Tara Mastroeni

Tara is a freelance real estate writer who loves Nordic-inspired interior design, binging new series on Netflix, and going to the gym. You can read more of her work on her website.
3 Things Every Self-Employed, Aspiring Homebuyer Needs to Do
Buying a home when you’re self-employed is notoriously tricky. After all, an up-and-down income cycle is—understandably—less appealing to mortgage companies than a dependable paycheck. That said, it’s far from impossible. Freelancers and small business owners alike can absolutely be approved to buy the home of their dreams. It just takes a little extra prep work. If you’re thinking about entering the real estate market while still being your own boss, listen up.
Oct 3, 2023
Thinking About Buying a Short Sale? Read This First
Many buyers, especially first-timers, are enthralled by the prospect of buying a short sale — and it’s not hard to see why. Bottom basement sale prices make these transactions seem like a no-brainer. Unfortunately, most of the time, these too-good-to-be-true deals also come with a huge catch. Before you commit to buying a short sale, read this first. We’ve outlined a few red flags that you should be aware of prior to taking the plunge.
Oct 3, 2023
Why “You Need 20% Down” is a Myth: The Pros and Cons of a Buying a Home with a Low Down Payment
We’ve all heard it before: Before you can take the leap into the housing market, you need to start saving up to make a sizable down payment. For years, putting down 20% of a home’s purchase price was held up as the gold standard. While many still consider this figure to be their goal, rising housing prices are causing others to look for alternatives. Ultimately, only you and your financial advisor can decide on the best path for you to take.
Oct 14, 2022
3 Warning Signs That You Might Want to Fire Your Real Estate Agent
We asked recent homeowners to tell us — without sugarcoating it — what you should look for when hiring a real estate agent.
Jun 10, 2021
One Thing That Agents Wish They Could Tell Their Buyers
Have you ever wondered what your real estate agent is thinking — like really thinking? Well, now’s your chance to find out. Agents have to stay pretty neutral with their buyers—there are legal protections governing some of what agents can and cannot say in order to ensure buyers are making their own decisions. But we reached out to a few real-life agents to learn the truth: What’s the one thing you wish you could tell your clients?
Apr 6, 2019
3 Things You Should Never Do During Your Inspection Period
Read over these missteps, as well as what you ought to do instead, so that you can handle your inspections with a sense of confidence.
Sep 26, 2018
3 Things You Can’t Forget to Do on Your Final Walk-Through
Your final walk-through is the last hurdle before going to closing and becoming a homeowner. Since it’s so close to the finish line, many first-time buyers have a tendency to try and rush this appointment or not take it as seriously as they should. Unfortunately, this can lead to unintended consequences. With that in mind, we’ve created a guide on how to handle your walk-through the right way.
Sep 19, 2018
3 Reasons Your Rent-vs-Buy Math Might Be Wrong
It’s common knowledge that owning a home is cheaper than renting (at least in the long term), but anyone who has ever sat down to try and figure out the numbers knows that finding out how much you’ll save is harder than it looks. There are so many factors to consider. To try and help you come as close to the real number as possible, we’ve outlined three ways your rent-vs-buy math might be wrong — and how to straighten things out to give you the best picture possible.
Aug 30, 2018
Think You Found The Perfect Home? Check These 3 Things First
We’re the first people to advocate that you should hire a great real estate agent to help guide you through your home search. However, that said, it’s also important to know that you can’t rely on them to tell you everything. In fact, there’s a lot that agents legally aren’t allowed to share due to the Fair Housing Act. This means that, in some cases, it’s up to you to do your own research.
Feb 25, 2018
Are Interest Rates Rising? What Can I Do?
If you’ve been keeping an eye on the real estate market recently, you’ve probably heard a few rumours about rising interest rates flying around. We’re sad to say that what you’ve been hearing is true — but that doesn’t mean you should give up hope on your dreams of becoming a homeowner. Keep reading to learn more about what’s happening with interest rates today — and what you can do to stay competitive.
Feb 16, 2018
The Biggest Misconception First-Time Buyers Have About Making an Offer on a Home
Making an offer on a home isn’t like sliding a sticky note across the table. Your offer as a buyer is so much more than just a dollar amount. There’s no question that sale price is crucial, but it’s far from being the only important factor when making an offer on a home.
Nov 28, 2017
Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Getting A Pre-Approval
Before you can even start looking at homes, you need to know how much money you have to spend. Obtaining a pre-approval letter — a verification from a mortgage company that they’re willing to give you a loan — is both a great way to set your budget and to show sellers that you’re serious about making an offer. Read on for an overview of the pre-approval process.
Nov 25, 2017
Next-Level Tips for Serious Buyers to Get the Most Out of Open Houses
Open houses are kind of fun, aren’t they? There’s something interesting about walking through a home and trying to picture yourself living there. However, when you’re serious about getting into the real estate market, it’s time to take this experience to the next level. Here are our tips for buyers on getting the most out of open houses. Keep these in mind the next time you’re in the mood to take a tour and you’ll be an open house pro before you know it.
Sep 22, 2017
Is That Open House Worth It? How To Decode Listings Like a Pro
One of the first steps to house hunting is sifting through a pile of listings and finding which ones are worth your time, in terms of going to take a look. Your real estate agent will likely set you up on a search tailored to properties that will meet your needs. But let’s be honest, not all listings are created equal. You’ll have to use your best judgment to find the ones that work best for you.
Aug 10, 2017
The Questions You Need to Answer Before Buying a Home Together
Buying a home together can be complicated. Whether you’re in a relationship, family members, or good friends who are making an investment together, sometimes adding multiple opinions and emotions into a financial situation can get a little dicey. That’s why it’s really important plan out your homeownership logistics before you even get started. If you’re thinking of buying a house with someone else, this post is for you.
Jul 31, 2017
Why First-Time Homebuyers Should Think Twice Before Applying For A Mortgage Online
Online mortgage programs are becoming increasingly popular — and it’s not hard to see why. With an application process that takes less than five minutes, they can almost be thought of as an “express lane” for a loan. But while some prospective buyers, particularly those who have been through the process before, may appreciate their speed and ease, those same features can feel overwhelming to first-time buyers.
Jul 22, 2017
House Hunting Dealbreakers: The 3 Things to Never Compromise On
You’ve heard it before: “No house is going to be perfect. Even your dream home will have a few compromises.” That’s true. When you’re house hunting, it’s important to keep an open mind rather than getting stuck in one vision of what you’re perfect home will look like. However, there are a few instances where it’s okay to put your foot down.
Jul 19, 2017