entrance or living room.


Build A Good Reputation


House flipping can sometimes be seen as a shady business. If you build a good reputation and always do business in a way that has the buyerís best interest in mind, youíll succeed in house flipping. 


Flipping houses may not be for everyone. Yet, with the right planning, you can find some success and satisfaction in home renovations.





Posted by John Buccelli on 5/13/2018

You can ask any homeowner-buying and owning a home is expensive. Mortgage payments, property taxes, utilities, and other bills quickly add up.

If you want to buy a home but donít have a large down payment saved, odds are youíve discovered something called private mortgage insurance (PMI).

PMI is an extra monthly payment that you make (on top of your mortgage payment) when you donít have enough to make a large (20%) down payment on your home.

However, if you want to buy a home and donít want to tack on an extra monthly payment for PMI, you have options. In todayís post, Iím going to talk about some ways to avoid paying PMI on your mortgage so you can save more money in the long run.

PMI Basics

Before we talk about getting rid of PMI, letís spend a minute on what to expect when you do have to pay it.

PMI typically costs 0.30% to %1.15% of your total loan balance annually. That means that your PMI payments will decrease a moderate amount as you pay off your loan.

Furthermore, once you have paid off 22% of your loan, your PMI will be cancelled and youíll only be responsible for your regular monthly mortgage payments.

Getting PMI waived early

With conventional loans, you can request to have your PMI cancelled once youíve paid off 20% of the mortgage. However, many buyers with PMI are using some form of first-time buyer loan, such as an FHA loan.

With an FHA loan, youíll be stuck with PMI for the lifetime of the loan if you donít make a down payment of 10% or more. Thatís a lot of PMI payments, especially if you take out a 30 year loan, and it can quickly add up.

If you have an FHA loan with FHA insurance, the only way to cancel the insurance is to refinance into a non-FHA insured loan. And remember--refinancing has its own costs and complications.

Making it to the 20% repayment mark

On conventional loans, the best way to get rid of PMI is to reach your 20% repayment mark as soon as possible. That could mean aggressively paying off your mortgage until you reach that point.

This can be achieved by making extra payments, or just paying more each month. However, you donít want to neglect other debt that could be accruing costly interest in favor of paying off your loans. Make sure you do the math and find out which debt will be more expensive before neglecting other debt.

Once you do reach the 20% repayment mark, youíll have to remember to apply to have your PMI canceled with your lender. Otherwise, it will be canceled automatically at 22%.





Posted by John Buccelli on 5/6/2018

Do you ever wish that they taught a class in high school called, ďThings Youíll Actually Need to Know In Life?Ē Youíd learn how to prepare your taxes, what investing is, and how to buy a home.

Unfortunately, all of these important life lessons tend to be self-taught; you pick them up along the way and learn from your mistakes.

However, it neednít be that way. Our goal today is to give you an accurate idea of what to expect when youíre buying your first home. Weíll go over a typically home buying timeline and discuss how long each step can take. This will give you a better idea of how long it will take to close on your first home.

Step 1: Build credit and save for a down payment

Estimated time: 2+ years

The first step of buying a home is to make sure youíre financially secure enough to do so. While there are ways to purchase a home with low or no down payments (See FHA, USDA, and VA loans), generally itís wiser to wait until you have a sizable down payment saved. This will save you money in interest and mortgage insurance in the long run.

Next, youíll need to start working on your credit. If your credit score took some hits due to late payments when you were younger, now is the time to start fixing those mistakes by making on-time payments and paying off outstanding balances.

Step 2: Have a plan for the next phase of your life

Estimated time 6+ months

One of the most important, and least talked about, parts of buying a home is understanding what it means to own a home. If you have a spouse, partner, or family, youíll need to be in agreement that youíre prepared to stay in one place for the next 5 or more years.

Buying a home is expensive and you wonít want to go through the process of closing on a home if you arenít sure youíll stay. This means making sure your career wonít bring you elsewhere in the near future.

Step 3: Get prequalified and preapproved

Estimated time 1-3 days (depending on how much initiative you take)

Getting prequalified for a mortgage takes minutes. You simply fill out an online form and the lender will give you an idea of the type and size loan you could qualify for. Be forewarned: theyíll also use this information to call and bother you about getting a mortgage from them.

Once youíre prequalified, itís just a matter of working with the lender to provide the correct documentation for pre-approval.

Getting preapproved takes a bit longer (1-3 days), since it requires a credit check and some work on your part--namely, gathering and sending income verification.

Once youíre preapproved, you can safely start shopping for homes without worrying that youíre wasting time looking at homes that are overbudget.

Step 4: House Hunting

Estimated time: 30+ days

Itís a sellerís market. So, if youíre buying a home right now there is competition out there. Youíll need to dedicate a substantial amount of time to researching homes online, contacting sellersí agents, and following up on calls. Like before, the amount of effort you put into this process determines how quickly and smoothly youíll get through it.

Step 5: Making an offer and closing

Estimated time: ~50 days

Average closing times for buying a home has grown to 50 days according to a recent study. However, by securing financing ahead of time and acting quickly, you can drastically cut down the time of these process to as little as two weeks.







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