Sonia Rollins
EXIT Premier Real Estate | 781-454-6043 | [email protected]


Posted by Sonia Rollins on 3/29/2020

Whether youíre shopping for your first house or your next house, finding a listing you love is exciting. You browse the pictures, check out the property facts, share the link to your significant other, and maybe even schedule a showing.

With the exciting prospect of owning a new home that has all or many of the features youíre looking for, it can be easy to forget about certain details that matter. Most of us look for similar things in a house--close proximity to work, enough bedrooms, an upgraded kitchen, and so on.

In this article, weíre going to give you a list of things to investigate about the house youíre looking at to get a better idea of whether or not itís the perfect match for you and your family.

1. Re-read the listing

If youíre like me and get lost in the photos of a home and forget to make note of the details, be sure to go back and check out the listing a second time. It will likely give you important details of the house that you overlooked on your initial visit.

Look for things like the year the house was built, information of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, and the total acreage of the lot and square footage of the home. These things are hard to accurately represent in the listingís pictures, but will likely be important to your decision of whether or not you should view the home.

2. Do your online research

The number of things you can learn about a home and neighborhood on the internet is astounding. We suggest that before you go to visit a home, you spend 10-20 minutes on Google researching the following topics:

  • School district ratings. If you have or plan to have school-aged children, youíll want to know what your options are for your childís education. Itís often a good idea to check out the local schoolsí websites to see what

  • Commute times. With Google Maps and similar sites, you can plan out what your new commute will be and see how long it will take. You might find different routes that will save you time or avoid traffic (we could all use those extra few minutes in bed every morning). Google Maps isnít always accurate when it comes to morning traffic estimates, but itís a good place to start.

  • Amenities. Having moved into a neighborhood that has no grocery stores within a 20-minute drive, trust me--youíll want to know whatís in the area. Use Google Maps to find stores, gas, schools, parks and trails, hospitals, and other things youíll want close by.

  • Street view. While weíre on Google, use street view to take a remote look around the neighborhood. Youíll be able to see how the infrastructure looks--if the neighborhood is taken care of and if there are sidewalks that offer a safe place to walk or jog.

  • Crime ratings. Donít get too caught up in this section. Crimes happen everywhere, but this is a good way to see if the area youíre moving to is a safe place

3. Donít be afraid to ask questions

If, after all of your online research, you decide you want to go view a home, donít be shy when you arrive. Itís understandable that you wouldnít want to be a burden in someone elseís home. But remember--if youíre considering living there someday youíll want to know as much as possible before making an offer.

Test the plumbing, ask about average utilities, and donít be afraid to introduce yourself to neighbors and ask them questions about the community. The more you know, the better. Happy sleuthing!





Posted by Sonia Rollins on 3/22/2020

Photo by Alexander Stein via Pixabay

If a home is in foreclosure, you can buy it for less. Great deal, right? It can be, but there are pitfalls, and you need even more caution than in a regular real estate transaction.

Stages of Foreclosure

Foreclosure can take months or even years depending on the regulations of the specific state, but the stages are the same:

  1. Pre-foreclosure. The owner has been given notice of pending foreclosure but for now still owns the home. In this case you negotiate with the owner.

  2. Bank-owner. The former owner has been evicted. If the bank doesn’t find a buyer the house will be put up for auction.

  3. Real-estate Owned (REO). The home did not sell at auction. A misleading name because the bank still owns it. And needs to get rid of it.

How do I find a Foreclosure?

If you haven't bought one before, your best bet is to work with a real estate agent who specializes in foreclosures. Some may have credentials: the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) or the Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR) designation. Foreclosures are listed on the same platforms as other homes, plus they may be found through banks, local city halls and courts.

Do I need cash?

Not necessarily. But if you'll use a mortgage, get it pre-approved. You’re likely to be competing with cash buyers.

What should I watch out for?

Many foreclosed properties are in poor shape. If they haven’t been inhabited, and maintenance has been neglected and air conditioning hasn’t been running, there could be mold, debris and internal damage. Distraught homeowners sometimes make off with appliances and the copper. There may be liens in addition to the defaulted mortgage. Get an inspection, have the title checked out and assume there’s going to be work to make it livable.

How much should I pay?

Your agent can run a comparative market analysis (CMA). You should pay significantly less than for an unencumbered property to make up for the risk. Professional foreclosure buyers sometimes use a formula of 80 percent of a comparable standard property less cost of known repairs. For example, a $300,000 house that needs $50,000 in repairs should be (80% * $300,000) – $50,000 or $190,000. A skilled agent can help you be competitive without putting yourself in a bind.

Is a foreclosed property right for me?

It will take more time and effort than a regular purchase but can save a pile of money. A DIYer or a person comfortable managing major rehab projects has a head start. If you have strong nerves, high risk tolerance and the ability to be flexible, a foreclosure might be the best deal you can make.





Posted by Sonia Rollins on 3/16/2020

Located near all major amenities yet perched high up on a nearly one acre lot, this 3BR cape offers its new owner plenty of privacy without taking away all of the conveniences. Step inside to find many modern updates with some old world characteristics still in place. Home boasts beautiful hardwood throughout the main living area, an eat in kitchen with granite counters, spacious family room as well as formal dining room. No need to carry your laundry or lug your belongings from your full basement as there is a large mudroom as well as a laundry room on the first floor. Unlike many capes, this one offers a full bath on both levels and generous sized bedrooms. As the spring greens up the grass and fills the trees around you, you will be engulfed by natural beauty as you sit on your spacious deck. Did we mention a two care detached garage as well? YES! Forget the main street address, access to the house & driveway is on a side street! Make your appointment today & judge for yourself.

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts





Posted by Sonia Rollins on 3/15/2020

A home showing enables a property buyer to get an up-close look at a residence. After a showing, a property buyer can determine whether a house matches his or her expectations. And if a property buyer likes a house, he or she may be ready to take the next step in the homebuying journey.

Ultimately, a showing is crucial for a property buyer. And if you fail to plan accordingly for a home showing, you risk missing out on the opportunity to identify your ideal residence. Lucky for you, we're here to help you get ready for a house showing and ensure you can use this opportunity to your advantage.

Let's take a look at three tips to help you prepare for a house showing.

1. Create a Checklist

You may have already learned about a home from a listing. However, there is only so much information available in a home listing. But if you craft a checklist prior to a house showing, you'll be better equipped than ever before to get the insights you need to determine if a home is right for you.

Include any questions you have about a home in your house showing checklist. Also, you may want to include areas of a home you want to review during a showing in your checklist.

2. Give Yourself Plenty of Time

There is no reason to rush through a home showing. Because if you fail to allocate the proper amount of time to conduct a showing, you may struggle to obtain the insights you need to make an informed decision about a house.

Clear your schedule for at least an hour before and after a showing Ė you'll be glad you did. This should give you sufficient time to arrive at a home and take an in-depth look at all areas of the property.

Of course, if you find that one home showing is insufficient, there is no need to stress. You can always schedule a follow-up showing to further review a residence.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent can teach you everything you need to know about buying a house. Plus, he or she can help you get the most out of any home showing, at any time.

Typically, a real estate agent will attend a house showing with you. He or she can provide home insights as you walk around a residence and respond to your property buying concerns or questions. In addition, a real estate agent is happy to provide homebuying recommendations and suggestions. And if you're ready to submit an offer to purchase a home following a showing, a real estate agent can help you do just that.

As you get set to attend a home showing, you should prepare as much as you can. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can get ready for a home showing and use this opportunity to decide whether a particular residence will be able to serve you well for years to come.




Tags: Buying a home   showing  
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Posted by Sonia Rollins on 3/8/2020

Image by David Papazian from Shutterstock

Porch lighting is an essential part of a home's curb appeal. It offers much more than help navigating in the dark or a pretty accent for your front door. A brightly lit porch can enhance security and also save you money on your energy bill.

Where will you place it?

The location of your porch light helps you choose the right fixture. When updating an existing light, your choices may be limited if you donít want to relocate your electricity or create additional patching or painting tasks. If your project is bigger or you are starting from scratch, your options are unlimited. In addition to the traditional placement on either side of the door, porch lights can be hung from above or be installed on posts.

What is the style of your home?

The architecture of your home also dictates the kind of fixture you should choose. If your home does not have any defining characteristics, your style is all you need. Porchlights can be found in several styles and designs with modern, casual and traditional options widely available. Consider a traditional style for a colonial home or a rustic fixture for a log cabin.

What is the size of your entry door?

The size of your porch light should balance with the size of your door. For example, if you have a standard-size door of six-feet eight-inches, it is recommended that your porch light be between 5 and 9 inches wide. A porch light that is 10 to 12 inches wide will balance with an eight-foot door. Choose the same or similar widths when installing multiple fixtures.

What are the features?

Motion sensitive porch lights feature a built-in sensor that turns on the light when a person or pet moves into the range of the sensor. A daylight sensitive light has a timer that automatically turns on the lights at dusk. Most decorative porch lights feature built-in dusk to dawn photoelectric eyes, which means you won't need to think about turning on the porch light. 

If you want a bright porch light, check the wattage recommendations for the fixture youíre considering. Do not exceed the fixture's wattage as this could cause damage. Replace your incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs or outdoor-rated compact fluorescent bulbs.

Installing the right porch light can add charm to your home and significantly boost your curb appeal. If you need guidance or installation assistance, ask your realtor for recommended lighting professionals or contractors to help with your project.




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