7 Home Buying Tips | Do’s and Don’ts After Applying for a Mortgage

7 Home Buying Tips

You’ve found your dream home, survived the stressful negotiations and home inspection and now you can go shopping for your new furniture to fill your new home. Wrong!

Your pre-approval is based on many factors including your credit score, current debts and income to name a few. Approval of your loan is contingent of your financial profile during the underwriting process to the closing.  Any changes in your financial profile could adversely affect you from receiving your bank commitment letter. This letter is issued from the bank stating that they will issue you the loan.

Do Not apply for any new credit, even if there is a 20% discount offered. This can affect your credit score.

Do pay all your bills on time. Just one 30-day late payment on your credit card or other loan can cause concern for the lender, nixing your mortgage qualification.

Do Not make any large deposits in your bank account.

Do keep all your personal documents that the lender requests organized and together. Items such as payment stubs and payment statements.

Do Not change jobs or become self-employed. Your initial pre-approval was based on your current job history and income, even if it is a promotion to a higher paying job.

Do Not acquire any non-sufficient overdrafts fees from your bank. Your lender will see these as your inability to manage your finances.

Do pay off your debt. This can positively affect your debt-to-income ratio.

This is the time to focus on what is at hand. Close on your mortgage first and then go shopping right away!

Home Buying Timeline


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Coldwell Banker Partners with Adopt-a-Pet

Rescue Them, Rescue Yourself

Coldwell Banker Real Estate has been helping people find their home for over 108 years, but this year through a partnership with Adopt-a-Pet.com, we are going to help 20,000 dogs find home through the Coldwell Banker Homes for Dogs Project. Our Coldwell Banker company in Arkansas created this heartfelt video.

Reality check and why watching a dog be a dog fills us with happiness.

Call me for all your real estate needs. 

Jean Curley, 508-479-2106

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Just Sold | 13 Bicknell Drive

 Custom Built Expanded Cape Cod Home Secluded by Nature


Sold Price:  $437,500.

List Price:  $424,800.

Location: Mendon, Worcester County

6 Room | 3 Bedroom | 2.5 Bath

Sq. Ft.: 2347 | Lot Size: 1.38 Acre

Garage: 2 | Unfinished Basement

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What Credit Score Do I Need to Buy a Home?

Mortgage Programs Exist Requiring Low Credit Scores.

Perfect credit isn’t always needed to buy a home. MassHousing and USDA have mortgage programs available to those who have lower credit scores with less than 15-20% down monies required. The interest have jumped higher in the past few days and could continue upwards to 5%. I work with many mortgage lenders who can advise and guide you in the process. Call me at 508-479-2106 or email me at jean.curley@nemoves.com.

Courtesy of KCM

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The 30 Yr. Fixed Mortgage Rate Ebbed Down This Week

What Will Interest Rates Look Like in a Year?

courtesy of KCM


The volatility of Greece and it possibly exiting the EU is causing concern, affecting the interest rates. After a 9-month high, the rates have retreated. Today all eyes are on the Federal Open Market Committee meeting and the uncertainty of their resolution to this debt issue.

Over the last two months, rates have begun to creep up as shown below.

courtesy of KCM

The market is fluid and it is difficult to project mortgage interest rates as we move forward, but I do want you to be informed as to the happenings in the market when deciding to wait to purchase your first home or trading up to your next home.

Here are the most current mortgage rate projections from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Mortgage Bankers’ Association and the National Association of Realtors.

courtesy of KCM

courtesy of KCM

As always, when determining if this is the right time for you to purchase a home, consider your household budget along with the current interest rates and, if it makes financial sense to take out a home loan today, then talk with a mortgage lender. I work with many mortgage lenders who can guide you through the process, so reach out to me and I will get you started on your journey.

The bottom line is … if you are a “ready, willing and able” buyer and you are thinking of purchasing a home over the next twelve months, then waiting may not make sense.


I want to buy a house!


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Does Selling Your Home Make Sense?

Five Questions You Should Ask When Considering Selling Your Home

Today’s housing market presents considerable opportunities for both sellers and home buyers.  The demand for homes is high and now that prices are stabilizing, and in many cases increasing, across much of the country, it may be the right time to consider taking advantage of the market and selling your home.

While potential home buyers are aware of the positive impact of historically attractive low interest rates, we’re seeing many sellers who are confused and concerned whether now is indeed the right time to put their home on the market.  If this is the fence that you’re sitting on, here are five questions to help you decide if now is the right time to move.

1.  Have you built equity in your home? Home equity  can be defined as the value of a home, minus the amount of outstanding debt.  Although equity does not generally develop in the first few years of home ownership, five or more years of home payments may create significant unrealized gains.  Any equity you may have can be used to move up to a larger home or as a comfortable nest egg if you’re nearing retirement and considering downsizing.

2. Has your income or financial situation improved? You should consider your overall financial situation, including current and future expenses, in order to make an educated decision on a price range for a new home.  For example, an increase in salary may allow for an increased mortgage.

3. Has your lifestyle changed? Lifestyle changes are one of the most common reasons people choose to move.  Starting or adding to a family may require an extra bedroom or additional square footage.  A desire to live closer to work or family may provide the motivation for a new town.  Or now may be the time to downsize to a home that requires less upkeep.

4. How is the housing supply in your neighborhood?  Demand for homes is high and there are currently not enough sellers for potential buyers.  Have you noticed there is only a spattering of for sale signs in your neighborhood?  And more importantly – have you noticed how quickly those sale pending signs are posted?  With fewer homes on the market, there is more competition for yours, which could mean more offers and potentially more money.

5. Are interest rates attractive?  A low interest rate means lower mortgage payments on your next home, even if it is in the same price range.   Visit sites like Bankrate.com to get a get a feel for what the national daily average rate is.  Our in-house mortgage broker, Jim Hanewich can answer all your questions in a phone call, so don’t hesitate to call me for guidance.  With every 1% the interest rates rise, your buyer (or your) purchasing power is reduced by 10%.





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Desirable Home Features Today’s Home Buyers Want

Home Features are Changing for 2015

The National Association of Home Builders is reporting that today’s new home features are changing. All those master baths in need of a renovation should utilize the space more efficiently and remove the whirlpool tub and install an oversized shower stall with multiple shower heads. Interestingly, linen closets are losing their popularity and their rating has dropped since 2012, however, they will not be going away. In my opinion, you can never have too many storage areas … as long as they are designed appropriately within the home and does not interfere with the flow and function.

I’ve listed below the most likely to be included features and those that are least likely, and their average rating.

Features LeastLikely600

Features More Likely 600






















Please give me a call for all your real estate needs.

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Why Home Owners Need to Get Moving

This Spring … from CNN Money

Less Competition: A limited number of homes on the market will help sellers nab top dollar, and may even spur bidding wars and multiple offers.  The National Association of Realtors® reports that inventory levels nation-wide were at a 4.6 month supply in February. A balanced market is considered to fall between a 5-7 month supply.

Courtesy of CNN Money

Courtesy of CNN Money

Mortgage Rate Hikes Loom: Mortgage rates are still sitting near historical lows, with the 30 yr. fixed rate mortgage hovering under 4%.  The low rates have helped push more buyers into the marketplace, but they could also be a good thing for sellers who are looking to rebuy.  However, rates aren’t  expected to remain this low for too much longer, which may prompt a rush this spring. “When interest rates are thought to be escalating, we see a wave up of activity with people getting off the sidelines,” say Budge Husky, president and CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate.

Soaring Rental Costs: Also spurring more potential home buyers off the sidelines:  Rising rental costs.  Rental prices have increased 15% nationwide in the past five years in 70 metro areas across the U.S. according to NAR research.  “Every time there’s an increase, it triggers the decision processes on whether renters should go into the market and buy, “Huskey told CNN Money “It allows others to move up the chain in the market.”

Locally, our home inventory at some price points remain low.  We are seeing more first time home buyers jumping into the market, creating opportunity for trade-up sellers to purchase with the low rates.

Today rates per Bankrate.com:

Fixed Rate:   3.75% – down .01 from last week

15 Year Rate:  2.95% – down .02 from last week

5/1 Arm Rate:  3.03% – down .19 from last week

Key Footer500 - Blog Post



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Properties Sold

SOLD - 80 Johnson Drive Holliston

SOLD – 80 Johnson Drive, Holliston

SOLD – 17 Trevor Lane Hopkinton


SOLD - 66 Lovering St. Medway

SOLD – 66 Lovering St. Medway

SOLD - 14 Daniels Rd. Mendon

SOLD – 14 Daniels Rd.

SOLD – 4 Knoll Drive Norfolk


SOLD - 4 Longobardi Rd. Franklin

SOLD – 4 Longobardi Rd. Franklin

SOLD - 21 Caryville Crossing Bellingham

SOLD – 21 Caryville Crossing Bellingham

SOLD - 35 Medway St. Norfolk

SOLD – 35 Medway St, Norfolk

SOLD - 61 Morse St Franklin

SOLD – 61 Morse St Foxboro

SOLD – 494 Lincoln Street Franklin

SOLD - 1 Celinda Drive Franklin

SOLD – 1 Celinda Drive

SOLD - 101 Mann St Bellingham

SOLD – 101 Mann St

SOLD - 24 Nancy Rd. Milford

SOLD – 24 Nancy Rd.

SOLD - 11 Bridie Lane Norfolk

SOLD – 11 Bridie Lane

SOLD - 10 Joshua Rd. Wrentham

SOLD – 10 Joshua Rd.

SOLD - 106 Circle Drive Wrentham

SOLD – 106 Circle Drive

SOLD - 231 Main Street Norfolk

SOLD – 231 Main Street Norfolk

SOLD - 105 Medway St. Norfolk

SOLD – 105 Medway Street Norfolk

37  Highland St.

SOLD – 37 Highland St. Franklin

13 Daniel Shays Hopkinton

SOLD – 13 Daniel Shays, Hopkinton

50 Colonial Drive Mansfield

SOLD – 50 Colonial Drive

99 King Street Norfolk

99 King Street

6 Fox Ridge Easton

SOLD – 6 Fox Ridge

SOLD - 2 High Street Millis

SOLD – 2 High Street

SOLD-5 Howard St., Hopedale

SOLD-5 Howard St.,

SOLD - 61 Morse Rd. Foxboro

SOLD – 61 Morse Rd.

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Market Value vs. Appraised Value | How It Affects A Home Sale

front porch








If you are a home seller looking to put your home on the market for sale, understanding the difference between Market Value and Appraised Value before you price your home for sale is very important for you to acquire the highest and best price for your home in the market at that time.

Your home’s location, features and condition all play a role in determining what your home is worth.  Market value is driven by consumer demand that is based on the recent sold comparables and pending comparables. Pending comparables provide information as to what direction the real estate market is heading.

The appraisal value is determined by a professionally licensed home appraiser.  Appraisers use methodologies to determine value: cost approach, sales comparison approach or income approach. They have the option to choose the methodology that best suits the situation. The bank requires an appraisal of value before they offer a buyer a loan commitment to finance them for the home.

An example of price vs. value is as such. A home that sits on a treed half acre and private lot with a meandering path through the woods to a secluded open space field owned by the town and deemed recreational; would be very appealing to many buyers who want the privacy and ability to use the extra acreage for pleasure.  This property could possibly fetch more money than a similar home nearby that does not offer the abutting advantage, however, the market analysis presented by a realtor would/should consider this bonus when gauging the value for the current market.  In determining the appraised value, this abutting acreage provides no value in an appraiser’s calculation.

How does this affect the seller who is pricing a home for sale, you ask? If the seller feels this location alone increases the value of the home over and above the market value the comparables show, and a ready, willing and able buyer presents an offer giving you your desired price; and then your home does not appraise, you’ve lost valuable time on the market and potentially a lost sale. The bank would not provide a mortgage for a home that appraised less than the agreed upon price. It would be too much of a risk for the lender. The Purchase and Sale Agreement has a mortgage contingency that states that if the buyer cannot acquire financing for a mortgage all funds are to be returned.

Three ways how pricing high could cost you money:

  • The buyer has been watching the market for other homes and a new home comes on the market that appeals to them more. They are no longer obligated to this transaction.
  • The market shifts to a quieter cycle with less buyers. Supply and Demand work to determine market value.
  • Your “days on market” number increases causing buyer concerns as to why the home did not sell. Simply, human nature. Time on the market is money out the window. Your home’s value decreases and most times below the sale number the original comparables indicated, called “chasing the market”

It is always advised to price a home where it will show its value. Technology has allowed buyer’s to be very informed and knowledgeable. They have a sense of value online, but gain greater knowledge as they begin the journey into homeownership.

Call me for all your real estate needs.

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