Clifton Verdieu - The Norton Group, Inc.



Posted by Clifton Verdieu on 1/13/2019

You found the perfect home. It has everything you want from location to bedrooms to that art studio in the back, AND the mortgage payment will be lower than or the same as your current rent. You got qualified for the loan and the agent has all the paperwork ready to go. So that’s it, right? Time to buy!

In all the excitement of finding that new home, it’s easy to ignore the warning signs of “overspending” and forget that there are more costs than just the mortgage payment. This can be a dangerous game because once those papers are signed, you are stuck with your purchase. 

Additional Monthly Costs
For the best home-buying experience, calculate ALL your monthly costs and try to budget that into your life before you make any final decisions. Determine what you are willing to give up in order to get that extra bedroom or live in that perfect neighborhood. Some additional monthly charges include:

  • PMI “Private Mortgage Insurance”: Pay attention to the mortgage you qualify for and make sure to calculate for PMI in your new monthly budget if it applies. PMI exists to protect your lender in case you default on your mortgage loan. It’s usually included when you have a lower credit score or a smaller down payment and can range from $75 to $300 per month or more.
  • Homeowners Insurance: You’ve been paying renters insurance for a while now probably, but homeowners’ insurance is a completely different ball game. Your insurance cost will be based on the estimated cost to fix or rebuild your home after a catastrophic event, NOT its market value. That means any special features with historic value, specialty windows, etc. will increase the price. Also check out if the home is in a weather damage area, somewhere prone to tornadoes, flooding, hail, etc. It also covers everything inside your home from furnishings to clothes and electronics. The more stuff you have, the greater the cost to insure it.
  • Property Tax: Unlike tenants, owners pay taxes to local governments for schools, roads, city governments, etc. These vary greatly from area to area, so be sure to find a good local property tax calculator to help estimate what those charges will be. If you’re buying a home in a new neighborhood or a gentrifying one, there may be additional taxes to cover the cost of roads, streetlights, parks, and other new area features.
  • Association Fees/Dues: Nearly all condos belong to Home Owners Associations (HOAs). Depending on the neighborhood you choose, your single-family home may belong to one as well. HOAs handle neighborhood maintenance including streetlights, pool upkeep, exterior maintenance, parks, and even security. HOA dues can range from $50ish per month up into the hundreds of dollars or even more.
  • Services: You know all those utilities and local services currently included in your rent? As an owner, you must pay for all of them separately. That means water, power, trash, sewage, recycling, internet, cable, and phone bills all get added on top of your monthly payments as well. Some cities such as Austin, Texas, also have local monthly fees separate from property taxes, usually to cover extra city features like parks.

Other Costs
The most difficult costs to calculate or plan for are maintenance costs. If your landlord currently covers bug treatments, light bulbs, paint, carpeting, landscaping and generally all other maintenance, you will need to try and estimate how much of that you’ll need to pay for in your new home. There is no one else to pitch in, so this can end up being a huge additional cost.

So, How Do I Buy a Home Safely?
First, find yourself a good agent. A well-qualified agent who is familiar with your area and property needs can help you figure most of these costs. All you must do is ask. If your agent is unable or unwilling to help you plan for these, find yourself a new agent.

Ask your agent today if they can help you put together a true cost budget for each of the homes you’re interested in, that way you can make the best-informed decision. 





Posted by Clifton Verdieu on 1/6/2019

Want to sell your home? Like many home sellers, you're probably on the lookout for a real estate agent who can help you get the best price for your house.

Choosing the right real estate agent usually will require you to perform comprehensive research. You'll need to examine the credentials and skills of many real estate agents in your area. Plus, you may want to sit down and chat with various real estate agents to find one who can simplify the home selling process.

Ultimately, there are several questions you should ask a real estate agent before you hire him or her to sell your house, including:

1. What is your home selling experience?

No two homes are identical, and much in the same way, no two real estate agents are exactly alike. As such, you should learn about a real estate agent's experience to ensure he or she possesses the expertise necessary to sell your house.

For example, if you're selling a condo, you may want to hire a real estate professional with condo experience. Or, if you're looking to sell your home as quickly as possible, you should find a real estate agent who knows how to promote a home across social media and other platforms.

2. How will you keep in touch?

What good is a real estate agent if this professional fails to keep you informed throughout the home selling journey?

With the right real estate agent at your side, you'll be able to stay up to date along each stage of the home selling process. In fact, this professional will provide you with updates about offers on your home, requests to view your residence and much more.

Furthermore, your real estate agent should be easily accessible via phone and email. This means if you need support at any point during the home selling journey, your real estate agent will be able to assist you.

3. Can you provide references?

An expert real estate agent should have no trouble connecting you with past clients. That way, you can find out how this real estate professional has helped previous home sellers accomplish their goals.

If you connect with a real estate agent's past clients, you can get a better idea about how this real estate professional responds to various home selling challenges. As a result, you'll be better equipped to determine if this real estate agent is the right person to help you sell your house.

4. How will you market my house?

A real estate agent should go above and beyond the call of duty to market your house to the right groups of homebuyers. This professional typically will allocate extensive time and resources to learn about you and your home selling needs and help you plan accordingly.

Finding out how a real estate agent will promote your home is essential. With this information, you can understand whether a real estate agent will do everything possible to showcase your residence to potential homebuyers.

Use the aforementioned questions, and you can select the right real estate agent to help you sell your home.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Clifton Verdieu on 12/30/2018

Chimney maintenance and repair is incredibly important. You need to complete certain tasks to ensure that your fireplace is working safely and effectively. There’s no better time than the off season to get these tasks in order. 


Remember that you should only burn dry wood in your fireplace. Although fireplaces aren’t high on the technology spectrum, they do require some effort to keep in working order. Failure to do so can result in smoke and even a chimney fire. Soot build up can put a damper on the proper ventilation of the chimney. The soot is partly a result of creosote- a combustible, tar-like substance. It’s a natural by-product of wood that has been burned. With reduced ventilation, the creosote will cause potentially dangerous build up.


While creosote itself is not flammable, it can cause the chimney to clog and structural damage could result. It’s important to properly maintain your chimney in order to prevent dangerous oil build-up that can cause a chimney fire.


Inspections


A professional can come and inspect your fireplace and chimney. They can check for damage, obstructions, build-up, or soot. The inspector will be able to determine if you need a sweep of your chimney. The inspector will be able to do the sweep on the spot in most cases. An inspection of your chimney should take place every year.   


There are different levels of chimney inspections that occur. Basic inspections are a visual look at anything that could be in your chimney from soot to a bird’s nest. More complex inspections could involve taking the chimney apart and physically reconstructing the structure. This would occur after some kind of a natural disaster like a hurricane or a tornado. The cost of these inspections depends on how extensive they become.


Other Maintenance


You can improve your fireplace’s functioning with a few basic steps. Fist, you should only burn dry wood. Logs should be split and dried for 8-12 months. You should also burn certain types of wood especially hardwoods like hickory, oak, beech, maple and ash. These woods burn the longest. The most important thing about wood to be burned in the fireplace is that it is dry.       


Burn Only Wood


It can be tempting to throw things into your fireplace to burn, but you should keep away from burning construction wood, plastics, or other things that could let off odors. Even burning paper can be dangerous because of the embers that result as the fire burns.


If you keep on top of your scheduled chimney maintenance and replace parts as needed, you’ll be able to have lovely fires all winter long with peace of mind.





Posted by Clifton Verdieu on 12/24/2018

This Single-Family in Lawrence, MA recently sold for $245,000. This Colonial style home was sold by Clifton Verdieu - The Norton Group, Inc..


90 Ames St, Lawrence, MA 01841

Single-Family

$260,000
Price
$245,000
Sale Price

7
Rooms
3
Beds
1/1
Full/Half Baths
LOCATION! This beautiful single family home sits atop in the heart of Tower Hill - Methuen border. This property offers plenty of space, natural Sun light, and lots of interesting details from to original hardwood floors. Low traffic and centrally located makes this hidden GEM a great place to live for the years to come. Spacious interiors, Large kitchen area and 1.5 bedrooms, Serene back yard, Nice front yard, Near Major Highways & Routes (I-93, !-495 & Rte 213, Rte 110, Rte 113 and Rt 28). Less than 10 miles to Umass Lowell, Merrimack College and Cambridge Colleges, short distances to downtown Lawrence, Methuen Square, and much more! **Brand NEW roof** **Brand NEW heating system** & **Brand NEW garage door** Come and see it for yourself now.

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Categories: Sold Homes  


Posted by Clifton Verdieu on 12/23/2018

As a home seller, it is important to do everything possible to make your residence an attractive choice for buyers. Because if your home stands out from the pack, you may be better equipped than other sellers to enjoy a fast, seamless and profitable house selling experience.

Ultimately, there are many ways to make your home an attractive option for buyers, and these include:

1. Perform Home Improvements

If your home has a leaky roof, defective heating and cooling system or other problems, there may be no time like the present to perform house upgrades. That way, you can transform assorted home weaknesses into strengths.

For home sellers who are uncertain about how to upgrade their residences, it may be beneficial to conduct a home inspection. This evaluation enables a home inspector to review your residence both inside and out. Then, a home inspector will provide a report that details his or her findings, and you can use the report results to prioritize home improvement projects.

2. Remove Clutter

If your home is full of antiques, furniture and various personal belongings, it may be tough for homebuyers to envision what life may be like if they purchase your residence. Conversely, if you eliminate clutter from your home, you can show off your living space's full potential to buyers.

Oftentimes, it helps to rent a storage unit before you list your residence. This unit will allow you to store a wide range of personal belongings in a safe place until your house sells.

It also may be a good idea to host a yard sale or sell excess items online. By doing so, you can simultaneously remove clutter and earn extra cash.

3. Boost Your Residence's Curb Appeal

Your house's curb appeal is a difference-maker in homebuyers' eyes. If your home boasts a pristine front lawn, flawless siding and other dazzling exterior features, your residence may stand out to buyers as soon as they see it. Comparatively, if your house has a messy front lawn, damaged siding and other noticeable flaws, your residence is unlikely to make a positive first impression on buyers.

Allocate time and resources to bolster your house's curb appeal – you'll be happy you did. If your home makes a positive first impression on homebuyers, you may receive lots of interest in your residence. And as a result, you may be able to accelerate the house selling cycle.

Lastly, as you search for ways to distinguish your residence from other available houses, you may want to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can offer expert recommendations and suggestions to help you enhance your residence. Plus, if you have any concerns or questions throughout the home selling journey, a real estate agent will always be available to address them.

Ensure your residence is an attractive option for buyers – use the aforementioned tips, and you can differentiate your house from the competition.




Categories: Uncategorized  




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