Judy Moore - Barrett Sotheby's International Realty

Posted by Judy Moore on 3/18/2018

You know when you buy a home that your credit score matters, but do you see all of the numbers that matter to your financial picture when youíre buying a home? Your debt-to-income ratio is one of the most critical figures that will influence if you can get a mortgage and what type of rate you can get. 

What Is A Debt-To-Income Ratio?

This number is exactly what it states: the ratio of debt divided by your gross monthly income. Your credit report doesn't include any of this income information. This number is actually the best way to see if youíre living within your means or not. This way, your lender will know your monthly debt payments along with your monthly income.  

If your ratio of debt is high, you may not get a loan or get less desirable interest rates than if you had lower amounts of debt. Even if you have a high credit score, your debt-to-income ratio could affect these things. In reality, a higher debt ratio will make it harder for you to pay back your debt, so itís important to you. 

How Itís Calculated

You can use an online tool to help you calculate your debt-to-income ratio. You can also use a simple formula if youíre up for doing some math yourself:

Divide your monthly debt payments by your monthly gross income then multiply that number by 100. For example:

Student loans: $400

Car loan: $300

Rent: $700

Income: $4,000 

1400/4000= 0.35 x 100= 35%

Household Ratio

You should also be aware of something called your household ratio. The household is the amount of home-related expenses which includes property taxes, prospective mortgage, home insurance, and more. These costs are divided by your monthly income to get this ratio as well. Obviously, your household debt adds to your financial commitments and is also put into consideration by your lender.    

Whatís A Good Debt-To-Income Ratio?

Itís ideal that you keep your ratio less than 36%. Your household ratio should be even lower than this. Itís great to be debt free, but in the real world, thatís not always possible. Your best bet is to be responsible with your finances and work on paying your debt down as much as you can. Then, little by little all of the critical numbers that are required to get a mortgage will fall into place.  


Posted by Judy Moore on 3/11/2018

If your house is already on the market, you're probably familiar with the hectic process of getting it in presentable condition for the next showing.

Since there are so many things to remember, it can be helpful to create a "pre-showing checklist" you can refer to whenever you need it. Your reliance on the list will probably diminish over time, but it can be a good way to become more organized, focused, and efficient.

Even the simple action of writing down your priorities will make an impression on your mind and help reinforce your memory of what needs to be done prior to a showing or open house. Here are a few tips for staying on track, simplifying the process, and remembering important tasks that are all-too-easy to forget.

Stay One Step Ahead of Dust

Ideally, every room in your house should be dusted at least once a week, but that chore often tends to get postponed, overlooked, or just plain avoided! The problem with not dusting on a regular basis is that it tends to accumulate and get worse. What often occurs to home sellers is the sudden realization -- typically, just before walking out the door prior to a scheduled house showing -- that there's a thick layer of dust on your window blinds, baseboards, or book shelves.

If you're literally minutes away from a real estate agent showing up at your front door with clients, it's generally too late to do anything about the dust accumulations. However, if you've tackled those issues a day or two before they're walking up your front pathway, you can put your mind at ease that you've conquered the "grunge factor"! If you happen to have a housekeeper handling those details, it might pay to casually remind them to do an extra-thorough job on those dusty, grungy areas.

If you have kids (and even if you don't), dirt, finger prints, and hand smudges can often be found around light switches, cabinets, and door areas. While that might be the last thing you think about when preparing your home for a showing, it could be one of the first things potential buyers notice. Although perfection is an unrealistic standard to aspire to, "the devil is in the details!" In other words, it can be the small, easily overlooked details that undermine your chances for making a great impression on prospective buyers.

A Word About Mouse Traps

Whether you live in a mansion or a bungalow, nearly all homeowners occasionally have problems with mice sneaking into their basement, garage, or attic. Sometimes the little critters even find their way into your main living area (eek!). That's why it makes sense to set up a few mouse traps in areas where mice are most likely to enter. Mouse traps come in a variety of designs, some of which are better for homes with pets, children, or squeamish adults!

When it comes to preparing for a house showing, it's always a good idea to check mousetraps for "victims" that may have sprung your devices. Ideally, mousetraps shouldn't be placed in conspicuous spots, but you definitely don't want buyers to see dead mice anywhere in your house. Granted, live ones are worse, but -- in either case -- any infestation (or the perception of one) could be a deal breaker!

Posted by Judy Moore on 3/4/2018

Want to acquire the perfect home at the perfect price? You're not alone. As such, you'll likely need to allocate significant time and resources to your home search if you hope to transform your dream into a reality.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you navigate the real estate market so you can move closer to purchasing a top-notch house at a budget-friendly price.

Now, let's take a look at three tips so you can buy your ideal home at a price that matches or exceeds your expectations.

1. Establish Realistic Homebuying Goals

Although you may have lofty dreams of purchasing a deluxe house quickly, it may take some time to find a house that fulfills your needs.

Setting realistic expectations for a home search is ideal for property buyers. With realistic goals, you may be able to avoid disappointments and frustrations along the homebuying journey.

Evaluating the current real estate market often offers a great way to help you map out your homebuying plans. This will enable you to examine the prices of assorted homes, determine which houses you like and define a price range for your ideal house.

Also, it never hurts to look at the prices of recently sold houses, either. This will allow you to see how quickly residences are selling and determine whether you're about to enter a buyer's or seller's market.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

You know that you want to own a house, but how do you intend to pay for it? Ultimately, you may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage Ė something that can help you accelerate your journey from homebuyer to homeowner.

Meet with banks and credit unions to learn about all of the mortgage options that are available. Then, you can choose a mortgage that will help you avoid the temptation to overspend to acquire your ideal home.

When you consult with banks and credit unions, be sure to ask plenty of mortgage questions as well. That way, you can learn about the ins and outs of various mortgage options and select a mortgage that suits you perfectly.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a housing market expert who is happy to help you make your homeownership dreams come true.

Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you informed about new residences as they become available and offer honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations. He or she will even negotiate with property sellers on your behalf, ensuring you can get the best price on any home, in any real estate market.

With a real estate agent at your side, you can receive expert guidance throughout the homebuying journey. In addition, a real estate agent will respond to your homebuying concerns and questions, guaranteeing you can make informed decisions time and time again.

Ready to acquire your dream home at your dream price? Use these tips, and you should have no trouble purchasing a terrific house without breaking your budget.

Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Judy Moore on 2/25/2018

The bathroom can quickly become one of the most neglected rooms of the house. Sure, we need to clean it often. We certainly use it often enough! We probably never think to update the bathroom in small ways. Thereís many quick things that we can do in the room that allow us to refresh the room without a total overhaul. 

Add A New Mirror

Adding a new mirror not only will brighten the room, it could make a small bathroom appear larger. A new medicine chest with a mirror attached is also a great option that helps you to stay organized and keep medicines and other essentials hidden from plain sight. Adding lighting to a mirror is another bonus that will add some function and a new element to your room. Place a mirror strategically for a room that looks larger.    

Add Some Fresh Paint

A fresh coat of paint in a room can work wonders. You can update the color of the space and completely transform it by adding new matching shower curtains and accessories. 

Make Sure Your Cabinets Are Functional

Itís not practical to have storage in your bathroom that you canít use. If you have things stored in the bathroom, be sure that you can actually get to all of the items. If you need to install pull-out shelves or baskets for easier access, do so. If your bathroom looks nice, but isnít very easy for you to use or find anything, itís not working for you.

Update The Tile

While this sounds like quite a project, installing tile isnít too hard of a DIY. You can buy types of tile that basically are a no-brainer to install. With the right measurements, there wonít be a ton of cutting tile and filling in the cracks. The most difficult part of this project could actually be removing the old tile. 

Change The Light Fixture

Just this one simple change can actually make your bathroom look like a whole different room. Choose a light fixture that will have a dramatic effect on the room and match the desired style.

Replace The Countertop

Bathroom countertops donít get quite as much attention as kitchen countertops do. The truth is that changing the area of the bathroom countertop, along with anything else you choose to do, can really have an impact on the room. You donít need to find an expensive material. Just pick something that will go with the room and that you love. 

Refinish Cabinets

Any cabinets that you may have in your bathroom could be refinished to breathe life into the room. Itís fairly simple to refinish cabinets that arenít in tough shape. All youíll need is some sandpaper and fresh stain for the wood. If the style permits, you could even repaint your cabinets for a new appearance.

Posted by Judy Moore on 2/20/2018

This Single-Family in Lexington, MA recently sold for $728,000. This Cape style home was sold by Judy Moore - Barrett Sotheby's International Realty.

84 Bow Street, Lexington, MA 02420


Sale Price

Full/Half Baths
So much to offer! This cherished classic Cape located in a popular Harrington School neighborhood features four bedrooms, one-and-a-half baths, newly refurbished hardwood floors, freshly painted interior rooms and ceilings, flexible floor plan with first floor bedroom/den, eat-in kitchen with cherry cabinets and gas cooking, formal living and dining rooms, security system, and a one-car garage. Additional recent updates include new 200 AMP electrical panel, new roof, newer garage door and electric door opener, gas stove with convection oven. The heated lower level offers a nice bonus area that could be finished for added living space and includes a cedar closet, storage and a shower. Enjoy the private backyard with covered patio and a wonderful location near the bike path, Great Meadows, restaurants, shops and public transportation. Welcome home!

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Categories: Sold Homes