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Posted by Stacey West (NH/MA) on 5/11/2018

Bring new life to your bedroom without completely redirecting. When we are tired of our existing decor it can feel like we need to start completely from scratch to obtain a whole new look. But before you begin hauling off your bed frame to the second-hand shop consider these small changes first: 

Add a variety of textures via linens, upholstery, accents. Look for soft items made up of furs, textured weaves, linens, and velvet. Add interestingly woven baskets, stone, glass and polished wood. This mix will work together to create a visually interesting dynamic no matter the color palette of your room.

Install a different style of window treatments. Let more light into a room with sheer panels. Whites and creams always make for a classic look. However, if you are looking to really shake things look to other colors either as a solid or in patterns. A popular trend at the moment is upgraded solid panels. From patterns to bamboo and even embellishments you will have plenty of options to create unique-to-you treatments.

Create a statement wall without making a commitment with removable wallpaper. Since they are peel and stick they are easier to install than traditional wallpaper. They also give you the freedom to go bold with your pattern or color of choice. So why not reach for the more daring print?

If you want to add a bold print but wallpaper isn’t for you find a pattern you love on a duvet cover. They are easy to swap out as much as you’d like and can also be a great way to add more texture to your space. For example, you could add a pintucked satin or an inviting quilt with a pattern sewn throughout. It will certainly take center stage and make a statement as the focal point of the room.

Create more light in your space by installing a large mirror. Hung or leaning against a wall it helps to open up the room and allow light reach more of the room. If you have several closet doors consider installing mirrors as paneling for a chic, new look. Or create ambiance with paper lanterns. They create a soft, calming light that is perfect to read by at the end of the day.

Since these changes are so easy to make, some a matter of a few minutes, you can create subtle changes throughout each season. Swap out decorative pillows and throws, for example, for patterns and hues that still match your existing decor but better suit the mood of the season. Darker hues paired with creams and beiges create a cozy space in winter with creams or beige. And brighter cheery hues against a crisp white pop and bring energy into the room for Summer.




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Posted by Stacey West (NH/MA) on 5/4/2018

In today’s world, people will do anything to cut costs. Many people consider selling their homes without a real estate agent. If you decide to go the “for sale by owner” route, you could potentially save thousands of dollars in agent fees. However, you’ll need to be prepared to do a lot of legwork in the process of selling your home. There’s also no guarantee of a final sale in the end. Ask yourself these questions when you decide to sell a home on your own:


  • Do I know The Value Of My Home?
  • Can I Take On The Marketing Responsibilities Myself?
  • Will I be Able To Take Criticism Of My Home? 
  • Can I Screen Potential Buyers?


Pricing Your Home


There’s a lot of information that’s readily available to real estate agents that wouldn’t be available to you as a lone seller. You’ll need to know the marketable price for your home as well as how competitive the market is. If you’re selling on your own, you may need to pay for an appraisal ahead of time, which is something the buyer typically does. If you want to sell quickly, you’ll want to price your home a bit lower than the average for the neighborhood. 


Are You Ready To Work With A Buyer’s Agent? 


Real estate involves a lot of negotiating. If you want to sell your home on your own, you’ll need to ask yourself if you’re ready to work with a buyer’s agent directly. Sellers are typically responsible for paying the agent's commissions on a home sale. Commission is negotiable but if you lack the knowledge and skills in this area, you could end up making a big mistake as a seller. 


You may end up going through several price cuts in order to save yourself from difficulty in selling a home. When a house has been on the market for a long time, it leads buyers to ask, “What’s wrong with that property?” Without marketing efforts and some price cuts, you could end up with a big loss by selling a home on your own. There’s so many advantages to hiring a real estate agent including the fact that they have extensive knowledge and experience in the field.   


Agents Work As A Buffer For You


With the amount of knowledge and experience that agents have, they are able to act as a buffer for you. Whether it be their presence during a home showing or being the point of contact for buyers, hiring an agent can save you a lot of time and aggravation when you’re selling a home. 


There’s a lot of advantages to hiring a real estate agent to help you sell your home. They are your ally throughout the process. If you’re willing to take the dive and venture in selling your home on your own, just know that you’ll have your work cut out for you. The good news is that there’s plenty of information readily available to you, no matter what route you choose.




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Posted by Stacey West (NH/MA) on 4/27/2018

Is it better to rent or buy? There is no simple answer to the question, yet it’s something we all ask ourselves at some point in our adult lives.

When you ask yourself this question, you’re not just determining whether it’s more affordable to buy or rent. Rather, you’re answering questions about what your life will look like in the coming years--in terms of both lifestyle and location.

In this article, we’re going to talk about the issue of buying vs renting. We’ll talk about ways you can educate yourself to make the most informed decision possible. After all, whether you’re buying a home or signing a lease, this is a decision that will affect a large amount of your time and dictate at least the next year of your life.

Outside influences

Before you start thinking about mortgages and leases, it’s a good idea to get an idea of the market. Specifically, you’ll want to look at the cost of living for the area you plan on moving to. It may seem like common sense that the cost of apartments and houses will rise and fall at the same rate, but evidence points to the contrary.

Elements that are out of your control could be things like:

  • Property tax amounts

  • Inflation and cost of living changes (gas, utilities, etc.)

  • Stock market variations, which affect your investments

  • Real estate market changes

  • Income changes (job change or loss)

As you can see already, these outside influences have the potential to make a huge impact on whether it makes more sense to rent or buy.

Let’s say you decided to rent a home and put the money you would have used for a down payment into an investment fund. You have a good year and earn 5% on your investments. At the same time, the price of homes as gone down significantly in the area you hope to move.

As you can see, in this scenario it would probably make sense to pay rent for a year before buying a home.

Out-of-pocket expenses and equity

One of the biggest advantages of owning a home is that by definition, if you are making sufficient and timely mortgage payments, you are earning equity. Equity can be used later to make a down payment on a larger home, or for selling to use toward retirement funds later in life.

On the other hand, renting is an out-of-pocket cost that comes at a loss. Once you pay rent, there is no getting it back to use later on.

It may seem like buying is the obvious solution, then. However, there are also many out-of-pocket costs for owning a home. Property taxes, insurance, and interest paid to your lender are all things that you can’t recuperate.

Finding out whether it’s cheaper to buy or rent will come down to balancing those factors, and weighing them against the odds of the real estate market.





Posted by Stacey West (NH/MA) on 4/20/2018

House hunting can be enjoyable but becomes overwhelming pretty quickly. After looking at many different houses, they can all start to look the same. It’s hard to remember what homes had what features. In order to make a right decision on which home to make an offer on, you’ll need to remember the details of each house. Read on for tips to help you house hunt like a pro.


Keep Track Of The Homes You Have Looked At


Whether you’re doing simple online searches or touring open houses, it’s easy for your mind to get jumbled as to what you have seen. It’s a good idea to keep a record of homes with their addresses as to where they are located, the color of the house, and the desirable features contained within the home. This way, you can have an overall picture of what you want. 


Know What Features Are Important 


You should make a list of everything you’re looking for in a home before you even start searching. Include things like:


  • The price range
  • How big of a house you’re looking for
  • How many bedrooms
  • How many bathrooms
  • Additional features like walk-in closets
  • Eat-in kitchen or dining room
  • What type of home you’re looking for
  • How many stories you want the home to be



You can then branch off from the essentials on the list adding other desirable features in a property like a pool, a jacuzzi, a large backyard, or a fireplace. Then, you should make a list prioritizing what is the most important to you in your home search. Things like the number of bedrooms and the size of the home will be a higher priority than a jacuzzi tub. 


Look At Your Commute


One of the most significant factors in finding a home is how far it is from your workplace. The closer you are to work, the less stressful your life will be. If you take the train or a bus to work, it may be easier to live close to a station or stop. On the flip side, to be closer to work what are you sacrificing? Are you close to schools, parks, stores, and other regularly visited spots? See what locations suit your lifestyle.


Review What You’ve Looked At

Once you have done your research and decided what you need and want, it’s time to make comparisons. Look at the prices of each home and see what they have to offer for the money. Once you decide the price and amenities are on par with your original wishlist, the house is a good candidate to put an offer on.             






Posted by Stacey West (NH/MA) on 4/13/2018

Purchasing a condo should be fast and easy. However, negotiations with a condo seller can quickly become stressful and may put your chances to acquire your dream condo in danger.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you simplify the process of negotiating with a condo seller to ensure you can purchase your ideal property.

Here are three tips to help you navigate tough negotiations with a condo seller.

1. Consider the Condo Seller's Perspective

Think about the condo seller's perspective and try to find common ground with this individual. By doing so, you and the condo seller may be able to agree to terms that meet the needs of both sides.

When you initially submit an offer on a condo, ensure your proposal accounts for the condo's condition and the current state of the real estate market. That way, you'll be able to avoid the risk of submitting a "lowball" offer that falls below a condo seller's expectations.

Also, maintain open lines of communication throughout the negotiation process. This will allow you to listen to a condo seller's concerns and respond accordingly.

2. Collect Plenty of Housing Market Data

If a condo seller believes you are unwilling to pay a sufficient price for his or her condo, it is always a good idea to present housing market data to back up your offer.

Explore the housing market closely to learn about the prices of comparable condos in nearby cities and towns. This will allow you to see how a particular condo stacks up against similar properties in terms of price and condition.

In addition, check out the prices of recently sold condos in your area to identify housing market patterns and trends. With this real estate market information at your disposal, you'll be able to make an informed decision about whether to continue to negotiate with a condo seller or consider other properties.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent will negotiate with a condo seller on your behalf. Therefore, he or she will help you minimize the stress and anxiety that is commonly associated with condo negotiations.

Typically, a real estate agent will submit an offer on a condo and wait to hear back from a condo seller. If a condo seller decides to negotiate, a real estate agent will work with you throughout the negotiation process.

A real estate agent will listen to your condo buying concerns and questions and respond immediately. He or she also will provide honest, unbiased recommendations to help you make informed decisions during negotiations with a condo seller. This real estate professional will even share your concerns with a condo seller to help you get the best results possible.

When it comes to a negotiating with a condo seller, there is no need to worry. If you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can take the guesswork out of condo negotiations. And ultimately, you may be able to move one step closer to buying a condo that meets or exceeds your expectations.




Tags: Buying a home   buyer tips   Condo  
Categories: Uncategorized  




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