Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Purchasing a Home

Almost everyone dreams of owning a home. With fluctuations in the housing market, buyers have to evaluate and consider a lot of information before making such a huge investment. Here are some questions that prospective buyers should ask themselves before purchasing a home:

Are You Purchasing a Home for the Right Reasons?

Figuring out the exact reason why you want to commit to purchasing a home is important. Many individuals feel as though they have to live up to the standards of society. In reality, you need to know whether or not the purpose for your purchase is worth the investment.

Can You Afford It?

It can be pricey to purchase a home. Before searching for your dream home, figure out what you can reasonably afford. Don’t just look at your current salary or bank balance, take into consideration all of your extra expenses, debts, student loans, credit cards, and car payments. How much of a down payment can you afford? Have you looked into getting a loan and read the fine print? It may be best to utilize a financial advisor to assist with needed calculations.

Have You Considered the Cost of Home Ownership?

Many people compare their cost of rent to paying a mortgage but don’t realize that there are additional costs when owning a home. Have you thought about property tax, maintenance fees or homeowner’s insurance? In the end, you may end up paying more than your current cost of rent.

Is Your Career Path Stable?

You may feel as though you’re financially stable enough to purchase a home, but are you expecting any changes in your career? Some jobs require their employees to move to another location. Other jobs show signs of financial hardships which may lead to layoffs. If you plan on sharing the home with someone, can you handle the payments on your own in case they have financial difficulties? If you don’t have a solid career path, it’s best to work on your career development before buying a home.  

What’s Your Ideal Neighborhood?

When choosing a neighborhood, don’t think about what you want right now, think about your ideal neighborhood in the future. If you’re young, you may love the sounds of the city, but when you get older and possibly have a family, will the city life still be what you prefer? Purchasing a home is a long term commitment. The last thing you want to do is change your mind and risk losing everything you’ve invested.

Are you Working with the Right Realtor?

Find a realtor who knows the specific area you’re interested in to make purchasing your first home a positive experience. Interview realtors and make sure they understand your wants and needs during the process. This can also help make you aware of any realtor fees and flexible availability.

If you have any further questions, feel free to call Alex Biliouris at (401) 769-4333. He will put his extensive experience investing in real estate, to work for you!

Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Purchasing a Home

Buying/Selling Your Home: Which Comes First?

Unless you’re advancing to a new home every year, chances are the buying and selling process has altered significantly since you were last in a closing. The market has changed, new lender requirements have been presented and you probably have a different set of needs for your next house, leaving you stuck at the first step: Should you buy your new home or sell your current one first?

An easy way to solve this potential conundrum is to peek at how much risk you’re comfortable taking on. If the thought of making payments on two homes at the same time if your current home fails to sell quickly sounds stressful, securing a sale before starting your search for a new home might be your safest bet. Rising home values across the country and low housing inventory may mean that you could sell your home but not be able to find the next place you want right away. The hassle of finding a new place to live could tempt you to buy a home lacking key features you want and need in your next home.

For a better grasp on how you can guarantee the timing of your next sale and purchase are a success, ask yourself these five questions:

Can you handle two loans at once?

Look at your income and decide whether you’ll be able to make monthly payments on two mortgages at the same time. If you can’t, a lender will tell you to sell first.

How quickly do you need to move?

Your main motivation for changing homes can also have an influence on what you do first. If you’re relocating across the country for a new job, for example, placing your home on the market right away might be necessary as you visit your new city to go house hunting. The quicker you can sell your current home, the easier it will be to fully relocate.

On the flip side, if you’re looking for a new home as a step up – whether you’re searching for more bedrooms for your growing family or additional property to fit your desired lifestyle – it may be beneficial to hold off on selling until you find the perfect home.

Have you factored in new regulations?

In October 2015, the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rules went into effect nationwide, requiring lenders to offer two forms laying out the details of a mortgage to borrowers, one at the beginning – the Loan Estimate – and one at the end of the loan approval process.

The second form, the Closing Disclosure, must be offered to the borrower at least three days before the real estate closing. If you need to sell your home to be approved for a new mortgage, you can’t close on the sale one morning and close on your purchase in the afternoon of the same day – a lending practice Parker recalls being common previously.

Do you need a leg up in negotiations?

Of course, buying your next home before selling your current one does have some benefits. In a competitive market where bidding wars are popular, placing an offer that’s not contingent on the sale of your home will surely get the seller’s attention.

Do you have somewhere to live while you wait?

A tight market with low inventory can leave you without a house, should you sell your home before purchasing a new one.

If you are interested in selling your home, please contact Alex Biliouris at (401) 769-4333. Feel free to visit our to discover the many ways we can serve you. We can satisfy all your real estate needs!


Buying/Selling Your Home: Which Comes First?

5 Ways to Improve Your Home Value

Owning property is a fantastic feeling but when you’re getting close to selling you might want to consider a few simple ways to increase your home’s value. We came up with five of our favorites and here they are:

  1. Hire an inspector

Before deciding on what small projects you want to take on, you may want to try hiring a home inspector and see what improvements have to be done. You’re not going to feel great if you spend 10k updating your house and then find out that the entire time you needed a new roof. It’s much better to know what needs to be done, so start there.

  1. Add Landscaping

While some of us don’t have the greenest of thumbs, low-stakes landscaping can add plenty of curb appeal to your home. Think potted plants and ferns that don’t need too much tending. Purchase plants that are native to your region or plants that are drought-tolerant so you can get away with watering them less.

  1. Paint

Everyone loves a good coat of fresh paint. Try updating the colors in your home and really give buyers an extra incentive to want to buy. A freshly painted house will look like you’ve taken the time to take care of the inside and out.

  1. Swap out sinks

For a rather small but quick way to improve your home value – think about the kitchen sink. Just one replacement can make the kitchen look a lot more polished and new. This is a tiny change that can have a huge impact.

  1. Replace carpet

Your house will not sell if you have dreary, old, carpet. Try updating it for a great return on investment. Pick out a new carpet and have it installed, or, try taking a look to see if you have hardwoods under your carpet. Hardwoods are much more attractive to buyers than carpet.

Here are just a few quick things that can really get your home value up. Try one or two of them and look at the results – you might be surprised to have something new and great-looking in your home.

5 Ways to Improve Your Home Value

3 Financial Things to Consider Before Buying Your First Home

Thinking of purchasing your first home? Congratulations, that’s a huge step to take! While many people want to rush in and buy the first home they see there are a few financial things that you should think about before you purchase anything.

How much home can you actually afford?

This might seem like a no-brainer but you have to make sure you can actually afford your house. This doesn’t mean looking at how much money you have to spend but how much you can spend on a month-to-month basis. For example, if you have $1200 to spend on a mortgage you need to make sure you factor in miscellaneous expenses and regular expenses. Maybe you can afford that $1200 but you didn’t consider that your food budget brings it down to $800. The best thing you can do for yourself and your future home is make sure that you can afford it.

  1.  Make sure you have a buffer

Staying on the topic of financials, ask yourself if you have a buffer for your home expenses. Because you are going to be a homeowner there are surprise expenses, like a car repair, that could creep up and ruin your budget. You want to make sure that at any given time you have more than $1000 in your checking account. In fact you’re going to want three to six months of living expenses in your accounts just to make sure that you’re covered in case of some unexpected event like being laid off.

  1. Know the other expenses

Buying a home isn’t just the cost of the home or the down payment. In fact there are a lot of additional factors that you should consider when approaching the cost of your home. Your home will need to be appraised, so there’s an appraisal fee, you need to also find out who will be responsible for the home inspection. Then think about what you might need for your new space – does the home need landscaping? Do you have the tools to mow the lawn or cut the hedges? What about furniture – do you have everything that you need? How about your moving costs from your old place into your new place?

Find your dream home with and give us a call today at 401-769-4333

3 Financial Things to Consider Before Buying Your First Home

Home Renovation 101

Do you see yourself possibly selling your home in the future? Do you wonder, “what are the most important things I can renovate in terms of adding value to my home for resale?” or “What are some of the worst things people renovate, thinking they will bring added home value”? We’ve got the answers. These simple upgrades can easily add thousands of dollars to your home’s value.

#1 Kitchen

It’s considered the heart of the home. Potential home buyers focus on this area as they first view a home for sale, so make sure your kitchen looks clean and reasonably updated.

#2 Bathroom

Next to the kitchen, bathrooms are often the most important rooms to update. Simple things like a new toilet seat and an updated sink are pretty easy for homeowners to install, and they make a big difference to the look of the bathroom.

#3 Floors

If you have carpets, be sure to keep them clean. A professional carpet cleaner is an inexpensive investment, especially if your rugs are in good shape and are neutral colors.

#4 Curb Appeal

What buyers see when they first drive by your home is very important. A nicely mowed lawn, a few nicely kept shrubs and a swept walkway makes a great first impression. You may want to consider hiring a landscaper for a professional touch.

Doing a few or all of the upgrades can add on thousands of dollars to your home’s resale value for a relatively cheap cost. Just like a job interview or a first date, you want to make sure potential buyers fall in love with your house.

We at the Next Move Realty team would love to hear from you: what kind of renovations have you done to increase the value of your house? Let us know in the comments below!

If you are interested in selling your home, please contact Alex Biliouris at (401) 769-4333. Feel free to visit our to discover the many ways we can serve you. We can satisfy all your real estate needs!

Home Renovation 101

Things You Need to Know Before Buying Your First Home in Rhode Island

If you are thinking of moving to Rhode Island, there are a few things you need to know about. Did you know the state of Rhode Island does not provide a first-time buyer grant program for its residents? What is provided for residents is a program called “FirstHomes” program? This is a program that offers you 100% financing. With this program, you will not need a down payment. ”Beyond First Homes” is another program you should know about. This program does not require you to be a first-time buyer. They also have a low-down payment requirement. Lastly, the program called the “LastingHomes” is offered for those who are looking to prepare a home. Perhaps you have found a foreclosure and need help fixing it up. These programs do have eligibility requirements and limitations. All you need to do is investigate to see which program is the best fit for you. There is more good news, which is that the federal government offers grant assistance for first-time home buyers in Rhode Island. This program is maintained by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and is called the Homes and Communities program. You can find more information about this program by visiting, HUD Grants.

When applying for assistance or any of the programs above you must remain patient. This process takes time. It would be in your best interest to have a real estate agent who is familiar with these programs.

You will discover that Rhode Islanders do not seem to leave the state that often. Although the state is the smallest state in the nation it has so much to offer such as amazing beaches, history, nationally acclaimed restaurants, and more. What are you waiting for? It is time to pack up the moving truck and start a new adventure with your family in the great ocean state.

At Keller Williams Next Move Realty, our experience is your advantage. We welcome you to comment below with any questions you have about your Rhode Island property!

Things You Need to Know Before Buying Your First Home in Rhode Island

Four Things to know Before Flipping a House

Popular television shows make flipping your house seem simple and fun. They cause you to think it’s painless to make a significant profit quickly as easily. Before jumping feet first into the market and tackling a fix-and-flip property, it’s super important to consider four specific challenges that can make or break the sale.

#1 Fix and flip loans are available

It takes money to buy and flip a home. When first starting out or when your money is tied up in other investments, a house flipper may need financial assistance. You will want to look for a lender that help investors and house flippers with no – hassle underwriting, and fix and flip loans so that the project can move forward and money can be made.

#2 A Solid, Reliable Team is Essential

Every house flipper needs a good, reliable contractor. The contractor helps with the initial evaluation of the home before purchase to let the house flipper know what type of issues the property has and how much it will cost to fix. This helps determine how much to spend on the purchase. Along with a good contractor, round out the team with a talented landscaper and design expert when necessary; especially on the bigger, more sophisticated projects.

#3 Location Matters

A house flipper can purchase a property cheap and make it look beautiful, but it won’t sell for top dollar if the location doesn’t appeal to buyers. Houses located on active and/or noisy streets, near railroad tracks, or on a block with boarded up buildings are not prime locations. Buyers want attractive, safe neighborhoods and homes with easy access to amenities, schools, and public transportation.

#4 The Buy Price Can Mean Difference Between Profit and Loss

As a house flipper, the buying price is a critical number. Overspending on the house makes it difficult to break even, let alone make any money. The lower the buy price, the better the opportunity to make a significant profit. We will find the right real estate for you!

Call Alex Biliouris so he can put his extensive experience investing in real estate to work for you!

Four Things to know Before Flipping a House

5 Ways to Prep Your Home to Sell

Ready to move? Selling your home is a big decision that can often be stressful. The goal for most sellers is to find the right buyer quickly. So, if you are looking to get your home prepared to sell, we have a few tips that will help expedite the process.

#1 Home Improvements & Inspections

Although you will be selling your Rhode Island property, it doesn’t mean you can’t make a few home improvements. One way to stay ahead of issues during the sale of your home is by having your own inspection completed in advance. By doing so you will know exactly which items need attention and can decide to either have them fixed, or have them taken off the table when it comes to negotiating a price.

Another item to consider when selling your home, are cosmetic issues. Many cosmetic fixes cost very little and will help your property sell. Buyers typically like to see a home that doesn’t need tons of work. So, if you are willing to put in a little extra time to make your property look the best it can, it will pay off down the road.

#2 Curb Appeal

If you have ever driven up to a home with overgrown trees and peeling front doors, it can turn you off immediately. The solution is to offer buyers something we like to call, curb appeal. If your door looks faded or beaten down, consider adding some new paint to give it a fresh look.

Landscaping is another way you can add curb appeal to your property. By trimming bushes, trees and adding a few plants to the front of your house, you can truly transform its’ look. Although this may seem like a minor factor, it will give buyers a positive first impression that will carry on through their home tour.

#3 Find the Right Rhode Island Realtor

Hiring a realtor will not only make the home selling process simpler, but will help your property gain more exposure. An experienced realtor will have contacts, a website and marketing platforms to help get your property in front of interested buyers. This is crucial, and will be worth what you pay out.

In addition to increased exposure for your property, an experienced realtor will handle all contracts and negotiations with potential buyers. Contracts can be hard to handle and negotiations can take up a substantial amount of time. All can be avoided by hiring a local realtor that is knowledgeable, will help execute the right contracts and is well versed in the art of negotiating a sale in order to get you top dollar.

#4 List for the Right Price

Your list price can make or break a fast sale. This is another reason why you need a trusted realtor on your side. Their knowledge of the local market will be essential when determining your list price. It is very easy to come up with a number, but if you are serious about getting your Rhode Island property sold, a local realtor will be your best bet.

#5 Declutter & Stage

Before your first showing you will need to declutter, depersonalize and stage. Potential buyers will want to be able to envision your home as their own, which is why you should consider removing any personal items throughout your home. In addition to depersonalizing your property, you will need to remove all clutter. A clean and organized space will be much more appealing, and will help buyers see the room without distraction.

The last item you may want to consider is staging. It is an added expense, but can often help potential buyers see your space in a new light. Alternatively, if you do not want to hire a stager for your open house, you can always add a few touches of your own to make your property seem inviting.

Selling your property doesn’t have to be a stressful time. By following our simple guide, you can prep your home for sale without having to break the bank.

At Keller Williams Next Move Realty, our experience is your advantage. We welcome you to comment below with any questions you have about your Rhode Island property!

5 Ways to Prep Your Home to Sell

HUD Announces Change to FHA Condo Policies

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — This evening, Federal Housing Administration Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Ed Golding joined National Association of Realtors® President Chris Polychron on stage before a packed ballroom of Realtors® and industry experts to announce changes to FHA condominium policies.

NAR has long advocated for broad improvements to FHA’s condo rules, arguing that existing policy is overly restrictive and keeps many consumers from buying and selling a home

To address these concerns, Golding announced at the conference’s kick-off event that FHA will make changes to its condo policies in line with those requested by NAR. Those include changes to the lengthy and complex recertification process in place today, burdensome owner-occupancy requirements, and limits on the types of property insurance that are considered acceptable coverage under FHA’s rules.

NAR has worked closely with the Department of Housing and Urban Development to push for changes to FHA condo policy, and NAR President Chris Polychron recently testified before Capitol Hill to bring attention to potential changes, including those related to recertification and owner-occupancy requirements. Golding told Realtors® at the event that changes related to insurance and recertification would take place immediately as part of a Mortgagee Letter to be released on Friday, Nov. 13. He added that policy changes related to owner occupancy, commercial space percentage, FHA concentration and spot approvals would be addressed in a formal rulemaking in the near future.

Polychron issued the following statement about FHA’s announcement:

“Realtors® and consumers got a welcome piece of news today with HUD’s commitment to fix FHA’s condo policies and broaden opportunities for families to find a home.

“Condos are often the most affordable option for homebuyers, especially first-time buyers, and making sure FHA financing is an option is important to supporting homeownership.

“This is a win and a tremendous step in the right direction. NAR applauds HUD Secretary Julian Castro and FHA Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Edward Golding for taking action to improve access to credit for condos. We look forward to working with them again in the future to help more Americans achieve the dream of homeownership.”

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

HUD Announces Change to FHA Condo Policies