Joyce Crommett, Westborough MA Real Estate, Southborough MA Real Estate, Northborough MA Real Estate


Purchasing a home should be fun, memorable process. However, many homebuyers struggle with fears as they embark on the process of acquiring their dream homes.

Some of the most common homebuying fears include:

1. I will pay too much for a house.

Overspending on a house is a common fear among homebuyers nationwide.

If you pay too much for a house, you may struggle to afford the monthly payments for the duration of your mortgage. Perhaps even worse, your house may lose value over time. And if you eventually decide to sell your home, you may be forced to accept less than what you initially paid for it.

Ultimately, an informed homebuyer will understand the differences between a buyer's market and a seller's one. He or she will be able to determine whether a home is affordably priced and proceed accordingly.

An informed homebuyer also will know the importance of getting pre-approved for a mortgage. With a mortgage in hand, this homebuyer will understand exactly how much that he or she can spend on a house.

2. I'll wait too long to submit an offer on a residence.

If a homebuyer is uncertain about buying a particular house and waits too long to submit an offer, he or she risks missing out on this residence altogether.

Fortunately, there is a simple way to avoid this problem.

A homebuyer who knows what he or she wants to find in a dream home can narrow a home search. Then, if the homebuyer discovers a home that matches or exceeds his or her expectations, this individual can submit an offer right away.

Don't forget to submit a competitive offer, i.e. one that accounts for the needs of both a homebuyer and home seller, as well. A competitive offer will stand out from other proposals and increase a property buyer's chances of securing his or her dream residence.

3. I'll buy a home that will fail to maintain its long-term value.

What you pay for a home today is unlikely to remain the same over the course of several weeks, months or years. But a homebuyer who employs an expert home inspector can learn about a house's strengths and weaknesses and ensure a property is a viable long-term investment.

A home inspector will conduct an assessment of a house after a property seller accepts a buyer's proposal. At this point, an inspector will examine a house's interior and exterior and identify any potential issues. Lastly, a home inspector will issue a report with his or her findings, and a homebuyer will have a final opportunity to modify or rescind an offer on a house.

For homebuyers, it is important to work with a trusted home inspector – you'll be glad you did. This home inspector will go above and beyond the call of duty to evaluate a house before you finalize a home purchase.

Working with an experienced real estate agent may benefit a homebuyer too. With a top-notch real estate agent at your side, you can get the support you need to acquire a first-rate home that will maintain its value both now and in the future.


Photo by Fizkes via Shutterstock

If you know absolutely nothing about buying a house, don’t learn the hard way. There’s plenty of information available to help you avoid the many potential pitfalls in the process. You want your first home buying experience to be exciting, not exhausting. Here are some tips to get you started the right way.

  • Know when you’re ready. Sometimes the pressure to buy comes from well-meaning family and friends. Even your boss might press you to buy a home. But there are personal and financial milestones you need to pass before jumping into the housing market. These include paying down debt, monitoring your credit report and credit scores and freeing up cash to save for a down payment. If you can’t adjust your cash flow so that you can set some funds aside, you may not be ready to buy a home. Yes, there are zero-down and low-down-payment loans out there, but you still have closing costs, taxes, insurance and maintenance to cover. If you’re not there yet, start by making small adjustments to your financial picture. Trying living on a budget. You’ll find plenty of apps online or for your phone to help you follow the money. Once you know where your money goes, you can redirect it to where you want it.
  • Learn what you want. While you’re working on your financial adjustments, start visiting open houses. Go to single-family homes, new builder developments, condominiums, townhomes, patio communities and hi-rise buildings. Keep a list of what you like and dislike about each. Then, consider the time it takes to maintain the property. Calculate the hours spent mowing the lawn or caring for landscaping, or the cost to have it done for you. Consider if you want a ready-to-live-in home, or if you’re up to the challenge of a renovation. If so, will you do the work yourself or hire out to have it done? While not a perfect depiction, watch television shows about home renovations and remodels. You’ll see some of the disasters that might be lurking behind an innocent-looking wall.
  • Hire the right help. Buying a home for the first time is not the time to go it alone. Hire a professional real estate agent that represents buyers. You need someone in your corner during negotiations and the contract process so that necessary paperwork gets completed and a seller’s potential lack of disclosures doesn’t slip by you. Your agent can refer a home inspector to find out everything that might need repairs. Then they can negotiate for you to get the price reduced or the item fixed during the closing process.

If you follow these suggestions, when your agent finds the perfect home, you’ll be ready to take the exhilarating leap to purchase your first home.


Image by 3D Animation Production Company from Pixabay

Whenever someone is looking to purchase a home, there is always an inherent risk. It is common for buyers and sellers of homes to look for the best deal possible; however, it is also possible that issues might arise after a home has already closed. When looking to buy or sell a home, it is critical to be familiar with some of the common legal issues that arise. Understanding these issues ahead of time may help someone avoid devastating legal consequences after the fact. 

False Advertisements May Arise

One of the most common allegations made is related to false advertisements. Sometimes, someone purchases and house and feels that they didn't receive exactly what was advertised. These ads might take place in a booklet, leaflet or on the Internet. There is a certain code of ethics that comes with any real estate advertisement. While everyone wants to get the best deal possible, it is also important to make sure that all information advertised is truthful.

Equal Opportunity with Real Estate

This is, perhaps, the most important law that everyone needs to keep in mind when it comes to real estate. In the past, it used to be common that people wouldn't sell apartments, homes or condos to people of certain backgrounds including ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation. Now, the government has clauses that protect everyone from discrimination when it comes to real estate. It is critical for anyone selling a home to make sure they provide everyone with an equal opportunity to buy that home. At the same time, those looking for a home should never feel like they are being blocked from buying a home on the basis of their gender, ethnicity, orientation or other demographic factors.

Disclose All Accurate Information Accurately

When someone is looking at various homes, they are counting on the buyer to disclose all relevant information related to the condition of that home. Nobody wants to buy a home only to realize that, immediately after purchasing the home, it is in need of substantial repairs. Sometimes, sellers will try to conceal information from the buyer in an effort to pass on the repairs to someone else; however, this is illegal. If the purchaser finds out that information related to potential repairs in the home were concealed, they can go to court and file a lawsuit to recover the costs of the repairs. Some of the most common issues that arise in this area of real estate law include boundary issues, the presence of pests, problems with the structure and roofing issues. It is important for buyers to make sure they ask for a home inspection to uncover these issues ahead of time.
 


Image by Susan Lowry Hare from Pixabay

Adirondack chairs are popular on decks and for outdoor living, though they also look great in a rustic living room or cabin!  Rather than being straight-backed and uncomfortable, their design make them a joy to sit in.  However, a finished Adirondack chair can up to $700 dollars, whereas materials will run you between $50 and $150 depending on the wood you choose to use. Check out how to make your very own Adirondack chair by following the instructions below.

Note: you will need a miter saw and a jigsaw to complete this project.

Materials

Lumber

  • One 2" x 2" x 6' footboard
  • Three 2" x 4" x 8' footboards
  • Four 1" x 4" x 8' footboards
  • Hardware

  • 2-inch screws
  • 2-inch deck screws
  • 4-inch deck screws
  • 1 1/2-inch deck screws or exterior screws
  • Other

  • Wood glue
  • Directions

    A) Cutting the planks to size

    1. For the stretcher boards
      Cut two 2 x 4s such that the long end measures 31 7/8".  One end should be cut to 20o off of square at the shortest point; the other end should be cut to 35off square at the longest point. Then, mark off 2" on the 20o square end and cut at a right angle (90o) to your 20o cut. 

      If you aren't sure how to measure a certain number of degrees off of square, check out this quick how-to here
    2. For the legs
      Cut two, 2" x 4" planks to 20 3/4".  Cut both ends parallel, 15o off square.  These will be the back legs.  For the front legs, cut two, 2" x 4" planks to 20" long.
    3. For the seat
      Cut five, 1" x 4" planks to 22 1/2".
    4. For the arms of the chair:
      Cut two, 1" x 4" planks to 27".
    5. For the arm rest support:
      Cut two, 2" x 2" planks to 26 1/2".  Cut one end at 15o off square.
    6. For the back support and front apron:
      Cut two2" x 4" planks to 22 1/2".
    7. For the back slats:
      Cut five1" x 4" planks to 36".
    8. For the top support section:
      Cut one, 1" x 4" board to 19 1/2".
    9. For the base support section:
      Cut one2" x 4" board to 19 1/2".

    B) Building the legs

    1. Using 2 1/2" deck screws, attach both back and front legs to an arm support, keeping the outside and top edges even.  Use clamps and wood glue for additional stability.
    2. Turn the front leg such that the arm support faces downward on your bench, and elevate off the bench using 2x4s.  Measure 13 3/4" from the base of your front leg on the left-hand side, and mark.  On the same leg, measure 1/2" horizontally and mark.   Line up your stretcher such that the 20o off of square side lines up with your two marked measurements.  The 35off square side should now line up to the base on the right.  Fix in place with 2 1/2" deck screws.  Use wood glue for additional stability.
    3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 to make your second leg.
    4. Using 2 1/2" deck screws and wood glue, attach the front apron such that it lines up with the stretcher board on each side.

    C) Making the seat

    Drill two pilot holes on each side of your seat slats, using a countersink bit to keep the wood intact.  Line up on the top of the stretcher and screw into place using the 2" screws, being sure to put a 1/2" gap between each slat.  Do not use wood glue on the seat slats; they will naturally move more than the rest of the chair.
    Note: it helps to lay out all the slats first, screwing in the outermost slats before the others and adjusting as you go, so that the spacing is right.

    D) Making the back

    1. Turn the chair upright with the back towards you.  You will note that the back support board is wider than width of the legs to which it must be affixed.  Attach the back support to both of the back legs at an angle, such that the distal side is pointed upward and the proximal side is pointed downward until flush with both sides.  Use 2 1/2" deck screws and wood glue to affix.
    2. Attach the back slats as you did the seat slats in Part C: 1/2" apart, using 2" screws at the base but with 1 1/4" exterior screws at the top.  Do not use wood glue on the slats, as they will naturally need a bit more flexibility.  
      Note: it helps to lay out all the slats first, screwing in the outermost slats before the others and adjusting as you go, so that the spacing is right.
    3. Using a bucket, trash bin, or other large, circular item as a guide, draw an arc at the top of your back slats.  Then, using your jigsaw, make the cut.
    4. Slide the finished back into place in your chair.  Secure with 2 1/2" deck screws.  Finally, screw the chair back into the back support with 2" deck screws.

    Finishing touches

    1. Finish the chair by screwing the armrests into the arm supports using 2" deck screws and wood glue, clamping into place.  
    2. After all your glue has cured as per the instructions on your wood glue, sand any jagged edges, particularly the top of the chair back.
    3. Finally, paint or spray with at least two coats of finish: a clear coat if you really like the look of your wood.

    Photo by Media Design and Media Publishing via Pixabay

    Dark colors can be striking in any home, but too many darks can make your home seem gloomy and depressing. Fortunately, simple changes and choices can help you create a space with a dark palette that is attention-getting, not depressing.

    Lighting Matters

    Lighting at various levels matters for any space; the right setup of lights from above, on tabletops and even as accents for artwork visually brightens and expands a space. This effect is even more important when you have a darker wall color and furnishings. Make sure your room has adequate light and your space will look cozy, not grim and overly dark.

    Go for the Gloss

    When it comes to paint for your walls, doors and trim, you have several options ranging from flat, matte finishes to shiny, glossy surfaces. Choose glossy finishes to make your walls and trim pop, even in a dark room. Flat paint will absorb light and look dull, but glossy finishes will reflect light and brighten up your space. Use satin and semi-gloss on walls and accessories, and high gloss on trim for best results.

    Soften with Textiles

    Dark spaces can lose their impact if everything blends together. Incorporate some texture and color using throws, pillows and other textiles. These items can pull your space together, offer some contrast and ensure your room is striking, not gloomy, too.

    Choose Dark, not Black

    Navy, deep eggplant and burnt umber are all dark shades that still have interest and color; use one of these rich shades instead of black for your walls and furnishings. You’ll get the striking results you want without the Halloween-like appearance.

    Use Mirrors to Reflect Light

    Mirrors help bounce natural light from your windows around the room and liven up the space. Mirrors or reflective metallic surfaces help add highlights and interest to your space and make it more visually appealing.

    Use Colorful Artwork

    Dark doesn’t mean colorless or boring. Choose bold artwork and showcase it on your darker walls. You’ll not only highlight your favorite pieces, you’ll get a look worthy of an art gallery, right in your home.

    Use a Variety of Shades

    Dark furniture against a dark wall on top of a dark rug will look flat and boring. Opt for a palette of colors that work well together instead of a single, unified shade. You'll create a more interesting space and avoid a gloomy, foreboding look, too. 

    Used correctly, dark colors can have a striking impact on any space and allow you to create a room that is uniquely yours -- use one or more of the ideas above to incorporate darker shades the right way and you'll end up with a look  you'll love. 




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