Blog :: 12-2014

3 Things to Consider when Buying a Home

What to Consider When Buying a Home

Buying a home is (usually) the largest, and longest financial commitment of one's life. In a world of impulse-buy-oriented consumerism, a house purchase should be the least impulsive, most well-thought-out investment of your hard-earned money you make. You need to do your homework and get a really good understanding of the debt-to-income ratio your finances represent, the budget you can afford, as well as the associated costs you will have to deal with: closing, moving, maintenance, insurance, etc.

Here are three things to consider before you go house-shopping.

What's your Credit Score?

Unless you're independently wealthy, you are going to have to borrow the money to purchase a home. And to do that, you need good credit. The better your score, the better your opportunities for a favorable loan with good terms. Know your current score, and know where you need to be before you start talking to lending agencies.

Prepare a Down Payment

A down payment of 20% of a home's purchase price can put you in a much better position with the mortgage company. While there are a few ways to get the money for a down payment, nothing beats good old ahead-of-time saving. Also, different types of mortgage have different down payment requirements so you may not need as much as you think. Start setting aside money now, if you haven't already. This can keep you from having to borrow, taking it from your retirement account, or going in with a low down payment and having to pay for mortgage insurance.

Hire a Real Estate Agent

When you're ready to start looking, hiring a buyers' agent is one of the best financial moves you can make. A real estate agent is dedicated to finding the right home for you, negotiating on your behalf, and helping you navigate the sometimes turbulent waters of the housing market. The professional know-how of a buyers' agent will save you hassle, mistakes, and money.

If you have questions, contact us today. You can also view all of our blog posts here.

10 Family Activities to do in Central Maine during the Holiday Season

Snow and Christmas Lights

Looking for some interesting family activities to do this holiday season? The greater Waterville area has many to choose from. Here are the top ten:

Kringleville

Waterville, ME - November 28 - December 22, most evenings and Saturdays

Shop downtown and visit with Santa.

Festival of Trees

Goodwill-Hinckley - December 6 - 13, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm, and evenings on the 10th and 12th

Daily tree viewings, giveaways, and lots of activities.

Holiday Stroll

Skowhegan, ME - December 5 & December 6

Parade Friday night at 7:00 pm. Shop downtown and join in many holiday activities.

Service of Carols and Bells

Colby College, Waterville, ME - December 5 & 6

Readings, caroling and music.

Chester Greenwood Day

Farmington, ME - December 6

Holiday Movies themed parade, Gingerbread House Contest, Chili Contest and more. Bring your earmuffs!

Belgrade Lakes Village Holiday Stroll (PDF)

Belgrade Lakes, ME - December 6

Parade, horse-drawn carriage rides, caroling and live music.

Cut and carry tree farms

A fun family experience, you-cut tree farms make an event out of choosing your Christmas tree.

Donating/Volunteering

Donate cash, gifts, or food. Or make it a family activity and donate your time to help the hungry or needy.

Greater Waterville Area Food Bank

Mondays thru Thursdays, 10 am - noon; 2nd and 4th Monday evening 5:30 - 7:00 pm

Listing of Local Church Soup Kitchens

Various times

Greater Waterville Area Food Pantries

Various times

Chasing Lights

Drive through or stroll along well decorated streets. Some neighborhoods earn reputations for holiday decorating.

Good areas include Washington St, near Colby College; China Rd in Winslow, and any of the downtown shopping areas in Waterville, Skowhegan, Augusta, Winslow, Fairfield and beyond.