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


Posted by Lauren Davis on 7/26/2017

When you narrow the numbers of houses that you're serious about buying, weather is probably the last thing that you think about. But, depending on where you buy a house, you could be inviting very hard weather conditions into your life. And you don't have to move to a coastal area to experience harsh weather.

Storms do more than damage your house

You don't have to live in Florida or along the New Jersey shore for serious weather storms like hurricanes and flooding to change the way that you and your family live. If you've ever had to vacate your house due to the threat of a weather storm, you know how quickly a storm can alter your best laid out plans.

Let the frequency of storms be high, occurring once a quarter or more, and you could be forced to store protective plywood, plastic window coverings, salt and shovels in your basement or garage. It might not take long to get into a cycle of covering windows and doors only to remove plastic and wood coverings a few days later.

This cycle alters your plans. It can also cause you to fear high winds and hard rains. For example, you could start to fear that a dark sky signals that a storm is going to rip through your house even if weather forecasters say that the area will experience no more than a heavy rain.

Understand what you get into when you buy a house in a stormy area

Some people have developed weather fears to the point where they order everyone in their house to turn off all electric appliances as soon as the sky grows dark during the daytime. These people may have experienced an electrical shock during a weather storm and convinced themselves that someone will always get electrocuted during a storm if appliances are left on.

Those are just a few fears that you could develop if you buy a house in an area that has a lot of damaging weather storms. As previously mentioned, there are also costs, including storm preparation and storm clean up and repair costs, associated with living in a house that's located in a high storm area.

Avoiding these costs and clean up headaches can be as simple as holding a conversation with your realtor. Make sure that you know which type of homeowner's insurance coverage you should get for the area that you buy a house in.

Homeowners insurance to deal with severe weather storms

Theft, fire and tornado damage might be included in general insurance packages. However, you may have to request coverage for earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, mudslides and hail damage. After you get the necessary homeowner's insurance coverage, you need to know how to travel in storms.

For example, you should know that it's not advisable to drive onto flooded streets, as even a slight dip in the road could cause water to rise,  potentially trapping you in your vehicle. The fact that bridges freeze before flat roadways is another important point to remember.

Understand all costs that you could incur if you buy a house in an area that experiences tornadoes, earthquakes and excessive rain and flooding. Also, familiarize yourself with the amount of work that you will have to do to remove weather elements like snow and ice, excessive mud from mud slides and hail.

Allergies are another weather storm related condition that you need to educate yourself about. Buy a house in a heavily wooded area and your allergies could cause you to feel groggy, tired and listless for days. The same goes for houses located in areas where weather invites insects like mosquitoes and fruit flies.





Posted by Lauren Davis on 7/19/2017

Parenting is a full-time job. Unfortunately, most parents have other full-time jobs as well, making it difficult to spend as much time as they would like raising their children. Part of the cultural doctrine around being a good parent is helping your child with their homework. In a fairy-tale world, your child arrives home from school, eats a healthy snack, and sits down at the kitchen table eagerly awaiting you to help them with their homework. You join them and the two of you gleefully accomplish math problems, history trivia, and grammatical conundrums. In real life, we know that this situation plays out a lot differently. Most kids aren't in a rush to do their homework and most parents don't have the time to spend hours helping with it, or--as their kids age--the knowledge to explain the work. Fortunately, there are better ways to help your kids succeed. These ways involve taking a less active role, and being more of a guiding hand for your child as they navigate their way through school.

You're not the teacher...

And you shouldn't pretend to be. You may notice, when your child is as young as seven or eight, that they are learning things differently than you did. This isn't a bad thing. Learning evolves with our society as we discover more practical ways to teach kids. When your child comes home from school and gets ready to do their homework, make sure you're not undoing the work their teachers do all day by trying to teach them a different way of solving the problems. If your child is struggling, seek out extra help from the school or the teacher who will be able to find the best way to help your child succeed.

Setting up the homework environment

The place where your child does homework should be relatively distraction free. Choose a well-lit room with the TV off. Make sure your child has eaten before homework time and make sure they take breaks as needed. If your child is struggling with homework, don't get upset with them. Try to be understanding and to work together to find a way to help them complete the assignments. Just like you have the occasional bad day at work, your child will have the same experiences with their homework.

Don't be a dictator, be a helper...

Setting extremely strict rules about homework has been shown to make a child dread school even more. Find a schedule that your child works best with and follow that schedule. If your child needs to play outside or watch a favorite show after school, give them this time to unwind. If they react better to getting homework out of the way as soon as they get home, choose this route. Either way, you'll need to have a discussion with your kids about setting a homework schedule that you are both happy with. When it comes to being actively involved with teachers, PTAs, field trips, college prep, or choosing high school courses, have a discussion with your child about how much of a role they want you to play. Research shows that different students have different preferences when it comes to how active a role their parents play in their education. And studies have shown that being very active doesn't mean your child will do better in school. Your role should be to help as much as your child would like you to, otherwise the best way you can help is to point them toward resources like their advisors and school guidance counselors.





Posted by Lauren Davis on 7/12/2017

After you receive an offer on your home, how should you respond? Ultimately, there are many questions for a home seller to consider before accepting a proposal, including:

1. What is my home worth?

Did you get your home appraised before you added it to the real estate market? If so, you may want to review a home offer in contrast to your home appraisal. This will give you a better idea about whether the offer is "fair" based on your home's condition.

If you have not received a home appraisal, there's no need to worry. In fact, there are many ways to assess your home to determine whether to accept or decline a proposal.

Check out the prices of comparable residences in your city or town. This will enable you to see how these houses are priced and better understand how to proceed with an offer.

Also, review the prices of homes that recently sold in your area. With this information, you can learn about the current state of the housing market.

2. Are there any other offers to consider?

As a home seller, you'll likely have 24 to 48 hours to respond to an offer on your residence. But if you receive multiple offers at the same time, you'll want to evaluate these proposals in conjunction with one another.

Even if you receive two offers for the exact same price, these proposals may differ.

For example, a homebuyer who has financing in hand will be able to streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner. On the other hand, a homebuyer who submits an offer without financing in hand may require additional time to secure a mortgage from a bank or credit union.

Take a close look at all of the offers on your home. Review these proposals with a fine-tooth comb, and you'll be able to make an informed decision.

3. Does this offer meet or exceed my expectations?

An offer on your home may fall short of your initial asking price, but this offer can still meet or surpass your expectations.

Consider what you hope to accomplish as a home seller as you review an offer.

For instance, if your goal is to sell your home as quickly as possible, you may be more inclined to accept one of the first offers you receive. Or, if you can afford to remain patient, you may want to take a wait-and-see approach to ensure you get an offer that matches or exceeds your initial asking price.

4. What will happen if I accept the offer?

After you accept an offer on your home, a homebuyer likely will want to complete a home inspection.

If the home inspection goes well, the homebuyer probably will proceed with his or her purchase. If it does not, you may need to complete home maintenance or repairs to finalize the purchase agreement.

Remember, if you accept an offer, there are still several steps that will need to be completed before you sell your house. With an expert real estate agent at your side, you'll know exactly what to expect at each stage of the home selling process.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Lauren Davis on 7/5/2017

When it’s a beautiful day and the warm sun is shining down, you’re more likely to be in a good mood. Studies show that lighting directly correlates with our moods. We would want to be The color and temperature of lights are a factor in creating your ideal setting. Lighting is a key part of creating films and television shows because lighting often sets the mood for a scene. The same principles can be applied in every room of your home. You wouldn’t think of florescent lights setting the mood for romance, just as you wouldn’t think of a dark room as inviting. There’s some key factors in making sure that every area of your home is properly lit for the spaces to be both inviting and practical. Planning how you will light your home can be very helpful before starting any type of improvement projects or redecorating. Here’s some of our best tips for making the best of your lighting: Be Sure Outdoor Areas Are Properly Lit As the weather warms up and people spend more time outdoors, we want to make the most use of our outdoor spaces. While the days are getting longer, it means we’re less likely to want to leave these outdoor spaces when the sun sets. The best way to make more use of an outdoor space is to ensure that it’s properly lit. After all, you don’t want your guests to be walking around with cellphone flashlights! There are so many options when it comes to outdoor lighting. Installing post or pipe lights on the outside of your home is a great first step to lighting your property. Having the right lighting puts beautiful landscapes on the outside of your home on display for all to see 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Motion detected lights are another great option. These lights can act as part of a security system for your home and deter potential trespassers. Lights placed by doorways are also a security and safety feature. These lights prevent visitors who are entering and exiting your home from tripping or even falling on your property. Indoor Lighting Tips When it comes to lighting the indoor spaces of your home, try to focus on objects. In the living room, for example, you may want to light the corners of the room with a focus on a piece of artwork. It’s a good idea to find 3-way bulbs and dimmers to use in the living room since your lighting needs may vary. In the dining room, make sure the table is the focal point of the room and the brightest spot. The kitchen should be focused on overhead lighting that will illuminate the entire space. In your bedroom, lighting should be strategically placed where reading lamps would be needed, yet no lights should be overpowering. As you can see, every area of your home has different lighting needs, but when done properly, the lights can work together for a mood-lit home.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Lauren Davis on 6/28/2017

As a home seller, you want your house to spark interest among large groups of interested homebuyers. That way, you'll be better equipped to reap the benefits of a fast sale. Ensuring your home sells quickly, however, can be a time-consuming process. Fortunately, we're here to help you speed up the process of selling your home. Here are three tips that you can use to accelerate the home selling process: 1. Focus On Improving Your Home's Curb Appeal. What do homebuyers think when they see your house for the first time? Ultimately, your house's curb appeal can make a world of difference in the eyes of homebuyers and may help you speed up the process of finding prospective homebuyers as well. You don't need to break your budget to boost your house's curb appeal, either. In fact, simple home maintenance such as mowing your front lawn, pressure-washing the front walkway and even polishing the doorknob on your front door can help your house stand out to homebuyers. 2. Depersonalize Your Home. The photographs, antiques and treasured art that fill your home serve as wonderful decorations, but you should put these items in storage to depersonalize your residence while you sell your home. By doing so, you'll be able to ensure your personal items remains safe and can make it easier for homebuyers to envision what life could be like if they purchase your residence. Typically, homebuyers will evaluate the "potential" of your house during a home showing. And if your home is filled with personal items, it may become exceedingly difficult for homebuyers to imagine a future in which they buy your home. Dedicate the necessary time and resources to depersonalize your house before you add it to the real estate market. Because if you're able to depersonalize your residence as much as possible, you'll be better equipped to speed up the home selling process. 3. Employ a Friendly, Experienced Real Estate Agent. Selling a home can be tricky, but a friendly, experienced real estate agent will help you streamline the process of selling your house. Thus, this professional will ensure you're able to maximize the value of your home and improve your chances of a quick sale. For instance, a real estate agent can share information about your home with a broad array of homebuyers without delay. This professional also can provide homebuyers with high-quality photographs of your home and any other information they need to help them become more comfortable with submitting an offer on your house. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent works for you and is ready to answer any of your concerns or questions. As such, your real estate agent serves as a dependable resource who can guide you through each step of the home selling process. When it comes to selling your residence, don't take any chances. Instead, use the aforementioned tips, and you'll be better equipped to generate significant interest in your house.