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


For the most part, it’s safe to say we all know to come prepared when buying an older home. But did you know that the buying process of a new construction home comes with its own quirks? The customization and relationship with the builder through the process makes for a unique experience when buying a new construction home.

Here’s what you need to know:

Some developments have site registration policies. This means that they require you to come with your agent for at least the first couple visits. Don’t be caught off guard. When planning your viewings be prepared to work with your agent's schedule as well as your own.

Instead of asking to lower the cost ask when negotiating ask the builder to pay closing costs or to include upgrades. You’ll have an easier time getting a yes to these requests as builders don’t like to lower costs and gain a reputation for doing so in the process.

New construction homes aren’t a final product when purchasing. Because of this, it’s critical to get details on paper to protect yourself during the buying process. Details to include are how the home will be finished, any and all timelines, and what will happen if, for whatever reason, the home is not finished in time. Get all of this in writing to create a binding contract.

Ask questions! When touring the model house be sure to ask what comes standard and what is an upgrade. Get costs of upgrades that catch your eye so that you can plan your budget. When planning this budget you will also want to leave wiggle room as this will be a quote and not final cost. Your agent can help you create a list of common features that are standard and/or upgradable as well as ballpark costs.

Budget Tip: When deciding on upgrades know which are easier to have done during construction. Prioritize those over those that can easily be done after. Think upgrades that include wiring or getting into walls and ceiling for whatever reason.

New construction homes often come with a warranty. It’s important to know what this covers and what it doesn’t. Understand your cancellation rights and hire a real estate lawyer to review contracts and any important documents.  

Research the builder and if possible talk to other residents in the neighborhood. Ask them about their experience both during the buying process and living in the development afterward.

One thing that often catches home buyers off guard is when the builder requires you to get pre-approved by their lender even if you use your own lender. This is to safeguard themselves by ensuring you pass their lenders requirements for a safe investment. It’s also important to keep in mind that you may even get better rates and fees from the builder's lender.


After a home seller accepts your offer on a home, the next step usually involves a home inspection.

At this point, you'll hire a home inspector who will walk through the home you'd like to buy and offer expert insights into the residence's strengths and weaknesses. Then, you'll be able to assess potential issues with a home and determine whether to move forward with a home purchase.

A home inspection can be stressful, particularly for a first-time homebuyer. Lucky for you, we're here to help you take the guesswork out of home inspections.

Ultimately, there are many questions to consider after a home inspection is completed, including:

1. What did the home inspection reveal?

A home inspection offers unparalleled insights into a residence. It enables you to look beyond a house's surface and find out whether major repairs will be required both now and in the future.

Hiring an experienced home inspector is paramount for homebuyers. With an experienced home inspector at your disposal, you'll be better equipped than others to identify "hidden" problems within a house.

Also, don't forget to review a home inspection report closely. With this information at your disposal, you'll be able to understand whether a residence meets your expectations.

Be sure to consider the long-term value of a property as well. Remember, a home that you plan to purchase should be able to serve you well for years to come. But if you encounter myriad home issues during a property inspection, you may want to consider rescinding your offer on a residence and restarting your search for the ideal house.

2. Are there major home issues?

As a homebuyer, it is important to be able to identify the differences between major and minor home issues.

For example, if there are tiny cracks and chips in the paint on a kitchen's walls, these issues are minor. In fact, you may be able to repair such issues quickly and effortlessly.

On the other hand, an old, inefficient furnace can cause major headaches. Without a properly functioning furnace, you may struggle to heat your home in winter. Meanwhile, it may cost several thousand dollars to replace this furnace.

If you encounter problems with a residence during a home inspection, consider the costs associated with these issues. By doing so, you'll be able to determine how much you may need to spend to correct such problems and can proceed with a home purchase accordingly.

3. What should I do next?

An informed homebuyer will be equipped with the knowledge and insights needed to make a great decision.

Consider the problems that were discovered during a home inspection. If you can fix home issues without having to commit substantial time and resources to complete various home maintenance projects, you may want to consider moving forward with a home purchase.

If you encounter major home issues, you can always ask a home seller to perform home repairs. Or, you may want to remove your offer on a home altogether.

Working with a real estate agent is ideal, especially for homebuyers who want help with home seller negotiations. With assistance from a real estate agent, you should have no trouble determining how to proceed after a home inspection.


As a home seller, you likely want to get rid of your residence as quickly as possible. However, there is no reason to underprice your residence to speed up the home selling process.

Ultimately, underpricing a home may create a number of problems. If you fail to consider how much your house is worth, you risk receiving offers for far less than your residence's actual value. As a result, you may fail to maximize the value of your home.

So what does it take to ensure you can establish the right price for your residence? Here are three tips to help home sellers do just that.

1. Employ a Real Estate Agent.

A real estate agent possesses the skills and know-how to help you navigate any real estate market. He or she will be able to offer a wide assortment of housing market data and insights, and as such, provide recommendations to ensure you can set a fair price for your house.

Furthermore, a real estate agent will be able to help you establish the right price for your residence in a buyer's or seller's market – even if you are trying to move out of your home soon. This real estate professional will learn about your needs and explore a variety of options to guarantee you won't have to underprice your home to sell it quickly.

2. Become Familiar with Comparable Homes in Your Area.

Many homes are available in cities and towns across the United States, and home sellers who assess the prices of comparable homes nearby should have no trouble establishing the right price for a residence.

Review real estate listings for houses that currently are available, along with listings for homes that sold recently in your city or town. This will help you understand how your house stacks up against other residences in your area so you can price your home based on the current real estate market.

3. Set Realistic Expectations Throughout the Home Selling Process.

There is no need to panic if your home does not receive multiple offers after the first open house. Instead, try to remain calm, cool and collected, and you can avoid the temptation to lower the price of your house to stir up interest among homebuyers.

Before you add your home to the real estate market, set realistic expectations for how much you would like to receive for your residence and how quickly you need to sell your property. This will enable you to have a home selling plan in place and ensure you are prepared for any challenges that come your way.

A real estate agent can help you establish realistic expectations for the home selling process as well. This professional will allow you to stay up to date about home offers, respond to your home selling concerns and questions and streamline the process of maximizing the value of your residence.

Use the aforementioned tips, and you can speed up the home selling process without sacrificing the value of your house.


As the workforce changes and a growing number of companies seek out contractors and freelancers, many Americans find themselves in a gray area when it comes to their income. They may put in full-time hours, but on their taxes they work for themselves.

Mortgage lenders are cautious about who they lend to. They want to make sure you are a low-risk investment who has reliable, predictable income to ensure that they’ll earn money off of your loan.

This can sometimes make it difficult for freelancers, contract workers, or the self-employed. Not only might your taxes be unconventional, but your income could vary depending on the time of the year and the amount of business you receive.

It’s easy to see why many people would be anxious about applying for a mortgage under these circumstances. However, if you’re self-employed, there’s no need to worry. You can still get approved for a mortgage at a fair interest rate--you just need to do a bit of work to provide the right documents to your lender.

In this article, we’ll show you what documents and proof of income you’ll likely need and how to present it to a lender to make the process run as smoothly as possible to get you approved for your mortgage. Here’s what you need to do.

Organize your records

Before applying for a mortgage, it’s a good idea to take a look at your record-keeping process. As a self-employed worker, you’re probably already used to tracking your own income. However, this will help the lender analyze your income easier and move the process along more quickly.

Having a master spreadsheet of your dated invoices, paid amounts, and the names of your clients is a good place to start. You’ll also want detailed, easy to read information for your previous employers, landlords, references, and any other information you think will be pertinent.

Next, gather your tax documents for the last three to five years. As a self-employed worker, you likely file a Schedule C (Form 1040) and a Schedule SE. Make sure you have copies of these forms.

Dealing with deductions

Many self-employed workers write off business expenses in their tax returns. Travel expenses, internet, and other costs associated with doing business are all ways to save by reducing your taxable income. Doing so can save you money, but it can also reduce your net income which is what lenders will see when you provide them with your information.

If you’re hoping to get approved for a bigger loan, one solution is to plan your taxes in the year prior to applying for a mortgage. Make fewer deductions than you normally would to increase your net income.

Be ready to clarify

When a mortgage lender is reviewing your information, make sure you are open and available to provide any information that can be helpful to them in considering your application. Being prompt and accurate with your responses will signal to your lender that you are willing to work with them.


Whether we like it or not one of the rooms in our home we spend the most time in is the bathroom. And, perhaps in part of the mindfulness movement, people are catching on and turning their bathrooms into a relaxing sanctuary. A room that was once at the bottom of the renovation list has quickly found itself climbing the ranks.

Looking at the overall trends one theme has certainly emerged: A spa-like bathroom.

And why not?

Take the time to slow down and pamper yourself in a luxurious new bathroom to unwind after a particularly long day. Or just to treat yourself, because hey you deserve it!

So where to start?  

Anyone can create a spa-like atmosphere with these five details (which can each be done for around or under $100 by the way).

Cedarwood bath mats have quickly become popular. They are certainly more appealing than the matching sets of fluffy carpets complete with that one that wraps around the toilet. They add a touch of Norwegian style aka hygge. But they’re also functional in that each time they become wet they emit their wonderful cedar smell throughout the room. For those worried about how it holds up to moisture over time, cedar is known for its resistance to mold and mildew and is. Which is exactly why cedar chests were/are so popular!  

Another popular way to bring in aromatic elements of nature is via dried eucalyptus and lavender bunches. More than just beautiful to look at when in a steamy room they fill the room with their calming scent. If you don’t have a vendor at your local farmer’s market offering these as bunches shops like West Elm, Williams-Sonoma and Etsy will all deliver them right to your door.

An element that makes a spa so peaceful that not everyone might think to add to their own bathrooms is spa music. Give your vocal chords a break from shower karaoke and instead look for spa or meditation-themed music on apps like Spotify and Pandora. It will change the entire atmosphere of the room.

A heated towel bar seems super luxe and it is! But that doesn’t make it unattainable or completely out of the budget. Chic, stylish electric models can be found for around just $100. Treat yourself to the gift of warm cozy towels after every bathing experience.  

Speaking of towels keep luxe towels on hand and easily within reach. Rolling them up to put on display on a shelf doesn’t just add a more spa-like element to your home, it’s also just really convenient! Just fold towels in thirds length-wise aka the long way and then roll them up. It’s easy, classy and looks like you put in way more effort than you did.




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