Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Don't Have Remorse with Your Next Transaction

Buying or selling a home in Lexington MA is probably the biggest decision you will make in your life time. We all know about Buyer remorse, but in Real Estate there is also such a thing as Seller remorse. Buyers regret that they could have gotten the property for less and Sellers regret that they should have held off for a better offer. I have come across this time and time again during my real estate career so I have come up with a few questions that I like to pass on to my buyers and sellers before we get in to the details of the transaction. If they review the answers to these questions after the transaction is complete they all tend to stay happy with their decisions. And I love happy clients!

1. Before you get started, write down your vision of the life you want to live after the transaction is complete. It’s easy to get distracted during the process, losing sight of what’s really important to you - what motivated you to start the process in the first place. So, before you get started, write out exactly why you made the decision to buy or sell.

Make sure you include your wants, needs, deal-makers and deal-breakers.

2. Ask yourself: how does this decision make me feel? We tend to approach real estate decisions from a place of reason and logic, but sometimes that means we can reason our way right into agreeing to something because it’s easier than sorting out the differences. Believe in your gut and stick to it.

So, before you make any decisions, weigh your alternatives and see how they make you feel. Does the idea of buying a fixer upper scare or excite you? Does the prospect of short selling vs. staying put and getting a second job make you feel excited and free or nervous and on edge? Often, your intuition and physical senses provide the best clues to the right decision - the decision that will not result in remorse after the fact.

3. Manage your own mindset. Don’t fall into the trap of “the grass is greener on the other side” mentality. You hated everything about renting, so you want to buy your own home. But if you do will everything about owning (lenders, lawnmowers and such) make you crazy? Really consider all the options before making any decisions.

4. Live in reality not hypotheticals. So living in a hypothetical world of how much you probably could have gotten the place for, or how much more you might have been able to get from the buyer will just make you crazy. Knowing a ahead of time to ignore the “what-ifs” will help you stay in reality.

5. The Tough Talk. There will be negotiations in a real estate transaction. If you’re the type that finds negotiating excruciating and will do anything to avoid having a conversation about money, do yourself a favor and just suspend that during this deal. If something doesn’t look right on your contract or you don’t understand something in the loan paperwork, ask and keep asking until it is fixed or you completely understand. Let your Real Estate Agent do all the tough negotiations. As long as you know ahead of time what you are willing to except and not except your Agent will do the rest.

7. Affordability. Make sure you go into the home buying process clear on what your comfortable range of monthly housing costs are based on your income and expenses now (not in the future). Make sure to include additional costs for household maintenance/upkeep, taxes, etc. Don’t rely on anyone else to tell you what you can afford.

8. Remorse is Inevitable for some. If you find yourself in a position where you’re experiencing remorse for one unexpected reason or another (unexpected nuisances; noise levels in the neighborhood, a busier street then expected or may the home had unexpected problems or conditions not uncovered until you moved in)

Make a list of those things that are causing you remorse and then get clear on all your options and don’t limit your thinking about what those options might be. Maybe you need to plan and budget for those unexpected repairs over the next few years instead of trying to fix everything at once. Decide which ones are urgent and which can wait.. I love my home and my neighborhood, but was driven to distraction.

I hope these questions and your response to them will help you to not feel remorse when you buy or sell your next home in Lexington MA!

For more information about how I can facilitate your next move, please contact me today.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ready to Paint Your Lexington MA Home?

Winter is a great time to complete many indoor home improvement projects. Painting is one of the best ways to get the biggest return on your effort and expense. Sherwin Williams has just introduced a new tool to help choosing paint color even easier. It is called Chip-it!

Simply add their widget into your tool bar, then when you see a picture you like (even on your own computer), just click the tab and it will create a color palette based on the colors in the picture. They have over 1,500 hundred paint selections so you are sure to match your colors perfectly. No more wasting time and money with paint colors that "don't look like you thought" Now you can get exact matches! Your Lexington MA home will look like new

It will give you the 5 main colors from the picture but you can also click the "more colors" button and get accent colors.

Take a moment to watch the video and add the widget. SHERWIN WILLIAMS CHIP IT!

*Image used was from Pinetrest

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Does Your Agent Know You?

A good buyer agent should not only be asking the below questions but actively listening to your responses in order to find your perfect home in Lexington MA. You and the Buyer Agent create a unique relationship during the buying process as they learn intimate details about you and your family. Make sure you find a Real Estate Agent you are comfortable working with and that understands the complexities of working with Buyers. Being familiar with the Lexington MA real estate market is also important as it is a unique area. Is your buyer agent asking you these questions?

Describe for me your ideal home.

How long or how far a drive do you want to have to work?

How long do you plan to stay in this new home?

What do you like to do in your free time?

What hobbies or special interests should your new home serve?

Will you be working out of the new home?

What type of work or home office facilities would be ideal for you?

Do you want a fixer upper or move in ready home?

Do you enjoy gardening or yard work?

Do you like to cook?

What special features or facilities would you like to have in the home?

Do you entertain often? Indoors or outdoors?

Will you want or need to have the house serve someone with special needs or disabilities?

Do you plan to get involved in community activities?

What are you looking for in a school district?

How will you know that this is the right home when you see it?

If you are in the market to buy a home, feel free to contact me! I will not only ask these questions but I will listen to your unique needs and wants to find you the perfect home.

Monday, February 6, 2012

10 Tips for Buying a Condo in Lexington MA!

Buying a home in Lexington MA is a great choice. This charming, historic community is a fantastic place to call home and many find the lifestyle is one they’ll be sure to enjoy for years to come!

If you’re considering relocating to Lexington, you may see yourself finding a historic home full of character, and there are many to be found in Lexington! However, you may discover that a character filled condo in this community has the affordability and amenities for which you’re searching.

As a Lexington Real Estate agent, I thought I would highlight some of the similarities and differences of buying a Lexington condo. Take a look!

1. Length of Stay- Think about how long you're going to stay in one place. Buying a condo is no different than buying a single-family home; you need to live there at least a couple of years to recoup closing costs, assuming the property will appreciate.

2. Determine Your Wants - Give some thought to what you want. If you're not interested in the amenities, understand that the condo's price and ongoing monthly association fees will reflect their use regardless of your interest in using the pool or the gym.

3. Shop Around- Visit various condominium communities and multi-unit buildings so you know the condos that are available in Lexington, and will give you a sense of prevailing prices.

4. Request a Market Analysis- Request a market analysis from your Lexington Real Estate agent regarding the selling prices of condos in the building or area. Check the price appreciation on the market analysis to evaluate how quickly the condos are increasing in value; subtract the selling price from the purchase price and divide by the number of years the property has been held by the previous owner for a ballpark estimate of annual appreciation, if any, in the neighborhood.

5. Get Prequalified for a Mortgage- Just like buying a home, you want to be sure to get prequalified for a mortgage loan. This will give you a great idea of what you’re able to afford and will help you be prepared for a quick condo purchase.

6. Research the Community- Find out if the building has a good reputation. Ask how often repairs and maintenance are required, and how good the soundproofing is between units.

7. Discover Your Amenities- Check out parking, storage, security and other amenities. You’ll want to know every perk that comes with buying a condo in that building!

8. Take Note- Ask to see the minutes from a recent meeting of the home owners association (HOA). Find out what the hot issues are and if members are fighting tooth and nail. You’ll want to be aware of any major issues before moving in.

9. Research Restrictions- Find out how restrictive your HOA is. For instance, some buildings even dictate what sort of holiday lighting you can put up. Request the same information as you would for buying a house. Read the CC&Rs (covenants, conditions and restrictions).

10. Budget in your HOA Fees- Budget in association dues, which are above and beyond your monthly mortgage payment. To assist in long-term financial planning, ask the condo association whether association fees have increased in recent years. Also estimate monthly maintenance costs that you may be responsible for in addition to the association fees.

As you can see, buying a condo does come with a few additional things to think through, however being armed with this tips can help you sail through the condo buying process with ease!

I’m always here to help, so if you have any questions about living in Lexington, the Lexington Real Estate market or are ready to begin your Lexington condo search; let me know! I would enjoy helping you find your ideal home and settle into the Lexington lifestyle.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Why You Should Have a Home Inspection

Home Inspections are a routine part of nearly every residential real estate purchase in Lexington MA, whether a resale or even a new-construction home. I believe they are an absolute necessity in today’s market. Here are a few areas home inspectors look at, this is not a complete but a general overview of what a home inspector may look in your home.

1. Structural: The American Society of Home Inspectors have set standards on certain areas of the home that inspectors look at to determine the integrity of the essential internal and external structural components. They are not structural engineers but they can identify visual defects in areas requiring immediate repairs and will recommend a structural engineer should they feel it is warranted.

2. Electrical: Verifies all systems are safe and within code.

3. Plumbing: Looks for issues, code violations, drainage issues, water pressure etc.

4. Built-In Appliances: All appliances are tested.

5. Safety: Verify all systems are working properly including ventilation, furnace, leaks etc.

6. Miscellaneous: Other items such as wells, septic, roofs, windows, garages and insulation should all be reviewed at this time.

Considering buying or selling your home in Lexington MA soon and need a home inspector? Give me a call and I can suggest one!

Contact Info: Theresa D'Antuono-781-718-5881 or email: