Cynthia Owens - Five College REALTORS ®



Posted by Cynthia Owens on 5/28/2020

Purchasing your first home will be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling parts of your life. It’s an important milestone on the way to financial independence and to starting a family for millions of Americans.

It also comes with a lot of responsibilities and unforeseen expenses.

A Reddit user asked the online community what items ended up being useful to them that they didn’t think about beforehand. The result was a ton of great advice for new or soon-to-be homeowners.

In today’s post, I’ve broken down the most useful items from all of their responses. So, if you’re going to be a

1. Information about past purchases

One user found that the most useful thing the previous owner left behind were a number of receipts for appliances that would be left in the house. In addition, they also left a list of model numbers for important parts like faucets, and list of all of the paint colors used in the house.

In addition, the previous homeowners even left a binder full of menus for local restaurants. While the seller of your next home might not think to leave behind all of this useful info for you, it doesn’t hurt to ask in case they have some of that information saved that they’ll no longer need.

2. Ten thousand dollars

While this comment may be a bit tongue-in-cheek, it does illustrate an important fact for new homeowners: expect to spend some money. As the poster pointed out, there isn’t necessarily one thing that you’ll need. More likely, you’ll find yourself running to the hardware store often for a number of small purchases.

Setting aside some money for these initial expenses is a good idea so that you can get the most out of your home in the first few months living in it without worrying about how or when you’re going to replace some of the many small, but annoying, fixes you’ll experience in your new house.

3. A steel hand cart

From day one and onward, you’ll be moving a lot of things around your home. Heavy objects like dressers, drawers, refrigerators, and other furniture and appliances will often require two people to move. Well, if you live alone or you and your spouse work different hours, it isn’t always possible to have two people around to help lift and move something. To save time and prevent injury, having a dolly (A.K.A. a steel hard cart) on hand will make things easier.

4. Check your cell phone signal before moving day

In spite of the claims of the major cellular carriers, there are still many areas of the U.S. that have little or no reception. This can come as a shock on moving day if you haven’t planned ahead.

Fortunately, you can purchase a device called a microcell to boost the cellular signal in your home, preventing dropped calls.

5. A Carbon monoxide and smoke detector, and fresh batteries

As much as you may trust the previous owners, there’s no way to be certain that there aren’t any fire or CO hazards in the home that you’re unaware of. Getting new detectors, batteries, and installing them immediately will help you rest easy on your first night.




Categories: new homeowners   useful items  


Posted by Cynthia Owens on 5/21/2020

Photo by Luis Quintero from Pexels

While the millennial generation (people born between 1980 and 1989) accounts for the majority of homebuyers today, the other generations--both older and younger--cannot be discounted. Aging Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) and up-and-coming Gen Yers (those born between 1990 and 1998) are still forces to be considered when marketing your home. How do you position your property so that appeals to young families, middle-age professionals and those past retirement age? Below are just a few tips on how to do this seemingly impossible task.

1. Opt for Neutral Colors.

While older homebuyers make be attracted to dramatic colors and accent walls, younger buyers are looking for a blank palette that they can personalize. Using white, beige, gray and similar tones for walls, cabinets and carpeting will please those buyers without alienating baby boomers who are adept at adding color with art and accessories.

2. Embrace Technology.

Buyers of all generations are increasingly savvy about properties on the market and neighborhoods, due to the amount of information available online. Most buyers search online for available properties before they ever contact a real estate professional. Make sure that your home is showcased online with lots of images and even a video "walk-through".

3. Make your Home Low Maintenance.

Buyers of all generations want to enjoy their home without having to do a laundry list of chores to keep it well-maintained and attractive. This means keeping your landscaping to a minimum as well as choosing low-maintenance materials like laminate flooring and composite siding when you remodel.

4. Create a Walkability List for Potential Buyers.

Younger buyers want to have shopping, dining, schools and other conveniences nearby, so they don't waste precious time driving to and from attractions. Older buyers may have limited mobility and thus want services close by. Access to public transportation is also a plus for buyers of all ages. Write a list of what's available nearby so that your potential buyers have all of those facts at hand and don't have to do all of the research themselves.

Making your property attractive to multiple generations of homebuyers doesn't have to be an impossible task. Set yourself up for success--and a quick sale--by sticking with neutral colors, making your property available to online shoppers and educating your potential buyers on what services and attractions are available near to your home.




Categories: Selling  


Posted by Cynthia Owens on 5/14/2020

It generally is a good idea to bring your A-game to the home selling journey. Because if you fail to put your best foot forward, it may take many weeks or months to stir up interest in your residence.

Ultimately, there are lots of things that you can do to generate interest in your home, such as:

1. Bolster Your Home's Curb Appeal

Your home only gets one chance to make a positive first impression on buyers. If your residence boasts exceptional curb appeal, your house is sure to make a great first impression.

Typically, upgrading a house's curb appeal can be quick and simple. Performing lawn care tasks like trimming the hedges and removing debris from walkways is ideal. Also, you may want to fix any cracked or damaged home siding.

If you need help with home exterior enhancements, you can always reach out to local professionals for assistance as well. By hiring home improvement specialists, you can bolster your residence's curb appeal without delay.

2. Set an Aggressive Initial Asking Price

The initial asking price you set for your home can have far-flung effects on the house selling journey. If you establish an aggressive initial asking price for your house, you could accelerate the home selling cycle.

To determine the best price for your home, it may be beneficial to conduct an appraisal. Thanks to an appraisal, you can receive a property valuation that you can use to help you decide how to price your house.

In addition, you may want to perform an inspection before you list your residence. After an inspection, you'll receive a report that details any underlying problems with your house. You then can use this report to prioritize home repairs and complete property upgrades so you can get the best price for your residence.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent knows what it takes to sell a home as quickly as possible. At the same time, a real estate agent understands how to help a seller maximize his or her house sale earnings. Thus, a real estate agent can provide insights and recommendations that allow you to achieve your desired home selling results.

With support from a real estate agent, you can receive expert guidance as you navigate the home selling journey. A real estate agent will work with you throughout this journey and ensure you can get the help you need to succeed. Plus, a real estate agent will respond to any of your home selling questions and teach you everything you need to know about selling a residence.

When it comes to selling a home, it is important to work hard to accomplish your goals. If you take advantage of the aforementioned tips, you can bring your A-game to the home selling journey. As a result, you can boost the likelihood of enjoying a memorable house selling experience.





Posted by Cynthia Owens on 5/7/2020

Image by Pixabay from Pexels

What do you picture when someone says 'laundry'?  Is it piles of dirty clothes, sock singles lost to some undisclosed dimension, a moldy smell and lost hours?  Or is it shrugging on a warm shirt straight from the dryer, lemon scent and the zen of folding: a little pocket of peace and quiet on a hectic, cold day?

People who fit into the latter category aren't from Stepford.  Chances are, they've made the deliberate choice to craft a laundry room the way they design other rooms in their house: for their comfort, convenience, and in the case of the laundry room, for utility and ease of use. 

Often a key component to creating a harmonious space is to minimize clutter.  Check out these three tips for creating a clutterless, clean, and welcoming workspace!

Incorporate Drying Racks

Drying delicates can create a lot of clutter!  Where do you put the stand-up drying rack?  Where to put it when you've folded it away? 

Solve that problem in a snap by making fold-away drying racks part of your interior design straightaway.  You can easily purchase or create cabinet-style drying racks like these:

The bars swing down for ease of use, but when you release them, they snap upright to keep your drying clothes out of the way.  Centsational Style shows you how to make your own here

Alternately,  you can incorporate rails on which to hang your clothing from hangers right in the laundry room, for things that are best dried while hanging, or just to store clothing that's clean and ready to wear. These rails are best incorporated under cabinets or a ledge that may not be in use.

Even small spaces can make use of this trick.  Try creating a  hanging bar, made simply from two thick, leather straps and a copper rod (or metal rod of your choosing).  It looks incredibly upscale but would cost very little to make. Just fix two, 3-4 inch leather straps to a ledge or underneath weight-baring cabinets, then slide the rod through.

If you're feeling crafty, you might also consider making an old ladder into a drying rack for a farmhouse feel.

Keep Your Laundry Basket Space in Mind

Keep laundry baskets out of the way by creating drawers or shelving space for them.  If you're staging a house, buy baskets that fit so that these drawers' purpose is clear to potential buyers -- and so no one has to hunt for the right-sized baskets later on.

You can also create a laundry basket holder of your own from freestanding shelving units if you don't have built-in drawers or have trouble finding a fitting that will work for your space.

Feeling crafty? Here's a great article on how to create a do-it-yourself mobile laundry basket holder.

Keep Your Ironing Board Out of the Way

Your ironing board can take up a lot of space if you keep it set up, and it can be a challenge to yank it forward out of a nook or wrestle it down from a high spot if you keep it folded. 

Consider hanging it up on coat hooks.  Be sure to hang it so that the cloth of the board (where you'd grip it to lift) is at shoulder height, making it easy to set down and hook back up.

You can make one of these from scratch using these instructions from The Inspired Hive, but you can just as easily purchase one and unscrew any extraneous hooks before hanging it.

Employ these space-saving tactics and your laundry room will be a calm, peaceful, and orderly oasis!




Categories: Home improvement  


Posted by Cynthia Owens on 4/30/2020

This Single-Family in Amherst, MA recently sold for $425,000. This Contemporary,Saltbox style home was sold by Cynthia Owens - Five College REALTORS ®.


715 South East Street, Amherst, MA 01002

South Amherst

Single-Family

$434,900
Price
$425,000
Sale Price

8
Rooms
2
Beds
2
Baths
Wake up early in the morning and you might catch a stunning sunrise as it peeks over the Pelham Hills. This attractive Saltbox has much to offer, starting with an updated kitchen, gas range and Corian counters, ceramic tile with plenty of storage and workspace, a walk-in pantry, and a full bath w/ laundry. There's a dining room, and a room to use as a study/office. A generous living room with hardwood floors and fireplace. But best is the room to use for all seasons! you'll take pleasure in the 20x16 heated sunroom, w/vaulted ceiling flooded with light that is suitable for all large gatherings. Upstairs full bath, 2 large bedrooms with mini-splits in each and custom closets the whole length of the room, plus storage under the eaves. The lower level is finished with a large craft room and is bright and welcoming along with a cedar closet and workshop area. Garden beds have been completely revamped and numerous new plantings added also new front walkway and side porch. A delight to see!

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Categories: Sold Homes