The St. Martin Team - Westford MA Real Estate
Westford Massachusetts | 978-935-9500 | Info@StMartinTeam.com



Posted by St. Martin Team on 6/4/2020

Since there are so many things to keep in mind when searching for the right home, it can be very helpful to create a priority list. If you're at the beginning of the house-hunting process, one of the best ways to clarify your thoughts is by organizing them in a notebook or on a computer screen.

As is the case with creating any kind of plan, you need to start with the basics and then branch out from there. While a house-hunting plan can and should change as you proceed forward, once you start visiting listings, your insights will begin to deepen. If you happen to be working with an experienced real estate agent, they will help you refine your search and zero-in on listings that are the best match to your needs.

Although you probably already know how many bedrooms and bathrooms you want, it may be time to come up with a more specific picture of what you're looking for, in terms of square footage, lot size, neighborhood walkability, and distance from neighbors.

As you revise your list of requirements, you may decide to rank the importance of items like a screened-in porch, a backyard patio, a wood-burning fireplace, yard size, the age of the house, and whether you'd like a finished basement or attic.

Many people prioritize the size, layout, and functionality of the kitchen, too, so take into consideration your decorating tastes, the size of your family -- both today and five years from now -- and how often you expect to be entertaining guests. Perusing kitchen layouts and remodeling ideas online can help you clarify the type of counters, flooring, appliances, and cabinets that would please you the most.

Other features that will determine your level of satisfaction with a new home may include the architectural style of the house, the quality of the school district, and various convenience factors, such as nearby grocery stores, public parks, and medical/dental services. Commuting time to your job or business can also have a huge impact on your lifestyle, as well as your weekly budget and personal stress level! When choosing a neighborhood in which you'll feel comfortable, you'll also want to pay attention to first impressions, the amount of traffic on the street, and miscellaneous noises you hear while visiting the neighborhood.

Above all, try to avoid making snap decisions based on emotional factors, time constraints, or the fear of not being able to find "anything better." Although there may be days in which the prospects seem slim, it's essential that you maintain a positive outlook and be confident that new listings and fresh possibilities are always cropping up. Working with a seasoned buyer's agent who's familiar with the local market and is responsive to your needs will also help immeasurably in your search for the perfect new home!





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.





Posted by St. Martin Team on 1/5/2017

Just as selling a house can be a hassle, so can buying one, but it’s exciting and scary at the same time. A few things to remember before entering into an agreement will make the process a little easier. It may be that you are relocating and have decided that the best way to put down roots is to buy. It can also be a better choice than renting, given the high costs of rental property these days. First, you must scope out the area, checking the neighborhood, the proximity to your work, and the school system, for instance. Also, look at the tax rate, as they vary from town to town. As a rule of thumb, taxes are higher if the property is in a city or located adjacent to one. A “bedroom town” might be a better bet. That is a town that is still in the suburbs but doesn’t border on the city. It might be next to the one that does, but that is what keeps the prices and taxes a tad lower. Another very important consideration is to get pre-qualified for a mortgage before looking at property. Your credit rating and income and expenses will be a factor on how much you can afford. Go to a reputable bank or lender and sit down with the lender for a realistic picture of your finances. Although it is “scary”, it is vital to know where you stand. Once you are ready to start looking, there are a multitude of real estate agents just waiting to help. Sometimes, recommendations from friends or people in the area can help you decide which agent is dependable and will have your best interests at heart. Don’t be impatient; it takes some time to complete the whole process. Six to eight weeks on average is likely, but it can take much more time, what with home inspections, and taking care of any issues of the property’s condition and legalities, such as titles and the like. Most of this part will fall on the seller, but it still can slow down the process. Once you have decided on a house and made the offer, sit back and relax, if you can. It’s a time consuming process, but owning a home is very large investment and you don’t want to make a mistake.







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