Posted by Marie Presti on 1/3/2016

If you are looking for ways to increase the value of your home, then there are some simple guidelines to follow, as well as a few projects you may want to consider avoiding altogether.  Depending on the region, a particular home remodel has the potential to make or break a potential sale. Swimming Pools - Homes with swimming pools generally do better in the warmer states, where they can be seen as a welcome addition during the hottest months.  However, a home in New England that has a pool is increasingly likely to be viewed as a headache.  Maintenance costs, family safety, and seasonal accessibility make this addition one that is in reality more likely to hurt the chances of being able to sell your home quickly.  Not to say that you shouldn't have a pool if you have your heart set on it.  Just don't count on it making your house more appealing.  If you already have a pool, then try to sell your home in the spring or summer, when the pool is in use.  This will help potential buyers see the benefit of the addition, without reminding them of the headaches associated with upkeep. Koi ponds and indoor aquariums - These items, while beloved to a homeowner, may turn off a buyer who isn't interested in being a pet owner.  There aren't a lot of uses for an aquarium installed in a wall for someone who doesn't like the idea of having fish.  Similarly, koi ponds on the property have the capability of turning off an owner that doesn't necessarily want to have a portion of their backyard dedicated to a project that they have no interest in taking over. Converting garages and second bedrooms - While these renovations generally arise from necessity, they can hurt your resale value in the future.  Garage space is fairly desirable these days, and especially so in cold climates that deal with large amount of snow.  Converting a garage in New England isn't generally a good idea unless you absolutely need the space.  This is also true in the cases of converting second and third bedrooms into office spaces.  While a new buyer may consider at a later date to convert an extra bedroom into an office space, they may not want to have the option forced on them.  Most of the time, a two-bedroom house with an office will remain on the market longer than a three-bedroom house. Fireplaces - They can be beautiful, yes, but fireplaces are quickly falling out of favor with buyers, and are increasingly being seen as a messy addition to a home.  In 2009, a consumer preference survey from the Nation Association of Home Builders ranked fireplaces as No. 1 on a list of what NAR called “Home Fads That Are Falling Out of Style.”  Not to say that fireplaces don't have a market.  Many people are still looking for homes that contain one or even two.  But installing a fireplace in an existing home can be very expensive, and the return on your investment wouldn't be that great.





Posted by Marie Presti on 12/27/2015

Rates are low, prices are right, and now is a perfect time to think about investing in real estate. Many would-be investors think real estate is a way to quick riches. Rapid monetary returns are usually not the case. However, the rewards can be substantial if you are willing be patient, do the necessary homework, and make a few good decisions along the way. Before you start investing in real estate, here are a few things to consider: • Start small: Don't go large on your first investment. Take on a smaller investment first so you have the opportunity to make some mistakes that won't cost you large amounts of money. Investing is a learning process. • Don't overpay: Do your research on your potential investment. Do full a full property evaluation; research the location, have a home inspection, and look into any liens and owed taxes. Always conduct an in-depth property analysis before negotiating any terms. • Consider the margins: Paying the bills on an investment property is different than paying for your personal residence.  When you buy an income property to rent, you're calculating how the income (rent payments) will help pay the mortgage and operating costs. • Know your partners: Having a bad partner could be your biggest downfall. Try to team up with a more seasoned real estate investor to learn the ropes. It is also important to be comfortable with your partner. Like all other businesses, real estate investing, requires a well thought out plan if you want to succeed. Weigh all the risks involved in real estate investing and develop a plan on how you will manage and overcome them before you get started.  





Posted by Marie Presti on 11/29/2015

Candles can make a home look inviting, cozy and warm. They can also give a glow to many people’s skin tones. Candles come in many sizes, shapes and scents. Burning of candles during a showing can make the home feel warm and inviting making the buyer feel relaxed and calm. Try to pick out colors like maroon (cinnamon) orange (pumpkin) these scents are soothing and relaxing scents and will help make the potential sellers feel like home. The placing of the candles is very important. The best places to put them are in the bathroom, bedroom, kitchen table, window sills, and fireplace mantel. If you have a fireplace, lighting a fire is a sure way to give that room a warm and welcoming feeling. Everybody loves a fireplace and your buyers will too. Bake something delicious smelling. The Real Estate experts swear by the just baked smell when showing a home. It makes your potential buyers feel right at home. Things like Apple pie; chocolate chip cookies or fresh baked bread all will create that warm and inviting feeling. Family photos in the home make your home feel like a house full of love. Potential buyers who see photos of a family having fun, and enjoying life in their home will create a sense of a home that has a lot of memories and love. Bottom line, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere can help you sell your home.





Posted by Marie Presti on 7/26/2015

You think you live in a palace. Your home is your kingdom but when it comes to selling your home buyers may not be in agreement. In today's market, buyers are pickier than ever and may be literally turning their nose up at your home. Here are a few things that buyers hate about homes: 1. Smells Buyers don't like homes that have a strong smell especially bad smells. Make sure to get rid of any source of odor. The biggest culprits of strong smells are smoking, pets and cooking with strong odors. If you have pets or smoke have the carpets, drapes and all professionally cleaned. If you have a cat make sure the litter box is clean and kept out of the way. You will also need to refrain from cooking things with strong odors. Stay away from strong spices like curry and foods like fish. 2. Dirty bathrooms and kitchens. They say bathrooms and kitchens sell homes, just as easily they can prevent a sale. Concentrate on keeping the bathrooms and kitchen spic and span. Keep the floors vacuumed, the counters clear of clutter, and make sure the sink is free of dirty dishes. Keep freshly cleaned towels available for the showings. 3. Clutter Keep the clutter at bay by investing in some inexpensive wicker baskets. Putting clutter in baskets can be a quick way to pick up toys, store laundry and catch all the mail on the kitchen counter. 4. Poor lighting Who wants to live in the dark? Replace all burnt out bulbs with high efficiency, bright bulbs. Buy some lamps to bring light into poorly lit rooms. Make sure to open all the blinds and pull back the drapes and let as much natural light in as possible. Cleaning the windows will also help show off the light. If you are able turn on all the lights in the home before a potential buyer walks through. 6. Bold colors and wallpaper You may love the bright pink room or the living room clad in wallpaper but chances are a buyer does not share your style. Try to neutralize rooms with creams and off-whites. These colors can also make a room feel larger and brighter. If your home is covered in wallpaper consider removing it. Buyers are often deterred by the thought of having to remove wallpaper. 7. Man's best friends You love Fido the dog and Mittens the cat is just so cute but buyers may have allergies or even be afraid of your pets. Keep the pets away from the home or crated when buyers are looking at your home. 8. You Believe it or not you do not help the sale. The buyer wants to be able to view your home without feeling watched or pressured. If you are in the home or the driveway the buyer will not take the time they need to view the home properly. Leave the selling to the professional.





Posted by Marie Presti on 6/21/2015

When it is time to sell your home you may have much work to do before the sign is placed on the front lawn. If you would like to sell your home for more money or in less time you will need to prepare your home to sell. One way to sell your home for more money in less time is to stage your home. Statistics show that home staging is credited with selling 95 percent of homes within 35 days or less. Here are some tips to get your home ready for the market: Prepare your home to sell to the most likely buyer. The average buyer nationally is 32, while the average seller is 57.  Remove items in the home that may be out dated and add in more modern items that appeal to a younger buyer. Start at the front door. The front door is the first thing a potential buyer will see, so make a good impression. Spruce up the landscaping, wash the front door and clean up the trim around the door. Make the entry neat and welcoming. Clear out the clutter. A good rule of thumb is to remove about one third of your belongings. Pay special attention to removing extra pieces of furniture, like ottomans, bookcases, and decorative pieces. Depersonalize the home by removing all photos, memorabilia and other personal items.  This will help the buyer envision the home as their own, picturing their personal items around the house rather than yours. Clean the home very thoroughly. Dust under the furniture, clean the grout and all the other places that may not receive everyday upkeep. “ Freshen up the paint and neutralize your wall colors. It is best to stick with white, cream or pale earth tones.