Rachel Hillman Foy - Hillman Homes

Posted by Rachel Hillman Foy on 3/15/2018

OPEN HOUSE SAT 3/17 and SUN 3/18, 11am-1pm. Beautiful top floor condominium that boasts 3 bedrooms and 2 baths on two living levels. Open floor plan on the first level is perfect for entertaining. The living room connects to the stunning kitchen with granite counters, stainless appliances and plenty of room for your dining table. Gleaming hardwood floors and tons of natural light throughout. Additional nook currently used for an office. The upper level has 2 bedrooms and bonus space perfect for a play area or den. Washer/dryer stays. Bathroom on each floor has been updated with modern features. Large closets throughout and plenty of storage in the private basement area. There is room for up to 3 cars off-street. Fabulous location walking distance to restaurants and shops in Nonantum, Watertown Sq and Newtonville. Low condo fee and pet friendly. Offers to be submitted by 3pm on Mon 3/19.

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Posted by Rachel Hillman Foy on 3/14/2018

Purchasing a property in a planned development, gated community or a place with leased land can seem confusing due to regulations. The biggest difference in buying one of these properties instead of a single family home comes with one main difference: additional fees. HOA stands for Home Owner’s Association, which is what you’re obligated to join when you purchase a home within a community. You’ll pay the association monthly or annual fees for the upkeep of community centers and buildings within the complex. Before you decide to buy, it’s a good idea to know how these fees work and how to get the most for your money when purchasing a home with HOA fees.

HOA Fees 101

HOA fees range from about $200-$400 a month. If you’re looking to move into a more upscale community or are looking for a lot of amenities, expect to pay more for your fee. The association may charge an extra assessment if additional funds are needed for projects such as a new roof or a new pool.

Equal Responsibility

All residents in condos or town homes are equally responsible for the common maintenance such as landscaping, garages, fitness rooms, pools, clubhouses and sidewalks. HOA fees are said to help homeowners maintain a certain quality of life within their community and keep the properties safe and pleasant for all residents. 

The Rules

Homeowner’s Associations have certain rules that all residents must follow. These can include what color your house can be, what type of landscaping you can do, if you can install satellite TV, or where you are able to park your car. These rules are pretty similar to the ones that you would need to follow if you were living in an apartment building. If you’d like to do anything outside of the rules of the HOA, you’ll need to file what’s called a variance with the association in order to get approval. All in all, it’s important to obey the rules when you’re living in a property governed by an HOA, otherwise, hefty consequences can result. 

Tips For Successful Living In A Community Setting

  • Know the rules
  • Make sure that the home you want to buy is in compliance with current HOA standards
  • Be sure your temperament matches with community living

Questions To Ask About HOA Fees

  • How are fee increases set?
  • How often do fee increases occur?
  • What is covered under the HOA fee?
  • What conflicts have occurred in the association and how were they resolved?
  • What kind of insurance is on the building?

Home Owner’s Association Fees are a good thing because they prevent major issues like horrible paint colors and parking issues from ruining a community. However, when purchasing a home in a community setting, you need to be smart about what the fees cover and if living in that community has your best interests in mind.   

Posted by Rachel Hillman Foy on 3/7/2018

OPEN HOUSE, SAT 3/10 and SUN 3/11, 12-2pm. Fabulous townhouse completely renovated in 2015. Tons of natural light and open floor plan is perfect for entertaining, Beautiful kitchen with stainless appliances and granite counters. Three spacious bedrooms, especially the master bedroom that has a bonus attached room. Washer/dryer stays. Large and private fenced yard with storage shed is ready for your summer BBQs. Easy walk to GoodYear Elementary School. Super neighborhood, located across the street from parks and recreational fields. Easy commute to all major highways to 93,128. Off street parking for 4 cars. No condo fee, owners just split the master insurance. Offers due by 3pm on Monday 3/12.

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Posted by Rachel Hillman Foy on 3/7/2018

Want to sell your home? Like many home sellers, you're probably on the lookout for a real estate agent who can help you get the best price for your house.

Choosing the right real estate agent usually will require you to perform comprehensive research. You'll need to examine the credentials and skills of many real estate agents in your area. Plus, you may want to sit down and chat with various real estate agents to find one who can simplify the home selling process.

Ultimately, there are several questions you should ask a real estate agent before you hire him or her to sell your house, including:

1. What is your home selling experience?

No two homes are identical, and much in the same way, no two real estate agents are exactly alike. As such, you should learn about a real estate agent's experience to ensure he or she possesses the expertise necessary to sell your house.

For example, if you're selling a condo, you may want to hire a real estate professional with condo experience. Or, if you're looking to sell your home as quickly as possible, you should find a real estate agent who knows how to promote a home across social media and other platforms.

2. How will you keep in touch?

What good is a real estate agent if this professional fails to keep you informed throughout the home selling journey?

With the right real estate agent at your side, you'll be able to stay up to date along each stage of the home selling process. In fact, this professional will provide you with updates about offers on your home, requests to view your residence and much more.

Furthermore, your real estate agent should be easily accessible via phone and email. This means if you need support at any point during the home selling journey, your real estate agent will be able to assist you.

3. Can you provide references?

An expert real estate agent should have no trouble connecting you with past clients. That way, you can find out how this real estate professional has helped previous home sellers accomplish their goals.

If you connect with a real estate agent's past clients, you can get a better idea about how this real estate professional responds to various home selling challenges. As a result, you'll be better equipped to determine if this real estate agent is the right person to help you sell your house.

4. How will you market my house?

A real estate agent should go above and beyond the call of duty to market your house to the right groups of homebuyers. This professional typically will allocate extensive time and resources to learn about you and your home selling needs and help you plan accordingly.

Finding out how a real estate agent will promote your home is essential. With this information, you can understand whether a real estate agent will do everything possible to showcase your residence to potential homebuyers.

Use the aforementioned questions, and you can select the right real estate agent to help you sell your home.

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Posted by Rachel Hillman Foy on 2/28/2018

Credit is tied to most big financial decisions you will make in your life. From things as little as opening up a store card at the mall to buying your first home, your credit score is going to play a factor. When it comes to mortgages, lenders take your credit score, particularly your FICO score, into consideration in determining the interest rate that you will likely be stuck with for years. How is your credit score determined and what can you do to use it to get a better rate on your mortgage? We'll cover all of that and more in this article.

Deciphering credit scores

Most major lenders assign your credit score based on the information provided by three national credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. These companies report your credit history to FICO, who give you a score from 300 to 850 (850 being the best your score can get). When applying for a mortgage (or attempting to be pre-approved for a home loan), the lender you choose will weight several aspects to determine if they will lend money to you and under what terms they will lend you the money. Among these are your employment status, current salary, your savings and assets, and your credit score. Lenders use this data to attempt to determine how likely you are to pay off your debt. To be considered a "safe" person to lend money to it will require a combination of things, including good credit. What is good credit? Credit scores are based on five components:
  • 35%: your payment history
  • 30%: your debt amount
  • 15%: length of your credit history
  • 10%: types of credit you have used
  • 10%: recent credit inquiries (such as taking out new loans or opening new credit cards)
As you can see, paying your bills and loans on time each month is the key factor in determining your credit score. Also important, however, is keeping your total amount of debt low. Most aspects of your credit score are in your control. Only 10% of your score is determined by the length of your credit history (i.e., when you opened your first card or took out your first loan). To build your credit score, you'll need to focus on lowering your balances, making on-time payments, and giving yourself time to diversify your credit.

What does this mean for taking out mortgages?

A higher credit score will get you a lower interest rate. By the time you pay off your mortgage, just a hundred points on your credit score could save you thousands on your mortgage, and that's not including the money you might save by getting lower interest rates on other loans as well. If you would like to buy a home within the next few years, take this time to focus on building your credit score:
  • If you have high balances, do your best to lower them
  • If you have a tendency to miss payments, set recurring reminders in your phone to make sure you pay on time
  • If you don't have diverse credit, it could be a good time to take out a loan or open your first credit card
When it comes time to apply for a mortgage, you'll thank yourself for focusing more on your credit score.

Tags: credit score   Mortgage   loan   credit   home loan  
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Rachel Hillman Foy