Lauren Davis
REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West | 508-254-0449 | Lauren@LaurensListings.com


Posted by Lauren Davis on 2/14/2018

Condos are a popular style of home for first-time homebuyers and anyone who is interested in less work to do around the home. Condos are typically multi-unit complexes that share one or more walls with the other units. Letís take a look at the pros of owning a condo. Affordable: Condos are an affordable alternative to a single-family home in a desirable location that is known for itís high priced homes. This may be because you are looking in a city or within close proximity to a large city or even by the water. You are likely able to find a condo with decent square footage at a price point that you can afford whereas a single-family home with that same square footage would be much more expensive. Easy to Maintain: Condos come with homeowner association fees or HOA fees. These fees are monthly and cover things like utilities, reserve and contingency funds, amenities, maintenance and repairs, which includes lawn care, snow removal, trash removal, exterior upkeep, etc. This is often why young homeowners find condos so appealing, as they do not need to worry about landscaping, snow removal and exterior upkeep. There is also no need to worry about purchasing those items with large price tags such as lawnmowers and snow blowers as that is taken care of for you. Location: Another reason why condos are so popular amongst young homebuyers is because they are able to purchase their own home that is in a city or very close to it. Young homebuyers are typically working in a city and therefore would like to be close to work, nightlife, and shopping. Condos give these young people the ability to purchase a home in a city rather than having to rent. There are many pros to purchasing and owning a condo, but itís important to also weigh the cons. There are certain limitations that come with owning a condo that do not exist when purchasing a single-family home. Purchasing a home, regardless of its type, is a large investment and commitment. Itís important that you fully research the market and find exactly what youíre looking for in your price range and then begin your house hunt.





Posted by Lauren Davis on 2/7/2018

When you're a homeowner, it's tempting to save money any way you can. Oftentimes people take repairs into their own hands when they don't have the knowledge or experience to complete the job safely. What begins as a way to save money can quickly turn into a disaster--as you spend lengthy periods of time on a project and find yourself going over your initial budget. It isn't always easy to know which projects you can attempt yourself and which ones are better left to the pros. And, of course, it will depend on your comfort and skill level when it comes to various household repairs. So, if you're a plumber, disregard our plumbing advice and dive in to your DIY plumbing projects since you have the know-how. But if you're an average homeowner looking to make some renovations and repairs, read on to find out which ones you should attempt and which ones are better left to the pros.

1. Electrical work

So you've got a few faulty outlets in the new home you bought. It doesn't seem worth calling in an electrician just for those few minor issues. However, due to the dangers and complications that can arise from electric work, it's a good idea to hold off and call in the experts. Aside from shocking yourself (which can be deadly), you could also create fire hazards or damage circuitry, resulting in much higher repair costs than you initially had. Another benefit of calling in an electrician, other than having the project done correctly, is that they will be able to diagnose your home circuitry to let you know what other problems might arise in the foreseeable future.†So, when it comes to power issues, always call in the pros.

2. Hazardous materials

Many people will tell you not to worry about asbestos or lead paint unless you have children. However, these are both dangerous materials than can create several chronic health problems in adults as well. If you're concerned for the safety of yourself and your family, call in contractors who will remove the lead or asbestos. What can go wrong if you try to do it yourself? Lead chips and dust will fly through the air when attempting to remove lead paint. Breathing in these fumes is dangerous initially and down the road when the dust settles into the corners of your home. Asbestos, especially in blown-in insulation can be particularly dangerous. Aside from ensuring your safety, a contractor will also be able to assess the situation and determine whether your hazardous materials need to be removed or can just be "repaired" or covered up. Simple repair jobs on asbestos or lead-containing objects can save you some serious time and money.

3. Roofing and siding

There's a reason even building contractors bring in third party companies to install roofs and siding. These are both labor-intensive and time-intensive jobs that require specialized skills and tools that only dedicated companies can accomplish correctly. Roofing and siding are both dangerous jobs that carry the risk of falling off of roofs and ladders, as well as injuring your back lifting heavy shingles. The pros have the tools and experience to avoid these injuries. When you hire the professionals to do your roofing or siding, you can rest assured that the job is done correctly and will last much longer than if you made it a DIY project as well.





Posted by Lauren Davis on 1/31/2018

The real estate market is filled with many high-quality residences, and after a comprehensive search, you've found a residence that fits your personal needs and budget perfectly. However, you may need to think twice before you submit an offer on this residence. There are many factors that homebuyers should consider before they make an offer on a house, including: 1. Neighborhood Ideally, you'll want to find a home in a community filled with friendly neighbors. But in many cases, homebuyers may focus exclusively on a residence and ignore the neighborhood entirely. Taking a walk around a neighborhood often allows you to get a better feel about what it is like to live in a neighborhood and may give you a chance to meet some of the neighbors as well. Also, a simple walk around the block will provide you with a better idea about whether a house's value may rise or fall in the foreseeable future. For instance, a neighborhood filled with houses with well-maintained front lawns, nearby parks and schools and other local amenities may prosper for years to come, and home values may rise in this neighborhood over the next few years. 2. Crime No one wants to live in an unsafe area, and you can learn about crime near a prospective home before you submit an offer on a residence. Contacting a local police station usually is a great idea for homebuyers who want to find out about crime statistics in a particular area. Furthermore, your real estate agent can provide insights into crime in a specific area and help you determine whether a particular house is the best option. 3. Traffic Although your dream home features all of the amenities you want, it might fail to provide you with quick, easy access to your office day after day. For example, traffic can be a problem if your house is located in or near a major city. And if you need to travel to work every day, it is important to understand how traffic could affect your daily commute. To better understand traffic patterns in a particular area, try driving to a residence at different times during the day. By doing so, you can learn about traffic patterns near a house and be better equipped to make a more informed decision about whether to submit an offer on a residence. 4. Taxes You've been pre-approved for a mortgage and have established a monthly budget for a new home, but taxes may vary depending on where you move. Thus, you'll want to learn as much as possible about potential taxes that you could face at a new residence before you submit an offer. Taxes may add up quickly, but homebuyers who budget accordingly can minimize the risk that they'll fall behind on tax bills. And with support from your real estate agent, you can learn about taxes that you may encounter if you purchase a particular residence. If you're fully satisfied with a residence after you consider the aforementioned factors, you'll be ready to submit an offer and move one step closer to moving into your dream house.





Posted by Lauren Davis on 1/24/2018

Let's face it Ė you're tired of your current living situation and are ready for a change. Luckily, there are many homes available in your area Ė you just need to find a residence that fits your needs and budget. The homebuying process sometimes can become time-consuming and exhausting, but we're here to help you take the guesswork out of finding a residence and ensure you can discover your dream home quickly and effortlessly. Here are three tips that you can use to speed up the homebuying process: 1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage. Why should you look at homes you cannot afford? Instead, you can get pre-approved for a mortgage and search for residences that suit your budget perfectly. Many lenders are available that offer financing for homebuyers nationwide. As a result, you may be able to evaluate a variety of lenders to ensure you're able to get the lowest interest rate on your mortgage. Before you begin your home search, get pre-approved for a mortgage Ė you'll be happy you did! And remember, if you are pre-approved for a mortgage, you may be able to improve your chances of a home seller accepting your offer over others (i.e. from homebuyers who still need to get financing) as well. 2. Employ a Home Inspector. After you submit an offer for a residence, you'll want to hire a home inspector who can evaluate this property to the fullest extent. A home inspector serves as an unbiased third-party who possesses the experience and know-how needed to evaluate a residence. Therefore, this inspector will be able to identify any problem areas before you buy a house. With the right home inspector at your side, you can boost your chances of finding the right home without delay. This inspector will empower you with the insights you need to make an informed homebuying decision, one that could deliver significant benefits both now and in the future. 3. Work with a Real Estate Agent. Although you'd like to find a home as quickly as possible, you may lack the time and resources needed to fully review the real estate market. By hiring a real estate agent, however, you can streamline the process of exploring the real estate market in your area. A real estate agent will collaborate with you, learn about your wants and needs and provide information about residences that match your preferences. This professional can even set up home showings and keep you up to date about open houses in your area. Thus, your real estate agent serves as a dedicated housing market resource and will do everything possible to ensure you can find the perfect home. You'll likely discover a broad assortment of real estate agents available in cities and towns across the United States. And to find the right real estate agent, you'll want to meet with this professional and make sure you're comfortable working with him or her as you embark on your search for your dream residence. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble accelerating the homebuying process.




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Posted by Lauren Davis on 1/17/2018

Did you know that you could drastically improve your credit score in just a year? Or that there are things that you can actively be doing to keep up your good credit score and make it to excellent? Improving your credit score involves improving many pieces of what makes up a credit score. The tips here are twofold. If your score is low and you are looking to greatly improve it, then you must first figure out why. Review the tips below to see if any listed can help you deal with your credit pitfall(s). If you have an average to good score and just want to improve it as much as possible then each of the steps below can give you insight into how to do so. Balances: The amount of revolving credit you have compared to the credit that you are using is a large factor in your credit score. Itís best to keep your balances from all of your credit cards under 30% of your revolving credit. Even if you pay off your credit cards every month, the amount of credit you are utilizing is recorded. In short, keep balances low, but also keep paying them off each month so you do not end up with a balance than canít be immediately paid off. Credit Inquiries: Hard credit inquiries show up on your report for 2 years, but only affecting your score for around a year. Hard inquiries show that you are looking to use additional credit and too many hard inquiries in a short amount of time can negatively affect your credit score. One or two within a yearís time will not significantly affect your score but as that number gets higher it will. One way around this is to make those couple of inquiries within a 30-day period. FICO will count those inquiries as one since oftentimes multiple inquiries in a short period of time results in one loanó meaning you are not in search of multiple lines of credit/loans. But itís best to be cognizant of this and strategic in how you view your credit report or apply for loans and credit cards. Payment History/On-Time Payments: If you have struggled with paying your bills on time and have seen a suffering credit score then this then would be a main reason behind your low score. And itís time to take action and change that. This is one of the main factors in your credit score and therefore significantly impacting your score, either negatively or positively. Itís important to do everything in your power to pay all bills on time. Even being just a couple days late on payments will have affect. Length of Credit History: Length of credit is not necessary something that you can completely control. But it does have an affect on your credit score. As the length of your credit increases, and given that you are responsible with your credit, your score will improve. The most important piece to remember here is to be responsible with your credit. So what are you waiting for? If you haven't already, sign up for a free credit score site or find out if one of your credit card companies offers it. Frequently checking and seeing your score rise will provide you with the gratification you need to keep on track.