Real Estate Information

Barrington Area Real Estate Blog

Denise D'Amico

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 245

How Much House Can You Afford?

by Denise D'Amico
 
Determining how much home you can afford, or what payment you feel comfortable with,
can be a trying process.
 
Calling lenders, looking at mortgage loan programs and interest rates can be confusing, to say the least. There is an easy way to get started, and give yourself an idea of where you stand.
 
 
What Ever Home Buyer Should Know The first step is to find out what mortgage interest rates are at the current time. You can typically do this with a couple of phone calls to lenders or some quick searching on the internet. Get your rates on conventional fixed rate loans. To obtain a very clear picture of how much home you can actually qualify for, the best idea is to contact a reputable local lender and let them analyze your entire situation. The lender can calculate your income-to-debt ratio, do a quick credit score and give you the information you need.
 
Typically, lenders like to see a ratio not exceeding about 28%. This does not take into consideration long term monthly debt. As an example, to qualify for a loan, lenders may require ratios of 28% or 36%. This means you can spend up to 28% of your gross monthly income on a mortgage payment, and no more than 36% of your gross monthly income on all forms of debt, mortgage included.
 
We work with a number of loan officers and would be happy to recommend one right for you. Click here to contact us today. We are happy to help!

Encouragement Corner

by Denise D'Amico
 
ENCOURAGEMENT CORNER
 
 
Thomas Jefferson’s Ten Rules for a Good Life.
 
Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
 
Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.
 
Never spend your money before you have it.
 
Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will never be dear to you.
 
Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst, and cold.
 
Never repent of having eaten too little.
 
Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly.
 
Don't let the evils which have never happened cost you pain.
 
Always take things by their smooth handle.
 
When angry, count to ten before you speak; if very angry, count to one hundred.

4 Things Only A Realtor Knows About Real Estate

by Denise D'Amico
 
 
4 Things Only A Realtor (and not the Internet)
Knows About Real Estate
 

According to the National Association of Realtors, 42 percent of homebuyers start their home search online, and 92 percent use the Web during the home search process. While the Internet can be a good place to start looking, there are things real estate agents know about the process of buying and selling a home that can't be found in any Web browser.

Here are a few.

1. How to price a home When setting a listing price, agents consider scores of factors, from local and national market trends and neighborhood development activity to the latest buyer preferences for kitchen appliances and landscaping. Every home is unique, and an agent with a track record of success knows how to price it attractively in the market. The Internet isn't always much help when it comes to comparison shopping, either. Many of the same factors that help an agent set an appropriate listing price aren't available in an algorithm, so online estimators aren't always accurate – and could be costly if you purchase without consulting a real, live professional.

2. Marketing offline While online marketing can certainly be valuable, agents have networks of contacts and years of experience to round out their marketing plans. And, for buyers, agents often can tap into their network to learn about great properties before they hit the real estate websites or even the MLS.

3. Key points in the process If you find a home you love online, the website won't be there to guide you through a mortgage application, find a home inspector or advise you what to do if an inspection reveals issues.

4. How to negotiate Having an experienced, professional negotiator drive your transaction can be vital to reaching a fair price for the property you're buying or selling. A website can give you an estimate of how much a property should cost, but it can't evaluate whether that's a great price or not.

To make sure you get the most home for your home when buying, contact Denise D'Amico at the Denise D'Amico Real Estate Group.

Virtual Tours of Sold Homes

by Denise D'Amico
 
 

 

Words of Inspiration

by Denise D'Amico

 

Words of Inspiration

“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” - Thomas Jefferson

“Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching.” - Satchel Paige

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

“It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” - John Wooden

“If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there.” - Lewis Carroll

5 Reasons School Ratings Matter

by Denise D'Amico
 
 
 
 
Schools can have a big impact on property value and quality of life. If you're buying a home, here are a few reasons local school ratings matter, even if you don't have kids.
 
The next buyer will consider the school ratings, too
According to the 2014 National Association of REALTORS Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 29 percent of homebuyers listed school quality and 22 percent listed proximity to schools as deciding factors in their home purchase. Another survey conducted by Realtor.com showed that 91 percent of the people surveyed included school district boundaries in their decision-making process. You may be surprised to learn that not all of the shoppers involved in the studies had kids.
 
More money spent on schools means more money spent on homes
There's a correlation between school expenditures and home values in any given neighborhood, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. Their report, "Using Market Valuation to Assess Public School Spending," found that for every dollar spent on public schools in a community, home values increased $20.
 
Higher school ratings equal higher home values
A Brookings Institution study looked at the 100 largest metro areas in the country and found an average difference of $205,000 in home prices between houses near high-performing and low-performing schools.
 
And good school ratings help homes maintain value
While changes in the economic landscape and local area can ripple across the market, a great school district can sometimes help insulate a home from market fluctuations.
 
Great school districts usually mean great neighborhoods
Often there's a correlation between super school districts and safer neighborhoods, better shopping and transportation and great public amenities – like parks. All of these factors increase the desirability of the neighborhood, which translates to higher home values and a better deal for you when it's time to sell.
 
Denise D'Amico and The Denise D'Amico Real Estate Group can provide you with insight on the schools in the neighborhoods where you're looking to buy. Call Denise at 847-551-9290 or

Veterans Day 2016

by Denise D'Amico

 

 
Thank you for serving our country
and protecting our freedoms!
 

6 Tips For A Better Showing

by Denise D'Amico

 

 

6 Tips For A Better Showing

 

 

Keeping your home looking like a furniture showroom for long stretches isn't easy. Here are a few tips to keep your house ready for showings while you're still living in it.

 
1. Attack the clutter As you prepare your home for showing, start with a major decluttering. Throw out, recycle or give away things you don't use. Getting rid of junk will make your home more appealing to prospective buyers and free up space for you to neatly store things when it's time to tidy up for a showing.
 
2. Rent storage space Keeping things neat is easier when you have less things. An off-site storage unit can help (and you can keep it as messy as you like).
 
3. Start packing Packing most of your dishes and large baking and cooking items frees up cabinet space that you can use to stash items you use on a regular basis. It also gives you a head start on packing for your move.
 
4. Rope off a room – or two If you can, temporarily rope off rooms or areas from the kids, pets or spouses to contain your mess in a smaller space while your house is listed. But remember to make those rooms look nice, too, before the showing!
 
5. Buy hiding spots The home sections of discount stores are filled with attractive fabric boxes and fashionable bins that can simultaneously hide junk and match your décor.
 
6. If all else fails, stash it under the bed Invest in a couple of under-the-bed bins that you can use to store everything from socks to kids' toys in when faced with a last-minute showing.
 
Call Denise D'Amico when you're ready to sell.

9-11-01 In Honor and Remebrance

by Denise D'Amico

 

 

 

 

Make Your Yard Mosquito Free

by Denise D'Amico

 

Make Your Yard Mosquito Free

 
 
 
Summer is here and the sunshine is calling. Don't let mosquitos ruin your outdoor fun. Here are a few tips for keeping the bugs out of your backyard.
1. Look out for standing water
Standing water of any depth – whether it's the half-inch at the bottom of a planter or the six inches stagnating in your wheelbarrow – is an invitation for mosquitos (they need water to breed). Be careful not to overwater your lawn and to refresh water containers, like dog bowls, often.
2. That includes your gutters
Make sure your gutters are clean and water drains freely. Otherwise, you're the proprietor of a very long singles bar for mosquitos.
3. Switch your bulbs
In some areas of the country, depending on the breed of mosquitos, swapping out the bulbs you use in your outdoor lights for yellow bug bulbs can mean fewer insects swarming the lights.
4. Trim away
Mosquitos like to hang out in the shade and feast on plant nectar. Keep your lawn short and hack down heavy vegetation near your patio and house to make your property less appealing.
5. Blast the buggers
Mosquitos aren't powerful fliers. Strategically placed fans around your deck can blow them away, and a ceiling fan above your covered porch can help too.
6. Hang a net
When done correctly, mosquito netting can drape your patio or outdoor eating area in elegance while keeping the bugs at bay.
7. Light candles Citronella candles, lamps and coils can help repel mosquitos.
8. Bring in the big guns
Work with a professional pest control company who can install misters to work all season, or spray your yard once for a special occasion.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 245