The St. Martin Team - Westford MA Real Estate
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Posted by St. Martin Team on 2/13/2020

Do you know how to get your house ready for the real estate market? If not, you may miss out on opportunities to showcase your home to the right buyers. Perhaps even worse, you may struggle to maximize your home sale earnings.

When it comes to selling your house, it usually helps to plan ahead. Fortunately, we're here to help you do just that.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get your house ready to sell.

1. Clean As Much As Possible

Let's face it – a messy kitchen, bathroom or bedroom is an eyesore. And if you fail to clean your house prior to listing it, you risk alienating buyers time and time again.

Cleaning is a necessity for home sellers, regardless of a house's age or condition. If you allocate time and resources to ensure each room in your home looks pristine, you can increase the likelihood that your residence will make a positive first impression on buyers.

Mopping the floors, wiping down walls and taking a room-by-room approach to home cleaning generally is recommended. In addition, if you need extra assistance, you can always hire a professional home cleaning company.

2. Perform Home Exterior Maintenance

Although you may spend a lot of time cleaning your house's interior, you shouldn't forget about your home's exterior as well.

Ultimately, how your home's exterior looks may dictate how quickly your residence sells. If your house boasts a beautiful front lawn and immaculate exterior, a buyer may fall in love with your home instantly. Conversely, if your home's front lawn is uncut and your house's siding is damaged, your residence is unlikely to impress potential buyers.

When it comes to home exterior maintenance, it helps to do as much as you can. Trim the front lawn, repair damaged home siding and perform assorted home exterior maintenance. By doing so, you can immediately bolster your house's curb appeal.

3. Remove Clutter

Over the years, you may have collected a lot of items. But these items may make your house appear smaller than it actually is – something that all home sellers should try to avoid.

If you have a large collection of clutter, you may want to consider selling or donating various items. Or, you can always rent a storage unit for assorted belongings and move these items to your new residence after your current house sells.

Clearly, there are many ways to prepare your house for the real estate market. If you want to ensure the best-possible results from the home selling journey, you may want to reach out to a real estate agent too. This housing market professional can guide you along the home selling journey and ensure you can get the support you need to achieve your desired goals.

Start getting your house ready to sell – use the aforementioned tips, and you can quickly and effortlessly enhance your residence before you list it.





Posted by St. Martin Team on 2/6/2020

If you've been pre-approved for a mortgage, you can enter the housing market with a budget in hand. In fact, this mortgage will enable you to spend up to a certain amount on a house. But in many instances, it pays to buy less house than what you can actually afford.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to consider purchasing a house below your means, such as:

1. You might not have to worry about significant home maintenance.

A small house likely means less home maintenance than would be required in a large house. Therefore, you may be able to spend less time worrying about keeping your residence looking great if you acquire less home that what you can afford.

Of course, let's not forget about the money that you might save by purchasing an affordable residence. If you buy an inexpensive home, you may be able to use the money that you save to hire professional home cleaners, landscapers and others to help you enhance your residence's appearance.

2. You'll be better prepared than ever before for unexpected expenses.

There is no telling when a family emergency, natural disaster or other dangerous situations may arise. Fortunately, if you spend less on a house now, you may be better equipped than ever before to handle the expenses commonly associated with these unforeseen events.

Purchasing a cheap house may prove to be valuable if you encounter costly, time-intensive home repairs down the line too.

For example, your home's roof won't last forever, and you likely will need to fix or replace it at some point. But if you purchase a budget-friendly home, you may be able to save extra money that you can use to cover the costs associated with various home repairs.

3. You'll have more money that you can use to personalize your house.

The money that you save on a house today may be used to upgrade your home both now and in the future.

For instance, if you want to install a deluxe swimming pool or fire pit in your backyard, spending less on a house now may provide you with the financial resources that you need to fund these projects. And if you complete a broad range of home renovations, you may be able to increase your house's value as well.

Deciding how much to spend on a house can be a tough decision for any homebuyer, at any time. If you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can explore a vast array of residences that fall within your price range.

A real estate agent will learn about your homebuying goals and tailor your home search accordingly. He or she also will set up home showings, keep you informed about new residences that become available and ensure that you can discover a home that matches or exceeds your expectations.

Consider your budget closely as you prepare to kick off a home search. By doing so, you should have no trouble finding a terrific house at an affordable price.





Posted by St. Martin Team on 1/30/2020

It doesn’t matter if you’re moving down the street or across the country, moving into a new neighborhood can be hard. You want to make your new property, and new area feel like home. Relocation is always a challenge. There are a few things you can do to make the transition smoother for your family. Meeting people and learning about your new community doesn’t have to be a huge ordeal. Read on for tips to make it fun! 


Approach Your Neighbors


It can be kind of scary to approach your new neighbors, but reaching out to them is one of the best ways to meet people. If you see your neighbors out and about give them a wave or shout “hello.” These gestures are a way to extend yourself without intruding on them. Ask questions about the neighborhood like when the trash pickup is or how the traffic on a local route is. You can even find out where the best grocery store to shop at is. Anything simple can open up a great conversation. 


Get Outside


It’s easy to meet up with your neighbors if you give them an opportunity to see you. Sit out on your porch. Go for a walk around the neighborhood. Spend some time outside gardening. Just be approachable. If you’re cheerful and seem a bit inquisitive about the area, people will be more likely to talk to you. 


Spend Time In The Community


If there’s a local diner or coffee shop, spend some time there. You’ll be more likely to meet your neighbors and have something in common with many of the people that live in your new space. Check out local parks with your kids or bring your dog. You can talk to other dog owners or parents and get to know them. 


Finding ways to volunteer and get involved in your community is also a great way to connect and get to know where you live. 


Other Ways To Get Involved


You can get connected with people in the area through connections you have. College alumni networks can connect you with social clubs in a new city or region. Your employer may also have mentoring programs to assist you through the transition         


Moving to a new area can be hard, but with an open mind to opportunities, you can make the transition pleasant for both you and your family.   






Posted by St. Martin Team on 1/23/2020

Photo by Brian A Jackson via Shutterstock

Identity theft is an issue that has become more common since the digital age has bristled and bloomed. Many people are victims of phishing scams – an online predator steals your identity by impersonating a respectable institution and takes your sensitive information, financial information being stolen from non-secured sites, hacking or good, old-fashioned credit card theft, to name a few. Every form of identity theft can lead to severely damaging credit reports and scores, and may affect whether or not you’re able to purchase your next home.

Are you a victim of identity theft?

Often, your financial institution will contact you if they suspect suspicious activity on your accounts. As an account holder, monitoring these accounts or setting up an extra layer of security notifications will also help you figure out when someone is trying to steal your identity. Some of the tell-tale signs of identity theft can include a rapidly plummeting credit score, random accounts appearing in your financial hub, notification of attempted loan applications via mail, etc.

What should you do if you think you’ve been targeted for identity theft?

Freeze Your Credit

You can put a freeze on your credit by contacting the three major credit bureaus. When doing so, feel free to report that you suspect you’ve been targeted for identity theft. Once you place the freeze on your account, creditors will have to verify that they have done their due diligence in confirming your identity should they wish to open a new account for you or check your credit report.

Send a Fraud Alert

You may also want to send a fraud alert out to the credit bureaus. Doing so informs them that there’s been a breach in your personal security, and you’re trying to amend the situation.

Check Your Credit Report

Monitor your credit report to see where things went awry. You are entitled to one free credit report per year, so make the most of it. Obtaining your credit report should allow you to pinpoint exactly when the fraudulent activity started and give you some insight into what was going on at the time.

Talk to the Debt Collectors

If someone has taken advantage of your credit and your identity, there’s a good chance you’ll be receiving some information from debt collectors; especially if you were unaware that the debt was being racked up in the first place. The best thing to do is give them a call and find out exactly which debt they’re collecting on, who they’re acting on behalf of and get any other information that may pertain to your identity being stolen.

File a Report

Identity theft is a heavy crime and should be reported to the police immediately. After reporting with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and getting your report, be sure to have an official government ID with photograph, all current mailing information and any other reports that you’ve collected stating that your identity has been stolen.
Many Americans are afflicted by identity theft every year. Once the issue has been halted and is monitored carefully, you may want to start rebuilding. Request a new card from your credit card company and bank. Keep an eye on those accounts, protect yourself by taking the extra security measures of shopping on secured sites, requesting verification from anyone asking you for sensitive information and checking your credit activity often. This will lower your chances of undergoing a second attack.





Tags: credit   fraud   Identity theft  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by St. Martin Team on 1/16/2020

Buying a home is a very detail-oriented process, and there's a lot of important things you can overlook if you're not organized.

Home buyers generally have the opportunity to do a last-minute inspection of the premises to make sure everything's up to standards prior to closing on the property.

A real estate buyer's agent can accompany you on the final inspection or provide you with advice on what to look for.

If you've already visited the home a couple times and had the house professionally inspected, you're probably well-acquainted with any major malfunctions, flaws, or repair issues. In many cases, home buyers may reach an agreement with the seller to fix, replace, or make allowances for mechanical or cosmetic problems. While real estate negotiations and sales agreements are as varied as the people and properties involved, there are typically dozens of things buyers need to check on before they sign the final documents and accept ownership of the property.

Final Walkthrough Tips

As you're doing the final walk-through of the house, it's necessary to remember or have notes on the condition of the home when you last looked at it. You'll also want to have a clear idea of what appliances, fixtures, and window treatments are supposed to be remain in the house after it's been vacated by the seller. Depending on how close your final walk-through is to the actual closing, that has probably already happened.

If there's anything missing that the seller agreed to include in the sale, then that's an issue you'll want to discuss with your real estate agent or attorney. Any property damage that may have resulted from moving furniture and other belongings should also be discussed before final papers are signed. The same thing would apply to landscaping changes that appear to be inconsistent with the sales agreement. Your buyer's agent and/or lawyer can serve as intermediary in getting these issues clarified and ironed out.

To make sure your final inspection is thorough, it's a good idea to have a "final walk-through checklist" to help keep you organized and focused. You'll want to take a last-minute inventory of items that are supposed to be included with the property sale, such as appliances, lighting fixtures, furnishings, window treatments, children's play structures, hot tubs, and anything else that was agreed to in the sales contract.

Other items you'll need access to may include garage door openers, manuals for appliances and mechanical systems, warranties, invoices for repairs made, and remote control devices for things like ceiling fans, alarms, and other systems.

Your checklist and final walkthrough should focus on a variety of items, including the working condition of appliances, the electrical system, plumbing fixtures, and the condition of walls, floors, ceilings, doors, windows, and landscaping features. For a complete checklist, look online or consult your real estate agent.







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