getting your ducks in a row
prepare to become a homeowner THIS year!
January 2015
Dear neighbor,
Happy new year!!! While the FREEZING weather makes it feel like winter's just begun and the spring is painfully far away... us real estate agents firmly believe the spring market truly begins in January (= now). The holidays are over and it's a brand new year - filled with new possibilities, resolutions, goals and (if you're like me) a whole new set of to-do lists

So, if buying a home is on YOUR personal "to-do list" for 2015, here's some tips to getting your ducks in a row before you officially start the home search. And even if you're another year or two away, it's never too soon to start getting ready. After all, becoming a homeowner is kind of a BIG DEAL. 

As always, feedback & questions welcomed. The purpose of my newsletters is to help you be as prepared as possible, so that together we can achieve your real estate goals!

Stay tuned, coming next month: Love <3 & Real Estate

Preparing to Buy a Home


#1. Get your $ in order

It's all about the money! (well not all, but it's a big part of buying a house!) First and foremost, make sure you're financially prepared. This includes SAVING. There are some great first-time home buyer programs where you can put as little as 3% down, but the more you put down, the lower your monthly mortgage payment will be. Either way, you do need a down payment. In addition, you should also plan for closing costs, which can be around 2% or of purchase price (and can sometimes be negotiated in as well). Another BIG PART of being financially prepared includes finding out where your credit stands and having your documents like recent pay-stubs and tax returns ready to go.


#2. Talk to a lender

A lender will help you understand your buying power and evaluate your current situation, as well as give tips on better positioning yourself financially if you're not quite ready, both in terms of savings and credit. They will discuss interest rates and loan programs - including first-time home buyer programs featuring low down payments and no PMI options. A lender can also give you a better understanding of what to expect for closing costs. Lastly, if you're ready to start looking, they will provide a pre-approval letter, something you'll need in hand when it comes time to write an offer. 


#3. Choose the "right" agent

Many buyers don't realize how important having the right agent is to represent you in your purchase. Their role is vast: they should advise you and guide you through the process, before, during and after a transaction. They should have experience, a proven track record, and a good reputation within the real estate community. Ask them how they communicate. How many clients are they working with at any given time? Do they have time for you and will they be consistently available? Do your due diligence when picking an agent - research them, ask around, check out their website and ask for/testimonials of past clients if they aren't readily available on the agent's website. Ultimately, you should connect with them, but also feel confident that they know their stuff. 


#4. Draft your "wish-list"

When it comes to the home search, you need to start somewhere, and brainstorming what you ultimately want in a home is a great place to start. Decide your wants vs your needs, your "nice to haves" and your absolute deal-breakers. As you get serious and start the process of viewing homes, this list will start to develop and change. You'll realize certain things you need, and maybe sacrifice others, etc. 


#5. Start "zillow-surfing"

Now, in full disclosure, as a realtor I don't love sites like Zillow or Trulia. They aren't the most reliable. But, for all intents and purposes of "window shopping" before you're ready for the real thing, it's a great way to keep an eye on the market, prices and different areas. I work with many clients who looked on these kind of websites for months or even a year or two before they purchased, and when the time came to start looking, they were pretty prepared and had a great sense of what they wanted! And when the time comes to really dig in, I'll set you up on a real-time MLS search in which you'll receive daily updates and be able to log in anytime. 


Is becoming a homeowner on YOUR to-do list for 2015?

...then email me for a complimentary copy of my first-time home buying guide or brush up on your real estate savvy by reading my recent articles below, including FAQ's answered, the home buying process, the typical timeline, assessed vs appraised value and SO MUCH MORE!

If you or anyone you know is looking to buy or sell this year, I'm happy to help! You can feel confident any referrals will receive top-notch service. Don't hesitate to call me at 508-439-3099 or email


Melanie K. Fleet
Keller Williams Realty
Melanie's #2014 in Review

Thank you to my amazing clients, I'm proud to say I achieved these accomplishments:

-Over $8 million dollars in sales volume in 2014, selling homes both in and around the city, from Boston, Newton, Burlington, out to Metro-west.
-Chosen for the 2015 ALC - Leadership Committee,
a prestigious position in which I join 9 other fellow agents in leading our office and its 150 agents.

Continued Community & Realtor Involvement: Active Member of Greater Boston, Massachusetts and National Association of REALTORS; the Greater Boston Real Estate Board; and Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council; GBAR's Professional Standards Committee; founding partner of Boston Women in Real Estate networking group; active member on Keller Williams Realty's Education & Culture Committees; Newton/Needham Chamber of Commerce and volunteer for Boston Cares.

Copyright Melanie K. Fleet 2014. All Rights Reserved.