Julianne Krutka
Park Square Realty | 413-297-6718 | julianne.krutka@gmail.com


Posted by Julianne Krutka on 5/25/2017

Buying a home will be the biggest purchase of your entire life. Itís not a decision that anyone should or will take lightly. You want to buy a house that you can live in. Sometimes, itís even best to think of your home purchase from the perspective of others. Ask yourself, ďWould other people want to live here?Ē When it comes to your home, the financial buzzword is ďequity.Ē As the buyer, you want to be able to build some equity into your home so that if you should choose to sell it, youíll make a profit. Whether your home is only meant to live in for a few years until your family outgrows it, or you think itís going to be a forever home, life happens and you donít want to be stuck with a home that you must take a loss on. Keep these aspects of the home in mind when you are ready to buy: Size Most people search for 3 to 4 bedroom homes. Whether they are married and want to have children or just need extra space for another baby that is on the way, families typically look for places where they have room to grow. The number of bathrooms in a home is also key. Families donít want to share one bathroom among 4-5 people. These factors are even more important than the actual space available in the home by square footage. On the flip side, you donít want your home to be too big either. Larger homes arenít as energy efficient and can cost more to maintain. Know that there is a ďsweet spotĒ for your square footage. Usually this is somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 square feet of living space. Room To Expand Look at the home to see if there is room to expand. Perhaps you need another bathroom, but thereís some space to construct an additional half bath. This factor of expansion is key when it comes to a home or property. Look Past The Appearance Things like paint colors, floors, carpets and other aesthetics arenít as important as the big things when it comes to buying a home. You can easily change these without much cost or effort on your part. While everyone loves a move-in-ready home, donít let a little paint separate you from a home that you love! Curb Appeal Helps While itís easy to fix some things like the color of a home or the shrubs, find your vision to give the home youíre about to purchase some curb appeal. If you can see past the imperfections and make your home your own from the outside in, your home will be attractive. Thereís plenty of things you can add and fix from doors to landscaping to paint to a new mailbox. All of these can give your home some serious curb appeal. Sound Structure If the structure of the home is not in good condition, youíll face many problems down the road. You want to avoid costly repairs by ensuring that you buy a home without serious structural damage or wear. The most important part of a homeís structure is that of the foundation. If a home has a cracked foundation, itís going to cause some problems. Be sure that you hire a reputable inspector and attend the inspection so you know exactly whatís going on with the home you are about to purchase. You can prepare yourself for any problems or issues this way, and make a decision from there. A home that has a good structure to start will undoubtedly continue to help you build equity in your purchase.





Posted by Julianne Krutka on 4/6/2017

Buying a vacation home is something that many dream of, but for some itís not just a dream. And itís certainly not something that is only for the rich and the famous. Maybe you have been saving for one your whole life, got a large bonus at work that you want to use as a down payment, or are just going out on a limb; there are several things to consider before taking the plunge and buying a vacation home. Cost: First and foremost, what kind of financial position are you in? Are you able to put down 20% and if not will you be able to afford the potential higher interest rate that goes along with less money done? If you are planning to buy farther away, can you afford the airfare cost for as often as youíd like to spend there? Can you afford the inevitable maintenance that will be necessary? You certainly do not have to be a millionaire to purchase a vacation home, but itís important to know what you can afford and cannot afford. Location: Do you want to buy a vacation home that is within a couple of hours from your home? Or would you rather buy one a plane ride away that may be in a location thatís warm year round? Or do you want to buy a home in another country? This is certainly something that should be determined before beginning your search. Condo vs. Single-Family: Do you want the privacy of a single-family home or do you want the amenities that come along with living in a condo? There is a level of privacy that comes with owning a single-family home versus a condo, as well as there are condo fees to consider. This decision may not matter much to you, but itís important that everyone involved agrees on the type of home they would like to buy. Rent It: Do you plan on renting out your vacation home when you are not there? Are you looking at homes in locations where renting is possible? Can you afford the home if you do not rent it out? If you canít afford the home without renting, how often do you need to rent to be able to afford it? Do you want the hassle of renting it? Itís important to consider this possibility even before you begin your house hunt. Buying a vacation home is extremely exciting, but itís a large investment. It should be well thought out and planned out. But, once you have those details worked outó go out and buy the vacation home of your dreams!





Posted by Julianne Krutka on 3/2/2017

Buying a house is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your life, both financially and otherwise. Just like retirement funds, buying a home and paying off your mortgage can be a significant long term investment.

It will take time to prepare for buying a home. Youíll need to build credit, save for a downpayment, and find a degree of financial stability to ensure you can pay your mortgage each month.

This article is catered towards homebuyers who have already met those prerequisites and are ready to jump in and start hunting for houses. For those of you curious about exactly how long it will take from the time you view your first house until you close the deal on your new home, read on.

Home buying by the numbers

On average, buyers can spend 30-60 days looking at homes and anywhere between 15 and 60 days longer to close on a home. Of course, these numbers depend on a lot of things such as how eager you are to buy, how  effectively youíre able to work with agents and sellers, and on just sheer luck.

How can I speed up the process?

Preparation is the number one thing to focus on when it comes to buying a home. First, double check your finances. This means taking time to run a credit report and challenging any errors that may be lowering your credit.

Next, take time to sit down and discuss with your family (if applicable) your moving goals. Are you trying to move closer to someoneís place of business or to a particular school district? Having these discussions will make it easier to eliminate houses and to narrow your search, saving you time in the long run.

Before you start looking at homes, itís a good idea to being the process of getting preapproved for a loan. This can take weeks, so you want to get this step done early to know where you stand when it comes time to start house hunting.

Next youíll want to meet with a real estate agent who has extensive knowledge of your area. Theyíll send you listings that meet your criteria, stylistically and financially.

The offer and closing

Now that youíve found the right home, youíll have to enter the next part of the process: making an offer and closing. This step isnít entirely within your control. Some sellers will delay in accepting, others will reject, and others will give a counter offer. The best way to save time on this step is to give a reasonable offer from the start, showing the seller that you are serious and worth negotiating with.

Once your offer has been accepted, your work is still far from over. There will be a lot of paperwork to fill out, but youíll also have to schedule a home inspection to ensure there are no problems with the home that you havenít already been made aware of.

Once all of these steps are complete, you will have purchased a new home.





Posted by Julianne Krutka on 2/16/2017

If youíre buying a home, most likely, youíll want to have a real estate attorney. The attorney will serve a couple of different purposes, namely, to protect you in the purchase of a home.


Real estate attorneys provide legal advice related to the purchase of a home. An attorneyís duties include:


  • Reviewing and revising the purchase and sale agreement (referred to as the P&S)
  • Negotiating the P&S with the sellerís attorney
  • Adding riders to protect your interests
  • Ensuring you meet contingency dates
  • Helping the buyer to understand zoning laws
  • Helping the buyer to understand ownership interests


If thereís a dispute during the sales process, youíll be quite happy to have an attorney on your side. The attorney can provide advice based on your legal rights and legal obligations under any contracts that you have signed. 


The bottom line is that your attorney will have your best interests in mind. In everything from ownership issues to disputes and how they will impact your ownership in the property, your attorney will be there to give you the most pertinent advice. There are numerous situations that can come up when it comes to buying a home. Itís impossible to anticipate them all. You donít want to end up owning problems that you didnít create, or were unaware of.

Coordinating With Other Attorneys


As a buyer, your attorney will coordinate with other attorneys involved in the sales process. This includes the sellerís attorney and the attorney that will be responsible for the closing on the sale of the home. Your attorney will make sure that all other parties have followed through to resolve any issues that may arise in a timely manner. Your attorney can actually become the closing attorney under certain circumstances, but they will at least be present at the closing.  


The Closing Attorney


The closing attorney is the one who is responsible for many different tasks before and during the closing on the sale of the home. These tasks include:

  • Searching the title
  • Resolving title issues
  • Issuing the title insurance
  • Obtaining the payoff amounts for any outstanding mortgages or leins
  • Ensuring taxes and any other city or town related bills have been paid
  • Preparing closing fees on the settlement statement
  • Explaining documents that will be signed at closing by both the buyer and the seller

Buyers in different states have different rights as to who they can choose as their closing attorney. In a technical sense, the closing attorney represents the lender. Itís a good idea to have your own buyerís representation at closing. 

Attorneys have a duty to keep their clientsĎ information confidential and also to keep their best interests in mind. If an attorney is representing both the buyer and the lender, you will most likely receive a form of written consent, notifying you of this matter.

Thereís a lot going on legally during the purchases of a home, so be sure you get recommendations and find the right attorney who will represent you as a buyer.




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Posted by Julianne Krutka on 12/1/2016

When youíre shopping for a home, thereís so much to consider. Between the questions of what neighborhood you should live in and what style house you like, you need to think of the most important thing: finances. When you think that youíre financially ready to buy a home, you often will get the notion that itís a good time to just start shopping. Thereís several steps that you must take first before you start shopping for a home. One of the first steps you should consider taking before you make the leap into home ownership is to get preapproved. While buyers still tend to skip the preapproval process, doing this can help you immensely throughout the home buying process. While it may seem an insignificant and kind of boring step, getting preapproved is important for your finances. It may even help you to land in a home that you love faster. Itís actually detrimental to make an offer without a preapproval, because some lenders wonít accept an offer without one. Many realtors verify and require that offers come along with the stamp of preapproval. What Does Getting Preapproved Involve? You may have heard of a prequalification. This is much different from being preapproved. Prequalification involves buyer provided information, just to get a sense of how much they can spend on a home. Preapproval involves credit scores, bank statements, tax returns and more. This process states exactly how much lenders will be willing to give to the borrower. All of the documents needed for preapproval are the same exact documents needed for a mortgage. This helps you as the borrower prepare ahead of time as well. These are some of the kinds of documents that youíll need for preapproval: Pay stubs W-2s from the previous year Federal tax returns from the past two years Two Months of Bank Statements from all of your accounts A credit report While a preapproval is only one step in the long process of buying a home, it speeds up the later steps of securing a mortgage. The process also helps buyers face their financial reality. Donít put off the important process because you fear that you wonít be approved for the amount that you need. Itís also common for buyers to assume that because someone they know has been approved for a certain amount of money that they will be able to get that same loan amount as well. This isnít always the case and another great reason to get preapproved. Errors On Credit Reports Often, there are errors on credit reports. Thatís why you need to check them often. If you have some errors on your credit report, getting preapproved is a great way to check if there are any errors and give you time to fix them before you apply for a mortgage.




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