268 East Main Street, East Hampstead, NH 03826
603-489-9104 | swest@cocoearly.com



Posted by Stacey West (NH/MA) on 12/15/2017

There are many different ways that you can stay safe around your home. One of your top safety priorities should be to try to prevent a fire from happening at your home. Below, youíll find some tips to reduce the risk in your home.

Pay Attention To Your Dryer


You need to prevent your dryer from overheating. To do this, clean the lint screens after each and every use. A dryer that overheats can cause a serious fire.


Keep A Fire Extinguisher On Hand


Every home should have at least one fire extinguisher accessible. Keep these out of a childís reach. Youíll want to choose an extinguisher that is rated A-B-C. These extinguishers fight different kinds of fires including those that have been started by liquids, electricity, and combustible materials. You never know what could start a fire in your home. When using an extinguisher, think of the acronym PASS (pull the pin, aim, squeeze, and sweep across the fire.)


Smoke Detectors Are Incredibly Important


A smoke alarm should be installed on every floor of your home. Itís preferable to have these installed outside of and inside of bedrooms. Be sure that you test smoke alarms each month so that you know theyíre working properly. 


Be Mindful When Burning Candles


When you light a candle, be especially careful. As the candle burns, the temperature of the outside of the glass gets very hot. This can start a fire easily. Youíll also want to keep the candle away from any combustible materials like paper and cloth. Itís a good idea to have the candle on a heat-resistant surface. You should also place candles in a place where they cannot be tipped over by children or pets in the house while lit.  


Never Leave Space Heaters On Unattended  


Space heaters can be very useful, but you should never leave them on unattended or while youíre sleeping. If you do choose to use a space heater, make sure that it is far away from combustible items like curtains, blankets, or papers. 


Keep Matches And Lighters Away From Children


Children get curious and tend to want to play with whatever they can get their hands on. This means that you should keep the matches and lighters in your home locked away in a space thatís preferably high up. This is an important safety measure for any home with kids. 


Have A Fire Escape Plan


You and your family should collaborate on a fire escape plan just in case of an emergency. You can even have periodic practice drills, showing children where they need to meet outside the home to have everyone accounted for. Help children to understand what the fire alarm sounds like. Younger folks should also understand that you never go back into a burning building once you have successfully escaped.





Posted by Stacey West (NH/MA) on 12/8/2017

Homeowners insurance is necessary, but that doesn't mean you should be forced to pay an exorbitant amount for it. Instead, you can take advantage of the following money-saving tips to lower your monthly homeowners insurance premiums: 1. Bundle Your Homeowners and Auto Insurance. In many cases, you can bundle your homeowners and auto insurance to save money. This will allow you to cut costs and leverage the same insurance company for both your homeowners and auto insurance policies as well. If you already have auto insurance and are looking for home insurance for your new residence, be sure to discuss your plans with your auto insurer. By doing so, you may be able to bundle your homeowners and auto insurance and lower your insurance premiums for years to come. 2. Explore All of the Options at Your Disposal. When it comes to finding homeowners insurance, there are plenty of fish in the sea. Thus, you're sure to discover many great options at your disposal, all of which you should explore before you decide on a homeowners insurance provider. With homeowners insurance, you should try to conduct plenty of research. And remember, the most affordable option may not be the best option based on your homeownership needs. Therefore, homeowners who do their homework will be able to review all of the options at their disposal and make an informed decision about their homeowners insurance. 3. Exclude Land Value from Your Homeowners Insurance Policy. Your homeowners insurance may include the value of your land as well as your residence. In this scenario, you may want to consider removing the land value from your policy. With homeowners insurance, you'll want to ensure that your residence and its contents are fully covered. That way, these items can be replaced if they are damaged. On the other hand, you may not need replacement coverage for your land. Before you exclude land value from your homeowners insurance, however, you'll want to discuss the pros and cons of doing so with an insurance agent. This professional will be able to outline how much money you can save by making this change, along with the short- and long-term ramifications of this decision. 4. Increase Your Deductible. Boosting your homeowners insurance policy's deductible likely will result in a drop in your monthly premium. At the same time, it is important to consider the trade-off that takes place if you make this change to your policy. A higher deductible means that you'll be required to pay more out of pocket if and when a claim is filed. As such, you should weigh the immediate cost savings versus the long-term value of increasing your deductible before you finalize your decision. Homeowners insurance can be tricky to understand, but insurance agents can help you discover the best ways to lower your monthly premiums. Ask your insurance agent for help with your homeowners insurance, and ultimately, you can work with this professional to find solutions to help you save money on your insurance premiums.





Posted by Stacey West (NH/MA) on 12/1/2017

Selling a home requires a combination of careful planning, favorable market conditions, and good luck. As a result, thereís no simple formula for determining when your house will sell. There are, however, things you can do to help increase the odds of your home selling within your timeline.

In this article, weíll go over some of the reasons homes sell quickly or slowly, and offer some tips on how to plan accordingly so that your home sells at the price you want and within the time you need, so you can get back to your life in your new home.

What you canít control

Letís start with the pre existing conditions that you wonít have much sway over when it comes to selling your home. First, thereís the market: is it a buyerís or a sellerís market? The term ďsellerís marketĒ deals with supply and demand. In a sellerís market, there is more demand than supply, and therefore listings often see quicker sales and more frequent offers. These terms are used geographically as well. While we are currently considered to be in sellerís market nationwide, it could vary geographically. Certain cities and regions experience surplus housing and are therefore considered buyerís markets.

What you might be able to control

One factor in the amount of time it takes for your home to sell that you have some control over is when you put it on the market. A new study has found that the best time to sell a home is early March to late April, depending on your geographic location.

For you, this means ensuring that your home is ready to be listed by the end of January. That means you wonít want to delay in getting outdoor issues taken care of before winter arrives if you live in a colder climate. Itís much easier to work on roofs and driveways or septic systems before temperatures reach freezing.

What you can absolutely control

Now that weíve talked about those details which are out of your hands, letís talk about what you can do now to increase the likelihood of your home selling when you need it to.

First, be sure to price your home accurately. Any time that your house sits on the market with an inflated price is time wasted.

Next, stay on track with home improvements and upgrades that will increase the interior appeal and curb appeal of your home. That means fresh coats of neutral paint, a lot of cleaning and decluttering, and some appropriate landscaping. Itís important to remember, however, that some upgrades arenít very cost-effective, so be sure to do your research before taking on big home improvement projects.

Right before you put your home on the market, take the time to stage the home and take great photos. Cell phone pictures of a dirty house with poor lighting wonít do you any favors. If you know a photographer, enlist their help for the day to make sure your photos stand out on listing websites.

If you follow these tips and remain consistent in communicating with your real estate agent, thereís no reason you shouldnít sell your home within the timeframe needed for you and your family.





Posted by Stacey West (NH/MA) on 11/24/2017

Owning a home is expensive. Aside from your mortgage, you also have to pay for insurance, utilities, property taxes... the list goes on.

It may seem like there are few ways to cut back on the expenses of owning a home. However, one of the most effective things you can do to save money as a homeowner is to do your own maintenance. The cost of home repairs can add up, especially if you live in an older home or in an area where services like plumbers and electricians arenít accessible or affordable.

With a little research and some hard work, however, maintaining your home can be a source of pride and of saving yourself money.

In this article, weíll cover the basic home maintenance and home improvement knowledge that will save you money, and point you in the direction of some resources that will help you attain those skills.

Maintenance is key

To increase the longevity of appliances like refrigerators, washers and dryers, youíll need to perform some mundane tasks regularly. That includes cleaning filters, fans, and going online to order new ones when necessary. In the same way that failing to change your oil filter will result in a much more expensive issue, so will failing to properly maintain your appliances.

In a world where companies are making it increasingly difficult for consumers to repair their own devices, itís more important than ever to learn the basic skills needed to make simple repairs.

What you should do before repairing anything

There are some precautions you should take before repairing or maintaining things like appliances. First, always be sure the item is turned off and unplugged before working with its components.

Next, refer to the manual first, but if that fails, search for tutorials online such as on YouTube for your particular model. Always keep in mind that sometimes warranties are void if you attempt repairs yourself,  so make sure the repair youíre attempting is easy enough so that you donít risk losing your warranty.

The right tools for the job

It might be tempting to go down to The Home Depot and fill a cart with power tools when you buy your first home. Remember, however, that certain tools are more useful than others. Find out which tools youíll be using most often. Odds are theyíre simple, inexpensive hand tools that will fit in a small toolbox. Some power tools, such as a cordless drill, will probably be worth the investment as long as you take care of the batteries.

Donít throw out good materials

Ample storage space is a problem many homeowners face. But if you can spare the space, hold onto materials from previous projects that might come in handy. Some examples include:

  • Paint. You donít want to have to go back to the store and mix a new can of paint just for a touch-up.

  • Nails and screws that come with your purchases. Sometimes the screws are designed specifically for whatever youíre building. Save your backups so you donít have to buy a new bag if one is lost.

  • Wood. Having extra wood around can come in handy for any number of home improvement projects.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Stacey West (NH/MA) on 11/17/2017

Tired of renting an apartment? Buy a house, and you can reap the benefits of homeownership for years to come.

Ultimately, there are many wonderful reasons to start a search for your dream home today, including:

1. You can enjoy the freedom of owning your own residence.

Let's face it Ė nothing beats the freedom of owning your own residence, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.

If you launch a search for your own house, you can find a residence that matches your personality and budget. Plus, you can always decorate and customize your house however you choose. And if you complete myriad home upgrades or maintenance, you may be able to boost your house's value Ė something that may prove to be important if you eventually decide to sell your residence.

2. You can capitalize on various tax benefits.

Believe it or not, buying a house may enable you to reap myriad tax benefits.

The U.S. Tax Code allows homeowners to deduct the interest paid on a mortgage and property taxes. Also, if you study the U.S. Tax Code closely, you may find that you can deduct some of the costs involved in a home purchase.

3. You can pay predictable housing costs for a set period of time.

With a fixed-rate mortgage in hand, you can pay the same amount each month for the duration of your mortgage. This means you won't have to worry about fluctuating housing costs; instead, you'll pay the same total each month Ė without exception.

Of course, homebuyers who choose an adjustable-rate mortgage can enjoy fixed housing costs for a set amount of time too. On the other hand, those who select an adjustable-rate mortgage likely will need to plan ahead for a potential increase in mortgage costs after three, five, seven or 10 years.

Clearly, there's a lot to like about buying a house. For those who want to enter the housing market today, it certainly helps to work with an experienced real estate agent as well.

A real estate agent allows you to take the guesswork out of pursuing a residence in any housing market, at any time. In fact, this housing market professional will ensure you can streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

In most instances, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about new houses as they become available, teach you about the ins and outs of shopping for a residence and set up home showings. Furthermore, a real estate agent will negotiate with home sellers on your behalf, guaranteeing that you can get the best price on any house.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is available to respond to any homebuying concerns or queries. This means you can get the expert insights that you need to make informed decisions at each stage of the homebuying journey.

Take the next step to pursue your dream residence Ė employ an experienced real estate agent, and you should have no trouble transforming your homeownership dream into a reality.




Categories: Uncategorized  




Tags