Marianne Leonard Cashman - William Raveis R.E. & Home Services


The process of applying for a mortgage is tedious and time-consuming; it requires you to answer personal questions about your finances. To ascertain your credibility for a mortgage, lenders structured the application process in such a way that allows them to get as much information about borrowers either directly or indirectly. 

Before you decide to apply for a mortgage; it's best you familiarize yourself with some of the possible questions the lender would ask about your finances. Because it involves a considerable amount of money, you should be prepared to answer questions about disparities in your income, why you defaulted in making any accrued payments and questions about your credit history. 

Below are some of the possible questions your lender would ask relating to your finances. 

How long have you earned your present income?

Lenders want to ascertain if you have earned your present pay for over two years. If you just got promoted or got a salary raise recently, this is good. However, what most lenders are looking out for is a consistent income amount for the last year. If they are not sure of your income, they would take a look at your W-2s for previous years and your pay stub for the present year. Before you go ahead to make an offer for a house, ensure it's an amount your current income will support.

How often you get paid?

A lender wants to ascertain how much income you earn, how your pay is derived, and the steadiness of your salary or irregularity of income. If you receive a steady means of income, your annual salary would determine how much mortgage you get – if your income varies, you might be required to provide details. 

The disparities in your income

If your income keeps changing each year either positively or negatively, come prepared to explain the reason behind the fluctuation. If your revenue decreased from the previous year, there is every possibility the underwriter would select the worst period in the last two years to determine how much you get on a mortgage. However, if your income increased in the previous year, the underwriter would take the average of the last two years to determine your mortgage value. If your income rises yearly either due to promotion or a new position, get someone from your human resource department to write a letter to that effect. 

If you are new at your job

Being new at a job doesn't affect your application for getting a mortgage – as long as you are receiving either a salary or a full-time hourly rate. Some lenders even grant loans to individuals who haven't gotten their first paycheck if they have a fully executed employment contract. 

If you earn commissions 

If you are a salesperson who earns a commission, you would need to provide two full years of tax returns to determine non-reimbursed business expenses you wrote off. 

Before applying for a mortgage, ensure you take a second look at all your finances and identified anything that could act as a deterrent so that your application has the best chance of being approved.


Moving is stressful at the best of times. But when you’re moving across the country rather than across town, it adds to the number of preparations you’ll need to make.

In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to best prepare for your long-distance move, whether it’s across the state, across the country, or to another country altogether.

Packing and moving

One of the biggest concerns you’ll have during a long distance move is the condition of your belongings.

If you’re using a moving company, you’ll want to make sure you trust them to handle your belongings with care. To ensure that they’re responsible movers, read over their reviews online. It’s also a good idea to review their contracts and to make sure you have enough insurance to cover any costly damages or losses. Speaking of moving companies, be sure to shop around to find out which one offers the best prices and delivery windows.

When it comes to packing your items, air on the side of caution and start boxing items well in advance of your move. Not only is it a good idea to label your boxes by room, but you should put your name and contact information on your boxes if they’re being shipped by a large moving company.

Remember that not everything needs to be in boxes. Soft items like clothing and towels can easily be packed in trash bags, suitcases, and duffel bags. You’ll be able to squeeze in more items and they’ll take up less space in the moving truck.

When filling the moving truck, be sure your fragile items aren’t the top box on a stack of boxes. Similarly, you don’t want fragile belongings underneath too many heavy boxes. Your movers likely have their own way of securing boxes, so be sure to indicate to them which boxes are the most fragile with labels.

Downsize your belongings

The month leading up to your move is a good time to sell or donate items you no longer use. It could save you space on the moving truck, and you could earn a few extra dollars before your big move.

Larger items should be your top priority. Bicycles, lawnmowers, and other big items that you’ve been thinking of replacing can be sold now and you can buy new ones at your future home. However, don’t discount the weight and size of things like DVD and book collections. Many people lug around bookcases from house to house and hardly ever touch the books on them. Furthermore, technology like Kindle and Netflix are making owning physical copies of your media less of a necessity.

Before you start packing the rest of your items into moving boxes, make sure you set aside a “survival kit” filled with your daily use items. Things like cell phone chargers, glasses and contacts, and sanitary items should be in your vehicle or carry on, not in the moving truck.

Saving money

Moving is expensive, but there are a number of ways you can squeeze some savings out of the experience. First, take advantage of free boxes from local stores and restaurants. Then, ask for friends and family to help you pack rather than hiring professionals, offer them lunch in exchange for their help.

When it comes to getting to your new home, don’t rule out flying as being the most expensive option. Hotels, gas, and eating out add up quickly if you’re making a road trip out of your move.

Finally, see if your move is tax-deductible. If you’re relocating for work, there’s a chance some of your moving expenses will be. If so, be sure to keep all of your receipts along the way.



406 East Merrimack Street, Lowell, MA 01852

Condo

$197,500
Price

4
Rooms
2
Beds
1
Baths
THIS CONDO IS BURSTING WITH SO MUCH CHARACTER AND CHARM! Hardwood floors, soaring ceilings and lots of natural light make this end unit a must see! As you enter, off to your right is the spacious living room complete with a fireplace - the perfect place to relax after a busy day. Next you'll find the master bedroom with ample closet space. The dining room - which is technically the second bedroom - offers plenty of space to entertain. The updated kitchen has a gorgeous new back splash and an eat in area that offers plenty of space for folks to gather around. The full bath finishes off the first floor. A laundry area and tons of storage space can be found In the unfinished basement. And there's more! In front, your own patio area that overlooks the common area with its perennial gardens offers you the perfect spot to relax on those warm summer nights. All this and walking distance to all of the restaurants, theater and even a minor league baseball team that downtown has to offer!
Open House
No scheduled Open Houses

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Everybody can have a great garden. Yes, it will demand some attention and details, as would other great things, but if you put your heart to it, you will find that it is not impossible even for you. Here are some the top tips you should pay attention to if you want to keep a healthy garden.

  • Hydrate Your Garden Appropriately. Make sure your garden always has the right amount of water in it at every time. If you notice dry leaves popping out, then it’s an indication there’s not enough water in the soil. You can water your flower beds about 2 to 3 times every week, and this should be done late in the evening or early in the morning so the garden soil doesn’t lose the bulk of water to the heat of the sun. When watering, make sure you water the roots and not the leaves as that would promote bacteria growth on the leaves.
  • Weed Constantly. It's critical that you weed and prune out your garden regularly to prevent weeds from taking over. When weeding, remove them by the roots to prevent them from competing with your plants for nutrients. In spring, you should prune plants that survived the winter so they can grow afresh. Spreading mulch on the garden can also help prevent weeds from developing. You can keep the weeds and other remains of unwanted plants as ingredients for making compost.
  • Constantly Renew the Soil. Organic elements like compost or manure should be continuously added to refresh and renew the soil. Winter always see the drying out of the soil so you can do this during the spring. If you save up your weeds in a compost bin throughout the year, then you would have a ready source of compost to use when you need it. The best manure to add is one that has been cured for at least half a year, as fresh manure often has a high percentage of nitrogen which can prove very dangerous for plants. Fertilizers should also be added to the soil after testing it to see what nutrients it lacks and then supplied.
  • Plant in Adequate Lighting. The right amount of sunlight is essential for plants growth. Ideally, situate your garden in a place that gets direct light from the sun for at least 8 hours every day. If your garden is in a low shaded area, you might have to make do with vegetables like spinach and cabbage as they grow very well in such conditions.
  • Now you have all you need to grow and keep a healthy garden.


    When you’re preparing your home for the market, your main goal is to make it as desirable as possible to potential buyers. Not only will this gain more attraction from interested parties, but it can also help you out in a bidding war by making your home stand out among the rest and therefore increasing the final sale value.

    Many of the ways to increase the desirability and curb appeal of your home involve costly home improvements and upgrades. However, there are some simple solutions that can make an impact and might just be enough to tip the buyer in favor of your home.

    Today, we’re talking about the value of marketing a spotless, freshly cleaned home. The benefits are many. But, among them are the chance of increasing your sale value, attracting more potential buyers, and demonstrating to them that you’re the type of homeowner who has cared for their home.

    Read on for some of the most important cleaning tips to help you along the process of selling your home.

    1. Decluttering helps in more ways than one

    When you’re ready to sell your home, the last thing you want to be thinking about is finding places for all of your belongings that you’ve accumulated over the years. People interested in buying your home won’t want to visit a house filled with your personal belongings, as it will make it harder for them to imagine their own decorating style in the house.

    To make this whole process easier, it’s a good idea to declutter and pack away things that you won’t necessarily need until you move into your new home. You’ll also be doing yourself a favor later by packing boxes now that won’t have to be repacked when you move to your new home.

    2. Mold and mildew

    Bathrooms and kitchens are especially vulnerable to these two culprits that can be a huge turn-off for potential buyers. You’re going to want to carefully inspect these rooms for signs of mold and mildew and eliminate them. Non-streak and bleach-based cleaners are ideal as they can help your glass and tiles shine like new.

    Remember to make sure these are clean before you have real estate photos taken or your listing and before having any potential buyers over to show your home.

    3. Deep dusting

    You know those corners of your home that you always think, “oh well, no one will ever see back there anyway”? Well, people interested in buying your home will likely want to look in those corners and might be off-put by piles of dust.

    If you have a hard time seeing because parts of your home are dark, set up some portable work lights while you’re cleaning to ensure you’re getting the job done.

    Finally, don’t forget to clean the tops of ceiling fan blades and behind your kitchen appliances, where few seldom go.

    4. Gutters are a giveaway

    Clean gutters are a sign that a homeowner cares for the long-term maintenance of their home. So, if you haven’t been quite keeping up with gutter cleaning, now is the time to do it.

    5. Pressure washing can be worth the cost

    If there’s one thing that’s worth spending money on for cleaning an older home, it’s usually power washing. Vinyl siding is low-maintenance, easy to install, and relatively inexpensive. But, it does get dirty from time to time.

    Hiring a power washing service or renting a pressure washer can be a good way to make the exterior of your home look like new again.




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