Pamela McArdle | Duxbury Real Estate, Marshfield Real Estate, Pembroke Real Estate


Buying a condo may seem like an uphill climb, particularly for those who are browsing the real estate market for the first time. Lucky for you, we're here to help you take the guesswork out of finding the right condo.

What does it take to locate a high-quality condo at an affordable price? Here are three tips that every first-time condo buyer needs to know.

1. Explore a Wide Range of Condos

The real estate market is filled with many first-rate condos, and the sheer volume of properties that are available may feel overwhelming at times. Therefore, you should allocate the necessary time and resources to find a condo that suits you perfectly.

Don't be afraid to check out several condos over the course of a few days or weeks. By doing so, you can better understand what you'd like to find in the ideal condo.

Of course, if you fall in love with a condo, you should be ready to submit an offer. That way, you can avoid the risk of missing out on a great condo that matches or exceeds your expectations.

2. Determine How You'll Pay for a Condo

Many property buyers get pre-approved for a mortgage, and for good reason. With a mortgage in hand, you'll know exactly what you can afford as you review the real estate market.

Meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. These lenders will be able to provide you with multiple mortgage options and respond to your financing concerns and queries.

Also, keep in mind that the price of a condo may extend beyond your monthly mortgage payments.

In many instances, condo communities have homeowners' associations (HOAs) in place that will charge monthly fees. Learn about any HOA fees in advance, and you'll know exactly what you'll need to pay each month to live in a particular condo community.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

No one should be forced to evaluate condos on their own. Fortunately, you can hire a real estate agent to streamline the process of finding a terrific condo.

A real estate agent with condo experience understands the hurdles that may arise during a condo search. As such, he or she will do whatever it takes to ensure you can get the best results possible as you look for the perfect condo.

For instance, a real estate agent will set up condo showings and keep you up to date about open houses. This real estate professional will even negotiate with a condo seller on your behalf, which means you won't have to worry about breaking your budget to purchase a stellar condo.

Employing a real estate agent enables you to get expert advice at each stage of the condo buying process too. Thus, you can receive instant responses to your condo buying questions at any time.

Simplify the process of buying your first condo – use the aforementioned tips, and you can boost your chances of acquiring a superb condo at a budget-friendly price.


After you complete a home showing, you may face a dilemma. If you like a house following a showing, you may want to set up a follow-up showing or submit an offer to purchase. Or, if you are dissatisfied with the results of a home showing, you may want to continue your house search.

It helps to know what to expect after you attend a house showing. Because if you know what to do following a showing, you may be able to speed up the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you make the best-possible decision about a house following a showing.

1. Assess the Pros and Cons of a House

Performing a comprehensive home analysis is a must after a showing. That way, you can weigh the pros and cons of a residence and decide whether a house is right for you.

Think about how you felt as you walked through each room of a house. If you can envision yourself as the owner of a home, you may want to move sooner rather than later to submit an offer to purchase.

Conversely, if you find a house is in need of major repairs or simply does not suit your lifestyle, you should not hesitate to continue your house search. With a diligent approach to home evaluations, you should have no trouble discovering your dream residence in the foreseeable future.

2. Consider the Next Step in Your Homebuying Journey

When it comes to finding the perfect residence, it helps to plan ahead as much as possible. And if you have a plan in place for what to do after a home showing, you'll be better equipped than ever before to prepare for the worst-case scenarios.

For example, a home seller could accept a rival buyer's offer to purchase before you have time to consider your options following a showing. But if you have a backup plan in place, you can move quickly to continue your homebuying journey, regardless of how a showing pans out.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you are unsure about the best course of action at a home showing's conclusion, you may want to consult with a real estate agent. This will enable you to gain expert insights into the housing market and make an informed decision about how to proceed with a particular residence.

A real estate agent is happy to teach you about all aspects of the housing market. Following a home showing, a real estate agent can meet with you and help you review all of the options at your disposal. And if you decide to submit an offer to purchase a house, a real estate agent will make it easy to put together a competitive homebuying proposal.

There is no need to worry about what to do after a house showing. Use the aforementioned tips, and you can boost the likelihood of making the best-possible decision following a home showing.


Photo by Brian A Jackson via Shutterstock

Identity theft is an issue that has become more common since the digital age has bristled and bloomed. Many people are victims of phishing scams – an online predator steals your identity by impersonating a respectable institution and takes your sensitive information, financial information being stolen from non-secured sites, hacking or good, old-fashioned credit card theft, to name a few. Every form of identity theft can lead to severely damaging credit reports and scores, and may affect whether or not you’re able to purchase your next home.

Are you a victim of identity theft?

Often, your financial institution will contact you if they suspect suspicious activity on your accounts. As an account holder, monitoring these accounts or setting up an extra layer of security notifications will also help you figure out when someone is trying to steal your identity. Some of the tell-tale signs of identity theft can include a rapidly plummeting credit score, random accounts appearing in your financial hub, notification of attempted loan applications via mail, etc.

What should you do if you think you’ve been targeted for identity theft?

Freeze Your Credit

You can put a freeze on your credit by contacting the three major credit bureaus. When doing so, feel free to report that you suspect you’ve been targeted for identity theft. Once you place the freeze on your account, creditors will have to verify that they have done their due diligence in confirming your identity should they wish to open a new account for you or check your credit report.

Send a Fraud Alert

You may also want to send a fraud alert out to the credit bureaus. Doing so informs them that there’s been a breach in your personal security, and you’re trying to amend the situation.

Check Your Credit Report

Monitor your credit report to see where things went awry. You are entitled to one free credit report per year, so make the most of it. Obtaining your credit report should allow you to pinpoint exactly when the fraudulent activity started and give you some insight into what was going on at the time.

Talk to the Debt Collectors

If someone has taken advantage of your credit and your identity, there’s a good chance you’ll be receiving some information from debt collectors; especially if you were unaware that the debt was being racked up in the first place. The best thing to do is give them a call and find out exactly which debt they’re collecting on, who they’re acting on behalf of and get any other information that may pertain to your identity being stolen.

File a Report

Identity theft is a heavy crime and should be reported to the police immediately. After reporting with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and getting your report, be sure to have an official government ID with photograph, all current mailing information and any other reports that you’ve collected stating that your identity has been stolen.
Many Americans are afflicted by identity theft every year. Once the issue has been halted and is monitored carefully, you may want to start rebuilding. Request a new card from your credit card company and bank. Keep an eye on those accounts, protect yourself by taking the extra security measures of shopping on secured sites, requesting verification from anyone asking you for sensitive information and checking your credit activity often. This will lower your chances of undergoing a second attack.



The homebuying journey is rarely problem-free. Fortunately, homebuyers who know how to address challenges throughout the property buying journey should have no trouble making their homeownership dreams come true.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you develop an effective approach to address any homebuying challenges that come your way.

1. Be Diligent

When it comes to homebuying challenges, it helps to be diligent. A diligent homebuyer allocates time and resources to understand problems and address them from every angle. As such, this buyer may be better equipped than others to find the right solution to any homebuying challenge, at any time.

Furthermore, a diligent homebuyer often learns about the housing market and analyzes real estate market patterns and trends. With this information at his or her disposal, a homebuyer can use real estate market data to gain an advantage over rival property buyers. And as a result, a diligent homebuyer can use housing market data to make fast, informed decisions throughout the property buying journey.

2. Understand the Worst-Case Scenarios

No one likes to think about the worst-case scenarios. Yet considering potential challenges that could arise during the homebuying cycle may help a property buyer plan ahead for these problems.

As a homebuyer, it is important to prepare as much as possible for all stages of the property buying journey. If a buyer understands potential challenges, he or she may be able to address such problems without delay. Perhaps best of all, this buyer can minimize the risk of encountering possible hurdles that otherwise may prevent him or her from finding the right house at the right price.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

Dealing with a homebuying challenge on your own can cause immense stress. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available who can help you identify and resolve any homebuying challenges before they escalate.

A real estate agent is a homebuying expert who can guide you along each stage of the property buying journey. First, he or she will learn about your homebuying goals and craft a custom property buying strategy. A real estate agent next will keep you up to date about new homes that match your property buying criteria, as well as set up home showings. And once you find a house that you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase this residence.

Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent provides after a seller accepts your offer to purchase a home, either. At this point, a real estate agent will help you schedule a house inspection and ensure that you are fully prepared for closing day. And if you have concerns or questions along the way, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them.

Want to become a confident homebuyer? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can bolster your homebuying confidence and address any homebuying challenges with poise and integrity.


If you intend to sell your home, you should develop a plan. That way, you can identify any potential home selling hurdles and take steps to address such issues before they escalate.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you execute a house selling plan to perfection.

1. Establish a Timeline

You know you want to sell your home, but it is important to understand that it may take several days, weeks or months to complete the house selling cycle. Fortunately, if you establish a home selling timeline, you can set realistic expectations for the property selling journey.

Think about how long you will need to relocate from your current residence to a new one. For instance, if you need to pack up your personal belongings, you should account for this factor as you develop your home selling timeline.

When it comes to selling a house, it generally is a good idea to give yourself as much time as you can. Remember, if you have sufficient time to clean your residence and upgrade your house's curb appeal, you may be able to speed up the property selling cycle.

2. Remain Flexible

Although you may devote significant time and resources to craft an effective home selling strategy, you need to keep in mind that problems may arise during the property selling journey. In some instances, these issues may be unavoidable. However, if you maintain flexibility, you can address any home selling issues and prevent them from slowing down or stopping a house sale.

If you encounter a problem during the home selling journey, try not to stress about it. Conversely, tackle a home selling issue head-on, and you can overcome this problem without delay.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

If you are unsure about how to plan for the home selling journey, you can always hire a real estate agent. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive expert guidance at each stage of the house selling cycle.

A real estate agent knows what it takes to sell a residence, regardless of the current housing market's conditions. First, he or she will meet with you, learn about your home selling goals and help you plan accordingly. And when you have a home selling strategy in place, your real estate agent will help you put this plan into action.

As you execute a home selling plan, a real estate agent is ready to provide tips and recommendations as well. If you ever have concerns or questions as you navigate the home selling journey, a real estate agent will respond to them immediately.

For those want to streamline the home selling journey, it helps to craft a plan. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can create a first-rate home selling strategy. And as a result, you can use a home selling plan to promote your residence to buyers and maximize your house sale earnings.




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