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 7/20/2017

Once you have booked a trip to go away for awhile, youíre probably filled with excitement. Depending upon how long youíll be away, there are a few things that youíll want to do to get your home ready for your absence. The tips below can help you with everything from security and safety to saving some money on your utility bills.


Turn Off The Water


You donít want to risk having a leak flood your home while youíre gone away on vacation. This is especially important if youíre going to be gone longer than a week. Homeowners insurance does cover water damage that occurs due to these types of leaks, but who want to deal with that after a relaxing vacation? Take precautions ahead of time before you go. 



Stop Your Mail


The post office will hold your mail for free. Donít risk letting people know that you havenít been home for a few days by letting mail pile up in the box. Worse, if any packages come, it could be an invitation for them to get stolen. It only takes a few minutes to put the precaution of mail holding into place.  


Put Your Lights On A Timer


A dark house is an invitation for thieves to come on in. You can deter burglars by putting your lights on a timer, allowing some activity to be seen from outside the home. A timer can even be set for different times during both the day and night. 


Unplug Everything You Can


Aside from the time and a few lights, you can save on your energy bill by unplugging your electronics while your away. This includes toasters, computers, televisions, and microwaves. This is also a good safety precaution as well just in case an electrical fire were to happen while youíre gone.   


Turn Down (Or Up) The Thermostat


Depending on the time of year that you go away, youíll want to adjust your thermostats accordingly. Since no one will be in the house, thereís no need for freezing cold air conditioning or high heat. If youíre heading out on vacation in the winter, youíll want to keep the heat on at a minimum temperature to help avoid pipes freezing and undue damage to your home.


Seal Up Your Food


When you head out on vacation, you might not be too concerned about the food you already have opened in your home. Pests will love to feast on it while youíre away! Be sure that you close up any food thatís open and get rid of anything that can spoil. This means discarding old produce, throwing away opened bread and pastries that can spoil and seal up cereal and cracker boxes tightly. This will ensure that you donít have any unwanted house guests once you return home from your trip.         





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Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 7/13/2017

Selling a home may seem exceedingly difficult, particularly for a first-time property seller. However, if you receive an offer on your residence that falls just short of your initial expectations, you may be able to negotiate with a homebuyer.

How you handle a negotiation with a homebuyer may dictate how quickly you sell your residence.

If you're unwilling to understand a homebuyer's point of view, you risk missing out on an opportunity to get the best results from your home sale.

On the other hand, if you stay calm throughout a home selling negotiation, you may be better equipped to understand a homebuyer's perspective. This may help you find common ground with a homebuyer and ensure you can speed up the home selling cycle.

What does it take to remain calm during a home selling negotiation? Here are three tips to help home sellers maintain their composure throughout a negotiation.

1. Keep Your Emotions in Check

A home selling negotiation can be stressful. But home sellers who manage to keep their emotions in check can boost their chances of a quick home sale.

If you feel stressed during a home selling negotiation, don't hesitate to take a step back and look at the big picture.

Remember, your ultimate goal is to sell your residence. With the lines of communication open, you and a homebuyer can work together to ensure all parties involved in a negotiation are satisfied with the end results.

2. Look at All of the Options at Your Disposal

If a home selling negotiation goes south, there is no need to panic. Instead, consider all of the options at your disposal, and you'll be able to determine how to proceed from here.

For home sellers, it is essential to note that many homebuyers are on the lookout for high-quality residences in cities and towns around the country. Thus, if a negotiation with a homebuyer fails to work out, you can continue to promote your house on the real estate market.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a must-have for many home sellers, and for good reason. This housing market professional will handle a home selling negotiation and ensure you can seamlessly navigate the entire home selling journey.

Typically, a real estate agent can negotiate with a homebuyer on your behalf. He or she will keep you up to date about any homebuyer requests and offer honest, unbiased home selling suggestions. As a result, you can receive expert home selling guidance and make informed decisions at each stage of a home selling negotiation.

A real estate agent also will respond to your home selling concerns and questions at any time. That way, this housing market professional will make it simple for you to alleviate stress in a high-pressure home selling negotiation.

When it comes to handling a home selling negotiation, there is no need to worry. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble remaining calm, cool and collected during a negotiation with a homebuyer.





Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 7/6/2017

There are many different advantages to adding more nature to your home inside and out. For one, it makes you happy to be around more natural things. We spend so much time in front of screens and using technology, that itís nice to be brought back to nature right in your own home. 


All this being said, itís a great idea to consider building a fish pond on your property. Thereís many different advantages to these bodies of water around your home including:


A Pond Will Build Up The Look Of Your Property


If thereís a part of your property that you just canít get past, perhaps building a fish pond will be a good use of that area. Some people take the idea further, creating a water garden complete with streams. However you decide to build your fish pond; simple or elaborate, youíll appreciate how it will improve the look of your property.


It Will Spark Your Creativity


Planning where and how a fish pond will go in your yard can really spark your creativity. You and your partner can think about what you want and find the best ways to execute your project. From the way youíll establish the surrounding landscapes to how you plan to dig the pond to what kind of fish youíll put in the pond, thereís a lot to think about. The best part is that you will create how you want your property to be more exciting and pleasant to spend time on. 


You Make A Good Use Of Your Space


Maybe you feel that you have a lot of ďwasted spaceĒ on your property. Installing a fish pond is a great way to make use of the space that you do have in your yard. If you feel that you could be doing something incredible with the space that you do have, building your own pond is a great way to do that. 


Connect With Nature


A fish pond allows for you to enjoy more than just fish. It will attract other types of wildlife including unique insects, birds and more. Watching fish has also been proven to be an activity that reduces stress and increases your level of health. According to studies done by the National Marine Aquarium, the mere act of watching fish has been shown to reduce blood pressure and decrease heart rate. Being in a natural environment is much more soothing to both your physical and mental states.       


While building a fish pond can seem like a huge project, you can see that the benefits are many. Youíll truly feel that you have maximized your land space and can enjoy the many benefits of having your own small wildlife sanctuary right on your property.




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Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 6/29/2017

Itís as if your entire life shuts off when you lose power at home. Television, landline telephones, kitchen appliances and music arenít the only technologies that you lose during power outages. When the power goes out at your house, you canít get on the Internet or cook.

Cut back on home power outage inconveniences

Let power outages happen at night and you wonít be able to see good in the dark. The longer power stays out at your house, the worse conditions get. After a while,the battery on your cell phone will run down, leaving you without the chance to connect to family and friends without venturing outdoors.

Although you might feel helpless when the power goes out at your house, there are a few things that you can do to prevent power outages. There are also steps that you can take to respond to power outages, so the experience doesnít halt your day too much. To prevent home power outages, you could:

  • Reduce the chances that electricity will damage your home Ė Contact your utility company to repair electrical wiring. Specific instances when you will want to do this include when wires hang so close to your house that they actually brush your house during high winds and when apiece of a wire breaks.
  • Cut away low hanging tree limbs Ė Power lines donít only cause damage when they hit your home. They can knock out power if they get caught in tree limbs. When youíre outside performing general maintenance on the exterior of your home, look for and cut away low hanging tree limbs.
  • Check electrical boxes Ė Check with your utility company to see if electrical boxes need to be moved or reinforced. A bad transformer can cause power outages throughout your neighborhood.
  • Remove termites Ė Although termites are famously known for causing wood damage, they can also cause power outages.
  • Turn off unused appliances Ė By turning off appliances when they are not in use, especially during harsh weather storms,you reduce the amount of power that your house demands, which could help you to avoid a power outage.

Despite your best efforts, power outages occur. Keeping candles and batteries nearby are not the only things that you can do to respond to power outages at home. Additional steps that you could take include:

You have to deal with enough unexpected events at your house. Regular power outages shouldnít be among those events. If you take proactive steps, you could reduce the number of times that the power goes out at your house. You could also keep your home safer during hard weather storms.




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Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 6/22/2017

Moving into a new house is a doorway to new opportunities, experiences and friendships.Depending on the size and layout of your house, you'll gain more space and style. You'll also gain a jam packed schedule, miles of driving and sore muscles. On the flip side, you could let professional movers take care of the heavy lifting.

Pros you get when you hire professional movers

The chance to avoid heavy lifting that's inherit in a house move aside, working with professional movers is not all upswing. Balance the pros and cons of paying professional movers to take you from your current to your new home. To get started, consider:

Experience counts - You may have moved two to three times on your own, struggling with friends to get a sofa or widescreen television up a flight of steps. Professional movers have helped relocate individuals and families dozens or more times. If it takes you eight hours to move a three bedroom house, professional movers might complete the job in less than three hours.

House moving supplies - Professional movers keep supplies on hand. You won't have to pay for protective covers, tape or dollies.

Forget the driving - Relocate to another city or state and you may not have to drive. To get professional movers to drive for you, include transportation in the contract that you sign with movers. Expect to pay for transportation services by the mile. Only work with movers who insure your household goods. If your employer is picking up these costs, this is a huge energy saver.

Cons associated with professional movers

Don't just focus on the pros. Consider the following cons of working with professional movers to decide if hiring an experienced team is the best option.

Price - Professional movers can be pricey. For long distance moves, you'll generally pay for insurance, mileage and the actual moving services. Some movers encourage you to leave a tip.Companies like UHaul list area movers that may or may not offer you a discount.

You're not completely in charge - Although you get to set move start and end times, should movers run late on a previous job, they might not show up at your home on time. You also may not be able to tell movers which furniture pieces to load onto the moving truck first.

Boxes - Depending on the home moving company that you hire, you could be responsible for getting your own moving boxes. If you do get home moving boxes from professional movers, it could cost you $1 or more per box.

You may still have to pack and unpack -If you pack and unpack yourself, you'll save money even if you work with movers.

A house move"to do" list can get long quickly. Hiring professional movers could shift half of the moving responsibilities from you to contractors. Just make sure that you understand moving company rules. Also, communicate clear start and end dates and times. Above all, get references and only enter into agreements with professional movers you can trust.




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