Boston Real Estate Location

Whether you are looking to rent or buy, location is one of the most important factors when finding a place to live.  Remember you can change the space itself to fit your needs but you cannot change its surroundings.  It is necessary to investigate the area you plan to live in. NextGen Realty suggests taking a look at:

Is the location a good fit for you?

You need to make sure that you find an environment that is a good fit for you, your friends, your pets, and your belongings.  Check the local police department’s website, which provides a list of criminal activity.  Many sites have tools that allow you to narrow your search down to less than a one mile area of your potential dwelling.  If you are local, make it a point to visit the neighborhood both during the day and at night.  Pay attention to nearby businesses and the type of cliental they attract, the lighting in the area, and the amount of activity.

How Are the Local Universities?

Even if you are not planning to enroll in higher education in the near future, local area schools can be telling of the neighborhood environment.  Universities often offer various local amenities and activities that can give you a more well-rounded appreciation for your neighborhood.  If you enjoy lots of activities and services, it could be a good idea to look into what is being provided in each area.  Investigate what types of extracurricular activities are offered by the community and the district, such as artistic programming and athletic leagues.  This information is easily accessible through the department of education’s website or other real estate resource databases.

Community Activities

Choosing an area that offers opportunities for involvement will help you build lasting connections.  This is especially important if you are moving to a new area where you do not know many people.  Some examples of these activities are community sponsored athletic leagues, town meetings, auxiliary services, block parties, inclusive groups, and bingo nights.  Research has shown that areas that foster community involvement enable caring between neighbors.  Having a good relationship with those around you creates a happy environment for you and those that you care about.

Consider Your Commute

When deciding between locations, calculate the time it will take you to get from work to home.  Keep in mind your proximity to public transportation, major roads, and highways.  Also consider the availability of alternative paths in case of construction or an accident.  Remember that a long commute is additional time away from your family, friends, and favorite activities.  It also has a substantial financial impact, so while you are searching for your new home think about toll costs and gas prices.

Availability of Goods and Services

Make sure that your desired location is in close proximity to basic necessities like a gas station, bank, grocery store, and post office.  Everyday errands are challenging enough without having to commute a long way to get them done.  Also, consider how far your location is from your favorite pastimes.  Think about what you like to do on a weekly basis and make sure there is the potential for those activities in your new area.  Having fun nearby is essential for loving your new home.

Credit And Home Ownership | Boston Homes for Sale

Not performing a credit check is one of the most common mistakes first time home buyers make. Your credit score plays a very important role when buying a house, because it determines what loan you receive, and if you are even approved for a loan at all. The last thing you want is to find out that you have a low credit score while you’re sitting in a lender’s office, or after you’ve found the perfect home. There are several ways your credit score comes into play when buying a home, and several ways to improve your credit score if needed.

What Is A Credit Score?

Your credit score is a number that ranges from 300 to 850. Your credit score represents the ‘creditworthiness’ of a person. Lenders look at your credit score to evaluate how likely a person is to pay off his or her debts. If you have a low credit score, you will be considered a potential risk, and may be made to pay higher interest rates on the loan. Your credit score is affected by five different components:

Payment History

Your payment history makes up the most significant amount of your credit score at 35 percent. This refers to your account payment information, including your ability to make payments on time. In order to be considered a safe loan, lenders like to see that you consistently make payments on time. Late payments can lower your credit score.

Amount of Debt Owed

The amount of debt you owe, including on credit cards, student loans and car loans, makes up 30 percent of your credit score. Paying down debt can help raise your credit score.

Credit History Length

Your credit history length how long ago you opened your accounts and how you’ve managed them since you opened them makes up 15 percent of your credit score.

Types of Credit

The types of credit you have acquired make up 10 percent of your credit score.

New Credit

New Credit makes up 10 percent of your credit score. You typically do not want to open new lines of credit when you’re in the process of buying a house.

Why Is Checking Your Credit Score Important?

Checking your credit score before attempting to obtain a loan is important for a number of different reasons. As aforementioned, how high your credit score is determines the type of loan you receive and the interest rates you have to pay. Obviously, you’ll want to know your credit score before you walk into a lender’s office so you can have some idea of what to expect. But there are other important reasons to check your score before applying for a loan.

To begin with, there are a number of different ways to bring up your credit score. If you check your credit score before applying for a loan and find that it is less-than desirable, you can work to improve it. Then, why you apply for a loan, you can receive a higher one with lower interest rates than you would have if you had gone into the lender’s office blind. Secondly, there may be inaccurate information on your credit score. According to a study conducted by consumer group PIRG, 79 percent of credit reports contain some wrong information, and 1 in 4 reports contain errors damaging enough to deny consumers favorable loans. Checking your credit score before you apply for a loan can give you the chance to remove these errors.

How Can You Improve Your Credit Score?

There are a number of different ways to improve your credit score. In addition to checking your credit score to remove inaccuracies, you can pay down your debt and pay your bills on time. Setting up payment reminders or enrolling in automatic payment programs can help you pay your bills on time, which can significantly affect your score as a payment history makes up 35 percent of your overall score. Paying down the amounts of debt you owe, including paying down your credit card balance and paying off the loans you have will help improve your score as well.

5 Tips to Ensure You Receive Your Full Security Deposit

Everyone hopes to get their security deposit back when they move out of any apartment. Renters usually take time to clean an apartment and thoroughly check a property before moving out. Unfortunately, many landlords may still find reasons to withhold a portion or all of a security deposit once they review the property. No matter how much you trust your landlord, it’s always a good idea to take extra precautions while living in a rental unit. To protect you and your money, consider the following tips to ensure you receive your full security deposit:

1. Research the landlord beforehand

In this day and age, many Internet users around the world are taking to their computers to rate goods and services. If your landlord has a history of withholding deposits for frivolous reasons, you may be able to find that out before you move in. Take time to research the landlord, the leasing company, and anything associated with the property name.

2. Don’t leave anything

It may sound like a no brainer but leaving anything in the apartment can cost the renter multiple disposal fees. Even if the property came with a trash can, be sure that you empty out the trash before you leave. If you have furniture that you can’t afford to take with you, try to sell it or donate it before you leave the rental. Many donation companies will even come and pick up furniture at no cost to the owner. Boston Pads, an online real estate resource, notes that tenants should walk through the property numerous times before they leave for good. This will help to ensure that you haven’t forgotten any items. Even if you think that the items may be useful for the next tenants, it’s safer to just take the items with you.

3. Note the conditions at move in

In the excitement of moving into a new property, it can be tempting to take the easy route and not write down things that you notice are broken or not functioning properly. Reputable landlords and real estate agents provide tenants with a blank apartment condition statement form to fill out and return within 15 days of moving into your pad. Go through each item and physically ensure that it is in good condition. If you notice things like scratches, rust, or cracks, be sure to note these things in an apartment condition statement form. Make sure you provide the landlord a current list of all issues associated with the unit within 15 days of occupancy. Don’t assume that you won’t get charged for small imperfections as they can often add up to be quite costly. Be sure that your landlord files your checklist and that they acknowledge the damage you reported. If you have a camera, take dated photos of the damage and store them in a safe place. These photos can be used as evidence if you need to dispute the state of the property when it’s time to move out. It is always best before moving in to take as many pictures or videos as possible. Hopefully you are moving in before tenants are moving out!  Sometimes tenants take too long to move out and that can cause friction. If you come to your apartment and the current tenants have not completely moved out yet it is best to call your landlord or property manager immediately and let them know.

4. Schedule to do the walk-through with the landlord

If possible, ask to do the final walk-through with the landlord so you can address what they notice. Work with the landlord before you move out to see if you can address the issues that you may have caused yourself. Perhaps they can recommend someone who can help fix that window your broke while moving out or perhaps the door that accidentally got scratched. In any event, good upfront communication is always the way to go. If you break or scratch something in a significant way, calling the landlord quickly often shows that you care rather than trying to hide something. This leads to the best relationship possible. And isn’t that what you want?

Boston Massachusetts Blizzard Juno 2015 Storm

Weather forecasters and numerous city officials in states along the east coast have been touting that the winter blizzard “Juno” could be potentially historic, as the worst storm to hit the Northeast in years. While heavy nor’easter storms like these are known to cause disruptions with power outages and halted traffic, the Red Cross is advising people to follow winter weather advisory’s and warnings to keep warm and safe in your household.

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