American Mortgage Resource, Inc.

Providing the Best Financial Resources for Boston and Massachusetts

Tag: Mortgage (page 1 of 2)

Things to Know Before Turning Your Property into an Airbnb

Establishing a side hustle is a goal that many people try to strive for, especially for that extra stream of income. Some turn to becoming an Airbnb host, because after all, it can be a very successful opportunity in well-traveled locations. While turning a second property into an Airbnb can be a very lucrative investment, it also comes with its own set of challenges. If you’re interested in becoming an Airbnb host, here are some things you should know before making that investment.

Research Your Location

For starters, you have to determine if the location of your property has a lot of demand. Are you located near tourist hotspots? Is your potential Airbnb near public areas such as restaurants and grocery stores? These are just a couple of questions you should ask yourself in order to determine if hosting in the area is worth it. Keep in mind that the earning potential for your property is largely determined by location and demand for travel.

Another thing to check is to make sure it is legal to host in your area and what requirements you need to meet. In many cases, the city needs to be informed that you plan to rent out your property as an Airbnb and some paperwork will be in order. If applicable, also be sure to check any rules enforced by the homeowner’s association, condo board, or landlord.

Decorating and Marketing

Airbnb hosts actually have to invest a great deal of money into their property to enhance its attractiveness to travelers before gaining profit. Redecorating and cleaning is the first task on the agenda. Your Airbnb should start from a clean slate and include relatively new furnishings and household equipment that are comfortable and high quality. Interior design is extremely important and should appeal to a wide target audience – not just you. Hosts can also consider consulting with professional interior designers for advice.

You will be competing with other hosts in the area, so you’ll need to have good marketing on your listing. It’s worthwhile to invest in a professional photographer for a comprehensive photoshoot. Visuals are everything and your first impression will be through digital photos. Always try to highlight unique aspects including your décor and amenities. In addition, it’s always good to have descriptive listings describing your space as best as you can. Be clear about what you’re offering in order to manage your potential guest’s expectations.

Have Good Amenities and Plentiful Supplies

If you want to host an Airbnb, never skimp on your amenities. Travelers are looking for a comfortable place that meets all of their needs and requirements while they’re on vacation. At the very least, having fast and strong WiFi is an absolute must. Another great thing to have is a Smart TV with integrated services such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, etc. You can also go the extra mile and pay for a streaming service for your guests to use. If you’re still in the market for a property, owning a place with unique amenities such as a pool or hot tub can be a great bonus on your listing.

You are also responsible for double checking stock and supplies before your guests check-in. They should not have to run to the store just because you don’t have the basic essentials. Here is a quick checklist to go over:

  • Toiletries (shampoo, soap, toilet paper, etc.)
  • Hangers
  • Hair dryers
  • Towels and hand rags
  • Extra blankets, pillows, and linens
  • Kitchen supplies and pantry staples (salt, pepper, oil, etc.)
  • Water and ice trays

Hosts Must Always Be Available

During the course of a traveler’s stay, anything can come up at any time. Perhaps the AC unit isn’t working or they need more bathroom supplies. As a host, you will be their point of contact for anything that they need. You are expected to remain attentive and available for your guests, morning or night. Providing great customer service and fast responses plays a major role in how well your guests enjoy their stay. The difference between a good and bad review can affect your profitability, reputation, and future bookings.

Conclusion

Remember that in order to gain profit from renting out an Airbnb means that a lot of work needs to be put into it. If you’re ready to take on these challenges and are set on investing in a second property, American Mortgage Resource, Inc. can help you find the best loans. Feel free to visit our website to learn more. Consult with our loan experts today!

Responsibilities of Being a Landlord

Becoming a landlord is an investment that will bring in another stream of income as you rent out your property to eager tenants. However, it also comes with a multitude of responsibilities that you are legally obligated to commit to. Your top priority is to provide a reasonable and safe living space that includes security and maintenance. If you’re interested in becoming a landlord, continue reading to learn more.

Provide a Habitable Living Space

As landlord, you must ensure that your tenants have access to a clean and comfortable living space. Depending on local laws, you are obligated to maintain the property and keep it up to standards. This includes:

  • Ensuring all structural elements are safe and intact.
  • Keeping the plumbing, electrical, heating, and ventilation in good working order.
  • Supplying trash cans and dumpsters.
  • Eliminating any vermin or infestation.
  • Following safety codes and disclosing any history of hazards such as asbestos, lead paint, bed bugs, etc.
  • Maintaining any common areas.

Ensure a Quiet Living Environment

It’s best to foster a peaceful community so all tenants can enjoy their residence without conflicts. Landlords should consider specifying in their lease that tenants should maintain a reasonable noise level so others are not disrupted. This will increase your reputation as an amicable place to live and attract more renters. 

Maintain Tenant Safety

Maintaining safety is one of your most important responsibilities as a landlord. You are obligated to ensure all tenants are safe and that your property is well-monitored. The legal requirements may vary depending on the local law but regardless of where you live, here are some things to take into account:

  • Double check all locks on doors, windows, and garages. Remember to rekey or replace locks after an old tenant moves out.
  • Ensure common areas such as the parking lots are well-lit and monitored with cameras.
  • Make sure all units have functioning smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Other safety and rescue equipment like fire extinguishers must also be easily accessible.
  • Supervise hired personnel such as contractors, plumbers, electricians, etc.

Perform Repairs and Maintenance

Landlords must respond to any issues that may impact a tenant’s quality of life. Urgent repairs for electricity, plumbing, mold, and so on should be addressed as soon as possible. For most major issues, you should respond within 24 hours of the complaint. Response times can vary for lesser concerns but its best to handle it quickly to prevent further damage. Another thing to remember is that unless it’s an emergency, landlords should notify tenants ahead of time before entering the rental property and should only visit during reasonable day time hours.

Track the Unit Conditions

When tenants move out, landlords are responsible for repairing anything that is considered normal wear and tear such as repainting scuffed walls, replacing damaged carpets, repairing loose or worn hardware, and more. Keeping a checklist of the unit’s condition when a tenant moves in and out can help keep track of things to review. Landlords can also collect a security deposit to cover any damage exceeding normal wear and tear.

Conclusion

There are many things landlords are responsible for and local laws can have additional things to keep track of. If you’re ready to become a landlord and you’re considering a second property to rent out, consult with American Mortgage Resource, Inc. Over the years, we have helped numerous homebuyers and homeowners with their mortgage and financing options. Learn more by visiting our website and schedule an appointment with an expert today.

Pros and Cons of Buying a Second Home

Many people dream of owning a second property, whether it be a beachfront vacation home or a home in the mountains. A second home can also be rented out and used as another source of income. Regardless of the reason, investing in real estate can be a costly and time-consuming endeavor and there are any considerations to take into account. In this month’s blog, we list the pros and cons of buying a second home.

Things to Consider

So why do people bother investing in a second home in the first place? As mentioned, many people look for a second home to use as a vacation house in another state or country. It makes personal vacations easy and is a great spot for family and friends to gather. Others may look into a second property to lease out to renters in the area and have another stream of income.

However, a very important thing to consider is to make sure you can actually afford another home. There are many costs associated with it and you should evaluate your financial situation beforehand, such as any debts, retirement funds, college savings for your children, and so on. Once you’re sure you have the financial means and budget to purchase a second home, it’s time to weigh the pros and cons.

Pros

There are many advantages when it comes to owning a second home. Here are some benefits:

  • You can use it however and whenever you like.
  • If you’re using it as a vacation home, you can travel light and don’t have to worry about booking a hotel.
  • You can lend it to friends and family.
  • You can rent it out for extra income and use it to cover ownership costs.
  • It can give you tax benefits such as deductions for any rental-related expenses.
  • It will be an asset that can have positive capital appreciation, or an increase in its value.
  • You can retire there.

Cons

Of course there are some downsides and considerations that you have to take into account. Buying a second home is a very important decision that you should think through, especially when it comes to costs and the time you need to put into it. Here are some cons:

  • Second homes are expensive and are very costly. Other than mortgage payments there will be property taxes, insurance premiums, utilities, and other maintenance fees including repairs and renovations.
  • The distance may be a problem and can be a hassle to travel there if you need to handle maintenance or any issues.
  • Unless you hire a property manager, you will be responsible for maintaining the home. This includes things like yard work, house cleaning, scheduling appointments with contractors and maintenance workers, etc.
  • Depending on the housing market, it can be difficult to sell it later on.
  • You may also have difficulty finding renters and can lose out on rental income.
  • Some people may experience staleness with their vacation home location.

Learn More

Investing in another property should be considered carefully with the pros and cons in mind. If you’re ready to make the decision to buy second home, you’ll have to decide how you will finance it. Here at American Mortgage Resource, Inc., our professionals can help you decide on the best loan options and what to do moving forward. We offer mortgage consultation to homeowners and home buyers in Boston, MA and the surrounding areas. Learn more by visiting our website or make an appointment with an expert today.

Using a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)

When it comes to selling your home, knowing its value can help you gauge how to price it effectively on the market. Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) reports can help with this by allowing you to compare your property to other properties recently sold within the area. Comparables have similar square footage, age, conditions, upgrades, and locations. A CMA can be generated with the help of a real estate agent and can act as an informal appraisal before you make things official. Interested in getting a CMA for your property? Continue reading to learn more about the data generated in a CMA and how to understand it.

Data found in a CMA

CMA reports can vary in length and complexity depending on the market and the real estate agent’s business practices. Generally, the type of data found in a CMA includes:

  • Active listings – Homes that are currently for sale.
  • Pending listings – Formerly active listings that have not closed yet and are in a pending sale.
  • Sold Listings – Homes that have been sold within the past 3 months. These are your comparable sales that will be used when appraising your home’s value. If there are not enough sales within the past 3 months, then comps within the past 6 months can be used.
  • Expired Listings – Properties that were not sold. This can be due to a number of reasons such as being unreasonably priced, not being marketed, or it was in need of repairs.
  • Withdrawn/Cancelled Listings – Properties that were taken off of the market for a variety of reasons. These were also most likely too expensive. In general, expired and withdrawn listings have the highest median prices which made them undesirable along with other potential factors.

Understanding the CMA Report 

Now that you understand the type of data found in a CMA report, it’s time to understand how to use the actual report to your benefit. Once your real estate agent has generated it, look at each comparable and see how it matches to your property. Each comparable listing will include a description, floor plan, number of rooms and bathrooms, square footage, sales price, any dollar adjustments, and the fair market value.

There will be at least 3 to 5 comparables to analyze and this will help you appraise the value of your home. However, a consideration to be aware of is that there may be a difference in value if there were any upgrades or amenities involved. For example, a comp may be very similar to your property but if their property was completely renovated rather than fixed-up, then the value will be much higher than yours. Another consideration would be the property location which can also play a major role in its value. 

Learn More

Overall, a CMA will allow you to set a competitive listing based on the average price the comps were sold at. American Mortgage Resource, Inc. is the premier choice when it comes to loans and mortgage advice. Visit our website to learn more or call (617) 972-8588 to speak with an expert.

Difference between Down Payments and Closing Costs

When it comes to buying a home, it’s important to be prepared for all the costs that may come up and making sure that you are able to afford it. Most future homeowners tend to focus on acquiring enough money to cover the down payment but are then taken back by the closing costs that they need to cover at the end. It’s critical to be aware of how much money you’ll need to fully close the deal on your new future home. In this month’s blog, we will discuss the difference between down payments and closing costs to help better prepare you for the home buying process.

Down Payments

A down payment is the portion of the money you must pay upfront when you begin the process of purchasing a home. It is the minimum amount that you need to put towards the total cost, while the remaining amount is funded by your mortgage loan. This is basically your first investment into your future home and the price may vary depending on what type of loan you have. Another important thing to remember is that your down payment will be due at closing, which is the final step for buyers when the sale is finalized.

Closing Costs

Closing costs occur when the title of the property is transferred to the buyer and the total amount will depend based on the location of the property and its value. The amounts associated with your closing costs consist of an assortment of taxes and fees from entities and services handling your loan. All of your closing cost fees will be listed on your loan estimate. These costs are completely separate from your down payment and are paid at closing. They can also be paid on the same check as your down payment.

Closing costs can be incurred by both the seller and the buyer and the fees can be split depending on the negotiation and contract. A mortgage lender can help decrease these costs by negotiating the sales contract.

Conclusion

Overall, the process of buying a house as a first time homeowner can be tedious and stressful. There are many fees associated with it and the terms can be confusing. That’s why at American Mortgage Resource, Inc., we dedicate ourselves to helping homeowners while providing worry-free solutions that best fits their needs. To consult with an expert, please contact us at (617) 972-8588 or visit our website for more information about our services.  

The Time to Buy a Home This Holiday Season is Now

In the United States as the winter months bring festive holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, many families are so busy and preoccupied that home sales will dip slightly. This makes now a good time to snag a great deal on a home this winter. Below are some factors to consider before biting the bullet on home ownership or moving to another home.

Less Competition as a Buyer

During this time of year it tends to get colder in many parts of the country. Not many people enjoy picking up their family and belongings and moving during these colder winter months, which creates less demand in the market for sellers. This increases the chances of getting a great deal as a buyer as less people are competing in the real estate market at this time.

Interest Rates Are at Record Lows

As the Coronavirus closed many businesses for extended periods of time, this year interest rates have seen record lows to spur the economy during this downturn. What that means for homes buyers is that borrowing money is nearly free thanks to these record low interest rates on mortgages. This is likely the lowest we will see rates for years to come and locking in a fixed rate mortgage is sure to save you thousands of dollars in interest in the future.

Buyers Want to Sell Quickly

Buyers in the market during this time are usually more likely to turn their property over as quickly as possible due to the time of year and other obligations this time of year brings. This means that you may have sellers that are more motivated to make a deal with you and help you secure your next home.

Final Thoughts

Though this year has brought many ups and downs, as we head into 2021 home buyers have unique opportunities to purchase and refinance homes at rates that are incredibly rare. Let American Mortgage Resource, Inc. be your one stop shop for all your mortgage and refinancing needs in the Waltham, MA community.

Home Equity Loans: The Answer You’ve Been Looking For

Qualifying for certain loans and credit cards can be a difficult and confusing process for many of us. Homeowners have a unique advantage when it comes to borrowing money in a pinch as they may be able to qualify for a home equity loan. Follow along below as we discuss home equity loans and their pros and cons.

What’s a Home Equity Loan?

A home equity loan is a fixed or adjustable form of credit secured by how much equity you have in your home and enables you to borrow against that equity. Essentially this type of loan is a second mortgage as you will have to continue paying your primary mortgage while simultaneously making payments on your new home equity loan.

Pros

Home equity loans can save the day when you need help repaying higher interest debt elsewhere or funding home renovations. A distinctive benefit these loans offer is that while their interest rates may be slightly higher, any interest paid on them is tax deductible.

Cons

Undoubtedly the biggest risk in taking out a home equity loan is that your lender may be able to force you to sell your home to resolve the loan if you are ever unable to make your payments. Additionally, your home will have to be appraised to establish its value and you will have to provide proof of sufficient credit and income.

Final Thoughts

When considering applying for a home equity loan or any other type of loan, be sure to shop around to compare the varying plans offered by banks, credit unions, and mortgage companies in your area. At American Mortgage Resource, Inc. we have relationships with over 20 different lenders and strive to make the process as simple and smooth as possible. Contact us here to learn more about our affordable services.

Most Affordable Communities to Buy a Home in Waltham, MA

Just west of Boston lies Waltham, MA, a quaint and scenic small town centrally located in between 3 major highways. Through its southern end flows the Charles River and as you head north you’ll find that it’s also home to several colleges, parks, and even a music theatre.

Piety Corner Historic District

Piety Corner Historic District is a quiet area in town adorned with red brick buildings and parks. Most homes in this area are bungalow, colonial, and ranch style homes in addition to the common condo. This community is great for local hiking and outdoor recreation at parks like Prospect Hill Park. Piety Corner is also very kid-friendly, with schools for kids of all grade levels nearby.

The South Side

The South Side is a large yet quiet suburb style community filled with many single family homes and gorgeous condos. This part of town is separated from the rest of town by the Charles River, giving the South Side and its surrounding communities a private and secluded feel.

Banks Square

A popular and affordable neighborhood in Waltham is Banks Square. This community is known for its charming neighborhoods filled with condos, townhomes, and single family homes. Though this area is set back slightly further away from most schools, it is only blocks away from the town’s main street, which is a popular hub for shopping and dining.

Final Thoughts

Waltham, MA is a fantastic place for new and growing families due to its affordability and number of parks and private/ public schools. Just outside the desirable Piety Corner community lies your one stop shop for home loans, mortgages, and refinancing in Waltham. At American Mortgage Resource, Inc. you will receive personalized home buying support from highly skilled experts that are also members of the local community.

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

When it comes to a mortgage, considering all of your options is crucial in finding the arrangement that best meets the continued needs of you and your family. Many private insurance companies will offer home buyers PMI, which is a deal typically established by the lender and paid for by the borrower, but can benefit both parties. Continue along with this month’s blog for more information about PMI and to find out if it’s right for you.

The Purpose of PMI

PMI is sometimes required of home buyers who have put down a deposit that’s less than twenty percent of their loans total value or who have taken out a conventional loan rather than a government assisted loan. Essentially PMI is insurance coverage for the lender to ensure they will be repaid the amount of the loan in full.

Pros of Having PMI

Agreeing to PMI can help home buyers who are struggling to qualify for a loan large enough to afford a home. It can also help them qualify for their desired loan much more quickly. As the prices of homes continue to soar every year, a prolonged plan to save for a larger deposit may not be the best option for some potential home buyers.

Cons of Having PMI

The biggest downside of PMI is that it’s an additional monthly expense or upfront cost that new home buyers are responsible for paying in addition to their mortgage. It’s also an expense for a service that doesn’t directly benefit those funding it. PMI will usually have to be paid until the borrower has compensated a predetermined minimum on their principle.

Conclusion

Private mortgage insurance can help countless families finally catch the break they need to afford a home. For more information on how to get approved for a loan, visit this article. For expert help through the loan and mortgage processes, contact our professionals here for guidance you can trust.

3 General Refinance Loans

Are you planning to refinance your mortgage? Do you want to take advantage of lower interest rates or perhaps lower your monthly payments? When you start to shop around for the best offers, it’s important to understand which loans you can get approved for. There are some refinance loans that may be better suited for your financial needs. Follow along in our blog to learn more about the general refinance loans you can apply for.

Rate-and-Term Refinance Loan

If you’re looking to save money on monthly payments or switch your loan from an adjustable rate to a fixed rate, then this loan can help with that financial goal. It can change the interest rate, loan term, or even both, without changing the actual amount of the loan. Experian comments that “if your original mortgage has an adjustable rate, moving to a loan with a fixed rate can help you avoid market fluctuations.”

Cash-Out Refinance Loan

Need quick cash for a home improvement project? Then a cash-out refinance loan may be right for you. When you apply for this type of loan, you are essentially taking out a portion of your home’s equity in order to get a large amount of cash. However, be cautious that this will most likely increase your loan amount, as well as result in higher monthly payments.

Cash-In Refinance Loan

While not as common as other loan alternatives, cash-in refinance loans are still an option for homeowners. Instead of taking out cash, you’re putting money into the loan to reduce the new mortgage balance. Consider this loan if you’re interested in qualifying for a lower interest rates, underwater on your mortgage or want to get rid of private mortgage insurance

Conclusion

Have any questions about the loan process? Get in contact with a representative from American Mortgage Resource, Inc. We can help guide you to make the right financial decision. Call or visit our website for more information. We look forward to speaking with you soon!

« Older posts