Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMC, PSA
Leading Edge Real Estate | 781-944-6060 | [email protected]


Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMC, PSA on 7/11/2019

You don't have to be an expert home seller to maximize your house sale earnings. In fact, there are many things that you can do to optimize the profits from your home sale, such as:

1. Craft an Effective Home Listing

An effective house listing enables you to make a great first impression on prospective homebuyers. Thus, if you dedicate time and resources to craft an effective house listing, you could boost the likelihood of enjoying a profitable home selling experience.

Ultimately, an effective house listing includes relevant information about your residence. It enables a buyer to perform an objective evaluation of your house and determine if your residence matches his or her expectations.

You may want to incorporate high-resolution photos of your residence into your home listing as well. These photos can help buyers envision what life may be like if they purchase your house. As a result, they could help you differentiate your home listing from all others and generate significant interest in your house.

2. Upgrade Your Home's Interior and Exterior

Clean each room of your house. By doing so, you can help buyers see your residence's full potential when they attend a home showing or open house event.

Enhance your house's exterior, too. By mowing the lawn, trimming the hedges and performing other home exterior upgrades, you can instantly bolster your residence's curb appeal.

Of course, if you need help with home interior and exterior upgrades, don't hesitate to reach out to professionals for assistance. With home interior and exterior professionals at your side, you can get the help you require to immediately upgrade your residence's appearance.

3. Employ a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent understands the ins and out of selling a house. He or she also possesses the talent and confidence to help you achieve your desired home selling results as quickly as possible.

Typically, a real estate agent and a home seller will work together to craft a top-notch house selling strategy. A real estate agent initially will learn about a home seller and his or her residence. Then, a real estate agent will offer tips and recommendations to help a home seller seamlessly navigate the house selling journey. And if a seller has any concerns or questions, a real estate agent can respond to them.

A real estate agent goes above and beyond the call of duty to streamline the home selling process. For example, if you are unsure about how to promote your residence to the right groups of buyers, a real estate agent will make it simple to host home showings and open house events. On the other hand, if you are uncertain about whether to accept an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent can help you make an informed decision.

Want to maximize your home sale earnings? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble getting the best price for your residence.




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Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMC, PSA on 7/4/2019

Not all smart home devices are created equal. If you wind up paying a high price for a smart home gadget you do not need, you risk wasting precious time and resources.

Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to make informed smart home device purchases, such as:

1. Consider Your Smart Home Device Needs

The needs of one property owner for a smart home device may vary from those of another.. If you consider how you can use different smart home devices, you can boost the likelihood of making smart home gadget purchases that will serve you well for years to come.

For example, if you find your electricity bills are on the rise, investing in smart light bulbs may prove to be a great choice. These light bulbs can help you optimize your house's electricity consumption and lower your electricity bills.

On the other hand, if you are concerned about home security, a smart house security system may be an excellent investment. This security system can help you simultaneously safeguard your residence against theft and lower your home insurance rates.

2. Perform Comprehensive Research

New smart home devices are becoming available every day, and as such, determining which ones are right for your house sometimes is difficult. If you perform in-depth research into the smart home devices at your disposal, you could find gadgets that you can enjoy day after day.

Conduct online research into assorted smart home devices Ė you will be happy you did. Once you learn about different smart home gadgets, how they work and their benefits, you can choose the right devices for your residence.

Also, it may help to consult with family members and friends as you assess myriad smart home devices. If a family member or friend recently purchased a smart home device that works perfectly, for instance, you may want to consider buying the same gadget for your house.

3. Evaluate Your Budget

As more smart home devices are released, the prices of various smart house gadgets are falling accordingly. Yet it is still crucial to evaluate your budget closely before you make smart home device investments. If you understand exactly how much money you can spend on smart house devices, you can take steps to get the most out of your available finances.

Don't forget to shop around for smart home devices, too. Online and brick-and-mortar retailers occasionally offer sales on smart home gadgets. Thus, if you search far and wide for smart home devices that fall in line with your budget, you could avoid spending too much to acquire top-notch smart house gadgets.

As you get set to invest in smart home devices, it generally pays to be diligent. If you take an informed approach to smart home device shopping, you can find gadgets that will deliver long-lasting benefits. Best of all, you can use assorted smart home devices to lower your electricity costs, secure your residence and much more.




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Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMC, PSA on 6/27/2019

When you decide to make an offer on a home, your mind may be flooded with dozens of questions and concerns -- several of which may involve money matters, while others are about the condition of the house.

However, if you've had the house professionally inspected and made sure your income is sufficient to absorb monthly expenses, than you've already taken steps to prevent or at least minimize future challenges.

Since buying a home is such a big investment and there are so many emotional factors that could influence your decision, it's essential to stay focused, adhere to a budget, and be aware of what you need in order to be satisfied with your purchase.

The Financial Side of Things: Even though a mortgage broker or loan officer may approve you for a large mortgage, only you can determine whether you'd be comfortable making those monthly payments. In  addition to the cost of your mortgage, property taxes, and school taxes, there are also other expenses to consider and include in the equation. If you're moving into a larger house, for example, the cost of heating and/or cooling your home may be higher than you're used to. Poorly insulated houses can also have a negative impact on home energy costs.

Another key factor to think about when you're figuring out the affordability of a potential new home is property maintenance, the cost of HVAC service, and miscellaneous expenses, such as appliance repairs, plumbing leaks, and electrical services. Some neighborhoods, residential developments, and condos also require a monthly Homeowner Association (HOA) fee, which can potentially put a burden on your cash flow situation. A good rule of thumb, of course, is to avoid spending beyond your means. While nobody would dispute the logic of that advice, it's often a lot easier said than done -- especially on an ongoing, consistent basis.

Non-Financial Priorities: The only way to know what you truly want and need in a new home is to clarify your goals, requirements, and wishes. Making lists, discussing it with your partner, and visiting lots of homes for sale will help give you the ideas, the inspiration, and helpful points of comparison you need. Online real estate listings and home improvement websites can also provide a wealth of practical ideas.

In addition to having enough bedrooms and bathrooms to meet your family's needs, it's also important to feel comfortable with the quality of the school district, the amount of noise in the neighborhood, and the traffic level on nearby streets. Proximity to recreation, shopping, and other amenities can also make the difference between your ideal home and one which doesn't quite make the grade. Privacy (or the lack, thereof) is also a major issue which can impact your satisfaction with a real estate purchase. While it's good to approach home buying with a sense of optimism, the best time to weigh all the pros and cons is before you sign the final papers at the closing table!





Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMC, PSA on 6/20/2019

Have you heard the term ďearnest moneyĒ but really arenít sure what it means? Once you have found the perfect home and are all set to make an offer, thereís one more step that you need to take. Thatís to make a deposit on the home you want to buy. This is known as an ďearnest money deposit.Ē  


The Purpose Of The Deposit


The deposit shows the seller that youíre serious about buying the home. Itís a measure that allows the seller to have some faith in you as a buyer that youíre truly moving forward with your decision; youíre ready as a buyer to make the financial commitment. This deposit allows the deal to begin on a solid basis without much question. 


Is The Deposit Required Legally To Buy A Home?


From a sellerís perspective, a deposit keeps a buyer from changing their mind. If there is a significant amount of money involved, the seller sees the deposit as a way to keep the buyer locked in. This makes it easier for sellers to accept an offer. 


How Much Is Expected For An Earnest Money Deposit?


These deposits donít quite have a standard amount. The general rule is that they range from 1% of the home price up to 5%. The more expensive of a home thatís being purchased, the larger the earnest money deposit should be. In some cases, the seller may even ask for a certain amount of a deposit to ensure that buyers are serious. How much money you pay at once is often negotiable. You may be able to pay part of the money at one time and the other part at a later date.


New Construction Can Require Large Deposits


New construction homes can require large earnest money deposits- up to half of the purchase price of the home. This is because the construction costs need to be paid upfront and the bank wants proof that the units being constructed with loan money are being sold to buyers who can pay for the home. 


New construction homes are often customized as well. It would be detrimental to a developer to make special changes to a home only for a buyer to walk away. 


Getting The Deposit Refunded


As with everything in real estate, youíll have a contract. If you donít follow the terms of the contract, you risk losing your earnest money deposit. Two main reasons for buyers to walk away are a flopped home inspection or financing that falls through. Read your contracts carefully. Sellers sometimes state that deposits are nonrefundable after a certain number of days. 


You need to be sure that you are covered as a buyer in the purchase and sales agreement. If you back out of a home purchase without good reason like a contingency included in the agreement) you could be out of luck when it comes to getting your deposit back.    






Tags: Buying a home   finances  
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Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMC, PSA on 6/13/2019

That feeling of rest and happiness you feel when you pull up at the front of your house after a long stressful day is indescribable. Now you can rest, shower, unwind or do nothing. If you live in a detached single family home, chances are you would have your driveway and would solely be responsible for its upkeep. 

When building or remodeling a house, one of the overlooked features is the driveway. Your driveway is a part of your home and should reflect that warm, welcoming feeling of your home. Because your drive is the first thing people notice when coming into your home, itís advisable you select the right type of driveway material for your home.

Suggested driveway materials best suitable for your house are... 

Asphalt

Asphalt is a common and highly practical driveway material thatís inexpensive compared to stone and concrete, its two primary solid-surface opponents. 

Asphalt is very high-maintenance, especially in harsh climates. Professionals recommend sealing asphalt driveways within a year of fitting and resealing every three to five years. Resealing can be quite expensive: The cost to reseal on the average is about $400, the price is lesser for shorter driveways and more costly for longer ones. You may also need seasonal maintenance depending on driveway usage, quality, and stability. Asphalt driveways are stable, of excellent quality, easy to plow during the winter season and with a higher traction quotient.

Gravel

Gravel is the cheapest and most sturdy of the other common driveway materials. It cost less than $300 to install and doesnít require much time; Gravel driveways will last for a long time if given proper care.

The gravel driveway is very affordable and can cost about $0.50 per square foot, itís durable, and with the right maintenance, it will last a lifetime.

Pavers

Pavers are the most expensive of the other driveway materials. Itís also considered the most attractive. Pavers blend well with different exterior and design elements, such as fountain fall, driveway islands, and stone walkways. 

Pavers improve your home appeal and give your home entrance a great look. It is durable, clean, stable and affordable to maintain.

Concrete

At first glance, concrete and asphalt have similar characteristics, but concrete is relatively durable and require less maintenance cost. A concrete driveway can last 100% more than the asphalt driveway depending on the climate and use. 

The concrete driveway is stable with surfaces not prone to mud, it doesnít require much to maintain especially during the winter season, and it has a long life span. 

Having a beautiful and adequately maintained driveway will not only provide your home with that alluring curb appeal, but it will also boost the resale value of your property in the market if you decide to sell.




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Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMC, PSA