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Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri & Al Mussi on 10/17/2017

Home renovations can make you fall in love with a house that you had spent years struggling to feel comfortable in. Another thing that home renovations can do is raise your house's value. But, you have to make the right home renovations,popular upgrades.

Check out these popular home renovations

Because popular home upgrades are often trendy, they may change every several years. Unless you have deep pockets, you may want to focus on upgrades that you and potential home buyers will appreciate for at least a decade or longer. Here are popular house renovations that offer benefits like more living space, better comfort, improved style and greater functionality:

  • Upgraded bathroom - You don't have to knock out walls and redo the entire bathroom. A great bathroom upgrade can be as simple as installing stylish, metal bathroom faucets or replacing bathroom counters with fashionable granite counters. You could also replace your bath tub, installing a classic marble tub or a standalone metal tub.
  • Kitchen counters - People love granite kitchen counters and unique back splashes. Another item that people appreciate is a kitchen island that's topped with a granite counter. These renovations add more space and personality to your kitchen.
  • Finished basement - Little upgrades add more sleeping, living or entertaining space to your house like a finished basement. Go as far as adding a bathroom and small kitchen to your finished basement and you could rent the space out as a small apartment.
  • Covered parking space - By adding cover to your current driveway, you'll enjoy added protection for your vehicles. The cover protects vehicles against hot summer's rays, hail, snow and hard rains.
  • Extra bedroom - Look to your attic, basement or den when you start thinking about adding a bedroom to your house. Use this space as a short or long term living space for guests.
  • Enclosed porch - Turn your front porch into a fascinating outdoor living space.
  • Customized bookcase - This is a popular apartment amenity. Add a customized bookcase to your living room, bedroom or home library. Fill shelves with family portraits, fresh or silk flowers, awards and artwork.

Home renovations do more than improve your living conditions

The right home renovations can shift your opinion of your house from disapproving to very satisfied. Make popular home renovations and you could shift opinions that home buyers have of your house too. If you've been struggling to sell your house and get it off the real estate market, one or more renovations may be in order.

Just make sure that you pay for renovations that lots of people love. Stylish bathroom tiles, fancy kitchen back splashes and newly installed living and dining room bay windows get a lot of appreciation. Other home renovations like roof solar panels empower your house with trendy style.

This type of popular home upgrade is also environmentally friendly. On top of that, it lowers utility costs for homeowners. It's just one reason why popular home renovations offer more than one benefit. It's why popular home upgrades pay for themselves over the short and the long term.




Tags: home renovations  
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Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri & Al Mussi on 10/10/2017

You may be in the market to buy a vacation home in the near future. Getting ready to purchase a second home can be a big decision and a big financial commitment. Aside from a good investment, buying a vacation home brings enjoyment to you and your family. To help you make a good decision on when and where to buy your vacation home, read on. 


Itís All About Location


You need ton know why you want to buy a second home. Do you spend a lot of time in one specific area? Do you want to explore one particular place a bit more on a frequent basis? The reason behind why you purchase a home for vacation purposes will fuel your decision on location. If youíre looking for a simple getaway with your family several times a year, the answer may be different than if you want to have a rental property. Choose a location that has varied seasons. You donít want the prime time for use of the property to be the same as when youíd like to be on the property with your family.   


Donít Purchase On A Whim


While it can be tempting to search for homes while youíre on a getaway, you should rent several times before you make the decision to buy in a particular place. Vacations can give buyers this sense of awe that could quickly fade. You donít want your decision to be fueled by emotion. You need to be certain that youíll actually enjoy an area for the long term. 


Shopping for a vacation home is quite similar to shopping for your main house. You want to know youíre in a good area and that youíll enjoy the house or the long haul. Itís tough to do that if you donít have a basic understanding or appreciation of the area.  


How Often Will You Use The House, Really?


You need to be realistic about how often youíll actually use your vacation house. It may not be worth it to buy in an area that will only be used one week out of the year. If you know youíll be able to use the space all of the time, then go for buying a home in the location of your dreams. If, however, youíre unsure of how often youíll be able to get to the house you might want to think twice. You could do just as well finding a spot that you can use as a reliable rental when you want it. Donít forget that buying a second home means having a second home to maintain. Not everyone is up for that challenge.           





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Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri & Al Mussi on 10/3/2017

Your home's exterior will be the first thing any prospective homebuyer sees when he or she visits your house. As such, you'll want to do everything possible to help your home's exterior stand out for all the right reasons. Cracking or fading paint throughout your home's exterior can be problematic, especially for those who want to sell their residences as quickly as possible. Fortunately, painting your home's exterior remains a viable option -- all you'll need to do is find the right color to help your residence impress prospective homebuyers consistently. For those who want to revamp their home's exterior, there are many factors to consider when choosing a new color, including: 1. Your neighbors' homes If you decide to paint your home a bright or dark color, how will this make your home look in relation to the rest of the houses in your neighborhood? Take a walk around the neighborhood to see if you can find a common color palette before you paint your home's exterior. This enables you to consider how your house will look relative to others in your neighborhood prior to painting. If you notice your neighbors' homes include a mix of light or dark colors, you may want to stay within the same palette. However, try to avoid using the same color as your neighbors' homes Ė because no homebuyers want to live in a neighborhood filled with cookie-cutter houses that look identical. 2. Your home's style Do some research to find out what type of home you currently own and how similar residences have been painted in the past. This will allow you to discover a color scheme that matches the style of your home, and ultimately, may help your residence generate interest from homebuyers. For example, a Victorian-style home may feature distinct features that you should try to showcase using a bright color. On the other hand, a stuccoed Spanish colonial-style residence may appear distinguished if you utilize a neutral color. Devote the time and resources to learn about the style of your home, and you should have no trouble finding the right color for your residence's exterior. 3. Your home's current color What did you think of your home's exterior when you initially bought your home? The exterior color may have been one of the standout features that drew you to your house, and restoring your residence's original color may help you transform your home into a must-buy. When it comes to painting your home's exterior, your best choice may be to leverage the same color. This may help you speed up the process of improving your home's appearance, as you won't need to evaluate numerous color options for your house's exterior. Painting your residence's exterior is a must for those who want to enhance their home's appearance and value. A new paint job enables you to boost your house's curb appeal as well Ė something that is exceedingly important for home sellers in a highly competitive real estate market. Work toward revamping your house's exterior today, and you'll be able to improve your chances of selling your residence.





Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri & Al Mussi on 9/26/2017

Believe it or not, getting pre-approved for a mortgage can be quick and simple, even for a first-time homebuyer. In fact, here are three tips to help a first-time homebuyer streamline the process of receiving pre-approval for a mortgage:

1. Meet with Several Lenders

Many mortgage lenders are available in cities and towns nationwide. Meanwhile, these mortgage experts are happy to teach first-time homebuyers about assorted mortgage options and help them get pre-approved for a mortgage.

Set up face-to-face meetings with various lenders in your area. That way, a first-time homebuyer can gain unparalleled insights into a wide range of mortgage options.

In addition, don't hesitate to ask questions during meetings with banks and credit unions. Mortgage lenders possess comprehensive mortgage expertise, and as such, a first-time homebuyer can rely on these mortgage professionals to receive the support that he or she needs to make an informed decision.

2. Understand Your Credit Score

Do you know your credit score? Ultimately, a first-time homebuyer's credit score may dictate his or her ability to obtain the ideal mortgage.

An individual can request a free copy of his or her credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) once a year. This report may prove to be exceedingly valuable, as it can help a homebuyer identify opportunities to improve his or her credit score before a mortgage application is submitted.

Also, if you identify errors in your credit report, it is paramount to contact the agency that provided the report immediately. This will allow you to correct any potential errors quickly and ensure that they won't affect your ability to get the best possible mortgage.

3. Consider Your Homebuying Budget

A first-time homebuyer may have lofty expectations prior to entering the real estate market. However, this individual should consider his or her finances before submitting a mortgage application.

With a budget in hand, a homebuyer can establish realistic expectations as he or she tries to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Plus, this homebuyer may be better equipped than others to obtain pre-approval for a mortgage and accelerate his or her search for the perfect residence.

Lastly, it may be worthwhile for a first-time homebuyer to meet with a real estate agent to learn more about assorted mortgage options.

A real estate agent understands the challenges associated with purchasing a house for the first time. As a result, this housing market professional can teach a homebuyer about all aspects of the property buying journey and help this buyer plan accordingly.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can set up home showings, keep a homebuyer up to date about new residences as they become available and negotiate with a home seller on a buyer's behalf. This housing market professional will even provide honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations to make it easy for a property buyer to acquire a top-notch residence at a budget-friendly price.

Move one step closer to purchasing your dream house Ė use the aforementioned tips, and a first-time homebuyer can speed up the process of getting pre-approved for a mortgage.




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Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri & Al Mussi on 9/19/2017

Life amongst the trees can be beneficial. You get plenty of shade, ample privacy, and can use some of the wood for heating, cooking, or camp fires with the kids. However, living in the woods can also present a few challenges that many arenít prepared for when purchasing a home in a heavily wooded area.

In this article, weíre going to give you some advice on how to survive and thrive on a heavily wooded plot of land so that you can make the most of the trees youíll grow to love.

Branch management

While all of those trees in your yard may be beautiful, they can be dangerous to you, your home, and your vehicles if youíre not careful. Storms, especially in colder climates where ice is likely to form, can bring down large branches and cause a lot of damage.

They can also be a minor annoyance when you have to move branches before you back out of your driveway in the morning.

The best way to avoid potential danger is to take inventory of the branches that are within striking distance of your home, garage, vehicles, and driveway. Healthy branches on younger trees might not pose a hazard. But, if you notice dying or large, heavy branches that could fall somewhere dangerous, it might be better to remove them now than pay for the damage they cause later.

This brings us to one of the most important tools you can have living in the woods: a chainsaw.

Since you have a wooded property, itís most likely best to buy a gas-powered or battery-powered chainsaw to avoid having to use several extension cords throughout the woods.

When it comes to the high sitting branches, you can buy a pole saw in the $150 range that will handle small branches.

One of the benefits of cleaning out some trees is that you get free fuel for your fireplace (if you have one). However, youíll need a dry place to season your wood before you burn it. Ideally, wait at least a year for your wood to dry out before using it in your wood stove.

Embracing nature -- the good and the bad

To get the most out of your tree-covered yard, youíll have to learn to accept some of the things that come with it. If youíre the type of person who picks up every stick on their lawn, youíll come to realize that itís best just to pick them up before you mow.

When it comes to mosquitos and other insects, youíll learn the times when they come out to feed and learn to avoid exposure at those times. However, when you live in the woods, bugs and critters are a part of life. So, it helps to learn about them. You might find that the spiders you hate help keep your home free of other undesirable insects.

When you get fed up with the sticks you have to pick up and the insects you have to avoid, just remember that you have privacy from passersby, that itís more calm and quiet from the trees blocking the sounds of the road, and that the shade will give you a cool place to sit outside and save you some on your air conditioning bill in the summer.




Tags: Trees   woods   wooded lot  
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