Looking to make your homes curb appeal a bit better…try these quick, easy and affordable tips!
Here is some timely information if your house is looking like a winter wonderland.
Ice dams usually occur after a heavy snowfall and several days of freezing temperatures. Warm air inside your home leaks into the attic and will warm the underside of the roof causing snow and ice on the roof to melt. The melted water will drain along the roof, under the snow, until it reaches the cold overhang. The overhang tends to be at the same temperature as the outdoors and the melted water will refreeze and form an ice dam and icicles. The ice dam can cause damage to the roof, which will result in water leaks to the inside. Frequently the result will be a water spot on the ceiling under the roof damage.
Don’t get on your roof to solve this problem, it could be dangerous.
Avoid standing on the ground and “chipping away” at the ice. Not only could this cause damage to your roof, but you can be seriously injured by falling ice, debris, or tools.
Contacting a roofing contractor to fix your roof leak will not prevent future ice dams.
Seal air leaks (Home Sealing) and sealing duct air leaks in your attic to stop warm air leakage (the source of the problem).
After sealing leaks, add additional insulation in your attic.
Provide adequate attic ventilation so that the underside of the roof and outside air are at the same temperature. Check to make sure attic insulation is not blocking roof ventilation.
Clean leaves and other debris from gutters before the first snow. This will help prevent ice build-up in gutters.
Hire a contractor who is an energy specialist or specializes in air sealing to do an in-home evaluation. A good specialist will use diagnostic equipment to evaluate the performance of your home and generate a customized list of improvements.
Do’s and Don’ts of Homebuyer Incentives
Homebuyer incentives can be smart marketing or a waste of money. Find out when and how to use them.
Be sure you’re sending the right message to buyers when you throw in a homebuyer incentive to encourage them to purchase your home.
When you’re selling your home, the idea of adding a sweetener to the transaction — whether it’s a decorating allowance, a home warranty, or a big-screen TV — can be a smart use of marketing funds. To ensure it’s not a big waste, follow these do’s and don’ts:
Do use homebuyer incentives to set your home apart from close competition. If all the sale properties in your neighborhood have the same patio, furnishing yours with a luxury patio set and stainless steel BBQ that stay with the buyers will make your home stand out.
Do compensate for flaws with a homebuyer incentive. If your kitchen sports outdated floral wallpaper, a $3,000 decorating allowance may help buyers cope. If your furnace is aging, a home warranty may remove the buyers’ concern that they’ll have to pay thousands of dollars to replace it right after the closing.
Don’t assume homebuyer incentives are legal. Your state may ban homebuyer incentives, or its laws may be maddeningly confusing about when the practice is legal and not. Check with your real estate agent and attorney before you offer a homebuyer incentive.
Don’t think buyers won’t see the motivation behind a homebuyer incentive. Offering a homebuyer incentive may make you seem desperate. That may lead suspicious buyers to wonder what hidden flaws exist in your home that would force you to throw a freebie at them to get it sold. It could also lead buyers to factor in your apparent anxiety and make a lowball offer.
Don’t use a homebuyer incentive to mask a too-high price. A buyer may think your expensive homebuyer incentive — like a high-end TV or a luxury car — is a gimmick to avoid lowering your sale price. Many top real estate agents will tell you to list your home at a more competitive price instead of offering a homebuyer incentive. A property that’s priced a hair below its true value will attract not only buyers but also buyers’ agents, who’ll be giddy to show their clients a home that’s a good value and will sell quickly.
If you’re convinced a homebuyer incentive will do the trick, choose one that adds value or neutralizes a flaw in your home. Addressing buyers’ concerns about your home will always be more effective than offering buyers an expensive toy.
G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who gritted her teeth and chose a huge price decrease over an incentive to sell a languishing property—and is glad she did. A regular contributor to many national publications including Bankrate.com, REALTOR® Magazine, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.
Kris MacDonald from our office contributed an article to this weeks edition of Boston Agent Magazine.
The Short List: Kris MacDonald’s Tip For Being Prepared For Property Appraisals
Every week, we ask a real estate professional for their Short List, a collection of tips and recommendations on an essential topic in real estate. This week, we talked with Kris MacDonald, an agent and manager of Insight Realty Group office in West Roxbury, for his tips on how to be adequately prepared for property appraisals. Full Article
Homeowners who decide they’re ready to become move-up buyers face a chicken-or-egg dilemma: Should they sell their current home first and then buy another, or buy a new one and then sell? The answer depends on several factors, including your local market conditions, your financing options and your feelings about potentially moving twice if you sell your home before your next residence is available. At Insight Realty Group we can provide you with current market conditions and assist on both sides of the transaction to make the process go as smoothly as possible!
Before you blithely assume that your real estate market is a buyer’s market or a seller’s market, you need to realize that you must be very specific about the market for your particular neighborhood, the style of home you own, and the price range for your property. In addition, you need to assess the availability of homes that meet your criteria. You’ll need to work with a knowledgeable, professional REALTOR® who can talk to you about how quickly homes that are similar to yours are selling and for how much. On the buying side, you should do some preview shopping to get an idea of what you want and how easy it is to find it. For example, if you must live in a particular, popular school district, you may want to consider buying a home first so that you’re sure you have a place you want.
In an ideal world, everyone would have the funds to pay cash for their next home, but the reality is that most people need the equity from the sale of their current home for the down payment on the next house. One option is to sell your home and then negotiate to rent it back from your buyers, but remember THAT you’ll need to pay them for the rental. Also, lenders will limit the rent-back term to a maximum of 60 days because a rental lasting longer than that would be considered an investment property.
Alternatively, you can temporarily live with friends or family or in a short-term rental while you’re between homes. In that case, you might need to pay for a storage facility for your possessions.
A drawback to selling your home first is that you may be unable to find a home to buy, or you may feel rushed into taking a place that doesn’t meet your expectations.
If you can qualify for the mortgage loan on both your current home and the next home, you can access the equity in your current home with a line of credit. You’ll need to take out the line of credit before you put your home on the market and then you can pay it back at settlement.
You may also be able to borrow money for a down payment from relatives that you can repay after your home sells.
Some lenders also offer bridge loans for transitioning homeowners as long as they have excellent credit and sufficient equity in their current home. A lender can help you evaluate your options.
Risk Aversion and a Plan B
You’ll have to ask yourself what scares you most: selling first and having nowhere to live or buying first and being stuck with two mortgage payments. The answer depends on your finances and your local market, but in either case you should have a back-up plan to deal with the worst case scenario – either another source of income for those mortgage payments or an identified place to live for a few weeks or months while you shop for a home.
This past spring our office marketed the property at 345 Belgrade Ave in Roslindale. The building had 12 brand new residential condominiums and one of the couples that purchased was working on an episode of House Hunters. Well, the episode has aired and if you plan to watch and don’t want to know the ending stop reading now, spoiler alert. Our office works with some great builders, and this building came together beautifully. How could they not chose it. The side display ad was totally coincidental on the timing of pulling the screen capture (but I am not complaining).