Gail DuBois' Blog
26 Oak Hill Rd, Southborough, MA 01772
Browsing through the kitchen gadgets or perusing the tech isles for the lasts and greatest little gizmos to make your life more comfortable you will find all sorts of items that make you wonder if they are worth the money. Maybe you wish you were living in the real-life version of some futurist cartoon you grew up watching where the robotic maid does all the chores, and the house itself provides your meals. While that scenario may be a bit out of reach as of yet, it may soon be available.
Little Things, Big Help
The kitchen, known to be the "heart of the home," is one place you can find many useful gadgets to help create that feeling. Some items are daily use and others, just once in a while, but all need to be stored and sometimes space is limited. Americans love their morning ‘cup of joe,' so coffee makers seem to be the standard operating procedure for most households. Programmable coffee makers have been on the market for a while, but now they have an app for that coffee maker. So, if you have an urge for a coffee on your way home from work with certain tech coffeemakers, you can simply order one up, and it will be ready as you walk in the door. If coffee is not your thing, maybe having your bar-b-qued burgers cooked just right is more your speed. There are now meat thermometers, that with an app on your phone, will tell you when that meat is at an optimal temperature. No more opening and closing the BBQ lid and messing with the heat levels, Bon Appetite!
What about smart tech for appliances, like your refrigerator? A fridge with an internet connection can keep track of the food inside, but some can also connect to other smart technology throughout your home. Some smart refrigerators can allow you to communicate with your smartphone while you are out and about, thus enabling you to check on how many eggs you have left or whether you need pickles. Some models have whiteboards so you can leave messages, or screens that can keep schedules to help you and everyone stay in the loop. Command Central, located in your smart refrigerator, making the kitchen indeed the heart of the home.
Check out some model homes and see what technology is being built into today's homes.
If you plan to sell your house and need to declutter quickly, hosting a yard sale may prove to be ideal.
Ultimately, a yard sale enables you to get rid of excess items and earn extra cash at the same time. It also may help you connect with neighbors and lay the groundwork for long-lasting friendships.
When it comes to hosting a yard sale, it is important to sell the right items to the right buyers. By doing so, you can increase your chances of transforming an ordinary yard sale into a successful one.
Now, let's take a look at three items to sell during your yard sale:
If you're moving from a warm-weather climate to a cold region – or vice-versa – you should sell clothing that you no longer need.
Wash any clothes that you plan to sell as part of your yard sale. This will ensure all clothes are stain-free.
Furthermore, consider the buyer's perspective as you determine which clothing to sell. And if you find that some of your t-shirts, turtlenecks and other clothes are faded or ripped, you may want to dispose of these items altogether.
TVs, video game consoles and other electronics often prove to be popular yard sale purchases. As such, if you have excess electronics, you should sell these items at your yard sale.
If you plan to sell an old desktop or laptop computer, make sure to clear the hard drive. This helps eliminate potential cybersecurity headaches down the line.
Also, test any electronics to ensure they work properly. If electronics are battery-operated, install batteries to make it easy for yard sale shoppers to test these items. Or, if electronics require an electrical outlet, set up a power source that allows potential buyers to try these electronics.
If you are moving to a new house that already has a refrigerator, washer, dryer and other appliances, a yard sale provides an excellent opportunity to sell your current appliances.
Be realistic when you set prices for your home appliances. Check out the prices of brand-new and used appliances, and you can establish a price range for your appliances based on their age and condition.
In addition, don't hesitate to negotiate with buyers on appliance prices. Because if you fail to sell your appliances at your yard sale, you may be forced to move these big, heavy items on your own.
Those who understand which items to sell at a yard sale should have no trouble stirring up plenty of interest in any yard sale, at any time.
Lastly, if you want extra help as you plan for a yard sale, a real estate agent can offer expert assistance. This housing market professional can provide home decluttering tips to ensure you can sell the right items during your yard sale.
Start planning for a yard sale today, and you can move one step closer to decluttering and selling your house.
Purchasing a home should be fun, memorable process. However, many homebuyers struggle with fears as they embark on the process of acquiring their dream homes.
Some of the most common homebuying fears include:
1. I will pay too much for a house.
Overspending on a house is a common fear among homebuyers nationwide.
If you pay too much for a house, you may struggle to afford the monthly payments for the duration of your mortgage. Perhaps even worse, your house may lose value over time. And if you eventually decide to sell your home, you may be forced to accept less than what you initially paid for it.
Ultimately, an informed homebuyer will understand the differences between a buyer's market and a seller's one. He or she will be able to determine whether a home is affordably priced and proceed accordingly.
An informed homebuyer also will know the importance of getting pre-approved for a mortgage. With a mortgage in hand, this homebuyer will understand exactly how much that he or she can spend on a house.
2. I'll wait too long to submit an offer on a residence.
If a homebuyer is uncertain about buying a particular house and waits too long to submit an offer, he or she risks missing out on this residence altogether.
Fortunately, there is a simple way to avoid this problem.
A homebuyer who knows what he or she wants to find in a dream home can narrow a home search. Then, if the homebuyer discovers a home that matches or exceeds his or her expectations, this individual can submit an offer right away.
Don't forget to submit a competitive offer, i.e. one that accounts for the needs of both a homebuyer and home seller, as well. A competitive offer will stand out from other proposals and increase a property buyer's chances of securing his or her dream residence.
3. I'll buy a home that will fail to maintain its long-term value.
What you pay for a home today is unlikely to remain the same over the course of several weeks, months or years. But a homebuyer who employs an expert home inspector can learn about a house's strengths and weaknesses and ensure a property is a viable long-term investment.
A home inspector will conduct an assessment of a house after a property seller accepts a buyer's proposal. At this point, an inspector will examine a house's interior and exterior and identify any potential issues. Lastly, a home inspector will issue a report with his or her findings, and a homebuyer will have a final opportunity to modify or rescind an offer on a house.
For homebuyers, it is important to work with a trusted home inspector – you'll be glad you did. This home inspector will go above and beyond the call of duty to evaluate a house before you finalize a home purchase.
Working with an experienced real estate agent may benefit a homebuyer too. With a top-notch real estate agent at your side, you can get the support you need to acquire a first-rate home that will maintain its value both now and in the future.
Older homes can be a great investment opportunity. A solid home in a revitalizing but established neighborhood is perfect for flipping, renting out for additional income or first-time homebuyers. There are a variety of differences between buying an older home that may require renovation and newer homes that are move-in ready.
Benefits of Older Neighborhoods
Since cities spread outward, many older neighborhoods are closer to city centers. That means shopping, local businesses, nightlife, parks and more within easy access. Longer established areas tend to have more character including larger trees with shade, sidewalks and even bike lanes. Older architecture has a distinct charm, and if it’s genuinely a designated historic landmark neighborhood, you may be required to keep some or all the classic details of your home, whether you want them or not. Some older neighborhoods boast back alleys that give you rear garage access and may even allow alley trash pickup.
Newer neighborhoods and construction tend to be further out, especially brand-new construction, which means less access to public transportation and greater distances to shopping and local businesses. Some newer neighborhoods also are built with higher square footage versus open space, so you could be passing on a larger yard in favor of a larger home.
State, local and federal governments offer a variety of tax breaks to preserve historic homes and stabilize or accelerate revitalization. The most common type is a tax abatement. Also called a tax break, these are used by local cities to prompt people to move into these neighborhoods allowing buyers who otherwise couldn't afford the property or the renovations required on an older home to move in.
While your property taxes may initially seem a bit higher, they should be more stable than new-construction neighborhoods which can include widely varying assessments as new infrastructure is needed.
Does an older or historic neighborhood sound like the right fit for you? Your real estate agent can help you find the best property for your needs.