Lauren Davis
REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West | 508-254-0449 |

Posted by Lauren Davis on 3/14/2018

Buying a home will be the biggest purchase of your entire life. Itís not a decision that anyone should or will take lightly. You want to buy a house that you can live in. Sometimes, itís even best to think of your home purchase from the perspective of others. Ask yourself, ďWould other people want to live here?Ē When it comes to your home, the financial buzzword is ďequity.Ē As the buyer, you want to be able to build some equity into your home so that if you should choose to sell it, youíll make a profit. Whether your home is only meant to live in for a few years until your family outgrows it, or you think itís going to be a forever home, life happens and you donít want to be stuck with a home that you must take a loss on. Keep these aspects of the home in mind when you are ready to buy: Size Most people search for 3 to 4 bedroom homes. Whether they are married and want to have children or just need extra space for another baby that is on the way, families typically look for places where they have room to grow. The number of bathrooms in a home is also key. Families donít want to share one bathroom among 4-5 people. These factors are even more important than the actual space available in the home by square footage. On the flip side, you donít want your home to be too big either. Larger homes arenít as energy efficient and can cost more to maintain. Know that there is a ďsweet spotĒ for your square footage. Usually this is somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 square feet of living space. Room To Expand Look at the home to see if there is room to expand. Perhaps you need another bathroom, but thereís some space to construct an additional half bath. This factor of expansion is key when it comes to a home or property. Look Past The Appearance Things like paint colors, floors, carpets and other aesthetics arenít as important as the big things when it comes to buying a home. You can easily change these without much cost or effort on your part. While everyone loves a move-in-ready home, donít let a little paint separate you from a home that you love! Curb Appeal Helps While itís easy to fix some things like the color of a home or the shrubs, find your vision to give the home youíre about to purchase some curb appeal. If you can see past the imperfections and make your home your own from the outside in, your home will be attractive. Thereís plenty of things you can add and fix from doors to landscaping to paint to a new mailbox. All of these can give your home some serious curb appeal. Sound Structure If the structure of the home is not in good condition, youíll face many problems down the road. You want to avoid costly repairs by ensuring that you buy a home without serious structural damage or wear. The most important part of a homeís structure is that of the foundation. If a home has a cracked foundation, itís going to cause some problems. Be sure that you hire a reputable inspector and attend the inspection so you know exactly whatís going on with the home you are about to purchase. You can prepare yourself for any problems or issues this way, and make a decision from there. A home that has a good structure to start will undoubtedly continue to help you build equity in your purchase.

Posted by Lauren Davis on 3/7/2018

Moving into a new home is an exciting time. As you look at each potential house you imagine yourself living your life there. Eating pancakes at the breakfast bar with your spouse, watching you children run around the large backyard, turning a spare bedroom into your own personal space. The expenses that come with a move, however, arenít quite as exciting. If youíve stretched your dollar a little further than you would have liked but still want to turn your house into a home try these renovations that can fit any budget.

In the kitchen

Pick up some peel and stick vinyl from your home improvement store to add a new backsplash to your kitchen walls without the fuss of tiling. Upgrade your kitchen faucet to something sleek and modern or to a different finish that suits your taste. Install new drawer pulls to cabinets to add your own style to the room.

The Front Door

When you move youíll have lots of people stopping by to visit and admire your new abode. Make a great first impression by updating the front of your home. Paint the front door a bright, friendly color; yellow and red are two classic options. Installing a kick plate to the bottom of your door not only protects your door from everyday wear but also gives your door a more luxe look. Placing vibrant greenery and blooms by the front door, both inside and outside, makes any home feel more welcoming.

Bring new life to old furniture.

You donít need to rush out and buy all new furniture for your new home. Instead, alter pieces you already own. Give your worn-out sofa and arm chairs a modern update with slipcovers. Buy a colorful ottoman and some throw pillows to give your living room a whole new feel. Adding wallpaper or an accent color to the back of a bookcase gives the piece some flair for little effort. Artfully arrange books and knick knacks without overcrowding to bring a designerís touch to the room.

Tiny Changes, Big Impact

Sometimes itís the small things that make the biggest difference when updating a home. Swap out old, basic switch and outlet plates for ones with more style. With options spanning the ornate to imitation stone, youíre guaranteed to find a style that suits your decor. Add bold new house numbers in a bright color or arranged in a unique way. The more creative you get, the bigger an impact youíll make. Install new light bulbs designed to bring a bright but friendly warm light to make each room feel more inviting.

Even if your budget is tighter than you would like there are still small home improvements you can make your new house feel a lot more like your home. Sometimes all it takes is a dose of your favorite color or the simple act of putting your own personal stamp on the place.

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Posted by Lauren Davis on 2/28/2018

Looking to add your condo to the real estate market? Ultimately, you'll want to set a "fair" price for your property. By doing so, you can stir up plenty of interest in your condo and boost your chances of a fast property sale.

List your condo at a price that meets the needs of both property buyer and seller Ė here are three tips to ensure you can price your condo properly.

1. Study the Housing Market

How does your condo rate against similar properties? Examine the housing market closely, and you can understand what differentiates your property from others that are currently available.

Check out the prices of comparable condos that have been added to the real estate market recently. That way, you can learn how other condo sellers are pricing their properties and map out your condo pricing strategy accordingly.

Also, evaluate the prices of condos that have sold over the past few months. This will allow you to identify real estate market patterns and trends and may help you establish a competitive price.

2. Hire a Property Appraiser

A property appraiser understands what it takes to assess a condo both inside and out. Therefore, if you conduct a condo appraisal, you can learn about your property's strengths and weaknesses.

During a condo evaluation, a property appraiser will identify problem areas across your residence. Then, he or she will provide a report that you can review to understand how you can enhance your property's value.

Take the results of a property appraisal seriously. If a property appraiser finds minimal problems with your condo, you may be good to go to establish a fair price for your residence.

On the other hand, if a property appraiser discovers a wide range of condo issues, allocate the necessary time and resources to mitigate these problems. In this scenario, you may need to lower your expectations for your condo's asking price based on the current state of your property. Or, you can perform assorted property improvements to bolster your condo's value.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Want expert insights into how to price your condo competitively? Work with a real estate agent, and you can receive comprehensive support as you prepare to add your residence to the housing market.

A real estate agent can make a world of difference for a condo seller, and for good reason. This housing market professional will teach you about the current real estate market and help you determine the right price for your condo.

Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent will provide throughout the condo selling process, either.

With a real estate agent at your side, you can receive help with condo showings, negotiations with condo buyers and much more. And if you ever have condo selling questions, a real estate agent will be able to provide instant responses.

Set the right price for your condo Ė use these condo selling tips, and you can move one step closer to maximizing the value of your property.

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Posted by Lauren Davis on 2/21/2018

Having different types of birds in your yard is a great way to add a bit of nature to your house. With their unique plumage and songs, birds will offer you interesting sights and sounds. However, youíll need to offer them a few things in return. To attract a variety of birds to your yard youíll need to make it the most desirable place in the neighborhood to be. Hereís a guide to help you attract a large variety of birds to your yard and to keep them coming back each year.

Choosing your feeders

When choosing a bird feeder there are a few traits your looking for. It should be strong enough to withstand the weather and sealed tightly to keep the seeds dry. Youíll want a feeder that is big enough to hold a variety of seeds and is relatively low-maintenance. Hanging tray feeders are the most common type, and for good reason. They attract a variety of birds and are easy to fill and clean. A good tray feeder has a drainage system in the tray to keep seeds dry, which means you should buy a feeder with a mesh bottom instead of solid. For nectar-seeking birds like hummingbirds, youíll want a few small feeders rather than one large one. Keep it in a well lit area near some flowers to attract the hummingbirds. Theyíre attracted to bright colors to look for nectar and your fake-flower feeders will seem like a good source if theyíre surrounded by the real thing. If you want to view birds from inside your home, window feeders are a great option. Window feeders suction right to your window and will offer you a close-up view of the birds who will slowly get used to you being on the other side of the glass.

Keeping the squirrels away

Putting out plenty of bird feeders wonít just attract birds. Squirrels, too love to eat the various seeds that are found in feeders. You have a couple options when it comes to squirrels. First, you can just accept them as part of the nature of your yard. They, too can be fun to watch and are just looking for something to eat like the birds. If inviting squirrels into your yard isnít something you can live with, you could try deterring them with a squirrel baffle. Squirrel baffles wrap around the pole your feeder is on preventing the squirrel from climbing up to the tray. However, some crafty squirrels can still find their way through.

It takes more than seed

Just having bird seed isnít enough to provide for birds. Having lots of trees and water is also a good way to keep the birds around. Bird baths are one option. But there are other creative ways to attract birds to your yard like a small natural pool or waterfall. Having a bubbler on your water source is also a great way to bring more birds to your yard as they will be attracted to the sound of the running water. Add these features to your yard and soon the local birds will find it an irresistible place to spend time.

Tags: home   bird feeding   yard   backyard   birds   feeder  
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Posted by Lauren Davis on 2/14/2018

Condos are a popular style of home for first-time homebuyers and anyone who is interested in less work to do around the home. Condos are typically multi-unit complexes that share one or more walls with the other units. Letís take a look at the pros of owning a condo. Affordable: Condos are an affordable alternative to a single-family home in a desirable location that is known for itís high priced homes. This may be because you are looking in a city or within close proximity to a large city or even by the water. You are likely able to find a condo with decent square footage at a price point that you can afford whereas a single-family home with that same square footage would be much more expensive. Easy to Maintain: Condos come with homeowner association fees or HOA fees. These fees are monthly and cover things like utilities, reserve and contingency funds, amenities, maintenance and repairs, which includes lawn care, snow removal, trash removal, exterior upkeep, etc. This is often why young homeowners find condos so appealing, as they do not need to worry about landscaping, snow removal and exterior upkeep. There is also no need to worry about purchasing those items with large price tags such as lawnmowers and snow blowers as that is taken care of for you. Location: Another reason why condos are so popular amongst young homebuyers is because they are able to purchase their own home that is in a city or very close to it. Young homebuyers are typically working in a city and therefore would like to be close to work, nightlife, and shopping. Condos give these young people the ability to purchase a home in a city rather than having to rent. There are many pros to purchasing and owning a condo, but itís important to also weigh the cons. There are certain limitations that come with owning a condo that do not exist when purchasing a single-family home. Purchasing a home, regardless of its type, is a large investment and commitment. Itís important that you fully research the market and find exactly what youíre looking for in your price range and then begin your house hunt.