Cheryl Phelan - Plymouth MA Real Estate, Kingston MA Real Estate, Duxbury MA Real Estate


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In your search for a home, there’s one option you may not be considering: others may also be looking for the same thing—and they’re willing to share the responsibility. However, there are a few things to remember before buying a house with someone else.

Here are a few housekeeping topics to remember when buying a home with someone else.

The Title and Deed

When you buy a house, you get a title. With co-ownership, it explains who owns the property, agreements to property ownership, whose name is placed in the public records under the title and negotiations. The title, while a document, is also more conceptual than a deed.

While the deed does much of the same, it is the physical embodiment of ownership over the property. Understanding the differences between the two is important and something your agent can assist you with.

When Sharing A Property With A Non-Spouse

When you’re sharing the property with a non-spouse, you have a few options. These include:

Tenant In Common

With this option, there’s no need for a 50/50 split. Buyers are allowed to own unequal interests in the property. If one of the co-owners were to pass away, their ownership would transfer to one of their beneficiaries.

Joint Tenants With Right Of Survivorship

Co-buyers own equal interests in the property as a 50/50 split. If you bought a home with two other people, you’d each have one-third interest in the home, and so on. If one tenant passes away, the remaining owners gain the deceased owner’s percentage of interest in the property. There’s no need for a court proceeding or probate, this happens automatically.

Both co-ownership options allow for an undivided interest in a property. All owners are co-owners as a part of the entire piece of property. If one owner wants to sell, for example, they would sell their tenancy or partial interest in the property.   

Create a Checklist

When you purchase a property with another person, you’ll want to ensure your agreement is iron clad—keeping strain off of the relationship can also make for a more co-habitable experience. Make sure both or all parties agree to terms by doing the following:

  • Create a co-ownership agreement

  • Clarify who owns what percentage

  • Decide who pays the ongoing expenses

  • Give options if any owners want out in the future

Bringing in a qualified attorney is a great way to craft a concise agreement. Sit down with all of the potential owners and go over the agreements. Once terms are reached, ensure everyone has a copy of the legal agreements and contracts.

While sharing a property purchase can reduce your debt, it’s important to make complete agreements and understand whether the decision makes sense for all parties involved. If it does, it’s a very viable way to split home buying costs and move in to your own space.


If you're on the lookout for your dream house, it pays to operate as a competitive homebuyer. And if you find your ideal residence, you should not hesitate to submit a competitive offer to purchase this house.

Ultimately, there are many reasons why you should submit a competitive offer to acquire your dream house, and these include:

1. You risk alienating a seller.

Dozens of homes are available in cities and towns across the United States, yet an individual's dream house may only be available for a limited time. Therefore, when it comes to submitting an offer to acquire your dream house, it usually is a good idea to put your best foot forward. Because if you submit a "lowball" homebuying proposal, you risk receiving an instant "No" from a seller.

Although you likely want to avoid breaking your budget to purchase your ideal residence, you also should strive to avoid a lowball offer. Fortunately, an informed homebuyer can learn about the local real estate market and use this information to assess the prices of houses in a particular area. And with comprehensive housing market data in hand, this homebuyer can submit an offer to purchase that may match or exceed a seller's expectations.

2. You may lose your dream house to a rival buyer.

Once you discover your dream house, you should submit a competitive offer on it right away. If you wait too long to provide a competitive homebuying proposal, you risk losing your ideal residence to a rival buyer.

Remember, the housing market is fierce, and the top residences typically will sell quickly. But if you submit a competitive offer, you can reduce the likelihood that you'll squander the opportunity to acquire your dream house.

3. You may wind up having to spend more to acquire an alternative house.

The real estate market fluctuates constantly, and failure to submit a competitive offer on a house today may prove to be a costly mistake. In fact, if a buyer's market transforms into a seller's market, you may be forced to pay more to purchase your ideal home in the foreseeable future.

For those who are uncertain about what differentiates a competitive offer to purchase from an ordinary homebuying proposal, there is no need to stress. If you hire a real estate agent, you can get the help you need to submit a competitive homebuying proposal any time you choose.

Generally, a real estate agent will serve as an expert guide throughout the homebuying journey. This housing market professional will teach you about the real estate sector and help you narrow your home search. Then, when you discover your dream house, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive offer to purchase. He or she will even negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf to ensure you can get the best price on your dream residence.

Ready to simplify the process of buying a house? Collaborate with a real estate agent today, and you can receive extensive support at each stage of the homebuying journey.


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When you purchase real estate, you must put down a good faith deposit. Several factors determine how much you will need to put down, but it could be as little as $100. In order to have a valid contract, the contract must have “consideration,” or something of value exchanged for the contract. The good faith money also shows a seller that you are serious about purchasing the property.

Who Holds the Good Faith Money?

You usually give the good faith money to your real estate agent. The agent puts the money into an escrow account. If you are buying a newly built home, you might give the good faith money to the builder. However, if you are working with a real estate agent to buy a newly built home, in most cases, it’s better to give the deposit to the real estate agent.

Is Good Faith Money Refundable?

In most cases, your good faith money is not refundable. This ensures that you are serious about buying the property and not just “tire kicking.” However, a real estate purchase contract has several exceptions. In addition to the exceptions that might be in the contract, you can add your own as long as the seller agrees. The most common exceptions are your ability to get financing and that the seller did not misrepresent the condition of the home. As long as you can meet an exception, your money is refundable.

How Much Is a Good Faith Deposit?

Most sellers like to see at least $1,000 down. However, a seller might require a percentage of the selling price. Whichever amount the seller wants, it must be stated in the purchase agreement. If you want to change the amount of the good faith money, the seller has to agree to it or you won’t have a contract.

What Happens to My Good Faith Deposit?

Once you close, the real estate agent forwards the money to the seller as part of your down payment. The amount is shown on your closing documents and is subtracted from the final agreed-upon selling price of the home. For example, you buy a house that is $250,000 and you put down $5,000 as good faith money. Your lender requires 20 percent down, so you give the lender $50,000 at closing. Your documents will show that you paid a total of $55,000, so your loan will be $195,000 plus closing costs.

The closing costs could be subtracted from your down payment, the good faith deposit or added back into the loan, depending on what you and your lender agree to. Regardless, the amount of your down payment is $55,000, even if some of it is used for closing costs.

If you have any questions about how your real estate agent handles your good faith deposit, be sure to ask. You should always ask about exceptions to ensure you can get your money back if the loan does not go through or if the house was misrepresented by the seller and/or their agent.


Let's face it – selling your home has been a long, complex and stressful journey. Now, you're only 24 hours from finalizing the sale of your house and moving on to the next chapter of your life.

Although most of the home selling process is complete, a homebuyer still needs to finalize the home purchase agreement. As such, there are several things that you may want to do before a homebuyer completes his or her final walk-through of your residence, including:

1. Clean Your Home's Interior

A messy interior is unlikely to ruin your home sale. At the same time, it is always better to err on the side of caution and provide a homebuyer with a fresh, clean residence that he or she will be able to enjoy instantly.

Spend some time mopping the floors, wiping down the walls and ceilings and ensuring your house's interior looks pristine. By doing so, you can minimize the risk that a homebuyer will find last-minute problems that could delay his or her home purchase.

2. Remove Your Belongings

If you have any belongings still at your residence, you'll need to remove them quickly.

When it comes to last-minute moving, you may need to rent a moving truck. With a moving truck at your disposal, you can remove items from your property and put them in storage or move them to your new address.

Also, don't hesitate to ask family members and friends for assistance. These loved ones may be able to provide a helping hand as you prepare to relocate from your current residence. Plus, they may be able to help you alleviate stress as you wrap up the home selling cycle.

3. Cancel Any Home Services

Contact your home cable, internet and telephone service providers to inform them about your upcoming move. You may be able to move various services to your new address, or you may need to cancel some of these services entirely.

Don't forget to contact any utilities providers as well. That way, you can avoid the risk of utility bills after you leave your current address.

4. Consult with Your Real Estate Agent

Your real estate agent has been a game-changer throughout the home selling cycle. As the home selling process draws to a conclusion, your real estate will continue to do what he or she can to ensure you can get the best results possible.

If you're uncertain about what to do to get ready for a home closing, be sure to give your real estate agent a call. This housing market professional will provide details about how the home closing process will work so that you can plan accordingly.

Moreover, your real estate agent is happy to respond to any home selling concerns, at any time. He or she will go the extra mile to provide you with the home selling support you need.

Get ready to finalize a home sale – use the aforementioned tips, and you'll be able to prepare for a home closing.


Let's face it – buying a home in a hot housing market is no easy task. For example, if you wait too long to submit an offer on a house, you risk losing this residence to a rival buyer. On the other hand, if you rush to submit a home offer at or above a seller's initial asking price, you risk spending too much to acquire your dream residence.

Clearly, there's a lot to think about as you search for a home in a hot housing market. Lucky for you, we're here to help you overcome myriad homebuying hurdles and acquire your dream residence, even in a hot housing market.

Let's take a look at three tips to help you succeed as a homebuyer in a hot housing market.

1. Narrow Your Home Search

You know that you want to live in a specific city or town, but you still are uncertain about what type of house that you want to purchase. However, if you create a list of home must-haves and wants, you can narrow your house search and speed up the homebuying process.

Once you have a homebuying checklist in hand, you should have no trouble evaluating residences in a hot housing market. Then, you can check out these houses in person and move one step closer to submitting an offer to purchase your dream house.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

To acquire a home in a hot housing market, you'll likely need a mortgage. Thankfully, lenders are available that can teach you everything you need to know about a wide range of mortgage options.

Lenders can explain the differences between adjustable- and fixed-rate mortgages, describe exactly how a mortgage works and much more. That way, you can assess many mortgage options and select one that matches your finances.

After you obtain a mortgage, you can enter a hot housing market with a homebuying budget. This will enable you to further accelerate your home search and ensure you can quickly submit an offer as soon as you discover your ideal residence.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Navigating a hot housing market sometimes can be tricky, particularly for a homebuyer who is competing against dozens of rivals. But if you hire a real estate agent, you can receive comprehensive support as you pursue a home in a hot housing market.

A real estate agent is ready to assist you in any way possible. This housing market professional will offer insights into the real estate conditions in a particular city or town and help you map out your homebuying journey accordingly.

In addition, a real estate agent understands exactly what it takes to buy a residence in a hot housing market. He or she will help you put together a competitive offer on any home, at any time. And if your offer is rejected, a real estate agent will help you regroup and reenter a hot housing market so you can find your dream home.

Ready to buy a home in a hot housing market? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can accomplish your homebuying goals faster than ever before.