Rhody Real Estate Guide

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Fall For Rhode Island Real Estate

There’s less competition

Sellers are motivated to offload their properties, making it easier to negotiate lower prices or money-saving perks like covered closing costs.

It’s easier to spot home flaws

Bare leaves and cleared out flower beds make it easier to spot flaws. Roofs, foundations, and siding are no longer hiding behind lush foliage, so you can locate potentially big problems.

Save on moving costs

Hiring professional movers is pricey, but you can score a better rate if you opt to move later fall and into winter. Plus they’ll have more flexibility with dates.

Tax incentives

There are tax implications to buying a home. Property taxes, mortgage interest, and some closing costs are tax deductible. Take advantage of them by closing before December 31.

Home for the holidays

Sellers may want to spend the holidays in their new digs, so negotiating quicker closing dates may persuade them to knock off a few dollars. Added bonus, you’ll have time to celebrate the festive season in your new home, too.

Not-so-extreme makeover

You will want to put your personal stamp on your new place. With the start of school behind us and the holidays looming, normally over-booked contractors finally have time to tackle smaller home improvement projects.

 

The Financials

Research

Many factors go into deciding where to live. Do you want
city-living with cafes within walking distance? Maybe something by the water? Or it could be based solely on how school systems rank. This is where going down various real estate website rabbit holes can help. RILiving.com for example offers neighborhood reports, tax rates, and helpful stats about cities and towns, even the monthly median temperature (especially handy if you live in Bristol and wonder about the weather in Foster-Glocester). Drive or walk around the immediate neighborhood so you don’t start complaining about the noise from the fire engines leaving the station that’s right around the corner.

Classes

Many lenders require prospective buyers to participate in classes to help understand the process of buying and keeping a home. Like most everything else, classes have pivoted to accommodate remote options. Also ask lenders about any special programs. RIHousing recently announced the 10kDPA program, which provides a $10,000 down payment assistance loan to eligible homebuyers in Rhode Island.

Inspection

After falling for the first house or visiting many, you have found “the” house and made an offer. Next steps are inspections and appraisals. The inspection is for your own protection and is a step that should not be skipped. Ask your real estate or buyer’s agent to recommend a home inspector and make sure this person is reputable (check those creds). An inspector will examine the property inside and out, looking for serious flaws. According to CFPB, if your purchase contract is contingent on a satisfactory inspection, you should be able to cancel the sale without penalty. You can also then be in a position to negotiate with the seller for certain repairs, etc.

Costs

Unless you have the minimal trappings of a very first apartment (milk crates, futon) and can fit it all in somebody’s pick-up for the cost of pizza and beer, you probably need to hire movers. According to Consumer Affairs, hiring movers can cost anywhere between a few hundred dollars to several thousand, depending on how far you’re moving and how much work you’re willing to do yourself. The amount of personal property you’re transporting also affects the total cost. The average cost for a local move is $80 to $100 per hour for a team of two movers. The total cost you’ll pay for a local move is mostly a function of how long it takes the moving crew to load and unload the truck — meaning the more items you have, the more you’ll pay to move them. Movers will also pack for you, for a fee, and therefore are responsible for “accidents.”

 

Loans and Rates

Long term: Lower monthly payment but you’ll pay more in interest.

Short term: Higher monthly payment but you’ll pay less over time in interest.

Adjustable rate: Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) offer less predictability but may be cheaper in the short term. Source: ConsumerFinance.gov

Fixed rate: Your interest rate and monthly principal and interest payment will stay the same, but your total monthly payment can still change—for example, your property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, or mortgage insurance might go up or down.

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI): An additional cost that will be required by your lender if you
don’t put 20 percent down.

 

Who’s Who

Buyer’s agent: Assists and represents their clients through every step of the home-buying process, including finding the right home, negotiating an offer, recommending other professionals (e.g., mortgage brokers, real estate attorneys, settlement companies), and troubleshooting problems (e.g., home inspection or appraisal issues).

Listing agent: A real estate agent who represents a home seller and helps clients who are selling with a wide range of tasks, including pricing their home, recommending home improvements or staging, marketing their home, holding open houses, coordinating showings with home buyers, negotiating with buyers, and overseeing the home inspection process and closing procedures.

Realtor: A licensed agent with the ability to use that widely respected title, an agent needs to be a member of the National Association of Realtors®. The Rhode Island Association of REALTORS® is one of the largest trade organizations in Rhode Island with more than 6,000 members in approximately 900 offices.

Real estate agent: Someone with a professional license to help people buy, sell, or rent all sorts of housing and real estate.

Real estate broker: Someone who has taken education beyond the agent level as required by state laws and passed a broker’s license exam.

Rental agent: Helps consumers find properties to rent.

 

Help Buyers Fall in Love

  1. Clean up fallen leaves, trim trees and hedges, clip dead summer flowers, and clean out the beds.
  2. Take advantage of fall colors by placing potted autumn-hued flowers like chrysanthemums and marigolds along your walk and around the front porch. Accent with seasonal gourds and pumpkins.

  3. Shorter days mean bringing out the light. Replace burned out fixtures with new amber or soft white bulbs to make your home inviting.

  4. Clean the windows and opt for airy treatments to take advantage of the natural light.

  5. Bring the inviting fall colors into your home with new throw pillows and blankets. They will add a pop of warmth to the room without the clutter.

  6. Spice up your open house with warming scents. Heat up apple cider with allspice, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and vanilla beans to entice buyers. The aroma will be irresistible and they will appreciate a cup on a chilly autumn day.

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