The John Barrett Real Estate Team
KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY | 774-836-0235 | JBarrettRE@kw.com


Posted by The John Barrett Real Estate Team on 2/13/2018

You can ask any homeowner-buying and owning a home is expensive. Mortgage payments, property taxes, utilities, and other bills quickly add up.

If you want to buy a home but donít have a large down payment saved, odds are youíve discovered something called private mortgage insurance (PMI).

PMI is an extra monthly payment that you make (on top of your mortgage payment) when you donít have enough to make a large (20%) down payment on your home.

However, if you want to buy a home and donít want to tack on an extra monthly payment for PMI, you have options. In todayís post, Iím going to talk about some ways to avoid paying PMI on your mortgage so you can save more money in the long run.

PMI Basics

Before we talk about getting rid of PMI, letís spend a minute on what to expect when you do have to pay it.

PMI typically costs 0.30% to %1.15% of your total loan balance annually. That means that your PMI payments will decrease a moderate amount as you pay off your loan.

Furthermore, once you have paid off 22% of your loan, your PMI will be cancelled and youíll only be responsible for your regular monthly mortgage payments.

Getting PMI waived early

With conventional loans, you can request to have your PMI cancelled once youíve paid off 20% of the mortgage. However, many buyers with PMI are using some form of first-time buyer loan, such as an FHA loan.

With an FHA loan, youíll be stuck with PMI for the lifetime of the loan if you donít make a down payment of 10% or more. Thatís a lot of PMI payments, especially if you take out a 30 year loan, and it can quickly add up.

If you have an FHA loan with FHA insurance, the only way to cancel the insurance is to refinance into a non-FHA insured loan. And remember--refinancing has its own costs and complications.

Making it to the 20% repayment mark

On conventional loans, the best way to get rid of PMI is to reach your 20% repayment mark as soon as possible. That could mean aggressively paying off your mortgage until you reach that point.

This can be achieved by making extra payments, or just paying more each month. However, you donít want to neglect other debt that could be accruing costly interest in favor of paying off your loans. Make sure you do the math and find out which debt will be more expensive before neglecting other debt.

Once you do reach the 20% repayment mark, youíll have to remember to apply to have your PMI canceled with your lender. Otherwise, it will be canceled automatically at 22%.





Posted by The John Barrett Real Estate Team on 12/25/2016

If you have been dreaming of owning a vacation home now may be the time to buy. Home prices and mortgage rates continue to fall and there are some great deals for buyers looking for a second home. Here are five things you need to know before taking the leap. 1. Prices are at all-time lows In many second-home hot spots, prices are still close to their five-year lows. When the real-estate bubble burst, some of the hardest-hit markets were vacation destinations. Many vacation home areas experienced overgrowth and may now be suffering from foreclosures. 2. Think ROI Consider the possible return on your investment. Whether or not you decide to rent the home out, you will want to consider buying a place that has good rent potential. That's because a home's rent ability can affect its resale value. Before you bid on a house, make sure the homeowners association or township allows short-term rentals. 3. Don't count on rental income If you are planning on counting on rental income to cover the costs beware. According to HomeAway.com, a typical second home property rents out just 17 weeks a year. Make sure to account for the weeks the home won't rent. Plus, you'll need to pay for cleaning, maintenance, insurance, and maybe management fees. Make sure to plan on the maintenance costs of the property being at least 15% of the income. 4. Your mortgage rate depends on how you use the home How you use the home depends on the mortgage rate you will receive. If you plan to use the property primarily as a second home and you'll pay about the same mortgage rate as you would on a primary residence. If your plans are to use the home for rental income and need that income to qualify for the loan, you'll need to have as much as 25% for the down payment and pay up to one percentage point more in interest. 5. Take advantage of tax benefits Talk to your tax guy before you buy. If you rent the home out for two weeks or less you won't have to report a cent of income to the IRS. The good news here, you can still deduct property taxes and mortgage interest. On the flipside, if you stay there for less than two weeks or 10% of rental days, you can deduct operating costs in addition to interest and property tax. But where should you buy? According to CNBC here are the top places to buy a second home. If you are thinking about buying a second home I can help you find a professional agent in that area.





Posted by The John Barrett Real Estate Team on 11/27/2016

real estate shopping onlineSellers beware! Most sellers realize there will be a bit of negotiation once an Offer to Purchase is made on their property. Sellers†may receive an offer that is lower than what their property is listed at. In this case it is common for the seller to counter that offer, the counter to be accepted or denied at the discretion of the potential buyer. Due to the anticipated negotiation process, it may seem like it would†make sense to put your house into MLS at a value far over the value that you understand your property is worth. Sellers feel that if their end game is receiving X amount of money for their house, if they list it at X+15, and after negotiations accept their originally desired amount of X, it†seems like they participated willingly in negotiations and accepted below asking price for the sake of the buyer. This idea is good in theory, but does not actually work to the benefit of the seller for the following reason: Listing your house at the exact price you're looking to receive allows for maximum exposure potential via MLS. In order to search for a listing on MLS, you must enter a minimum and maximum price range. Buyers seeking homes at your desired price of X will not see your listing in their MLS search because of the additional 15 you've added to your listing price. Their search will be cut short at X and as a seller, you will lose potential buyers. For more information on allowing for maximum exposure potential for your property please contact me!





Posted by The John Barrett Real Estate Team on 8/28/2016

When buying a home the last thing you do before you sign on the dotted line is go to the house and do a final walkthrough. This is different than the home inspection and done just prior to the final closing of the sale. The purpose of this walkthrough is to make sure the house will be delivered as agreed in your contract. You want to make sure the seller is leaving the house in working order and no problems with the house have occurred since the last time you where there. Hereís a quick checklist that will help you make the most of your final walkthrough: -Bring your purchase contract with you and†verify that all items agreed to in the contract have been taken care of -Make sure the home and the exterior are free of personal belongings -The home and exterior should also be free of trash -Test all the appliances - Confirm all the light fixtures are working - Turn on ceiling fans as well as exhaust fans in the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry area. -Check to make sure that the garage door remotes are in working order - Go through the house and turn on every faucet and flush all the toilets - Run the garbage disposal and trash compactor - Open and close all the windows and doors to make sure they are opening and latching properly - Look for any damage on the ceilings, floors, and walls such as new scratches, cracks, or other issues - Finally, account for all keys to the property This is an important step to take and could save you lot of headaches. This allows you to be able to resolve any problems before you close on the house.





Posted by The John Barrett Real Estate Team on 11/15/2015

When it comes to searching for a home, there are a lot of factors that you have to consider. This is especially the case if you are shopping for condos, as you will be sharing a lot of common space with your neighbors as well. The first thing to look into is the overall interactivity that goes on within the block of condos you are considering to make your home. In most cases, it is always better to find a condo that has an interactive community, because this in turn means that you never have to worry that someone might not be doing their part in keeping the block of properties maintained and in good condition. One thing to be careful of is that some communities do not allow pets, and so if you are looking for a condo for you and your pets, then you need to make sure that the community has no problem with this. In the end, you have to find a condo that is able to be comfortable to live in, and where there is the least amount of stress. While it can be very beneficial to live in a community, it can at times be stressful if you are not one to go by strenuous rules. For some people, the idea of owning a home means that they have the freedom of choice to do what they want in their property. One of the most important things to look into when buying a condo is the condo fees. What are they and what will they be down the road? Are they set condo fees, or could they become too costly to pay down the road? Some condos fees go up to the point that makes the great price you got on the condo not look so great because of what you are paying in taxes and condo fees. One of pluses of a condo is no maintenance and a lot of people really like that especially in your later years when you donít want to mow the lawn or shovel the sidewalks. A condo is a great option for many buyers and you can generally get into a condo for a fair price.







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