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


When you are ready to buy a house, it pays to plan ahead to conduct a successful house search. That way, you can quickly and effortlessly navigate the real estate market and make your homeownership dream come true in no time at all.

Ultimately, you don't need to be a real estate expert to navigate the housing market like a pro. To better understand what it takes to complete a successful house search, let's take a look at three tips to ensure you can seamlessly go from homebuyer to homeowner.

1. Create Homebuying Criteria

If you plan to purchase a house in the foreseeable future, it helps to establish homebuying criteria. By doing so, you can enter the real estate market with a plan.

Think about where you want to reside. For example, if your goal is to live in the same small town as your family members and friends, you may want to hone your house search to properties in this town. Or, if you want to own a house that is close to your office in the city, you may want to pursue residences in or around the city itself.

Consider what differentiates your dream house from an ordinary home too. Thus, if you want to own a home that boasts an in-ground pool, dazzling garden or other distinct features, you should include these criteria in your homebuying strategy.

2. Get Pre-Approved for Home Financing

Lenders can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage prior to launching a home search. Then, you can establish a budget for the homebuying journey.

There is no shortage of mortgage options available, regardless of your credit score, income and outstanding debt. If you meet with banks and credit unions, you can learn about different mortgage options and select a mortgage that is sure to serve you well.

Of course, when you meet with lenders, don't hesitate to ask questions. Lenders employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists, and these professionals are happy to help you make an informed mortgage selection.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent can help you simplify your home search. In fact, with a real estate agent at your side, you can boost the likelihood of finding a terrific house at a budget-friendly price.

Generally, a real estate agent understands what it takes to pursue a home in any city or town, at any time. If you employ a real estate agent, you can get the help you need to accelerate your quest for your dream residence.

A real estate agent usually learns about a homebuyer's goals and maps out a homebuying plan. He or she sets up home showings and keeps a homebuyer up to date about new residences that fit a buyer's criteria. And if a homebuyer wants to submit an offer to purchase a residence, a real estate agent will help this buyer craft a competitive proposal.

Ready to buy a house? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can streamline your search for your ideal residence.


No matter how much experience you have as a gardener, mistakes happen to everyone. Some gardening mistakes are actually avoidable. Below, you’ll find some of the most common gardening mistakes and how to stay clear of them. Next time around that you decide to plant, you’ll have an even greener thumb than you did the season before. 


You Planted Too Early


When the springtime hits, it’s easy to feel eager to plant and get your crops going. Planting too early without proper grow cloths or warm enough temperatures can be completely detrimental to anything that is trying to grow. 


Watering Too Much Or Two Little


There is a finite amount of water that’s required for plants to thrive. The general rule is for plants to receive about an inch of water per week. Plants that have not been watered enough will show certain signs including yellowing leaves and wilting leaves. Any fruits that are produced will be deformed. Be sure that you make up for the deficit of water during dry spells that occur by watering accordingly.   


Plants that have been overwatered can also cause yellowing leaves. You don’t want your water to pool or cause puddles in the garden. If this happens, you’ll need to add a bit more organic matter to the soil itself. 


Not Planting In A Bright Enough Place


It’s a basic scientific principle that plants need sunlight to grow properly. If you have planted things in the shade, they may not thrive. If you don’t have a sunny spot to plant your garden, try using portable gardening containers that you can move around. Shoot for at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day for your plants.       


Not Weeding


Weeds can obviously choke your crops, sucking moisture and food away from the plants. If you don’t actively work to eliminate weeds, your plants will suffer greatly. Eliminate weeds as soon as you spot them. Allowing one weed to flourish is to allow them all to take over! Mulching can be a great start in helping to keep weeds away. If any weeds are found after the mulch has been put down, be sure to move them promptly. 


Planting Too Much


If you plant too much, space can become a problem. Focus on planting what you and your family like to eat and will actually use. This problem comes down to a matter of preference and taste. You don’t want to spend a ton of time gardening just to realize that  you’ve completely wasted your efforts. 


Keep in mind that there’s always something new to learn when it comes to gardening. Know that no matter what level of gardener you are mistakes are inevitable but not completely unavoidable.         



Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

When inquiring about renting a home or condominium, you may not immediately be aware if the property is being self-managed by the owner or by a property manager or management firm that the owner has hired. There are some benefits and downsides to each. You should first ask who and how the property is being managed. This just could give you an indication of what to expect in your relationship.

Benefits of an Owner Landlord

One of the benefits of renting from a landlord who owns the property is that they have a direct vested interest in maintaining the house. This could mean that they may be more responsive and make repairs properly. Property owner landlords do not like replacing tenants and filling vacancies, so they will often treat their good tenants very well.

Negatives of an Owner Landlord

Often, the biggest downside of an owner landlord is they have too close of a personal connection with a property. They may have even done much of any remodeling or repair work themselves. They can take it personally if there is damage or a repair that needs addressing. This makes them more prone to inspecting the property more frequently. They also are more personally affected if a tenant is late with making a rent payment. They may not have the resources or be willing to spend the money, to keep a property properly maintained.

Benefits of a Property Manager

A professional property manager works as a liaison between the tenant and the owner. This keeps the owner at arm's length, making the relationship more professional and less personal. A property manager has their own reputation to maintain and should try to keep both the tenant and owner happy. A property manager often solely works on managing properties and can spend more time making sure a property is maintained.

Negatives of a Property Manager

Some would argue that the negative to working with a property manager is that they are a paid third-party with no “skin in the game” so to speak. Many property managers also manage their own properties and may manage so many properties they may not have enough time to pay sufficient attention to yours. So property managers are largely impersonal companies and may not offer the personal touch you desire.

Due Diligence Is Key

To key between selecting a professional property manager or an owner tenant usually lies in performing your due diligence before signing a lease. Ask for reference and see our reviews. Any landlord or property manager will ask for references from you. Do not be afraid to perform your own due diligence before making a decision on renting from them.


If you’re making the transition from renting an apartment to buying a home, it can be difficult to ensure you have a place to stay while you search.

There are a number of reasons you may need temporary housing while house-hunting. Maybe you’re moving to a new state and need temporary housing while you search in the area. Or, maybe you just don’t want to sign a year-long lease on a new apartment that you don’t plan on staying in for a full year.

Regardless of the reason, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’re going to talk about how to find temporary housing while you navigate your way toward homeownership.

Short-term rentals and sublets

One of the most convenient way to rent an apartment while you search for a home is to simply find short-term rentals.

Landlords use leases for a number of reasons. Among them is knowing that they can count on a tenant to stay long enough to be worth the hassle of going through the rental process.

However, there are some landlords who cater to people who need to rent for only a certain amount of time--namely business professionals and college students. Landlords rent to these people with short-term leases because they are certain that they will get the full lease amount in pay.

Similarly, searching for sublets is a good way to find an apartment on the short-term. Sublets are often cheaper than their normal renting price because the tenant needs to find someone soon. You’re especially likely to find a sublet if you plan on moving in May or June when college students are going home for the summer.

Another service that could be helpful is Airbnb. Many people think of Airbnb as a tool for finding a vacation home or spare room while traveling. However, there are also a number of short-term rentals on the site. You can simply enter the dates you’re planning on staying and compare results. Just be sure to read reviews of the house to be sure that you’re dealing with responsible and trustworthy property managers.

Words of caution

While short-term rentals can save you money while you search and help you avoid a lease, they do come with risks. For example, if renting off of Craigslist, never send sensitive data, payments, or bank account information before verifying that they are actually the manager of the property.

If you do decide to sublet an apartment, take photos when you move in so that tenants or landlords don’t try to hold you liable for any damage caused before or after you leave.

Finally, if you decide to go with a service like Airbnb or extended stay hotels because they appear cheaper than renting, remember that you won’t be able to store your belongings there and might have to pay for storage and a moving truck to transport your belongings. These extra fees can add up quickly over a couple months.

Once you’ve determined your options for temporary housing, hunting for your new home will become much easier.


For those who want to enjoy a successful home selling experience, identifying your target buyer is key. Because if you understand why buyers may choose your residence over other available houses, you can promote your home to the right groups of buyers. And as a result, you may be better equipped than ever before to streamline the house selling journey.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you identify your target buyer so you can promote your house effectively and speed up the home selling process.

1. Consider the Buyer's Perspective

Think about why a buyer should choose your residence. Then, you can find ways to promote your house's features to the right groups of buyers.

Ultimately, a home listing can make a world of difference, particularly for those who want to engage and inform prospective buyers about a residence. If you analyze the buyer's perspective, you can craft your house listing accordingly.

For example, if your residence is located just minutes from top beaches, you may want to include this information in your home listing. On the other hand, if your home offers multiple bedrooms, you may want to include high-resolution photographs of these bedrooms in your listing to show off the size and beauty of your house.

2. Conduct an Inspection

A home inspection generally is completed after a seller accepts a buyer's offer to purchase his or her house. But when it comes to identifying your target buyer, you may want to conduct an inspection prior to listing your residence.

During a home inspection, a property expert will examine your residence and offer insights into any underlying issues. You then can prioritize home upgrades, and as such, make your home more appealing to potential buyers.

With a home inspection, you may be able to gain insights into your residence that could be difficult to obtain elsewhere. Thus, if you perform an inspection, you can find ways to improve your residence so you can make your house an attractive option to dozens of prospective buyers.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

If you are unsure about how to target buyers, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent. In fact, if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive expert home selling advice any time you need it.

A real estate agent understands the challenges commonly associated with selling a house and can help you address such issues. First, he or she will develop a personalized home selling strategy and help you showcase your residence to the right groups of buyers. He or she next will host home showings and open house events. And if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent can recommend whether to accept, reject or counter this proposal.

Devote time and resources to learn about your target buyer – you will be glad you did. If you use the aforementioned tips, you can identify your target buyer and map out a successful house selling journey.




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