First time home buyers plan in advance

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It can happen when you least expect it: the opportunity you’ve been thinking about for awhile suddenly opens up – and you realize your time to become a homeowner has arrived!

Maybe the landlord of the Lake Wallenpaupack home you’ve been renting suddenly decides it’s time to sell. Or, during a search for a rental, you happen upon a new local listing that’s such a bargain you’d be crazy not to snap it up!  Life is always presenting unexpected opportunities to us and it’s no different to the first time home. So, if you haven’t prepared for this moment – in advance – you may well be disappointed.

Advance planning is the key to successful first time home buyers

Job One is to take very seriously the sometimes arbitrary-seeming Rules of the Road for credit scoring.  Money Magazine recently reported the average FICO credit score for denied conventional loan applicants was 729…a pretty darn good score for anything else. The score on approved loans was 762 — after an average 21% down payment!

Successful first-time buyers have kept their options open by lining up their ducks well in advance — completing at least two mandatory steps. So, if you haven’t done so, right now would be the appropriate time to start!

  1. Get your accounts in order. If it comes time to pull the trigger, every bank will look closely at every bank account you have. They look for “seasoned” funds, meaning cash that has been on hand for at least three months (sometimes six), untouched.   First time homebuyers will have established the total amount needed for a down payment — or have a clear trail of the origin of the assets they will sell to get it.
  2. Check your debt.  Banks are looking for a debt-to-income ratio of no more than 33%.  If you got a little too festive with your credit cards during last month’s holiday season, start paying down those balances.

Buying a first home is an exciting decision that can be as fun as it is stressful.  Having prepared in advance will accentuate the fun part, just as having the right agent by your side will, too.  If and when the opportunity to become one of our local first-time buyers presents itself  — or even if you have any questions about how to prepare — give me a call!

How about a few ideas to help our Lake Wallenpaupack homes sellers banish these winter blues?

As fall becomes early winter, the crisp air, festive celebrations and holiday spirit do their job of gladdening local hearts. However, after the eggnog bowl disappears — once January rolls around and the holiday decorations go into cartons — it’s common to feel varying degrees of the ‘winter blues.’

Actually, the experts call that Seasonal Affective Disorder, but since the acronym is ‘SAD,’ I prefer ‘winter blues.’  For anybody who’s been feeling a little down, particularly if you have a local property that’s been on the market without attracting much activity, this is a good time to take a moment to bring back some cheer to your property!

The quickest spirit-elevator is to simply lay out colorful pillows, throws, or little details like punchy candles or tablecloths. Then roll up the shades during the day to let in more light  – and not only when your property is scheduled for a showing (drive-by prospects are put off by a shuttered-looking house).

Feeling trapped indoors?  Consider using that extra indoor time to de-clutter your property — just a little freshening up really does lift spirits. If these short daylight hours are getting you down, see if switching one or two lamps over to “full spectrum” light bulbs has an effect.  They mimic natural light; for some people, they affect mood in the same way that natural sunlight does. You can also experiment with a sunlamp specifically designed to help those with more pronounced seasonal sensitivity.

Finally, if the winter blues threaten (and a Caribbean vacation is out of the question), why not simply embrace the season?   Bundle up, get outside, and connect with nature, especially on those glorious windless local days when the sun is shining.

But what to do when it’s cold, dark, and damp? I know that days like that remind me to be grateful for clothes that keep me warm, a warm bed to sleep in, and a safe property to house the family. They also make me really appreciate the warm ones!

Have a local property question?  I’m standing by all winter long with answers. Call anytime!

 

Let’s consider the pros & cons with listing your home during the winter months

Winter morning

Selling your home in Winter

If you are an Northeast PA homeowner struggling with the decision about whether listing your home for sale during the winter months is good or bad, there are arguments for either choice.
Let’s start with the “pros”:
One of the best things I like about listing your home for sale in the winter months is that the holidays work to your advantage. Nothing says “home” better than a house that is well (and tastefully!) decorated for the holidays. By making sure the decorations accent the house rather than overpower it, you still funnel attention where it belongs: on your house!
Another plus that comes with listing your home in town during the winter months is the logistical reasons that keep the proportion of non-serious “shoppers” from occupying your time. I find that the majority of those who are looking for homes during the winter months are disproportionally intent on actually buying a home.
On the other hand, some of those same logistical forces serve as counterarguments against listing your home during the winter. They are the same reasons many real estate agents tell their clients to wait until the spring to list. It’s true that there are fewer daylight hours for home viewings…not to mention spates of bad weather, and the greater chance that holiday travel will interfere with both buyer and seller schedules.
All in all, I think the arguments cancel each other out: I don’t advise you to allow the time of year to prevent you from listing your home in any season. If you are otherwise ready to sell your home this month or next, I say — make the most of the season! Who knows – it has happened more than once that the right buyer is out there right now. I have marketing plans for area homes that work every month of the year — if you are ready to sell, I’d be delighted to help you launch your sale this holiday season!

Spacious and solid chalet in inclusive Masthope Mountain

 

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MLS#: 12-3681
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RS311618
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123 Firelight Lane
Lackawaxen, PA
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Charming Home in a Wonderful Community

$ Click for current price
4 BEDROOMS
2 BATHROOMS (2 full)
1315 Square Feet

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Masthope – raised ranch – Lots of room for the whole family!!! 4 bedrooms, 2 full bath finished lower level, large front deck, – close to the pool and ski slopes! Lots of privacy on this raised 1/2 acre lot far back off the road. Enjoy the skiing, river, lake, pool, horseback riding and more!!!

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123 Firelight Lane Lackawaxen, PA – Masthope Mountain

 

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Lauren Bianco
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Information valid for the date of this posting only. Please contact us for the most current information and status of this property.
123 Firelight Lane
Lackawaxen, PA
QR Code Scan with your smartphone & take me with you.
Description Features Photos Maps & Local Schools
$ Click for current price
4 BEDROOMS
2 BATHROOMS (2 full)
1315 Square Feet

Masthope – raised ranch – Lots of room for the whole family!!! 4 bedrooms, 2 full bath finished lower level, large front deck, – close to the pool and ski slopes! Lots of privacy on this raised 1/2 acre lot far back off the road. Enjoy the skiing, river, lake, pool, horseback riding and more!!!

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Lot 43 Highridge Road Equinunk, PA – Woods @Duck Harbor Lot

 

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Lauren Bianco
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570-815-9008
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MLS#: 12-2962
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43 Highridge Road
Equinunk, PA
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5+ ACRE BEST BUY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

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Beautiful 5+ acre lot ready to build on in The Woods @ Duck Harbor, Equinunk, PA 5.31 acre lot in the highly desirable and gated community of The Woods at Duck Harbor, with easy access to Duck Harbor Pond, a 205-acre lake allowing motorboats and jet-skis and backs state lands.

Build your beautiful country home on this expansive parcel with lovely views.

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Lot 43 Highridge Road Equinunk PA – The Woods @Duck Harbor

 

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Lauren Bianco
Weichert Realtors/Paupack Group
570-815-9008
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MLS#: 12-2962
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Information valid for the date of this posting only. Please contact us for the most current information and status of this property.
43 Highridge Road
Equinunk, PA
QR Code Scan with your smartphone & take me with you.
Description Features Photos Maps & Local Schools

5+ ACRE BEST BUY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

$ Click for current price

Beautiful 5+ acre lot ready to build on in The Woods @ Duck Harbor, Equinunk, PA 5.31 acre lot in the highly desirable and gated community of The Woods at Duck Harbor, with easy access to Duck Harbor Pond, a 205-acre lake allowing motorboats and jet-skis and backs state lands.

Build your beautiful country home on this expansive parcel with lovely views.

L2L Property Websites WP