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Marques specializes in working with clients who are looking into buying a home in CT. Marques works with those that are pre-qualified or would like to learn how to raise their credit score enough for an affordable home loan. Marques also consults with investors who are looking to increase their portfolios through multi-family properties and commercial real estate in CT. Mortgage interest rates are surprisingly low right now and home prices are too - get a great deal that will repay you again and again over the years.

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Marques’ Blog

5 Reasons Why You Should List Your Home To Sell Now

The common time for sellers to list their homes is the Spring. The reasoning is pretty clear with the nicer weather and longer daylight hours. The question is, is that more beneficial than listing now as opposed to waiting a few mote months? Here are my top 5 reasons why we need to sit and speak about listing your home now. Low Inventory Being a Realtor that helps a lot of buyers find homes, I see the lack of inventory we have. Being that we have that lack, the supply and demand principle comes into play. Correctly priced homes in good condition aren’t lasting, as buyers are moving quickly due to the lack of choices. More importantly, do you really want to wait until the rest of the sellers come and create more competition? Urgency In Buyers Buying and moving into a home in the dead of winter isn’t fun, so a family that is looking to do so is motivated. The showings this time of year are more likely to be somebody serious and ready to make the move. Being at the beginning of the year, many companies also transfer employees at this time of year so that is another factor to create the urgency. Lower Price Points Move Faster  In Greater Hartford, the lower price points where first time buyers are located move very fast. If its move in ready and priced well, you may have multiple offers within the first few days on the market. The lower the home is priced, the more buyers will be able to buy which creates that traffic. New Administration There...

7 Things That Will Scare A Buyer Away From Buying Your Home

When one buys a home, they usually want the most for the least. Whether its the first time buyer that maybe cant afford to do the repairs, or somebody just looking for the best value, buyers are usually inclined to select the turn key property. As a seller, once you list your home, you’re entering into a competition. What about your house is gonna make the buyer choose yours? What value do you give the buyer that makes them not want to look at anything else after yours. A good buyers agent will showcase those things and let their clients know which home is the best investment. Here are 7 things that will likely scare a buyer away. Aged or Damaged Roof One of the biggest repairs and upgrades is the roof. On average a roof can be at least about $6000 to replace (depending on size of the home). Roof issues are responsible for about 40% of the insurance claims in the US. Typical lifespan on a roof is between 21-30 years. Damaged or Missing Gutters Gutters and downspouts are critical in keeping water away from pooling up around the house. Water pooling up can cause major foundation issues and water seepage into the basement and causing further damage. Old Windows and Doors Windows are another major expense that can cost you money monthly in heating and cooling costs. Broken windows may also stop a buyer from buying the house due to financing rules. Window replacement can bring 50%-80% return on your investment. Old and Outdated Appliances Most buyers usually replace their appliances anyways, but old and outdated...

The 5 Pillars Of Buying An Investment Property

Real estate is usually the surest and best way to become wealthy in America. Its all around us and the need is always there. Those that have learned and are learning this understand that the first investment property is usually residential of some type. Here are the 5 key things to focus when buying an investment property. Financing (Down payment and interest rates) Funds to purchase the property is usually the first thing that should be determined and factored in. There are a few different avenues one can take, in purchasing. You can buy your first home as an owner occupant (2-units) and put down up to about 3.5% of the purchase price down. You will usually have to live there for about a year, being its a owner occupant. If you’re looking to buy more than 4 units, you’re likely looking at anywhere from 20%-25% down. Interest rates are higher for non owner occupant loans, so that is something you want to discuss with your loan officer. Decide if you’re looking to rent or flip the property Buying and holding versus buying to flip are two separate strategies. Flipping a house will cost you more upfront money to get the home sell-able and ready for the market. Getting your initial investment back on a buy-hold will take a little longer but you’re starting to build equity and a portfolio. Renting the property for income is the smarter route for a beginner until they fully learn the ins and outs of the flipping business. Understand where you’re buying Knowing what is selling and renting in the area is vital for...

5 Biggest Credit Score Myths

Your credit is the financial reputation that you carry with you throughout your adult life. Having good credit can be the determine what you drive, where you live, and sometimes where you work. Bad credit will cost you money as well whether it be through higher interest rates, not being able to qualify for a mortgage and having to pay a high rent, or generally not getting approved for credit and having to make all cash purchases. There are many myths about Credit and how to maintain and perfect it, but there are also alot of misconceptions. Here are the 5 Biggest credit score myths. 1. Checking your credit score will cause it to drop Checking your own score wont cause this because it is a soft inquiry. Only a hard inquiry (seeking new credit) will cause it to drop momentarily. There are several free services that give you a ball park credit score figure, but the most accurate report will come from annualcreditreport.com 2. You have only one credit report and score While your score is usually consolidated into one, you do have three scores. Transunion, Equifax, and Experian are the three credit bureaus and while the scores may vary, they’re usually in the same vicinity. A FICO or vantage is usually an average and many times the score used to make credit decisions. 3. You need to carry a balance and pay interest to build credit Some people believe you need to carry a balance to show lenders you’re using credit, but doing so could result in you paying unnecessary interest and could hurt your credit score...

What Credit Score Will You Need To Buy Your First House?

Just about everybody wants to buy their own home, but do you know where your credit score needs to be to do so? Credit is a very critical part in the home buying process, as its really your financial reputation. Your credit score is a mixture of payment history (35%), Outstanding debt (30%), Length of credit (15%), Credit inquiries (10%), and lastly types of credit (10%). All these factor in and collectively give you a credit rating. Here are the following credit score ranges you will need to get pre approved and begin home shopping.*** FHA 30 year loan (3.5% down payment). Single Family, Multifamily (up to 4 units) FICO score at or above a 640 CHFA 1st Time Homebuyer Program (100% Financing) Single Family, Multifamily (up to 4 units) FICO score at or above a 680. I hope this give you a better idea of where you need to be credit wise, and will help you get where you need to be to begin the home buying process.   *** The following are scores based off of averages loan officers I work with require. This isn’t the case for all loan types. Contact for more details.   Marques Strickland Realtor/Buyer Specialist Email: mstrickland@kw.com Web: Homesbymarques.com Connect with me on Facebook Cell: 860-518-0304 Fax: 860-313-0302 Download my FREE ebook, “12 Month Plan To Buying Your First Home”, then Connect with me….. Business hours are from 8am-7:00pm. Saturday and Sunday by appointment only. All calls/messages received after 7:00 will be returned first thing the next business...

3 Things to Do To Prepare Your Home To Get Sold

Making your home as appealing and beautiful during listing it for sale is crucial to accomplishing just that. Quite often, sellers don’t and it changes a buyers opinion on the home during a showing. Here are three areas to focus on when getting your home ready to sell: Clean up and Clean Out Although it should be pretty obvious, cleaning out your home is something that you should do. Take that as somewhat of a heed to do some spring cleaning and get rid of the things that aren’t necessary anymore. Maybe consider donating old items and furniture to charity and other places that can make good use of them. Giving your home a deep clean is also a recommended action. Cleaning the floors. repainting chipping areas, refinishing cabinetry and just touching up all the normal wear an tear areas of your home. Make The Small Repairs Yourself The small fixes that don’t necessarily need a contractor are usually the things needed the most. Leaking faucets, caulking around sinks and tubs, cleaning grout are all things that can spruce up and make that bathroom even more appealing. Replacing light bulbs, re securing handrails, and replacing broken windows can all be things that stand out if they aren’t done to a potential buyer. Curb Appeal What will the initial though be when a buyer pulls up to your home? Will they be wowed or will they be turned away by all it needs. Its harder to make your home shine in a typical Connecticut winter but keeping the property as clean and clear as possible on the outside is something...

6 Mistakes Buyers Make In A Sellers Market

With the market tightening up, and becoming more geared towards a sellers market, buyers are feeling the press of the competition in the market. I am personally coming across less on the market, and more multiple offer situations. Some buyers are growing frustrated with not being able to find what they are looking for in a timely fashion. Being an agent that has much experience with the buy side of a transaction, i stress the following 6 points with my buyers when the market is in its current situation. Not making your best offer right off the bat We all want a great deal, but sometimes that $5,000-$10,000 difference isn’t worth losing the home. If it fits all you need, want, and are looking for don’t over negotiate. Chances are, there is another buyer that may see the same benefit as you and will offer closer to what the seller wants. Really consider offering your best right away. Overthinking the sales price Relating to my first point, a buyer can “sleep on it” too long and end up losing the house. Just because you looked at the home or even told your agent you liked it a lot, that doesn’t stop or hold the seller obligated to wait for you. The seller will usually take the first offer that reaches their desired price so they can reach their next destination or goal. Focus more on the monthly price than the purchase price. Working with an inexperienced agent This is a very competitive market, and you need every advantage you can get. Having an agent that knows all the tricks...

What Do You Need To Start Home Shopping?

I often come across and have helped many people buy a home whom didn’t even know they had the ability to buy one. Public perception of becoming a homeowner or buying a home period is pretty tarnished. I’ve heard everything from needing a 750 credit score to needing $20,000 in the bank. While a good amount of funds and excellent credit are welcomed, going to those levels aren’t exactly needed to change your address. Here are the basics needed to get pre approved for a mortgage and begin home shopping: Credit Score of 640 and above That is usually a good number or place to shoot to be above. FHA (3.5% down) is the normal product a first time buyer usually uses. The big thing with your credit and applying for a mortgage is to make sure you have no late payments within the last 12 months, and nothing in collections currently. 2 Years Tax returns and W2s (3 Years 1099s If Self Employed) This is something to prove that you make what you tell the loan officer you work with you make. This will be all submitted to the underwriter and lender you’re using. 60 Days Bank Statements and Paystubs This is another financial thing to prove your funds and ability to afford a down payment. It is essential that you don’t have any overdraft or return check fees, as it doesn’t show financial responsibility. Possible funds for a down payment If you’re going with a FHA loan you would be looking at 3.5% of the purchase price as your down payment. Closing costs can mostly be included...

3 Tips To Negotiate After A Home Inspection

After you chose the home you’re purchasing, the home inspection is the next crucial step in the process. This is where we have a certified home inspector come through the home and test the systems. Now you don’t own the home yet, so he isn’t breaking anything or going into walls. He is simply testing the different elements of the home and giving you his expertise on what the issues could be. As a experienced agent in the area, I notice many of the issues when we initially walk into the house, so I give my clients fair warning of possible items that may come up. When issues do come up, follow these three tips to successfully protect your best interest after your home inspection. ASK FOR CREDIT OR REPAIR TO BE MADE When issues come up and the buyer is worried about them, its best to see if the seller will remedy them. There are two ways that it can be handled, by repairing it directly or the seller crediting (taking money off the sales price) the buyer. I personally like the seller to handle the repair as opposed to crediting off the price. For example, if the seller were to take $2,000 of the price, that’s typically a savings of about $10 a month in the mortgage. That does no good for a problem that is persisting currently, and the buyer will have to fix once they move in. THINK OF THE BIG PICTURE If you plan to remove things and renovate, then many things may not be of big issue. Focus on the electrical, plumbing, heating,...

4 Tips For Selling Your Home In The Winter

Usually when one lists their home in the winter, that indicates a serious motivation to sell. Lets face it, during the cold winter months, the inconvenience of having people in and out of your house is a lot. With that being said, we have to make sure that the inconvenience is worth it. We want to make sure that your efforts are going towards getting this home sold. Here are 4 tips to get your home sold in the winter. BE SURE ITS EASILY ACCESSIBLE With winter weather so unpredictable, keeping the property clean adds difficulty to keeping it ready. In New England we can get a quick two inches of snow and ice at any given time. Buyers agents quite often have to show a property in unfavorable conditions and keeping your home maintained is key to getting buyers in the door. You also don’t want to open yourself up to the possibility of a slip and fall and legal action. KEEP THE HEAT ON Walking into a warm house in the cold New England months is a great feeling. This is no different with those home shopping. The warmer the home feels, the longer the agent and buyer will stay inside and increase the overall showing. Keep the home comfortable and inviting. SHOW OFF YOUR OUTDOOR AMENITIES In the dead of winter, while contending with snow on the ground, its tough to see the grounds. Whether it be your pool, yard size, patio, be sure to include pictures from the summer time so buyers can see what they’re buying. This is an added bonus and adds a...

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