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November
21

They say the best investments you'll ever make are in yourself and in your future – and what better way to do so than by investing in real estate?

As Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, "Real estate cannot be lost or stolen, nor can it be carried away. Purchased with common sense, paid for in full, and managed with reasonable care, it is about the safest investment in the world."

We took a deeper look at why someone might want to invest and nailed down five big reasons. With benefits like these, the opportunity is hard to ignore. 

#1. You will see a steady cash flow. 

Did someone say extra income? We sure did. People choose to invest in real estate for the same reason they start any other side hustle – to generate cash flow. Whether you purchase a residential home or commercial property, you can rent it out to tenants or businesses on a monthly basis. Monthly checks will start to roll in and can be used to pay down your mortgage. After that's all squared away, you'll start racking in extra income month by month. If you can stay patient while this happens, the reward is so worthwhile! 

#2. There are tons of tax benefits. 

By purchasing real estate and renting it out, you can become a landlord…which makes you a business owner! What's so great about that? The tax benefits, of course! Here are just a few expenses you'll be able to write off as business expenses. 

- Mortgage interest

- Property taxes

- Maintenance costs

- Homeowners insurance

- Property management fees

- HOA dues

Don't forget to talk to your tax advisor to find out what else you might be able to write off as a real estate investor. 

#3. Real estate appreciates in value. 

Real estate appreciates naturally at an annual average of 3-5%. This means that without doing anything to your home – aside from maintaining it, of course – it will increase in value. This is unlike a car or machine, where your investment depreciates (loses value) over time.

This is great news for you, as an investor, for two reasons.

- Easier to rent to tenants

- Easier to sell in the long run with earned profit

But, you don't have to let it appreciate on its own. You can also force a property to appreciate by adding value yourself. 

This can be done through big and small renovations like these…

- Replacing the garage door

- Finishing the basement

- Updating light fixtures

- Minor room remodels

- Adding curb appeal 

What you put in is what you'll get out. The choice is yours! 

#4. Investing in real estate can help diversify your portfolio. 

A successful investor is one with a diverse portfolio. So, let's talk about why this is beneficial and how you can accomplish this through real estate.

Starting with why this is beneficial, it's really pretty simple. A diverse portfolio is going to do two key things for you. It's going to reduce risk and improve long-term returns. 

Investors can choose to put their dollars in numerous assets like stocks, bonds, cash, collectibles, real estate, and more. This culmination is what qualifies as an investor's portfolio. 

When you spread your investment dollars across multiple assets – real estate, for example – you can balance risky investments with less risky ones. Think of it like the old "don't put your eggs in one basket" mentality.

Here's what Mark Henricks from Yahoo had to say about this investment in particular. 

"Real estate is an especially effective asset for diversification because it is not tightly correlated to the securities markets. When stocks and bonds are down, that is, real estate may be up and vice versa. In this way, diversification helps investors minimize losses due to broad market trends."

#5. There are many different ways to invest. 

One of the most appealing things about investing in real estate is that there is no single, dead-set, one way to do it. You have numerous options and the ability to decide what will work best for you. 

Here are just a few ideas…

- Multifamily homes

- Commercial properties

- Vacation homes

- Land

- Duplexes (house hacking)

- Home flipping

- Investment groups/trusts

As you can see, there is a great deal of opportunity in the investment space if you are willing to put in the work. We hope that after reading this blog, you have a better understanding of why people invest and what that could look like for you.

The Masiello Group is a second-generation family company that has been a trailblazer in New England real estate since 1966. With now more than 35 offices throughout northern New England, we're the largest residential real estate firm north of Boston to offer a complete suite of home services, including buying, selling, mortgage, title, insurance, relocation, and more. 

Our agents are eager and excited to meet your real estate needs! 

You can find more information on today's market and other real estate trends by reading our blog weekly at https://www.masiello.com/news-and-updates/.

October
31

From an early age, we are graded on academic performance, athletic ability, and so much more. But that doesn't stop as we get older. 

Upon entering the "real world," we would quickly receive a new kind of grade, one that ranks our financial capability, called the credit score. 

This grade would be reevaluated constantly and play a role in many of life's most important moments - including the home buying process. 

Let's take a deeper look at credit scores and why they matter for home buyers. 

What are they?

Credit scores were designed to answer questions like "How likely are you to repay debt?" and "How trustworthy are you with your finances?". They sit on a range of anywhere from 300-800, and the higher, the better. A higher score indicates that the consumer is less risky and can be trusted when borrowing money. 

What determines your score?

Your credit score is dependent on five core components. According to the JECD, they are…

1) Payment History measures how well you have repaid debt in the past.

2) Balances Owed measures how much debt you have in comparison to existing credit limits.

3) Length of Credit History measures how long you have been using credit.

4) New Accounts measure your use and pursuit of new credit.

5) Types of Credit measures your mix of credit and experience using different types of it.

Why does it matter for homebuyers?

The answer here is simple! A lender's decision to grant you a home loan is largely influenced by your credit score. In fact, when you apply, it's one of the first things they'll look at! The right score will not only increase your chances of scoring the loan but a better interest rate too. 

What score is needed to buy a home?

While credit score requirements vary depending on loan type, the minimum for mortgages generally sits in the 620 range. 

If your score is lower than that, you may want to look into an FHA Loan. This type of loan is insured by the Federal Housing Association and requires a score of 580. 

Veterans, qualified service members, and spouses can also apply for a VA Loan, which also tends to sit in the 580 region. 

What should be avoided when applying for a mortgage? 

In order to ensure the best possible outcome, there are a few things you should avoid during the application process.

1) Opening new credit cards

2) Closing credit cards

3) Applying for new loans

4) Cosigning on new loans

How can you improve your score?

Buying a home with a low credit score is possible, but just means you'll be paying more on your mortgage for the time you have that loan. Here are some rapid-fire tips for raising your score. 

1) Pay your bills on time.

2) Set up autopay, so you never miss a payment.

3) Don't spend over your credit limit. 

4) Work towards paying off your debt.

5) Diversify your credit mix.

There are plenty of things to think about when it comes to the home buying process, but we hope credit scores make a little more sense after reading this. 

The Masiello Group is a second-generation family company that has been a trailblazer in New England real estate since 1966. With now more than 35 offices throughout northern New England, we're the largest residential real estate firm north of Boston to offer a complete suite of home services, including buying, selling, mortgage, title, insurance, relocation, and more. 

Our agents are eager and excited to meet your real estate needs! 

For real estate insight, market trends, and more, check out our weekly blog at  https://www.masiello.com/news-and-updates/.

September
30

Congratulations! You've made the exciting decision to put your home on the market. As a first-time seller, you probably have a lot of questions and aren't quite sure what to expect. 

You may have even heard that the selling process can be stressful, but we're hoping that by avoiding the most common mistakes, it will be a much more enjoyable experience for you!

Let's dive in…

#1. Not Hiring an Agent

One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a first-time seller is thinking you can do it all on your own. If it were easier this way, everyone would do it! But there's a reason why FSBO sales only make up 8% of all home sales in the US. 

We're not going to sugarcoat it. The selling process is a lot! From documents to preparation to marketing and more, there are many things to be done — and it is important that they are done in the correct way! 

To give your home its absolute best shot at success, you need someone in your corner that is dedicated to the job, has the experience, and boasts proven results.

According to the NAR, agent-assisted listings sell anywhere from 5.5-26% more than FSBO. Don't make a mistake that could cause you to miss out on more money for your home. 

#2. Being the Owner Versus the Seller 

Home is where many of our favorite memories are made. So, it's likely that the decision to put yours on the market wasn't an easy one. While the feelings you have are completely valid, they need to be separated from the selling process for it to be successful.

Here's what we mean. As much as you love that themed bedroom, those walls lined with family photos, and the sports trophies showcased in the living room, potential buyers may not. It's important to depersonalize the home before it goes to market so that viewers will be able to picture themselves there.

Remember, you are the seller first and the owner second!

#3. Setting an Unrealistic Asking Price

You can't expect your home to sell if you've set an unrealistic asking price. If priced too high, it may be weeks or even months before someone reaches out –- and they still may not offer close to what you're asking. 

On the other hand, pricing too low can cause you to miss out on hundreds or thousands of dollars in profit! 

Your best bet here is to ask an agent. Not only are they experienced, but they know the area you're in, what houses are going for, and what's going on in the current market. They will be able to provide you with a number and the reasoning behind it. 

#4. Being Unwilling to Make Repairs

The "love it or leave it" mentality isn't smart here. If potential buyers notice something wrong, they will leave it. 

What is smart is preparing your home before it hits the market. Take care of anything that needs to be repaired or updated before someone can point it out at the open house. 

Any problems will be uncovered at the time of inspection, so you might as well put in the work ahead of time! 

#5. Choosing Poor Listing Photos

Your listing photos are more important than you may think. Many times, they provide the first impression of your home and become the deciding factor for making the next move. 

Here are some quick tips for taking quality listing photos that will attract potential buyers instead of scare them away. 

1) Declutter the space to remove distractions.

2) Shoot from the corners to capture the entire space and make it look larger. 

3) Highlight its best features by utilizing lighting.

4) Double-check for things like televisions playing and toilet seats up. 

#6. Being Close Minded About Offers 

Throughout the selling process, you may receive a number of offers. Don't expect asking price right out of the gate, and don't be offended if someone lowballs you. It happens, and that is okay! 

You just have to be realistic. No offer will be written at full price without concessions or contingencies. But try to look at each offer with an open mind. 

By avoiding these 6 mistakes, your first time selling will be far more enjoyable and far less stressful! Good luck and happy selling. 


The Masiello Group is a second-generation family company that has been a trailblazer in New England real estate since 1966. With now more than 35 offices throughout northern New England, we're the largest residential real estate firm north of Boston to offer a complete suite of home services, including buying, selling, mortgage, title, insurance, relocation, and more. 

Our agents are eager and excited to meet your real estate needs! 

For real estate insight, market trends, and more, check out our weekly blog at  https://www.masiello.com/news-and-updates/







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