Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger - RE/MAX Executive Realty



Posted by Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger on 11/15/2017

Entering the housing market may be difficult for a buyer. In many instances, buyers worry about paying too much for a house. On the other hand, the temptation to overspend on a house sometimes can be overwhelming for a homebuyer who is concerned about losing his or her dream residence to a rival buyer.

Fortunately, we're here to help you determine exactly what you can afford to pay for a house, thereby reducing the risk of spending too much on a residence.

Let's take a look at three tips to ensure a buyer can purchase a great house at the right price.

1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

A mortgage generally is a must-have for a homebuyer. If you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you can start searching for houses that fall within your financial limits.

To learn about your mortgage options, you should meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. These financial institutions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists who can teach you about myriad mortgage options.

Also, don't hesitate to ask questions as you search for a mortgage. If you understand all of the mortgage options at your disposal, you can make an informed mortgage decision. Then, you'll be able to start pursuing houses with a budget in hand.

2. Assess the Housing Market

The real estate market frequently fluctuates. As such, you should look closely at housing market data to find out whether you're preparing to search for a house in a buyer's or seller's market.

Oftentimes, it helps to look at the prices of recently sold houses in your area. This will allow you to see how much sellers received for their homes, as well as how long these houses were available before they sold. That way, you can use this housing market data to narrow your price range and establish realistic expectations for your home search.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a housing market expert. Therefore, a real estate agent can make it simple for you to pay the right price for your ideal house.

Typically, a real estate agent will want to meet with you before you start your home search. He or she then can learn about you and your homebuying goals and help you craft a homebuying budget. As a result, a real estate agent will allow you to refine your home search, ensuring you can check out high-quality houses at budget-friendly prices.

Let's not forget about the support that a real estate agent delivers throughout the homebuying journey, either. A real estate agent will set up home showings and keep you up to date about new houses that fall within your price range. And if you'd like to submit an offer on a house, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive proposal as well.

Pay the right price for your dream house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can boost the likelihood of discovering the right home, at the right price.




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Posted by Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger on 11/8/2017

Your home might look amazing after a contractor finishes the renovation or repair job that you gave  her. But, that doesn't mean that your house is safe. Watch one episode of a popular home television repair show and you'll quickly see how much danger is concealed behind house walls.

Stop getting ripped off by your house contractor

An attempt to hide shoddy work is just one sign that a house contractor is ripping you off. The wrong house contractor doesn't need to have bad intentions when it comes to working on your house. Lack of construction experience leads to poor wiring and improper material installation.

A fall is another thing that can happen when you work with an inexperienced house contractor. Inexperienced contractors may not know how to safely prep a work area, causing you and your family to get tangled in equipment and slip and fall.

Unintentional drawbacks aren't the only ways that your home contractor could prove harmful. As hard as it is to accept, some house contractors deliberately do things that leave you at a disadvantage. Although this list is not inclusive, following are important signs that a house contractor is ripping you off:

  • Ask you to let her start working on your house with no more than a handshake (Get work that contractors perform written and signed by you and the contractor in a legally binding document.)
  • Gets upset if you remain in the area where he is working (This could be a sign that the contractor doesn't want you to spot the bad work that he is doing.)
  • The house contractor is not open to your suggestions.
  • Fees that the house contractor charges either keep changing or are higher than average prices for the same or similar work.
  • If the contractor runs out of material or doesn't know what she's doing, she leaves your house, running off without finishing the job.
  • Workers who the house contractor hires are unlicensed. It's definitely not a good thing if the lead house contractor also doesn't have a license.

Set yourself up for home repair and renovation success

Many construction workers are experienced and well qualified, performing the type of work that fixes damages to your home. A large number of construction workers start and finish home renovation jobs on time, some completing projects ahead of schedule which saves you money.

Other construction works keep themselves as the top priority. Taking advantage of you is at the front of these workers' thoughts. Don't get pulled into schemes that a bad house contractor operates. Doing so could cost you big.

If you know what to look for in a good house contractor, you won't get suckered by a strong personality. You'll keep your family safe and avoid spending more money than necessary to repair or upgrade your house. In addition, you'll send a message to shady house contractors that you're on to them and not open to being taken advantage of.




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Posted by Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger on 11/1/2017

home security cameraIt's a good thing if you feel safe in your neighborhood. It shows that you trust your neighbors and that you have faith in the safety of your family. However, many of us grow so comfortable that we overlook simple security measures that will only improve the safety of your property and your family. Each year in the U.S. there are millions of property crimes carried out. Burglary accounts for a large amount of these crimes. People often say that if a burglar wants to gain entry to your home they'll find a way and determine not to take security measures seriously. If you're of the "it couldn't happen to me" mentality, read no further. But if you want to learn some basic tools and practices that will keep you and your family safer, read on.

Be the burglar

Not literally. But pretend to be. Go through the exterior of your house and think like a burglar. Check your windows. Especially the low-hanging ones. Are all of your locks secured? Do you make it a point to lock them nightly?   Test your locks.  Not all locks are created equal. Doorknob locks are often easily picked or forced open. Deadbolts are harder. However, none of these things matter if the integrity of your door is compromised. French doors, for example, are particularly easy to force open. If you're worried about your locks, consult a locksmith that can help you choose better options. Look inside your home from the sidewalk. Are there valuables within view from the street? Do you have a tendency to leave your garage door open, exposing expensive items like lawnmowers, grills, or even motorcycles? Burglars don't just target homes. Don't end your search with the house. Many items are stolen from sheds, backyards, and even off of porches, which happened to me as a child when a bicycle was taken from our porch in the night.

Tighten up security

The number of small steps we can take to improve security and mitigate risk of burglary is boundless. Here are some security tips that should be on every checklist for home safety:
  • Use a security mailbox and don't leave mail with personal information exposed in front of your home
  • Install a fireproof safe in your home. Hope for the best but plan for the worst. Keep your important documents in the safe, and better yet, keep them backed up in a secure file on the cloud like Google Drive or Dropbox.
  • Use motion light detectors. When calibrated correctly they won't go off for every car or cat that happens by and they're a great theft deterrent.
  • Tell your neighbors if you're going out of town, and have someone take in your mail/newspapers for you. Keep a kitchen light on and a car parked in the driveway if possible.
  • Don't leave spare keys under the rug or anywhere obvious. Also, keep tabs on all of the keys to your home. Know who has a copy and check up on the spare keys on occasion.




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Posted by Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger on 10/26/2017

"Sold As Is". Estate Sale. This Garrison Colonial is located at the end of Virginia Circle in a desirable area of Grafton. Approximately 2,700 sf, 4 bedrooms and 2.5 bths. This property is perfect for a builder that can bring this home back to today's standards. Large family room, kitchen, living room, dining room, den located on this floor along with a 3 season porch. Newer roof, boiler 2013. Gas heat. Take a look....

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts




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Posted by Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger on 10/25/2017

Kitchen appliances are a big investment and you’ll want to make sure you get your money’s worth. Most of us start off with good intentions, cleaning our appliances regularly. However, over time it’s easy to slack off and neglect basic maintenance and cleaning that will help keep your expensive appliances in good working condition.

 In this article, we’re going to give you some advice on maintaining your kitchen appliances to increase their lifespan and keep them looking great years after purchase. Read on for our kitchen appliance maintenance tips.

 Maintaining your refrigerator

Most refrigerators cost upward of a thousand dollars these days. They also come with more features than ever, making them particularly vulnerable to malfunction if neglected.

The best way to maintain your refrigerator, and many of the appliances on our list, is to add recurring maintenance and cleaning tasks to your calendar so that you know when it’s time to address them.

When maintaining your refrigerator you’ll want to clean the condenser coils and fan thoroughly. You’ll likely have to pull the refrigerator away from the wall to do this, so be sure it is unplugged.

Next, check the door seals on your refrigerator to ensure that they are not cracked or dried out. Damaged door seals let cool air out of your refrigerator, causing it to run harder and increasing the chance of malfunction.

Cleaning the dishwasher

To make sure your dishwasher keeps cleaning your dishes, you’ll want to inspect the spinning arm to see if it spins easily. Next, check the small holes on the spinning arm where the water sprays out. If these are dirty or clogged, clean them out with a sharp point.

To avoid leaks, check the gasket, or rubber-like liner around the dishwasher door. If it is cracked or dirty, it will need to be replaced.

Next, clean the drain at the bottom of the dishwasher and clear it of debris. If you’ve noticed any bad smells from your dishwasher, place a small cup of vinegar in the top rack and run the dishwasher on a hot water cycle.

Microwave maintenance

Microwaves are often treated as being relatively dispensable because you can buy them cheap enough. However, there are a few things you can do to keep your microwave running longer and avoid waste.

First, keep the microwave interior clean. Splatter that is left in a microwave too long will get repeatedly burned and become more and more difficult to remove. So, to loosen them up, you can place a glass of water in the microwave for a few minutes and then leave it inside. The steam from the water will help free up the splatter and make them easier to scrub away.

Another common issue with microwaves is a damaged power cord. Since most of us try to stuff them out of the way behind the unit, it can easily damage the wires inside the cord. Situate your microwave in a way that the cord isn’t pressed up against anything.

 

Finally, remember that many parts on your refrigerator, dishwasher, and microwave are easily replaced by calling the manufacturer or a repair technician. Opt to repair your appliances before just  throwing them away.