Kim Duke - WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate



Posted by Kim Duke on 6/18/2018

Buying a home is a process that can seem daunting and even a little scary to most first-time buyers. After all, being a homeowner is a huge financial and personal responsibility.

To make this lengthy process a bit more approachable, we’re going to break it down into five steps. While these five steps may be somewhat different for each person, depending on their own unique situation, they do comprise most home buyer’s experience.

If you’re interested in learning the steps you’ll need to take before owning your first home, read on.

Step 1: Know your long-term goals

Before you buy a home, you’ll want to have a clear understanding of what you, your spouse, and your family want from the next five or more years. You’ll want to make sure the area you’re moving to can provide things like career advancement and opportunity, good schools for your children, and so on.

These questions may seem obvious, but it’s an important conversation to have before making the long-term commitment of owning a home.

Step 2: Your budget and your needs

It might be tempting to hop online and start shopping for houses, but first you should get a clear idea of the size and cost of the house you’re looking for. This involves determining your budget, thinking about your credit and planning for your down payment.

Step 3: Mortgage pre-approval

Getting preapproved for a mortgage can be a great way to gauge the interest late and loan amount you’ll be approved for. You’ll need to gather paperwork, including income information (pay stubs), tax returns, and W-2 forms.

Be aware that lenders will run a detailed credit report. Since credit reports count as an inquiry, they can temporarily lower your credit score by a few points.

Applying to several lenders within a short period of time can make a significant impact on your score. However, it will start to rise again within a few months if you don’t open any new credit accounts or take out other loans.

Step 4: Get an agent

Real estate agents know the ins and outs of the home buying process better than anyone else. They’ll be able to guide you through the process and provide you with information that you can’t get anywhere else.

Step 5: Pick the right home for you

Now it’s time to start home shopping. However, before you begin, remember that getting approved for a loan doesn’t mean you must or should seek to spend the full amount on a home.

Plan for your needs, and keep the future in mind. Someday you might decide to upgrade, but in the meantime you can be building your credit and building equity in a smaller or more frugal home.





Posted by Kim Duke on 6/13/2018

ARE YOU LOOKING FOR THAT PICTURE PERFECT HOME? LOCATED ON THE WEST BRIDGEWATER LINE, THIS GORGEOUS CUSTOM BUILT OVER SIZED MULTI LEVEL WITH FANTASTIC CURB APPEAL THAT YOUR NEIGHBORS WILL ENVY. BEAUTIFULLY UPDATED CUSTOM EAT-IN KITCHEN, UPGRADED HICKORY 42" CABINETRY TO CEILING W/SOFT CLOSE FEATURE, UNDER CABINET LIGHTING, STONE BACK SPLASH, STAINLESS APPLIANCES WITH 5 BURNER GAS STOVE & SPARKLING GRANITE COUNTERS, FIRE PLACED LIVING ROOM W/ VAULTED CEILINGS, FINISHED LOWER LEVEL FAMILY ROOM WITH HALF BATH, LAUNDRY, WALK OUT TO BACK YARD, DEN WITH SKYLIGHT AND SLIDER TO OVER SIZED DECK W/PERGOLA THAT OVERLOOKS PROFESSIONAL LANDSCAPED YARD W/LILAC BUSHES, HOSTAS & 2 NEWER SHEDS ONE W/ ELECTRIC. ALL NEW ITEMS ARE AS FOLLOWS TOP OF THE LINE FHA GAS HEATING SYSTEM, CEDAR SHAKER IMPRESSION VINYL SIDING, AIR CONDITIONING, HOT WATER HEATER, ANDERSON WINDOWS AND DOORS, FENCING, 30 ARCH ROOF, 100 AMP ELECTRIC, FRONT STAIRS AND FLAGSTONE WALKWAY. STOP BY THE OPEN HOUSE YOU'LL BE GLAD YOU DID!

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts





Posted by Kim Duke on 6/11/2018

Paying off a mortgage early is a dream of many homeowners. By making larger payments on your home loan, you can cut years off of your loan term and save thousands of dollars in interest payments that you can use toward savings or investments. But in an economy that has seen decades of wage stagnation and increasing costs of living, it can often seem like an unattainable goal.

With some planning and initiative, however, there are ways to pay off your home loan before your term limit.

In today’s post, we’re going to talk about three of the ways you can start paying off your mortgage early to avoid high interest payments and save yourself money along the way.

1. Refinance your mortgage


If you’re considering making larger payments on your mortgage, it might make sense to look at refinancing options. Most Americans take out 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages.

If you can afford to significantly increase your mortgage payments each month, you could refinance to a 15-year mortgage. This will save you on the number of interest payments you’ll have to make over the years. But, it will also help you secure a lower interest rate since shorter term mortgages typically come with lower interest rates.

This option isn’t for everyone. First, refinancing comes with fees you’ll have to pay for upfront. You’ll have to apply for refinancing, get an appraisal of your home, and wait for the decision to be made.

But, you’ll also have to ensure that you can keep up with your higher monthly payments. If your income is variable or undependable, it might not be the safest option to refinance to a shorter term mortgage.

2. Make extra payments

An option that entails less risk than refinancing is to simply increase your monthly payments. If you recently got a raise or are just reallocating funds to try and tackle your mortgage, this is an excellent option.

Depending on your mortgage lender, you may be able to simple increase your auto-pay amounts each month, streamlining the process. Otherwise, it’s possible to set up bill-pay with most banks to automatically transfer funds to your lender.

3. Bi-weekly payments or one extra payment per year

Making bi-weekly instead of monthly payments is an option that many homeowners use to pay off their mortgages early. Bi-weekly payments work by paying half of your monthly payment once every two weeks.

The vast majority of homeowners make 12 monthly payments per year. But by switching to 26 bi-weekly payments, you can effectively make 13 full monthly payments in a year without seeing too much of a difference in your daily budget.

This doesn’t seem like much savings in the short term, but let’s take a look at how much you could save over the term of a 30-year mortgage.

On a 30-year fixed mortgage of $200,000 with a 4.03 annual interest rate, you would make a monthly payment of $958.00 and a bi-weekly payment of $479.

Over 30 years of an extra monthly payment, you could save nearly $20,000 on the total interest amount and pay off your mortgage almost 5 years early.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Kim Duke on 6/6/2018

UPDATED 3 BEDROOM 2 1/2 BATH COLONIAL IS A COMMUTERS DREAM LOCATED IN A QUIET NEIGHBORHOOD ON THE AVON LINE. THE KITCHEN HAS NEW WHITE CABINETS, QUARTZ COUNTER TOPS, TILE FLOOR AND STAINLESS STEEL APPLIANCES. THE DINING ROOM AND LIVING ROOM HAVE BEAUTIFUL REFINISHED HARDWOOD FLOORS, FIRST FLOOR BEDROOM AND FULL BATH WITH OVER SIZED TILE SHOWER WITH GLASS INLAY COMPLETE THE FIRST FLOOR. UPSTAIRS MASTER BEDROOM HAS WALK- IN CLOSET. MASTER BATH HAS DEEP TUB/ SHOWER WITH WHITE SUBWAY TILE AND MODERN TILE FLOOR. THERE IS ALSO ANOTHER BEDROOM ON THIS LEVEL BOTH WITH HARDWOOD FLOORS. THE BASEMENT IS FINISHED WITH MODERN TILE FLOOR THROUGH OUT WITH FAMILY ROOM / DEN HALF BATH AND LAUNDRY. GREAT BACKYARD FOR FAMILY COOKOUTS. THIS PROPERTY IS A MUST SEE. THE FIRST SHOWINGS BEGIN AT THE COMMUTER OPEN HOUSE WEDNESDAY 6/6 FROM 4:30 - 6:30 PM.

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts





Posted by Kim Duke on 6/4/2018

Window shutters are a very old form of home improvement. Since there have been windows or openings in the walls of houses, shutters have been around. While they don’t serve much of a practical purpose in the present day, they once were very important to homeowners.  Early shutters were meant to protect the interior of a home from things like intruders, weather, and animals. 


Ornamentation


Present day shutters are often used as the finishing touch for a home. Many homes just wouldn’t look complete without them on the outside of the house. So, how do you find the shutters that are right for your home?


The Size And Placement Of The Shutters


You need room on your house for shutters to work on it. You shouldn’t consider putting shutters on your home if the pieces will come too close to the corner or stick out beyond the trim of your home. Your windows also shouldn’t be too close together. The space between windows and shutters should be about half of the width of one shutter. If you don’t have the appropriate space, you shouldn’t put shutters up. Even though you’re not actually using the shutters for practical purposes, you want them to look authentic, as if they could actually be closed. Keep in mind too that a small window may only need one shutter to make it work.


The Hardware 


Even though you won’t actually be using the shutters for your home, they should always be hung with the proper hardware. This allows the shutters to be attached appropriately and give the authentic look that’s needed to make them look true to form. If the shutters are hung any other way, they run the risk of looking cheap and fake. Even though you’re not actually going to use the shutters, the right hardware makes them function as they would if you really needed them.  


The Materials


As far as materials go, real wood shutters are unmatched in their authentic look. The problem with real wood shutters is that they can become weathered quickly. If you go with wood shutters, they will require frequent painting and replacement, which can become a tedious task as a homeowner.  


Vinyl shutters will last longer but choose them carefully. You still want a high quality shutter even though this material will be able to withstand the weather longer. The better the quality of your shutter, the more genuine they will look on your home. 


Color Choice


Typically, the color scheme on the outside of a home includes 2-3 different colors. Your shutters should be the accent color of the home. This means that they should match some other color that’s present on the outside of the house whether it’s your front door or your window trim, the shutters should always be a different color than the siding of a home.




Tags: shutters   home exterior  
Categories: Uncategorized  




Tags