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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  


Posted by Stacey West (NH/MA) on 11/10/2017

If you ride through the suburbs of America, youíll likely notice that the houses just seem to get bigger and bigger. Like our taste for large trucks and SUVs, Americans tend towards the idea that bigger is better.

On the opposite end of the spectrum are people who feel quite the opposite. From this minimalist mindset has emerged the ďtiny house.Ē What exactly is a tiny house?

There is no exact definition. However, most tiny houses are built on wheels--to adhere to local building code--and typically donít exceed 500 square feet in size.

You might be thinking thatís a bit extreme. And you wouldnít be alone--Americans have taken advantage of small homes in the form of modular homes, and cottage-style houses for decades.

With the cost of heating and powering a home rising year after year, itís beginning to make sense to downsize.

So, in this article weíll talk about what it means to live in a smaller home to help you decide whether itís a good choice for you.

Barriers to building small houses

If itís your dream to someday build a small house on a hilltop in your hometown, you might have to face-off with the local zoning committee first. Some of the biggest barriers to building smaller houses are local regulations involving minimum house sizes.

This isnít a new problem, with towns struggling with the idea of minimum square footage as far back as the 1970s. In spite of this barrier, small house and tiny house proponents have been finding loopholes.

One such workaround involves simply building your house on wheels. However, that isnít easy to do and it doesnít always look great either.

Living simply

Depending on your hobbies and philosophy, living in a small house can be a good or a bad thing. Those who seek to become more minimal in their belongings often find that small houses help them achieve this.

The more things we own the more we have to worry about storing and maintaining them. However, if you value experiences more than objects, living in a small house could save you money and therefore leave you with more funds for traveling and other experiences.

Family is another thing to consider when living in a small house. If you have a large family or pets, living in a small house can be difficult. However, there is something to be said about growing up in a small house (it makes it harder for kids to avoid their parents by playing video games in their room or the basement!).

How to decide if you can manage living in a small house

If youíre downsizing from a larger home it can be scary to lose all of that extra space you were used to. There are a few ways to see if you can adapt to a smaller home, however.

You could rent a small apartment while you search for a new home. This will allow you to acclimate yourself to living in a smaller environment.

If you donít want to go through the trouble of signing a lease, thereís always renting a small property through AirBnB or a camping cottage for a few weeks. Then youíll have time to notice what you like and dislike about the smaller space and will be able to plan for how to want to deal with those changes if you decide to move into a smaller house.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Stacey West (NH/MA) on 11/3/2017

If you plan to sell a house, you should allocate time and resources to remove clutter from the attic. By doing so, you can show off the true size of your house and increase the likelihood of a fast, profitable home sale.

Ultimately, there are several best practices to help home sellers declutter an attic, and these practices include:

1. Separate Clutter from Items That You Want to Keep

Your attic may be filled with a wide range of items. As a home seller, you'll want to differentiate attic items that you want to keep from those that need to be removed from your home.

With items that you intend to keep, you should package these items safely. Then, you can store these items neatly in your attic. Or, you can move these items into a storage unit.

For home sellers who encounter a massive collection of attic clutter, there is no need to worry. You may be able to sell or donate excess items that work properly and are in great condition. Furthermore, be sure to dispose of any damaged or broken items immediately.

2. Get Plenty of Help

The temptation to tackle attic cleaning on your own may be overwhelming, but it is important to remember that Rome was not built in a day. Thus, if you try to remove attic clutter on your own, you risk myriad problems along the way.

Attic clutter can range from small and lightweight to big and heavy. If you're operating on a strict timeline, you might struggle to quickly get clutter out of your attic if you work alone. And if you're forced to remove large items on your own, there is a risk of injury as well.

When it comes to decluttering an attic, caution is key. As such, you should enlist the help of family members and friends to ensure you can remove attic clutter quickly and safely.

In addition, if you want to avoid the hassle of decluttering your attic, you may want to hire professional help. With friendly, knowledgeable cleaning professionals at your side, you should have no trouble eliminating clutter from your attic.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Clutter is a major problem in many attics, and few h





Posted by Stacey West (NH/MA) on 10/27/2017

Moving into a new house can easily become the most challenging part of buying a home. Let a move get too far off track and within four to five short days, you could even regret buying the house that you know meets each of your residence needs.

These small things could ruin the move to your new residence

Lack of organization may be the single most leading factor that turns a house move into a disaster. Stacking moving boxes against the wall doesn't mean that you're organized for a smooth house move. In fact, if you don't do these simple things, it could wind up taking you twice as long to move:

  • Contact your current utility providers and find out exactly what you need to do to transfer utilities to your new address. If you're going with a different utility company, find out when you need to have your current utilities shut off to avoid paying for another month of service.
  • Take a few days to create a move checklist. Add everything that you need to do to the list.
  • Get enough moving boxes to fit all of your belongings inside without having to push or stuff items in the box.
  • Ensure that you have enough furniture coverings and cushions for breakable items like lamps, glasses and dinnerware.
  • Identify books, clothes and other items that you know you're not going to use. Donate these products to charity. You could also host a flea market or garage sale and raise money while letting others take ownership of the products.
  • Schedule time to clean your current home or apartment. This includes setting aside enough time to clean cabinets, floors, bathrooms and kitchens.
  • Drop cable boxes and other leased utility products off with the associated vendors. Just by holding onto some items like cable boxes, you could end up having to pay another month for cable services.
  • Settle outstanding bills with your current landlord.
  • Complete and submit a change of address form with the post office.
  • Let insurance companies, banks and other financial service providers know that you're moving.
  • Communicate your move, including your new address and telephone number to family and friends you trust.

Final notes on a good move

It doesn't take a lot to turn a house move into a disaster. Forgetting to contact a utility provider, return leased products or notify certain people and organizations that you're moving could become more than a nuisance. This forgetfulness could cost you financially.

Lack of other move decisions could require you to load and unload your moving truck double the number of times that you'd have to if you were better organized. Even if you pay professional movers to transport your household belongings to your new address, it only takes a few simple things to make the move time take longer. Let that happen and you could pay $100 or more extra to the professional movers.

Worse still is the fact that simple move mistakes can force you to leave your belongings unattended long enough to return to find the belongings gone. To avoid these and other mishaps, create and use a move checklist. Give yourself time to consider all of the things that you need to transfer, pack, shut off and finalize before you move.




Tags: moving   house move  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Stacey West (NH/MA) on 10/13/2017

Is now the right time to lower the asking price for your residence? If you've studied the housing market closely, set an aggressive price for your home and are still struggling to generate interest in your residence, the answer to this question may be a resounding "Yes."

Ultimately, there are many reasons why you may want to consider lowering the asking price for your house, including:

1. It has been many weeks or months since the last home showing.

Although your home listing initially may have stirred up plenty of interest, homebuyers have shied away from your residence over the past few weeks or months. Thus, there may be no time like the present to lower your house's asking price to widen your net of prospective homebuyers.

Reducing your house's asking price by even a few thousand dollars may help you generate interest in your residence. And in the days following a price drop, you may notice a significant increase in the number of requests for home showings as well.

2. Your home asking price no longer corresponds to the current real estate market's conditions.

A seller's market can quickly morph into a buyer's market. As such, you should evaluate the real estate sector regularly to ensure your home asking price corresponds to the current housing market's conditions.

Take a look at available houses that are similar to your own Ė you'll be happy you did. This housing market data can help you determine if your house is priced appropriately based on the competition.

Also, examine the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town. That way, you can see how long these residences were available before they sold, find out whether you're operating in a buyer's or seller's market and plan accordingly.

3. You need to sell your house as soon as possible.

If you face a time crunch to sell your home, you should establish an aggressive price for your residence from the get-go. However, if you fail to generate substantial interest in your residence, you may need to act fast to lower your home asking price to meet your deadline.

For those who want to avoid the possibility of lowering a house's asking price, it often pays to work with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you establish a fair, competitive price for your residence, one that should help you stir up significant interest in your home.

In addition, a real estate agent will work with you throughout the home selling process. He or she will set up home showings, host open houses and negotiate with homebuyers on your behalf. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is happy to respond to your home selling questions and ensure you can make informed home selling decisions.

Before you lower your home asking price, consult with a real estate agent. By doing so, you can get the expert home selling advice that you need to determine whether to wait out the current housing market or reduce the price of your residence.







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