Should I Get a Pool For My House?

Did you feel like you were missing something this summer? Are you thinking that maybe come spring time it’s time to get a pool in the backyard? The cool refreshing look of water on a hot summer’s day can make any homeowner wish they had a pool in their backyard, but making the decision about whether a pool is right for your property is more complicated than buying an inflatable bed with a cup holder. There is a lot of work and money that goes into owning a pool, and here are a few things to consider before calling in the excavating team.

Is Your Yard Big Enough For A Pool?

While there are some small properties that can blue-buoy-on-swimming-pool-000063897223_largebenefit from a pool, usually if the pool is going to take up more than 30% of the total yard space, installation can have a negative effect on your home’s value. You also want to consider what other things you use your yard space for, or may want to in the future, before going ahead.

Are You Prepared For The Work And Cost?

Pools can be fun, but they are also a lot of work and can be costly to maintain. Besides installation costs, pools require considerable cleaning, a lot of additional products and tools to maintain, and, depending on where you live, you may only get a few months of enjoyment from them each year.

How Will A Pool Affect Your Home’s Value?

Depending on where you live, the size of your property, and the existing value of your home, a pool can either be an asset to your property’s value or a considerable liability. Large homes in warmer climates tend to increase in value with the addition of a pool, but doing a bit of research about the market in your particular area can help make this decision a little easier, and will give you all the facts.

In general, if you are looking to install a pool because it will likely give you and your family a great amount of enjoyment, considerations such as the size of your yard and the effect it will have on your property value may not be too important. But like any decision you make about your home, it is always a good idea to know all the facts before making the changes.

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4 Reasons Why Fall is a Great Time to List Your Home for Sale

While spring is typically the hottest time for real estate, the fall season has its perks as well! With summer coming to an end, many people and their families are getting back into their routines with school and work. If you are thinking of selling your home this fall, please feel free to give me a ring – I’d be happy to answer any and all questions about real estate. Whether you are thinking of listing this fall, or are planning to list in the spring, I’m here for you! Read more

Things to Consider When Hiring a Home Inspector

You’ve gone to countless open houses, searched online for months, and have finally found the house of your dreams, but before signing your name on the dotted line there are a few key steps you should not overlook. When purchasing a home, hiring the right home inspector can be the most important decision you make. Knowing the condition of the house you are going to purchase cannot be left to appearances or promises, and some undetected problems can be even more costly than the price of the house itself. Making sure you have the services of a home inspector who knows what he or she is doing can prevent what should be a great investment from becoming a financial disaster. So what steps can you take to be sure your home inspector is qualified? Here are a few things to consider.

How Long Have They Been In The Business, And What Is Their Professional Background?

The housing market has steadily increased over home-inspectorthe last several decades, and the home inspection business is booming. With new home inspectors becoming certified each day from a variety of programs, hiring the services of an experienced inspector can really make a difference. Though experience is always a good indicator of qualifications, also consider hiring an inspector who has a background in the housing industry, whether as a real estate agent or home builder.

What Are Their Qualifications?

With the incredible number of courses and schools offering certification in home inspection, knowing where your home inspector got their training and whether or not the course is actually recognized by the certifying body in your area is definitely worth the extra time to find out. Always ask to see proof of their certification, and make the necessary calls to the institution if there is any doubt.

Do They Have References?

This may seem an obvious question to ask any professional, but many people skip this step, and even fewer actually follow up on the references that they ask for. Always call the references that your home inspector provides, and be sure they can give you at least three recent referrals.

How Much Do They Charge?

While the costs involved in purchasing a new home can add up quickly, the temptation to try to save when hiring a home inspector should be resisted. Call several home inspectors for quotes, and if the one you have selected is considerably cheaper than the others, ask yourself why. Most certified and qualified home inspectors know what the competition is charging and will usually charge a similar rate.

While all this work may seem like a lot of effort for what may turn out to be just red tape, if there is a serious problem with the property you are hoping to buy and it goes undetected, what should be your greatest investment may turn out to be your greatest liability.


Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

Homes for Sale in Hopkinton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopkinton, MA
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What Season is the Best Time to Sell My House?

So you are ready to sell your house, but you look out the window and see several feet of snow on the ground. Should you bother putting your house on the market in the winter, or should you wait until spring? Is there a better season in which to sell your home? The answers to these questions depend on a few basic factors.

Where You Live

In a place where the climate is very cold in the winter, it can be wise to wait until spring to sell, because fewer buyers will be venturing out to look at homes. In an area where the sun shines year round, weather is not a concern, and people will have no trouble coming out to see your house. This doesn’t mean, however, that season doesn’t matter in a warm climate! It can still affect how many potential buyers will come out and the odds of selling.

Watch Out For The Holiday Slump

People are usually too busy from Thanksgiving through Christmas to spend much time house hunting, and in January they are often recovering financially from holiday over-spending. Most experts will recommend that you avoid listing your home until after the worst of the holiday slump in the market is over and people are looking to buy again. This is true no matter what the climate!

Particulars Of Your Home

If your home is near a high school, you might want to consider selling in the summer when things nearby are a bit quieter. The noise and traffic of the school year might put some buyers off. If your home is near a lot of fun winter activities, this might actually be a selling point that will be highlighted better in the winter months. Looking for these details of your area and capitalizing on them will help you to get your home sold.

The season does matter when it comes to home buying, and spring is usually a good time to list. As your real estate agent, I can help you to determine what season makes the most sense for listing in your particular case, providing you with market information in your area and helping you pinpoint the particulars of your home that make it appealing in a specific season.


Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

Homes for Sale in Hopkinton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopkinton, MA
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The Advantages of a Pre-Approval

The decision to purchase a home can be an exciting but sometimes confusing undertaking. When beginning your search for the perfect home, there are a number of factors that you will want to consider. Whether you are a first time buyer or already own a home and want to move up, getting pre- approval for your mortgage is a necessary and time saving step. Here are some of the benefits of getting pre-approved!

Know Your Budget!

Getting pre-approved means that you will have a clear picture of the credit you have available to you to purchase your new home, as well as your price range. This will prevent you from spending time looking at homes that may be out of your budget and perhaps getting attached to a home that you cannot afford. It means that if you find the home that is right for you, it can more easily become yours!

Close Quickly

pt_18_28420_oGetting pre-approved for your mortgage means that you can act more quickly once you find the home that is right for you. The process of getting the mortgage approved is generally the longest and most complicated process in any home purchase. It requires verification of your income and employment, an evaluation of your credit reports, and the completion of a loan application. Having this step completed can save weeks of time in the closing process. Pre-approval also means that you have an advantage should a bidding war begin. The seller can be confident that you can afford the bid you are making and that you can move quickly to finalize the sale.

Overall, there are a number of benefits to getting pre-approval for your mortgage before beginning the search for your new home. Most importantly, it can give you peace of mind in knowing that you are ready and able to make the commitment to homeownership, and that you are not wasting your time in looking at properties that you may not be able to afford.

Pre-Approval vs. Pre-Qualification

There is a major difference between a pre-approval and a pre-qual. When a lender pre-qualifies you, they don’t dig too deep into your financials and could easily miss something that could greatly affect your ability to purchase a home. When you get pre-approved, the lender digs deep to get a really good idea of your financial status. Most sellers require that you present a pre-approval letter from your lender when you submit an offer, and most won’t even consider a pre-qualification because it is so vague.


Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

Homes for Sale in Hopkinton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopkinton, MA
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Should I Refinance with Interest Rates Being So Low?

With mortgage rates on the lower side, the choice to cash in and refinance your mortgage may be tempting, but before you make that decision here are a few facts to help you decide if it is the best financial choice for you and your family. Whether it is just to reduce the amount of interest you pay, or freeing up some income for other items or debts, there are several considerations to take into account. Here are the more popular options for refinancing your mortgage.

Fixed Rate Mortgages

If you like the stability of a fixed rate loan because of your budget can’t handle unexpected fluctuation, then now might be a great time to choose this option. With fixed rates lower than they have been in some time, this may save you money by either reducing your monthly payments or, if you keep your payment the same, reducing the principal on your loan.

Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs)

img_page_breakevenIf you’re planning to stay in a home for only a few years, or your income can handle changing monthly payments, then you can get an ARM for significantly less than a fixed rate mortgage. Adjustable rate mortgages are also popular with people who may have difficulty qualifying for a loan at a higher fixed interest rate, as it lowers the monthly payment.

Home Equity Loans

When interest rates are low, it is a good time to take out a home equity loan. This may allow you to keep your home if you are facing financial problems.
It is also a great way to finance home improvements.

No matter what decision you make concerning the mortgage on your home, keeping your options open, arming yourself with up-to-date knowledge on the markets, and seeking the advice of professionals will keep your investment safe.


Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

Homes for Sale in Hopkinton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopkinton, MA
Homes for Sale in Hopedale, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopedale, MA
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Pre-Autumn Home Maintenance Tips

As the warm months of summer come to an end, consider these quick — but important — home maintenance tasks to finish before fall:

  1. Check window seals. Examine the edges of your windows to ensure the caulk shows no gaps. You can tell if a window needs new glaze by lightly tapping the window pane. If it rattles in its frame, new glaze needs to be applied, which will save on your heating bill come fall.
  2. Swap out summer plants. Transition your yard from the high maintenance flowers of summer to more hardy plants that will survive the first frost. Good plants for cool weather include pansies and garden mums. Also, now is a good time to prepare for spring blossoms, so plant your tulip and daffodil bulbs.
  3. Safety check your chimney. If you havfall_home-guttere a chimney, regular maintenance is a must to ensure safety. Have it professionally cleaned and inspected this year, and don’t forget to gather enough firewood to get the season started!
  4. Inspect smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Dangerous carbon monoxide leaks can lead to serious harm when a home is sealed up as it is during cold weather. House fires are most likely to occur during the cold months when people use candles, Christmas trees and fireplaces. Make sure your safety detectors are in proper working order before the cold weather arrives, and rest easy.
  5. Store outdoor items. Do a clean sweep of your yard, tidying away garden hoses and patio furniture for next year. This gives your curb appeal a boost and also helps you avoid frozen hoses and moldy furniture later in the season.

Are you thinking of selling this fall? Give me a call so we can discuss what else you can do to get your home ready to sell.


Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

Homes for Sale in Hopkinton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopkinton, MA
Homes for Sale in Hopedale, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopedale, MA
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Things Needed After Purchasing A Home

Now that you’ve signed all the paperwork and your loan is approved, it’s time to move in. But wait! Before you put your feet up, there are a few things that you will need in order to make your new house a home.

Locks

Regardless of whether you purchase a newly constructed home or one that was formerly owned by someone else, it’s important that you have the locks changed. Everyone from REALTORS® and contractors to friends and family of the former owner may have a key, which is why getting new locks should be at the top of your list.

Furnishings

You can’t hang your hat without a hatrack, so don’t forget to add some necessary furnishings. Some home7015813_mls may include appliances and possibly even some furniture, but most homeowners prefer to decorate their house themselves. After all, someone else’s taste in decor may not necessarily be the same as your own. If you purchase from a furniture store, they will handle the delivery for you. Otherwise, you can hire a moving company.

Appliances & Cookware

Even if your new home is equipped with appliances, you may still need to add a few items into the mix. For instance, a coffee maker, toaster, microwave or blender may be items you want for your kitchen. You will also need flatware, tableware and a quality dish drainer to hold your dishes that require the handwash method.

Tools

When you move into a new home, there will likely be some things to do that require the use of tools. Whether you need to assemble furniture, a desk for your office or just need to tighten some bolts here and there, a good set of tools is a necessity.

Personal Touches

No home is complete without personal touches that represent the new owner’s taste, so don’t forget to include them on your shopping list. Pictures, paintings, special window dressings, accent pillows, plants, decorative throws, accent rugs and bedding sets will create a custom interior that’s all about you. Other things to consider include portable air cleaners, water filters, an answering machine, wastebaskets and a bathroom plunger.

Outdoor Décor

If you like to entertain, equipping your backyard accordingly is a must. Patio furniture, an outdoor grill, landscaping tools and garden supplies are essential to creating an outdoor atmosphere that your family and friends are sure to love. Speaking of the outdoors, don’t forget to purchase a lawnmower and trimmer unless you live in a subdivision where lawncare is included in the maintenance fees. If you live in an area that’s prone to snowfall, keep this in mind when shopping for maintenance supplies.

The best way to tackle a large list of necessities is to keep a pad of paper nearby and write down each item as you think of it. Think about each area of your new home and do a mental inventory of what is needed. There will always be new items to add to the list, but you will cover the basics with your handy checklist of necessary items for your new home.


Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

Homes for Sale in Hopkinton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopkinton, MA
Homes for Sale in Hopedale, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopedale, MA
Homes for Sale in Milford, MA | Real Estate Agent in Milford, MA
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Should You Agree to Pay the Closing Costs?

Many of the closing costs on the sale of a home usually fall to the buyer, who is responsible for paying a variety of fees in order to finalize the sale. In some situations, a seller may offer to help with these costs or even cover them in full in order to help complete a sale. This isn’t always a necessary or even appropriate move, but in the right situation it can sell a house faster.

When To Offer To Pay Closing CostsHow-To-Get-a-Seller-to-Pay-Your-Closing-Costs-in-Today’s-Housing-Market-1200x480

As a general rule, a seller should consider offering to pay the closing costs when they really need to get the home sold fast. Offering such an incentive may mean that your home sells faster and more easily than had you not offered.

You might also offer to pay closing costs if you have a lot of equity and will make a good profit off the sale. In a market when it is harder for buyers to get loans or come up with down payments, sometimes a seller who is motivated and has the extra equity to handle closing costs can make the difference between buying a home and waiting to save up even more money.

When To Let The Buyer Pay

In most cases, if the topic isn’t brought up in the negotiations, you can simply allow the buyer to handle the closing costs and not worry about it. This is the traditional way home sales are handled, and most buyers are aware of it and prepared for it.

If the buyer does request that you pay the closing costs as part of the negotiations for the sale of the home, consider whether or not you really want to accept their offer. If you have a lot of interest in the home and potential for more offers to come in soon, then you can probably safely refuse in your counteroffer. Odds are good that in such a situation the buyer will back down on the closing costs.

Splitting The Costs

You may want to consider splitting the closing costs with the buyer in order to save you both some money and get the deal to go through more smoothly. You can work the details out in your negotiations with the buyer. This is often a good compromise.

Remember that as the seller, you are not required to handle the buyer’s closing costs, and the choice to do so should benefit you in some way. Weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.


Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

Homes for Sale in Hopkinton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopkinton, MA
Homes for Sale in Hopedale, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopedale, MA
Homes for Sale in Milford, MA | Real Estate Agent in Milford, MA
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Homes for Sale in Mendon, MA | Real Estate Agent in Mendon, MA

Protecting Your Privacy While Your Home Is On The Market

Selling your home can cause potential anxiety about your personal privacy. With your doors open to a nearly constant stream of strangers through your home, you may worry that your personal information is at risk. Protecting your personal information is a top priority. Here are a few tips for protecting your privacy while your home is on the market.

Ask Your Agent To Accompany Potential Buyers And Other People Entering Your Home

Some REALTORS® allow buyers to walk through the property on their own. If you are concerned with allowing strangers to tour your home unaccompanied, let your agent know ahead of time.

Remove Your Mail And Financial Information

Don’t leave mail sitting out. You don’t want your personal information made public, and you would be surprised what thieves can use to steal your identity. Also remove all checkbooks and banks statements and place them in a secure filing cabinet or lockbox.

Remove Personal Effects

From diplomas to wedding photos, don’t provide potential buyers with any personal information about yourself or your family. Depersonalizing is also an important part of successfully staging your home for sale, so removing these things will allow you to accomplish two things at once.

Don’t Leave Your Computer On During Showings

A professional identity thief can access personal information from your computer in only a few moments, so shut your computer off before buyers arrive.

These simple tips can keep your privacy secure while selling your home.


Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

Homes for Sale in Hopkinton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopkinton, MA
Homes for Sale in Hopedale, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopedale, MA
Homes for Sale in Milford, MA | Real Estate Agent in Milford, MA
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Homes for Sale in Mendon, MA | Real Estate Agent in Mendon, MA