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      Blog :: 12-2015

      10 ways to make sure you don't go insane when you're moving

      Going through the escrow process can be stressful when you're buying a home. Once you do, you get the privilege of living in the home you've worked so hard for. But first, you have to move. Ugh. Not only is moving a pain, it's also, not coincidentally, a huge stressor that can cause anxiety, depression, and even divorce!

      SWF Traveler

      So how do you move without losing your mind? These 10 tips will help.

      1. Breathe
      When thing start to go wrong—you don't have room in your last remaining box for the rest of the guest room knickknacks, your mover just dropped the box with your champagne glasses in it, or your labeling pen just ran out—there's one thing that can help: just breathe. And count to 10 while you're at it. It won't fix the situation, but it will help you to keep your cool and stay focused on the task at hand.

      2. Relax
      Powering through the packing, moving, and unpacking may sound like a great idea, but it might not be a pleasant experience if it means you're skipping the activities that help keep you happy. It might feel counterintuitive if you have a ton of work to do, but you may actually be more productive once you've taken the edge off.

      3. Drink
      Specifically, water to keep yourself hydrated. Packing may not seem like hard physical work, but all that lifting, stretching, twisting, and kneeling is actually quite a workout.Make sure you also set aside a bottle of wine for when you're done moving (plus one or two for when you have your friends over to help you pack).

      Read the Full Story Here!

       

      Does your homeowner's insurance cover water damage?

      Many a distraught homeowner has had to deal with water damage only to find out that their home insurance policy does not cover the damage. Here's how to make certain that you are not caught in that position.

      Avoid water damage

      Proper home and appliance maintenance is the best prevention to water damage. Have your heating, cooling and water heater serviced regularly. Don't leave an appliance such as a dishwasher or washing machine running while you're out of the house for a long period. Check occasionally under the sinks for leaks and that the pipes are dry. Stay in the room while filling a bathtub, it fills faster than you think.

      from realtytimes.com

      Get regular inspections of plumbing and drain systems. Whenever the plumber is at your home, ask him or her to check on all the plumbing. Turn off the water supply to outdoor spigots before the first freeze of winter. Make certain all drains are clear and operating.

      Repair any leak promptly. Even minor drips can grow into bigger problems, possibly hiding pipe leaks or worse, plumbing issues behind a wall. Mold and mildew issues usually stem from undiscovered and unrepaired leaks because it needs moisture to grow.

      Read the Full Story Here!
       

       

      7 Essential Things Every New Homeowner Needs

      Becoming a homebuyer is exciting. But now that it's happening, you'll need a few things to get you from buyer to owner. You may think you only need the stamina to unpack, but that's only the beginning.

      1. A basic toolkit

      You don't want to be sitting at home without a wrench when your sink is leaking. Or without a Phillips screwdriver when nothing in the house will accept a flathead.

      2. A DIY spirit

      You're going to be testing the limits of your DIY skills as a homeowner... a lot. Painting your walls, fixing a clogged drain, pulling up old floors, laying tile - they can all expand your skills, teach you new things, and provide a real sense of pride and accomplishment.

      Read the Full List Here! If you have additional questions about the home-buyer process, contact us today.

      New Homeowner Essentials

      12 Ways Homeowners Can Avoid Home Improvement Rip-offs

      We've all heard the horror stories: contractors who took thousands of dollars and then disappeared, home renovations that dragged on for months or work so shoddy it had to be completely redone.

      These nightmare scenarios may frighten you, but if you do your homework, you can prevent yourself from being ripped off by a bad home improvement contractor.

      Avoid Home Improvement Rip Offs

      Before a contractor begins work on your home, draw up a detailed contract with the required materials, schedule of progress payments and a timeline for the job. Image from US News and World Report

      Here are 12 ways to avoid home improvement rip-offs:

      1. Beware of people who knock on your door. Good contractors rarely have to solicit business, and those who want more customers try advertising, not door-to-door solicitation. People who knock on your door are often thieves or scammers who will take your money and do a shoddy job, then disappear. Or they may even rob your house.
      2. Avoid contractors who seek a big payment upfront. A reputable contractor will ask for 10 to 25 percent of the contract price before the job starts, then ask for progress payments as the job is completed, with the schedule detailed in the contract. The only time a big upfront payment may be legitimate is if you need a large quantity of custom materials to start.
      3. Check licenses, references and insurance. Ask for references, proof of insurance and license documents, both contractor and business licenses. Then call to verify that everything is still current and valid. You may want to be named as an additional insured on the contractor's policy while he is working at your home. If you're interested, ask the contractor to add you to the policy and then bring you back the paperwork with you listed.
      4. Check courthouse records for litigation. In most municipalities, the basic information is online, though you may have to pay a few dollars to read it in some municipalities. If the contractor has been sued, read the lawsuit and, if possible, contact the complaining homeowner for details.

      Read the Full Story Here!

      Three Open Houses in Wellesley and Needham, Sun., December 6

       

      OH Sat., 12:30-2,
      Sun., 11:30-1:30

      45 Bay View Rd., Wellesley
      $679,000 - NEW PRICE

      6 room, 3 bed, 2f 0h bath Cape

      Click here to learn more about this beautiful home. Don't wait until the weekend - contact us for a showing today!

      OH Sun., 12-2

      76 Booth Street, Needham
      $1,319,000 - NEW PRICE

      11 room, 5 bed, 4f 1h bath Colonial

      Click here to learn more about this beautiful home. Don't wait until the weekend - contact us for a showing today!

      OH Sun., 12:30-2:30

      619A Washington St., Wellesley
      $1,385,750

      7 room, 3 bed, 3f 1h bath Townhouse

      Click here to learn more about this beautiful home. Don't wait until the weekend - contact us for a showing today!

      Must-do's Before Your Replace Major Items in Your House

      Even if you plan on living in your house until you're carried out doesn't mean you'll never buy another house

      That is, live somewhere long enough, and you'll begin replacing certain parts of your house - the roof, the windows, the heating and cooling system or water heater, say. Eventually, you may start to feel like you've bought another house without actually moving.

      And each time you replace part of your house, it can be intimidating. You may not be shelling out what you would buy a home, but items like new roofs and windows aren't cheap. According to HomeAdvisor.com, the current cost of an average roof replacement is $6,570, and while it can run as low as $2,000, it can easily cost you $12,000 or more.

      Windows? You'll want to jump out one when you begin pricing them.

      According to paid-membership review service Angie's List, a standard-size, double-hung, double-pane, vinyl window will generally cost between $450 and $600, including installation. That may not sound too bad until you begin tallying the windows in your home. And if you have wood windows, you're talking $800 to $1,000 per window, including installation.

      Home Repairs and Replacements

      So if you're going to be sinking more money into your house, try the following to avoid being sunk.

      Shop around.

      Leslie Bryant, a health care communications professional in Los Angeles, says she and her husband replaced their roof a few years ago. They felt that they had little choice.

      "The roof looked awful. It was very old wood shingle and it had just run its course," she says. "Not leaking, but every time we had major winds, there were about 20 shingles on our front lawn."
      Bryant says you really need to ask for estimates - and stand your ground if you receive blowback.

      Do your research.

      You may not be interested in roofs, windows or septic tanks, but if you're going to replace something sizable in your home, you'd be wise to get interested, fast. That doesn't necessarily meaning reading up on, say, roofs and septic tanks though it couldn't hurt - but at least, when you're getting estimates (you are getting estimates, plural, right?) ask a lot of questions of the people you're hiring to do work.

      David Feldberg, who owns a residential real estate brokerage in Newport Beach, California, says that he and wife recently bought a house built in 1958.

      "We are the second owners and I don't think the prior owners had done anything over the prior 25 to 30 years," he says.

      Feldberg says he and his wife had the roof replaced, walls removed and flooring and ceiling changed, among other things before moving in, and since then, they've purchased a new heating and air-conditioning system with brand new ducts. They've also replaced most of the windows. To pay for it all, they predominantly pulled from their savings; some of it, a home improvement loan with no interest for a year, "and we plan to pay it off before then," he says.

      Read the Full Story Here!