Diana's Neighborhood

Real Estate in New York & Connecticut – Won't you be my neighbor?

First-Time Homebuyer’s Guide

First-Time Homebuyer’s Guide from FrontDoor.com

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                                                              ~Brenda-Starr~ – Flickr.com

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March 12, 2011 Posted by | Buyers, Front Door, Home, Real Estate, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

A Spooky Halloween

A Spooky Halloween… with help from:

                                                                       Trostle – Flickr.com

and from FrontDoor.com – Tips for Living in a Haunted House… say what?

Real Estate Top 10
 
Tips for Living in a Haunted House
Living with ghosts Who you gonna call? Get advice on living with ghosts from the paranormal pros featured on HGTV’s House Haunters.
1
Don’t panic
2
Ask for the ghost’s name
3
Continue to not panic
6 (Hopefully) Ghost-Free Castles for Sale
 

October 9, 2010 Posted by | Autumn, Fall, Halloween, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Home Buying Dos & Don’ts

Homebuying Do’s & Dont’s from HGTV’s FrontDoor.com

                                                         kansasexplorer 3128 ~Flickr.com

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                                                                  m_bahareth – Flickr.com

September 6, 2010 Posted by | Buyers, Front Door, HGTV, Home, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tips for Settling Into Your New Home

From HGTV’s FrontDoor.com – 10 Tips for Settling Into Your New Home…

 

                                   ~~~~~~~~~~~~  CLICK Here to View List  ~~~~~~~~~~~~

                                                                  Mannequin – Flickr.com

January 30, 2010 Posted by | Buyers, Front Door, HGTV, Home, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Home Improvements with FrontDoor

Home Improvements with HGTV’s FrontDoor – Get the most out of your improvements starting with the Kitchen…

                                                                DieselDemon – Flickr.com

                         ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  CLICK Here to View  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                                           Dru Bloomfield – At Home in Scottsdale – Flickr.com

January 17, 2010 Posted by | Front Door, Home, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Home Selling Guide

In today’s market, selling your home can be a challenge.  From HGTV’S FrontDoor.com

Tudor - Hyperfinch                                                                   Hyerfinch – Flickr.com

~ CLICK ~ to view helpful hints and ideas with their Home Seller’s Guide…

SOLD

October 26, 2009 Posted by | Front Door, HGTV, Sellers, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Front Door – Top 10 Strategies for Choosing a Realtor

HGTV’s FrontDoor.com lists the Top 10 Strategies for Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent – and I totally agree with all ten!

Sold 2                                                                           ClipArt.com

Click here to view what you should be looking for in an agent – are they a full-time and full-service Realtor?  Are they networking on LinkedIn, Twitter and Face Book?  Do they have a BLOG?  Are they Tech-savvy?  Can and will they think like a buyer?   Are they understanding and do they listen?

Twitter                                                          Find me on Twitter…  DianaSantosC21

FaceBook

 

 

 

 Find me on Face Book…  Diana Alves Santos

LinkeIin                                  

 

                               Find me on LinkedIn…  Diana Santos

Home buying & selling can be a long and frustrating process – so choose someone your comfortable with and that will do their best to smooth the bumps along the way of buying and selling your home.

August 8, 2009 Posted by | Buyers, Front Door, HGTV, Realtor, Sellers, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Homebuying Dos and Don’ts

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If your taking advantage of this “Buyers Market”  –  here are some Dos and Don’ts from FRONTDOOR.COM <CLICK>

listingbook_adclip_dreamhome_boxed

Also, Listing Book is a great way to search like an agent and view all current listings that are updated every 30 minutes – unlike other Home Search sites – AND – it’s FREE!  Register for your account –       <CLICK HERE TO VIEW> 

victorian-ikkoskinen                                                                           ikkoskinen – Flickr.com

March 28, 2009 Posted by | Buyers, Home, Listing Book | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Selling Your Home in Spring Tips

                                                        Noel Zia Lee – Flickr.comspring-blossoms-noel-zia-lee

Spring is here and historically it is when most buyers are out looking for homes to move into during the warm weather and others hoping to move in before the kids start school. 

If your looking to sell your home

FrontDoor.com 6 Staging Tips for Selling your home in the Spring market <CLICK>

                                                supershopperstoo – Flickr.comneat-supershoppertoo

For a FREE Comparative Marketing Analysis in the Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess County areas – and/or – Fairfield and parts of Litchfield Counties in Connecticut– Feel free to contact me for a confidential CMA.                    

                   Diana… cell: 203-648-2619       E-Mail: Diana.Santos@Century21.com

March 26, 2009 Posted by | Sellers, Spring, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Tax Tips for Home Buyers, Sellers and Owners

I receive numerous e-mails daily.  Many are of helpful tips and important information.

                                                               peregrine blue – Flickr.comcottage-peregrine-blue

FrontDoor.com has 10 Tax Tips for Home Buyers, Sellers and Owners <CLICK>

tips-rachaelvoorhees                                                                      Rachaelvoorhees – Flickr.com

Please be sure to check or contact your accountant, to see if these new laws apply to you and if your eligible

accountant

March 6, 2009 Posted by | Buyers, Home, Sellers, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top 10 Ways to Repair and Boost Your Credit

Here is an article that I recently read on HGTV’s FrontDoor.com
    credit-card
When it comes to repairing your credit, you’re the best person for the job. 

Credit repair scam artists will charge you anywhere from $500 to $1,500 or more upfront, and promise you everything from a new Social Security card to perfect credit.

But these companies can’t do anything for you that you can’t do for yourself — for free — and they might ultimately do more harm than good.

What should you do if you have bad credit? Here are 10 tips that are designed to improve your credit history and raise your credit score:

1. Pull a copy of your credit history from AnnualCreditReport.com. Sponsored by the three credit-reporting bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, AnnualCreditReport.com is the only place you can go to get a truly free copy of your credit history. Each credit-reporting bureau is required to give you one copy once a year. You should pull copies from each of the bureaus, since they sometimes collect different data.

2. While you’re there, buy a copy of your credit score from Equifax.com. Equifax offers a FICO score, also known as a Beacon score, which is from Fair Isaac, the company that created the concept of credit scoring. Most creditors will pull a FICO score, so you should see what they’re seeing. Your credit score will give you a snapshot of what your credit information means to your creditors. The FICO score runs from 350 to 850. The higher the number, the better. Your target should be to have a credit score of at least 720.

3. Check your credit history thoroughly. You’re looking for errors, misinformation and negative information that might count against you. File a dispute with the three credit-reporting bureaus if you spot any errors. Some credit reports have serious errors in them, so fixing these will boost your score.

4. Understand what kind of debt you’re facing. Make a list of everything you owe, the interest rate each debt carries, and the minimum payment due each month. Then, prioritize your debt: mortgage, real estate taxes, credit cards and medical bills should be paid in that order.

5. Negotiate with your creditors for a lower interest rate. Paying less in interest means more of your payment each month goes toward paying down your balance. If you have a good credit score (over 720 is a starting point), you should be able to find other credit cards featuring zero percent to 5 percent in interest for the first year, or for the life of a balance transfer (check out sites like CardRatings.com and CardTrak.com to compare credit-card offers.) Just be sure you read the fine print: Some credit cards require you to charge on the new account each month or face a stiff fee.

6. Pay down the debt with the highest interest rate first. Pay your mortgage and home equity loan and lines of credit in full each month. Then, make sure you have enough cash to make all of the minimum payments due on your debt each month. Then, throw any spare cash at the debt that carries the highest interest rate first. Once you’ve paid down that debt, transfer all of the extra cash you’re paying each month to the debt with the next-highest interest rate, and so on.

7. Pay everything on time, even if you can make only the minimum payment. The most crucial component of your credit history and credit score is your ability to pay your bills on time each month. Paying on time shows your creditors that you take your debts and obligations seriously. Even one late payment can seriously damage your credit history and credit score, even though it can take a year’s worth of on-time payments to start to heal your credit history and raise your credit score. It doesn’t seem fair, but that’s how the credit industry works.

8. Don’t charge more than 25 percent of your maximum available credit limit. If you carry a credit-card balance that is a higher percentage of your available credit limit, your credit score will go down. Why? Because creditors believe if you charge the maximum on your credit cards, it means you can’t properly manage your credit. You’re better off spreading out your debt between three or four different cards than having it all piled on one card.

9. Don’t open and close a lot of accounts. Again, a credit score tells current and future creditors how likely it is that you won’t pay back your debts. It assesses how risky a borrower you are today. Every time you apply for a new credit card, that creditor pulls a copy of your credit history from the credit-reporting bureaus. That “inquiry” gets reported on your credit history. Too many inquiries in a short period of time signals that you may be getting low on your available credit and need more cash. Even though you might be interested in getting 10 percent off your first purchase for opening a new account, it looks different to a prospective creditor.

10. Don’t share credit (except with a spouse). It’s easy to tell someone that you’ll “co-sign” a credit card, student loan or a mortgage loan application, especially if it’s someone you’ve known for a long time. But it’s also easy to wind up in a situation where that friend or relative stops paying his or her bills (for whatever reason) and your credit will take a big hit. Once you’re a co-signer for a loan, you’re legally obligated to make those payments — whether or not you can afford them. So think carefully before you agree to co-sign a loan, and nip the problem of bad credit before it begins.

By Ilyce Glink | Published: 1/23/2008

January 25, 2009 Posted by | Credit, Money, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

2009 Could be the Best Year for Home Buyers

FrontDoor.com has a fantastic article about how 2009 could be the best year for home buyers!

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Some of the items mentioned is the home buyers tax credit, the increase of inventory of homes on the market and the decreasing interest rates.  It reads that interest rates are in the high 5’s and that there may be more reductions.  Well, there was a decrease in interest rates.  Just today, Carey Hollander with Patriot Home Funding said interest rates for a 30 fixed mortgage are in the LOW 5’s for someone with good credit.  For more info on Patriot Home Funding <CLICK>

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To read the entire article “The Last Year for Best Buying Opportunities – Considering buying a home? Take advantage of low prices and interest rates in 2009.” <CLICK HERE>

Happy House Hunting!

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December 13, 2008 Posted by | Buyers, First Time Home Buyers, Home, Money, Mortgage, Real Estate, Realtor, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Homebuyer’s Guide

Buying a home for the first time – or anytime – can be stressful.  From deciding where to live, how much to spend, who can you trust to walk you through the most important investment in your life – and many more issues.

Thanks to Frontdoor.com – you can view videos and read some helpful information about Homebuying.

   This step-by-step guide will help ease any anxiety.

Another excellent site is – About.com – Here you can read about  – Buying vs RentingReasons for buying – and Should you buy before getting married? and other answers to questions that you may have.

 Hope this information helps you achieve the American Dream of Homeownership.

Thanks to GOOGLE IMAGERY and ClipArt.com

October 6, 2008 Posted by | Buyers, First Time Home Buyers, Home, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Great Real Estate Agent

Qualities of a great real estate agent

By Ilyce Glink | Published: 9/03/08

BY: FRONTDOOR.com

 

realtors 

When shopping for a home, matching an agent to your needs is vital.

There are great real estate agents and terrible real estate agents. Within each category are agents whose behavior puts them at the top and bottom of the spectrum.

In other words, the best real estate agents are truly stellar. The worst agents? Well, let’s just say that if you wind up with a terrible real estate agent you’ll probably have war stories to share about your home purchase or sale at the next cocktail party you attend. (Unfortunately, stories about terrible real estate agents are shared more often than stories about great real estate agents.)

When hiring a real estate agent to help you buy your next home, the trick is to find one who really listens to what you have to say; who will go the extra mile to help make your purchase a little less stressful; who will help you be objective when you become emotional about plunking down the single biggest chunk of cash ever; and who can help you understand and work with local market conditions.

 

I suspect that most buyers spend more time thinking about the curtains they’ll hang, the granite countertops they’ll install, or the boxes they’ll need for their move than the agent they’ll hire to help with the purchase of the property itself.

Why is that? Why isn’t creating a home-buying team the top priority when beginning the process of buying a home?

Perhaps it is because going through the process isn’t perceived as being that much fun.

But that’s where hiring a great real estate agent can make all the difference. What qualities should you look for?

The real estate agent you hire should have an intimate knowledge with your neighborhood of choice. The agent should have worked in a neighborhood for awhile, seen a lot of the housing stock, and know the history of the neighborhood, trends associated with it and where the locals hang out. The agent should know about home values and should have the ability to come to you and tell you what other homes have sold for in the neighborhood and what other homes are listed for in the same neighborhood. The agent should also have information to back up why some homes are listed for more than others and be able to represent you when you are ready to make an offer for a home. The agent should know about the school district, shopping, commuting and recreational options. He or she should basically be a wealth of information, and be able to point out the flaws as well as the outstanding features of the community.

The real estate agent you hire should be able to really listen to your wants, needs, dreams and desires, and ask questions that help you delve beneath the surface to figure out what’s really driving those wants and needs. Real estate agents sometimes say that “buyers are liars,” because buyers tend to change their mind about what they really want to buy during the home-buying process. But if an agent is able to draw out the buyer ahead of time, and help him or her focus on the important issues of the purchase, it will save everyone a lot of time.

It’s also important to hire an agent who is willing to tell you what you may not want to hear — but should. If you’re a buyer who is unrealistic about a local neighborhood, you’ll want an agent to tell you that what you want to buy can’t be found for the price and is unworkable in the current marketplace. No one wants to have their dreams dashed, but you’ll come to see that your real estate agent is doing you a favor by not allowing you to run away from reality.

A great real estate agent comes laden with resources, similar to a hotel concierge. (Some real estate companies talk about the “concierge” services they provide.) The agent you hire should be able to provide you with a handful of great home inspectors, mortgage lenders and real estate attorneys for you to interview. (Be wary of the agent who steers you to one specific inspector, mortgage lender or real estate attorney. What you want is a choice of great partners.) If you need help locating service people, a handyman, or even a new pediatrician, a great real estate agent should have those names and numbers at his or her fingertips. Being a walking neighborhood directory for many longtime top agents is part of the service they provide.

on-line

A great real estate agent stays in touch. Top real estate agents use technology to help them communicate frequently with their buyers. E-mail, BlackBerrys, iPhones, cell phones, electronic newsletters, Web sites, digital photography and video help agents share properties that they’ve previewed, provide feedback, and keep buyers updated on the progress that is being made.

Finally, when you hire an agent, it’s like a short-term marriage. When the transaction is completed, when you’ve bought your new home, the intense relationship you’ve created comes to an end. With a great real estate agent, you’ll find you don’t want your time together to end. While these are just some of the qualities you should look for in determining whether the agent is a good match for you, you still need to make sure to get referrals and recommendations for the agent from other buyers he or she has represented recently.

What happens next? Dinner — ostensibly to discuss past and future deals, but really to move your relationship into the long-term-friendship stage.

Images through iClipArt.com

October 2, 2008 Posted by | Real Estate, Realtor, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment