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


Posted by Lauren Davis on 1/10/2018

As the percentage of senior citizens continues to grow every year, more and more homeowners are taking a serious look at the possibility of having their aging parents move in with them. An increasingly popular idea is the notion of creating an "in-law apartment" to provide a private, but nearby living space for older members of the family.

As an alternative to remodeling one or more rooms to accommodate a live-in relative, some homeowners build an addition to their house. Those with an acre or more of land (and the budget) sometimes consider building a separate guest house on their property. In most cases, though, people tend to convert a portion of their homes to a secondary living unit.

If you're considering going this route, it's necessary to check with your town or city government to make sure you're in compliance with local ordinances, building codes, and zoning laws. Sometimes the approval process might be relatively simple, while in other situations, it could be more restrictive or complicated. The requirements vary widely from one location to another, but you never know until you ask!

A knowledgeable real estate agent can provide you with a lot of helpful information on the topic of in-law apartments. To find out whether your home is already approved for "multiple-unit occupancy," your local assessor, building department, or building inspector can provide the answer. They can also fill you in on requirements, restrictions, and guidelines for converting a living space to a secondary dwelling unit.

By approaching it with an open mind and a little bit of optimism, you might be pleasantly surprised with the practicality of welcoming an aging parent, grandparent, or other member of your extended family into your home. A separate living space may also be the ideal solution for a recent graduate or older adult child who isn't quite ready for the cost of full independence.

If you're currently in the market for a new home, you may even want to expand your "wish list" to include properties that have an approved secondary unit on it. Whether you're anticipating future family needs or toying with the idea of using the space to generate rental income, there are several potential advantages to having an apartment or guest house on the premises.

Your real estate agent can provide you with data on the availability of residential properties with "in-law apartments" and multiple unit occupancy features. They can also offer valuable insights on the future marketability of the property. While your main objective at this point may be finding a long-term place for your family to call home, choosing a property that's a good investment could make real estate ownership even more rewarding down the road.





Posted by Lauren Davis on 1/3/2018

Stressed out and wishing you had room in the budget for a trip to Hawaii? Take a vacation whenever you want from the comfort of your home by creating a home sanctuary. When you have a peaceful refuge just a few footsteps down the hall you can easily take 15 minutes to yourself to relax and take the edge off whenever you like.

Start by selecting your space. You can turn a spare room or unused corner of the home into your sanctuary. When choosing a place take the foot traffic and lighting of the area into consideration. For example, you may find it distracting of your new sanctuary is across from the bathroom your family uses frequently or if there is a harsh glare at sunrise or sunset.

Decide on how youíll spend time in this area. While you may hear sanctuary and immediately assume itís a space for meditation or prayer this can be a quiet place for you to do any activity you find soothing. This may be reading, painting, writing or even putting a puzzle together. Once you know how you would like to utilize the room you can add furniture that will easily allow you to immerse yourself in an activity. Consider soft lighting, a desk, rug,  large chair, and any tools necessary for your chosen activity. This could mean adding anything from a meditation pillow to an easel.

Handy hint: keep what you do add to the room intentional and functional. To maintain a calming environment that is easy to relax in avoid clutter from finding itís way into this room and taking over. Add plants to bring a touch of peaceful nature to the room and purify the air. Choose soft, neutral colors to decorate with. If you are using a corner of a room for your sanctuary you can section the area off for privacy with a room divider or bookshelf.

If you donít have space in your home for a dedicated sanctuary you can easily turn any space into a peaceful area by turning on some relaxing music and lighting some candles whose smells you find soothing. If youíre open to redecorating you can take the above tips and apply them to your living room or family den. You can even get your whole family to join in by limiting tv time and scheduling a ďcalm hourĒ for everyone to take a break and just chill.

Donít wait all year for a two-week vacation to relax. Bring the elements that soothe your soul to your everyday routine into your home whether with a hobby like building a puzzle or setting dedicated quiet time for the whole family. When you make it simple to take a timeout from the day itís harder to put off taking the time to relax. Your health will thank you!




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Lauren Davis on 12/27/2017

Let's face it Ė homebuyers often face intense pressure. In many instances, dozens of homebuyers may compete for the same residence. And if you don't act quickly, you risk missing out on your dream house to a rival homebuyer.

Believe it or not, it sometimes can be beneficial to take a wait and see approach to buying a house. Some of the key reasons for homebuyers to consider deploying a wait and see approach include:

1. You can determine exactly what you want in your dream house.

Differentiating between must-haves and wants can be tough, particularly for homebuyers who are shopping for residences for the first time. Fortunately, if you take a slow, gradual approach to homebuying, you can view a variety of residences and narrow your search accordingly.

Oftentimes, homebuyers can benefit from attending open houses and getting a firsthand look at myriad residences. Each open house provides an opportunity to analyze a home, review its pros and cons and determine whether a residence is right for you. As such, homebuyers can attend many open houses to better understand what they want from a dream residence.

2. You can get your finances in order.

Although you know you want to buy a house, getting your finances in order may prove to be hassle. Luckily, homebuyers who implement a wait and see approach can find a mortgage that matches their finances perfectly.

Ideally, a homebuyer should meet with several banks and credit unions and explore all of the mortgage options at his or her disposal. During each meeting with a mortgage lender, a homebuyer can receive expert insights into many mortgage options.

A homebuyer may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage as well. If a homebuyer embarks on a search for the right mortgage today, this individual can move closer to entering the housing market with a budget in hand and simplifying his or her home search.

3. You can find the perfect real estate agent.

Ultimately, the real estate agent that you select may dictate the success of your quest to find your dream residence. If you allocate the necessary time and resources to hire a hardworking and experienced real estate agent, you should have no trouble streamlining your home search. On the other hand, if you rush to hire the first real estate agent that you meet, you risk making the wrong choice.

When it comes to finding the perfect real estate agent, it pays to be patient. By spending some time learning about various real estate agents in your area, you can select a top-notch housing market professional to guide you along the homebuying journey.

Lastly, don't forget to select a real estate agent who is available to respond to any homebuying concerns and questions, at any time. With this housing market professional at your side, you can boost your chances of discovering your ideal residence.

There is no need to rush to find your dream home. Instead, take a wait and see approach to buying a house, and you may reap the benefits of your decision for years to come.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Lauren Davis on 12/20/2017

If you plan to sell a house, you should allocate time and resources to remove clutter from the attic. By doing so, you can show off the true size of your house and increase the likelihood of a fast, profitable home sale.

Ultimately, there are several best practices to help home sellers declutter an attic, and these practices include:

1. Separate Clutter from Items That You Want to Keep

Your attic may be filled with a wide range of items. As a home seller, you'll want to differentiate attic items that you want to keep from those that need to be removed from your home.

With items that you intend to keep, you should package these items safely. Then, you can store these items neatly in your attic. Or, you can move these items into a storage unit.

For home sellers who encounter a massive collection of attic clutter, there is no need to worry. You may be able to sell or donate excess items that work properly and are in great condition. Furthermore, be sure to dispose of any damaged or broken items immediately.

2. Get Plenty of Help

The temptation to tackle attic cleaning on your own may be overwhelming, but it is important to remember that Rome was not built in a day. Thus, if you try to remove attic clutter on your own, you risk myriad problems along the way.

Attic clutter can range from small and lightweight to big and heavy. If you're operating on a strict timeline, you might struggle to quickly get clutter out of your attic if you work alone. And if you're forced to remove large items on your own, there is a risk of injury as well.

When it comes to decluttering an attic, caution is key. As such, you should enlist the help of family members and friends to ensure you can remove attic clutter quickly and safely.

In addition, if you want to avoid the hassle of decluttering your attic, you may want to hire professional help. With friendly, knowledgeable cleaning professionals at your side, you should have no trouble eliminating clutter from your attic.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Clutter is a major problem in many attics, and few h





Posted by Lauren Davis on 12/6/2017

Ready to sell your condo? Ultimately, listing a condo can be simple, particularly for condo sellers who plan ahead.

Now, let's take a look at three questions that condo owners need to consider before listing their properties.

1. What do I need to do to sell my condo?

Condo rules and regulations vary. As such, you should consult with your homeowners' association (HOA) to find out if there are any requirements related to selling your condo.

For example, an HOA may require a new property buyer to receive HOA board approval to purchase a condo in a particular community. Or, if you have outstanding condo fees, you probably will need to pay off these charges before you can sell your property.

2. How much is my condo worth?

Although your condo community likely hires landscapers to help keep your property looking great, it is important to understand that a condo's interior plays an important role in the property's value. Thus, you should allocate the necessary time and resources to upgrade your condo's interior. This will enable you to improve your condo's interior and help it stand out to property buyers, thereby increasing the likelihood of a quick condo sale.

In addition, completing a property appraisal usually is an excellent idea. A property appraiser will inspect your condo and evaluate various housing market data to help you pinpoint the value of your residence. Then, you can obtain a property valuation that can help you establish a competitive price for your condo.

3. Do I need to hire a real estate agent?

When it comes to selling a condo, it often pays to hire a real estate agent. However, it is important to note that no two real estate agents are identical, and you should try to find a real estate agent who possesses extensive condo selling expertise.

Let's face it Ė a condo is very different from a house. A condo owner does not have to worry about property exterior maintenance in the same way that a homeowner does. Conversely, a condo owner must follow HOA requirements; otherwise, this property owner may face steep penalties.

A real estate agent with condo selling expertise understands the pros and cons of owning a condo. Therefore, this housing market professional knows how to work with condo sellers and ensure these individuals can achieve their desired results.

Typically, a real estate agent will meet with a condo owner and learn about his or her property selling goals. After the meeting, a real estate agent will help a condo owner map out a successful condo selling journey.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent with condo selling expertise is ready to respond to a property seller's concerns and questions. This housing market professional also will go above and beyond the call of duty to exceed a condo seller's expectations.

Take the guesswork out of selling your condo Ė consider the aforementioned questions, and you can speed up the property selling process.