Lauren Davis
REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West | 508-254-0449 | Lauren@LaurensListings.com


Posted by Lauren Davis on 5/17/2017

Is it better to rent or buy? There is no simple answer to the question, yet it’s something we all ask ourselves at some point in our adult lives.

When you ask yourself this question, you’re not just determining whether it’s more affordable to buy or rent. Rather, you’re answering questions about what your life will look like in the coming years--in terms of both lifestyle and location.

In this article, we’re going to talk about the issue of buying vs renting. We’ll talk about ways you can educate yourself to make the most informed decision possible. After all, whether you’re buying a home or signing a lease, this is a decision that will affect a large amount of your time and dictate at least the next year of your life.

Outside influences

Before you start thinking about mortgages and leases, it’s a good idea to get an idea of the market. Specifically, you’ll want to look at the cost of living for the area you plan on moving to. It may seem like common sense that the cost of apartments and houses will rise and fall at the same rate, but evidence points to the contrary.

Elements that are out of your control could be things like:

  • Property tax amounts

  • Inflation and cost of living changes (gas, utilities, etc.)

  • Stock market variations, which affect your investments

  • Real estate market changes

  • Income changes (job change or loss)

As you can see already, these outside influences have the potential to make a huge impact on whether it makes more sense to rent or buy.

Let’s say you decided to rent a home and put the money you would have used for a down payment into an investment fund. You have a good year and earn 5% on your investments. At the same time, the price of homes as gone down significantly in the area you hope to move.

As you can see, in this scenario it would probably make sense to pay rent for a year before buying a home.

Out-of-pocket expenses and equity

One of the biggest advantages of owning a home is that by definition, if you are making sufficient and timely mortgage payments, you are earning equity. Equity can be used later to make a down payment on a larger home, or for selling to use toward retirement funds later in life.

On the other hand, renting is an out-of-pocket cost that comes at a loss. Once you pay rent, there is no getting it back to use later on.

It may seem like buying is the obvious solution, then. However, there are also many out-of-pocket costs for owning a home. Property taxes, insurance, and interest paid to your lender are all things that you can’t recuperate.

Finding out whether it’s cheaper to buy or rent will come down to balancing those factors, and weighing them against the odds of the real estate market.





Posted by Lauren Davis on 5/11/2017

This charming antique home in the heart of the beloved Mudville neighborhood of Holliston is simply storybook perfect! Enjoy walking to shops, cafes, playground and lovely Lake Winthrop from this pristine home. Tastefully updated, eat-in kitchen with wood flooring and stainless appliances; stunning bathroom with vaulted ceiling and laundry; inviting living room with built-ins and gas stove; lovely dining room with slider to large deck; all bedrooms are on the second floor, including the spacious master bedroom with its large closet. Beautiful flat backyard is fenced, with mature, flowering trees and plantings. Updates include stone wall, newer roof, boiler, HW heater, windows, kitchen appliances, backyard fencing and electrical. This home has expansion possibilities, and owners will share renderings which were created for them. Be part of Holliston's award winning school system, which features French Immersion and Montessori programs as part of its offerings. This is a true gem!

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts





Posted by Lauren Davis on 5/11/2017

Spacious colonial home w beautiful 2012 renovation boasting custom kitchen w white cabinets, stainless steel appliances, granite counters, large kitchen island, overlooking dining area w built-in hutch & family room w two skylights, built-in book case & french doors out to patio & yard w professional landscaping & shed. The living room has a fireplace, wainscoting & french doors leading to the front hall. Upstairs is a stunning master suite w two walk-in closets, en suite bathroom w over-sized, tiled shower and double sinks. Plus three other nice size bedrooms all w custom closets, one has an en suite bathroom w shower. All this and a mudroom w tile floor, beadboard, built-ins & benches that leads to the oversized two car garage with plenty of extra storage. Plus, lower level has finished room ideal for play, exercise or media room.This home is located in the highly desirable Bird's Hill neighborhood in walking distance to Broadmeadow School & Hershey Commuter station.

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts




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Posted by Lauren Davis on 5/10/2017

Looking to add your home to the real estate market in the near future? Home interior improvements are a must, especially if you want your residence to stand out from the competition.

Believe it or not, your bathroom can serve as a key differentiator for your home. With a neat, tidy bathroom, you may be able boost your home's appeal to potential homebuyers. On the other hand, a messy bathroom is unlikely to do you any favors in a fierce housing market.

If you spend some time cleaning your house's bathroom from top to bottom, you could increase your chances of a quick home sale. Lucky for you, we're here to provide simple, effective bathroom cleaning tips so you can enhance your house's bathroom.

Here are three bathroom cleaning tips that every home seller needs to know.

1. Use an All-Purpose Bathroom Cleaner on the Sink

Dirt and grime may form in your bathroom sink over an extended period of time. Thankfully, an all-purpose bathroom cleaner will make it easy for you to eliminate residue from your bathroom sink.

An all-purpose bathroom cleaner is a great option to remove light soil and film from a bathroom sink. And if you need extra help, you can always use an abrasive or soft-scrub cleaner as well.

2. Scrub the Shower and Bathtub

When was the last time you cleaned your shower and bathtub? If it's been several years, then there's no time like the present to scrub down every inch of your shower and bathtub and give them a fresh look and feel.

Abrasive scrubbing pads are ideal to remove bathroom rings or deposits on shower floors. Also, tile brushes will enable you to scrub tile grout and clean cracks and corners as needed.

3. Spend Some Time Cleaning the Toilet

Let's face it – no one likes cleaning the toilet. However, a home seller will need to spend some time cleaning the toilet to ensure a home's bathroom stands out for all the right reasons.

Toilet bowl cleaner dissolves deposits and kills germs, and as such, can help you speed up the process of cleaning a toilet. Plus, you can use a toilet bowl cleaner in conjunction with a strong, durable toilet bowl brush to eliminate all deposits with ease.

Lastly, don't forget to use a disinfecting spray cleaner on the toilet rims, seat, lid, tank and bowl exterior. Wipe down these areas, and you'll be able to enhance your toilet's overall appearance.

If you're unsure about how to improve your bathroom, be sure to consult with a real estate agent before you list your home. This real estate professional is happy to provide home selling tips and ensure you can revamp your house's interior and exterior.

A real estate agent can serve as an expert guide to the home selling process and will offer tips along each stage of the home selling journey. Therefore, if you work with a real estate agent, you should have no trouble maximizing the value of your house.





Posted by Lauren Davis on 5/3/2017

Homeowners have become increasingly aware of the dangers that face them and their homes. More Americans than ever lock their doors at night and own home security systems to protect themselves and their homes from intruders.

However, one danger that many homeowners aren’t prepared for is posed by scammers. These scammers are innovative and use tools like the internet and the semblance of authority to their advantage. What’s more, the nature of their scams is always evolving.

In this article, we’ll cover some of the most common scams affecting homeowners. We’ll talk about how to protect yourself from these scams and recognize them so that you and your home can avoid potential disaster.

Foreclosure scams

There are few things more concerning to a homeowner than the thought of losing their home. Scammers take advantage of these fears by promoting “relief programs” that promise to reduce your monthly payments or otherwise protect you from being foreclosed on.

The scam here is that these companies might not help you at all but will still charge for their services. They’ll often browse public foreclosure notices or post ads online. When they reach out to a homeowner they’ll do so via a letter that seems personal and professional. They could also call your phone or send you an email offer.

By U.S. law, such companies cannot charge you for any services unless they successfully help you gain relief from your lender, and even then you must still accept the offer before the relief company can ever charge you.

Home maintenance and repair

One of the more dangerous scams on our list involves something seemingly innocent--a knock on your door to let you know your roof needs repair. While some startup companies may go door-to-door offering their services, most of the time this should send up a red flag. There are a few potential scams that come in the form of a person in work uniform knocking on your door.

First, a company might be selling real services, but they could be services you don’t need. Make sure you understand facts about your home, such as the last time your roof was repaired. This will help you avoid making a bad deal to replace something that doesn’t need replacing.

Also be sure to never let someone into your home, regardless of their uniform, if you are alone or it’s late at night. Someone may be dressed like a salesperson or utility worker, but they could in reality be doing research on your home and your valuables. Would-be burglars can often spot your valuables, and see how secure your home is before coming back when no one is home.

Protect your identity

The issue of identity theft has been in the public eye with the rise of online communications. However, one of the easiest ways to steal your valuable information could be sitting right in your mailbox or in your garbage can.

Always be sure to shred papers that have personal information on them. And, if you go away on vacation, ask a neighbor or relative to bring in your mail for you. Not only will this help keep your identity safe, but it will make it look like someone is at home by keeping the pile of mail and newspapers outside low.  




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