Linda Costanzo | Boston MA Real Estate, Chelsea MA Real Estate, Wellesley MA Real Estate


Applying for a mortgage may seem like a long, stressful process at first. Fortunately, we're here to help you take the guesswork out of submitting a mortgage application.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you streamline the mortgage application process.

1. Ask Questions

A bank or credit union likely will ask you to provide a wide range of information as part of the mortgage application cycle. And as you complete a mortgage application, you may have questions along the way too.

Remember, a lender is happy to help you in any way possible. If you ever have concerns or questions as you complete a mortgage application, you should reach out to a lender for expert support. That way, you can reduce the risk of potential problems down the line that otherwise could slow down the mortgage application process.

Even a single mistake on a mortgage application may prevent you from getting a mortgage. Perhaps even worse, a delayed mortgage application may force you to miss out on an opportunity to acquire your dream house. But if you reach out to a lender as you complete your mortgage application, you can gain the insights you need to quickly and effortlessly finalize the necessary documentation to obtain a mortgage.

2. Be Thorough

A mortgage application may require you to look back at your financial and employment histories and provide information that a lender will use to determine whether to approve or deny your submission. Meanwhile, you should be ready to provide a lender with any requested information to ensure a seamless application process.

As a homebuyer, it is your responsibility to include accurate information on your mortgage application. In fact, failure to do so may cause a lender to reject your mortgage application. If you allocate the necessary time and resources to dot every I and cross every T on your mortgage application, you can boost the likelihood of a fast approval.

3. Shop Around

For homebuyers, it is crucial to check out all of the mortgage options that are available. If you meet with a variety of banks and credit unions, you can review myriad mortgage options and select a mortgage that complements your finances.

Banks and credit unions generally provide a broad array of fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages. If you learn about all of the mortgage options at your disposal, you can find one that enables you to purchase your dream house without breaking your budget.

Of course, once you are approved for a mortgage and are ready to launch your house search, you may want to hire a real estate agent as well. A real estate agent will offer plenty of guidance at each stage of the homebuying journey. In addition, a real estate agent can make it easy for you to find a top-notch residence at a budget-friendly price in any housing market, at any time.

Start the mortgage application process today, and you can move one step closer to acquiring your dream residence.


Ready to purchase a high-quality residence for the first time? Ultimately, a first-time homebuyer will want to do everything possible to learn about the real estate market. By doing so, this property buyer can improve his or her chances of submitting a strong offer on a dream house, thereby increasing the likelihood of a quick, easy home sale.

Submitting a strong initial offer on a home can be simple – here are three tips to help a first-time homebuyer do just that.

1. Study the Current Housing Market Closely

A first-time homebuyer should allocate the necessary time and resources to learn about both buyer's and seller's markets. That way, a homebuyer can identify an opportunity to secure a terrific residence in any housing market and submit a competitive offer right away.

To analyze the real estate market, spend some time looking at the prices of homes that were recently sold in your city or town. This housing market data may help you differentiate between a buyer's and seller's market and map out your homebuying journey accordingly.

Furthermore, don't forget to check out the prices of houses that are currently available. With this housing market data in hand, you can better understand what it means to submit a strong offer that matches or exceeds a home seller's initial asking price.

2. Get a Mortgage in Advance

A first-time homebuyer definitely should get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will enable a homebuyer to enter the housing market with a budget that he or she can use to narrow a home search.

To obtain a mortgage, a homebuyer only needs to meet with banks and credit unions in his or her area. Each lender meeting is exceedingly valuable, as it enables a homebuyer to learn about assorted mortgage options and receive answers to any mortgage questions.

In addition, those who are pre-approved for a mortgage will know exactly how much money they can spend on a house. And as a result, these homebuyers can submit a competitive offer on a residence from the get-go, improving their chances of securing a first-rate residence in no time at all.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a must-hire for a first-time homebuyer, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.

Thanks to a real estate agent, a first-time homebuyer can differentiate between a strong offer and a "lowball" one. In fact, a real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure a homebuyer can get the best price on a house, regardless of whether this property buyer is operating in a buyer's or seller's market.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is happy to offer honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations. He or she can provide expert insights to help a homebuyer determine exactly how much to offer to acquire his or her dream residence.

When it comes to buying a house for the first time, there's no need to leave anything to chance. Instead, use these tips, and a first-time homebuyer can submit a strong offer and move one step closer to purchasing a home that matches or exceeds his or her expectations.


The rent vs buy dilemma is something that Americans have been facing for decades. Both options have their benefits, and it’s really a matter of timing and preferences when it comes to choosing which is best for you.

However, there are a lot of things to consider before making this decision. So, in today’s post we’re going to break down some of the benefits of renting an apartment and of buying a home. That way you can make your decision with a clearer picture of what each situation looks like.

One thing to note first, however, is that it isn’t always as simple as buy vs rent. Some living situations draw on the pros of each type of living. For example, living in a condo might be a good option for people who want the privacy and independence of owning their own home, but who also don’t have the time or desire to keep up with maintenance.

So, as we compare buying and renting, keep in mind that the features of each are not mutually exclusive.

Renting an apartment

Most people who are living on their own for the first time start off renting. For younger people just out of school, renting offers the first taste of independence without the prerequisites of homeownership.

When you rent your first apartment, you’ll learn the skills associated with budgeting for your monthly expenses, making your rent payments on time, and will start learning some of the skills that it takes to run a household.

In terms of monthly costs, apartments can vary greatly. Depending on where you live (and how luxurious the apartment is) you could end up having rent and utility payments that are much lower or much higher than mortgage payments for a house.

However, apartment leases often come with the benefit of utilities, trash removal, and other expenses built in. They also typically require the landlord to maintain the apartment and the land it sits on.

Live in the northern part of the country and hate shoveling snow? Make sure your lease specifies that your landlord will provide snow removal.

One technique that many renters take is to find an apartment that is small and affordable while they save up for a home. In this case, it’s worth living with fewer amenities if your end goal is saving for a down payment.

But, what if you want to own a home someday but haven’t quite decided where you want to settle down? Maybe your work keeps you moving from place to place or you’ve always wanted to move away to somewhere new.

Renting is typically a better option for those who aren’t quite sure what their plans are for the next coming years. They can have a stable place to live while they figure things out and plan their next move.

Buying a home

Once you’ve rented a home for a while, you might become increasingly aware that you want more space and more control over your home.

You’re also likely noticing how much money you spend on rent each month that is essentially a net loss.

When you buy a home, your mortgage payments might be going to the bank, but someday the money you’ve paid toward that home will be yours in the form of equity. You can then use this as a down payment for another home.

This financial benefit cannot be understated. Since house values dependably increase over time, owning a home is a great investment toward your future.

So, those are the main pros and cons of renting vs buying a home. Think about your circumstances and determine which one makes the most sense for you right now. Then, start planning for the future.


An open house is a big deal, particularly for a homebuyer who is intent on finding his or her dream residence as quickly as possible. If you plan ahead for an open house, you can make the most of this event.

Ultimately, there are many reasons for a homebuyer to craft a list of questions prior to an open house, and these reasons include:

1. You can optimize your time and resources.

Let's face it – few homebuyers have time and resources to spare. And if you attend an open house, it is important to do everything possible to maximize its value.

With a list of questions in hand, you can attend an open house and learn everything you want to know about a residence. Then, when you have answers to your questions, you can decide whether to submit an offer on a residence or continue your search for your dream house.

2. You can obtain in-depth home insights.

In many instances, homebuyers will attend an open house and leave with many questions about a residence. Yet homebuyers who create a list of questions prior to an open house can quickly gain the insights they need to identify their ideal home.

For homebuyers who want to obtain in-depth home insights, preparing a list of questions prior to an open house is a must. Homebuyers who ask questions about a house's interior, exterior, condition and age can learn about many different aspects of a residence. As a result, these buyers can use all of the information at their disposal to determine whether a house matches their expectations.

3. You can make the best-possible decision regarding a home.

Buying a house is rarely a simple decision. Fortunately, attending an open house with a list of questions can help a buyer make an informed decision about any residence, at any time.

When pursuing homes, there is no reason to leave anything to chance. By preparing questions before an open house, a homebuyer can take a data-driven approach to evaluate a house. And after a comprehensive assessment, a buyer can move forward with a home offer or reenter the housing market.

As you get ready to attend an open house, it may be beneficial to hire a real estate agent too. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you may be able to achieve your homebuying goals faster than ever before.

A real estate agent understands the housing market and its intricacies. As such, a real estate agent can keep you up to date about open house events and help you plan accordingly.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will do everything possible to take the guesswork out of buying a house. If you ever have questions during the homebuying journey, a real estate agent is happy to respond to them.

Prepare a list of questions before you attend an open house – you'll be glad you did. By doing so, you should have no trouble discovering your ideal residence.


If you want to own a home, it may be a good idea to enter the housing market sooner rather than later. That way, you can go from homebuyer to homeowner in no time at all.

Ultimately, there are three steps to buy a home:

1. Conduct an Extensive Home Search

The home search, aka "the fun part" of the homebuying journey, enables you to select a residence that matches or exceeds your expectations.

During a home search, you'll want to attend open houses and home showings. These events will allow you to take an up-close look at a variety of residences.

Of course, don't forget to check out many home listings as well. These listings offer lots of details about a home and can help you differentiate an ordinary residence from your "dream" house.

You also may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you kick off your home search. If you receive pre-approval for a mortgage, you can enter the real estate market with a budget in hand and narrow your home search accordingly.

2. Submit an Offer

If you find a house that you want to own, there is no need to wait to submit an offer. Because the longer that you hesitate to make a proposal, the more likely it becomes that a rival homebuyer will swoop in and acquire your dream house.

Prior to submitting a home offer, it often helps to conduct plenty of housing market research. Look at the prices of recently sold houses that are comparable to the residence that you'd like to buy. Then, you can put together a competitive offer that accounts for a house's condition as well as the current state of the housing market.

It is important to note that a seller has the right to accept, reject or counter your home offer. But if you submit a competitive initial offer on a house, you can increase the likelihood of an instant "Yes."

3. Finalize Your Purchase

After a home seller accepts your offer, it may be only a few weeks until you finalize your home purchase. At this time, you'll want to conduct a home inspection to identify any potential problem areas and address such issues as soon as possible.

When it comes to buying a home, there is no need to forgo a home inspection. If you fail to complete an inspection, you risk buying a house that has underlying issues that you may need to mitigate down the line.

In the weeks leading up to closing day, you will want to have a trusted real estate advisor at your disposal. Fortunately, real estate agents are available who can help you discover a great home and streamline the process of getting to closing day.

A real estate agent is happy to keep you up to date throughout the homebuying cycle. And if you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, this housing market professional is happy to address them.

Purchase your perfect home – use the aforementioned steps, and you can make your homeownership dreams come true.