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Do You Think You Can't Afford to Buy a Home?

Think You Can’t Afford To Buy A Home?

Many people don’t even try to buy a house because they think they can’t afford one. It is better to do house buying homework and figure out what you can afford. If you can’t buy a house at the moment, doing your homework will help you realize how much more you need to be able to purchase a home in your area. You might find you need to move to another town to afford a home. It might be the best thing for you. The possibilities are endless. Here are a few tips on how to figure out if you can afford to buy a house.

Get a Legal Pad and Folder

Don’t worry about thoughts about whether you can afford to purchase a house or not. It is important for anyone wanting to purchase a home to start collecting information now. It does not matter if circumstances change a little. Gathering information about the real estate market and finances is important for house buying. Even if someone can not buy a house right at the moment, the information gathered will help anyone know what they need to get ready to purchase a home. It is important to start a folder and a legal pad full of information. A home buyer can gather information digitally, but there are many instances that a pad of paper will be much easier to jot down important information. Questions will pop into a home buyers mind at an awkward time. The pad of paper helps at these moments. Write down all the important information a new home buyer should know.

What Should a New Home Buyer Know?

As a potential new home buyer, there are a couple of things to know. What is your credit score, and based on your current rent payments calculate how much of a mortgage you could potentially afford? There is always private mortgage insurance, insurance, taxes, the principal, and interest that makes up the total mortgage. A mortgage broker can help you figure exact costs and prequalify. As a home buyer, all these costs should be figured into what they can afford. It sometimes pays to think a little lower in payment than what the buyer expects to be able to pay. Hidden costs can pop up and take people by surprise. It is best to be completely prepared for anything. The way to be prepared is to always have a little extra money to cover surprise costs. Once you are able to purchase a home, you will then be able to sell a home and in the future possibly get a larger home. It is fine to start small.

When Someone Thinks They Can’t Afford A Mortgage

If a first time home buyer does not think they can afford a home, it is important to look at how they spend their money. If someone already pays rent, that is already most of the money that a mortgage will cost. Now, the next step is to see where are the homeowners saving money. Everyone spends money needlessly, no matter how rich or poor someone is. It is important for someone who wants to buy a house to cut out unnecessary spending. Going out to restaurants, buying alcohol in restaurants, doing activities that charge a lot of money, and spending too much on clothes, these are activities that can take your money. There are places to go for lower-income people to get help with down payments for homes if there is no money for a down payment.

If the drive is there to buy a home, then it is worth starting a folder to get on the road to home buying success. Some adjustments may need to be made to actually buy a home, but it is worth it. It is better to be investing in your own home than paying for someone else’s. 

Tips for being a successful realtor

6 Tips for Building a Successful Real Estate Agent Career

6 Essential Tips for Building a Successful Real Estate Agent Career


Becoming a successful real estate agent takes more than choosing a real estate school, passing your license exam and setting up a business. The way you approach your daily activities makes a huge difference to the path your career will take. Here are five ways to help you achieve the professional results you are looking for.


1) Invest in Client Satisfaction


It may be your sales commissions that put food on the table, but they’re only the final result of a much longer process. If you want stable earnings, your clients’ satisfaction should be your top priority every time.

The effort it takes to create and keep happy clients may not pay off immediately, but it’ll bring long-term results though greater loyalty and a constantly growing reputation.


2) Build a Strong Online Presence


It is estimated that 90 percent of homebuyers begin their house hunting by searching real estate online. Close to a quarter of these homebuyers find properties for sale of interest and contact the real estate agent the same day. If you want success, you need to be found by these buyers, and that means building a strong online presence.

Develop an attractive website that shows you’re a professional to be trusted. Make sure your full portfolio is online, and that the details are kept up to date. Spread the word of your website through online and offline advertising. Also, ask a search engine optimization expert to check over your site to see if its visibility can be boosted.

Perhaps most importantly, invest in great content for your website to elevate it above the crowd of real estate listings websites. Writing a blog filled with helpful, expert information marks you out as an agent who’s a cut above your competition. It’ll also help bring in new business by building better search engine results and  rankings.


3) Get Active on Social Media


But there’s more to online promotion than a shiny website. Make sure you are consistently active on social media. Spend time building a professional account centered around real estate and related topics like home improvement.  There are many real estate coaches that specialize in your online presence. We have found that Chis Talks is a good blog  to follow on the topic.

Don’t focus on social media marketing as a way of generating direct sales. Use it to build a reputation as a dynamic, knowledgeable real estate expert whom clients can turn to with confidence.

4) Drop Everything for Leads


When you receive a new inquiry from a seller, drop everything else and respond immediately. Most new clients will contact several real estate agents before deciding who to hire. If you make contact straight away, you’re already at a strong advantage over your rivals. Every little helps when you’re trying to land the most lucrative contracts.


5) Be Proactive and Organized


No matter how hard you work at attracting clients, you’ll have times when there’s no active work that needs your attention. Make sure you have a plan for being productive during these slower periods.

Maybe spend the time updating and improving your website. Or look for new networking opportunities to increase your contacts list within the industry. Remember, you should always be doing something proactive to build your business for the future.


6) Be Resilient


Lastly, when it comes to clients and sales, you’ll lose just as many as you win. That’s just part of the real estate game, and you need to:

  • Develop resilience in the face of professional difficulties
  • Don’t get hung up on your setbacks, but use them as learning opportunities
  • Certainly never let a failure dent your confidence – if a client senses you’re uncertain about your abilities, they’ll quickly move on.


Life as a real estate agent isn’t easy. But if you put in the hours and take the right approach, the rewards can be immense.

6 Tips To A Faster Home Sale

6 Tips To A Faster Home Sale

Faster Home Sale: 6 Tips You Need To Know

If your home is no longer large enough for your growing family or if it is no longer functional, your only option may be to upgrade to something bigger. Before you can buy a home, you may need to sell your current one. If you are like most people, you cannot afford to pay two mortgages while waiting for one home to sell. If you want to know how to sell a home quickly, you are going to need to follow a few tips.

#1 Price Your Home To Sell

The most common mistake many sellers make is pricing their home too high. When they do this, potential buyers and their agents will think that you aren’t serious about selling the home. A high price may also make them think that you won’t be willing to negotiate. In most cases, the first 30 days that your home is on the market is where you are going to get the offers. If you price your home to sell, you should be able to sell quickly, allowing you to buy quickly.

#2 Increase Your Home’s Curb Appeal

The outside of your home will be the first impression that potential buyer get. Even if the inside of the home is pristine, you won’t get as many people inside if the outside house needs a lot of work. There are a few things that you can do to increase the curb appeal. Painting the fence, painting the door, and having the lawn landscaped are great ways to increase the home’s curb appeal. If there are any issues outside the home that make it look like an eyesore, those issues should be addressed before you put the home on the market.

Winter Tips

#3 Make Minor Updates

You don’t need to completely remodel your home to sell it; however, there are minor updates you can do that you can help to impress potential buyers. First, a fresh coat of paint on the walls is always a good investment, particularly if you use neutral colors. If you have carpeting, hire a professional to come in and clean all of the carpets. If you have tiles in your home, have the grout cleaned. If you have hardwood floors, hire a professional to buff out any scratches and recoat the floors to give them a nice shine. Little touches like these are known to impress potential buyers. Best of all, you won’t need to break the bank to make these changes.

#4 De-Clutter, De-Personalize

Before you put your house on the market, you are going to need to start moving things. Large pieces of furniture or too many pieces of furniture in one room will make the rooms look smaller than they are. Removing some of the furniture will make the home look larger. You also want to remove your personal items in the home such as family photos, religious items, and anything else that is all about you and not the buyer.

When people come to look at your home, they want to envision their things in the house, not yours. Finally, the house should be clean. If you don’t have the time to do it yourself, you can hire a professional to do it for you.

#5 Remove the Evidence Of Your Pets

Pets make wonderful companions, however, they can also make it difficult for you to sell your house. If a buyer doesn’t have pets or if they have allergies, they aren’t going to want to buy a home where a dog or cat has been living. Before an open house or before a showing, do a few things around the house to get rid of the odor. You should also remove your pets from the home along with their food and water dishes, the litter box, and the crate.

#6 Hire Someone To Sell Your Home

If you want to improve your home’s sell-ability, you should hire a real estate agent. Realtors have the knowledge and experience necessary to sell your home that can ultimately put more money in your pocket. Realtors know how to take photos that will show off the best features of your home. They also know the best online sites to post your listing.

Also, a Realtor will spend their time marketing your house. This is likely time that you don’t have. They will follow up on leads, answer calls and emails about the home, hold open houses, and show the home for you. Best of all, they will give you important advice regarding pricing, staging, and updates that need to be made.

If you are planning to buy a new home and need to sell your old one first, contact a trusted, local real estate professional. Following these tips can sell your home in weeks rather than months.

back bay brownstones

Back Bay Brownstones

Back Bay Brownstones for Sale in the Greater Boston Area


Brownstones are townhomes built at the turn of the century and found in the New York City and Boston areas. These lavish and elegant properties can also be found across New England and other urban areas. Known for their reddish-brownish brick exteriors, Boston brownstones offer a combination of fine home and apartment living. These units are considered row houses – and are constructed from brownstone and other durable materials. Each brownstone townhome features shared walls and a uniform outside appearance. They are almost always multiple stories tall – but rarely go higher than four stories. Brownstones also have flat roofs – which may or may not include gardens and decks. The property line for most brownstones usually goes up as close to the street as well.


Back Bay Brownstones in Boston


Back Bay Brownstones in Boston continue to soar in popularity. In fact, these neighborhoods are some of the most desirable areas across the nation. With traditional and vintage to contemporary doors, Boston Brownstones feature unique architectural elements and highly visible windows. Nearly all Boston brownstones also have cozy fireplaces, spacious closets and ample leg and storage room. These units also offer more room than average urban apartments – and give you the feeling of actually living in a house. While a townhome in nature, brownstones are equipped with all the latest technologies as well. This includes but is not limited to:


  • Wi-Fi access and areas for large LCD- LED TVs and entertainment centers.
  • Many different flooring options – traditional wood like Elm, Oak, and Pine to vinyl, acetate and hardwood parquet floors.
  • Spacious bedrooms, living rooms, formal rooms, dens and even a central attic. Most also have basements in Northeast areas.
  • Cozy fireplaces, modern kitchens, smart appliances, and all the amenities of living in a contemporary Boston apartment or suburban home.


Back Bay Brownstones on the Market


You can find a Back Bay Brownstone for sale simply by contacting local real-estate agents. With years of extensive industry experience, these professionals can connect you with a range of available brownstones for sale in the Back Bay – and adjacent neighborhoods. Boston Brownstones are truly cosmopolitan, upscale and aesthetically-pleasing. They are also in close proximity to transportation, shopping, school and dining venues. In fact, some historic brownstones in Boston date back over 150 years!  Here are some more benefits of opting to buy a brownstone in the Back Bay area:


  • Brownstones are resilient, sturdy, and designed to last for years and generations to come.
  • Due to their strong brownstone materials – they are designed to withstand inclement weather – but upkeep is still important for exteriors and interiors. This may include yearly cleaning, power washing, etc.
  • Brownstones are not like regular apartments, condos or co-ops – in that they do not involve property associations or higher authorities you have to deal with daily.
  • Boston Back Bay Brownstones do require upkeep – but these units are in expensive, high-end neighborhoods that are affluent and well-protected.
  • Based on how new or old your brownstone is – you may need to check historic preservation rules pertaining to brownstone brick or material erosion and rooftops. This allows you to maintain your brownstones as you see fit – but in uniformity and consistency with the other brownstones your unit is connected with.

The Benefits of Investing in Brownstones


If you are looking for a new home or apartment, why not purchase a unit that has offers the benefits of both? Back Bay Brownstones are some of the most highly sought after properties in the Greater Boston area. In fact, investors from all over the country have purchased available units in the growing and luxurious Back Bay area. With a brownstone – townhome, you never have to worry about home association fees, condo fees, lawn maintenance (unless you have a garden on the roof), patio and deck maintenance (unless these structures are on the roof), etc. Similarly, you do not have to pay rent each month for Boston-area apartments, condos and other units.


Back Bay Brownstones truly offer the best in home and apartment living. From fireplaces and contemporary kitchens to spacious rooms and closets – there are so many benefits of investing in brownstones as opposed to regular homes or apartments. For more information, contact your local real estate agent today.

How To Choose The Right Real Estate Agent

the realtor and the MLS

REALTORS, The Local Boards and NAR

When I first got my real estate license, “dumb” terminals were used to access picture-less listings.  MLS books (w/ pictures) were published every two weeks, and the day the books were delivered, they were already 5 days old.  Oh, and sharing the book with the general public resulted in a fine!  So, basically, the consumer had to use an agent to find a listing or to sell a home.  Business for REALTORS was easy!!!

The Structure of NAR

Today, I know the truth about being a REALTOR. In our market, to be a member of the MLS, you must also be a member of the local board, the State Association, and NAR (or pay a much higher MLS fee) to have access to the MLS.  In neighboring markets (not the same state), the local MLS board owns the lockbox system, so in order to get a lockbox key, you need to be a member of that local board and therefore, a member of their State association, and NAR.  In the eyes of many, the local, state, and National Association provide NO services of value.  Better stated, the only service worth paying for is the local MLS.

Pay to Play

Agents don’t mind paying for services but DO NOT want to feel like they’re being taken advantage of (which many feel they are.)  Local & State Associations and NAR see it differently.  You see, it’s the MLS that funds everything else that the local Board does.  And because you MUST also be a member of the State REALTOR board and NAR, it could be said that the local MLS’s fund State and NAR.  So, if NAR is to exist, NAR needs the local MLS to flourish financially until NAR is able to morph from being a service organization into technology firm/data aggregator (RPR, AMP, UpStream, real-data.)

Who Moved the Cheese?

real estate onlineNAR’s metamorphosis is being funded by member dollars.  To NAR, members like Deridder are a necessary evil until NAR becomes a “butterfly” and no longer needs local dues.  NAR supports members like Deridder, for the time being.  Deridder doesn’t want to change the way he’s been doing business for the last 30 years.

Having exclusive access to the MLS data has “enabled” Deridder.  Deridder has become complacent and slothful.  To him, life is good so “please don’t make me learn something new!!”  Heaven forbid that he have to go out and “work” for a living!!!

That being said, what did steam engine mechanics do when the diesel locomotive was invented?  They either had to adapt or get out of the way because the industry was changing with or without them!

The Nationwide Real Estate Portals

Portals like Zillow, Trulia, Redfin,, etc. are changing the way REALTORS must do business if they are to survive.  Most brokers are not fans of Zillow and the other nation-wide real estate portals.  No longer are agents the “gatekeepers” of the MLS data. Zillow is even moving into Canada.

Real Estate data is everywhere so in order for the agent to survive, they must become and market themselves as “interpreters” of the data.  Agents need to sell their interpretation of the MLS data and not simply access to it!  Deridder does not like this because that means he needs to change the way he’s been doing business.

REALTORS like Deridder use the excuse that Zillow’s “Zestimate” is wrong or inaccurate as a reason for not wanting to place their listings on Zillow!  What a shame as the reality is that Deridder does not even know the difference between an AVM, CMA or BPO – much less what it is used for, how it works.  God help them when it comes  to explaining what an AVM really is to his Seller!

The REALTOR Code of Ethics

The REALTOR® Code of Ethics’ Article 1 requires REALTORS® “to promote and protect the interests of the client.” Even beyond the Code of Ethics, state law generally dictates that real estate agents owe a fiduciary duty to their clients, meaning: 

Real estate professionals must place their clients’ interests above their own and act in the best interests of their clients at all times.

How can anyone argue successfully that placing a home for sale on the largest real estate portal in the world would NOT be beneficial for the home seller?

difference between loan officer and mortgage broker

The Difference Between a Loan Officer and Mortgage Broker

We commonly see confusion, especially from the first time homebuyer, on the difference between a Loan Officer and a Mortgage Broker.  When looking for a new home, its critical that you have your finances set up and in place.  Having your mortgage ready to go make the hombuying process much easier.

Although both Loan Officer and Mortgage Broker both have to get their licenses from the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and both have to take NMLS Continuing Education, that is about where the similarities stop.

What is a loan officer?

According to, a loan officer’s job is to accept an application that the borrower has filled out, and then hand it off to the underwriting department.

“An independent loan originator, on the other hand, typically renders more services to the borrower, including things like advising the client about the best loans available for their specific purposes, gathering required documentation throughout the process, ordering the appraisal and communicating directly with the underwriter to ensure that the loan gets approved,” writes Forbes.

According to, a mortgage loan underwriter is tasked with carefully analyzing every bit of information the loan officer asks you to provide as part of the loan application process, as well as the collection of verification documents that you may be required to send in later to substantiate the information you’ve already provided. The underwriter will then attempt to verify two primary things in order to meet the bank’s criteria for offering you a loan: general creditworthiness and debt-to-income ratio.

What is an Undrwriter?

A large bank or credit union relies on the underwriter, or underwriting department, to handle all of the above tasks—and these departments aren’t working as representatives for the borrower. The takeaway for the consumer: Mortgage rates available at an independent loan originator, whether a broker or a small banker, will not be higher than those offered through a larger bank. In fact, in many cases, the rates may be somewhat lower, partly because independent mortgage brokers typically have more loan sources available to them compared to the big banks, which usually just have a handful of loan products to offer prospective homeowners, according to

“For instance, mathematically, paying 1% of the loan amount to reduce the rate by .25% will break even in about four years, but it seldom makes sense unless the borrower plans to use the lower rate to pay off the loan faster. As far as fees are concerned, you have to make a distinction between lender fees (underwriting, document prep, processing, etc.) and third-party fees (title, escrow, appraisal, recording, notary). Some lenders and brokers have very high lender fees, while others may have higher rates instead,” says

What is a Mortgage Broker?

mortgage brokerA mortgage broker is an independent real-estate financing professional who specializes in the origination of residential mortgage loans. Mortgage brokers normally pass the actual funding and servicing of loans on to wholesale lending sources. A mortgage broker is also an independent contractor working with, on average, as many as forty lenders at any one time, claims the website.  “By combining professional expertise with direct access to hundreds of loan products, your broker provides the most efficient way to obtain financing tailored to your specific financial goals,” according to

What top factors determine if someone gets a loan? says, the most important thing is the debt-to-income ratio (DTI), which is calculated by taking the total house payment (principal and interest, taxes, insurance and mortgage insurance, if applicable), adding all “long-term” debt payments (any that will continue for more than 10 months), and then expressing that sum as a percentage of the gross monthly income. For a conventional loan, 50% is the maximum value, but some loan programs may allow a higher DTI.

That’s why you need a mortgage broker to act as a liaison between the title and escrow company, real estate agent, lender, appraiser, credit agency, the underwriters, the processors, attorneys, condo associations and any other services which may affect your transaction. says a mortgage broker also:

  • Discusses and explains financing program options
  • Informs you, in writing, of lock-in options
  • Explains all documents of the loan application
  • Explains all associated costs of the loan application
  • Explains the disbursement of all loan applications
  • Reviews the condo documents
  • Explains the loan process, from application to closing
  • Provides you with a good faith estimate of cost and fees
  • Communicates with you throughout the loan process in a timely manner
  • Coordinates the final closing of your transaction


Some loan officers do offer credit repair consulting for a fee, according to

  “For many home buyers, this is a smart way to get the assistance they need.  Also, putting a price tag on the repair takes away some of a loan officer’s concerns about your commitment to improving your credit.  If your loan officer offers such a program, you’d be wise to consider it.”

Working on Fixing Your Credit

Sit down with your local real estate agent and loan officer (even if it costs you) for a strategy session, recommends.  Get them to make three or four specific suggestions that you can take action on over the next 6 months.  Then, go and do the tasks suggested.  Come back in six months for another session to check your status and get suggestions for the next six months.  Step by step, you’ll eventually reach your credit goal and be on your way to purchasing your new home.



get your real estate license

Changing Careers – Get Your Real Estate License

Change Your Career by Attending the Best Real Estate Schools

If you feel that your current career is unfulfilling in any way, it is time you give selling real estate a chance. Not only will you be your own boss, when it comes to income the sky is the limit. Starting a business is not easy, but the process of getting a real estate licenses is not.  That said, to get into a real estate career you have to go to real estate school so that you can get a license. There are many of these so it is important that you know the qualities of the best real estate schools.

Choose Your Real Estate School Wisely

The best real estate schools use experienced and seasoned instructors to deliver lessons. They will teach you how to get new clients, how to get listings, how to work with other REALTORS to buy and sell homes, how to maintain your own books and everything else that you need to know to get your real estate license.

The best real estate schools do more than help you get your license – they offer continuing education to ensure that their students stay current with the latest real estate selling and buying techniques. They will have a curriculum based on a wide variety of topics and it is up to you to check regularly and pick courses that you feel will be beneficial.

Tips on Passing the Real Estate Exam

Options for Getting a License

Many people do not have time to attend brick and mortar real estate schools. If that is the case, the best schools develop online courses that claim to be just as good as the live real estate classes to help get your real estate license.  You will have course material, research material, assignments and you will also have access to your instructors in case you have questions. They also provide chat rooms within these courses to facilitate discussions between students.

As you look at real estate schools make sure to compare licensing fees. This is not to say that you should go for the cheap ones, but rather that you should choose a school that you can afford that offers excellent real estate courses.

Success in Real Estate

sell your home with a license

Once you become a successful real estate agent and are earning a six figure income, you can enjoy the luxuries of life.  You can spend your time in your luxury home on the golf course, flying in your private jet or renting a charter boat to fish for yellowfin tuna.  The world is your oyster!  But first…you have to get that license!

get a real estate license

Choosing The Right Real Estate School

Getting a Real Estate License

Real estate is a career that is currently being vastly embraced by people who want to be there own boss and make a good income. A real estate career comprises of selling homes,land and in some instances commercial real estate. The first step in a career in real estate is getting your real estate license.  The first step in getting your license is choosing the right real estate school.  Some of the options when choosing the right real estate school is whether you choose online real estate classes or an in-class course.

Real Estate Schools

Most real estate schools offer pre-licensing with various educational modules. The schools offer courses that build the necessary knowledge and skills in the real estate sector to pass the state exam. Once you pass your real estate exam, you then choose a broker and start selling!
Those who hold real estate licenses are required to undergo several more hours of commission approved real estate CE. This is to ensure that real estate agents are still competent with any new rules and regulations and is required, yearly to keep your license.  After a sale they are paid in terms of commission.

Online Real Estate Classes

With the advancement in technology, most real estate schools now offer online classes for new licensees as well as continuing education.  Different people perform better under different circumstances.  Spend some time to figure out if online or live classes would be better for you.  Online real estate courses offer you the opportunity to study from where you are at any time. Online real estate courses vary in options and usability.  Some real estate schools have invested heavily in their online technology and some have very clunky systems.  However choosing a school that offers quality online classes with live classrooms that will guarantee you maximum change of passing the exam as well as properly prepare you for buying and selling of real property.  Your choice of schools should be a priority. Thorough research should be done on the schools to determine the best option for the online course to be pursued.

A Career in Real Estate

Deciding to start a career in real estate is a big decision.  With the time and money that you will invest, its critical that the school you choose provide the best real estate education possible.  The school should not only offer pre-licensing but post licensing as well as real estate continuing education.  You should have an option of live classes or online courses.  Lastly, some states do not let real estate schools reference their “pass rate”.  If your state allows, we strongly recommend comparing each schools pass rate for the passing the real estate exam.

Real Estate Exam Preperation

start your real estate career

Sign Up For Real Estate Classes Now

Center School of Online Real Estate has been reversibly working to accept new applications for getting your real estate license.

Get Your License Today!

Do you want to break into the wonderful world of real estate sales?  Are you looking to become a real estate agent?  We are now accepting applications to become a real estate agent in all 50 states!

The first step in becoming a REALTOR is to take the required classes.  We Center School of Real Estate is licensed in all 50 states to provide the pre-licensing to take your real estate test.  Once you take your real estate test, you can then take your state exam.  Once you pass your state exam, you with then have your real estate license.

Within the first 180 days of passing your real estate exam, you will need to take additional post licensing education.  If you fail to do so, you will LOOSE your license.

Online or In Class Courses Available

We are offering Online real estate courses as well as in class courses.  In class real estate courses are performed by one of our many partner real estate schools across the country.  We vet all of our partners very intensely and you are guaranteed to pass your real estate exam.

Our online courses are built on the best online adult training system available.  Our online classes are very user friendly and provide the convenience of taking your real estate course at home and in your own time.

Are you ready to get started?  Simply fill out the form below and one of our real estate instructors will contact you shortly.