B & B Real Estate | Holyoke Real Estate, South Hadley Real Estate, Northampton Real Estate


Your credit score can play a major role in your ability to get the financing that you need to buy a house. As such, you'll want to do everything possible to improve your credit score before you enter the real estate market.

Now, let's take a look at three quick, easy ways to boost your credit score.

1. Pay Off Debt As Quickly As Possible

Get a copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). You are entitled to one free copy of your credit report annually from each credit reporting bureau, and you should take advantage of this perk so that you can learn about your outstanding debt.

If you have lots of outstanding debt, you'll want to start paying this off as quickly as possible. Because the less debt that you have, the more likely it becomes that you can get a favorable mortgage from a credit union or bank.

Don't wait to begin paying off outstanding debt. If you pay off even a small portion of your outstanding debt regularly, you can move closer to getting the financing that you need to acquire a terrific house.

2. Avoid New Credit Cards

A low credit score can be worrisome, and it may cause you to consider a variety of options to manage outstanding debt. However, if your credit score is low, there is no need to take out additional credit cards.

New credit cards may seem like viable short-term options to help you cover various expenses while you pay off assorted outstanding debt. But these cards are unlikely to help you resolve the biggest problem – paying off your outstanding debt to bolster your credit score.

Instead of signing up for new credit cards, it often helps to cut back on non-essential bills. For instance, if you don't need cable, you may be able to eliminate this expense and use the money that you save to pay off outstanding debt. Or, if you have first-rate items that you don't need, you may want to sell these items and use the profits to pay off myriad bills.

3. Keep Your Credit Card Balances Low

Once you have paid off your outstanding debt, you'll want to keep your credit card balances low.

It often helps to have one credit card that you can use in emergencies. If you keep one credit card and get rid of any others, you may be better equipped than ever before to maintain a high credit score.

Lastly, if you require additional assistance as you prepare to kick off a home search, you may want to work with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you narrow your home search to residences that fall within a specific price range. That way, you can avoid the risk of spending too much to acquire a house.

Increase your credit score – use the aforementioned tips, and you can raise your credit score before you launch a home search.


Believe it or not, buying a condo can be a quick, easy process, particularly for those who understand their homebuying needs.

Ultimately, there are several factors to consider before you purchase a condo, including:

1. Your Budget

How much can you afford to spend on a condo? You should evaluate your homebuying budget closely to ensure you can cover all of the costs associated with condo living.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage usually is ideal. With a mortgage in hand, you can browse a wide range of condos and find one that matches your budget perfectly.

Furthermore, don't forget to account for homeowners' association (HOA) fees before you buy a condo. HOA fees will vary depending on the condo community, and you should learn about them in advance so you can budget accordingly.

2. Property Size and Location

How much space do you need to accommodate your family? Consider the short- and long-term ramifications of a condo purchase, and you should have no trouble finding a condo that is the right size for you.

If you're uncertain about how big of a condo that you'll need, don't hesitate to consult with a real estate agent. This housing market expert will learn about your homebuying needs and help you narrow your search for the ideal condo.

Also, be sure to consider the location of a condo. If you want to find a place to live near school or work, you should search for condos that will help you cut down on your commute time.

3. Condo Rules and Regulations

Condo living is different from living in a traditional house. In a condo community, you'll have your own property, but there may be numerous condo rules and regulations in place that you'll need to follow at all times.

For example, many condo owners cannot modify a property's exterior without first getting approval from an HOA board. This means if you want to paint your condo bright pink or upgrade the property's windows, you'll need to ask the HOA board for permission.

Examine a condo community's rules and regulations prior to purchasing a condo. This will enable you to review the HOA board's mandates and determine whether you would feel comfortable following these rules and regulations.

When it comes to finding a condo, there is no need to look for a property on your own. Conversely, if you work with a real estate agent, you can take the guesswork out of searching for a top-notch condo.

Finding a real estate agent with condo experience is essential. This real estate professional will set up condo showings, keep you informed about new condos as they become available and negotiate with property sellers on your behalf. That way, this real estate agent will make it easy for you to acquire a first-rate condo at a budget-friendly price.

Kick off your search for the perfect condo today, and you can move closer to securing a condo that will serve you well for an extended period of time.


House hunting can be time-consuming. With so many houses currently on the market and so little time to spend visiting homes, it’s important to narrow down your search as much as possible before attending a showing.

Fortunately, in today’s digital world, it’s possible to learn a great deal of important information right from your phone or computer.

In today’s post, I’m going to give you some advice on researching the homes you’re thinking about making an offer on. We’ll talk about researching the neighborhood, and--of course--the house itself.

Putting together all the stats on the home

Let’s start with, arguably, the most important thing to research: the house itself. When you want to learn about a home, the best place to look is usually the real estate listing. Since most of us discover homes through listings, odds are you’re already on this page. However, there’s a lot of information in a listing, so take the time to go through it and gleam whatever you can from the home’s description.

Next, Google the house address and click on listings from other real estate sites. Oftentimes, a house that has been sold before will have multiple listings across the internet with different data.

Once you’ve scoured the listings, head over to the county assessor’s website to look at records of the home’s ownership. This will tell you who bought and sold the home and when. There’s much you can learn from this data, especially if a home is being sold frequently. You can also use this information to contact previous owners to ask them questions about the home that the current owner might not know the answer to.

Snooping around the neighborhood

If the house is nearby, simply driving through the neighborhood can tell you a lot. You can visit the neighborhood during rush hour to see what the traffic is like, for example.

However, it isn’t always practical to take the time to visit a house that you aren’t sure you’re interested in. So, what’s the next best thing? Google Maps.

Visit the neighborhood on Google Maps to see what’s in the area. Are there a lot of closed businesses? That could be a sign of a neighborhood in decline. Check for nearby things like parks, grocery stores, and other amenities that could influence your buying decision.

Next, use Google’s “street view” feature and explore the neighborhood. You can see what kind of shape the other homes are in, and find out the condition of infrastructure like roads and sidewalks.

Note addresses of comparable homes in the neighborhood and look up their purchase prices. This will give you an idea of whether the home is being priced appropriately.

If you’re having trouble finding information on a home, such as sale records, try contacting the local assessor. They should be able to point you to a database that will help you in your search.


An informed homebuyer may be better equipped than others to enjoy a successful property buying experience. In fact, an informed homebuyer likely will understand the ins and outs of the local housing market – something that could make it simple for this individual to discover a great residence at a budget-friendly price.

Ultimately, it helps to review the local real estate market closely before you embark on the homebuying journey. Lucky for you, there are many things you can do to analyze the local real estate market and gain the homebuying insights you need to succeed.

Let's take a look at three tips to help you study the local housing sector so you can navigate the homebuying journey with poise and confidence.

1. Assess the Prices of Recently Sold Houses

Oftentimes, it is a good idea to review the prices of recently sold houses in cities or towns where you plan to search for your dream residence. If you understand how much home sellers are receiving for their residences, you can narrow your house search to properties that fall in line with your budget.

It is important to remember that city houses may be more expensive than comparable residences in small towns, too. Thus, you should budget accordingly based on where you choose to search for a home.

2. Find Out If Homes Are Selling Quickly

Take a look at how quickly homes are selling in cities and towns where you want to live. With this housing market data in hand, you can determine whether a buyer's or seller's market is in place.

In a buyer's market, there may be an abundance of available houses. Or, in a seller's market, homes may sell within days of being listed.

If you are operating in a buyer's market, you may be able to take your time to find your ideal house. Comparatively, in a seller's market, you should be prepared to act quickly to acquire your dream residence.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent can teach you everything you need to know about the housing sector. That way, a real estate agent can help you become an informed homebuyer in no time at all.

Typically, a real estate agent will learn about you and your homebuying goals. He or she next will provide insights into the housing market in your preferred cities and towns and help you hone your house search. Then, a real estate agent will help you search for your dream residence. And once you find a house you want to purchase, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase this home.

As you prepare for the homebuying journey, it may be beneficial to learn about the local real estate sector. By doing so, you can gain comprehensive housing market insights that you can use to streamline your home search. As a result, you could speed up the process of finding and purchasing your ideal house.


For those who are on the lookout for a great house, it may be beneficial to explore homes in small towns. In fact, there are many reasons to pursue a small town residence, and these include:

1. You can avoid the hustle and bustle of big city living.

Purchasing a house in the city may prove to be difficult. In many instances, competition for houses near city attractions and landmarks is fierce. Also, owning a home in the city may require you to pay high costs for taxes, parking and more.

Comparatively, small town living often provides a breath of fresh air, particularly for those who want to avoid the hustle and bustle of a big city. Small town homes are available in a variety of sizes and styles. Perhaps best of all, purchasing a small town house typically won't force you to break your budget.

2. You can live close to loved ones.

If family members and friends live in a small town, it may be beneficial to join them. And if you kick off a search for a home in the small town of your choice, you can live near loved ones.

Of course, prior to starting a small town home search, you may want to learn about the local housing market. If you possess housing market data and insights, you can tailor your property buying strategy accordingly.

3. You can find a superior house at a budget-friendly price.

Small town homes may be more affordable than their big city counterparts. Therefore, a buyer who wants to find the best value for a home may want to narrow his or her house search to properties in small towns.

When it comes to searching for a small town home, there are lots of exceptional options available across the United States. As such, determining exactly where to pursue a small town home sometimes can be challenging.

Thankfully, hiring a real estate agent is a viable option for all buyers, at all times. A real estate agent can teach a buyer about the housing market in any small town. By doing so, this housing market professional can help a buyer take the guesswork out of finding and purchasing a small town residence.

A real estate agent is happy to provide plenty of assistance at each stage of the property buying journey. He or she will set up small town home showings and keep a buyer up to date about properties that match this individual's criteria. Plus, if a buyer finds his or her ideal small town residence, a real estate agent will help this individual submit a competitive offer to purchase.

For those who want to pursue a small town residence, there is no reason to work alone. If you hire a real estate agent today, you can receive extensive support as you conduct a search for a home in the small town of your choice.




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