Rachel (Hillman) Foy - Hillman Homes



Posted by Rachel (Hillman) Foy on 3/13/2019

As you go on the house hunt, youíre likely to attend many different open houses. After awhile you can get confused as to what you have seen and where you saw it. Each open house or home showing is only a short window of time. As a buyer, youíre trying to get the feel for a house. Being an observant home shopper can help you to avoid a lot of problems down the road. Check out some of the biggest red flags that you need to look out for when you attend an open house.


The Candles Are Burning Bright


You walk into an open house and see a lovely candle lit on the kitchen table. While it may make you feel all warm and fuzzy, itís not always a good sign. Candles are a great way to mask odors. There could possibly be a musty odor coming from the sink, the basement, or another part of the house. This spells hidden damage and possible danger for you as a homebuyer. While the home inspection should pick up on things like this, you donít necessarily want to get that far in the process. The art of masking odors could be a sign that the sellers are trying to hide something.


Be Your Own Inspector


As you walk through the home do you notice squeaky floor boards, cracks in the walls, cracks in the ceilings, or a drippy faucet? Maybe you see some patches on the walls or mirrors and paintings that seem out of place? These are all issues that could be signs of a greater problem. Keep in mind that no house is perfect, but you should do a little investigating on your own while walking through the house at showings.


The Home Doesnít Appear Cared For


Curb appeal is one thing, but a home that looks unkept is a sign of a larger problem for you. Has the lawn been mowed? Is the fence in disrepair? How does the home appear from the outside at first glance? There are plenty of ways that you can fix up a home to make it your own once you buy it, but the question is just how much of a challenge are you up for? There is always a chance that youíll have large maintenance costs when a home hasnít been properly maintained by the previous owners.


Searching for homes and going to open houses can be fun. It can also be an educational experience to help you narrow down what youíre looking for and what you can handle as a homeowner.            





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Posted by Rachel (Hillman) Foy on 3/6/2019

You don't need to be a real estate market expert to find and acquire a great house at a budget-friendly price. In fact, if you use common sense during your home search, you should have no trouble achieving your desired homebuying results.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you discover your dream home.

1. Consider Your Home Must-Haves

You know you want to purchase a house, but you still have no idea what defines your ideal residence. However, if you devote time and resources to establish home must-haves, you could speed up your house search.

Think about what will make you happy and what you need from a house. For example, if you want to own a home that is close to your office in the city, you can narrow your home search to residences in or near the city itself. On the other hand, if you require a home that offers multiple bedrooms, you can explore residences that match your needs.

2. Create a Budget

A budget often plays a key role in the homebuying journey. And if you fail to create a budget before you start a house search, you risk checking out residences that fall outside your price range.

To establish a homebuying budget, you should consider your current and future expenses. It may be helpful to make a list of your expenses and compare them against your income. Then, you can determine exactly how much you can afford to pay for a home.

You may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage, too. If you enter the housing market with a mortgage in hand, you can search exclusively for houses that you can afford.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

There is no reason to search for your dream home on your own. If you hire a real estate agent, you can receive comprehensive guidance as you explore houses in your preferred cities and towns.

Typically, a real estate agent is willing to go the extra mile to help you achieve the best-possible results. If you want to purchase a home near a beach, for example, a real estate agent can help you do just that. Conversely, if you want to acquire a top-notch house as quickly as possible, a real estate agent will help you accelerate the homebuying cycle.

Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent can provide as you weigh the pros and cons of submitting an offer to purchase a home, either. If you find a home you may want to buy, a real estate agent can help you determine the best course of action. And if you decide to submit a homebuying proposal, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase.

Want to acquire your dream home? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can use common sense throughout the homebuying journey and make your homeownership dream come true.





Posted by Rachel (Hillman) Foy on 2/27/2019

If you find lots of great homes are available and cannot decide which residence to buy, there is no need to stress. Rather than submit multiple offers to purchase various houses, you should hone your home search. By doing so, you can discover the right residence, at the right price.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you narrow your home search.

1. Define Your Dream Home

Think about the features you want in your dream home. Then, you can make a list of "must-have" home features and search for residences that offer these features.

Furthermore, consider where you want to reside. If you prefer big city living, for example, you may want to focus exclusively on city houses. On the other hand, if you want to reside in a small town, you can search for residences in myriad small towns.

2. Conduct a Preliminary Housing Market Review

Let's face it Ė searching for a home can be overwhelming, regardless of whether you are a first-time or experienced homebuyer. But if you perform a preliminary housing market review, you can get a good idea about the volume and quality of available residences. Next, you can use this real estate market information to map out your homebuying journey.

Of course, it may be beneficial to attend open house events as well. These events enable you to get an up-close look at assorted residences. They also can help you understand the features you want in your dream house so you can further refine your home search.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to navigating the housing market, it helps to have a real estate expert at your side. Thankfully, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market experts are happy to help you acquire a superb residence at an affordable price.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to help you find a quality home that won't force you to break your budget. First, he or she will learn about your homebuying goals and teach you about the real estate market. A real estate agent next will help you analyze the real estate market and explore a broad range of houses. And once you find a house you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase this residence.

Let's not forget about the guidance a real estate agent provides throughout the homebuying journey, either. Purchasing a house is no small feat, and a real estate agent will take the guesswork out of the homebuying cycle. Best of all, a real estate agent can respond to your homebuying concerns and questions at any time.

If you want to discover a home that matches your expectations, it helps to plan ahead for the property buying journey. By taking advantage of the aforementioned tips, you can streamline your house search and find your ideal home faster than ever before.





Posted by Rachel (Hillman) Foy on 12/12/2018

Thereís few things in life that are more exciting than closing on your first house. All of the money that you saved and the paperwork that you have filled out has finally come together so that you can now say youíre a proud homeowner. 


Before you start planning your housewarming party, thereís a few things that you need to do with your new home and its contents.


Copy The Closing Paperwork


Undoubtedly, there were dozens of pieces of paper that were handed to you during the closing on your new home. You should have an extra copy of everything that was signed. While the local registrar of deeds probably has a copy of everything filed there as well, itís always a good idea to have extra copies of these papers.


Lock The Doors With New Keys


Youíll need to change the locks when you move into a new home as soon as possible. Many different people had the keys to the home while it was still on the market. Also, before the home was even put up for sale, family members could have passed sets of keys amongst family and friends. The lock category also includes securing sliding doors, electrical boxes, and windows accordingly. 


Put Your Name On It


Youíll need to place your name on a variety of things including your mailbox, the trashcans, the buzzer, and anything else that is property of you and your new home. If it wonít pose a privacy issue for you, itís better to claim whatís rightfully yours early on to ease confusion. 



Put Up Curtains Or Cover The Windows


Thereís probably 1,000 other things that you would rather do when you move into a new home than put up some curtains. Yet, this is so important to your privacy. Without curtains or window treatments, all of your home and its contents are exposed for the outside world to see. Until you have a chance to settle in, you can even use boxes or towels to cover the windows. This is used initially for a security measure to deter thieves and nosy neighbors.


Meet The New Neighbors


ItĎs a good idea to know who is living around you. For one, youíll be aware of any suspicious activity thatís happening in case you see strange people hanging around the area. Itís good to know who you live next to and what you might have in common with them. At the very least, youíll have a new friend. They might even water your plants while youíre away on your next vacation. 


Donít forget to change your addresses as well. Thatís always one of the biggest hassles about moving. Take the right measures for safety and comfort when you move into your new home for a smooth transition




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Posted by Rachel (Hillman) Foy on 11/14/2018

Buying your first home is a big decision; one that involves a lengthy process of saving money, building credit, and planning the next phase of your life. However, owning a home comes with one major payoff: home equity.

Simply put, home equity is the amount of your home that youíve paid off. However, it does get more complicated when we bring in factors like the market value of your home and how it shifts over the years.

In this article, weíll discuss home equity and what it means for you as a homeowner. This way, youíll have a better idea of what to expect when you finally make that last payment on your home or when you decide to sell.

Home equity and market value

As I mentioned earlier, home equity is more than just the amount youíve paid toward your mortgage. Like most markets, the housing market shifts over time.

Most homes slowly increase in value over time. In the real estate world, this increase in value is called appreciation.

However, that doesnít mean that your home is simply going to increase in value indefinitely until you decide to sell. As you will find out (if you havenít yet already), owning a home can be expensive. Houses age and require upgrades. If you fail to keep up with the maintenance of your home, its value can diminish.

How to build equity

The most important thing you can do to build equity is to make on-time payments to your mortgage. Making extra mortgage payments will help you build equity even faster.

One method of paying extra on your mortgage that many people are adopting is to make bi-weekly payments. Twenty-six bi-weekly payments comes out to 13 full payments per year, the equivalent of making one full extra monthly payment.

The second method of building equity is something that you have less control over: appreciation. However, if you stick to a maintenance schedule for your home and keep it in good repair, youíll most likely benefit from appreciation over the lifespan of your mortgage.

What can I use home equity for?

The most common way to use home equity is as a down payment or full payment on your next home. First-time buyers who donít have a 20% down payment saved often buy a starter home and then later upgrade as their family grows and their needs change. In the years that they own their first home, they build enough equity to make a full down payment on their second home, avoiding fees like mortgage insurance.

Many homeowners planning on retiring in the near future use their equity toward their retirement home, often turning a profit in the process. If you plan on downgrading for retirement and have fully paid off your mortgage, you can often use your equity to pay for your next home in cash.







Rachel (Hillman) Foy