Lynne Eliopoulos
ERA Key Realty Services | 508-832-1032 | [email protected]


Posted by Lynne Eliopoulos on 4/18/2021

Believe it or not, buying a condo can be a quick, easy process, particularly for those who understand their homebuying needs.

Ultimately, there are several factors to consider before you purchase a condo, including:

1. Your Budget

How much can you afford to spend on a condo? You should evaluate your homebuying budget closely to ensure you can cover all of the costs associated with condo living.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage usually is ideal. With a mortgage in hand, you can browse a wide range of condos and find one that matches your budget perfectly.

Furthermore, don't forget to account for homeowners' association (HOA) fees before you buy a condo. HOA fees will vary depending on the condo community, and you should learn about them in advance so you can budget accordingly.

2. Property Size and Location

How much space do you need to accommodate your family? Consider the short- and long-term ramifications of a condo purchase, and you should have no trouble finding a condo that is the right size for you.

If you're uncertain about how big of a condo that you'll need, don't hesitate to consult with a real estate agent. This housing market expert will learn about your homebuying needs and help you narrow your search for the ideal condo.

Also, be sure to consider the location of a condo. If you want to find a place to live near school or work, you should search for condos that will help you cut down on your commute time.

3. Condo Rules and Regulations

Condo living is different from living in a traditional house. In a condo community, you'll have your own property, but there may be numerous condo rules and regulations in place that you'll need to follow at all times.

For example, many condo owners cannot modify a property's exterior without first getting approval from an HOA board. This means if you want to paint your condo bright pink or upgrade the property's windows, you'll need to ask the HOA board for permission.

Examine a condo community's rules and regulations prior to purchasing a condo. This will enable you to review the HOA board's mandates and determine whether you would feel comfortable following these rules and regulations.

When it comes to finding a condo, there is no need to look for a property on your own. Conversely, if you work with a real estate agent, you can take the guesswork out of searching for a top-notch condo.

Finding a real estate agent with condo experience is essential. This real estate professional will set up condo showings, keep you informed about new condos as they become available and negotiate with property sellers on your behalf. That way, this real estate agent will make it easy for you to acquire a first-rate condo at a budget-friendly price.

Kick off your search for the perfect condo today, and you can move closer to securing a condo that will serve you well for an extended period of time.




Tags: Buying a home   buyer tips   condo  
Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips   condo  


Posted by Lynne Eliopoulos on 3/7/2021

Photo by Moose Photos from Pexels

Rental properties are becoming extremely common in the world we live in today. Many people are realizing the huge profits they can make from rental properties, and the need for these rentals isn’t going away any time soon. If you’ve ever wanted to be a landlord and rake in some cash on the side, you’re not alone. However, buying rental property isn’t always easy and there are some things you should understand before getting the keys to your new home.

Make Sure You’re Ready

The fact of the matter is, owning rental property is harder than it looks. From insurance and laws to home repairs and dealing with tenants, it can all be a very time-consuming and stressful job owning a rental property. And if owning property isn’t your full-time gig, the process can be even more difficult. Make sure that you do your homework and that you’re prepared for anything that can happen regarding your new property. Research everything that needs to be done for a rental owner, then also look up how to manage tenants properly. Also, managing a property takes a lot of time and energy, especially if it’s your first time. It's also important to have the right schedule while managing a property. While you can still have a full-time job, you should have the flexibility to meet with the tenants and take care of repairs or issues when needed.

Keep a Proper Budget

When owning rental property, you’re owning a home that can see damage, which can be very costly. And if you don’t have the money to handle repairs and disasters when they strike, then you could have a home just sitting there with no tenants interested. This is why you should always budget for the unexpected. Some examples of what can go wrong include:

  • Broken dishwasher
  • Damaged pipes
  • Irrigation issues
  • Carpet damage
  • Damage to walls
  • Window damage
  • Be Cautious of a Fixer-Upper

    While you’ve always had a dream about buying a fixer-upper and creating something incredible, this dream doesn’t pan out for many. That’s because many of these people bite off a little more than they can chew, and they don’t have the time, energy or resources to really build something profitable. Therefore, you should be very cautious before trying this method for yourself. It is possible to make money from a fixer-upper, but it takes tons of work and can be very difficult, especially if you’re buying your very first rental property. Dealing with one of these properties might require spending thousands on materials, hiring professionals, dealing with plumbing issues and possibly dealing with structural damage.  While you may be very tempted, try looking for a property that needs a few simple renovations and one that is priced below market value.

    Preparation is Key

    Before you jump into buying a rental property, consider the three tips outlined above to have confidence throughout the process. This will ensure that you're well-prepared for what's to come. Fixing a home, dealing with tenants and paying for insurance can all be stressful, so it's best to understand these responsibilities before purchasing a rental property.




    Categories: Buying  


    Posted by Lynne Eliopoulos on 2/28/2021

    The right time to purchase a home varies from person to person. Meanwhile, buying a house is one of the biggest decisions an individual may make in his or her lifetime. As such, it is important to weigh your options closely to determine if now if the right time to buy a house.

    There are several things you can do to get ready to pursue and buy your dream home. These include:

    1. Make a Plan

    Think about the steps you'll need to take to go from homebuyer to homeowner. Then, you can craft a plan to put these steps into action.

    Also, it often helps to create a list of homebuying criteria. This list will help you narrow your home search and speed up the process of finding your ideal residence.

    You should stay flexible as you conduct your home search too. The housing market fluctuates constantly, and if you maintain flexibility, you'll be ready to adjust your homebuying strategy as needed.

    2. Get Home Financing

    It usually is a good idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you have a mortgage in hand, you'll know exactly how much you can spend on a home.

    Banks and credit unions are available to teach you about all of your mortgage options. Thus, meeting with these financial institutions will enable you to learn about different types of home financing and make an informed mortgage selection.

    Of course, you should not hesitate to ask home financing questions. Banks and credit unions employ courteous, knowledgeable mortgage specialists who are happy to respond to your queries. Therefore, if you are unsure about which mortgage option is right for you, these mortgage specialists can help you evaluate all of your options.

    3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

    A real estate agent offers expert guidance throughout the homebuying journey. He or she will help you find your dream home and submit a competitive offer to purchase it. Plus, a real estate agent will negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf, help you prepare for a home closing and much more.

    In addition, a real estate agent can provide plenty of support during your house search. He or she first will help you craft an effective homebuying strategy and search for properties that meet your criteria. Next, a real estate agent will set up house showings and keep you informed about open house events in your preferred cities and towns. And if a seller accepts your offer to purchase his or her home, a real estate agent will help you set up a property inspection and finalize your house purchase.

    For those who are ready to purchase a home, it helps to be prepared. If you take advantage of the aforementioned tips, you can enter the real estate market as an informed property buyer. As a result, you may be better equipped than other homebuyers to enjoy a quick, successful property buying experience.




    Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  


    Posted by Lynne Eliopoulos on 1/10/2021

    When youíre buying a home, thereís a lot of excitement that surrounds the search and purchase of the property. In the process of buying a home, however, there are many things that buyers forget to take into account during their search and budgeting. Below, youíll find some information to help you be prepared as a buyer to consider your home purchase from all angles without missing a beat.  


    The Expense Of Closing Costs


    Remember that closing costs will be somewhere in the 3-5 percent range of the purchase price of a home. Amidst all of your savings, youíll need to consider this a part of your expenses. Closing costs need to be paid upfront in most cases. You can roll your closing costs into the financing, but it depends on the circumstances. There are no guarantees that the lender will agree to it. Your realtor can also sometimes negotiate for the sellers to pay the closing costs, but in a sellerís market this is quite rare. Be prepared with your closing costs and understand how much youíll need to spend so that you have an appropriate amount for the downpayment and the other expenses that youíll incur during the process of buying a home.  


    The Cost Of Maintaining A House


    Many buyers forget about all of the costs that they will need to pay for after they finish buying the house. In addition to a monthly mortgage payment, youíll need to pay for things like utilities, routine home maintenance, furnishings, and more. If you completely deplete your savings for the purchase of the home, thereís not a whole lot of wiggle room for you to pay for additional needs in the house. 


    The Cost Of Furnishing And Decorating A Home


    You may move into a home with a few pieces that you have previously owned. You could also need a lot of things from a bed to a sofa. All of these items can add up. You may even have to worry about little things like window shades, curtains, lamps, light bulbs, and more. 


    Home Repairs Can Cost A Pretty Penny


    If something needs to be done in your home, the repairs can cost you quite a bit. If youíre not paying attention during the home inspection, youíll be in for some surprises. Thatís why you need a good realtor to help you through the process. A new roof can cost thousands of dollars. New appliances are an expense you should plan for. Other major work that needs to be done around the house can also dip into your savings significantly. As a buyer, you need to be prepared for any of these expected or completely unexpected costs.           





    Posted by Lynne Eliopoulos on 12/27/2020

    Your thirties are a time of many important financial decisions. Many people are starting families, buying homes, and getting settled into their careers by the time they turn thirty. The following ten years are often marked by salary increases, moving into larger homes, and saving for retirement.

    Itís vital to have a solid grasp on personal finance in your thirties, as it is in many ways the foundation of your finances for the decades to come. So, in this article weíre going to give you some advice on buying a home and managing your money in your thirties.

    Straighten out your credit

    If your twenties were a volatile time of incurring debts from student loans, car loans, and other expenses, then itís paramount to get your credit in order in your early thirties. Having a high credit score can secure you lower interest rates on a home loan or let you refinance your loans at lower rates.

    Start by making sure your bills are on auto-pay, and be sure to settle any older debts from your younger years. You can also use a credit card for recurring expenses, such as gas to get to work or groceries, and then pay them off in full each month. This way, youíll build credit and avoid accruing  interest at the same time.

    Reevaluate your lifestyle and long term goals

    A lot can change from the time you turn 25 to the time you turn 35. Your goals might shift from finding a home near the ocean to finding a home near a good school district for your children. You might also have the shocking realization that your children will be heading to college sooner than it might seem, and that youíre still working on paying off your own student debt.

    Consider things like the size house youíll need for your family, where you want to live and whether that involves being close to aging parents, and reallocating money depending on your retirement goals.

    Rethink your insurance coverage

    Gone are the days when all you needed was a car insurance policy to get by. As you age and your responsibilities grow, youíll need to think about the future for you and your family. That may include a more comprehensive health insurance plan for your family, a life insurance policy for yourself, or increased covered for home and auto insurance.

    Automate the headaches away

    With all of these growing responsibilities, it can be easy to get frustrated with the time youíre losing to keeping your finance in order. Fortunately, there are many tools at your disposal in the internet age that will make all of those responsibilities an afterthought.

    First, get a budget planning app, like Mint or You Need a Budget (YNAB). Next, set up your bills to auto-pay if you havenít yet. Then, put reminders in your phone to periodically check your credit score and reassess whether you need to pay for certain monthly services (do you still watch Hulu?). Finally, if you havenít yet, make sure you have your paychecks direct deposited into the accounts youíd like them to enter so you donít have to worry about them.