Maureen Harmonay - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage



Posted by Maureen Harmonay on 7/17/2018

Once you discover your dream house, you probably want to do everything possible to acquire this residence. However, it is important to remain calm, cool and collected as you navigate the homebuying journey. Because if you act too hastily, you risk overspending to purchase your ideal residence.

Let's face it Ė the temptation to submit an offer to purchase your dream home that may require you to break your homebuying budget can be overwhelming. Lucky for you, we're here to help you consider your offer to purchase closely and ensure you provide a competitive homebuying proposal that won't force you to exceed your budget.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you craft a competitive offer to purchase your dream house.

1. Analyze the Housing Market

The real estate market may have major ramifications on the offer you submit to acquire your dream residence, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.

For example, if you are operating in a buyer's market, there likely is an abundance of sellers and a limited number of buyers. If you find your dream house in a buyer's market, you may be able to acquire this residence by submitting an offer to purchase at or near a seller's initial home asking price.

On the other hand, navigating a seller's market may prove to be tricky. In a seller's market, there is a shortage of high-quality houses available and an abundance of buyers. Therefore, if you want to purchase your dream residence in a seller's market, you may need to submit an offer to purchase at or above a seller's initial home asking price.

Consider the housing market closely as you prepare an offer to purchase. If you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's one, you can submit an offer to purchase your dream house that falls in line with the current housing market's conditions.

2. Weigh a Home's Strengths and Weaknesses

When it comes to putting together a competitive offer to purchase, it helps to consider a house's strengths and weaknesses. That way, you can account for the costs of any potential home repairs or improvements in your homebuying proposal.

You should consider a home's location as well. For instance, a home in a remote town may prove to be more affordable than a comparable house near a big city. And when you craft an offer to purchase, you should always account for a house's location.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent can help you submit a competitive offer to purchase at any time. This housing market expert is happy to provide a recommendation about how much to offer to acquire your dream home. And if you have homebuying concerns or questions, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them at your convenience.

Want to buy your dream residence? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can avoid the risk of spending too much to acquire your ideal house.




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Posted by Maureen Harmonay on 5/29/2018

The kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in a home. Not just a place to cook meals itís also often the entrance to a home and where families gather together at the end of the day. Arguably, itís also the most important room in the home and the one home buyers should be most astute of.

The kitchen is one of the most expensive rooms to remodel ranging between $20,000 and $50,000. Whether youíre eager for some renovation projects or looking for a move-in ready home, youíll want to assess the level of work this room will need as your shop potential houses.

Start with perhaps the most obvious - is the room large enough for your daily needs? Is there plenty of counter space or room to expand cabinetry? Do you have a lot of kitchen tools that call for plenty of storage space or perhaps prefer an island to prep dinner at? Know what your ideal kitchen space ahead of time, especially if it is a priority, so your realtor can help you find the perfect fit.

Check that all appliances to ensure they are in working order as per the disclosure statement claims. Appliances are a big expense and youíll want to have a good idea of what will need replacing or to be installed. Consider if they are an easy color to match when it comes time for replacement and if any are under warranty.

Youíll also want to examine the cabinetry. Check to ensure all drawers and cabinets are properly aligned and open smoothly. If they are wooden cabinets you can easily swap out hardware or change the color if youíre not a fan of the current style. However, other materials are not as convenient so consider replacement costs if youíre unhappy with the current installation.

Countertops can be another major expense. Have the granite countertops been properly taken care of? If they are laminate are they scratched or chipped? If this isnít an upgrade youíre looking to make, be sure to look closely at what each home already has in place.

Kitchens are one of the busiest rooms in your home, especially if you love to cook. Check flooring for loose tiles, discoloration or poorly maintained wood flooring. This tells you a few things. Firstly, the quality of the materials used to build the home. And secondly, how well the house has been maintained over time.

Remodeling isnít on everyone's list when house shopping. And with kitchenís being one of the most expensive to renovate, this is one room you want to pay extra attention to as you view each potential home. Happy house hunting!




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Posted by Maureen Harmonay on 5/15/2018

If youíre looking to make a new investment in property, buying fixer uppers could be for you. If you want to flip a house in order to sell it for a profit in the future, youíll need to keep a few things in mind when searching for the right houses to flip. 



What Could The Property Sell For After It Is Flipped?


As you look at different properties, think about your end game. Choose a property to flip that you see a lot of potential in. Envision the property and keep a post-flip listing price in mind. Youíll need to have some other numbers in mind when determining the final price for the property. These include:


  • Construction costs
  • Desired profit percentage
  • Fees


Understand the amount of profit that is left for you after all fees and expenses are taken into account. You want to be sure that the property is worth it for you as an investor.


Have A Vision For What The Property Needs


The kitchen and the bathroom are very important when it comes to property values and the attractiveness of a property. many times, these will need to be redone. The kitchen and bathroom also tend to be the most expensive rooms in the home to renovate. Also, consider adding amenities to the home. These could include beverage coolers, kitchen islands, fireplaces, or additional bedrooms. The home should have the things that will appeal to a large number of buyers. Also, consider the area where the home is located. A fireplace may not be as important in Los Angeles as it is in Vermont. Even simple things like changing paint colors make a huge impact in the home. If you need help finding your vision, just remember that buyers want to be able to see themselves in the home.              



Find Dependable Help


If youíre going to flip houses, youíll need to have a list of dependable people ready to get to work. These will include contractors and builders. Youíll eventually build an entire network of people who can be of service to you. You need to avoid making any changes   that are personal to you. No matter how much you love the house, you shouldnít make any elaborate changes that might be seen as ornate by another party. 


Keep Things Fresh


If you stay on top of trends, youíre more likely to get more return on your investment in flipping houses. While you want to stay on budget, technology is key in todayís housing market. People want smart homes with automated lighting, speakers, automated temperature controls, and more. If you donít have the budget to do the whole entire house this way, keep the improvements to key areas of the home like the entrance or living room.


Build A Good Reputation


House flipping can sometimes be seen as a shady business. If you build a good reputation and always do business in a way that has the buyerís best interest in mind, youíll succeed in house flipping. 


Flipping houses may not be for everyone. Yet, with the right planning, you can find some success and satisfaction in home renovations.





Posted by Maureen Harmonay on 4/24/2018

Ready to submit an offer on a house? Before you present a proposal to a seller, it is important to plan ahead as much as possible. That way, you can increase the likelihood of an instant "Yes" from a seller, as well as boost your chances of a quick, seamless homebuying experience.

Now, let's take a look at three steps to follow before you submit a homebuying proposal.

1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

What good is a homebuying proposal if you lack the necessary financing to purchase a house? If you get pre-approved for a mortgage today, you can ensure that you will have the home financing that you need to make your homeownership dream come true.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you'll want to meet with several local banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can offer full details about a variety of mortgage options and help you select one that matches or surpasses your expectations.

Also, if you are unsure about the differences between assorted mortgage options, don't hesitate to ask for assistance. Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists, and these professionals are happy to teach you about various mortgage options.

2. Define a "Competitive" Offer

If you want to acquire your ideal residence, it pays to put your best foot forward with your homebuying proposal. Because if you submit a "lowball" offer, you risk missing out on the opportunity to purchase your dream house.

A "competitive" offer generally accounts for the condition and age of a house, along with the current real estate climate. Thus, if you evaluate a wide range of housing market data, you may be better equipped than ever before to submit a competitive offer on any home, at any time.

Take a look at the prices of recently sold houses in your area. This data can paint a picture of the current state of the local housing market.

Furthermore, find out how the home that you want to buy stacks up against similar houses that are available in your city or town. With this information, you can further refine your homebuying proposal.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a must-have, regardless of where you are on the homebuying journey. In fact, this housing market professional can help you can make the best-possible choices at each stage of the homebuying journey.

Prior to submitting a home offer, it often helps to collaborate with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you determine exactly what to offer on a home. And if your initial proposal is rejected, a real estate agent will make it simple to reenter the housing market and discover your ideal home.

When it comes to submitting an offer on a house, it usually is a great idea to prepare. If you follow the aforementioned steps, you should have no trouble providing a homebuying proposal that is sure to capture a seller's attention.




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Posted by Maureen Harmonay on 2/20/2018

When youíre shopping for a home, one of the most important things is that you feel comfortable in the home. Sure, you can look at the listing and visit the property, but youíll never know what itís like to sleep in a home until you move in. While there arenít many homeowners that offer overnights in order for you to feel out their property listing, there are ways that you can test a home out subtly.


Check Out The Neighborhood


You can learn a lot about a neighborhood just by observing the area. See how many people are out walking around. What is the age group of the people you see? This can give you a great idea of the neighborhood that your potential home is in. You could do this investigating several times at different hours of the day to get a full picture of the area.


Getting out and taking a stroll around the neighborhood is also a great idea to see what potentially living in your new home will be like. Check out public transportation options and local establishments like restaurants and coffee shops. Another great place to check out is local parks and recreation centers. This will allow you to see both the quality and the quantity of the options available to you. 


Test The Plumbing


If you have a chance as youíre walking through a home, touring it, be sure to check out the plumbing. Turn on the faucets. See how the water pressure from the shower is. It seems like kind of a strange thing to think of testing, but itís important. You donít want to move into a house only to find out the water pressure is unlivable and the hot water isnít so hot! 


Check Out How The Windows Work


A home with a breeze is always nice. See if any windows get stuck or are leaking out cold air when shut. This is a subtle way to do your own home inspection of an important aspect of your potential future home. Paying attention to the windows can also help you to hear the noise factor that you might face in the home. Can you hear a lot of traffic? Is the neighborhood quiet? Discovering these things will be very important in your decision to purchase a home.   


How Is The Storage Space?


Look around the homes that youíre considering and see how much storage space youíll have. Is there a basement or an attic or both? How easy are these spaces to access? If a home lacks adequate closet space for storing things like towels, cleaners, clothing, etc, you may find yourself scrambling for ways to keep all of your things in the home once you move in. Make sure the storage space you see is enough for you and your familyís lifestyle.