Brian O'Neil - RE/MAX Advantage I



Posted by Brian O’Neil on 2/23/2020

Photo by Feng Yu via Shutterstock

Few things are more mysterious than insurance. When you think you know what's covered, you find out the hard way that it wasn't. Since your home is likely your greatest asset, you want to know what it includes and what it doesn't before you need to make a claim. Whether you're “in good hands” or in the hands of a small company mascot, you need to be fully aware of where your coverage stands.

Few people actually make a claim on their insurance outside of catastrophic coverages. Here are some basics on homeowner’s insurance coverage:

  • Damage from fire and smoke
  • Wind or hail damage
  • Personal property theft
  • Damage from vandals
  • Ice and snow damage including water damage or a collapsed roof
  • Damage from internal water sources (washer, dishwasher, broken pipe) but not from external flooding caused by rising rivers, seepage or groundwater.
  • Losses caused by others during a civil disturbance such as a protest or riot
  • Explosions caused by gas appliances or other combustible materials
  • Damage from vehicles or aircrafts

Policies set limits on coverages for damage to landscaping, fencing, pools, garden sheds, workshops and barns. Most policies cover contents up to a dollar limit as well but allow you to add extra for jewelry, firearms, artwork, antiques and the like.

Often, your policy has a provision for temporary living expenses if your home is rendered unlivable by a covered event. Also, most policies include liability if a family member, guest or even a delivery person is injured on your property or bitten by a pet. However, providers reserve the right to exclude specific breeds of dogs, so check with your provider to make sure you’re covered.

Items typically not covered include natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes and floods. When your home is in one of these areas, often a particular rider or separate policy is required for coverage. Other items usually excluded include sinkholes, mudslides or damage due to an act of war. Most often, accidents caused by a nuclear event — even a nuclear power plant — do not have coverage.

Before signing for coverage on the dotted line, make sure your insurance agent thoroughly explains your coverage and exclusions so that you're not surprised if calamity hits. 





Posted by Brian O’Neil on 2/16/2020

Photo by Precondo via Pixabay

Some mortgage companies offer loans with points. In a nutshell, paying points means paying down the interest rate. One point is equal to 1 percent of the mortgage amount. On a $200,000 mortgage, one point is $2,000. The percentage the interest rate lowers depends on the mortgage company and the market. For example, one point might be equal to a quarter of a percent interest. A loan with 4 percent interest and two points might go down to 3.5 percent interest.

Pros and Cons of Points

If you do pay points, you could get a tax break. Since tax laws are constantly changing, make sure you can claim points if part of your decision is based on the tax break. Other considerations include:

  • If your mortgage is an adjustable rate (ARM), some mortgage servicers only give you the discounted rate until the mortgage rate adjusts. Some may hold the discount rate over. For example, if you have an ARM that starts at 4 percent and you buy two points for a discount of ½ percent, you may lose that discount when the loan adjusts, especially if it changes to a higher interest rate. However, if the bank carries the discount over, the new rate might increase to 6 percent, but your one-half point discount would mean that your new rate would be 5.5 percent.

  • You need additional cash to buy points. If you plan on putting 20 percent down, but you want to purchase points and do not have more cash, you could be less than 20 percent down. However, compare the scenarios to determine which method is better in the long run. If you put less than 20 percent down, the mortgage servicer may charge you PMI, which would negate any savings.

  • You may save more by putting more down. If you put $40,000 down on a $200,000 mortgage, you are going to pay interest on $160,000. If you put less money down and buy points instead, your interest rate will drop, but you may end up paying more for the loan in the long run. Enter the numbers into a mortgage calculator to determine which way you save more.

Scenario

If your mortgage is $200,000 and you put $40,000 down, thus cutting the amount you finance to $160,000, and do not buy points, the total interest you will pay over the length of the loan will be about $115,000.

Using the same scenario, you instead put $36,000 down and buy two points. This drops your interest rate to 3.5 percent from 4 percent. You will save about $16,700 over the life of the mortgage. And, you would have to stay in your house without refinancing for 49 months to break even on your savings. In this case, your $4,000 ends up saving you a net of $13,500 on interest (savings minus the $4,000 it cost you to save).

Before you agree to points or a larger down payment, discuss the scenarios with your accountant or tax attorney to determine which method is best for your situation. If you have to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI), buying points could end up costing you.




Tags: mortgage   pmi   Points   Downpayment  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Brian O’Neil on 2/10/2020


13 Clarendon Rd, Auburn, MA 01501

Pakachoag Hill

Single-Family

$109,900
Price

5
Rooms
2
Beds
1
Baths
2 bedroom ranch on level corner lot off Hampton St. Close to park, golfing, shopping and easy highway access. Occupied property, inspections not available - sold as-is. No for sale sign. No interior access, do not disturb occupants.
Open House
No scheduled Open Houses






Categories: New Homes  


Posted by Brian O’Neil on 2/9/2020

Buying a new home is a joyous occasion, one that should be celebrated by family members and friends. However, telling people about a new home purchase sometimes can be tough, particularly for those who may be leaving roommates or others behind.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you alleviate the stress and worry commonly associated with telling family members or friends about a new home purchase.

Here are three tips to ensure you can remain calm, cool and confident as you inform your loved ones about your decision to buy a new home.

1. Prepare As Much As You Can

Purchasing a house is a life-changing decision, and as such, your loved ones may have concerns. Therefore, you should plan ahead for any questions that you could face about your new house.

Why did you decide to buy a home in a particular city or town? How much did you pay for a house? And what does your home purchase mean for your loved ones? These are just some of the questions that you should prepare to face when you share the news about your new home purchase with loved ones.

Also, it is important to realize that you and your loved ones won't always see eye to eye. And if a family member or friend disagrees with your home purchase, accept his or her opinion and move forward.

2. Take a Proactive Approach

When it comes to informing others about your home purchase, it is always better to err on the side of caution. Thus, taking a proactive approach will ensure you can directly inform the most important people in your life about your home purchase.

Communication is key between family members and friends. With a proactive approach, you can inform your loved ones about your homebuying decision and minimize the risk that they will hear the news from a third-party.

Don't leave anything to chance as you determine who to tell about your home purchase. If you believe there is a risk that a loved one will be left in the dark about your new home, be sure to reach out to this individual directly.

3. Understand the Emotions Involved with a New Home Purchase

A new home purchase represents a new opportunity for you and your family. If some family members and friends feel left out of your upcoming move, many emotions may bubble to the surface.

Keep the lines of communication open with family members and friends – you'll be glad you did. That way, loved ones can share their thoughts and feelings about your new home purchase and understand you will allocate the time needed to hear them out.

If you need extra help as you get ready to tell loved ones about a new home purchase, don't be afraid to ask your real estate agent for assistance, either. This real estate professional understands the intricacies of purchasing a home and can provide expert guidance throughout the homebuying journey.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Brian O’Neil on 2/8/2020

This Condo in Worcester, MA recently sold for $200,000. This Hi-Rise style home was sold by Brian O’Neil - RE/MAX Advantage I.


80 Salisbury St, Worcester, MA 01609

WPI

Condo

$239,900
Price
$200,000
Sale Price

4
Rooms
2
Beds
2
Baths
Huge 1,476 sq ft 2 bedroom condo, with 2 full baths. Sweeping city views from two 6th floor balconies off the large living room, and master bedroom. Close to WPI, Worcester Art Museum, The American Antiquarian Society, Institute Park, shopping, and restaurants. Easy access to I-290, Mass Pike, Rt-146, MBTA commuter trains and bus terminal. Becker College, Mass College of Pharmacy, UMass Medical School, and St. Vincent's Hospital are all nearby as well. Deeded indoor parking garage space, #23.

Similar Properties





Tags: Real estate   Worcester   Condo   01609  
Categories: Sold Homes