Friday, January 27, 2012

10 Tips for Better Mileage in Lexington MA

If you live in the Lexington MA area and drive a hybrid car, ride a bike or are lucky enough to work from home, you don’t need to worry about raising gas prices. But for the rest of us the high price of gas is one more expense we hate to spend. There are several things you can do to get better gas mileage from your vehicles. According to an online resource for automotive information, suggests these helpful tips.

1. Follow the Recommended Maintenance - A well-maintained vehicle will operate more efficiently. Fouled spark plugs, dirty air filters and clogged fuel filters will diminish fuel economy.

2. Keep Tires Properly Inflated - Under-inflated tires require more energy to roll; properly inflated tires can improve fuel economy by as much as 3 percent.

3. Take a Load Off - Heavier vehicles require more energy to move. Pack light and remove unnecessary items from the car.

4. Don't Drive Aggressively - Hitting the gas pedal hard after stopping, slamming on the brakes and speeding all decrease fuel efficiency.

5. Use the Highest Gear Possible - Lower gears use more power, so manual transmission drivers should switch to a higher gear when driving at a steady speed, and automatic transmission drivers should avoid using "sport" mode.

6. Use Cruise Control Selectively - Cruise control is a great asset on flat roads, but isn't the most efficient on hilly terrain.

7. Think Clean - Keeping your car washed and waxed improves its aerodynamics, thereby improving fuel efficiency. On a long trip, a quick run through a gas station car wash might more than pay for itself.

8. Avoid Excessive Idling - An idling car burns fuel. Whenever possible, turn your car off while waiting, and try to avoid drive-through windows and long toll booth lines.

9. Think Before You Ventilate - Air conditioning consumes more fuel, while rolled down windows decreases aerodynamics. Roll down windows when in slow-moving traffic; use the air conditioner when traveling at high speeds.

10. Combine Your Errands - Cold engines use more fuel than warm engines. Combining errands means the engine will be warmer for more of the trip.

So as you are driving around Lexington MA looking for your next home, keep these car care tips in mind!

Monday, January 23, 2012

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Refinancing Your Lexington Home

As we’ve entered a new year, many of you have determined to take a look your Lexington home and consider your options for the future.

While you enjoy living in this historic city; you’ve heard of the currently low mortgage rates and are wondering whether refinancing your home is the right choice for you.

In working in the Lexington Real Estate market for many years as a Lexington Real Estate agent, I have people ask me about refinancing prior to selling their home or simply because they want to lock in lower monthly payments. No matter what your interest in refinancing may be; it’s important to be aware of some of the common refinancing mistakes you’ll want to avoid.

1. Over-estimating the value of the home- Although home prices have fallen over the past few years, homeowners still put high value on their homes. As a result, they receive higher-than-expected loan offers. Your Lexington Real Estate agent will be able to show you what comparable homes in your neighborhood are currently selling for so you can get a better idea of what your Lexington home is worth.

2. Hesitating to lock in low rates- Waiting for rates to drop even lower can be the biggest mistake as there’s no promise that rates will remain low. Take the opportunity now to lock in these historically low rates before it’s too late.

3. Focusing only on interest rates- While interest rates are important, those aren’t the only factors to consider when refinancing your Lexington MA home. Lender fees, loan terms and even lender reputations will play a role in refinancing. Using online tools, such as Mortgage Professor to run all the numbers can be useful to determine if financing is even the right choice for you.

4. Overlooking shorter-term loans- Although the 30-year mortgage loan is the most popular, remember that there are 20 or 15-year mortgages that may be a better option. These shorter loans can save significant amounts of money since you’ll be reducing the amount of paid interest over time.

5. Not knowing what documents are required to refinance- It’s important to know which documents are needed before you begin to refinance. For those of you who haven’t taken out a mortgage or refinanced lately, you may be surprised to find there’s more documentation needed than in the past. Pay stubs, two months of banking and other financial statements, two years of W-2’s are just some of the documents required to refinance.

I hope that by being aware of these refinancing mistakes, you’ll be able to avoid them and better determine if you should move forward with refinancing your Lexington home.

As always, I’m here to help! If you have questions about refinancing or are hoping to sell your Lexington home this year; please let me know! I’ve helped many clients successfully get their Lexington home sold, and know that my proven strategy will create a stress free and efficient home selling experience for you as well.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The 5 Stages of Selling Your Home In Lexington MA

Selling your home in Lexington MA can be a scary and overwhelming. Not only are you leaving your comfort zone but you now have to pack, look for another home (hopefully in Lexington MA), deal with utilities, schools and the list goes on and on. A good real estate agent can help you with all of these facets and more. One of the biggest questions asked is how does the selling process work? Below is a simple list of the entire selling process to help you understand what is involved.

1. The Pre-Listing Stage
This is when you are deciding to sell. Many decisions take place during this time. It includes interviewing and deciding on an Agent. Decide on repairs and maintenance issues that will need to be addressed before listing the property. You also need to decide on your timeline and why and where you are moving. For many this is the most overwhelming stage and one that an agent can assist you with.

2. The Marketing Stage
This is where you Agent does most of the work; take photos, enter home into MLS, create fact sheets, post on internet, send out mailings, contact database, schedule showings and open houses all with constant communication. The one thing you as a seller in Lexington MA must do is keep your house ready and accessible for showings, spread the word and complete any decided repairs.

3. The Negotiating Stage
Again your Agent will do most of the work during this stage. Solicit multiple offers, review price and terms, verify Buyers financial qualifications, present all offers, facilitate all required signature and document completion. You need to listen to your agent and work together for a positive resolution.

4. The Pending Period Stage
Your Agent will deliver contract to attorney for approval, schedule and resolve home inspection issues, schedule Appraiser and resolve any issues. Fulfill any contingencies, and confirm all repairs requested in the contract or resulting from the inspections must are completed and reinspected by lender. Complete the final walk-though. This is the hardest time as there is nothing you can do but wait.

5. The Closing Stage
This is the most exciting stage for you but for your Agent it is one of the busiest. They need to coordinate a definite closing date with all parties, confirm all paperwork is complete and approved and home was left in proper condition. All you have to do is get the keys and MOVE IN!

This is of course very basic, if you are considering selling your home in Lexington MA, please contact me and I can explain the entire selling process in detail and how I can help facilitate your next move.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Achieve Your Goals with a Lexington Real Estate Agent!

The new year is a great time to reach for new goals in your life and I’m sure many of you have created your own list of new years’ resolutions. Yet, in order to be successful it’s imperative to have a plan for how you’re going to succeed!

As a Lexington MA Real Estate agent, I’ve dealt with many buyers and sellers in the Lexington Real Estate market and can assure you that if you’ve considering buying or selling your Lexington home this year, there’s one key step to achieving your goal! In order to effectively navigate the real estate market; you’ll want an experienced Lexington Real Estate agent on your side! I’ve gathered the top ten reasons why it’s important to work with a Lexington Real Estate agent for your home buying or selling needs.

1. Education and Experience- Their years of training and experience in the Lexington Real Estate market will be a great asset to you! You don’t have to put pressure on yourself to learn about the market or how to negotiate a deal since a real estate agent will be fully trained and know the ins and outs of the Lexington Real Estate market.

2. Agents are Buffers- You won’t have to deal with multiple phone calls from buyers or other agents. Buying or selling a home can get personal and your Lexington Real Estate agent can act as your personal shield against pushy buyers or bad deals.

3. Area Knowledge- If you’re buying a Lexington MA home and are relocating to the area, your Lexington Real Estate agent will know the best places to search to fit your needs and lifestyle!

4. Price Guidance- Your Lexington Real Estate agent can guide you in what you want to offer on a home and help you come up with a price that works within your budget. They can also give you advice on pricing your home correctly from the beginning.

5. Market Condition Information- You’ll get an inside look into the Lexington Real Estate market such as what homes are currently selling for on the market or when a home is a good deal.

6. Professional Networking- Your Lexington Real Estate agent may already have a connection to an interested buyer for your Lexington home! They will also have contact with other Lexington Real Estate agents and brokers and can get the word out about your home being on the market.

7. Negotiation Skills- Negotiating a contract can be tricky and your Lexington Real Estate agent will be able to navigate through this process to ensure you are happy with the deal.

8. Handling Volumes of Paperwork- There’s a lot of paperwork that goes into buying or selling a home. Your real estate agent will be able to take care of this for you and make sure every “i” is dotted and every “t” is crossed!

9. Answer Questions after Closing- Sometimes there can be issues that arise during the closing or taxing authorities can get behind in their paperwork and call you months after closing. A good real estate agent will stick by you even after you close a deal to take care of any after effects.

10. Develop Relationships for Future Business- Finding a trusted Lexington Real Estate agent can be tough, but once you find one; you’ll want to develop a great relationship with them! Whether you are looking to buy or sell again in the future, you know that they’ll be your first choice so building that relationship is key!

As you can see, there are a number of benefits for working with a Lexington Real Estate agent. Buying or selling a home can be an overwhelming experience and one that you don’t have to go through alone! Finding the right Lexington Real Estate agent can be the key to a successful real estate transaction.

I’d love to help you succeed in your real estate goals for 2012. Feel free to contact me anytime to get started!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Three Biggest Clutter Areas-No More!

Your closet, kitchen and home office are the three biggest clutter offenders in your home. Start 2012 right by de-cluttering these rooms first. Tips from TLC and Real Simple magazine.

1. Closet
Consider installing a second rod underneath the primary clothing rod to hang skirts, shorts, scarves and bags; you can double your storage and eliminate the need for shelving. Keep only in-season items in your closet; box the rest and store underneath the bed or in a storage closet. (We don’t suggest the attic or basement because of inconsistent temperatures) To keep your closets from getting cluttered in the first place, implement a new rule: For each new item that comes in, two items must be thrown out or donated.

2. Kitchen
Keep objects close to where they are used. For example, keep the dishes near the dishwasher, and the spices at arm’s length of the stove. If the objects in question are easier to put away after use, the kitchen is more likely to stay clean. Clear counters of unused small appliances and cookbooks and store them in cabinets or shelves instead. Use the insides of cabinets and pantry doors to organize knickknacks, such as chip clips or bottle openers that can hang, or trim down an over-the-door shoe organizer to fit the inside of the cabinet to house these items. Consider putting some shelves in your basement or garage to hold large appliances that aren’t often used such as a fondue or Crockpot. This will clear valuable cupboard space for more useful items.

3. Home Office Establish a filing system that you can easily — and immediately — use to keep bills and loose papers from getting out of hand. Keep labeled manila folders at the ready; assign folders for tax records, utility bills and medical expenses, for example. Consider investing in a scanner to digitize important documents and save them on a hard drive for easy (and paper-free) access. Create a “shelf life” rule for magazines; for example, purge weeklies after a month and monthlies every few months. Have separate boxes for each child to hold their school projects and papers. Designate a specific area that all mail gets put and sorted immediately.

Don't have cluttered rooms of your own? Contact me to show great properties in and around Lexington MA for sale.

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