Patricia Betro's Blog
Many house hunters are so focused on finding the ideal house, yard, and neighborhood, that they sometimes sacrifice one of their main objectives: a short commute to work.
At first, a long drive to the office may seem like a small price to pay for finding your ideal house, but your outlook might change when the tedium of commuter gridlock becomes a daily burden.
Fortunately, there are ways to ease the stress of being stuck in rush-hour traffic twice a day.
Car pooling: By sharing driving responsibilities with one or two other people, you can reduce the overall stress of your trip to the office. You can also save money on gas, highway tolls, and parking fees. Assuming you find carpooling companions whose company you enjoy, time will pass a lot faster. Then, of course, there's the advantage of less wear and tear on your car. Although carpooling may not be as idyllic as living 15 or 20 minutes from work, it can be an effective way to ease the burden of back-and-forth driving.
Telecommuting: As technology advances and more and more people are adapting to it, the option of working from home is becoming increasingly popular. When you consider the many options there are for document sharing and communicating remotely, you may have a strong case for proposing a work-from-home arrangement with your employer. Even though it may be necessary to meet face-to-face with coworkers, colleagues, and clients a few days a week, the ability to split your work time between home and office can save you time, money, and aggravation. As long as you can maintain your productivity working from home, it may turn out to be a life-changing arrangement! Granted, it doesn't work for everyone, but it may be well worth looking into -- at least on a part-time basis.
Public Transportation: If you happen to live close to a train station, then public transportation might be the perfect solution to an otherwise long, tedious drive into the city. Instead of concentrating on road signs and traffic conditions, you can read a book, listen to your favorite music, or prepare for a meeting or presentation. You can also check your email, get a head start on your work day, or even sneak in a few minutes of sleep or meditation.
While the best option for many people is to buy a home that's within 30 minutes of their job or business, that may be difficult to accomplish for couples working in different locations. Long commutes can infringe on important aspects of your life, though, including family time, relaxation time, and being able to get things done around the house. Not having enough time to "recharge your battery," every day, can eventually take its toll on your health, your relationships, and your outlook on life. If finding a house close to work is not panning out, then alternatives like telecommuting, carpooling, and public transportation may be, at least, a partial solution.
8 Mercer Lane, Franklin, MA 02038
Buying a home is an extensive process that comes with a bit of a learning curve. For first time buyers, this process involves making mistakes and learning from them.
While we can never be 100% sure of our home buying decisions, there is a way to increase your chances of making the best choices when it comes to buying and maintaining your first home.
In today’s post, we’re going to do just that. We’ll take a look at some of the biggest things that homeowners wish they knew before buying their first house.
1. Forgetting to research the neighborhood
It’s easy to become so enamored with your dream home that you barely look beyond its fence. However, the neighborhood your home is in can have a huge effect on your daily life. Having local parks, safe sidewalks to walk on, and road infrastructure that doesn’t drive you crazy on your daily commute are all important aspects of choosing the right home.
2. Getting pressured into making a decision
Many times, a seller will want to portray their home as being highly sought after to encourage higher and more frequent offers. Similarly, you may find that your own family has time constraints and want to make a quick decision to buy a home.
It’s when we’re under pressure that we can make choices that we aren’t happy with in the long run. So, in these situations, make sure you don’t make any snap judgments on a home. If it seems like you’re being pressured into making a decision without enough time to consider all of the possibilities, there’s a good chance you should pass on this opportunity.
3. Forgetting that you might someday have to sell this home
Sometimes homes can be difficult to sell due to things like their location and surroundings. For instance, a home that is remote or one that is located in low-scoring school districts may not matter to you if you don’t plan on having children. But, they likely will be important to a lot of your potential buyers when it comes time to sell the home.
This lesson also holds true for what you do with your home once you buy it. Making renovations or design choices that won’t appeal to the average buyer can make your home more difficult to sell and harder to get top dollar for.
4. Didn’t consider all financing options
There are several steps and several options when it comes to financing a home. Not only are the several mortgage lenders to choose from, but there are also many different types of loans available.
While there may not be one “right” decision when it comes to financing your home, it’s a good idea to do your homework and browse carefully all of the lenders and mortgage types.
Consider ways to increase your credit score or save for a higher down payment before buying if possible, so that you can secure the lowest interest rate possible.
If you're selling a home, hiring a real estate agent who acts as a comprehensive marketer is essential – and perhaps it is easy to understand why.
For home sellers, an ineffective marketer may struggle to promote your residence to the right groups of homebuyers. This may cause you to miss out on opportunities to highlight your house to potential property buyers, resulting in a prolonged home selling cycle.
Ultimately, there are many signs that a real estate agent understands what it takes to market your residence effectively, including:
1. A real estate agent is ready to host home showings and open houses.
Home showings and open houses enable property buyers to get an up-close look at your residence. That way, property buyers can envision what life would be like if they purchase your house.
Typically, a real estate agent will want to host as many home showings and open houses as possible This housing market professional will be available to set up home showings at property buyers' convenience. Meanwhile, he or she also will promote open houses via social media and other channels to stir up plenty of interest from potential property buyers.
2. A real estate agent knows how to showcase your residence online.
A real estate agent may insist on hiring a professional photographer to take pictures of your home's interior or exterior. This ensures you can provide homebuyers with crisp, clear images via myriad online channels to show the true beauty of your house.
Moreover, a real estate agent may use Facebook, Twitter and other social networks to promote your residence. Social media enables this housing market professional to reach thousands of potential property buyers and may help you generate significant interest in your home quickly.
3. A real estate agent allocates the necessary time and resources to track his or her marketing efforts.
What good is a marketing campaign if a marketer is unable to define its success? A real estate agent who is a great marketer understands the importance of metrics and will measure his or her marketing successes and failures.
A real estate agent should be able to keep you informed at each stage of the home selling cycle. He or she can provide updates about whether homebuyers are interested in checking out your home and any feedback from homebuyers as well.
In addition, a real estate agent is unafraid to adjust the way that he or she promotes your home. With the right metrics in place, this housing market professional will be able to find out whether homebuyers are interested in your property and modify his or her marketing efforts accordingly.
When it comes to selling your home, working with a real estate agent who knows the importance of effective marketing can make a world of difference. With a successful marketer at your disposal, you can boost your chances of speeding up the home selling process and getting the best price for your house.
Buying a property is one of the best decisions a person can make; it is also a great way to invest. After spending a lot of money to buy or build on a property, the condition of the house should be paramount. Having to deal with foundation issues can be daunting; it can take a lot of money to repair a damaged foundation.
The foundation of a home is what holds all other structures in place. If the foundation was laid incorrectly or without the proper tests and procedures, it could cause problems for the owner in the future. The types of foundation are the pier, beam, and concrete. It's best to know what kind was used for your property to look out for tell-tale signs of weakness or deterioration of the foundation.
A damaged foundation is a result of various environmental elements and stress like expanding and contracting soil, a terrible drainage system or excessive moisture. This stress over time causes the foundation to begin to weaken, resulting in uneven floors in the house, cracks on the walls and gaps in exterior doors.
The following are signs that indicate that you are likely having foundation issues:
Cracks in the walls.
A crack in the wall can be a sign of a foundation problem. If you notice floor cracks, a broken chimney, or wall fissures in your house, this might be your first sign of a damaged foundation.
Have you noticed that some parts of your property are falling? Have them checked out to be sure it's not a foundation problem. One part of the house over time will be lower than the other if a sinking or settling floor is left unattended too long. Sinking or settling occurs when the ground the property is built on begins to collapse under the weight of the structure. Areas of the house that used to be even would begin to sag or dip. You would notice that such areas will not be on the same level as other parts on the property. It could be as a result of soil shift, humidity from water seepage or poor drainage system.
Doors that don’t open or close properly.
Another tell-tale sign of foundation issues is when the interior doors begin to stick or drag. Exterior doors may frequently leave space at the edge creating an uneven appearance.
Gaps around window frames.
Did you suddenly notice gaps around your window or door? A faulty foundation can be the cause. Double-hung windows will be difficult to close because of the unevenness and inability to align the sash correctly.
Dampness in the basement.
Is your basement or crawl space becoming damp without any apparent source of moisture? Damp basement can cause a lot of problems like a moldy smell, mold growth, and uneven or saggy floors.
Ask a professional engineer or contractor to help you investigate these signs to ascertain if it is a foundation problem. Discuss how you might go about fixing it and explore different options. Most of these evaluations are usually free and can save you thousands of dollars.