Paul Zingarelli - KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY



Posted by Paul Zingarelli on 1/13/2019

For those who want to enjoy a seamless homebuying experience, it helps to prepare accordingly. That way, you will be ready to identify and address any hurdles that come your way during the homebuying journey.

Ultimately, there are lots of things you can do to avoid a complex homebuying journey, such as:

1. Establish Homebuying Criteria

If you enter the housing market with homebuying criteria in hand, you can search for residences that match your expectations. Best of all, you may be better equipped than ever before to streamline your quest to find and acquire your dream home.

To craft homebuying criteria, think about what you require from a house. For instance, if you need a home that is located near your office in the city, you can hone your house search to residences in or near the city itself. On the other hand, if you want a home that offers two or more bedrooms, you can search for a house that provides the space you need.

You may want to create a list of home must-haves, too. This list may help you simultaneously narrow your home search and speed up the homebuying journey.

2. Know Your Homebuying Budget

There is no need to focus on homes that fall outside your price range. Instead, develop a homebuying budget, and you can avoid the risk of wasting time pursuing a house that you are unable to afford.

Oftentimes, it helps to meet with banks and credit unions before you launch a home search. These financial institutions can teach you about different home financing options so you can develop an effective property buying budget.

Banks and credit unions can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage as well. Once you have a mortgage in hand, you will know precisely how much you can spend to acquire your ideal residence.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Let's face it Ė no one wants to encounter roadblocks during the homebuying journey. Fortunately, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these homebuying experts are happy to help you achieve your desired results.

A real estate agent can offer comprehensive insights into the homebuying journey. He or she also can help you conduct an in-depth home search, set up house showings and much more.

In addition, a real estate agent understands the challenges associated with buying a house. He or she will help you alleviate stress throughout the homebuying journey and ensure you can make informed decisions along the way. Plus, a real estate agent is ready to provide homebuying recommendations and suggestions at your request.

When it comes to navigating the homebuying journey, you may want to start planning today. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can map out a successful homebuying journey. And as a result, you can boost the likelihood of purchasing a house that will serve you well both now and in the future.




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Posted by Paul Zingarelli on 1/6/2019

If houses with unique architecture are at the top of your wish list while house hunting consider planning to renovate an attic space into an additional room. An attic room is truly one of a kind and will have all of your family and friends wanting to move in too. Youíll also maximize the space in your home and even increase the value of your home.

The first, and most important, step youíll want to take is to ensure that you can legally renovate your attic. Do some research on your local building codes and contact an inspector for a professional opinion. Itís important to make sure your home has the right support in place to support the added weight your renovations will add to its structure. I canít stress how critical this step is for both your familyís safety as well as your homeís value.

Okay, so youíre armed with building code knowledge and approval from an inspector. Now you just need a vision to start your planning. Part of what makes having usable attic space so appealing is its unexpectedness as well as the cozy atmosphere that can be created from its nooks and crannies.

A bedroom, either for yourself, a family member or guests, might be where your mind first turns to. Canít you just imagine waking up each morning to a magazine spread worthy room? You could also create a room dedicated to entertainment. Think a playroom, reading nook, home theater or game room. You could even simply design a better storage solution. 

When dreaming up your new room plan to make the most of itís one of a kind structure. Add dormers for both natural lighting and cozy nooks to tuck a chair or desk under. Create recessed storage in knee walls by adding cubbies and drawers. You may even want to design a seating solution that doubles as storage.

Another important task for your attic renovation is to ensure your attic has the proper insulation in place before becoming an inhabitable room. Attics are prone to both extreme heat and cold depending on where you live. Insulation not only helps maintain climate control but when added in the flooring it can help to reduce noise impact on the rooms below. Adding temperature controls to the room allows you to further maintain your ideal temp at all times. 

Attic spaces create a fun and uniquely structured room but can easily appear to be too small and dark. Create the illusion of more space and light by choosing paint colors such as creams, beiges, and shades of white. Opt for wall sconces, table lamps, and floor lamps when overhead lighting isnít an option. If your attic doesnít naturally have much natural lighting consider adding dormers for more windows and space or a few skylights.

For that classic attic room coziness look to beadboard or wood paneling to add along the ceiling. Additionally, when painted white both add a more clean, modern feel to a room. Decor with natural textures such as straw baskets, leather details, and woven textiles bring in a cozy warmth. However, attics tend to be small spaces so be mindful of decor and give each piece a purpose to add a personal touch without overcrowding.

Whether you bought a new home with plans to renovate or have room in your budget for something more than a quick weekend project turning your homeís attic into an additional room maximizes space and adds a unique touch. Youíll increase your homeís value and have all of your friends and family excited to visit to check out your latest addition. And while itís not a quick weekend project youíll have plenty of time to kick back and relax in your new room when all the hard work is done.




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Posted by Paul Zingarelli on 12/30/2018

If you've ever experienced the frustration of paying more than necessary for home repairs, remodeling, or upgrades, you're not alone! Most of us have done it at one time or another, and it's not a pleasant feeling!

The good news is that if you make up your mind to do a little research, ask questions, request a free quote, and get two or three estimates, then you probably won't have to repeat the same mistake. Unless it's a dire emergency, it's always better to take your time in choosing a contractor or repair technician for a home project.

While it may be a little more time consuming to get recommendations, compare prices, and talk to several contractors, it's well worth it -- both in terms of monetary savings and peace of mind. Since the typical homeowner incurs many expenses, every year, to maintain their plumbing, electricity, roof, floors, HVAC system, landscaping, appliances, and much more, the amount of money you can save from comparing estimates and researching contractors can really add up!

The ideal scenario for hiring a home contractor is to get a recommendation from a trusted friend, family member, or neighbor. That doesn't necessarily guarantee that you'll be getting the best value for your dollar, but it's a darn good starting point! Online reviews of contractors can also be helpful, but sometimes they lack the detail and credibility that's essential to a meaningful recommendation. No review is complete unless it says whether the customer would hire the contractor again and if they (the customer) would recommend them to family and friends.

Since no one's perfect, it's also helpful to know what the contractor could have done better. A lot of times people will say something like, "I was satisfied with the end result, but the project took a lot longer than expected and the contractor always showed up late." Asking questions, comparing prices, and asking for references are among the ways to increase the likelihood that you'll be satisfied with the contractor you choose and the quality of work they provide.

Depending on the scope of the project and its estimated cost, you may also want to check whether the contractors you're considering are accredited with the Better Business Bureau and if anyone has filed a complaint against them. Being accredited does not mean that the BBB endorses the business, but it does indicate that the business does meet certain standards and that they have agreed to make a good faith effort to resolve consumer complaints. In order to be accredited by the BBB, businesses need to submit an application, meet accreditation standards, and pay a fee. To keep their designation, they must maintain at least a "B" rating with the Bureau and continue to comply with its standards of professionalism, honesty, and customer responsiveness.





Posted by Paul Zingarelli on 12/23/2018

You know that your credit score is incredibly important when you want to buy a home. Thereís certain things that you could be doing in your everyday life that are hurting your credit score. Hereís what you need to avoid in order to keep your credit score up:


Donít Allow For Too Many Credit Inquiries


When youíre at the checkout lane at the store, and the clerk informs you that you can save a lot of money if you just open this instant credit card on the spot, that can pose a problem. The issue with this is that the store will be instantly checking your credit score as well. These inquiries hang on your credit report for a certain amount of time. Certain inquiries can also make your score dip. Too many credit inquiries can make lenders suspicious of your ability to be a dependable borrower.



Unpaid Bills Can Add Up


If you forget to pay small credit card bills here and there, it could add up. Think of things like library books, medical bills, and credit card payments. That unreturned library fee that you never paid could come back to haunt you. A medical bill that was sent to collections can become a problem on your credit report. Most of the time, all you need to do is pay these fees up for your score to bounce back. 


Credit Report Errors


Your credit report could have incorrect information about your financial situation and records. Your credit score could be dragged down just because of some errors on the report. If you do find an error on your report, youíll be able to submit a claim to rectify the error. 


Using Too Much Of Your Available Credit


Just because a credit limit is at $5,000, doesnít mean that you need to max it out. Even if you pay your bills each month, using too much of your available credit can really harm your score. For your credit score to be calculated and to see how loan worthy you are, your total available credit and how much of that total credit is being used will be put into a formula. Beware of how much of your credit you use in order to keep that score up.


Not Touching Your Credit


You actually need to use your credit in order to build your score. You need credit history in order to have something for loan officers to work with. Accounts that become inactive over time will be closed by default and actually negatively impact your score. 


By using your credit responsibly, youíll keep your credit score up and be in good shape to buy a house.





Posted by Paul Zingarelli on 12/16/2018

We live in a world of convenience and endless choices. To watch a TV show, you can find it on cable, Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu, and more. Sometimes, all of these options make it easy to spend more than necessary on monthly services.

If youíre hoping to buy a home in the near future, one way to save a bit more each month is to cut corners wherever possible.

In todayís post, Iím going to cover some tips that will help you start saving toward the down payment on your first home.

Cutting down on monthly services

Theyíre enticing, the myriad of entertainment services that we can now take advantage of. For a seemingly low monthly cost you can have hundreds of channels through cable. However, many cable users have noticed that their cable bill keeps creeping up each year and the service doesnít get any better.

One way to start saving more each month is to ditch cable altogether. For news and the weather, there are many websites available. And, some local news stations stream live on their websites for free.

But, what about watching your favorite TV shows and movies? One of the worldís best kept secrets is that of interlibrary loans. Most public libraries are part of a system that allows you to get books, games, movies, and TV shows shipped to your local library for free. You simply reserve the latest season of Game of Thrones and wait for an email from your library.

Another issue many people have with monthly entertainment services is their tendency to add up. Reassess your monthly bills. If youíre paying for Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, do you really need all three?

Be smart about your savings

To save effectively, make sure your savings account is seeing a high return on its interest rate. Online banks tend to have higher returns than their brick & mortar counterparts, and most people donít need to make regular visits to a bank anymore anyway.

Similarly, for credit cards, choose one with cashback rewards. Only use your credit card for necessities, like groceries and gas. Then, pay off each statement in full each month. Once you get your rewards, use them for more groceries and gas or put them in your down payment savings account, if possible.

Donít forget about CDs (certificates of deposit)

One of the most effective ways of saving for a down payment is a certificate of deposit. CDs are perfect for down payments because you arenít able to withdraw from them until they have matured--i.e., until youíve reached your savings goal. They can be set for 6 months, a year, or more, and they tend to have higher returns than savings accounts.


Using a combination of these methods will help you start saving more each month so you can achieve your dream of owning a home sooner.







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