Sumathi Narayanan Realty - Shrewsbury MA Real Estate, Grafton MA Real Estate, Ashland MA Real Estate


Photo by WikiImages via Pixabay

Hurricanes can cause damage that ranges from minor to catastrophic, but there are ways to protect your home. If you have a hurricane headed to your area, start preparing your house for it ahead of time. Use the following hurricane preparation tips to make sure your home is well-protected from these storms. 

 

Clean Gutters & Downspouts

Making sure your gutters and downspouts are free of debris, such as leaves, helps minimize the risk of water damage to your roof and home interior. Clear away any debris that has built up inside gutters and downspouts, and fasten any components that are loose. 

 

Protect Doors & Windows 

The winds from hurricanes can damage or tear off doors and break windows. If your home has storm shutters, secure them in place before the storm arrives. Put plywood over doors to protect them from damage. Keep in mind that when winds get inside homes, they can result in a severe loss of pressure that can lead to structural collapses. Covering doors and windows helps prevent this from happening. 

 

Secure or Put Away Yard Items

Loose items in your yard, such as patio furniture or garbage cans, can damage your home if they’re blown around during a hurricane. Put these items away in a garage or shed to keep them from getting picked up by high winds. Secure larger items that can’t be stored away in order to hold them in place. 

 

Shut Off Utilities

Before leaving your home, turn off your home’s utilities to lower the risk of flooding, fires and gas leaks due to storm damage. Turn off your main water valve, shut off the circuit breaker and turn the gas off on appliances that use them. Your local gas company can shut off the main gas line.


If you want to sell a house in a buyer's market, it pays to allocate the necessary time and resources to differentiate your home listing from others. Because if you create an informative and engaging home listing, you should have no trouble stirring up interest in your residence, even in a buyer's market.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you differentiate your home listing in a buyer's market.

1. Consider the Buyer's Perspective

In a buyer's market, a homebuyer has no shortage of high-quality residences at his or her disposal. As such, you'll want to consider how a buyer may approach your residence and tailor your house listing accordingly.

Think about what led you to purchase your residence in the first place. Then, you can create a home listing that highlights your house's distinct features.

For example, if your home boasts a large, luxurious in-ground swimming pool, you may want to include details about it in your home listing. Or, if your house is located just minutes from many popular attractions, you may want to incorporate this information into your house listing.

2. Be Honest with Buyers

Your goal as a home seller is to craft a house listing that showcases your residence's features. At the same time, you'll want to be honest with buyers to help them make an informed decision about whether to pursue your home.

A detailed home listing that includes accurate information about your house is paramount. Because if your listing is misleading or inaccurate, it may cause problems down the line.

Remember, any problems with a house likely will be identified during a home inspection, a key step in the homebuying process. And if you try to hide these issues, it may slow down or stop a home sale from happening. Conversely, if you are honest with buyers from the beginning, you can make it easy for them to determine whether your residence is the right choice.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A buyer's market can be tough to navigate, regardless of where you live. Luckily, real estate agents are available to assist sellers in any buyer's market, at any time.

With a real estate agent at your side, you can craft a home listing that hits the mark with the right groups of homebuyers. In fact, a real estate agent will guide you along the home selling journey and help you identify and address any hurdles along the way.

Typically, a real estate agent will learn about your home selling goals. This housing market professional then can help you put together an in-depth home listing that highlights the key features of your house. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will share this home listing with dozens of buyers, thereby increasing the likelihood of a quick, profitable home sale.

Ready to list your house in a buyer's market? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can create a top-notch home listing that helps your residence stand out from the competition.


Photo by Helloquence on Unsplash

When financing a home purchase, one of the most basic decisions to make is where to get your mortgage from. The basic options are whether you should go to a mortgage lender or not. Financing with a mortgage lender has both pros and cons.

Pro: Many Loan Options

If you go to a mortgage lender, you’ll find that they offer a great amount of choices. These are essentially brokers for various underwriting companies, and they offer many loan options. You’ll also have a wide variety of mortgage setups to choose from. Whether you want a 15-, 30- or 40-year fixed or some sort of variable loan, you can likely find it through a lender.

Pro: Might Be Able to Negotiate

The choices that mortgage lenders provide sometimes make it possible to negotiate with potential lenders. If you can pit multiple lenders against each other, you might be able to get a lower interest rate or complimentary points on your loan. A lender might even try to negotiate on your behalf.

Pro: Knowledgeable Guidance

At a mortgage lender, you’ll work with a loan officer whose sole job is to help homeowners find mortgages. They’ll be knowledgeable and able to provide you with informed guidance throughout the loan application and selection process.

Con: Might Not Be Local

Should you shop loans with a mortgage lender, it might not be someone local to your area who’s providing assistance. Often mortgage lenders service people across a state and even maybe in multiple states. As a result, there’s a good chance you won’t ever meet them in person.

Con: Might Sell Your Loan

Ultimately, mortgage lenders are in the business of underwriting and managing mortgages -- and that’s not necessarily the customer service business. If a lender deems it financially prudent to, they’ll sell your loan to another lender. Not only will you not deal with the same person or office, but you might not even deal with the same company down the road. Since mortgages last many years, there’s a chance yours could be sold multiple times.

Finding a Mortgage is a Personal Choice

A mortgage lender may be a good option if you’re looking for a great deal on a home loan, but they don’t offer a personal touch. If you want someone in your area and prioritize personal service, a credit union or other more local institution might be a better alternative for you. The decision to go through a mortgage lender or another place ultimately depends on what type of experience you want.



Photo by Neslihan Gunaydin on Unsplash

If you're like most homeowners who enjoy cultivating an attractive yard and garden space and perhaps even providing some tasty treats for the family table, you probably appreciate tools and amenities designed to make your gardening chores easier and more enjoyable. Many home gardeners make do with whatever available surfaces that happen to be on hand when it comes to potting plants, creating hanging baskets or starting seed trays. As you may already know, this is inconvenient, messy and can even be uncomfortable if you're working on surfaces that are too low or too high. 

However, it doesn't have to be that way. With a hammer, some lumber and nails, you can craft a sturdy, functional and attractive potting bench over the course of a weekend. Here's what you need to know:

Decide on the Proper Height

The most important thing about constructing a potting bench is determining the right height. Most people find themselves most comfortable when the work surface is level with the middle of their waist. This way, you won't have to stoop or reach.

Decide on the Right Location

The next step is to decide where you want to locate your potting bench. If you've got a big garden shed, you might want to place it inside. Another option is to have a standalone potting bench outside the shed, but with this alternative, you run the risk of being rained out when doing potting chores. You can circumvent this by placing it along the side of your home exterior under an awning. You can also give yourself the best of both worlds and build your potting shed on wheels so that you can take it in and out of the shed as weather permits.

If you do decide to place your potting shed in a stationary outdoor location, be sure to find a level spot. If possible, install a slab of concrete to place the bench on -- this will make any necessary cleanup go much more quickly.

Decide What Features You Want Your Potting Bench to Have

Basic potting benches generally feature a three-tier structure. The top functions as a work surface while the middle and bottom tiers hold supplies such as potting soil, seed trays and tools. If you want something more elaborate, consider adding a pull-out drawer, a sink and possibly a seed-starting bed with bottom heat. If you go this route, you'll need to place your bench near an electrical outlet. 

After you find the right customizable plan for your potting bench, you should be able to put it together within a day or two. After you get it build, you'll undoubtedly find yourself wondering how you managed without it. 


Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash

The outdoors has a unique and beautiful palette that can inspire and relax you. Whether you are a nature lover, or just enjoy its beauty from afar, you can bring that outdoor feeling into your home to brighten it up and give it a more earthy appeal. Looking for a few ways to give your home a more natural appeal? Check out some of the tips below to help bring the outside in.

Incorporate Your Favorite Flowers or Trees

Houseplants are a great way to bring some color indoor, celebrate the changing seasons and also improve the indoor air quality ion your home. Pick some of your favorite flowers, plants and small trees that can be grown indoors and add them as accents to tables, entryways and next to furniture. You can find indoor plants that require varying maintenance, so it is easy to choose one to suit your lifestyle.

Consider Installing Natural Floors

Cork, bamboo and hardwood floors are great materials to help keep your floors warm while providing the perfect natural touch to any room. Not only do these types of floors look stunning with every type of color palette, but they bring a more organic feel to your home than using synthetic flooring. 

Let the Natural Light Shine In

Nothing gives you the feel of nature more than sunlight filling your home. Allow windows to remain uncovered, or use only thin sheers to filter out the light. If you are really looking to create an outdoor oasis indoors, consider adding skylights so that the sunlight can shine down on you the same it would if you were outside.

Use Outdoor Elements as Accent Pieces

Those precious shells, driftwood and other unique items you find outside can easily be cleaned up and transformed into the perfect accent piece for a room. You can use them as part of your table or mantel knickknacks, or even use them as a base for end tables and lamps. Beautiful cuts of wood can also be easily transformed into furniture pieces that will bring a natural feel to any room.

Choose Natural Fibers & Materials for Furniture

Next time you pick out a piece of furniture or accent pillow for your space, check out items with more natural textures and materials. Jute, hemp, wicker and rattan can be the perfect choice for chairs, throws, accents pillows, decorative baskets and even your lighting fixtures.

Whether you are looking to have a natural vibe throughout your home, or just simple hints of nature throughout, by following the tips above, you can bring the outdoors into any room in your home.




Loading