Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA
RE/MAX Leading Edge | 781-944-6060 | marilynellis@remax.net


Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 1/18/2018

What is it about cabinets that make them so difficult to keep organized? Despite our best efforts storage containers always seem to take over while baking ware get lost in the far back depths of corner cabinets. I’m here with X tips to keep your kitchen cabinets neat and tidy once and for all.

  1. Start with a major clear out to eliminate any unnecessary clutter. The kitchen is the easiest room in the house to build up excess stuff as it all seems so useful. However, in truth all those specialized gadgets and extra plates simply collect dust and make organizing more difficult.

  2. Give everything a place. By assigning each and every item in your kitchen cabinets a “home” you will be less likely to shove things away into drawers or into the back of cabinets. You will also be able to more effectively put the following tips to use as you will know exactly which solutions will work best for your belongings.

  3. Adding stacking shelves for plates and bowls adds extra storage to tall cabinets. Stacking shelves make the most of empty space without stacking plates a mile high and prevents having to pull from the bottom of a pile to grab a dinner plate.

  4. Add slide out organization to cabinets to create easy to reach access to the depths of cabinets without requiring a step ladder. They are easy to find at your local hardware or home goods store and easy to install on your own.

  5. Keep similar pantry items together in easy to grab bins. Think baking items together in one bin and spices in another. Matching bins placed on open shelves add a stylish touch to your home while clear containers allow you to see what is in each bin at a glance.

  6. Drawer dividers avoid the classic jumbled drawer of kitchen gadgets. Just as with pantry bins keeping like items in each section allows to easily find utensils at a glance. When shopping for dividers be sure to keep your utensils sizes and shapes in mind to find appropriately proportioned containers that will make the most of drawer space.

  7. Lazy susans in cabinets make it easy to find spices, canned goods and cooking oils with a quick spin of the fingertips. Keeping a lazy susan in the cabinet nearest your stove makes cooking an easier process.

  8. Alternatively, a spice rack on the inside of a cabinet adds storage space while putting cooking spices within arm's reach and puts the whole array at an eye’s glance. Again, this makes the most of vertical space to free up shelf space for other items.

  9. Hang mugs up on a spinning mug tree, mug rack or hooks under upper cabinets to make the most of vertical kitchen space, again, to free up precious shelf space. So often homeowners stuff their cabinets with mugs, unnecessarily monopolizing cabinet space.

  10. Invest in a matching food storage set that can nest easily. Better yet, look for the type where the lids snap together for an even easier storage solution. This also allows your food storage containers to be tucked away into one of the organizational bins from tip number four.

By making the most of vertical space and thinking outside the box when it comes to adding storage space to cabinets you can finally have organized cabinets that stay organized. To get the most out of these tips be sure to follow through on tip number one. Happy organizing!




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Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 1/11/2018

No income verification mortgage loans sound like a great idea. Also known as stated loans, these are easier to obtain than traditional mortgages. You won’t have to go through endless amounts of paperwork that traditional mortgages require. Think again. These types of loans are high risk and borrowers may have a hard time paying these loans back. Many lenders have removed these kinds of loans from their list of options. In certain circumstances, these loans can work for you, but you have to do your homework. 


Where Can You Get A Stated Loan?


Some lenders still provide these stated loans with no verification process required. Unlike earlier times, these loans are now pretty difficult to obtain. Typically, this type of mortgage is geared towards the self-employed and requires a large down payment. Also, the borrower must have a very good credit score to be considered for the loan. 


Are Stated Loans Unaffordable?


Since these loans come at very high interest rates, they are often seen as unaffordable due to the high monthly payment. Stated loans can have double the interest rate of what the current available mortgage rates are. However, if you don’t have many options, or are in a hurry to get a home and have money in the bank, it could work well for you.  


Could A No Income Verification Loan Be Right For You? 


If you really want a home loan, the first step is to be truly honest about your income. If you find a beautiful home and know that it’s out of your price range, you could risk defaulting on the loan. 


To truly understand what you can afford, you’ll need to figure out all of your monthly expenses including taxes, mortgage insurance, phone bills and grocery bills. This will give you a full picture of your finances. Once you look at all of these factors, you may find that it does make the most sense for you to get a no income verification loan. 


Deciding On The Type Of Loan You’ll Get


If you find that you need a lower monthly payment, it may make more sense for you to go after a traditional home loan. If you’re self-employed and know that your options are limited, a stated loan certainly is an option for you, you’ll just need to understand the risks of the entire process. You’ll also need to have a bunch of documents ready for the lender once you decide to go for the home loan. You can compare the costs of a no income verification loan to a traditional mortgage. Then, you can ask your lender what they’ll need from you in order to verify everything for the traditional mortgage. Any good broker can help you through your decision-making process. You’ll want to be well informed and compare all of the programs along with their fees. You should get recommendations on a lender who has the knowledge and experience to help you find the home loan that’s right for you.




Tags: mortgage   mortgage rates   loans  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 1/4/2018

Before you meet with lenders to refinance your home, there’s certain steps that you should take to make sure that you are ready to refinance and that the entire process will go smoothly. Whether you want to do a renovation or just get a lower interest rate, refinancing can be useful. These tips will be very helpful to you in making an informed decision.  


The Numbers Won’t Lie


Just like when you first purchase a home, you’ll need to take a look at your own financial situation to see if refinancing actually makes sense for you. If you’re less than 30 years from retirement, you may want to rethink getting another mortgage that starts from scratch. You can always consider a 15-year mortgage, knowing that your monthly payments will be higher, giving you some breathing room from another 30 years of mortgage payments.  


Know Your Credit Score


You should be checking in on your credit report periodically in order to catch any red flags early. You’ll also know and understand any weak spots in your credit. You’ll have time to eliminate any errors and give your score time to readjust. 

You should also get an idea of where you stand with your credit score. Credit card companies often provide this. There’s also a few free services that exist to help you obtain your credit score. Knowing this information can be very helpful when you’re looking to refinance a home.


Find Out Your Home’s Value


Lenders want to know that you don’t owe more than 80% of what your home is worth. An appraisal will be a part of the refinance process, but before you even start, it will be helpful to know how much you owe versus how much your home is worth. If you owe more than your home is worth, you may want to reconsider doing the kitchen over or going for that lower interest rate. Moving might be a better option financially.  


Get Your Finances Straight


A lender likes to know that you’re in good financial standing before they grant you a loan. Work on paying down your credit card balances and don’t max out any cards that you do have. All this can hurt your credit and your chances of obtaining a loan. You can even talk to some lenders beforehand in order to see if refinancing is a good idea. 


Do Your Homework


All lenders are not created equal. You can start with your current lender when it comes to refinancing. Since they want to keep your business, your lender will hopefully have some good deals for you. You’ll need to take some time to compare rates from different companies and find the lowest rates available. If you do your homework, you’ll be able to get the best deals and not regret your refinancing decision.




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Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 12/28/2017

With the rise of home-buying apps for mobile phones, and websites, home sellers are taking it upon themselves to add their own photos of their homes. These websites make it easy for anyone to upload pictures, no matter what the quality. However, photos that are put on these websites that showcase your home make a huge difference in the appeal to buyers. The first thing a prospective home buyer will look at on a home profile will be the price, the second will be the pictures. Because it is such a determining factor, here are some things to think about when taking these photos. Lighting The right lighting makes a huge difference to any real estate photo. People often make the mistake of using flash inside to try and make the rooms look brighter. However, using natural light and taking pictures at the right time of day makes a world of difference. If you use a tripod to stabilize your camera, and use long exposure, you won't even need to put the lights on in the room to get a great shot. While you may think that a sunny day would be the best type of day to use natural light, a cloudy day actually works best. For shooting the exterior of your house, early morning, or later in the day would be the best time for good lighting. Staging Even though you may love how your living room is set up with the couch in the middle of the room, to buyers it is hard to see the space that they will be working with. Staging your rooms to create more space will bring buyers attention to the space, not your furniture. Keeping the staging simple will allow them to visualize what their own belongings will look in that space. On that note, make sure your house is tidied up before taking some snaps. Creativity With the rise in popularity of drones for taking pictures and videos, it might be worth it to invest in one for that extra pop of creativity in your home's profile. With the drone, you can really give the buyer a perspective of how big your house is, the yard, and the surrounding neighborhood. If you still can't seem to take the right pictures, consider hiring a real estate photographer to make your home look more appealing. Either way, whether you are taking the photos yourself, or hire a professional, keep the quality of your real estate photos in mind when building your home profile. It will make all the difference!





Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 12/21/2017

Want to relocate to a condo? Buying a condo can be an uphill climb, particularly for homebuyers who are browsing the real estate market for the first time. Fortunately, real estate agents are available who will allocate the necessary time and resources to ensure you can find a top-notch condo in no time at all.

Ultimately, hiring the right real estate agent to assist you during your condo search can be easy. Here are three questions that you should ask a real estate agent before you hire him or her to guide you during your condo search:

1. How have you helped condo buyers in the past?

Ask a real estate agent about his or her past experience with condo buyers – you'll be glad you did. With this information at your disposal, you can find out how a real estate professional collaborates with condo buyers to help them achieve their goals.

A real estate agent should be a good communicator, i.e. someone who keeps condo buyers informed at each stage of the condo buying journey. That way, this real estate professional will keep you up to date about new condos as they become available and ensure you can find a great condo at a budget-friendly price.

When in doubt, be sure to ask for client referrals too. By doing so, you can reach out to a real estate agent's past clients to learn about their condo buying experiences.

2. How do you approach difficult situations?

Unfortunately, the condo buying journey sometimes can be filled with roadblocks along the way. For real estate agents, it is important to remain calm, cool and collected in these situations and do everything possible to limit their impact.

Ask a real estate agent to share details about past condo buying experiences that did not necessarily go according to plan. This will provide you with insights into how a real estate agent approaches unforeseen circumstances and whether he or she can thrive under pressure.

A real estate professional with condo buying experience should do whatever it takes to help his or her client get the best results possible. With this real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble securing your dream condo, regardless of the challenges that you encounter along the way.

3. Why should I hire you?

There is no right or wrong answer as to why you should hire a real estate agent to help you find a condo. For many condo buyers, it is a gut feeling. Meanwhile, other property buyers will choose a real estate professional based solely on his or her education and past successes.

As a condo buyer, it is important to employ a real estate agent who you will feel comfortable working with at all times. This real estate professional should be happy to help you in any way possible and respond to your condo buying concerns and queries. In addition, he or she will go the extra mile to ensure you can buy a terrific condo that matches or exceeds your expectations.




Tags: buyer tips   Buying a home   Condo  
Categories: Uncategorized