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


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Build-to-rent is a major term right now for investors. The industry has seen a serious leap in interest in just the past year, making nearly everyone in the real estate space sit up and take notice. We'll look at the special nature of these properties and which attributes make a property more valuable than another. 

The Hot Spots 

Build-to-rent generally refers to a single-family property built to be used by renters rather than owners. It's popular because it's difficult to profit off of a new build, especially when you take into account the price of the land, materials, and permit costs. The areas that are exploding with these properties tend to be affordable cities with plenty of available infrastructure.

Atlanta, Houston, Charlotte: these hot spots are attracting young renters who may not have a sizable down payment saved for a new house, but they're still willing to pay for the right amenities. It's making it relatively easy for investors to recoup their money (and then some). 

The History of Build-to-Rent 

This trend got its start after the recession churned out countless foreclosures and short sales, but has since morphed into its own asset class. Once home prices started to creep back up, investors saw that there was plenty of money to be made in renting even after the economy returned. Today, the build-to-rent industry is largely driven by new homes. Developers may build several dozen homes in a single area, making it easier for property managers to respond to renter requests and perform regular maintenance.  

What's Behind the Success

The most successful build-to-rent properties are those in highly popular areas that would otherwise be too expensive to the everyday renter. Less than half of all millennials have any kind of substantial savings to put toward homeownership, and even the Baby Boomers are starting to turn toward renting (whether they need to or not). In addition, home appreciation has slowed over the past few years and new tax rules don't exactly make it an open-and-shut case that owning is the best choice available. 

Investors who have the opportunity to get involved in build-to-rent will likely be happy they did. The key is to look for properties that are sensible in nature. Avoid those in areas that make it difficult to build (either through expensive permits or restrictive building codes). Opt for properties in nice areas made with affordable, durable materials. This will cut back on maintenance and increase your profits in the long run. 


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Home décor and styles change all the time. One of the main things to remember before getting ready to completely remodel is choosing the right contractor. Although there are many contractors in the area, making sure they are able to do the job correctly makes all the difference. What are some things you should be looking for?

  • Recommendations

Getting input from friends and family, or a reputable association of contractors can help you create a list of contractors that could handle your project.

  • Interview

Once you have your list, it’s time to interview those contractors. Ask the following questions: Can you handle a project of this magnitude? Do you have samples of your work? Can I speak to previous clients? Do you use subcontractors? Are you licensed? Do you have insurance? This step can help you narrow the list even further and decide who you want to meet in person.

  • Meet the contractors

Once you’ve established who made the cut, it’s time to have a face-to-face meeting. It’s during this meeting where you will determine whether they are a good fit. They should be able to answer any questions you have with ease, provide their licenses, and start to formulate a quote.

  • Do your homework

Call the references the contractors have given you. Did the contractor ask to see the blueprint when you had your meeting? If they didn’t, they aren’t your ideal contractor. A quote can’t be made if they don’t know what they will be working on. Also, you want to discard the lowball quote. Quality work isn’t cheap.

  • Discuss the project and finances

Once you’ve selected the final contractor and agreed upon the estimate, it’s time to find out how their billing structure is set up. You should never pay a contractor all the money up front. Even with glowing reviews, contractors can slip up. Don’t put yourself in that position.

  • Timelines and agreements

The contractor should be able to provide a firm timeline on what will happen and how long the project will take. Everything you two agree on should be outlined in the contract from the very beginning. This protects your interests. The contract should detail every element of the project, from payment schedules to materials being used. The agreement should include proof of liability insurance, as well. You should require lien releases from the contractor to protect you from subcontractors and suppliers that may go after them if they don’t pay their bills. If there are any changes, it must be outlined in the agreement.

Following these steps should help you choose the right contractor and get the home of your dreams.


Photo by Gerd Altmann via Pixabay
 

There are many fees and costs you’ll encounter as a homeowner. From closing costs that are due when first purchasing your home to your mortgage payment and property taxes, keeping up with these expenses is essential. But if you’re a homeowner that didn’t pay your property taxes, you’re at risk of losing your home in a tax sale. Keep reading to learn more about property tax liens and what to do if you have lost your property in this type of sale.

What is a Tax Lien?

If you fail to pay your property taxes or other municipal fees associated with your property like sewage or water bills, any past-due amount that you owe can become a lien on your home. Each state has its own laws regarding property tax liens but generally, if you have a lien on your home, the local government can sell the property to collect any monies owed.

Can I Save My Home After a Tax Sale?

Tax sales are a serious matter but there may be a few different options available to you to help save your home. It is possible to reclaim your home following a tax deed sale by setting aside the sale or redeeming it. Many jurisdictions offer a right of redemption that is available after the tax sale. TO redeem your property, you are required to reimburse the total amount paid at the sale, plus any interest to the purchaser. This must be done within a certain time frame, called the “redemption period,” which typically lasts from 1 to 3 years. Additionally, you may be able to redeem the property before the start of a sale.

If you are unable to redeem the property, you may be able to invalidate or set aside the tax sale. This can be accomplished in a few ways, including:

  • Providing proof that there were defects in the tax lien
  • Identifying defects in the tax sale process
  • Proof that the tax in question was not owed or had been paid in full
  • Offering a good reason as to why the neglected fees were not paid

Should I Hire an Attorney?

If you are in a situation where a sale is imminent, or you’re exploring your legal options following a tax lien sale, you should consider working with an experienced attorney. Seeking legal counsel from a knowledgeable foreclosure attorney, tax attorney or real estate attorney may be able to stop or reverse a tax lien sale and help you to maintain ownership of your home.


For those who intend to sell a house, it generally is beneficial to explore ways to minimize stress throughout the home selling journey. That way, a home seller will be prepared to deal with any potential pitfalls that come his or her way.

When it comes to prepping for the home selling journey, stress can be problematic. But if you can remain calm, cool and collected in the face of home selling hurdles, you can find solutions to these problems and enjoy a stress-free home selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to ensure a stress-free home selling journey.

1. Evaluate Your Home's Strengths and Weaknesses

What separates your residence from others? Consider your house's strengths and weaknesses, and you can discover ways to transform various weaknesses into strengths.

Oftentimes, it helps to conduct a home inspection prior to listing a residence. This will enable you to identify any structural issues with your house and address such problems before you add your residence to the real estate market.

2. Enhance Your Home's Interior and Exterior

For those who want to minimize stress, it may be a good idea to hire professionals to help you upgrade your house's interior and exterior. Because if you have professional support at your disposal, you can quickly and effortlessly transform an ordinary house into an exceptional one.

To find the best interior decorators in your city or town, you may want to search online. This will allow you to examine online reviews and customer feedback and find the best interior decorators in any area, at any time.

Moreover, you should not hesitate to hire professional landscapers to help you bolster your house's curb appeal. Professional landscapers can trim the hedges, mow the lawn and perform other home exterior upgrades to ensure your house stands out to potential buyers.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Don't let stress get the best of you as you prepare to sell your house. Instead, hire a real estate agent, and you can avoid stress throughout the home selling journey.

Ultimately, a real estate agent is a difference-maker for a home seller. This housing market professional will teach you everything you need to know about selling a house and ensure you can make informed home selling decisions. As a result, a real estate agent can make it easy to navigate each stage of the home selling journey.

Let's not forget about the comprehensive home selling guidance that a real estate agent can provide, either. A real estate agent can help you take an objective view of your home and establish a competitive price for it. Also, after you receive an offer on your home, a real estate agent can help you examine this proposal and determine whether to accept, reject or counter it.

If you want to streamline the home selling process, there is no need to worry. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and a home seller can reap the benefits of a stress-free home selling experience.


You may not think much about your hot water heater. Unless of course, your hot water heater ends up breaking down. Hot water is so important in our homes, yet we take this resource for granted. Hot water does a lot in our homes from clean our laundry to disinfect our dishes to heat up our showers. We use it without thinking about it.  


If you neglect your hot water heater it can cause some costly damage to your home. Your basement could end up flooded. Pipes can burst. You can be without the use of hot water for days- even weeks- if you’re not vigilant about taking care of your hot water heater. 


Once water is gushing from the source, the best course of action is to simply shut the water off to your home. Before you even get to that point there are some tell tale signs of damage to your hot water heater that can be detected before major issues arise. First, if you notice any type of water around your hot water heater, you should get it checked out. Don’t look at it as “no big deal.” Any type of moisture or water stains around the water heater itself are a sure sign that something isn’t right with the unit.


As a homeowner, you should know just how old your hot water heater is. Usually, the installation date on the heater is noted somewhere along with the serial number. The typical hot water heater lasts about 9-11 years. If you live in an area with hard water, this number can vary.   



The Cleanup


Once the damage is done to your hot water heater you’ll likely have a large cleanup project on your hands. You’ll need to call water extraction services that will help dry out the area and clean up any baseboards that can become hazardous. Sometimes, these projects can get a bit bigger than you’d ever expect. After the water is pumped out, the cleanup has only just begun.  


Why Hot Water Heaters Fail


The minerals from water tend to build up (especially in the case of hard water) and cause the unit to rust out form the inside. While the inside of the tank contains glass, it does have metal pieces that can rust. You can replace certain parts of the hot water heater from time to time to keep it in good working order, the best prevention is to replace your water heater when the time is right. Don’t let the unit sit until way past its expiration date.


Being The Homeowner


As a homeowner, you probably wonder if something like a broken water heater were to happen if your insurance would cover the cost of the damage. The insurance will cover the cost of cleanup and repairs. The insurance will not cover the cost to replace the hot water heater or any labor costs. The only way the entire cost would be covered is if you have a home warranty. 


A simple thing that you can get to help alleviate major damage to your home from a hot water heater is to get an alarm. This little device is inexpensive and will alert you when any water hits near the areas of the alarm. This could save you a lot of costly damage and repairs. The most important thing that you can do in your home to prevent major damage from a hot water heater is to stay vigilant and keep on top of maintenance and replacement timelines.           





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