Welcome to our Real Estate Blog! 

Here you'll find valuable real estate and community information like local market updates for some of the Boston suburbs, town information, town events and much more! 

 

 

 

 

March 18, 2019

What to Embrace and What to Avoid in Your Bathroom Remodel

There’s more to consider with a bathroom remodel than with your average renovation. Bathrooms are susceptible to things like water damage, mold, mildew and slick surfaces. Here, we’ve compiled a list of the best and worst materials for your bathroom remodel, so you can be sure you’re making the right choices.

Flooring

Choosing a flooring material is one of the most difficult parts of a bathroom remodel. You want a material that will stand up to water droplets and hot steam without getting slick.

Embrace: A few go-to options include slip-resistant tile, rubber and linoleum flooring. If you choose linoleum, use sheet flooring instead of linoleum boards, which have more cracks and are susceptible to moisture seeping through.

Avoid: Wood flooring isn’t a good choice for bathrooms because it warps under wet and steamy conditions. And slick substances like stone or porcelain can be dangerous when damp. But the worst choice for bathrooms is carpet. Carpet will mildew, mold and lead to water damage in the subfloor, and it’s downright unsanitary in bathrooms.

Walls

Unlike floors, it doesn’t matter if your walls are slippery. So, you have a bit more flexibility when choosing wall materials.

Embrace: Ceramic, porcelain and stone tile are great waterproof options that add personality to your space. Try installing decorative tile around areas that are exposed to a lot of water, like above your shower and behind your sink. And for walls that are farther away from water sources, paint is a good choice – so long as you avoid flat matte shades, which show every speck of water.

Avoid: The least favorable material for your bathroom walls is wallpaper because it may peel from the constant steam. A solid vinyl wall covering can add texture without moisture issues. And you also won’t have any issues if you use wallpaper in bathrooms that don’t have a shower.

Countertops

 

Luckily, when it comes to bathroom countertops, there’s a relatively small margin for error. Most countertop materials are waterproof, which gives you a wide range of options to choose from.

Embrace: Laminate such as Formica, solid surface such as Corian, glass, stone such as marble and quartz are all popular options that should be able to withstand moisture and normal wear and tear.

Avoid: You may want to avoid installing tile countertops in the bathroom. Grout gets dirty much faster in these heavily used areas, and things like colored soap, makeup and lotion can stain it. If your heart is set on tile, consider going for a dark grout color to disguise grime. And stay away from copper countertops if you’re not up for the regular maintenance they require.

 

PUBLISHED:  |
UPDATED: 
March 1, 2019

February 2019 Market Snapshot

 

Check out February’s market snapshot! With the short month, fewer homes closed in most markets, which is not a surprise. 

 

Inventory is is up in all of these towns from last month except Hopkinton with 2 less single families and in Wrentham, inventory remained the same. 

 

Interest rates are averaging 4.33% for a 30 year fixed mortgage (according to bankrate.com). This is about 2 tenths less than the end of 2018 and over 4 tenths less than the average rate at Thanksgiving. This should translate into a strong spring market with lots of opportunity for both buyers and sellers. 

 

If you would like more detailed, customized information based around your real estate goal fill out the contact form and we can customize a plan just for your needs. 

Feb. 21, 2019

Your Pet and the Selling and Home Showing Process

 

 

 

 

 

 

PET/AGENT RELATIONSHIP 

Regardless of your pet or breed, you should not hire a real estate agent unless you determine that the prospective agent is comfortable around your pet(s). Although it is widely known within real estate circles that many buyers have discomfort—even an aversion to being around pet(s)—it is also true that an agent who dislikes pets can limit their desire to show your home. A real estate professional who is uncomfortable around your pets as evidenced by either their words or body language, should not be the person you rely upon to maximize showings 

and results. 

HOUSE STAGING 

When you select an agent, focus on their ability to help you merchandise your home before it is placed on the market. This should include pet-related staging. Keep in mind, you will need to: 

• Regularly clean litter boxes and pet waste—inside and outside. This will ensure buyers have a perception of cleanliness and maintenance regarding your property. 

• Treat pet smells to the degree possible. Ask friends or family to inspect your home for smells to which you might have become desensitized. 

• Repair pet damage to doors, walls, carpets, hardwood floors, grass and anywhere your home has been aesthetically marginalized. 

HOUSE SHOWINGS 

Consider where you feel comfortable keeping your pets during showings. Should you place your pets in a kennel, pet hotel or with friends? Is it better to move them from your home until it's sold or just during showings? If only during showings, ask for a one-hour minimum advanced notice. Ask your Real Living Lifestyle Advisor what other homesellers have creatively done to pet stage their home. 

If your pet will be home during a showing, be sure it is in a secure location and not greeting buyers at the door. You cannot afford to guess who loves and who is uncomfortable with pets. If the delivery person does not like pets that may well be their problem. When a buyer is uncomfortable, that could become your problem, meaning a lost sale! 

"PET PROPORTIONALITY" 

A smaller dog might not be an issue to buyers touring a potential home when a property is estate- sized. Alternatively, a Great Dane greeting buyers in a relatively much smaller home may deter buyers. Therefore, you should discuss the issue of relative pet and home size with your agent. 

ADVERTISE A PET-FRIENDLY COMMUNITY 

If your neighborhood is likely to attract buyers who have pets, include how pet friendly the neighborhood is, distance to dog parks and trails, as well as pet hospitals and veterinarians. 

 

Want more tips on moving with your pets? Fill out the contact form below and we'll be happy to send more tips on making the process less stressful. 

Feb. 21, 2019

January 2019 Market Snapshot

 

Here is our January market snapshot for some local towns. Active single family inventory remains low in these towns. Hopkinton was the only town with a slight increase in inventory from a month ago. 

Interest rates remain low. Averaging 4.35% for a 30 yr fixed rate mortgage (according to the Wall Street Journal 2/1/2019) 

Punxsutawney Phil did NOT see his shadow, so he is predicting an early spring! 

Will that also mean that the spring real estate market will come early too? Time will tell, but if you’re thinking of selling this spring, it could be here before you know it

 

 

 

Feb. 7, 2019

How to Use Bedroom Design for Better Sleep

 

 

 

 

The bedroom should be the one room in your house that’s always a calming sanctuary. It’s the place where you escape from professional pressure and stress and, sometimes, from personal problems too. We believe in using bedroom design to enhance sleep. That means every element will need to work together to create the ambiance that will help you get a full seven to nine hours of sleep night after night.

1. The Perfect Fireplace

While not all bedrooms are big enough for a fireplace, those that are certainly deserve one. A fireplace brings an element of nature indoors. Nature subconsciously influences your thoughts and feelings. For example, a walk outdoors can reduce activity in the part of the brain responsible for depression. Nature also has a restorative effect on the brain that helps you stay calm and focused.

 

The crackle of a fire, earthy scent of wood, and dry, penetrating heat are about as natural as you can get. A fire also creates a mood that can range from romantic and cozy to warm and inviting, both of which work perfectly in the bedroom.

2. Layout the Big Features

How you arrange the room affects how it and you feel upon entering. A well-balanced symmetrical layout has the most calming effect on the mind. However, the size and shape of your bedroom may require a different approach.

 

Your biggest movable feature will be the bed followed by any other major furniture pieces like a dresser or armoire. Before you can decide on their placement, take a good look at the room as a whole. Where and how big are is it? What’s the overall shape of the room? What other architectural features do you need to plan furniture placement around?

 

Decide on the focal point, which may be the bed itself or it could be a wall of windows or a fireplace. Build your furniture placement around this focal point. If you have an over-sized or rectangular room, do your best to create balance. You may have to place the bed in the center of the room or visually divide the room into halves and balance the bed half of the room with a fireplace, loveseat, or side table and chairs on the other half.

3. Control Both Natural and Artificial Light

In large part, light controls your sleep-wake cycle. Sunlight is absorbed by special photoreceptors in the eyes and travels directly to the portion of the brain that controls sleep. Consequently, sunlight causes sleep hormones to be suppressed. As the sun goes down, sleep hormones are gradually released until at dark, they’re at full power.

 

Sleep-supportive bedroom designs carefully control all light sources. To keep out moonlight and light pollution, you may need blackout curtains, drapes, and/or blinds. Artificial light can affect sleep too. Replace high-efficiency light bulbs, which emit a blue light that suppresses sleep hormones, with incandescent bulbs. Electronic devices like televisions and smartphones can also emit blue light. It’s best to either remove them from the bedroom or keep them covered when it’s time to sleep.

Conclusion

A bedroom is a highly personalized space. No matter what design elements you choose to include, they should inspire and speak to your unique tastes. The right bedroom design will create the perfect home retreat that will allow you to relax and get deep, restful sleep.  

Jan. 28, 2019

Budget-Friendly Ways to Clean and Disinfect Your New Home So It’s Move-In Ready

 

 

So, you’ve just purchased the home of your dreams. Congratulations! Now it’s time to pack up your belongings and start moving in, right? Well, not quite. Before moving into your new home, there are a few things you’ll need to do. One of the most important tasks to complete before moving day is to clean and disinfect your home. That way, it will be ready for you to move in without having to worry about what germs the previous owners left behind. Here are some budget-minded tips to get your new home ready to go.

 

First Things First, Get to Cleaning

 

When it comes to cleaning your new home, you’ll want to clean before your moving day as well as right after you complete the move. You should already have your cleaning supplies purchased and on-site so you don’t have to worry about running out to buy more. Try to keep your belongings packed up until you finish cleaning; it will be much easier to clean everything without the extra clutter.

 

Thoroughly scrub and disinfect every inch of your home prior to unpacking. This includes dusting, cleaning appliances (inside and out), scrubbing toilets, washing baseboards and floors, and thoroughly cleaning your cabinets and counter-tops. In addition to reducing germs and bacteria from the previous owners, a good cleaning will also make the place feel more like home.

 

Reduce Allergens

 

We typically associate allergens with the outdoor environment. While grass, trees, and flower pollen are a huge source of hay fever for many people, indoor allergens can play a role, too. Dust, mold, mildew, and pet dander are common contributors.

 

If you or anyone else in the home are allergic, there are some specific cleaning tips that can help reduce allergens in your new home. First, be sure to regularly vacuum the home rather than sweeping. Brooms distribute dust rather than removing it, while regularly vacuuming twice per week can reduce dust, mites, pet fur, and other allergens. If you don’t have a great vacuum already, read some reviews to find the best one for your household. Then, when you have one picked out, use online deals (Walmart coupons tend to work great) to help keep the cost low.

 

Identify and Remove Indoor Pollutants

 

Determine if there are any hidden indoor pollutants lurking in the air — and take appropriate steps to remove them. To reduce the indoor pollutants in your air, check your home’s exhaust systems, HVAC, and ventilation, this should be done initially during your home inspection, but should be kept up with. If you have a forced air heating/cooling system, make sure that you are constantly monitoring and changing your air filter inside the system. Additionally, air purifiers can help maintain air quality throughout your home or in specific rooms. Retailers such as Target can help you pick out the right one by choosing based on room size (you can find a great tabletop option for around $40).

 

These are just some great, budget-friendly options for getting your new home ready for move-in day. By practicing these cleaning and disinfecting tips on a regular basis, you can keep your home looking tidy and well looked after. That will help your home to be a clean, beautiful place to live for years to come.  

 

For more information on this or any other real estate topic please feel free to reach out in the section below. 

 

Jan. 7, 2019

Which Paint Colors Add Value to Your Home?

 

 

When we think of the color red, we sometimes think anger, wrong, or stop. When we think of the color blue, we imagine the sky or water. The point is, colors evoke specific feelings or thoughts. This sort of idea can be transferred to increasing the value of your home, especially before selling it. There are specific colors that can potentially make your home more valuable simply because they appeal to people’s emotions. Today, we’re going to talk about which paint colors add value to your home and how to use them to the best of your advantage.

 

Beige

If you’re asking “what color should I paint my house” one of the most classic answers is beige. This color is ultimately a classic, and has a tendency to appeal to most people. And, while beige isn’t going down in history as the most exciting color on the wheel, it does have a lot of variations that add a modern yet simple touch to any wall. Because its classic look is so versatile, it adds value to any home.

 

Light blue

Most people feel relaxed when they’re near a body of water, and therefore, the color blue can be a very calming color for most. Because of this, it can also make a home more valuable. Painting rooms, like the kitchen, a shade of blue gives it a calm and clean look that can ultimately lead to a better and quicker sale. Blue front doors, bedrooms, dining rooms, bathrooms, and kitchens have been known to increase overall home value.

 

White

You really can’t go wrong with white or a shade of white. It’s clean, classic, and matches most furniture and flooring. White in rooms like the bedroom, bathroom, and dining room is timeless, and, in the future, if you or the new homeowner wants to repaint, they won’t have to go through the trouble of trying to cover up bold or dark colors that are currently there which can be very appealing to most. Making a home not only attractive, but practical, is one of the best ways to increase the value of your home.

 

What not to paint

We just went over colors that will increase the value of your home, what about colors that don't’? One color that is very “trendy” right now is the color grey. Some greys can add add a dullness to homes, which doesn’t appeal to most. When it comes to repainting before a sale, try going with the colors mentioned above for a fresh and bright look.i


Looking to repaint before a sale? Beiges, blues, and whites are the colors to look into. There is a lot that goes into selling a home, and choosing the right paint colors is just the beginning. Chris Perchard and his team are located in the suburbs of Boston and offer real estate solutions to people in the area. If you’re in need of a real estate agent who will help you choose the best home improvements for your situation to help get you top dollar, we can help. Get in touch with one of our agents today!

Jan. 7, 2019

December Real Estate Market Snapshot

 

 

Here is our December 2018 market snapshot for some local towns. Active single family inventory has dropped in all of these towns significantly since the active inventory from the prior month. 

Interest rates are currently at their lowest levels in approximately 8 months coming in at an average of 4.51% for a 30 yr fixed mortgage (according to the Wall Street Journal)

If rates stay at levels comparable to the spring of 2018, buyer activity and demand should remain strong. However, lack of inventory is playing a role in the lower amount of homes being sold.

As always with our area, outside of Boston, the weather will also play into the buyer AND listing activity the rest of the winter. If the snow stays away, I think we can expect to see an early spring market this year. Either way, as with every year, the buyers looking now are serious and ready to take advantage of the current interest rates, but may be having trouble finding a home that fits their needs and wants.

Stay tuned for our January report to see where the market will start out in 2019!

When entering the real estate market, it’s good to know the numbers. If you don’t see your town and would like a monthly breakdown delivered to you every month, like below, for your town, please message us and we’ll get one right out to you.

 

 

Dec. 13, 2018

Little and Often -- How Small Habits Can Turn Your Home Into a Place of Relaxation

 

As Dr. Susan Krauss Whitbourne points out, living in a cluttered space is bad for your well-being -- but you don’t need scientists to tell you that. You feel it in your gut every time you walk into a messy room. However, changing your home from a chaotic mess to a relaxing sanctuary doesn’t have to be a huge, daunting chore. You can achieve the same result by taking small, regular, consistent actions. Here’s how.

 

Tidy All the Time

 

Keeping your home tidy might not be a military operation, but you still need a strategy. Here’s one that works: don’t have a set day to clean and tidy your whole house; instead, tidy it all the time. Obviously, this doesn’t mean donning your rubber gloves from the moment you get home until the moment you go to bed. You do it piecemeal as you go about your normal business.

 

For example, whenever you leave a room, look for an item that belongs somewhere else, and take it with you. After you wash your hands, tidy the sink area. If you’re waiting for the kettle to boil, give the kitchen surfaces a quick wipe. You can make this easier by keeping cleaning supplies close to where you will use them.

 

Create a Cleaning Routine

 

Housekeeping expert and blogger Becky Rapinchuk, aka Clean Mama, recommends using a cleaning routine where you split your cleaning into seven tasks and do one each day. For example, clean bathrooms on Monday, dust on Tuesday, vacuum on Wednesday, and so on.

 

You can choose one day each week as a “catch-all” day to do jobs that need extra work or things that don’t need to be done weekly, such as decluttering. Decluttering can be a massive undertaking, especially if it’s been a while since you’ve taken the time to sort through your belongings and assess each one’s usefulness to you, so this may need to be an ongoing project that you tackle every other catch-all day. If you don’t have the time to declutter but want to reap the benefits of downsizing your belongings, you may want to think about shuttling your excess junk to a storage unit until you’re ready, which currently only costs an average of $148.77 in Boston.

 

There are two main advantages of this seven-days-of-cleaning routine. Firstly, you’re only doing one job per day, so it’s less daunting and you’re less likely to shirk it. Secondly, if you clean daily, it’s more likely to become habitual.

 

Use Your Junk Drawers Properly

 

Your intentions for your junk drawer started out pure. It was meant as a welcoming refuge for those items without an established place elsewhere -- neglected thumbtacks, unused scissors, forgotten flashlights -- but at some point, it became a true junk drawer, a place to hide things you didn’t want to organize in that moment.

 

When you do this, in effect, you’re saying, “I’ll sort this out later.” This goes against the key strategy of tidying all the time. All you’re doing is creating a big job you’ll have to do later, while making it harder to find the things in the drawer that you actually need to use. Plus, when it gets full, the junk spills into your living spaces.

 

Your were on the right track initially. The junk drawer can be useful, but if it’s filling up with items beyond its purpose, declutter it. You can either do this in 15-minute chunks over a period of time or all in one go -- it’s up to you. But once it’s tidy, keep it that way!

 

Bring in the Pros

 

If you really can’t find the time to clean, tidy, and declutter your house, it might be time to bring in the professionals. Clutter is such a modern problem that you can find professional organizers who will not only tidy and clean your home, but also help you with the decluttering process. The cost of hiring a professional organizer ranges from $50 - $100 and is dependent on what area of the country you live in. If you’re not a huge hoarder, though, a regular cleaner will do, and cleaning services are pretty affordable. In Boston, the average cost to hire a maid service is $277.

 

Little and often is the key philosophy to an organized home. Unless you really like cleaning, you don’t have to waste a precious day off work doing chores. If you stay on top of things, you’ll be able to use that day for something you actually want to do instead. Get started today!



Photo: Pixabay

Dec. 3, 2018

November Real Estate Market Snapshot

Some interesting real estate stats from November. There was a big jump in single family homes that closed in November compared to October in Walpole and Franklin. 

 

Inventory for these towns is down a bit at the beginning of this month compared to last month, but there is still more inventory than in the first 2+ quarters of 2018. Sellers may be starting to take their homes off the market for the rest of 2018. 

 

Buyers are still out seeing homes and making offers.  The buyers looking at this time of year are generally serious buyers that will buy before the spring market, so keeping your home on the market during winter months, if possible, is usually a good idea. 

 

It will be interesting to see where the market in these towns end up at the end of December. 

 

Stay tuned for our December recap and a full 2018 market recap.