Karen Scopetski - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage-Vice President, MA real estate single family


If you’ve been considering taking the next step toward homeownership, you’ve likely heard about FHA loans. Offered by the Federal Housing Administration (hence, “FHA”), these loans are great for a number of people hoping to purchase a home but who don’t have a large down payment saved.

There are many misconceptions about FHA loans since they’re often advertised by large, private mortgage lenders but are technically a government program. In order to clear up some of the confusion, we’ve provided answers to some frequently asked questions regarding FHA loans.

Read on to learn about FHA loans and how they might help you purchase a home.

Who issues an FHA loan?

FHA loans aren’t issued by the government. Rather, they’re issued by private lenders but insured, or “guaranteed,” by the government.

Since lenders want to make sure they’ll see a positive return from lending to you, they typically want you to have a high credit score and a large down payment (typically 20%). However, not everyone is able to meet those requirements. In this situation, the FHA is able to help you acquire a loan by giving your lender a guarantee.

Are there different types of FHA loans?

Yes. In fact, there are nine distinct types of loans guaranteed by the FHA. These include fixed rate mortgages, adjustable rate mortgages, refinance loans, reverse mortgages, VA loans, and more.

What do you need to qualify for an FHA loan?

It’s a common misconception that you need to be a first-time buyer to qualify for an FHA loan. However, if you have previously owned a home that was foreclosed on or if you’ve filed for bankruptcy, the foreclosure and bankruptcy have to be at least three years old.

You’ll also need to demonstrate a stable employment history, usually including two years of employment with the same employer.

Finally, the FHA will ask you for your current and previous addresses, the last two years tax returns, and the W-2 forms from any of your recent jobs.

What is the most I can borrow with an FHA loan?

The FHA sets mortgage limits on loans depending on the state and county you’ll be living in. For a single-family home, the limit ranges from $275,000 to $451,000. So be sure to check the limits for your state and county.

Can you refinance an FHA loan?

Refinancing a loan is a great way to receive a lower interest rate or to shorten the term of their mortgage to save in the total number of interest payments. In fact, the FHA typically only allows refinancing when it will result in lower interest payments on a loan.

What is the minimum credit score needed to qualify for an FHA loan?

While you don’t need excellent credit to qualify for a loan, the FHA will require you to have a score of at least a 580. You can check your score for free online from a number of companies, such as Mint or Credit Karma. Be aware, however, that scores vary between credit bureaus. So, it’s a good idea to check your FICO score once per year, which is the score used by mortgage lenders.




Image by Autri Taheri from Unsplash

Keeping dogs well-groomed is an important part of helping them stay healthy and happy. The amount of grooming your dogs need depends on certain factors, such as the kind of coat they have or whether or not they tend to roll around in dirt or mud. The following grooming tips can help you keep your pups looking and feeling their best.

Brush Your Dogs Regularly

Dogs can end up with tangles or matted fur when it’s not brushed often enough. Brushing also helps distribute oils through their coat, which keeps their fur looking shiny rather than dull. Plan on brushing your dogs every couple of days or more often if they’re shedding. The kind of brush to use depends on their coat:

  • Long coats: For dogs with longer fur, a slicker brush can get rid of mats, and an undercoat rake can eliminate dead hair near the skin. 
  • Short coats: For dogs with short fur, pinhead or slicker brushes remove mats, and bristle brushes remove dirt and dead hair. 
  • Rough coats: For dogs with rougher or wiry coats, slicker brushes eliminate mats, while stripping combs help prevent tangles from forming.
  • Smooth coats: For dogs with smoother coats, rubber brushes pull dirt and debris up from the skin, and bristle brushes help remove it. 

Give an Occasional Bath

Dogs don’t need baths as often as people do. In fact, bathing them too often can dry their skin and remove natural oils that keep their coat shiny. You can bathe your dogs every few months or whenever they’re muddy or dirty after playing outside. You should use a shampoo made for dogs, since shampoos for people are too rough on their skin. Before bathing, brush your dogs to remove dead hair and mats. 

Keep Nails Trimmed

Long nails make it harder and more uncomfortable for dogs to walk around. They can also get caught on rugs or furniture and tear off. Dog nails should be trimmed when they’re long enough to reach the floor while they walk around. You can use scissors style or guillotine style trimmers, depending on how thick the nails are. Scissors style trimmers tend to work better on thick nails and dewclaws, while guillotine style trimmers work better on thinner nails. 

For light nails, stop trimming before reaching the pink area, known as the quick. For dark nails, stop trimming when you see a pinkish or grayish color inside the nail. Keep a styptic pencil with you in case you do cut into the quick accidentally and bleeding occurs. This pencil, which contains silver nitrate, helps stop bleeding form occurring. 



291 West St, Northborough, MA 01532

Single-Family

$824,900
Price

12
Rooms
4
Beds
2/1
Full/Half Baths
Charm, elegance & style describe this exceptional custom built Tony Abu Colonial located on desirable West St! The first floor offers a gracious foyer, study with beautiful built ins, large formal living room, formal dining room w/chair rail & tray ceiling, attractive cabinet packed kitchen w/sky-lit dining area. Spacious vaulted ceiling family room with new carpet, fireplace & skylights. Mudroom, half bath & walk-in closet complete the 1st floor. 2n floor boasts master suite, huge walk in closet. Sky-lit master bath w/jacuzzi tub, double vanity, granite & separate shower. 3 additional nice sized bedrooms freshly painted , laundry room & renovated full bath. Fully finished lower level w/daylight full size windows includes, playroom, exercise room & media room. Upgrades include, hrdwds refinished, furnace, A/C, new exterior & interior paint. This impeccable home offers gorgeous 1 + acre lot, private setting, your own get-away while still close to major routes & Northboro amenities!
Open House
No scheduled Open Houses

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If you’d like to increase the value of your home by a slight amount before you even think of putting it on the market, you may be hesitant to make any kind of an investment. There are numerous upgrades that you can make to your home for under one thousand dollars. In the long run, these upgrades could help to save you some serious money. 


Put In A Programmable Thermostat


The majority of energy usage in your home is consumed by your heating and cooling systems. Using a programmable thermostat can help to keep the temperature inside your home stable throughout the day. Your heating and cooling system won’t need to continually start and restart to create a stable temperature in the home. This could be a great assistance in long-term energy and utility bill savings.


Get A New Toilet


If you want to impress buyers, put a new stylish looking toilet in your home. Upgrading your toilet can also bring your energy costs down. It will use less water with each flush and save you on your water bill.


Re-tile The Bathroom


Tiling a room yourself can be fairly inexpensive. It can also help you to breathe new life into the bathroom. Your tub will look brand new. Buyers will leave thinking that you have done an entire remodel of the bathroom. All you really need to do is replace some tile and grout. It’s a DIY project that can truly pay off with big dividends.


Re-tile Your Floors


Just like the bathroom, putting in a new kitchen tile or floor can really bring back some life into the room. Tile helps to rejuvenate the space by getting rid of dirty, tired flooring and backsplashes. 


If you need professional installation for any of these projects, you can splurge on it a bit. It does take some know how to understand the proper installation floor and backsplash tiles. Replacing the floors and tiles gives your home a new, clean look that will be an attractive upgrade to your home. 


Put Up New Window Fixtures


Replacing your blinds can really add something to each room of the house. Blinds can collect a lot of dust and dirt over time. While you may wash and clean them, sometimes, the dirt gets to a point where it’s completely stuck on. If you want to really make your buyers “wow,” try wood blinds. Most home improvement stores have a wide array of options for window blinds that allow you to customize both the size and style of your blinds.


Any upgrades that you can make to your home are an improvement for you while you’re living in it. These changes also allow you to get a bit more of a return on your property once you’re ready to sell.



80 Angell Brook Dr, West Boylston, MA 01583

Condo

$339,900
Price

5
Rooms
2
Beds
2
Baths
Spacious one level living at Angell Brook Village nestled on secluded 34 acre wooded site.! This unit has an Open Concept layout, Cathedral Ceilings in the sky-lit Living Room with hardwood flooring, gas fireplace and access from the Atrium door to the Three Season enclosed Porch - a great space to relax! Large cabinet packed Eat-in Kitchen, Tiled back-splash, Stainless appliances and a good sized kitchen Island to gather around. Large Master Suite w/hardwoods flooring, walk-in closet and Master Bath with Double vanity & new ceramic tiled shower. Second Bedroom or den with hardwood flooring and full bath for when guests visit. Separate laundry area and lots of storage in basement which has great potential for finishing! Pets allowed with size restrictions. One car attached garage with storage. Convenient to many major routs, easy access to Worcester, Shrewsbury, shopping, restaurants and more!
Open House
No scheduled Open Houses






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