Lisa Corr, Olde Town Realty | Haverhill, MA Real Estate


A home selling budget can make a world of difference, particularly for individuals who want to avoid potential problems during the property selling journey. Yet crafting a home selling budget may be difficult. Thankfully, there are lots of things you can do to simplify the process of creating a home selling budget that matches your finances.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you create an effective home selling budget.

1. Analyze Your Home's Condition

The condition of your home can have far-flung effects on the home selling journey. If your house requires a wide range of repairs and upgrades, you will need to budget accordingly. Otherwise, assorted home problems may go unaddressed and could make it tough for you to maximize your house sale earnings.

Consider the buyer's perspective as you assess your house. That way, you can identify minor and major home issues and include various property repairs and upgrades in your house selling budget.

It may be beneficial to hire a home inspector too. If you have a property inspector assess your house, you can receive expert insights into myriad home improvements.

2. Determine If Professional Home Improvement Assistance Is Needed

If you find you need home improvement assistance, you should plan for the costs of hiring professionals. By doing so, you can avoid the risk of overspending to improve your house.

Reach out to dozens of home improvement professionals in your city or town. If you shop around for home improvement professionals, you can boost the likelihood of getting the best prices.

Don't forget to ask home improvement professionals for client referrals as well. If you get client referrals, you can gain firsthand insights into what it is like to work with a home improvement professional before you make your hiring decision.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent can provide extensive support throughout the house selling journey. In fact, he or she may help you budget for all stages of the home selling journey and ensure that you won't have to break your budget to achieve your desired results.

Typically, a real estate agent will offer tips and recommendations to help you enhance your residence before you add it to the housing market. In many instances, a real estate agent can provide suggestions so you can upgrade your residence on your own. Or, if you require additional assistance, a real estate agent can put you in touch with the top home improvement professionals in your area.

A real estate agent also is happy to provide expert guidance as you navigate the home selling journey. This housing market professional can help you make informed decisions as you try to sell your home. As a result, a real estate agent can help you make your home selling goals come true.

Ready to sell your house? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can prepare a successful home selling budget.


Your thirties are a time of many important financial decisions. Many people are starting families, buying homes, and getting settled into their careers by the time they turn thirty. The following ten years are often marked by salary increases, moving into larger homes, and saving for retirement.

It’s vital to have a solid grasp on personal finance in your thirties, as it is in many ways the foundation of your finances for the decades to come. So, in this article we’re going to give you some advice on buying a home and managing your money in your thirties.

Straighten out your credit

If your twenties were a volatile time of incurring debts from student loans, car loans, and other expenses, then it’s paramount to get your credit in order in your early thirties. Having a high credit score can secure you lower interest rates on a home loan or let you refinance your loans at lower rates.

Start by making sure your bills are on auto-pay, and be sure to settle any older debts from your younger years. You can also use a credit card for recurring expenses, such as gas to get to work or groceries, and then pay them off in full each month. This way, you’ll build credit and avoid accruing  interest at the same time.

Reevaluate your lifestyle and long term goals

A lot can change from the time you turn 25 to the time you turn 35. Your goals might shift from finding a home near the ocean to finding a home near a good school district for your children. You might also have the shocking realization that your children will be heading to college sooner than it might seem, and that you’re still working on paying off your own student debt.

Consider things like the size house you’ll need for your family, where you want to live and whether that involves being close to aging parents, and reallocating money depending on your retirement goals.

Rethink your insurance coverage

Gone are the days when all you needed was a car insurance policy to get by. As you age and your responsibilities grow, you’ll need to think about the future for you and your family. That may include a more comprehensive health insurance plan for your family, a life insurance policy for yourself, or increased covered for home and auto insurance.

Automate the headaches away

With all of these growing responsibilities, it can be easy to get frustrated with the time you’re losing to keeping your finance in order. Fortunately, there are many tools at your disposal in the internet age that will make all of those responsibilities an afterthought.

First, get a budget planning app, like Mint or You Need a Budget (YNAB). Next, set up your bills to auto-pay if you haven’t yet. Then, put reminders in your phone to periodically check your credit score and reassess whether you need to pay for certain monthly services (do you still watch Hulu?). Finally, if you haven’t yet, make sure you have your paychecks direct deposited into the accounts you’d like them to enter so you don’t have to worry about them.


Photo by 3D Animation Production Company via Pixabay

If you’re retired, own your own home and have trouble making ends meet, a reverse mortgage may seem like the answer to prayers. You get to stay in your house and you’ll have some extra cash to see you through. Before you run to the nearest lender, however, consider the downside as well as upside to these instruments.

What is a reverse mortgage?

A financial institution lends you money, either a lump sum, a stream of payments or a line of credit, against the equity in your home. Unlike most loans, however, you’re not required to pay it back on a regular basis. You can let the loan ride until you die, move or sell the home, at which your home is sold and the proceeds pay off the loan.

While there are several flavors of reverse mortgage, most are insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) under a program called the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM).

Am I eligible for a reverse mortgage?

Everyone on the title must be 62 or older. The home must be your primary residence, and your equity needs to be at least around 50 percent. Also, you have to attend consumer counseling before signing up.

What are the pros of a reverse mortgage?

  • You stay in your home. You keep the title until you sell, move or die.

  • There are no required monthly payments. Any previous home loans are paid before you receive your proceeds.

  • If you choose to make payments, there’s no prepayment penalty.

  • The money you receive is not taxable, nor does it affect your Social Security or Medicare eligibility.

  • The loan is non-recourse. Regardless of your loan balance, you'll never have to pay back more than the house is worth.

What are the cons of a reverse mortgage?

  • Unless you make payments, the loan amount will continue to increase. It’s unlikely you’ll pass the home on to your heirs.

  • You must continue to pay taxes, insurance and necessary maintenance and repairs. Failure to do so can lead to foreclosure.

  • There are upfront and ongoing mortgage insurance premiums as well as a loan origination fee. These (and interest rates) trend higher than for other mortgage loans.

  • Your favorite bank may not offer reverse mortgages. Most issuers are small banks, credit unions and online lenders. Some lenders have made misleading claims that understate the risk.

  • If you go into a nursing home you will have to sell the home and pay off the loan.

  • While Social Security and Medicare are not an issue, reverse mortgage income can affect your eligibility for Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income.

Should I apply for a reverse mortgage?

If you plan to stay in your home well into retirement and are having trouble with ongoing expenses, it may be right for you. However, if you aren’t cautious about what you’re getting into, or if you’ll have trouble paying taxes, insurance and upkeep even with the extra money, it isn’t a wise choice.


Buying your first home is a big endeavor, both financially and personally. Homeownership means taking on new responsibilities and bills, but it also means true financial independence.

If you’re hoping to buy a home in the near future, you might be wondering what you should be doing now to put yourself in the best position when it comes time to buy a home. Well, you’re in luck. Today’s post is a simplified list of all of the things you can be doing today to start making your way toward your ultimate goal of homeownership.

1. Pay off small debts

The first thing you’ll want to do to start saving for a down payment is to make sure you’re not pouring money down the drain to credit card companies for interest rates. If you owe small amounts of money (or less than $1,000), now is the time to aggressively pay down those debts.

The goal here is to get your credit cards to a place where you pay off your balance in full each month, avoiding interest while still earning rewards and building credit.

2. Speaking of credit…

One of the most important aspects of buying a home is your credit score. Take the time to learn about the 5 main things that contribute to your credit score and then work on ways to improve your score in those areas.

3. Don’t open any new accounts if you can help it

Once you start getting closer to applying for a mortgage, you won’t want any new inquiries on your account that are temporarily lowering your score. If you need to open a new account to lift your score, then do so well in advance of applying for a mortgage.

4. Get serious about saving for a down payment

There are a few ways to proactively save for your down payment; none of them include setting money aside when you feel like it. Start by opening a dedicated account and direct-depositing a portion of your pay into that account each week.

If you have an emergency fund in place, you might be in a position to use a CD or certificate of deposit. These give the highest earnings from interest out of any form of savings. The catch? You can’t withdraw from the account until you reach your savings goal without a penalty. If you know you won’t need to dip into these funds before they’ve matured, a CD is an excellent way to save.

5. Find out how much house you can afford

Homes are expensive. but, if it’s your first home, you might need to borrow the maximum amount form the bank to find a house that you’ll love. To find out what is a reasonable amount to spend on a home, you’ll need to consider your monthly mortgage, bills, taxes, insurance, and any other expenses. Leave yourself room for savings, emergencies, and to live a little. You won’t be able to enjoy your home much if you have to spend your days struggling to afford it.

6. Career planning is vital

A good career is a balance between stability and upward mobility. Don’t be afraid to be on the lookout for new positions with higher pay and better opportunities, even if you’re happy with your current job.

If you’ve been in your position for a while, consider asking for a raise. Research salaries for other people in your position and go to your boss equipped with data to show that show you deserve a raise.


As a home seller, it is important to keep your house show-ready. By doing so, you can ensure your residence will look great, regardless of when a homebuyer wants to see it.

Ultimately, home staging can make a world of difference for any home seller, at any time. And with the right home staging advice, a home seller can learn what it takes to maintain a house's appearance both inside and out.

When it comes to last-minute home staging, here are three tips that every home seller needs to consider.

1. Illuminate your residence

Open up the shades and let sunlight into your residence – you'll be glad you did. By taking a few minutes to ensure that the shades are open, you can illuminate your residence and transform an ordinary home interior into a dazzling one.

In addition, turn on lights throughout your residence. This will enable you to brighten up each room in your home, thereby increasing the likelihood that homebuyers can see the true beauty of your entire house.

2. Wipe down bathroom and kitchen counters and sinks

Let's face it – messy counters and sinks are eyesores that no homebuyer wants to see. Fortunately, wiping down bathroom and kitchen counters and sinks is a fast, easy way to help your house stand out in homebuyers' eyes.

Keep paper towels or washcloths and a general-purpose cleaner near bathroom and kitchen counters. That way, you can wipe down these surfaces without having to search far and wide to find various home cleaning essentials.

Also, don't forget to remove clutter from in and around a bathroom or kitchen sink. Whether it's dishes in the kitchen sink or leftover toothpaste in the bathroom sink, it pays to be thorough as you complete last-minute preparations for a home showing.

3. Check for odors in your home

Pungent smells that come from a refrigerator or other areas may impact how a homebuyer perceives your house. Thus, you'll want to do a quick odor check as part of your last-minute home staging routine.

Empty any garbage cans as needed. This will allow you to eliminate nasty odors that may be coming from garbage cans.

Furthermore, feel free to use scented candles to deal with tough smells. If you decide to use scented candles, however, make sure the odors that they provide are not too overwhelming.

If you need any extra assistance as you get your house ready for a home showing, don't hesitate to reach out to your real estate agent as well.

Typically, your real estate agent can offer expert advice throughout the home selling journey. He or she will make it easy for you to prep for home showings and stage your home properly. As a result, your real estate agent can increase your chances of receiving the best price for your residence.

As the clock ticks closer to a home showing, there's no need to worry. Use the aforementioned tips, and a home seller can get a house show-ready in a matter of minutes.




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