Matt Cuddy's Blog
Ready to buy a home? You'll likely need a mortgage to ensure you can afford your dream residence. Lucky for you, many banks and credit unions are happy to help you discover a mortgage that suits you perfectly.
Ultimately, meeting with a mortgage lender may seem stressful at first. But this meeting can serve as a valuable learning opportunity, one that allows you to select a mortgage that is easy to understand and matches your budget.
When you meet with a mortgage lender, here are three of the questions to ask so you can gain the insights you need to make an informed decision:
1. What mortgage options are available?
Most lenders offer a broad range of mortgage options. By doing so, these lenders can help you choose a mortgage that meets or exceeds your expectations.
Fixed-rate mortgages represent some of the most popular options for homebuyers, and perhaps it is easy to understand why. These mortgages lock-in an interest rate for a set period of time and ensure your mortgage payments will stay the same throughout the duration of your mortgage.
Meanwhile, adjustable-rate mortgages may prove to be great choices for many homebuyers as well. These mortgages may feature a lower initial interest rate that rises after several years. However, with an adjustable-rate mortgage, you'll know when your mortgage's interest rate will increase and can plan accordingly.
2. Do I need to get pre-approved for a mortgage?
Pre-approval for a mortgage usually is an excellent idea, and for good reason.
If you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you may be able to enter the homebuying market with a budget in mind. That way, you can pursue houses that fall within a set price range and avoid the risk of overspending on a home.
On the other hand, you don't need to be pre-approved for a mortgage to submit an offer on a home. But with a mortgage in hand, you may be able to gain an advantage over the competition, one that might even lead a home seller to select your offer over others.
3. How long will a mortgage last?
Many mortgages last 15- or 30-years – it all depends on the type of mortgage that you select.
A lender can explain the length associated with various mortgage options and highlight the pros and cons associated with these mortgages.
Moreover, you should ask a lender if there are any prepayment penalties if you pay off your mortgage early. This may help you determine whether a particular mortgage is right for you.
When it comes to finding a lender, don't forget to meet with several banks and credit unions. This will allow you to discover a lender that offers a mortgage with a low interest rate. Plus, it enables you to find a lender that makes you feel comfortable.
If you need assistance in your search for the right lender, be sure to reach out to a real estate agent. This housing market professional can provide details about local lenders and ensure you can accelerate your push to acquire your dream residence.
If you live a busy work and home life, finding time to cook nutritious and filling meals can be difficult. As a result, many people find themselves ordering out for lunch during the work week and settling for low-effort dinners during the week.
One economical and time-saving solution to this problem is meal prep. You pick one day during the week, usually Sunday, and devote an hour or two to preparing meals for the week.
Not only does it take away the concern of not knowing what to cook for dinner each night, but it also helps you save a ton of money while eating healthy.
In this article, we’re going to give you some tips for preparing your meals in bulk, and a few examples of meals that are easily prepared at home in advance.
Expert advice on meal prepping
One of the first issues people face when they start prepping meals is storage. Our best advice is to look for rugged, microwavable and freezable containers.
It’s good to have a variety of sizes, but if you have stray pieces to sets of Tupperware it can make it difficult to find the right sizes. So, we suggest starting from scratch and buying a set of three-compartment and a set one-compartment containers.
Find out the volume of the containers you buy. Doing so will help you keep track of the portions of your meals and make it easier to prepare the right amount to avoid waste.
Many poor eating decisions happen when you’re in a pinch and need to come up with something quickly. It can seem like the cheapest option at the moment is to stop at a fast food restaurant, but you can likely prepare 3 or 4 meals for the price of one trip to the drive-through.
The key is proper planning. Sit down and make your menu for the week. An easy way to start is to think about your favorite lunch items and figure out how you can make them in bulk.
Make sure your shopping list reflects the portions you need to buy, and you’re good to head to the store.
Once you’re home and have started cooking, remember that you needn’t freeze all of your meals. Refrigerate items that you’ll eat over the next 2-3 days and freeze the rest. If you’re worried about losing your meals in your crowded freezer and finding them months from now, use some masking tape to label and date them.
Easy meals to prepare in advance
You can usually find a way to prepare most meals in advance. However, some are easier than others. A good place to start is with rice and grain bowls and stir fries. These tend to be cheap (around $1.50 per serving) and simple to prepare. To add protein, you can include boiled eggs, beans, chicken or beef.
Along the same line, make some brown rice and stir fry black beans, peppers, and onions. Add your favorite southwest seasonings, and buy a large bag of tortilla chips. You can scoop the rice and beans onto your chips for a nutritious and cheap lunch.
For dinner items, you can make your favorites like shepherd’s pie or lasagna in advance and slice and freeze them in portions.
After you submit an offer on a home and complete a property inspection, there may be only a short amount of time until you close.
Ultimately, it pays to prepare for closing day. If you start planning for your home closing today, you can identify and address any potential problems.
To better understand how to get ready for a home closing, let's take a look at three questions to consider before your closing.
1. What needs to get done before my closing date?
Your closing date may be a few weeks away, but time moves quickly, particularly for a homebuyer who wants to get into a new residence as quickly as possible. Fortunately, homebuyers who understand what needs to get done prior to a closing can plan accordingly.
Typically, a homebuyer will need to secure homeowners insurance and title insurance before closing on a house. Insurance companies are available to provide information about both types of insurance. If you reach out to these companies immediately, you can guarantee that your home and personal belongings will be covered against loss or damage.
You'll need to contact utilities providers as well. That way, you can ensure that your gas, electric and other utilities are good to go as soon as you close on your home.
2. How much are my monthly mortgage payments?
You know that you've been pre-approved for a mortgage. However, if you don't know how much that you'll be paying for your home each month, you'll certainly want to find out sooner rather than later.
Monthly mortgage payments can add up quickly, particularly for homebuyers who fail to budget properly. If you know exactly how much that you'll be paying each month for your home, you can effectively map out a budget.
3. What do I need to bring to my closing?
Homebuyers are required to bring a government-issued ID to a closing. In some instances, you may need to provide a certified or cashier's check to cover assorted closing costs as well.
If you are unsure about what to bring to a home closing, it often helps to consult with a real estate agent. In fact, this housing market professional can help you seamlessly navigate all stages of the homebuying cycle.
Prior to a home closing, a real estate agent is happy to respond to any concerns or questions that you may have. This housing market professional will explain how the home closing process works, how long the process generally takes to complete and, perhaps most important, when you'll receive the keys to your house.
A real estate agent also goes above and beyond the call of duty to provide assistance throughout the homebuying journey. He or she can help you compare and contrast a broad range of houses, submit a competitive offer on a home and ensure that you can discover your dream residence in no time at all.
Get ready for a home closing – consider the aforementioned questions, and you can prep for your closing date.
197 Eliot St, Ashland, MA 01721
Believe it or not, selling a home may prove to be a good idea. In fact, there are many reasons why selling a residence could be beneficial, and these include:
1. You can earn a profit from your home sale.
If you have allocated significant time and resources to maintain your residence, you may find there will be lots of interest in your house if you add it to the real estate market. As such, you could earn a profit from the sale of your home.
Of course, it often helps to craft a home selling strategy before you list your house. This strategy will enable you to determine the steps you'll need to take to optimize your home sale earnings.
2. You can downsize or upgrade.
In some instances, a homeowner may find his or her current residence is now too big or too small. If you encounter this situation, there is no need to worry, as you can always list your residence and downsize or upgrade as needed.
Selling a home allows you to reconsider your living situation. Thus, if your current house is too big, you can sell your home and move into a smaller residence. On the other hand, if you need more space than your current home offers, you can list your residence and pursue a bigger home in the city or town of your choice.
3. You can find a new home close to family members and friends.
If you have to travel great distances to visit family members and friends, you may want to consider moving closer to these loved ones. Thankfully, you can sell your residence and relocate to a new home near family members and friends.
Clearly, there are many reasons why selling a home may be a good idea. If you hire a real estate agent, you can receive comprehensive assistance throughout the property selling journey.
A real estate agent will do whatever it takes to help you achieve the optimal home selling results. First, he or she will meet with you and find out why you are selling your house. A real estate agent next will offer tips to help you prepare your residence for the housing market. Then, when you're ready to sell your home, a real estate agent will promote your residence to prospective buyers. And if you receive an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent will help you analyze this homebuying proposal and make an informed decision.
In addition, a real estate agent is a home selling expert. He or she will respond to any of your home selling concerns and questions, and by doing so, ensure you can achieve your desired results.
If you decide to sell your residence, you may want to hire a real estate agent. Because if you have a real estate agent at your disposal, you can get the help you need to simplify the property selling journey.