Seller-Financed Mortgage: What Is It?

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A vast majority of homebuying  transactions rely on the buyer qualifying for a mortgage through a bank. After all, most people don’t have enough cash lying around to buy a home outright. Nowadays, you have more options with different types of lenders and alternative financing companies where you can seek pre-approval online. But sometimes even these options don’t work out, as pre-approval doesn’t mean you’re actually going to get the underwriter at the lender to approve you.

This could make you consider other alternative options like seller-financed mortgages.

What is a Seller-Financed Mortgage and How Does It Work?

As the name implies, you are financing your purchase with the person or company selling the home instead of taking out a mortgage with a lender. It’s a private transaction where you, the buyer, make an arrangement with the seller to buy the property.

The seller draws up a promissory note that details the terms of the mortgage: interest rate, payment schedule, and the consequences if you default on the mortgage. In most cases, the seller then finances the sale for a short term, usually five years, with a balloon payment at the end of the period. However, the promissory note can be sold at any time to another financing company: sellers don’t necessarily need to wait for the buyer to refinance with a more traditional lender.

Why Would I Consider a Seller-Financed Mortgage?

There are situations that make it difficult to work with a traditional lender, such as:

  • Self-employment / entrepreneurship
  • Foreign employment
  • Frequent job changes, or you haven’t held the same job long enough
  • Poor or no credit
  • Tax-related issues
  • Debt-income ratio is too high

Sometimes, these situations can be incredibly frustrating when you know you’d be able to afford the mortgage payment or it’s even far less than market rent where you want to buy! Alternative lenders may have options but sometimes even they don’t want to lend to the self-employed or borrowers with high student loan or credit card debt.

This makes seller financing a more viable option when you can demonstrate your ability to make payments but are having trouble with the traditional channels.

What are the Key Pros and Cons of Seller-Financed Mortgages?

The down payment, interest rate, and other terms are more flexible although they may not necessarily be better than what you would get with a bank. There are also no points, PMI, or origination fees which can save money upfront and over the life of the loan.

Closing is also much faster, easier, and cheaper because there’s no loan officer or underwriter involved. 

However, the seller may not always confirm they’re able to finance the sale. If the seller has a mortgage, most of them have a due on sale clause that forbids them from selling the home without paying off their mortgage balance first. If the seller still does this without paying off the mortgage first, your new home could get foreclosed on.

The homebuying process can be a difficult undertaking, but we’re here to help you find the best options so you can buy your dream home as quickly as possible. Reach out today to learn more!

3 Reasons to Discuss Your Homebuying Plans with Loved Ones

The decision to buy a house may be one of the biggest choices that you make in your lifetime. As such, a potential home purchase should be fully evaluated to ensure you can achieve the best-possible results during the homebuying journey.

Furthermore, it may be beneficial to discuss your homebuying plans with family members, friends and other loved ones. There are many reasons why you may want to share your homebuying plans with loved ones, and these reasons include:

1. You can gain homebuying insights that you might struggle to obtain elsewhere.

Loved ones frequently are happy to share their homebuying insights with you. Thus, if you keep loved ones up to date about your homebuying plans, you may be able to gain comprehensive real estate insights that you won’t find anywhere else.

Let’s not forget about the past homebuying experiences of loved ones, either. If a loved one had a positive or negative homebuying experience, you may be able to learn lessons from this event that could help you navigate the homebuying journey.

2. You can look at the big picture.

Oftentimes, the temptation to rush through the homebuying process can be overwhelming, particularly for a first-time homebuyer. If you consult with loved ones, however, you can slow down and look at the big picture as you prepare to pursue your dream residence.

Loved ones are unafraid to be honest, especially when it comes to a life-changing decision like buying a house. Therefore, if you reach out to loved ones before you enter the housing market, you can assess your short- and long-term plans and map out your homebuying journey accordingly.

3. You can get the help you need to succeed.

No one should be forced to pursue a house on their own. Lucky for you, loved ones are available who can help you discover your ideal residence in no time at all.

Sharing your homebuying plans with loved ones may enable you to get plenty of support throughout the homebuying journey. Plus, if you ever have concerns or questions as you pursue your dream house, loved ones are ready to assist you in any way possible.

As you prepare to embark on a home search, you may want to consult with a real estate agent too. In fact, a real estate agent will ensure you can enjoy a seamless homebuying experience, regardless of where you want to live.

Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you informed about new residences as they become available and help you submit offers on houses. This housing market professional also will negotiate with a seller’s agent on your behalf, guaranteeing that you can get the best price on any home, at any time.

Ready to kick off a successful home search? Connect with loved ones – and a real estate agent – and you can get the assistance that you need to find your dream house.

All About Pest Damage And Home Insurance

When pests come into your home, there’s no creepier feeling that you may have as a homeowner. You may turn to your house insurance for assistance if the problem gets really bad. Let’s say that termites have taken over your home and gotten into your walls or foundation. Maybe mice have gotten into the walls of your home, or a squirrel has caused some major issues in the attic. Whatever the problem is, you want to remedy it quickly. It might be an expensive fix no matter what, but it has to be remedied for you to continue to live comfortably in your home. 

The Truth About Homeowners Insurance


Unfortunately, homeowners insurance doesn’t cover pest infestations. It doesn’t matter if the termites have literally eaten you out of house and home, the insurance companies consider pests to be an avoidable problem. Even though you may wonder how bugs can be considered “avoidable,” it’s simple. The insurance company believes that regular maintenance and checking of your property can help to prevent bug infestations. This is why it’s so important to take care of your property and not neglect it. 

Collateral Damage

There are a few exceptions to the rule. If your ceiling caves in and it was caused by some of the pest damage, your insurance may cover the cost of the repairs to the ceiling. They may not cover the materials that are needed to repair the ceiling itself. Insurance claims can be tricky, so you’ll need to ask a lot of questions if these problems do occur for you.

What Homeowners Insurance Covers

There’s nothing more frustrating than paying an insurance premium to find out that it doesn’t actually cover anything that you need at a certain point and time. As a general rule, homeowners insurance policies cover things that are considered accidental. This would include natural disasters like hurricanes, hailstorms, or high winds. If a tree falls on your home due to a windstorm, there was really no way of preventing that from happening. Your insurance would cover this. Damage that happens over an extended period, like that of a pest infestation or an aging home generally is not covered by house insurance. 

Separate Policies

Some insurance companies do offer separate policies to cover damage from certain types of pests like termites. There are several varieties of insects that cause damage to wood structures, so these policies may be more general stating that they provide “wood destroying insect” coverage. If you live in an area that’s prone to termites, there’s a few options available to you including something called “termite bonds.”

Your best course of action as a homeowner is prevention. Keep up with regular maintenance around your home and inspect your home regularly for any problems that you may find.

What Costs are There Before Securing a Mortgage?

Securing a mortgage to buy a home is probably one of the best and most important milestones in a person’s life. It comes with a lot of benefits and bragging rights.

But, even with all of the butterflies and feelings of being on cloud nine, the truth of the matter is that there are also costs in securing a mortgage — before and after the transaction.

The costs incurred before securing a mortgage.

The following are the costs incurred before you can secure a mortgage:

1. Before you obtain a mortgage, you need to pay for appraisal fees. An appraisal fee is a professional fee that you pay to get an estimated value of the house you want to buy. This one is the first step that you need to fulfill before securing a mortgage. It allows creditors to determine your loan-to-value ratio. A third party does it. The price ranges between $300 and $1,000.

2. You also need to pay for an inspection fee. The inspection fee is the amount that you spend for the potential house to get checked for leaks, pests, problems, and everything that may make or break your decision to purchase. It depends on the creditor if they require this, but it costs roughly around $300 to $500 for a home inspection service.

3. You also have to pay for your credit report fee. You may think that this should be free of charge, but it is not. More often than not, potential borrowers need to obtain a copy from each of the credit bureaus even before they apply for a loan. Some professionals would say that this is the first cost of securing a mortgage because if you have a bad credit rating, you might as well not push through with the loan. This aspect is all debatable. It will cost the borrower around $30 to $50 per report. If you are lucky, you can get this for free because some lenders cover the cost themselves as part of their credit check.

These three costs get incurred mostly before approval of the loan, and there are different costs once you get the approvals and purchase the house. The critical thing is for you to be a hundred percent committed to the purchase. Being fickle minded does not pay off in the real estate market. 

If you are still potentially on the fence with your mortgage needs, ask a real estate professional to help you decide on what mortgage options might work best for you.

Another Property Sold – 4 Lilac Court Unit 4 Hopkinton, MA

This Condo in Hopkinton, MA recently sold for $368,000. This Townhouse style home was sold by Bernadette Calvario – Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.








4 Lilac Court,



Hopkinton, MA 01748

Condo

$364,900
Price

$368,000
Sale Price

7
Rooms

2
Beds

2
Baths

Easy living at Indian Brook with lush green grounds. Bright airy immaculate end unit with many updates is nestled in on a private location of the community. First floor offers open concept living with kitchen updates, granite counters, under cabinet lighting, marble back-splash, appliances & tiled floors. The Dining area is open to the LR w/ bump out bay window & hardwood floors. Cathedral LR has hardwood floors, wood burning fireplace, overhead lighting, open to 2nd story loft & large private side deck. First floor offers large updated full bath & bedroom w/walk in closet. Airy, open loft area on second floor provides many options for flexible use space. The second floor cathedral bedroom includes double closets, & full updated bath. Spacious updated LL w/many windows, offers a walk-in cedar closet, separate laundry room & huge storage area. Move-in ready, A+ Hopkinton Schools, walking distance to restaurants & more!

Similar Properties

How to Settle In to Your New City

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Moving to a new city is an exciting time, but it can also be stressful. Getting the lay of the land, especially if you don’t have contacts in the city, is intimidating. From figuring out your transportation options to learning where the most affordable grocery store is, you have many things to tackle to get comfortable in your new space. Here are some tips that may make the transition just a little easier.

1. Join a Group or Organization

Do you have a favorite hobby? Is there a charitable cause you’re passionate about? Find the local group, and join. If you don’t have a favorite hobby or charity, find out about groups or clubs in your city that sound interesting, and join. You’ll be able to connect with people who have similar interests, and making local contacts will help you start learning your city.

2. Say “Yes”

When an opportunity presents itself, say, “yes.” Whether it’s coffee with a new acquaintance or a volunteer opportunity through the group you joined, the more times you can get out into the community and explore its offerings, the more connected you will feel. You only have to say, “yes,” the first time you’re invited, but be willing to step out and experience life in the community.

3. Walk the Streets

While public transportation or your own vehicle are convenient ways to get around the city, they aren’t always the best way to learn its layout. Grab a map, or your GPS on your phone, and start walking. Of course, keep safety and walkability in mind, but if you can, take a walk for your next errand. This will give you the best possible feel for the layout and vibe of the city, and also a more realistic idea of how far away various features are. It will also give you more opportunities to meet the people around you.

4. Find “Your” Spot

Find a place where you can go to hang out when your home or apartment starts to feel confining. This may be a coffee shop, library, or local restaurant, depending on your tastes. When you need to get out, go to your spot. Soon you will become a “regular,” people will start looking for you, and you just might make some friends!

Most importantly, give yourself time. It takes time to get comfortable in a new city, and that’s OK. If you use these tips, you will make some friends, and soon be able to enjoy life in your new community.

Improve Curb Appeal with Hardscaping

Image by Tim Cooper from Unsplash

If your lawn and garden area is full of lush, thriving trees, shrubs, herbs, and flowers, you’re probably proud of it’s appearance and of all the hard work you’ve put in to get it that way. However, you may also have a nagging feeling that it’s missing something, but you can’t quite put your finger on what that might be — and that something could very well be hardscaping elements. Hardscaping is anything that provides aesthetic appeal and/or functionality to your outdoor living space that isn’t in the form of vegetation. It provides dimension, texture, and boundary definitions. The best hardscaping combines functionality and appearance. Here’s how you can make it happen:

Paved Pathways

Paved pathways can be installed using a variety of materials, including brick, cobblestone, and polished concrete. Design possibilities are almost endless. Some homeowners prefer the sophisticated appearance of polished concrete, while others like to create a picturesque ambiance with old-school cobblestone. Paved pathways also protect your shoes from mud and other debris as well as protect your lawn from the damage that heavy foot traffic can cause.

Decorative Arbors

Decorative arbors provide a delightful way to dress up the entrance to your property or introduce a backyard herb or perennial garden. You can grow vining plants up and over them, such as rambling roses, clematis, or even switch it up every year by planting different vining annuals such as morning glory and nasturtium. During winter, you can keep things interesting by stringing holiday lights on it.

Garden Benches

Garden benches give you and other household members a relaxing place to sit, read, dream, or simply get a rest from lawn and garden chores will enjoying the sunlight on your face and listening to the birds sing. If you opt for a wooden bench, choose one made of weather-resistant wood such as teak or cedar. Stone benches are good choices for areas that receive significant amounts of precipitation — you can always add cushions for softness during the warm season.

Water Features

Waterfalls, ponds, fountains, and raised birdbaths are just three appealing ways to turn your backyard into a personal oasis by adding water features. If you’re a nature lover, you’ll spend hours enjoying the antics of your feathered friends as they splash in the birdbath, and if you could use a serene respite in your life, a flowing fountain or waterfall provides soothing sounds and serendipitous visuals.

Other hardscaping possibilities include garden statuary, trellises, decorative gates and fences, pergolas, and footbridges.

3 Things to Look for in a Vacation Home

Buying a vacation home is an important goal and milestone for many Americans who want to make the most of their holidays and plan for retirement.

Vacation properties needn’t be lavish or expensive to still be a perfect way to enjoy the winter months at your home away from home. Furthermore, owning a vacation home can prove to be an excellent financial asset that increases in value over time, as more people seek to scoop up properties in your area.

In today’s post, I’m going to talk about some of the most important things to look for in a vacation home to help you kick off your search. Whether you’re months away from buying a home or the idea of a second home is still a far-off dream, this article is for you.

1. Consider locations

The most important aspect of any vacation home is that it’s located in the perfect place for you to enjoy. Whether that’s a remote getaway in the mountains or a beachfront property in Florida, your plans for the home should be your number one priority.

If it’s your ultimate goal to retire and move into your vacation home someday, consider what it would be like living in that location full time. Is it close to amenities like grocery stores? Or, if you’re moving to a coastal area, will the traffic drive you crazy?

On the other hand, if you don’t intend to ever move into your vacation home full-time, it might be wiser to choose a location that will suit your family’s vacation needs while remaining a great asset to sell down the road.

2. Spend a week at your destination before buying

Some homeowners have a dream of buying a vacation home in a place they’ve always wanted to visit or have simply heard is a great place to own a vacation home in. The problem with this is that you might find, once you arrive, that you don’t want to spend several weeks or months there after all.

It might get too crowded during vacation season or you might decide that there isn’t enough to do that will keep you busy for extended stays.

To prevent buyer’s remorse, spend a week or two in your planned vacation home destination to make sure it really is the best spot for you.

3. If you plan on renting, know what to expect

Many Americans purchase a vacation home with the intention of renting it out while they aren’t using it to earn extra income. While this can be a great way to generate income, you will need to be prepared for becoming a landlord.

Look up local rental laws in the area to make sure you understand your responsibilities. Furthermore, understand that renting out a property part-time takes work; you’ll interact with prospective renters, filter out those that you think aren’t suited for your home, and handle problems with the property as they arrive.

If you keep these three things in mind, you should be able to find the perfect vacation home for you and your family.

What To Do If Your Home Doesn’t Have A Playroom

If you don’t have a dedicated playroom space in your home, you may feel as though toys and children have taken over. Toys, games, stuffed animals, coloring books, and crayons may be all over the house if children don’t have their own space to play. 

It doesn’t have to be this way. There are a few options that you can use to let your kids have their space, and the adults have theirs. You don’t need to move just to find a home that has an area for kids to play. Read on for some ideas to help you stay stylish yet kid-friendly in your home.    

Versatile Furniture

Buying furniture that has a couple of purposes can be handy when you have kids. A coffee table with storage drawers can turn into a great place to store board games. An ottoman that has a storage component built in is a fantastic place to fantastic place to keep stuffed animals or action figures. When you have kids, finding ways to keep your style but allow children to play freely can be done easily with these types of furniture.   

Turn An Ordinary Shed Into A Magical Place

No matter what part of the country you live in, you can buy a small outdoor storage shed and turn it into a playroom. You can install portable heaters or fans in the shed for comfort. This space can become your child’s playroom detached from the house with all the comforts of home. You might even consider a treehouse, but that may afford slightly less storage or possibilities than a storage shed.    

Use The Corner Of A Room

Kids don’t have to take up the whole of a room. Consider giving little ones a corner of a room dedicated to their stuff. A small chair with a bookshelf and a few baskets of toys is all they need for a play space without fuss. Depending on the size of the room, you can even put a toy chest there for the playroom effect without the space.   

Use Baskets

Baskets are the next best things to furniture that has hidden storage. Baskets look pretty, and the contents are colorful, fun toys. There’s not too much wrong with this solution! You can even give the dog a basket for his toys.   

Find Ways To Incorporate Kids Into The Rooms Of Your Home

You can get creative when it comes to living with children. Chalkboard walls. Tiny furniture and more items are available to make your kids comfortable yet creative and keep your home stylish. Consider a chalkboard wall that allows kids to change their artwork on the daily.

With a little creativity, your kids can feel at home without a playroom and without taking over the whole house.  

New Windows Can Help Sell Your Home Faster

While some home improvement projects are done purely for aesthetic reasons, window replacement projects offer a wide range of benefits.

If your current windows are decades old, they’re probably difficult to clean, provide poor insulation, and get stuck every time you try to raise or lower them.

Old wooden window frames also tend to deteriorate over time, which negatively impacts both their appearance and their ability to seal out drafts and outdoor temperatures.

Modern, energy-efficient windows make older models look like they’re straight out of the Stone Age! Many windows manufactured today meet strict U.S. government standards for energy efficiency and durability, which can help you save money on your home energy bills. These new features include multiple panes of glass, which provide improved insulation and impact resistance. Instead of using just plain air, many of these advanced windows are insulated with non-toxic gases, such as argon and krypton. (As long as you’re not Superman, you’ll do just fine!) If you’re willing to pay extra, there’s also the option of having mini-blinds inserted between the panes of glass.

Reducing Home Energy Costs

According to the EPA, “Replacing old windows with ENERGY STAR certified windows lowers household energy bills by an average of 12 percent nationwide. Lower energy consumption also reduces greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and shrinks a house’s carbon footprint.”

Energy Star-certified windows also have special coatings that reflect both infrared and ultraviolet light. That not only helps keep your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter, but it helps stop the sun’s rays from fading furniture colors, flooring, and other materials.

Some of the newer windows are available with three or more layers of glass panes, which can help make your home more comfortable and quieter. If external noise is an issue, installing well-insulated windows with multiple panes can reduce that problem significantly.

Although many of the new window products are constructed of wood, they’re often covered with vinyl or aluminum to be more weather resistant and durable. Fiberglass is another low-maintenance, durable material that offers good insulation qualities.

Cost Versus Benefits

While a window replacement project can take a big chunk out of your home improvement budget or bank account, it does provide a return on your investment. In addition to the fact that your home energy costs should decrease, installing new, energy-efficient windows will improve your home’s marketability in the future. If and when you decide to put your home on the market, the fact that you’ve installed energy-efficient, easy-to-use window replacements will be a major selling point in the minds of prospective buyers.

As is the case with all home improvement contractors, it’s always a good idea to get several estimates and check references, read online reviews, and take a look at Better Business Bureau ratings before choosing someone to handle the project.