There are many ways in which you can get creative with your options when it comes to buying a home.  One is a program that certain lenders offer, which is a  temporary rate buydown.  That is where your interest rate is reduced on your mortgage for the first year or two of your loan, with the contribution to it coming from the seller.  Once that period is over, the rate will go back up (although it is always possible to re-finance at that time!).  It is called a seller's concession.

You can read more about how that program works here.

Thinking of buying this year?  My team and I work with a team of top lenders, as well as attorneys, inspectors and more to ensure the homebuying process is smooth and memorable.  Contact me to get started!

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Everyone who's watched Modern Family has wondered: what's the difference between a real estate agent and a realtor?  Or a broker, for that matter?

Basically, the difference between a licensed real estate agent and a realtor is membership in the National Association of Realtors.  Its mission is to help agents become more profitable and successful in an ethical way.  A broker is an agent who takes their education and licensing even further by achieving their broker's license.

You can read more here.

Whichever distinction you choose in an agent, you'll want to be sure to select an experienced agent you can trust to act in your best interests.  Thinking of buying, selling or renting?  Contact me to get started!

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If you're new to the homebuying process, it's easy to make these common mistakes.  It is important to find a buyers agent you can trust, who will work on behalf of your interest instead of the seller's, and will help you avoid these pitfalls.  That is the first smart decision you can make!  Some things to avoid are:

  • Househunting before getting a pre-approval for a mortgage
  • Prioritizing the home itself over the neighborhood that it's in
  • Having too many "must haves" on your list that you disqualify yourself from every possible home in your parameters
  • Letting emotion rule the day
  • Only consulting one lender
  • Not being diligent with your credit and savings
  • Not looking into assistance programs you might qualify for 

You can…

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When a home inspection is done prior to a purchase being completed, an inspector compiles a report and it is given to both the sellers and the buyers, who then make decisions about moving forward based on those findings.  Buyers can often find these reports alarming, but there are many common issues that arise during a basic home inspection.  Some of them are:

  • Roof and gutter issues (leaks, damaged/clogged gutters, etc.)
  • Faulty wiring/electrical problems
  • Poor grading or drainage around the home
  • Dampness or mold/mildew in basements
  • Cosmetic wear and tear (peeling wallpaper, dirty/damaged carpets, cracked driveways/walkways, etc)
  • Plumbing issues such as leaks, clogged drains, poor flow
  • Inadequate ventilation or insulation

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ING Economics has predicted several rate cuts in 2024, in a note shared by their chief international economist James Knightley.  He wrote that he expects six rate cuts in 2024 in response to a slowing economy.  He expects the cuts to begin in the second quarter of 2024 and that the total could reach 125 basis points by 2025.

You can read more about it here.

When rates drop, demand increases - and so do prices.  If you're considering buying a home, now is actually a much better time to begin your search than when the rates actually decrease.  The prices are lower and there is less competition.  When both of those things change, and you're already settled into the home of your dreams, you can take advantage of the lower rates to re-finance.  Is…

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Lowered down payment requirements for multifamily homes

In a significant policy change, Fannie Mae has announced that, starting from the weekend after November 18, 2023, it will accept 5% down payments for owner-occupied 2-, 3-, and 4-unit homes. This marks a departure from the previous multifamily financing requirement of 15-25% down payments for duplexes, triplexes, and four-plexes.

This new option presents a great opportunity for individuals looking to invest in multifamily homes while also enjoying the benefits of homeownership. Prospective owner-landlords can now afford these properties more easily, thanks to the reduced down payment requirement by Fannie Mae.

Expanded financing choices and easier approvals for multifamily homes


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Closing costs are the taxes and fees associated with completing your home purchase.  Buyers can expect for them to range anywhere from 2-6% of the purchase price of the home.  

Here are some closing costs most buyers can expect to anticipate:

  • Loan origination
  • Home inspection fees
  • Escrow deposit
  • Attorney fees
  • Private mortgage insurance
  • Taxes on home loan amount
  • Document recording fees on the deed and mortgage
  • Mortgage points

Buyers and sellers typically split the closing costs.  A great buyers agent will help you negotiate these costs with the seller to offset as much of the costs as possible.  

You can read more about closing costs here.

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There are occasions where a "rent-to-own" opportunity may be available: that is, where the tenant can rent the property with the option to buy it before the lease expires.  It gives the tenant the chance to see what living in the home is like before committing to purchasing.  The monthly rental payments can be applied to the down payment at a price that's typically agreed upon at lease signing.  You can read more about it here.

Whether you're looking to buy, sell or rent, I can help you - contact me to get started!

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In today's market, there are advantages to both renting out your properties in a rising rental rate environment, and converting them into condos where inventory is very low and homes are selling for top dollar.  Clients have asked me about the advantages and disadvantages to both.  There are many factors to consider.

Some advantages are potential tax savings and the flexibility of selling each unit individually.  Some disadvantages are the time that such a conversion takes, and the challenges of dealing with existing tenants in the process.  Usually, approval is required from the municipality where the conversion is taking place, and then all individual units have to be registered on their own.  You can read more about the process here.

If you…

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When rates fell in December after a steady climb last fall, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) saw an 8% jump in pending home sales that month.  When rates rose again slightly this past winter, the volume of home sales decreased as well, although historically the winter is a slower time in the housing market.  In response to the banking crisis, rates fell to 6.57% this week for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage.  You can read more here on

Chris Devin and The Devin Group at Cross Country Mortgage are consistently in the top 1% of mortgage brokers in America.  He recently provided his insights on the rate environment in our current geopolitical landscape:

If you are considering buying a home this spring, I've put together a…

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