Buying a Home

How Can I Make My Offer More Competitive - The Buying Power Checklist

How can I Make My Offer More Competitive? This is something that we hear often from home buyers who are looking to get a competitive edge when it comes to buying a home.

The Buyer Power Checklist empowers home buyers who are looking for an advantage when it comes to getting their offer accepted to buy a home. It is especially helpful to first time home buyers who have never gone through the process before.

The Buyer Power Checklist breaks down an offers buying power into three different categories. A buyer's offer will either be in the 'Low', 'Average' or 'High' Buying Power category.

Offering Seller Free Occupancy (A Seller Rent Back)

How can I Make My Offer More Competitive? Offering the seller free occupancy through a rent back is a great option for home buyers who have a little flexibility as to when they need to be in the house. A home buyer who is renting a home before has a distinct advantage on offering this competitive advantage.

A buyer should always ask a seller what their preferred closing date is. An idea is to offer them to close a couple days before they intend to close on their next house and rent them the house back at $1 for a short period of time.

How does it help? Well it makes the process a little less stressful for a seller. By closing a couple days before it guarantees that everything will stick to their timeline and that their closing will be seamless.

If you are financing, the agreement with the bank...

The difference between a Pre-Qualification, Pre-Approval & Pre-Commitment

What's the difference between a Pre-Qualification, Pre-Approval and Pre-Commitment when it comes to buying a house?

What are the advantages/disadvantages of each?

How can my offer compete with a cash offer?

These are the questions that Jason & Jeff tackle today as they talk about the differences between each of these three types of pre-financing options. They also discuss how each of these will affect your competitiveness when it comes to buying a house. 

Transcript of Video:

- Hi, I'm Jeff Chubb with the REN Network and my team the Chubb Realty Group, we're brokered by EXP Realty. And today we're with Jason Bonarrigo of RMS Mortgage to talk about the different levels of pre-qualification, pre-approval, or pre-commitment. So Jason, take us away. What's the difference between the three?

- The loaded question.

- Yeah.

- So, I mean.

- 'Cause everybody says pre-approval,

- Pre-approval well that's,

- I'm pre-approved.

- That's what you need. You need a pre-approval and the difference is a pre-qualification is essentially, I'm showing my age here a little bit, but that's kind of old school. It's what we did in the beginning before the credit market really started contracting, over the past five to 10 years. Pre-qual was like, hey I'm just calling about this house. What's your rate? What's your name? Maybe verify a credit score or something, but we wouldn't collect any documents or anything. So, essentially everyone including yourself and realtors determined that essentially that wasn't really worth the paper it's written on, especially in a competitive market, right? So, essentially that's just all let's just call...

The Importance of Getting Pre-Approved

Getting a pre-approval is one of the most important steps when it comes to buying a home... And it should be one of the first steps! Getting a pre-approval is not difficult and can take as little as 10 to 12 minutes.

On this video, Jeff & Jason tackle why a Pre-Approval is so important, especially in today's market! Home buyers today often times need a pre-approval in order to just view a property! Let alone needing one to put in an offer and being competitive in today's market.

Transcript of Video:

- Hi, I'm Jeff Chubb with REN network and the CHUBB Realty group, which is brokered by XP Realty. And today we're with Jason Bonarrigo of RMS mortgage. And today we're gonna talk about why is it so darn important in order to get pre-approved. Jason?

- Well, it's everything right now. It's really tough competitive market. I mean, if you don't have a certified pre-approval letter most realtors aren't gonna talk to you, A. And B, you're just gonna be behind the eight ball. I mean, it's such a competitive market. I mean, I had one last week where there was 11, I think 11 to 12 offers on this house.

- We have three. Last week that were that way.

- Did you really?

- Yeah.

- I mean, it's crazy. You just have to be. And again, any good realtor where it's not going to waste their time because they know you're not serious or you haven't got serious yet. So, when they push it and say you gotta talk to your lender or they refer someone they're doing it for your best interest. So you're in the most competitive place to buy a home.

- And, you know, one of the effects, the long lasting effects of COVID is that people have kind of woken up to the aspect, well I don't necessarily want unqualified buyers in the...

Simplicity of the Pre-Approval

The pre-approval process can be simple. The first step of the pre-approval only takes ten to twelve minutes when doing it online through a secure mortgage application system. 

You will simply provide some answers to some questions including providing your social security number. These questions are around your current income and other assets that you currently have. 

Transcript of the Video:

- Hi, I'm Jeff Chubb with REN Network. And today we're with Jason Bonarrigo of RMS Mortgage. Jason.

- Jeff. Hey, how are you doing? Thanks for coming.

- I appreciate it, thanks for having me.

- So, today we're going to talk about specifically the pre-approval process.

- Yeah.

- I constantly am hearing from clients, it's just the reason why they're not doing is it's overwhelming. They feel that it is overwhelming, it's overwhelming.

- They think it's overwhelming.

- They think it's overwhelming.

- They think it's overwhelming.

- And they don't actually end up taking the first step.

- No.

- And so, you know, tell me, so and I recently did the process, which was pretty seamless and easy.

- Right.

- But tell me, so what is that first step? So we make the introduction to the client and say, hey, it's Jason Bonarrigo, he's the greatest mortgage banker on the face of this earth, right?

- All the time, yeah.

- And at that point you kind of take it away. So, what happens?

- Yeah, obviously I just, you know I thank you for the referral. I reach out to the client and just ask them when the best time to chat is or whether it's over email or a text or obviously on the phone.

- Right.

- As well, I actually prefer it on the phone especially for that initial contact, because again, I get to make them feel comfortable...

Home Buying Questions - Part 3

How to Buy A home - Home Financing Questions - Part 1

What is a Fixed Rate Mortgage vs. an Adjustable Rate? or maybe “What will my rate be?” Or “What am I paying when I pay my mortgage payment?” or how about “What’s PMI and will my monthly payments change during the loan term?

Hi, I am Jeff Chubb with the Chubb Realty Group and today I am answering those questions!

-        So “What is the difference between a Fixed Rate and an Adjustable Rate?

For a fixed rate mortgage, the interest will stay the same throughout the life of the loan. The most common fixed rate mortgages are 15 and 30 year notes. An adjustable Rate Mortgage, otherwise known as an ARM means that the interest rate can change periodically. This means that the monthly payments can go up or down. Generally the initial interest rate is lower than of a comparable fixed-rate mortgage which is called the teaser rate. After that period ends, interest rates-and your monthly payments can go higher or lower.

Your expected utilization of a property will ultimately help drive this decision. I will however note that interest rates are at historical lows and the only real place for them to go… Is well UP.

-        So “What is my interest rate going to be?”

That is a tough question to answer depending how far out you are from the actual buying process. The farther out you are, the bigger the guess! When you are getting pre-approved, you do not want to worry about a bank’s interest rates. Banks rates vary daily and a bank may be competitive one day and less competitive the other.

When you have found a home and gone under agreement on that home, then that is when...

Home Buying Questions - Part 2

How to Buy A home - Home Financing Questions - Part 2

Here are some recent questions that I received from people that are thinking about buying a home.

Hi, I am Jeff Chubb with the Chubb Realty Group and today I wanted to share with you some additional questions from prospective home buyers that I often here.

-        People often ask “What are the differences between a pre-approval and a pre-qualification.”

A pre-qualification is a quick conversation with your lender in talking about income, assets and the anticipated down payment. A buyer has not submitted any underlying paperwork to support this conversation and thereby a mortgage banker has not dug deep into the credit worthiness of a buyer.

A pre-approval is where a lender will verify the financial information needed and submit the loan to underwriting for a preliminary approval. A pre-approval takes a little more time and documentation, but offers a lot more certainty throughout the buying process.

Think of it this way, if you are looking to put an offer and it is a competitive offer situation, then the pre-qualification is not going to carry nearly the same weight as compared to the buyer who has a buyer that has actually been pre-approved. The pre-approved buyer will offer the home seller a little more certainty in what can be a very uncertain process. When you are a home seller and you are about to make a very serious decision, generally they are going to want to go in the direction of the most certainty.

-        Another great question we hear is “What...

Home Buying Questions - Part 1

How to Buy A home - Home Financing Questions - Part 1

Here are 3 Common Questions from people that are thinking about buying a home.

Hi, I am Jeff Chubb with the Chubb Realty Group and today I wanted to share with you some common questions from prospective home buyers.

-        The first question is “Do I really need to put 20% down to buy a home?”

And the answer is a resounding NO. There are programs available to home buyers in which they can put as little as 3.5% down. A buyer can always put more down, but this is the limit. Another not well-known fact is that this down payment can actually be gifted from a friend or family member. At the end of the day, the bank with these FHA type programs need to see at least 3.5% of owner equity in order to feel comfortable moving forward.

However, if you are a Veteran, the VA program will actually allow a buyer to buy a home with 0% down. This is only a program that is available to the men and woman currently or those that have served in our armed forces in the past.

-        The second question I often hear is “Do I need spectacular credit to get a mortgage?”

Like above, the answer to this question really varies by which mortgage program a buyer is evaluating. The FHA mortgage programs will lend to buyers putting 3.5% down with credit scores of 580 or higher.

If your credit score is below 580 however, you aren’t necessarily excluded from FHA loan eligibility. Applicants with lower credit scores will have to put down a 10% down payment if they want to qualify for a loan.

There are many benefits...

Making Moving Easier

The staple of the Chubb Realty Groups philosophy and promise to its clients. 

The Chubb Realty Group - Making Moving Easier


Jeffrey Chubb - Recognized on the 2019 list for 'Best Real Estate Agents in Boston'

Best Real Estate Agents in Boston

Jeffrey Chubb and his team, the Chubb Realty Group, has been ranked as one of the Best Real Estate Agents in Boston for 2019 according to Expertise, LLC. 

Expertise is a company that makes it easy to find the best local experts, every time. They believe that finding the right highly-skilled professional takes sigificant time and effort, including in-depth reasearch, ddetailed comparisons and deciphering which online reviews are reliable and authentic. 

Expertise features only objectively quantified and qualified professionals hand-picked by their selection process. They do the research to understand what's important when searching for experienced professionals so their readers trust that when they say a company is one of the best, it is. 

Their proprietary research and selection process identifies the top service professionals in over 200 different industries across the top cities in the United States. To date, they have analyzed over 10 Million companies. 

Their selection process is based off of the following criteria:
Reputation: A history of satisfied customers giving excellent recommendations
Credability: Established in their industry with licensing, accreditations and awards
Expertise: Masters of their craft, based on years of practical experience and education
Engagement: Approachable and responsive to clients and available for new business
Professionalism: Dedicated to providing consistently quality work and impeccable customer service. 


Buying a Home Can Be Scary… Until you know the facts!

Buying a Home in Massachusetts Can Be Scary… Until you know the facts!

Hi, I am Jeff Chubb and I wanted to share with you some truth’s when it comes to buying a Massachusetts home. There are many myths out there that are keeping our friends and family from buying a home…

“I need 20% down in order to buy a home” – This is the most common myth we hear. Potential Massachusetts home buyers are constantly being told they need 20% down in order to buy a home. This just simply is not the case. 71% of buyers who purchased homes put down 20% OR LESS. And today you can buy a home for as little as 3.5% down. If you are a Veteran then can even qualify for VA programs with 0% down. Consider this, the average down payment is 6%. AND down payments can even be gifted. (Thanks Mom and Dad!).

“I need an 800 Credit Score” This is the 2nd biggest myth when buying a home in Massachusetts. In September, the average credit score for approved loans was 737. But there are FHA programs that will give a borrower a mortgage with a credit score of 580 or higher. Financing is complex which is why it always makes sense to speak with a mortgage banker. 

“Getting approved for a mortgage is hard when buying Real Estate in Massachusetts” – Last month 78.1% of loan applications were approved. I think it is important to remember that a bank isn’t trying to turn someone down, but they are cutting some pretty large checks and need to verify everything is in order. This can be a frustrating part of the process, but the good news is… They don’t ask for a blood sample AND you the light at the end of the tunnel results in a set of keys and owning a piece of the American Dream.

“Interest Rates are high” – Historically speaking we have some of the lowest interest...

Adios FICO Scores? And What It Means to You…

Bye Bye FICO Scores? And What It Means to You.

I am Jeff Chubb and I wanted to share with you the news that the Federal Housing Finance Agency is now allowing Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac to use an alternative credit scoring model, Vantage Score. And what this means for you and your friends and family when buying a home.

The FICO scoring model was introduced in 1989 and is used by 90% of lenders.

Compared to VantageScore which was introduced in 2006. It’s developers say this model is a more predictive scoring model that is easier to understand and apply.

Many banks are using a combination of FICOs and VantageScore models for mortgages, however until now this was not the case for mortgages secured by a government entity. How much does this matter? In 2017, government backed mortgages accounted for nearly 70% of all mortgages originated in the U.S.

Are we surprised that our Government Backed Mortgage agencies were late to the party?

So what are the differences, how does Vantage Score Group Credit Information?

-        Payment history
-        Age & type of credit
-        Percentage of credit limit used
-        Total balances and debt
-        Recent credit behavior and inquiries
-        Available Credit

Compared to the 5 categories that FICO uses:

-        Payment history
-        Amounts owed
-        Length of credit history
-        New Credit
-        Credit Mix

Both these lists are ordered...

Closing Cost Credits & How They Can Save You $Thousands

Closing Cost Credits and How to save $Thousands at the closing table when buying a ? home

I wanted to share with you what a closing cost credit is and how you can use them to help save you a LOT of money ? at the closing table.

- What is a Closing Cost Credit
- When Should you talk to your agent about closing costs?
- How to confirm amount of closing cost credits
- What happens if you ask for a larger credit then you use?
- Why a Seller May Say no

If you would like to learn more about the current market conditions whether buying or selling a home throughout Massachusetts, email ? at [email protected], or give us a call ☎️ at 617-480-2600 or visit us online.

We look forward to being your real estate resource.


I Love this home, now what?

I Love this home, now what?

Hi, I am Jeff Chubb with eXp Realty and I wanted to share with you today the next steps once you have found that dream home.

You have walked through the front door and have been swept off of your feet.

The home checks nearly all the boxes and you can see your future you and the Thanksgiving Turkey coming out of the oven and to the Dining Room table.

There are enough beds and baths and the size of the home meets your needs today as well as the needs of your near future.

So now what? What’s the next step in the process?

If this is the house for you, then it is time to start gathering some information.

The information gathering step is one that you will not want to drag your feet on as waiting too long can allow other buyers to swoop in and steal your dream home out from under you or put you in a position to have to pay more!

So what type of information?

At this point, you should already have your pre-approval.

We will need to make sure the pre-approval is still up to date and that the amount is in line with the price of the home.

In some cases we may need a couple pre-approval letters with different prices depending on the offer strategy that we ultimately choose.

If you are paying cash, then we will need some sort of proof of funds.

These proof of funds can be a bank statement or statements or a letter from your banker verifying funds.

We will also want to look at the comparables… aka “comps” on the property. Is the price of this home in line with the neighboring properties that are close in size and condition? Or is the price higher or lower than what the area supports?

We have the pre-approval or proof of funds, we have an idea of what the home is worth and what we are willing to pay… Now it’s...

What Every First-Time Home Buyer Needs to Know

what every first time home buyer needs to know

For the first-time home buyers, the world of real estate and its legal lingo may be overwhelming and confusing. There is a lot to take in and be aware of when it comes to buying your own house, from desired square footage, do you or will you have kids with you in the next few years, neighborhood, lending company, pricing, budgeting; it's no wonder that over thirty percent of homebuyers say that buying a house is one of the most stressful modern life changes.

These four tips and terms throw some clarity on the world of real estate and break it down into bite-sized pieces.


1. Get a Good Realtor

A good Realtor is the first starting point for anyone looking to buy or sell a home. Lending companies, loans, listing agents, the sellers; all those are second place to a good Realtor. Having an honest and dedicated agent advocating for you makes navigating the home process from the very start of touring houses, making an offer...

Moving because of a Growing Family

Items to think about when moving because of a growing family.

Hi, I am Jeff Chubb with the Chubb Realty Group and I wanted to introduce you Annie. Annie here is the new addition to our family that has helped me put a lid on the third child conversation… for now at least.

Whether you are moving because of a furry friend like Annie or because of kids, then here are some things to think about and how to start the process.

Step 1 – Determine Your Budget

First you need to figure out what you WANT to afford. Want? Yes, what is it that you want to spend. That you feel comfortable spending. There are few things worse than being house poor.

Remember that the monthly payment will need to cover insurance, taxes, a mortgage payment (if you are getting a mortgage) and condo fees (if you are purchasing a condo).

Do you currently own a home? Do you need to sell in order to buy? If so, do you have an estimate of what your net proceeds will be that you can carry with you to the next purchase?

Once you have figured out the above questions and determined your comfort level, then it is time to call a Mortgage Banker (We work with some great mortgage bankers so let us know if you need a recommendation!). A mortgage banker will review your finances and will advise on the different programs to help you find the best fit to help you maximize your affordability.

There are many Urban Myths when it comes to buying a home, but here are two of the biggest!

“I need 20% down in order to buy a new home” – FALSE - Government-backed programs offer home buyers plans with as little as 3.5% down while Veteran Programs offer programs for 0% down to active and past military.

“I need a FICO score of 750” – FALSE – FHA offers programs for 3.5% down with FICO...

Why You Should Buy a Fixer-Upper

Why you should buy a fixer-upper

Why You Should Buy a Fixer-Upper

While it might sound strange to those people who are trying to find a new place to live, not everyone wants a home that is ready to move into. Evidence of this has been shown by taking a look at one of the latest trends in real estate, which is the purchase of fixer-upper houses. These seemingly ugly flats, mobile homes, cottages, and even mansions are being snatched up so fast that the average Realtor barely has a chance to gather the paperwork together for them before the calls from potential buyers start pouring in. And, after reading all the following reasons why, you might just want to go buy a fixer-upper house too.


Next-Level Creativity

A fixer-upper house that is in a desperate state of repair can easily be remodeled in whatever creative way that a person wants. All new color schemes, flooring, and wood tones can be chosen. The fixtures and lighting are adaptable. And even the lawn and landscaping are fair game for a fun makeover.


High Return on Investment

Because fixer-upper houses are sold for a much cheaper price than a house...

Starting The Home Buying Process

starting the buying process

Getting started with The Home Buying Process With Chubb Realty

When it comes to selling a home in the Boston area, you need to find a home that will meet your needs.

While buying a home is stressful it is important to work with a REALTOR that makes the process as smooth as possible for you and your family.

Ask Yourself A Few Questions

  • Where Do You Want to Live?
  • What Kind of Home Do You Need?
  • How Much Space Do You Need, or Which features?
  • What is Your Determined Price Range?

home buying process

Why Buy With Chubb Realty Group?

With Chubb Realty Group in Quincy, you'll find a realty dream team that has years of experience selling homes and serving both home buyers and sellers with the services they need.

We want to help you find...

Buying a Home? What You NEED To Know About Homeowner's Insurance

homeowners insurance

Everything You Need To Know About Homeowner’s Insurance

So you’re either looking at buying a home, or you have just purchased one. If you’re going through a mortgage company, it’s almost guaranteed that you’re going to be required to get homeowner’s insurance coverage for the full value of your home in order to be approved for the mortgage.

What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?

So what exactly is it? Homeowner’s insurance protects you in the instance of damage to the interior and exterior of your home, as well as the loss or damage of your personal possessions. Homeowner’s insurance can also cover personal liability for damage or injuries caused by your or your household.

Types of Homeowners Coverage

In the United States, there are eight standard types of homeowner’s insurance, from HO-1 to HO-8. These types of insurance offer different levels of protections, and homeowner’s choose which based on the type of home and what they need.

Insurance typically covers three levels:

  • Actual cash value
  • Replacement cost
  • Extended replacement cost

Actual cash value is the standard, it covers the value of the house and your belongings after depreciation. Replacement cost is the next level up—you get actual cash value without deducting the depreciation. Extended replacement cost is comprehensive, which covers the entire cost of repairing or rebuilding up to a maximum (usually 20% over your policy limit).

get marketing updates without talking to an agent...

3 Questions to Ask Before Buying Your Dream Home

3 Questions to Ask Before Buying Your Dream Home

Are you looking for your dream home?

If you are debating purchasing a home right now, you are probably getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family will have your best interest at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in the real estate market.

Ask yourself the following 3 questions to help determine if now is actually a good time for you to buy in today’s market.

1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?

This truly is the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with money.

For example, a recent survey by Braun showed that over 75% of parents say “their child’s education is an important part of the search for a new home.”

This survey supports a study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University which revealed that the four major reasons people buy a home have nothing to do with money. They are:

  • A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
  • A place where you and your family feel safe
  • More space for you and your family
  • Control of that space

What does owning a home mean to you? What non-financial benefits will you and your family gain from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.

2. Where are home values headed?

According to the latest Home Price Index from CoreLogic, home values are projected to increase by 5.3% over the next 12 months.

What does that mean to you?...

Is Getting a Home Mortgage Still Too Difficult?

Getting a Home Mortgage

Home Mortgages, Are They Still Difficult to Aquire?

There is no doubt that mortgage credit availability is expanding, meaning it is easier to finance a home today than it was last year. However, the mortgage market is still much tighter than it was prior to the housing boom and bust experienced between 2003 - 2006.

The Housing Financing Policy Center at the Urban Institute just released data revealing two reasons for the current exceptionally high credit standards:

  1. Additional restrictions lenders put on borrowing because of concerns that they will be forced to repurchase failed loans from the government-sponsored enterprises or Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
  2. The concern about potential litigation for imperfect loans.

What has been the result of these concerns?

6.3 Million Less Mortgages

The Policy Center report went on to say:

“It was so hard to get a mortgage in 2015 that lenders failed to make about 1.1 million mortgages that they would have made if reasonable lending standards had been in place. From 2009 to 2014, lenders failed to make about 5.2 million mortgages thanks to overly tight credit. In total, lenders would have issued 6.3 million additional mortgages between 2009 and 2015 if lending standards had been more reasonable.”

In an interview with DSNews, Laurie Goodman and Alanna McCargo of the Policy Center further explained:

“Our Housing Credit Availability Index (HCAI)* measures the probability that mortgage borrowers...