Kenneth Maston | Princeton Real Estate, Westminster Real Estate, Fitchburg Real Estate


A diligent homebuyer understands what it takes to shop for a residence. As such, this individual may be better equipped than others to discover a house that matches or exceeds his or her expectations.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to become a diligent homebuyer, including:

1. You can boost your chances of acquiring a top-notch residence.

Buying a home can be a long, complex process, particularly for those who lack housing market insights. Fortunately, it is easy for any homebuyer to become a diligent homebuyer, thanks in large part to the wealth of housing market data that is available.

A diligent homebuyer can analyze the prices of recently sold houses, along with the prices of homes that are currently for sale. By doing so, a diligent homebuyer can understand whether he or she is shopping in a buyer's or seller's market. This homebuyer also may be able to narrow his or her home search.

For those who want to acquire a first-rate residence, diligence is paramount. And as a diligent homebuyer, you may be able to identify many opportunities to purchase a deluxe residence.

2. You could save money on a home purchase.

When it comes to shopping for a home, there is no need to overspend, regardless of whether you're searching for a residence in a buyer's or seller's market.

Meanwhile, a diligent homebuyer is a thrifty home shopper who understands how to save money on a house.

A diligent homebuyer, for example, may be more likely than others to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This homebuyer will meet with a variety of lenders and learn about all of his or her mortgage options. That way, a diligent homebuyer can enter the housing market with a budget in hand and avoid the temptation to overspend.

Furthermore, a diligent homebuyer knows how to stay calm, cool and collected in stressful price negotiations with a property seller. This homebuyer will possess the housing market insights to make an informed purchase decision. In addition, he or she will have the confidence to walk away from a potential home sale if price negotiations get out of hand.

3. You can accelerate the homebuying process.

Although a diligent homebuyer analyzes real estate market patterns and trends closely, he or she usually realizes that navigating the housing sector alone can be tough. Thus, a diligent homebuyer may reach out to a real estate agent for extra help.

A real estate agent can provide even a diligent homebuyer with the necessary assistance to speed up the homebuying cycle. This housing market professional can help a homebuyer understand and overcome assorted property buying hurdles. Plus, he or she can offer expert insights into the housing market that a homebuyer may struggle to obtain elsewhere.

If you plan to purchase a house in the near future, it definitely pays to become a diligent homebuyer. This property buyer will be able to browse a broad array of high-quality houses, assess these residences effectively and seamlessly move through the process of acquiring the perfect home at the lowest price.


Photo by Monkey Business Images via Shutterstock

It’s easy for a home to get out of hand with all the things that come through the door every week. Here are a few tips for keeping up with the never-ending clutter that enters your home.

Create a Shoe Station

Set up a location at each entry door for family members and guests to remove shoes and boots. Keeping dirt and debris at the entry and not trekked into the house reduces how often you must clean. It also keeps allergens, toxins and grime off your carpet and away from your family.

Organize the Paper

While newspapers are a thing of the past for most households, junk-mail, circulars and bills seem to keep coming. First, unsubscribe from any magazines and catalogs that you don’t want or use. Then, set up a table or shelf near the door to sort your mail. Toss the circulars and shred the junk mail before it gets further into the room. Sign up for electronic versions of your bills to reduce those as well.

Nix Junk Drawers

Everyone has at least one, and many folks have one in every room … it’s those pesky drawers, baskets or bins that fill up with pens, buttons, receipts, tape, scissors, batteries and random indeterminate objects you think might be important. They take up space but don’t contribute to organization. Start with the smallest one. Remove any receipts and take a picture of them with your phone. Then toss the receipt. If it’s important, you have the details and won’t worry if the thermal paper fades to an unreadable blur. 

Next, test all the pens and pencils. If they’re broken or inkless, toss them. Find a small box to store all the batteries in one place. As you move from room to room, collect the batteries and organize them in the box to store on a shelf. Electronic items such as charger cords and blocks belong in another box.

These three simple hacks go a long way toward helping you keep your home in order. That way, when it comes time to sell, you’re ready for the surprise visit from a buyer or the call from your agent when you’re far from home. Ask your real estate professional about other ideas to keep your home show-ready.


Photo by Steve Buissinne via Pixabay

As a homeowner, it is important to complete preventative home maintenance on a regular schedule. Home maintenance is necessary because it ensures potential problems are identified before they become costly repairs. Not every issue will be caught ahead of time, here are a few common examples of home maintenance issues that could be problematic.

The Leaking Roof

One of the most common home maintenance issues is a roof that starts to leak. A leaking roof can be costly because, if the leak becomes a steady flow, you may need to replace personal property in addition to fixing the overarching issue. It is critical to perform a home inspection to make sure the roof is in a state of good repair during the buying process. While living in your home, the roof should be inspected regularly to look for problems with shingles, tiles and gutters. This ensures that the roof can withstand the routine wear and tear of adverse weather.

A Ruptured Pipe

Ruptured pipes are often a source of home plumbing and maintenance issues. Pipes tend to rupture during the winter when the temperature is especially cold. Sometimes, water and ice expand upon freezing to the point that the pipe breaks. Then, when the water is turned on, it flows out of the pipe and floods the house. To prevent this from happening, turn the ambient temperature up slightly even when you aren't at home. This will often prevent the water from freezing. Additionally, allowing the faucet to drip during particularly chilly nights keeps the water flowing, making it is less likely to freeze in the pipes.

A Broken HVAC Unit

Most homeowners dread having to replace the HVAC unit; however, routine maintenance will ensure you get as much use out of your HVAC unit as possible. If you hear rattling in the HVAC unit, or when their heat starts to disappear, this is a bad sign. To ensure HVAC units last as long as possible, make sure to replace the filters on time. This will go a long way toward making them last.

Not Sticking to Home Maintenance Schedules

Lastly, the biggest problem many homeowners have with home maintenance is that they simply don't do it. There is a common saying that you shouldn't fix what isn't broken but avoiding regular home maintenance will likely lead to larger repair bills down the road. Follow the advice of the maintenance schedule and make sure the home is taken care of.


While buying a home is a huge decision that should entail a lot of planning and preparation, applying for a mortgage can be surprisingly easy. Just like with other lenders and creditors, a mortgage lender will want to know that letting you borrow money will be a safe investment. Applying for a mortgage is all about ensuring just that.

In today’s post, we’re going to breakdown the home loan application process to help you have the best chances at a smooth and successful mortgage approval. We’ll also define some of the common terms used in mortgages that might leave you scratching your head so you have a better idea of what your options are.

Prequalification and Preapproval

Getting prequalified and preapproved for a mortgaged can both be helpful steps toward securing your home loan. The two terms mean two entirely different things, however.

In order to be prequalified for a mortgage, you typically need to only fill out a simple form (sometimes directly through a lender’s website). On this form, you won’t need to provide specifics or official documents.

Why is this process so simple? Well, that’s because getting prequalified for a loan doesn’t ensure that you’ll actually receive one. Rather, it is simply the first step toward finding out what type of mortgage and interest rates you could receive.

The next step after prequalification is preapproval. To get preapproved, you’ll have to fill out an official mortgage application. Your lender of choice will request a few pieces of information from you, including tax returns, proof of employment for the last two years, and a list of your debts. The lender will also perform a credit check to determine your loan eligibility.

Credit report

At this phase, lenders will also run your credit report. This is a type of “hard credit inquiry” that details your payment history, the number of accounts you have open, and other factors that help make up your credit score.

To secure the lowest interest rate possible, it helps to have a high credit score. So, in the years and months leading up to your mortgage application, focusing on building credit will pay off.

To increase your credit score, you’ll need to focus on paying your bills on time each month. You should also avoid opening new accounts within a few months of applying for a mortgage because this will count as a new credit inquiry. New credit inquiries--including applying for a mortgage--lower your score temporarily, so it’s best to avoid them when possible.

Additional paperwork required for mortgage applications

Not every mortgage application will be the same. Depending on the type of income you receive, you may need to provide different forms of income verification.

Each person will also have to claim different debts and assets. When buying a home with a spouse or partner, it’s important to consider your debts, assets, and credit scores to determine if it’s better to apply jointly or separately.


It’s a good financial practice to check your credit report and score periodically. You want to be sure that no one has stolen your identity and that all the information on the report is correct. It may sound simple to check your credit, but there are so many sources that you can get it from and so many options that it can be a dizzying process. Read on to learn more about the basics of checking your credit and credit score. 


Your Credit Score Comes From Different Sources


You can check your credit score from one source and find that the score varies from place to place. Why? There are a few different scoring models that are used to calculate scores. There could be as much as a 50 point difference between sites. There are also three credit reporting agencies. Each one uses a different method to calculate credit scores. Each method provides lenders with different information to allow them a picture of what type of borrower you will be. 


Checking Your Score


Many different apps allow you to check your credit score. These enable users not only to see their scores but to see what can be done to improve the user’s credit report and score. You can’t see your credit report on these apps, but you can always head to annualcreditreport.com to check the full scope of your report. This is the only official site to pull your credit report fro the credit bureaus.  Finding the right app to check your credit score is simple, it only takes a few minutes to sign up. 


How Are Credit Scores Calculated?


Your credit score is calculated using a few different factors. Each credit bureau uses the formula a bit differently. Scores range from 300- 850. It’s pretty rare to see perfect credit at 850. Anything over 700 is considered “good” or excellent” credit. You need at least a score of 600 to obtain loans in most cases. The higher your score, the better the interest rate will be.     



When Is The Best Time To Check The Score?


Before you apply for any large loan, it’s a good idea to check your credit rating. Taking a peek will allow you to see where you stand. You don’t want  to apply for a loan and end up being surprised by problems with your credit. Many apps allow you to check your score on a monthly basis. It’s easy to stay on top of your credit score and especially important to know where you stand when you buy a home.