The Holden Team | Hopkinton Real Estate, Southborough Real Estate, Ashland Real Estate


Ready to make your homeownership dream a reality? In some cases, you may need to submit a home offer that surpasses a home seller's initial asking price, and these cases include:

1. You've fallen in love with a house.

Once you've found your dream residence, you'll want to do everything possible to secure this home as quickly as possible. Therefore, if you fall in love with a house, you can submit an offer that exceeds a home seller's initial asking price in the hopes of streamlining the homebuying journey.

Of course, before you submit an offer on any house, it is paramount to understand what differentiates an average home from a great one.

A great residence is one that you can enjoy both now and in the future. It likely will require minimal initial repairs, and as such, will be worth your time and resources.

2. You are facing steep competition.

For homebuyers who are competing for a high-quality residence in a buyer's market, it often pays to submit a home offer that surpasses a homebuyer's initial asking price. By doing so, you can guarantee your offer will stand out from others and boost the likelihood of securing your dream residence.

In a competitive real estate market, there is no need to hesitate to submit an above-average home offer, either.

A home offer that impresses a homebuyer may set the stage for a quick home sale. And if you put your best foot forward with a home offer, you should have no trouble acquiring a terrific residence, regardless of the current housing market's conditions.

3. You have substantial financial resources at your disposal.

A diligent homebuyer may choose to get pre-approved for a home loan. As a result, this homebuyer may be better equipped than others to submit a home offer that is higher than a home seller's initial asking price.

For example, a homebuyer who receives pre-approval for a home loan can start the homebuying journey with a budget in hand. This homebuyer then can check out houses that fall within his or her price range. And after this homebuyer discovers the perfect house, he or she can make an above-average proposal to acquire the residence.

To get pre-approved for a home loan, a homebuyer should meet with multiple lenders. Next, this homebuyer can review various home loan offers and select one that corresponds with his or her finances.

Lastly, if you need extra support during the homebuying journey, it pays to collaborate with a real estate agent.

A real estate agent will help you evaluate a broad array of houses in your city or town. In addition, this housing market professional can help you put together the right offer on a house to ensure you can secure your dream residence in no time at all.

Take the next step to acquire your ideal house – reach out to a local real estate agent today, and you can move closer to finding and purchasing your dream residence.


Unmarried couples often find themselves surprised at the additional steps it takes to buy a home compared to their wedded friends.

This guide will help you prepare for buying a home together as an unmarried couple:

Banks will assess you differently than they would a married couple.

Whereas they look at a married couple as a single financial unit, you and your partner will be assessed individually. This certainly has its pro’s and con’s. Know that if one partner has a significantly lower credit score it can affect your eligibility for a loan as a couple.  

Legal ownership of the title will be different.

Unmarried couples have three options when it comes to title ownership: sole ownership, joint tenants and tenants in common.

Tenants in common is the most popular. The difference between tenants in common and joint tenants is this:

  • In a joint tenancy ownership is 50/50. If one partner were to become deceased, ownership of their half of the property would carry over to the other partner.

  • Tenants in common ownership can be disproportionate to reflect each partners level of investment.  If one partner were to become deceased, their living trust would inherit ownership of their portion of the property if another option is not otherwise specified in their will.

  • Sole ownership is just that. One partner owns full legal ownership of the property. This option can have tax benefits and increase your financing eligibility if one partner has a higher income or better credit score than the other.

It’s highly recommended for unmarried couples to sign a property, partnership or cohabitation agreement when buying a home together. This is a legal precaution to safeguard both partners in the future should anything happen.

If your finances are separate it is ideal to at the very least create a joint checking account from which to draw the down payment and mortgage installments. This is especially true if both partners are contributing to these payments. It create a clean, clearcut payment process each month.

Know each other's finances.

Discuss your credit scores, debt burden, savings, investments and financial goals. Get clear on where you each stand and how these factors will influence your buying process. Create a budget together as a couple to ensure you can take on not just the responsibility of a mortgage payment but also closing costs, homeowners insurance, property taxes and maintenance costs. Plan for savings like retirement, nest egg, family planning, future vacations, and emergency funds.

Buying a home together as an unmarried couple is a different process than that of married couples. However, that doesn’t mean it has to be harder. With an understanding of what to expect ahead of time and a plan in place, the process can be a smooth one.



Although you may be tempted to spontaneously make an offer on a house that triggers happy memories of your childhood, it's usually best to approach house buying in a methodical, dispassionate way.

Your emotions will come into play as you visit different listings, but they should be tempered by a realistic budget, a list of personal requirements, and a sprinkling of "wish list" items -- ones that will help make your new home extra special!

A lot will depend on whether you're a first-time home buyer or a seasoned home owner. In all likelihood, the more houses you've owned, the higher your expectations will be. That's certainly not a hard-and-fast rule, but it does lend itself to reason. As is the case with most things in life, experience tends to clarify our needs, our tolerances, our quality standards, and our lifestyle preferences.

Buying a home is a huge decision for two reasons: It not only impacts our financial situation (both immediate and long term), but it effects our quality of life for the foreseeable future. So, similar to the institution of marriage, buying a house is a commitment that should not be taken lightly!

Fortunately, there are several effective ways to help ensure that the home you buy will live up to your expectations. One of the most steadfast "anchors" you can have in your search for the ideal home is a seasoned real estate agent. They have the training, knowledge, and communication skills to help you find the house, the right property, and the optimal location that will best suit your needs.

Your agent will work closely with you to create a list of house hunting requirements and preferences. Although the location, school district, and number of bedrooms will probably have a major bearing on your decision, there are literally dozens of other features and characteristics that will influence your final choice. Among those will be square footage, number of bathrooms, and the property's tax rate.

Standard checklists that include a wide range of home buyer requirements are available online and through your real estate agent. These checklists will help you rank each house you visit and objectively compare the homes you like the best. While flexibility is a necessary part of a successful house-hunting campaign, there will invariably be items you won't want to compromise on.

By deciding in advance what your new home should include, you'll create a clear vision of the type of living environment you and your family will find the most satisfying. Whether you're looking for a home with an open floor plan, a screened-in porch, one or more fireplaces, a finished basement, a two-car garage, or ample space between neighbors, getting your requirements down on paper is the first step to turning your house-buying goals into reality!


As you prepare to embark on the homebuying process, you may encounter a variety of homebuying myths. And if you believe these myths, the risk increases that you may be forced to deal with many problems along the homebuying journey.

Now, let's take a look at three common homebuying myths, along with the problems associated with these myths.

1. Buying a house is a quick, stress-free process.

The homebuying process may prove to be long and arduous, particularly for a first-time homebuyer. Fortunately, real estate agents are available to help you simplify the process of acquiring a top-notch residence at a budget-friendly price.

A real estate agent understands the challenges associated with buying a house. As such, he or she can help you identify and address these problems before they escalate.

Typically, a real estate agent will learn about what you want to find in your dream house and help you plan accordingly. With this approach, a real estate agent will ensure that you can enjoy a fast, worry-free homebuying experience.

2. Getting a mortgage won't take long at all.

There are many factors that will dictate your ability to acquire a mortgage that matches or exceeds your expectations. For instance, your credit score, income and outstanding debt will impact a lender's decision to provide you with a mortgage. And if you have experienced financial problems in the past, they may impact your ability to acquire a mortgage today.

It generally helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you enter the housing market. Because if you have a mortgage in hand, you can narrow your house search.

Also, it may be beneficial to shop around for a mortgage from several banks and credit unions. If you explore all of the mortgage options at your disposal, you can select a mortgage that suits your finances perfectly.

3. The first home that you see in-person likely will be the house that you'll end up purchasing.

The homebuying process offers no guarantees. And if you expect to buy the first home that you view in-person, you ultimately may be disappointed with the final results of your home search.

Oftentimes, it is a great idea to check out a wide range of houses. By conducting an in-depth home search, you can select a house that fulfills all of your homebuying demands.

As you search for a home, you may want to work with a real estate agent too. This housing market professional can set up home showings and keep you up to date about open house events.

Furthermore, a real estate agent is happy to provide homebuying recommendations and suggestions. He or she will do whatever it takes to help you find a terrific residence, as well as negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf to ensure you won't have to pay too much to acquire your ideal house.

The aforementioned myths can be harmful to any homebuyer, at any time. If you hire a real estate agent, however, you can learn the ins and outs of the housing market and avoid potential hurdles throughout the homebuying journey.


Finding a mortgage lender should be easy, particularly for homebuyers who want to purchase a high-quality residence without having to worry about spending too much. However, many mortgage lenders are available nationwide, and the sheer volume of lenders can make it difficult to choose the right one.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline the process of selecting the ideal lender.

Now, let's take a look at three tips that homebuyers can use to accelerate the process of choosing the perfect lender.

1. Know Your Credit Score

Your mortgage interest rate may vary based on your credit score. As such, you should learn your credit score before you begin your search for the right lender. This will enable you to boost your credit score if necessary – something that may help you get a preferred mortgage interest rate.

You are eligible for one free copy of your credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Request a copy of your credit report, and you can find out your credit score and map out your search for the ideal mortgage lender accordingly.

2. Meet with Several Mortgage Lenders

There is no shortage of mortgage lenders in cities and towns around the country. Therefore, you should allocate the necessary time and resources to meet with several credit unions and banks to explore all of your mortgage options.

Each lender can provide details about fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages, how these mortgages work and other pertinent mortgage information. This information can help you make an informed decision about a mortgage.

In addition, don't hesitate to ask questions when you meet with a mortgage lender. If you obtain plenty of information from a mortgage lender, you'll be able to understand the pros and cons of various mortgage options and make the best choice possible.

3. Review a Mortgage Closely

A mortgage may enable you to secure your dream residence, but it is important to understand all of the terms and conditions associated with a mortgage before you select a lender.

For example, if you decide to purchase a condo, your mortgage might only cover the costs of your property. Meanwhile, you still may be responsible for condo homeowners' association fees that total hundreds of dollars each month, so you'll need to budget properly.

Of course, you should feel comfortable working with a mortgage lender as well. The ideal mortgage lender should be available to answer your concerns and questions at any time and help you stay on track with your monthly mortgage payments.

If you need extra assistance as you consider the mortgage lenders in your area, you can reach out to a real estate agent for additional support. This housing market professional can provide insights into mortgage interest rates and may even be able to connect you with the top local lenders.

Take the guesswork out of finding the right mortgage lender – use these tips, and you can move one step closer to getting the financing you need to buy your dream residence.




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