James Conforti and Domingo Medina - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage



Posted by James Conforti and Domingo Medina on 9/12/2019

Buying a home that works for both seniors and young children can be complicated, if not impossible. When searching for a new home, itís important to keep in mind the special requirements for every member of your family both now, and as they continue to age.

Parents or other older relatives may need assistance getting upstairs or in and out of a tub. Even if they are fine now, aging is a tricky thing and mobility issues can crop up at any time. Planning for them now can save you money and stress in the future.

At the other end of the spectrum, child-proofing a home is important for small children or new infants, so keep an eye out for sharp edges and remember youíll have to bring strollers, high-chairs, car seats and more so plan for easy-to-open doors. Donít forget that as your kids get older, their needs will change as well: plan for privacy and personal space where you can to save on upgrading your home in the future.

For the best home search, make sure to let your real estate agent know who all will be living with you. He or she can assist in finding homes with the features you need and can provide advice about what things are feasible to change yourself, and what will make a house cost more than your budget in the long run.

Some important features to look for include:

  • ?Need help affording a home that meets all your needs? What if you just want to upgrade your existing home? Government agencies offer financial grants and assistance to retrofit your home for the elderly. Check with your agent to see what you might qualify for.
  • Ready to find the forever home for your entire family? We can help! Talk to your agent about the best way to search for your new home.
  • Wide Doorways: A door without a turning requirement (and those that open wider than a right angle) need to be at least 32 inches wide to ensure that wheelchairs and walkers will fit. Right angle doorways or those that require turning to enter or exit should be at least 36 inches wide.
  • Wide Hallways: For comfortable use by strollers, walkers, and wheelchairs, look for hallways that are at least 42 inches wide. That much space gives you the option of installing handrails on one or both sides. Handrails can help both small children learning to walk, and elderly people with mobility issues.

Thatís the easy part. The hardest room for both the very young and the elderly is the bathroom. Itís a good idea to ensure that your home has a minimum of 2 full bathrooms to allow you to accommodate the needs of all members of your family. Seniors need ADA toilets (also called comfort height) and grab bars, while your small child would need an extra-tall stool to use the taller toilet. Large showers with floor level entrances, seats and grab bars are best for the elderly, but its often easier to wash your kids in a tub, especially when theyíre young. With two bathrooms, you can satisfy the needs of everyone in the family.

Last, but not least, pay attention to faucets, handles, and knobs. Rounded ones can be difficult for both the old and young members of your family. Look for a single handle, lever and touchless options for the best results all around. Donít forget to test cabinets and drawers for weight or friction pull closers since those are more difficult than soft close or magnetic options. Itís okay if the home doesnít come pre-fitted with the knobs, handles, etc. you want, a quick trip to your local hardware store will solve it.

Need help affording a home that meets all your needs? What if you just want to upgrade your existing home? Government agencies offer financial grants and assistance to retrofit your home for the elderly. Check with your agent to see what you might qualify for.

Ready to find the forever home for your entire family? Talk to your agent about the best way to search for your new home.




Categories: homebuyers   Family  


Posted by James Conforti and Domingo Medina on 8/22/2019

A first-time homebuyer often proceeds cautiously as he or she navigates the real estate market. However, if this homebuyer discovers the "perfect" home, the risk to overspend to acquire this residence may prove to be too much to resist.

It is important for a first-time homebuyer to understand what it takes to purchase a house at a price that matches or exceeds his or her expectations. That way, a homebuyer can avoid the temptation to overspend on a house and reduce the likelihood of breaking his or her homebuying budget.

Now, let's take a look at three tips that a first-time homebuyer can use to minimize the risk of overspending on a house.

1. Assess the Housing Market Closely

The housing market frequently fluctuates, and a first-time homebuyer who identifies real estate patterns and trends may be better equipped than others to pay the right price for a residence.

Having the ability to differentiate between a buyer's market and a seller's market is key. If a homebuyer understands the differences between these markets, he or she should have no trouble submitting a reasonable offer on a house based on the current housing market's conditions.

In a buyer's market, there is an abundance of available houses and a shortage of property buyers. This market favors homebuyers, and as a result, a property buyer may be better equipped than ever before to acquire a great house at an affordable price at this time.

Conversely, a seller's market favors home sellers and includes a shortage of high-quality houses and an abundance of homebuyers. In a seller's market, a homebuyer may need to submit a competitive offer on a house, or he or she likely risks losing a residence to potential rivals.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Want to stick to a homebuying budget? With a mortgage in hand, a first-time homebuyer will know exactly what he or she can spend on a house and narrow a home search accordingly.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, a homebuyer should meet with several banks and credit unions. This will allow a homebuyer to learn about all of the mortgage options that are available and choose a mortgage that corresponds to his or her finances.

Also, be sure to ask potential lenders plenty of questions about various mortgage options. By doing so, a homebuyer can boost his or her chances of making an informed mortgage decision.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent can help a first-time homebuyer explore houses that fall within a specific price range, thereby reducing the risk that a property buyer will overspend on a house.

In addition, a real estate agent is happy to provide honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations. This housing market professional understands the ins and outs of purchasing a house, and as such, will do everything possible to guarantee a property buyer can acquire a terrific residence at a budget-friendly price.

Avoid the temptation to pay too much to buy your dream house Ė use these tips, and a first-time homebuyer can seamlessly navigate the property buying journey.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  


Posted by James Conforti and Domingo Medina on 7/11/2019

Your credit score is a fundamental component of a mortgage lenderís decision to approve you for a loan. It can also affect the interest rate and loan amount you can secure.

Along with your income history and down payment, a solid credit score is one of the three most important things youíll need when it comes to buying a home.

Credit scores themselves, however, can be a complicated business. And finding out what score you need to buy a home and how to achieve that score can also be a complex topic.

So, in this post weíre going to break down some credit score basics as they relate to buying a home.

Types of credit scores

You may have heard of the three main credit bureaus, TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. Each of these bureaus keeps a detailed credit history for everyone in America (except for those who have yet to open a line of credit or take out a loan).

Since each credit bureau may have slightly different information available data to draw from, your credit scores from each company may vary.

However, when it comes to buying a home, most lenders use a standard scoring model called a FICO score to ensure that all mortgage applicants are treated fairly when they seek a loan.

Things are further complicated by the fact that there are several different FICO scoring models designed for different types of credit. So, if youíve seen your FICO score when applying for an auto loan, it may be a different score than you will see when applying for a mortgage.

Build credit; raise your credit score

All of the types of credit scores and scoring models can be confusing. But what you mostly need to worry about is how to boost your score.

Your credit score will be based on five main factors:

  1. Making on-time payments

  2. The percentage of available credit (not maxing out your cards)

  3. Having diverse types of credit (auto loans, student loans, credit cards, etc.)

  4. Not opening new lines of credit frequently (a red flag that youíre struggling financially)

  5. The length of your credit history, or how long youíve been consistently paying your bills

What score do you need to buy a home?

There are several different mortgage types available for buyers. First-time homeowners, veterans, people seeking to buy a home in a rural area, and any other number of circumstances can help you qualify for mortgages even if you have a low credit score.

A general rule, however, is that itís always better to apply for a mortgage with a high credit score to help you secure the best possible interest rate. 

Some programs do have minimum credit scores that they will accept for a mortgage. FHA loans are one common example. The Federal Housing Authority guarantees loans for people across the country who are hoping to buy their first home (or who havenít owned a home in the last three years). Their guarantee is what enables lenders to safely approve mortgages for borrowers with low credit scores. The current requirement for an FHA loan is a credit score of 580 or higher for a mortgage with a 3.5% down payment. You can secure an FHA loan with a lower credit score, but youíll have to make a larger down payment.


There are several other options available for hopeful homeowners when it comes to mortgages. But, if you arenít planning on moving in the next few months and your credit score could use some work, now is the time to start focusing on building credit.





Posted by James Conforti and Domingo Medina on 5/9/2019

No one wants to face a homebuying dilemma. Yet problems may arise during the homebuying journey that make it tough for an individual to find and buy his or her dream residence. Lucky for you, we're here to help you prepare for potential homebuying dilemmas and ensure you can quickly address these issues.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you avoid a homebuying dilemma as you search for your ideal house.

1. Craft a Homebuying Strategy

If you intend to embark on a home search, it often helps to enter the real estate market with a plan in hand. That way, you can streamline your house search and boost the likelihood of finding a quality home that matches your expectations.

Think about where you want to live, as well as the features you want to find in your dream home. Then, you can create a homebuying strategy designed to help you discover the right house.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Obtaining home financing may prove to be problematic for some people. However, if you apply for a mortgage today, you can start your search for your dream home with a budget at your disposal.

There is no shortage of mortgage options available to homebuyers nationwide. Adjustable- and fixed-rate mortgages are two of the most popular options for homebuyers. Meanwhile, banks and credit unions can teach you about adjustable- and fixed-rate mortgages and other home financing options at your convenience.

If you meet with banks and credit unions, don't hesitate to ask mortgage questions, either. If you learn about all of your mortgage options, you can make an informed home financing selection that may serve you well for years to come.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

There is no telling when a homebuying dilemma will crop up during your search for your dream residence. Fortunately, if you hire a real estate agent, you can receive expert assistance with any homebuying dilemma, at any time.

A real estate agent understands the challenges commonly associated with buying a home. Therefore, he or she will do everything possible to help you address these challenges as you navigate the homebuying journey.

Typically, a real estate agent will help you craft a property buying strategy, narrow your home search and establish realistic homebuying expectations. He or she also will set up home showings, teach you about different aspects of the housing market and provide homebuying recommendations and suggestions.

If you discover your dream residence, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive offer to purchase this home too. And if your homebuying proposal is approved, a real estate agent will help you finalize your house purchase as quickly as possible.

There is no need to stress about homebuying dilemmas. If you take advantage of the aforementioned tips, you can get ready for potential homebuying problems and resolve these issues before they escalate.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  


Posted by James Conforti and Domingo Medina on 4/4/2019

Since there are so many things to keep in mind when searching for the right home, it can be very helpful to create a priority list. If you're at the beginning of the house-hunting process, one of the best ways to clarify your thoughts is by organizing them in a notebook or on a computer screen.

As is the case with creating any kind of plan, you need to start with the basics and then branch out from there. While a house-hunting plan can and should change as you proceed forward, once you start visiting listings, your insights will begin to deepen. If you happen to be working with an experienced real estate agent, they will help you refine your search and zero-in on listings that are the best match to your needs.

Although you probably already know how many bedrooms and bathrooms you want, it may be time to come up with a more specific picture of what you're looking for, in terms of square footage, lot size, neighborhood walkability, and distance from neighbors.

As you revise your list of requirements, you may decide to rank the importance of items like a screened-in porch, a backyard patio, a wood-burning fireplace, yard size, the age of the house, and whether you'd like a finished basement or attic.

Many people prioritize the size, layout, and functionality of the kitchen, too, so take into consideration your decorating tastes, the size of your family -- both today and five years from now -- and how often you expect to be entertaining guests. Perusing kitchen layouts and remodeling ideas online can help you clarify the type of counters, flooring, appliances, and cabinets that would please you the most.

Other features that will determine your level of satisfaction with a new home may include the architectural style of the house, the quality of the school district, and various convenience factors, such as nearby grocery stores, public parks, and medical/dental services. Commuting time to your job or business can also have a huge impact on your lifestyle, as well as your weekly budget and personal stress level! When choosing a neighborhood in which you'll feel comfortable, you'll also want to pay attention to first impressions, the amount of traffic on the street, and miscellaneous noises you hear while visiting the neighborhood.

Above all, try to avoid making snap decisions based on emotional factors, time constraints, or the fear of not being able to find "anything better." Although there may be days in which the prospects seem slim, it's essential that you maintain a positive outlook and be confident that new listings and fresh possibilities are always cropping up. Working with a seasoned buyer's agent who's familiar with the local market and is responsive to your needs will also help immeasurably in your search for the perfect new home!







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