Friday, January 30, 2015

5 Ways to Raise the Value of Your Home Before You List It!

5 Ways to Raise the Value of Your Listing

A seller may be able to boost the value of their home by an additional 12 percent, with just a few smart pre-listing repairs, according to a new survey of 300 residential real estate professionals by the Consumer Reports National Research Center. On a median, single-family home priced at $205,000, that could be a potential gain of $24,600.
Best time to sell: The best single month to sell a home is from April through June, with the best selling month identified as April, according to the Consumer Reports survey of real estate professionals. 
“You don’t have to spend a ton of money to increase the value of your home," says Dan DiClerico, senior editor for Consumer Reports. “Some simple, inexpensive fixes throughout the house can make it more appealing to potential buyers.”
Here are some of the fixes that the Consumer Reports survey of real estate professionals uncovered as being the most important:
Higher Returns
1. Declutter
Cost range: $0 (do-it-yourself) to $2,500 (pro)
Potential return: 3% to 5%
Clear away any clutter and depersonalize the space as much as possible.
2. Makeover the kitchen
Cost range: $300 to $5,000
Potential return: 3% to 7%
The kitchen was rated as the most important room to have in top shape before selling, according to the survey. Real estate professionals recommend focusing on minor repairs that center on the function of the kitchen first, such as repairing leaky faucets, loose light fixtures, or blemishes on the countertop. Then, they recommend small enhancements, such as painting the walls, updating the cabinet hardware, adding new curtains, or light fixtures.
3. Freshen up the bathroom
Cost range: $300 to $1,000
Potential return: 2% to 3%
Make simple improvements, such as caulking the tub or re-grouting the floor or adding new bathroom fixtures to brighten up the space. Updating the mirror and lighting also can have a big impact, the real estate professionals surveyed said.  
4. Paint
Cost range: $100 (do-it-yourself) to $1,000 (pro)
Potential return: 1% to 3%
Sixteen percent of the real estate professionals surveyed said that interior painting is an important part in bringing about a sale of a home. But the seller likely doesn’t need the entire house repainted, but maybe just a redo of one or two rooms to curb costs. The two prime candidates for being repainted: Kitchens and bathrooms. Paint in whites and off-whites and a neutral palette – such as grays and beiges -- help buyers focus on the home’s features more than be distracted by bright colors, agents note.
5. Exterior touch ups
Cost range: $150 to $7,500
Potential return: 2% to 5%
Agents recommend that their clients concentrate on basic maintenance first, such as to mowing the lawn, trimming overgrown shrubs, and applying a fresh layer of mulch to the garden beds. They also recommend making any minor repairs, such as replacing cracked siding boards or repointing brick walls. The real estate professionals also recommended taking careful note of any repairs needed with the roof: 31 percent of agents surveyed said the roof is one of the most important parts of the home to have in good shape.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

5 Safety Tips For Decorating the Exterior of Your Home This Holiday Season

It’s that time of year where home owners are busy decorating their exteriors with holiday lights and making them for festival for the holidays. Many landscape and lawn care companies support their clients year-round by providing snow removal and holiday lighting in the winter. There are many safety concerns that home owners should take into consideration when putting up their own holiday lights, such as:
1. Inspect the lights and wires.
Inspect all lights, decorations and extension cords before using. Wires can become brittle.Throw lights away if there is exposed copper or broken sockets.
2. Don’t overload circuits and watch for electrical concerns.
Avoid connecting five or more strands end to end, otherwise the circuit can be overloaded. However, for many LEDs you can add more than five strands. Also, do not pull the strands too tight so they can reach an outlet. Other electrical concerns to watch for:
  • Tears in the wiring surface could result in electrocution.
  • When creating a lighting configuration on a lawn, make sure to keep connections out of depressions that could collect ground water.
  • Be sure to tape down extension cords if they cross walkways.
3. Read the labels carefully for outdoor use.
LED lights re more energy efficient and require less wattage than incandescent bulbs. But make sure the lights and extension cords are rated for indoor and outdoor use or specifically for outdoor use. Outdoor lights should be plugged into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs.). Also, don’t replace light bulbs without unplugging the light strand or decoration.
4. Take caution on rooftops or elevated areas.
Ladders should be inspected – look for lose or missing screws, hinges, bolts and nuts before using and be sure they are stable and in good condition. Be sure to ground the ladder on a solid, even surface with no risk of sliding.
Don’t overreach when on ladders. When stringing lights, climb down and move the ladder often. Also, keep ladders as far as possible from electrical lines. 
Finally, if the roof is too steep or too high, don’t risk scaling it and endangering yourself. Hire a trained landscape professional that has the training to offer unique installation methods and premium quality products with the latest trends in decoration and technology.
5. Remove lights at the end of the holiday season.
Over a period of time, lights exposed to the weather can have damage to the wires, lights, and sockets. Watch for any weather damage before you tow the lights away for next year.
Click here to read more:

5 Safety Tips When Decorating the Exterior for the Holidays
Nikos Phelps, president, Utopian Landscape, a member of The Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) for REALTOR(R) Magazine

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Trends Driving New-Home Designs

What is luring home buyers to new homes? Technology, the outdoors, and “super kitchens” are among what Nick Lehnert, executive director at KTGY, and Mollie Carmichael, principal at John Burns Real Estate Consulting, recently shared withBUILDER Online on some of the design drivers in the new-home market.

Here are some of the trends they point to:
1. Super kitchens: The kitchen is not just a hub for cooking but has become a center of the home for entertainment and conversations. Builders have been opening the kitchen to other rooms and the kitchen island is becoming key to separating the spaces. The island adds more seating along with extra prep space. As kitchens become more open, pantries are getting bigger to accommodate the need for storage.
2. Outdoor/indoors merged: The interiors are feeling stretched by carving out spaces that seamlessly allow home owners to walk into outdoor retreats. But buyers want those outdoor spaces to be private, a stray from the once traditionally “public” backyard. As such, more builders are taking note and carefully positioning the architecture of the home to make sure the outdoor space offers more privacy.
Click Here To Read More

6 Trends Driving New-Home Designs

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

How to Save Energy This Winter

Fall/Winter Energy Saving Tips

The following tips will save you energy and help your budget as the weather cools down.
  • Set your thermostat no higher than 68 degrees when you are home and lower the temperature when you go to bed or when you are not at home. This will ensure optimal home heating and save energy.
  • For every degree you lower your thermostat you save about 2 percent off your heating bill.
  • Cut annual heating bills by as much as 10 percent a year by turning your thermostat back 10 to 15 percent for eight hours a day.
  • Weatherize your home by caulking and weather-stripping all doors and windows. Also use locks on your windows to make them tighter and draft resistant.
  • Insulate or increase the amount of insulation in your attic, basement and outside walls. Also cover through-the-wall air conditioners to prevent cold air from leaking into your home.
  • Reducing air leaks could cut 10 percent from an average household's monthly energy bill. The most common places where air escapes homes are: floors, walls, ceilings, ducts, fireplaces, plumbing penetrations, doors, windows, fans, vents and electrical outlets.
  • Keep shades and curtains open during the day on the south side of your home to allow solar heating. Close them at night to retain heat.
  • Don't block your radiators or heating vents with furniture or draperies. Keep your radiators, registers and baseboard heaters dirt and dust free. Close vents and doors in unused rooms.
  • Have your heating system serviced once a year and regularly replace furnace filters. During the heating season, change or clean furnace filters once a month.
  • Close the fireplace damper when not in use.
  • Turn your water heater down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to save money on your energy bill. If you have children in the house, this is also a safety measure
  • Install water-flow restrictors in showerheads and faucets.
  • Place a sheet of aluminum foil between the radiator and the wall to reflect heat back into the room.
Source: Nstar

Thursday, October 2, 2014

So Little Time and So Much To Do!! Upcoming Events in & Around Marshfield!

Free Kids' Activity this week (October 3rd) is "Halloween Hands",sponsored by the Marshfield Cub Scouts, to get everybody in the October mood! 

Music, Artisans and homemade goodies and lots of greens and veggies!

Always Free Admission and Parking!
 @Marshfield Fairgrounds

Trick-or Treat Marshfield Center
October 25th, 2014 11:30-5pm
Free sponsored by Marshfield businesses! Storytime, cup cake decorating, costume parade and so much more!! Always lots of fun!
Full schedule of events here!

Marshfield Chamber of Commerce will be holding it's 7th annual Oktoberfest, October 4, 2014, 12-5 at Marshfield Fair Grounds
Children's activities, amusement rides, live music, beer and restaurant samplings! Something for everyone!
More information here!

3rd Annual Fall For Scituate, Sunday October 5th, 10-4, North Scituate Village

Lots of great activities, ice cream eating contest! Chowder and Chilfest!!

Click here for more information.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Remodeling? 5 Projects That Don't Add Up At Resale

5 Remodeling Projects with the Lowest Paybacks at Resale

If you want to get the biggest bang for your remodeling buck, replace the entry door to steel, according to the2014 Cost vs. Value Report, produced by Remodeling Magazine in conjunction with REALTOR® Magazine. The entry door may cost about $1,162 but home owners could potentially recoup 96.6 percent of that at resale, according to the report.
However, not all remodeling projects offer big paybacks at resale. Remodeling Magazine evaluated 35 of the most popular remodeling projects and the potential payback throughout 101 U.S. cities. Check out our prior blog post to view the projects that topped the list: 5 Mid-Range Remodeling Projects That Offer the Biggest Returns. But how about the projects that came in at the bottom of that list of 35 remodeling projects?
While all of these remodeling projects may be nice to have, home owners may not want to expect as big as of returns from their remodeling dollars with the following:
1. Home office remodel
Estimated job cost: $28,000
Estimated cost recouped at resale: 48.9%
2. Sunroom addition
Estimated job cost: $73,546
Estimated cost recouped at resale: 51.7%
3. Bathroom addition
Estimated job cost: $38,186
Estimated cost recouped at resale: 60.1%
4. Backup power generator
Estimated job cost: $11,742
Estimated cost recouped at resale: 67.5%
5. Master suite addition
Estimated job cost: $103,844
Estimated cost recouped at resale: 67.5%

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Introducing 876 East Broadway

This is the one you have been waiting for!! Spectacular two bedroom penthouse located in South Boston's desirable City Point. This gorgeous brownstone residence is warm and inviting. The floor plan is perfected with an open gourmet kitchen and dining room with french doors to your terrace. How perfect is this? The living room is separate offering a great entertaining space. Beautiful attention to details with wainscoting and hardwood floors on the main level. Updated recessed lighting throughout the home. Second level has two large bedrooms, full bath and laundry. There is so much natural light as both rooms have skylights. Enjoy long Summer nights on your private 400 sq. ft. roof deck.
Enjoy all the city has to offer right out your front door! Walk to M Street park, Castle Island, the beach, restaurants and shops. Do you not have a car? No worries, you can take the 7,9, 10 or 11 and can get to where you need to be! These buses take you to your destination. Attending a conference at the Convention Center? Not a problem bus 7 will take you there. Want to go to Copley? Then take the 9 bus.
This home offers it all and in the best location! It has all the amenities including central air. Shown by appointment! Don't miss this opportunity!

Contact Karen Powers for more information at 781-413-4120 or email!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Introducing 110 O Street Unit 2 South Boston

Stunning 2 bedroom garden level residence offering 2 bedrooms, 2 baths and parking. Full walk out private patio directly off your living area. Gleaming hardwood floors throughout and wainscoting add to the charm of this home. In unit laundry and central air are some of the added perks. Don't miss this fabulous opportunity to own in this City Point location in this majestic brick building.

Click here for more photos and floor plans

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

How Much Are You Willing To Sacrifice to Buy A Home?

How much are you willing to sacrifice to buy a home? I came across this great article with really sound advice and then I said to myself how many people will actually read this and do this? Doesn't the saying go, no pain, no gain? Is this not true in many aspects of life? More importantly, are these sacrifices really that painful? I mean really in the scheme of things?
In today's market, you usually need up to 10 percent of a home's purchase price for a down payment. This means a $250,000 home could require $25,000 down plus closing costs. If you saved $1,040 a month for the next 24 months, you'd achieve that goal. On the surface, that may seem impossible—but it's not. Make some short-term sacrifices now to save for a down payment on a house.
Move to a Smaller Place
Give up that extra bedroom for the short term. If you rent in a premium location, consider moving to a less expensive area. It may take you a little longer to commute, but it won't be for long. Reduce the amount you are paying in rent by $500, and you will be halfway to your monthly goal.
Take a Part-Time Job
Become a barista at your local coffee shop. Become a yoga instructor at your gym (maybe you can get the gym membership for free). Offer babysitting or pet-sitting services to friends and neighbors. Scour thrift stores and yard sales for great finds, and then sell the items on eBay. Find something you enjoy doing, and then find a way to earn a little money doing it in your spare time.
Cut Expenses
If you don't have a budget, now is the time to create one. Examine each line item and ask yourself, “What can I do to reduce this amount?”
  • Insurance. Speak with your insurance agent and ask for a quote with several different deductibles. Raising your deductible on your car insurance can lower your premiums.
  • Cable and Internet. Survey your cable bill for charges you can eliminate. Most people don't need 148 channels. Internet connection is free at the local library or coffee shop.
  • Cell Phone. Unlimited texting is a luxury, not a need. Reconsider your smartphone.
  • Dining Out. Cook dinner at home and prepare enough for tomorrow's lunch. Make your morning coffee at home. Don't eat out as much.
  • Gym Membership. Take up a sport. Running, racquetball, tennis and swimming are aerobic and strength-building activities you can do for free.
Maximize Your Windfalls
Financial windfalls (cash gifts, bonuses and tax refunds, for example) tend to get lost in the monthly spending shuffle. Deposit these funds directly into your savings account. If you receive regular structured settlement payments, consider selling your future payments for a lump sum of cash now. You could then put the money toward your down payment.
Agree on a Plan
Once you determine which sacrifices you will make, ensure that everyone affected buys in on the plan. Revisit the plan each month to insure you are on track. Don't be afraid to talk about the pitfalls or complain about the sacrifices. This is the time to reassure each other you are in it for the long haul. Before you know it, you'll be discussing paint colors for the living room.
Source: Realty Times

Friday, May 16, 2014

Stunning 3 Bedroom Parlor Duplex Available For Sale

Introducing 50 H Street Unit 1 in South Boston! Beautiful 3 bedroom residence with gleaming walnut stained oak floors on main level and carpeting on lower level. There are 2 full bathrooms and a deeded enclosed patio. This home has many details including wainscoting and exposed brick walls. Large laundry/storage room. Walk to shops, restaurants and pubs. Easy access to the highway and public transportation.

Click here to see floor plans and more photos. Contact me for more information: 781.413.4120

Friday, May 9, 2014

Happy Friday!

Love this and oh so true! If you need more good news then click on the link below to check out this amazing site.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Ready For the Summer? 10 Home Checks To Be Sure

10 Home Checks to Prepare for the Warmer Months

1. Inspect the roof. Roofs should be checked for any loose, warped, or missing shingles. Also, home owners should check the chimney flashing and skylight seals are intact.
2. Clean and repair gutters. Home owners should clear winter storm debris from gutters and downspouts. Also, they should doublecheck that they are still securely attached to the house. Blocked or loose gutters can allow water to seep into your home and damage the trim, according to NAHB.
3. Check for any leaks. The most common culprits for “hidden” leaks: Attics, crawl spaces, and washing machine hoses. Also, look under sinks for damage from frozen pipes, and check your water heater for signs of corrosion.
4. Clear exterior drains. Remove any leaves from underground or exterior drains to prevent any backups from rain and storms.
5. Inspect siding. Inspect siding for pieces that may have come loose during winter storms.
6. Check window and door seals. Examine the exterior caulking on door and window seals to ensure it remains watertight.
7. Patch cracks. Patch cracks in concrete driveways, sidewalks, and steps to keep water out and prevent further expansion.
8. Paint the exterior. This is a good time to paint or touch up the paint on the exterior to help protect it from the weather.
9. Inspect the HVAC. Hire a qualified technician to service the home’s HVAC system to make sure it is running properly. Also, this is a good time for home owners to replace their HVAC filters.
10. Check the home’s grading. Ensure the grading of the yard slopes away from the home’s foundation to keep excess moisture at bay.
For home owners looking for a professional remodeler, NAHB maintains a directory at

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Buyer's Foot Traffic Increases

Year over year gains in buyer foot traffic suggests that buyer's interest in homes has increased dramatically. Inventories remain tight in the housing market.

Click on the link to see the infographic: Foot Traffic March 2014 | Piktochart Infographic Editor

Friday, April 25, 2014

Serene Marshfield Home with River Views

OPEN SUNDAY APRIL 27, 2014 11:30AM-1:30PM
Wake up every morning to look out your windows to a serene river landscape with the sound of the ocean waves crashing in the distance. This picturesque and enjoyable life can be yours! This unique property is the perfect year round or seasonal home with tons of space and offers a detached guest homes. 
Summer will be more enjoyable with beach access being directly across the street. Large private back yard with expansive deck. Do you like to kayak? Launch your kayak from your backyard! Imagine the Summer here! Beach access directly across the street! In the end, it's what is on the inside that counts and this home offers it all! 
Spanning over 3,300 square feet of combined space is this spectacular 5 bedroom and 3.5 bath home with gleaming hardwood floors throughout. Downstairs you will find a large family room attached to a large eat in kitchen and porch. Upstairs you will find 3 spacious bedrooms plus the attached 2 story Au Pair Suite making up the 4th bedroom. This home has been meticulously cared for and is ready to make a lifetime of memories for the next owner!

Address: 99 Bay Avenue, Marshfield, MA 02050

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

7 Simple Ways to Bring the Spring Inside

It's been a harsh winter and most of us are more than ready for spring and all the great things that get us outdoors. But wouldn't it be nice to bring the spring season inside, too?

Here's a checklist of small jobs that will make an instant difference in how your home looks and feels this spring.
  • Wash your windows – or call to have them professionally done. You'll want a clear view of all the beautiful things happening outside.
  • Dust lamps, light fixtures and light bulbs, and wash the winter dust off your blinds. Your home will feel much more fresh and bright.
  • Deep clean your carpets, upholstery and curtains. Also change out your bedding with lighter fabrics that are more suitable for the warmer temperatures.
  • Reset your fans to move counter-clockwise to create a light, cooling breeze. (In the winter, your fans should run clockwise to distribute the rising warm air throughout the room.)
  • Start storing away your winter clothes and putting away your winter tools and toys. You probably won't need those skis, snow shovels or ice scrapers for a while.
  • Sweep or power wash outside the front and back doors. Replace weathered doormats for a nice welcome into your home.
After you have these basics out of the way, relax and enjoy the blossoms, warmer breezes and all the best of spring.
If you're thinking about selling your home, these jobs are a good start in preparing your home for sale

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Buyers: What to Look For in A Home

For the most part, the point of my site is to provide useful information to buyers and sellers and to anyone else who has a general interest in real estate. Sometimes I will throw in a story about a celebrity or two but overall it is meant to be a resource for homeowners.
Questions that come up all the time or should be are questions about the age of the furnace, roof, central air system, windows and hot water heater. Once you find out the next question should be what is the life expectancy. These questions should be asked prior to making an offer so you know what you are buying. Sometimes agents and owners do not know the exact age of systems and roofs so it may take a home inspector to advise on this.
It is important to get this information. So, for example, a hot water heater. Many times during an inspection a hot water heater will come up and the inspector will say it is at its life expectancy. So the push back from the seller will be well you knew this when you made the offer. Is the seller, going to replace this? Most likely not. There are a few things that may happen. In a sellers, market nothing will come of it. In a buyer's market a seller may give you a concession but most likely will not replace it. The only time I have seen a seller replace it is when they had active leaks, rusty valves that were not worth being repaired. So, the reason to ask these questions is to determine the overall value of a home and what the home will "cost" you. Another example is this, you look at Home "A" it is 5 years old and then you look at Home "B", 20 years old and all the systems are 20 years old. Both homes are in the same neighborhood with same lot size and square footage. Both are also priced the same. So yes, you guessed it home "B" is overpriced and will cost you more initially than home "A".
It is also good to know the age of your appliances because it will let you know if your appliances are energy efficient.
Check out the link below about life expectancy of appliances, etc. It is useful but also depends on other factors. This is a good guide for homeowners as well so you will have a relative idea of replacement costs or at least allow you to maybe prepare.

Click here to check out life expectancy of appliances

Related: New You Can Use CFL's, LED Lights, Oh My

Sunday, April 6, 2014

RE/MAX Fit To Sell - Why a Home Doesn't Sell

Did you know that 78% of buyers decision has already been made even before seeing the home based on size and location?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Introducing 94-96 L Street Unit 2 South Boston


Beautiful South Boston 2 bedroom condominium! This home has a handsome kitchen complete with a kitchen island and separate dining area. Adjacent to the kitchen is the spacious living room. Gleaming hardwood floors in living room and bedrooms. Come check out the amazing roof deck! You will love to spend your Summer days here! Ample in unit storage as well as private basement storage with your own laundry. Pet friendly association!!

Click here to See the Interactive PicturePlan