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


The cost of buying a house extends beyond a seller's initial asking price. In fact, there are many "hidden" costs that buyers need to consider as they decide whether to purchase a house, such as:

1. Closing Costs

There are various closing costs that a buyer may encounter before he or she finalizes a house purchase, including survey, appraisal and wire transfer fees. As such, it generally is a good idea to prepare for these costs prior to launching a house search. Because if you prepare for closing costs, you can ensure that you have the finances available to cover these expenses when you are ready to complete a house purchase.

Oftentimes, it helps to meet with banks and credit unions prior to starting a home search. These financial institutions can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage and teach you about home closing costs. Best of all, after you get a mortgage, you can start your home search with the financing you need to secure your ideal residence.

2. Property Taxes

Property taxes usually are assessed twice a year, and they vary based on state and county. However, if you learn about property taxes, you can map out your homebuying budget accordingly.

Real estate property tax information is part of the public record. Thus, you can access information about property taxes related to a particular home before you purchase it. And once you have this information at your disposal, you can use it to determine whether to move forward with a house purchase or continue your search for your dream home.

3. Utilities

Utility bills vary based on the size of a home, its location and other factors. If you devote time and resources to estimate your utility expenses, you may be better equipped than ever before to make an informed home purchase.

To assess your potential utility costs, you may want to consult with a seller's agent. This professional may be able to provide you with insights into the current homeowner's utility expenses to help you budget appropriately.

It never hurts to hire a real estate agent to help you navigate the homebuying journey, too. A real estate agent can offer expert insights into closing costs, property taxes and other homebuying fees, as well as help you quickly discover your dream residence.

Let's not forget about the comprehensive homebuying guidance that a real estate agent can provide, either. For instance, if you are unsure about whether to submit an offer to purchase a house, a real estate agent can offer recommendations and tips to help you make the best-possible decision. Or, if you have concerns or questions at any point during the homebuying journey, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them.

For those who want to buy a house, it helps to learn about all of the potential costs associated with a home purchase. If you start budgeting for a home purchase today, you could accelerate your quest to find and buy your ideal residence.


Image by Andrey_Popov from Shutterstock

Burglary is one of the more common types of crimes in the US today. Every day, many homeowners wake up or get back from work to discover their homes robbed. Given the financial, psychological, and physical damage that can happen, protecting your home is always ideal. You don’t have to be a victim. Put a security system in place to protect your home.

A range of home security systems are available. Deciding on which one could be a daunting task. To save you time and stress, here are some tips on how to select a security monitoring system for your residence.

Survey your home.

The first thing you need to do is to survey your home and assess its security needs. Start by counting the doors, windows, and other entry points. Check the distance of the doors and windows from where you intend to install the controls. Knowing this is essential as it will help you know the coverage of the wireless system or the length of the wires needed.

Know where to place the controls.

Place the controls somewhere only you will have quick access to. Many people prefer the control pads close to the main door. But that's not a promising idea because others can easily find it. According to security experts, it is best to place the control pads in an area that guests will not have easy access. A good example is your bedroom. 

Consider the people who live with you.

If you intend to go with motion detectors, consider movement in your home during the night. If you have kids or older parents that move around at night or you have pets that pace the house at odd hours, it is highly likely that they might trigger the alarm and cause a disturbance. Triggering the alarm system that alerts the police department may cause them to respond to a false alarm from your home.

Research the Security company.

Reputation is key. Although there are security systems that you can install yourself, working with a licensed and trustworthy security company is an optimal consideration. They will recommend the perfect system for your home and even give you useful tips to protect better protect your home. 

Be sure to ask the following questions;

How long have they been operating?

What services do they offer?

Do they carry out background checks on their employees?

Do they lease or sell their security systems?

Do they offer a warranty?

Finding the perfect home security system is vital because it assures you that your home is well protected. To get more information about the types of home security systems available, and how installing one can help you gain peace of mind, ask your agent for a recommendation for a reputable security service.


Buying a home is an extensive process that comes with a bit of a learning curve. For first time buyers, this process involves making mistakes and learning from them.

While we can never be 100% sure of our home buying decisions, there is a way to increase your chances of making the best choices when it comes to buying and maintaining your first home.

In today’s post, we’re going to do just that. We’ll take a look at some of the biggest things that homeowners wish they knew before buying their first house.

1. Forgetting to research the neighborhood

It’s easy to become so enamored with your dream home that you barely look beyond its fence. However, the neighborhood your home is in can have a huge effect on your daily life. Having local parks, safe sidewalks to walk on, and road infrastructure that doesn’t drive you crazy on your daily commute are all important aspects of choosing the right home.

2. Getting pressured into making a decision

Many times, a seller will want to portray their home as being highly sought after to encourage higher and more frequent offers. Similarly, you may find that your own family has time constraints and want to make a quick decision to buy a home.

It’s when we’re under pressure that we can make choices that we aren’t happy with in the long run. So, in these situations, make sure you don’t make any snap judgments on a home. If it seems like you’re being pressured into making a decision without enough time to consider all of the possibilities, there’s a good chance you should pass on this opportunity.

3. Forgetting that you might someday have to sell this home

Sometimes homes can be difficult to sell due to things like their location and surroundings. For instance, a home that is remote or one that is located in low-scoring school districts may not matter to you if you don’t plan on having children. But, they likely will be important to a lot of your potential buyers when it comes time to sell the home.

This lesson also holds true for what you do with your home once you buy it. Making renovations or design choices that won’t appeal to the average buyer can make your home more difficult to sell and harder to get top dollar for.

4. Didn’t consider all financing options

There are several steps and several options when it comes to financing a home. Not only are the several mortgage lenders to choose from, but there are also many different types of loans available.

While there may not be one “right” decision when it comes to financing your home, it’s a good idea to do your homework and browse carefully all of the lenders and mortgage types.

Consider ways to increase your credit score or save for a higher down payment before buying if possible, so that you can secure the lowest interest rate possible.


Photo by Tatiana Chekryzhova via Shutterstock

As more millennials leave consumer and student debt behind, they enter the housing market. Being savvy researches in the information age, this demographic has begun to fuel the housing economy. Many purchase homes as singles, with a partner or even a friend or group of friends.

Where is Preferred?

Unlike past generations where singles preferred the city and couples with children headed to the suburbs, millennials like what they like. Whether your home is in the city or the suburbs, you can appeal this group of buyers. Millennials, in general, prefer experiences to expenses. Large open concept rooms with plenty of space for entertaining makes a carefully renovated home the perfect place for a young single, pair or tribe to purchase the perfect gathering place.

What's Bought?

When looking for the perfect home, millennials seek simpler styles that gel with their minimalist mindset. Because they care more about experiences than possessions, they look for living spaces that let them enjoy time with friends and housemates and don’t require too much upkeep.

If you’re considering upgrades or renovations to your home before putting it on the market, consider opening a smaller kitchen into the larger living space. Connect bedrooms to en suite baths for multi-adult households. Beef up the outdoor entertainment area with room for a firepit, speakers for music and a place for lawn games. Millennial buyers like to share their space with friends and family and are very keen on comfort. If you have any questions about how to place your home for sale in an area that you think may be a great spot for this target homebuyer, feel free to reach out.


Photo by Lauren Fleischmann on Unsplash

Whether you need to hang bath towels in the bathroom or hand towels in the kitchen, a towel rack is an awesome thing to have around. And it is even better if made custom to suit your tastes and elevate the look of your home. For even more brownie points, you can make the towel rack yourself — and all it takes is some old picture frames and a little bit of elbow grease. Ready to start this fun project? Follow these seven easy steps.

1. Gather Your Tools & Materials

To create your custom towel rack, you will need:

  • 7 Old picture frames in various sizes
  • 1/2-inch screws
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Wood filler
  • Plastic wall anchors
  • Paint and brushes
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Old newspaper
  • Hanger
  • 2. Mock Up Your Design

    Working on the ground, mock up the design for your picture frame towel rack. Start with the largest frame in the center, as that will be used to secure the completed towel rack to the wall. You should have the frames overlap enough that you can secure each one together using two screws.

    3. Screw the Frames Together

    After finalizing your custom design, use your drill to create pilot holes for your screws. Then, screw the frames together, one by one, being careful to avoid cracking the wood. Cover the tops of the screws with wood filler, creating a seamless surface.

    4. Sand & Paint the Frames

    With the frames assembled, sand down the exterior surfaces to scuff up the finish. This will help the paint stick to the surface. Then, put down newspaper and place your frames on top. Use your paintbrushes to apply a new coat of paint in your desired color. Allow the initial coat to dry for four hours, then repeat. Allow the second coat to fully dry overnight, though 24 hours is better.

    5. Add a Hanger to the Back

    Unless your central picture frame already has a hanger, you will need to add one to the back to create a solid mounting point. If your towel rack is a bit on the large side, consider using two mounting points to give it enough strength when the extra weight of the towels are added.  

    6. Mount the Rack on the Wall

    Put the towel rack against the wall to find your preferred installation point. Remember to account for the length of the towels when they are folded over the bottom edges of the frames. Then, drill a hole, or two if you have dual hangers, in the wall, big enough for the plastic anchor.

    Use the handle of your screwdriver to tap the plastic anchor into the holes you just made. Then, add a screw to each plastic anchor and secure them almost all the way down with your screwdriver. With those in place, you can then hang the towel rack from the screws in the wall.

    7. Add Towels & Enjoy

    After securing your towel rack to the wall, you just hang your towels to complete this project. You can then go about your business, secure in the knowledge that you always have a towel close at hand when you need one.




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