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 10/12/2017

When youíre shopping for a home, thereís so much to consider. Between the questions of what neighborhood you should live in and what style house you like, you need to think of the most important thing: finances. When you think that youíre financially ready to buy a home, you often will get the notion that itís a good time to just start shopping. Thereís several steps that you must take first before you start shopping for a home. One of the first steps you should consider taking before you make the leap into home ownership is to get preapproved. While buyers still tend to skip the preapproval process, doing this can help you immensely throughout the home buying process. While it may seem an insignificant and kind of boring step, getting preapproved is important for your finances. It may even help you to land in a home that you love faster. Itís actually detrimental to make an offer without a preapproval, because some lenders wonít accept an offer without one. Many realtors verify and require that offers come along with the stamp of preapproval. What Does Getting Preapproved Involve? You may have heard of a prequalification. This is much different from being preapproved. Prequalification involves buyer provided information, just to get a sense of how much they can spend on a home. Preapproval involves credit scores, bank statements, tax returns and more. This process states exactly how much lenders will be willing to give to the borrower. All of the documents needed for preapproval are the same exact documents needed for a mortgage. This helps you as the borrower prepare ahead of time as well. These are some of the kinds of documents that youíll need for preapproval: Pay stubs W-2s from the previous year Federal tax returns from the past two years Two Months of Bank Statements from all of your accounts A credit report While a preapproval is only one step in the long process of buying a home, it speeds up the later steps of securing a mortgage. The process also helps buyers face their financial reality. Donít put off the important process because you fear that you wonít be approved for the amount that you need. Itís also common for buyers to assume that because someone they know has been approved for a certain amount of money that they will be able to get that same loan amount as well. This isnít always the case and another great reason to get preapproved. Errors On Credit Reports Often, there are errors on credit reports. Thatís why you need to check them often. If you have some errors on your credit report, getting preapproved is a great way to check if there are any errors and give you time to fix them before you apply for a mortgage.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 10/5/2017

A beautiful home offers a welcoming feeling even before you enter the front door. If you have strong greenery skills, it's easy to imagine flowers bursting with color bordering the front walkway. Well trimmed hedges might border the front of your house. Even from the outside, your house might look brand new.

Home maintenance areas where money is well spent

Inside your home, the walls are blemish free, the painting fresh. Flooring is polished and even. Or the floor might be covered with soft, clean carpet. Guests to your home may think that it's easy to keep your house looking new, inside and out. But, you know better.

You know that keeping a beautiful home takes work. But, if money gets tight, you might think seriously about cutting one or more home maintenance projects from your budget. Although it's smart to keep a close check on your spending, these home maintenance projects may not be what you want to cut if you want to keep your home as beautiful as it is now:

  • Roof repair - It doesn't cost anything to climb on a ladder and inspect your roof. You can generally also clean out your gutters without spending additional money. If you spot discolored, bubbled or torn roof tiles, replace them.
  • Window seals - Inspect and replace damaged window seals.
  • Wash siding - Rinse house siding. Wash your house with a mild cleaner and warm water. Use a long scrubbing brush to clean the house, then rinse the house siding with warm water.
  • Filters - Check and replace ventilation filters, this includes air filters and appliance filters.
  • Lawn care - Mow your lawn regularly. De-weed your front and back lawns as needed. Also, pick up and remove dead tree limbs and other debris from your yards.
  • Plumbing - Take action on clogged pipes early. You can use mild drainage openers once a quarter or as needed. Also, get in the habit of removing hair from sinks. Avoid using your toilet as a garbage can to keep your pipes and plumbing clear.
  • Floor tiles - Replace floor tiles when they become uneven. it's cheaper to replace two to five floor tiles than it is to wait and replace flooring in an entire room.
  • Carpet - Depending on your carpet type, you may need to replace your carpet every five to seven years.
  • Let water drip - Let your sink faucets drip when temperatures reach below freezing. This can prevent your pipes from bursting.
  • Heavy weight - Remove heavy snow and other debris from the top of your house.
  • Repaint - Consider repainting the interior of your home once every three to six years.
  • Replace - Install new door handles, cabinetry and faucets as needed, especially when the amenities become permanently bent or worn.

Cutting the wrong home maintenance projects out of your budget could speed up the time that it takes your home to start showing signs of wear. It could also cause you to spend more money should a minor irritation turn into a major house repair. For this reason, think twice before you start cutting too much out of our home maintenance budget.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 9/30/2017

This Single-Family in Lowell, MA recently sold for $399,000. This Colonial style home was sold by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA - RE/MAX Leading Edge.


21 Florence Ave, Lowell, MA 01851

Lowell Highlands

Single-Family

$395,000
Price
$399,000
Sale Price

7
Rooms
3
Beds
2/1
Full/Half Baths
Historic Tyler Park District Neighborhood rebirths a completely renovated old style colonial from top to bottom & inside to out. This is the home where you can sip hot cider on the back porch that overlooks a landscaped and fenced backyard, bake an apple pie from scratch in the custom kitchen and have plenty of space to surround yourself with everyone you love. The rooms are generous in size with well appointed features like crown molding throughout, polished hardwood floors, convenient laundry room/half bath on the first floor, stainless steel appliances. In addition to having three bedrooms and full bath on the second floor there is still plenty of living area with a full finished attic to use as a large home office. Don't miss the basement that's finished enough with a bath that can work as an in law apartment allowing for plenty of extra storage space or to entertain. Bring parents, relatives, or friends to live with you on this one, or spread out on your own.

Similar Properties





Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 9/28/2017

Massachusetts is a gold mine of fun and historical things to doó and during all four seasons, from the Berkshires to the arm of Massachusetts. There are things to do for families, couples, large groups, and singles. Letís take a look at some of the best things to do in Western Massachusetts in the summer.

  1. Outdoor activities in Northern Berkshires, MA
Including whitewater rafting, zip lining, kayaking, fishing, wildlife tours, butterfly conservatory and much more. And check out the scenic railway that runs from North Adams to Adams, MA. Northern Berkshires, MA
  1. Monument Mountain in Great Barrington, MA
Hike this monumental mountain and take in views that may just take your breath away. Youíll see sights of the mountainous Berkshires and the Housatonic River Valley and make sure to explore Squaw Peak.
  1. Yankee Candle Factory in Deerfield, MA
Visit the Yankee Candle Factory and tour/shop the Bavarian village, a Christmas wonderland all year round. After you make it through the village, check out Wax Works where kids and adults can create their own candles. But most of all, take in all the scents that this flagship store has to offer. You will find seasonal scents all year round; their current scenes and you may even be in luck to find your favorite scent that is no longer sold in retail stores.
  1. Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is a great place to visit on a hot summer day and perfect for kids and adults who love the game of basketball. Tour the museum, attend an event (on select days), and host your childís birthday party or an event, and much more.
  1. Six Flags New England in Agawam, MA
Once known as Riverside, Six Flags New England is the largest theme park in New England. There are rides and activities for all ages and plenty of food options. If you are looking for a day full of family fun then this is the place to go. So what are you waiting for?





Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 9/21/2017

If you've recently put your home on the market -- or are considering doing so in the near future -- home staging is a priority which will soon take front and center!

Since "presentation is everything" when trying to catch the interest of prospective buyers, it's crucial to be able to see things through their eyes.

Unfortunately, being able to accomplish that objective is next to impossible because, as a homeowner, you're looking at your home and property through a completely different lens than the rest of the world. The longer you've lived in your home, the more your objectivity is compromised.

Here are a few reasons why it's really difficult to "see the forest for the trees" when it comes to home staging:

First of all, there's the emotional aspect of owning a home and seeing your life unfold there over a period of years. That's especially true for first-time homeowners, parents of growing children, and people who have sunk a lot of money, time, and energy into improvements and customization. Once you've added personal touches to your home to reflect your own tastes, personality, and lifestyle, you're viewing your home through a unique perspective that may cloud your objectivity as a home seller.

Solution: Think Like a Business Owner

For the same reason business owners and executives hire outside consultants to tell them how to improve management efficiency or profitability, home sellers often need professional marketing guidance from a real estate agent or home staging consultant. Getting input from home decorators, landscapers, or home improvement contractors may also provide you with helpful ideas, but their recommendations may not always be the most economical and cost effective.

When staging your home to enhance eye appeal and attract the most potential buyers, a good guiding principle to keep in mind is ROI or "return on investment." While you don't want to sink more money into sprucing up and staging your home than necessary, you do want to cast it in its best possible light. Depending on how recently your home has been updated or improved, your investment in home staging may be relatively inexpensive. On the other hand, if you haven't updated, repaired, or made improvements for more years than you care to remember, the cost of making your home irresistible to buyers may be a lot higher!

One More Scenario

If your tastes could be described as eclectic, "off the wall", or otherwise out of the mainstream, you might need to consider a major overall in the look and feel of your property. Unless you're lucky enough to have it be a "sellers' market" at the time you're putting your house up for sale, it's generally advisable to make your home appealing to as wide a range of potential buyers as possible. An experienced real estate professional is usually in the best position to provide the guidance you need to accomplish that key objective.