Jill Finkelstein - Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Town and Country Real Estate



Posted by Jill Finkelstein on 1/14/2018

Entering the housing market may be difficult for a buyer. In many instances, buyers worry about paying too much for a house. On the other hand, the temptation to overspend on a house sometimes can be overwhelming for a homebuyer who is concerned about losing his or her dream residence to a rival buyer.

Fortunately, we're here to help you determine exactly what you can afford to pay for a house, thereby reducing the risk of spending too much on a residence.

Let's take a look at three tips to ensure a buyer can purchase a great house at the right price.

1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

A mortgage generally is a must-have for a homebuyer. If you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you can start searching for houses that fall within your financial limits.

To learn about your mortgage options, you should meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. These financial institutions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists who can teach you about myriad mortgage options.

Also, don't hesitate to ask questions as you search for a mortgage. If you understand all of the mortgage options at your disposal, you can make an informed mortgage decision. Then, you'll be able to start pursuing houses with a budget in hand.

2. Assess the Housing Market

The real estate market frequently fluctuates. As such, you should look closely at housing market data to find out whether you're preparing to search for a house in a buyer's or seller's market.

Oftentimes, it helps to look at the prices of recently sold houses in your area. This will allow you to see how much sellers received for their homes, as well as how long these houses were available before they sold. That way, you can use this housing market data to narrow your price range and establish realistic expectations for your home search.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a housing market expert. Therefore, a real estate agent can make it simple for you to pay the right price for your ideal house.

Typically, a real estate agent will want to meet with you before you start your home search. He or she then can learn about you and your homebuying goals and help you craft a homebuying budget. As a result, a real estate agent will allow you to refine your home search, ensuring you can check out high-quality houses at budget-friendly prices.

Let's not forget about the support that a real estate agent delivers throughout the homebuying journey, either. A real estate agent will set up home showings and keep you up to date about new houses that fall within your price range. And if you'd like to submit an offer on a house, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive proposal as well.

Pay the right price for your dream house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can boost the likelihood of discovering the right home, at the right price.




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Posted by Jill Finkelstein on 11/26/2017

Purchasing a house may prove to be a long, complex process, particularly for a first-time buyer. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you enjoy a quick, easy homebuying journey.

1. Narrow Your Search for Your Dream Home

It often helps to enter the real estate market with a checklist of home must-haves and wants. With this checklist, you will be better equipped than ever before to perform a deep evaluation of any house, at any time.

Think about what you want to find in your dream home and include these criteria in your checklist. For instance, if you want to own a house near your office, you can search for houses that are just a few miles from your workplace. Or, if you want to purchase a house with a big backyard, you should look at houses that offer the space that you need.

2. Submit a Competitive Offer

If you find a house that you want to buy, there is no need to wait to submit an offer. However, it is important to differentiate between a "lowball" offer and a competitive one beforehand.

A lowball offer generally fails to account for the state of a house, as well as the current real estate market's conditions. It is likely to fall short of a home seller's expectations, and as a result, lead to an immediate "No."

Conversely, a competitive offer is based on housing market data, along with the condition and age of a house. And if you submit a competitive offer on a residence, you may receive an instant "Yes" from a home seller.

3. Conduct an In-Depth Home Inspection

After you and a home seller agree to terms, you will want to conduct a comprehensive home inspection. This will enable you to fully examine a house's interior and exterior and identify any potential home problems before you finalize your purchase.

When it comes to buying a home, there is no need to forego a home inspection. In fact, if you bypass a home inspection, you risk encountering costly, time-intensive home problems in the near future.

To hire an expert home inspector, perform a search of the available inspectors in your city or town. Then, meet with several home inspectors, ask for client referrals and allocate the necessary time and resources to perform an in-depth assessment. Because if you hire the right home inspector, you can get the support that you need to make an informed home purchase.

Lastly, if you need help finding a home inspector or completing other homebuying tasks, it usually is a good idea to employ a real estate agent. This housing market professional will learn about your homebuying goals and tailor your home search accordingly. As a result, working with a real estate agent will increase the likelihood that you can enjoy a quick, easy homebuying journey.




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Posted by Jill Finkelstein on 3/12/2017

If you're in the market for a new home, Vermont may prove to be a great place to settle down. From Lake Champlain to the Shelburne Museum, the Green Mountain State boasts many terrific attractions. Plus, Vermont features a bustling real estate market, one that offers numerous high-quality houses in cities and towns across the state.

Ultimately, Vermont offers a wonderful place to live, which means you may need to act quickly to purchase a great house in the Green Mountain State. Lucky for you, we're here to help you do just that.

Here are three homebuying tips to help you secure a top-notch residence in Vermont.

1. Set Realistic Homebuying Expectations

Although you may search far and wide for a Vermont home, it is important to understand that no house is perfect. However, if you establish realistic homebuying expectations, you can streamline your home search and avoid potential "disappointments" along the way.

Make a checklist of "must-have" items that you would like to see in your Vermont home. This list may include everything from an indoor fireplace to a fenced-in backyard.

Then, create a list of things that you "want" to find in a Vermont home but can live without if necessary. This list may feature things like a home automation system or mud room.

After you differentiate your must-haves from your wants, you can pare down your Vermont home search. By doing so, you'll be able to streamline the process of buying a Green Mountain State home that meets your expectations.

2. Review Your Finances

Do you have enough money to buy a Vermont home? The only way you'll know for sure is to review your finances and find out how much money you have at your disposal.

For the majority of homebuyers, a mortgage is necessary. Thankfully, many credit unions and banks are available and will share information about all of your mortgage options.

Start meeting with credit unions and banks today – you'll be happy you did. These lenders will be able to provide you with details about adjustable- and fixed-rate mortgages and help you secure a mortgage that fits your budget.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

Hire a real estate agent before you kick off your search for a Vermont house. With a real estate agent at your side, you can take the guesswork out of finding the right Green Mountain State residence.

Your real estate agent will serve as your guide to the Vermont housing market. He or she will inform you about new houses that become available, set up home showings and negotiate with home sellers on your behalf. In addition, if you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, your real estate agent will respond to your queries.

When it comes to buying a Vermont home, there is no need to navigate the homebuying process alone. Fortunately, your real estate agent will keep the homebuying process simple and ensure you can purchase a superb Vermont house any time you choose.

Don't wait to begin your Vermont home search – use these tips, and you can move closer to buying an outstanding Vermont residence.




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Posted by Jill Finkelstein on 1/22/2017

You've been thinking about buying your first home and it is a very big decision. It is typically not a decision you make overnight instead you need to take the time prepare yourself.  Here are the basic steps that you should follow when it is time to buy a home.

  1. Ask are you ready? Home ownership is quite different than renting. It is a lot more expensive than renting. You will have added expenses and responsibility. There will be expenses like repairs, added utility costs, such as garbage and water, plus taxes and insurance related to your home. You will want to make sure to have an emergency fund, before you purchase your first home.
  2. Shop for a loan. Your first step will be to get preapproved. Knowing how much you can afford will help you to look for homes within your price range.
  3. Figure out how much you can afford. Just because you are preapproved for a certain loan doesn't mean you can afford that in the real world. A good rule of thumb is to keep your mortgage along with your taxes and insurance between twenty five and thirty percent of your income. You don't want to be house poor.
  4. Use a real estate professional you can trust.  A good real estate professional will listen to your wants and needs carefully. It is important that you are also educated on the process of buying a home. A good real estate professional will help meet your needs while navigating you through the process and advocating for your best interests.





Posted by Jill Finkelstein on 11/13/2016

Do you need to hire a real estate agent to help you find your dream home? The choice is yours, but ultimately, your decision to hire a real estate agent to guide you along the homebuying process may determine whether you're able to find your ideal house quickly and effortlessly. Your real estate agent can provide plenty of tips as you search for homes. In fact, there are many terrific reasons to listen to your real estate agent throughout the homebuying process, including: 1. Comprehensive Resources Although you may have a vast array of online resources at your disposal, your real estate likely can provide additional insights you won't find elsewhere. For instance, your real estate can collaborate with a home seller's real estate agent to better understand a seller's preferences. This may allow you to find out whether a seller is looking for a quick sale, how much this seller would accept for his or her residence and other "insider" information. Your real estate agent is happy to provide you with extra resources as well. This professional can send you regular email updates of home listings in particular areas, set up a home showing as soon as a new residence in a specific city or town becomes available and do whatever it takes to ensure you can find your ideal home immediately. 2. Extensive Negotiating Skills Don't enter a home negotiation without a real estate agent at your side. With a real estate agent who understands what it takes to handle a high-pressure negotiation, you should have no trouble striking a fair deal with a home seller. Your real estate agent likely understands how to stay calm, cool and collected in even the most stressful negotiation. Meanwhile, this professional can pass along tips to help you confidently submit an offer on a home and await a seller's response. Ultimately, the negotiating tips and support you receive from your real estate agent can make a world of difference in your efforts to buy a high-quality residence. And in the end, the guidance that your real estate agent provides may help you secure your ideal home. 3. Honesty and Reliability Sometimes, it can be tough to trust a real estate agent. But if you do your homework and hire a real estate agent who is both honest and reliable, you can enjoy consistent support throughout the homebuying process. Employing a first-rate real estate agent ensures you'll be able to receive unbiased feedback as you search for your dream home, too. For example, an honest real estate agent won't be afraid to point out both the pros and cons of a particular home. This feedback will enable you to make a more informed decision and may bolster your chances of purchasing a residence that you can enjoy for years to come. Listen to your real estate agent throughout the homebuying process – you'll be happy you did! By doing so, you can receive expert tips to ensure you're able to buy your dream house at a price that fits your budget.