Adam Roche's Blog
If you're like many busy homeowners, the foyer of your home is sometimes treated as an afterthought. It probably contains functional items such as a coat rack and a place to put shoes, but it may lack the aesthetics necessary to provide an inviting introduction to your home. Fortunately, strategies exist designed to make the most of any foyer. Here are five to help you get started.
Wall art personalizes a foyer and makes it seem part of the home rather than simply being a transition area between the outdoors and the home interior. Paintings are a good choice, especially if you're able to position them in a way that makes them a focal point of the foyer. However, paintings aren't the only option — a gorgeous fabric wall hanging or a creative piece of metal art designed to be displayed on a wall will also work.
While it's important to have good ambient overhead lighting in your foyer for the sake of optimal visibility, secondary lighting provides a warm accent that welcomes both household residents and guests in the home. An attractive lamp on a table is a nice touch, but if your foyer doesn't have the room, consider installing a couple of wall lights.
Adding a plant or two brings life to any foyer. If you feel you don't have enough natural light in your foyer to coax anything green to grow, keep in mind that houseplants such as Peace Lilies and Snake Plants thrive in environments with very little light. If you're lucky enough to have a foyer with a skylight, take advantage of this by hanging some beautiful Boston ferns. Have pets? Be sure to check that your plant of choice isn't poisonous to them.
A Small Seating Area
A small seating area in the foyer can function as a private reading nook, a place to remove or put on outer footwear during times of inclement weather, or simply a place to sit and relax for a moment or two after coming home from a long day at work. Even the smallest foyers can usually accommodate a single chair and a pint-sized table.
Aromatic pine cones in a basket, a scented diffuser discreetly placed on a table, or a plug-in air freshener in a warm, welcoming scent such as vanilla, cinnamon, or lavender provide a pleasant accent for those just walking in the door. Scented candles are an especially nice touch in the foyer on evenings when you're expecting guests.
If you've recently decided to put your home on the market, creating a welcoming entryway is more important than ever. Please feel free to reach out at your earliest convenience for more information on making the most of your home environment.
Milford, MA 01757
When you’re self-employed, it’s difficult to decide whether you are ready to buy a house. After all, your income might come in spurts instead of having a regular check every week or two. Being prepared for the mortgage process increases the chance that your application will be approved. Self-employed people have more hurdles to jump because of the nature of their income, even those that make six or more figures.>
Difficulties in Qualifying for a Mortgage
Since you’ve probably done a ton of research on mortgages and finding your dream home, you already know the basics—make sure your credit is good, how much down payment you’ll need and what you are able to afford. You may have a pretty good idea of what documents you need to provide and already have them ready. However, those pesky tax returns might come back to bite you.
The biggest problem in qualifying for a mortgage when you’re self-employed is your tax returns. Most business people take every deduction allowed. However, while that’s great for your pocket since you pay less tax, it’s bad for applying for a mortgage.
Part of your self-employment tax returns is your expenses. You probably claim things like utilities, cell phones, business meals and travel and have a ton of depreciation. When a lender looks at the tax returns, it doesn’t add those things back in—except for depreciation. While you might make $300,000, your adjusted gross income on your tax return is going to be the number the lender looks at. If it’s $10,000, you’re not going to qualify for that loan.
You could amend your taxes or you could wait for two years and not claim anything on your taxes. However, that means you will be paying heavily to the IRS. Or, you could find a lender who does non-conforming loans. Some lenders are sympathetic to self-employed people and will use other methods of verifying income. Some banks may look at your deposits for a year instead. They’ll still ask for your tax returns, but will not use them to qualify your income.
Your tax returns help lenders figure your debt-to-income ratio. While lenders are supposed to use your gross income, that does not hold true with self-employed borrowers. Lenders look at the adjusted gross income on your tax returns. That number is often lower than net income because of the expenses you deduct.
A lender adds up your debts and divides that number by your adjusted gross income. If you have a proposed mortgage payment of $1,200, a car payment of $650 and other credit lines, including credit cards of $500, you have $2,350 in debt. If your self-employed monthly income is $8,000, your debt-to-income ratio should be about 29 percent. But wait a second. That’s not the number on your tax returns.
If the adjusted gross income on the last two years of tax returns is $4,000 and $2,500 respectively, then your average monthly income is going to be $3,250 (add the two together, then divide by 2). That means your debt-to-income is actually 72 percent. The highest a lender will “give” you is 43 percent, though most will only consider your application if your debt-to-income is 39 percent not including your new mortgage and 33 percent including your new mortgage. In this example, a lender who uses deposits instead of tax returns will show a debt-to-income ratio of 29 percent.
If you are ready to purchase a house and want to learn more about qualifying for a loan, feel free to reach out. Together, we'll be able to get you into the home of your dreams, despite the hurdles.
Bellingham, MA 02019
Getting a home inspection is usually built into the purchase contract for most real estate transactions. A home inspection contingency protects the buyer from getting any unwelcome surprises after they buy the home (think water damage or an HVAC system whose days are numbered).
In some cases, home inspections are the defining moment between a sale or moving on to other options.
In today’s post, we’re going to talk about the reasons you might want to get a home inspection whether you’re buying or selling a home.
Home inspections for buyers
There’s a reason most real estate contracts come with an inspection contingency. Expensive, impending repairs on a home can greatly affect how much you’re willing to offer on a home, or if you’re willing to make an offer at all.
Some buyers opt out of an inspection. This can be done for numerous reasons. The most common reason is that the buyer has a personal relationship with the seller and has faith that they are getting the full story when it comes to the state of the house. The other reason is that a buyer is trying to gain a competitive edge over the competition on a home, sweetening the deal by waiving the inspection and paving the way for a quick sale.
Both of these reasons have their flaws. For one, the seller might not even know the full extent of the repairs a home may need and an appraisal might not catch all of the issues with a home.
Another reason a buyer may waive an inspection contingency is because the seller claims to have recently had the home inspected. While this may be true, buyers should still opt to hire their own professional. This way, they can guarantee that the inspection was done by someone who is licensed and has their best interests in mind.
Home inspections for sellers
As we’ve seen, home inspections are typically designed to protect the interest of home buyers. However, sellers also stand to gain from ordering their own home inspection.
If you’re planning on selling within the next six months to a year, it will pay off to know exactly what issues the home currently has or will have in the near future. This will give you the chance to make repairs or address issues that could cause complications with your sale. You don’t want to be on your way to closing on an offer to suddenly realize you need to pay and arrange for a new roof.
So, whether you’re a buyer or seller, home inspections can be immensely beneficial to learn more about your home or the home you’re planning on buying. It will help you be prepared to make repairs if you’re a buyer. Or, if you’re a seller, you can make a plan to negotiate repairs with the seller based on the findings of the inspection.