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


Posted by Lauren Davis on 12/6/2017

Ready to sell your condo? Ultimately, listing a condo can be simple, particularly for condo sellers who plan ahead.

Now, let's take a look at three questions that condo owners need to consider before listing their properties.

1. What do I need to do to sell my condo?

Condo rules and regulations vary. As such, you should consult with your homeowners' association (HOA) to find out if there are any requirements related to selling your condo.

For example, an HOA may require a new property buyer to receive HOA board approval to purchase a condo in a particular community. Or, if you have outstanding condo fees, you probably will need to pay off these charges before you can sell your property.

2. How much is my condo worth?

Although your condo community likely hires landscapers to help keep your property looking great, it is important to understand that a condo's interior plays an important role in the property's value. Thus, you should allocate the necessary time and resources to upgrade your condo's interior. This will enable you to improve your condo's interior and help it stand out to property buyers, thereby increasing the likelihood of a quick condo sale.

In addition, completing a property appraisal usually is an excellent idea. A property appraiser will inspect your condo and evaluate various housing market data to help you pinpoint the value of your residence. Then, you can obtain a property valuation that can help you establish a competitive price for your condo.

3. Do I need to hire a real estate agent?

When it comes to selling a condo, it often pays to hire a real estate agent. However, it is important to note that no two real estate agents are identical, and you should try to find a real estate agent who possesses extensive condo selling expertise.

Let's face it – a condo is very different from a house. A condo owner does not have to worry about property exterior maintenance in the same way that a homeowner does. Conversely, a condo owner must follow HOA requirements; otherwise, this property owner may face steep penalties.

A real estate agent with condo selling expertise understands the pros and cons of owning a condo. Therefore, this housing market professional knows how to work with condo sellers and ensure these individuals can achieve their desired results.

Typically, a real estate agent will meet with a condo owner and learn about his or her property selling goals. After the meeting, a real estate agent will help a condo owner map out a successful condo selling journey.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent with condo selling expertise is ready to respond to a property seller's concerns and questions. This housing market professional also will go above and beyond the call of duty to exceed a condo seller's expectations.

Take the guesswork out of selling your condo – consider the aforementioned questions, and you can speed up the property selling process.





Posted by Lauren Davis on 11/29/2017

Although you may commit substantial time and resources to clean your home, it may prove to be exceedingly difficult to keep your residence looking spectacular day after day. However, with a home cleaning service at your disposal, you can employ friendly, skilled cleaning professionals to ensure your home will dazzle consistently.

Each home cleaning service is different, and you'll want to know what to ask each professional cleaning company before you hire one. Fortunately, we're here to help you simplify the process of hiring a professional cleaning company – here are three questions to ask a home cleaning business.

1. Are you insured and bonded?

When it comes to finding a professional cleaning service, employing a company that provides peace of mind is essential. Thus, if you hire an insured and bonded home cleaning service, you can rest easy knowing that your property and belongings are protected when cleaning professionals visit your residence.

An insured and bonded home cleaning company offers protection in the event that your property is damaged or any of your belongings go missing during a home cleaning. Therefore, you'll know that you are working with a proven home cleaning company that goes the extra mile to safeguard its clients if you choose a professional cleaning service that is insured and bonded.

2. Do you guarantee your services?

Is a home cleaning company open to feedback and suggestions? If not, you may want to search elsewhere for support, and for good reason.

Typically, a professional cleaning company will guarantee its service if its staff feels confident that it can deliver the best support possible during every home cleaning visit.

On the other hand, a home cleaning business that fails to offer guarantees may leave you high and dry. And if this company makes mistakes along the way, you might be stuck dealing with the consequences of these errors.

3. How do you establish your rates?

No one should be forced to break their budget to hire a professional cleaning company. Fortunately, you can find out exactly what it costs to clean a single room in your house or your entire residence if you ask about a home cleaning company's rates.

Usually, a professional cleaning company will be open about its rates and explain exactly what it offers as part of its service packages. In some instances, a home cleaning business may even provide discounts if you agree to multiple cleaning appointments or refer other customers as well.

Understand exactly what types of cleaning services you need so you can find a home cleaning company that will be able to offer the right support. By doing so, you'll be able to shop around for professional cleaning services in your area and find one that matches your budget perfectly.

Devote the necessary time and resources to find a professional cleaning company to enhance the quality and appearance of your residence. With a top-notch home cleaning business at your side, you can improve your house in no time at all.




Tags: cleaning tips   cleaning  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Lauren Davis on 11/22/2017

Many new homeowners are eager to begin renovations on their home to make it fit the beautiful picture they have in their mind. Unfortunately the aesthetic improvements, while important, are often prioritized over important structural and functional repairs that should be made first. The key to making smart financial decisions for renovating your home is to have a good budget and to stick to it. Home improvements are one of the few expenses that people often forget to budget for, alongside car repairs and emergency medical expenses. If done properly, however, a budget will help you prioritize your repairs so you'll spend your time and money wisely. In this article, we'll explain how to budget for home repairs in a way that works for you and your family.

Understanding your money

To budget for home improvements, you first need to budget for other things in your life. Use an app or website like Mint or You Need a Budget to get a better understanding of how you spend your money. For some, budgeting for home improvements may mean cutting back on other spending areas. Fortunately, these apps break down all of your purchases by categories and help you spend less each month.

Ranking your renovations

If you're dying to update the bathroom but the roof needs to be redone, you should call the roofers first. Some home improvements are a ticking time bomb: deteriorating roofs, poor insulation, HVAC issues, water damage, and safety concerns like fire hazards are all problems that need to be addressed first on your budget. Some will save you money, others could save your life, but all of them are more important than adding closet space in your bathroom.

Estimating costs

Do your research when it comes to the the cost of repairs and home improvements. Once you have a ballpark figure, add it into your budgeting app as a new item on your budget. There is a general rule, when budgeting for home repairs, that you should set aside 1% of the cost of your home for maintenance and repairs each year. However, there are many other factors involved in how much it will cost to upkeep your home like the age of the house, the weather in your area, and how well-maintained the home was before you bought it.

Sticking to your budget

Everyone starts with good intentions, but keeping a budget isn't easy. Thankfully, it has been made much more manageable with the help of apps and websites that link right to your bank accounts. To stick to your home repair budget, make sure you sign up for reminders on your spending and progress. If you're keeping a budget the old fashioned way (pen and paper), put reminders on your calendar each month to check if you're spending too much on home repairs. Another key to successful budgeting it to make sure everyone in the house is on the same page. If your significant other plays a role in home repairs, go over your budget together. This will help you keep one another accountable and set priorities that work for everyone.





Posted by Lauren Davis on 11/15/2017

There are a lot of real estate agents out there to choose from. It might be hard to tell one from another. There’s so many ways to find an agent these days including recommendations from friends and family to simple online searches. You want an agent that understands your needs from the neighborhoods that you’re looking to buy a home in, to the layout of the market that you’re selling in. Each agent has different specialties from relocation needs to foreign languages to FHA approved property searches. Below, you’ll find some tips to help you find the perfect realtor for you. 


Pick Someone Who You Can Have Straight Talk With


You’ll need to like the person you pick as your realtor, but you’ll also need someone who you can talk business with. You don’t want a family member who you don’t feel comfortable knowing your financial picture, or someone who won’t understand your desire for a certain location or neighborhood. 


Match Your Personality


You’ll be in touch with and will be spending a lot of time with your realtor. You want to find a realtor who can work well with you. Match your personality with theirs. Do you like someone who is a bit aggressive? Would you rather have a realtor who is a bit more easy-going? How often do you want to be in touch with your agent? Just remember that if you don’t like your agent, there’s a good chance that other people may not like your agent either! 


The Choice Is Yours


Remember that the choice is yours when you’re looking for a realtor. You want to find a realtor who you know you’ll work well with. You also want to know that your realtor will work for you. It’s important that your realtor be ethical, communicative, and be a part of your team throughout the process of buying and selling. Here’s some questions that you should ask your realtor in order to help you understand if they’re a good fit for you:


  • Will I be working with you exclusively?
  • Are you a full or a part-time agent?
  • How much experience do you have?
  • What broker do you work for?
  • Have you closed homes in this neighborhood before?
  • Do you work with any lenders or have a seasoned team to help us through this process?

  • Asking these questions can help you to get a better understanding of who your realtor is and how they can help you to buy your dream home or sell your current property. This way, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect throughout the process.





Posted by Lauren Davis on 11/8/2017

There’s many different reasons why you might want to consider choosing a mortgage payment over a monthly rent check. But there’s also a few drawbacks to buying a home. One big obstacle is that of the down payment. When you’re renting a property, there’s a lower amount of money that you’ll need to come up with in order to secure a place to live. With a 20% down payment required to buy a home, saving for that down payment seems a lot more daunting than renting. There’s so many financial advantages to owning a home.  With quite a few factors to consider, buying a home may not be so far out of reach for you. 


Rates Are Low


Even though mortgage rates fluctuate from time to time, they’re still low enough that it makes sense to buy a home and make it a much cheaper monthly cost than renting.  


Rental Rates Are Not Guaranteed


Your rent is not guaranteed to stay the same over time. The price can go up after the lease ends. Another problem with renting is that the landlord can decide that he wants to make improvements to the building at any time, even improvements that you’ll be required to move out for. You could end up in a bind fairly quickly if you’re put in this situation. 


If you buy a home, the only change to your expenses would be if you choose an adjustable rate mortgage or if there’s changes in property taxes and insurance rates. Your expenses are more predictable when you buy a home. 


You’ll Build Equity When You Buy A Home


One of the top reasons to buy a home is to enable you to build equity. Over time, you’ll have a piece of property that will provide cash that you’ll be able to tap into when needed. Home equity doesn’t replace the other ways that you save, but you’ll have another source of financial backing. Your monthly mortgage payment is in essence going into the “bank” of your future. 


There’s Plenty Of Tax Breaks For Homeowners


This is one known financial benefit of owning a home. The initial years of your home ownership mainly go towards paying down the interest on the home. The good news is that this expense is tax deducible. Also, you’ll benefit financially when you sell your home as you won’t have to pay tax on gains you have earned if you live in your home for at least half the time within the 5 years before you sell. Home insurance and mortgage insurance are also tax deductible. 


While the idea of buying a home may seem like a feat, financially, it’s a smart decision. When you’re renting, you don’t see a return on the monthly check that you shell out. If you own a home, you own it and it’s your to do with as you please. You get out of your home what you put into it.