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Where you live should reflect your lifestyle. These questions will help you find the best community for you.
Is it close to my favorite spots?
Make a list of activities you engage in and stores you visit frequently. See how far you would have to travel from each neighborhood you’re considering to engage in your most common activities.
Is it safe?
Contact the police department to obtain neighborhood crime statistics. Consider not only the number of crimes but also the type and trend. (Is crime going up or down?). Pay attention to see where in the neighborhood the crime is happening.
Is it economically stable?
Check with your local economic development office to see if household income and property values in the neighborhood are stable or rising. What is the ratio of owner-occupied homes to rentals? Apartments don’t necessarily diminish value, but they indicate a more transient population. Are there vacant businesses or homes that have been on the market for months? Check news sources to find out if new development is planned.
Is it a good investment?
Ask a local REALTOR® about price appreciation in the neighborhood. Although past performance is no guarantee of future results, this information may give you a sense of how a home’s value might grow. A REALTOR ® also may be able to tell you about planned developments or other changes coming to the neighborhood — such as a new school or highway — that might affect its value.
Do I like what I see?
Once you’ve narrowed your focus to two or three neighborhoods, go and get a feel for what it might be like to live there. Take notes: Are homes tidy and well maintained? Are streets bustling or quiet? How does it feel? Pick a pleasant day if you can, and chat with people working or playing outside.
What’s the school district like?
This is especially important if you have children, but it also can affect resale value. The local school district can probably provide information on test scores, class size, the percentage of students who attend college, and special enrichment programs. If you have school-age children, visit schools in neighborhoods you’re considering.
Originally posted at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/handouts-for-customers/for-buyers/questions-ask-about-neighborhood
Here are a few items to take care of before listing your home. This can make the sale process quicker and easier in the long run.
Consider a pre-sale home inspection. An inspector will be able to give you a good indication of the trouble areas that will stand out to potential buyers, and you’ll be able to make repairs before open houses begin.
Organize and clean. Pare down clutter and pack up your least-used items, such as large blenders and other kitchen tools, out-of-season clothes, toys, and seasonal items. Store items off-site or in boxes neatly arranged in the garage or basement. Clean the windows, carpets, walls, lighting fixtures, and baseboards to make the house shine.
Get replacement estimates. Do you have big-ticket items that will need to be replaced soon? Find out how much it will cost to repair an older roof or replace worn carpeting, even if you don’t plan to do so. The figures will help buyers determine if they can afford the home, and they’ll be handy when negotiations begin.
Locate warranties. Gather up the warranties, guarantees, and user manuals for the furnace, washer/dryer, dishwasher, and any other items that will remain with the house. It may seem like this task can be left until closing, but you don’t want lost paperwork or last-minute scrambling to cause the deal to fall through.
Spruce up the curb appeal. Walk out to the front of your home, close your eyes, and pretend you’re a prospective buyer seeing the property for the first time. As you approach the front door, what is your impression of the property? Do the lawn and bushes look neatly manicured? Is the address clearly visible? What do you see framing the entrance, if anything? Is the walkway free of cracks and impediments?
Originally posted at http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/handouts-for-customers/for-sellers/putting-your-home-up-for-sale
Garage sales can be a great way to get rid of clutter and earn a little extra cash before you move. But make sure you plan ahead; they can take on a life of their own.
Don’t wait until the last minute.
Depending on how long you’ve lived in your home and how much stuff you want to sell, planning a garage sale can take a lot of time and energy. And that’s on top of the effort of putting your home on the market!
Contact your local government.
Most municipalities will require you to obtain a permit in order to hold a garage sale. They’re often free or cheap, but the fines for neglecting to obtain one can be hefty.
See if neighbors want to join in.
You can turn your garage sale into a block-wide event and lure more shoppers. However, a permit may be necessary for each home owner, even if it’s a group event.
Schedule the sale.
Sales on Saturdays and Sundays will generate the most traffic, especially if the weather cooperates. Start the sale early — 8 or 9 a.m. is best — and be ready for early birds.
Place an ad in the newspaper, free classified papers, and websites, including the date(s), time, and address of the garage sale. Add information about what will be available, such as kids’ clothes, furniture, or special equipment. On the day of the sale, use balloons and signs with prominent arrows to grab attention.
Price your goods.
Clearly mark rounded prices (50 cents, 3 for $1, or $5, for example) with easily removable stickers.
If it’s junk, recycle or donate it.
If it’s truly garbage, throw it away or place it in a freebie bin. Don’t try to sell broken appliances, and have an electrical outlet nearby in case a customer wants to try plugging something in.
Display items nicely.
Organize by category, and don’t make customers dig through boxes.
Stock up on supplies.
Having a stock of old shopping bags that can be reused encourages people to buy more items. Newspapers are handy for wrapping fragile goods.
Manage your money.
Obtain ample change for your cashbox, and have a calculator on hand. Assign one person to man the “register,” keeping a tally of what was purchased and for how much.
Originally posted at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/handouts-for-customers/for-sellers/how-hold-successful-garage-sale
Originally posted at http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/handouts-for-customers/for-buyers/7-reasons-own-home
So fresh and so clean! This awesome 1100 square foot condo features trendy new floors downstairs, with an open concept living room/kitchen perfect for entertaining. Upstairs features the spacious master bedroom, second bedroom, and full bath. Plenty of closet space throughout the home. The partially finished basement is perfect for a game room, home gym, or hang out space. The large deck and fenced in backyard rounds out this exceptional value. Close to EVERYTHING; Commuter Rail, highway, shopping, dining, and more!
As you would expect, lenders want to have the credit they give to you paid back, on time, with interest. It's how they make money. If you are not paying your bills on time, the credit card companies are not happy, and they in turn can have a huge impact on your credit score.
Debt repayment accounts for about a third of your credit score. Paying your bills on time is crucial to keeping your credit score healthy, or improving it over time. Some things to keep in mind:
Pam contacted me a couple of months ago to ask for help selling her mom's home in Bellingham, Massachusetts. The home that has been in the family for 40+ years, where Pam and her brother were brought up was ready to be passed on to a new family to make their own memories in. It's an emotional and bittersweet time.
In October of 1969, Pam's family settled in Bellingham for the long haul. Dad was in the Army at the time and the family had moved from place to place as his assignment changed. With a reassignment from Missouri to Natick Labs in Massachusetts, Pam's dad took a trip to Bellingham, took a look at Saddleback Hill Rd and said "SOLD". It was a small town that seemed like a great place to raise a family. They moved in shortly thereafter.
Over the years, Bellingham has changed, but still kept its small town charm. The Almacs in the center of town has become the Town Common. Big businesses have come in like Walmart, Whole Foods, and Old Navy coexisting alongside small town staples like Joff's Backyard Grill, Wenger's Farm, and Charlie's Tire. With great schools, quick access to the Commuter Rail, and easy access to 495, Bellingham is a perfect community to live and enjoy.
This well-maintained home has many features that a young family desires. The main level features an bright living room, large eat-in-kitchen (complete with indoor barbeque), sun room, three bedrooms and one bathroom. An additional large living space is downstairs with fireplace, along with a home office, laundry, storage, and access to the garage. CENTRAL AIR to keep you cool in the summer, HARDWOODS under the carpeting, and a large, flat backyard in a quiet established neighborhood rounds out this great home.
The desirable town of Lincoln is a vibrant suburban community with easy access to shopping, outdoor activities, entertainment and more. With excellent schools and easy access to major highways, it made for an ideal location for Carolyn and Josh's first home. A diamond in the rough, they were able to see through the cobwebs of this dated home and have turned it into a picturesque New England Cape, perfect for a young family.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! Beautifully updated Cape in desirable Lincoln. Enter the home through a large bright breezeway/mudroom to the living area with plenty of room and a pellet stove to keep toasty in the winter and save on heating. Continue through to the dining room and kitchen, perfect for entertaining family and friends. This home is rounded off with two exquisite full bathrooms, two roomy bedrooms and many other tasteful updates throughout the home. Gleaming hardwood floors throughout and a great, private backyard; perfect home for a young family looking for great schools in close proximity to shopping, dining, and highway access. Don't miss this great opportunity!
Joe and Karen moved to Narragansett with their son and daughter in 1993. When looking for a neighborhood that had the charm of being part of a small beach community with established homes and good neighbors, they came across Edgewater and immediately knew they found it. Coming from a small Cape on a postage stamp lot in Providence, establishing their family in this roomy Colonial with plenty of space to enjoy the outdoors was a dream come true.
Throughout the years, many family gatherings were hosted here, with grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins, and friends enjoying the flexibility of the adjoining living and dining rooms. Christmas meals were prepared in the large eat-in-kitchen, and summer "Cousins Parties" were enjoyed in the family room and out into the deck and fenced-in backyard with outdoor shower. The flow of the first floor lends itself to everyone being included in the festivities, with easy access to food, family, and fun, both inside and out.
As the years went by, Joe and Karen continued to enjoy and update their beautiful home. They completely renovated the Kitchen and adjoining Family Room, with new tile and gleaming hardwood floors to complement the cherry cabinets and granite countertops. Attention to detail is evident with small comforts like soft-close cabinet doors, functional custom pantry cabinets, and high quality stainless steel appliances.
Upstairs, the family enjoys 3 bedrooms; an expansive master bedroom with walk-in closet and en suite bathroom and 2 large bedrooms with large closets, close to the 2nd full bathroom. Hardwoods glisten throughout the second floor with plenty of light pouring in and the comfort of central air during the warmer weather throughout the home.
Now Joe and Karen find it time to downsize, with their children having moved on to enjoy homes of their own. Their great care and tasteful updates make this the perfect Narragansett home for a young family looking to create memories of their own in this vibrant seaside community.