Jenny Mendez Isenburg | Boston Real Estate, Brookline Real Estate, Natick Real Estate


Photo by Monkey Business Images via Shutterstock

While homeownership often gets referred to as the American Dream, when you purchase before you are prepared, the consequences can be dire. Here are a few reasons you should buy a home.

  • You feel certain. Buying a house is a huge step. It’s sensible to be cautious when making such a substantial purchase. You’re taking on added responsibility and the ongoing cost of upkeep. But, when you're ready financially, it's an excellent step to take. Ownership can provide a sense of stability and security that sets you up for future financial success.
  • To build future equity. The best thing about owning a house is that it builds equity. Rather than tossing money away on a lease payment every month, you are paying a portion into your home’s value. Later, when you sell your home, some of this value returns to you. Be mindful, though, that housing markets only offer the guarantee of unpredictability; so housing values fluctuate widely over time. Once your home is paid off, you save yourself that monthly outgo — an excellent strategy for retirement.
  • Your employment is secure. If you believe your position is certain and that you’ll stay in your present job — go ahead and buy a home. Having that sure income helps you stay on budget, make your mortgage payments, and build future equity.
  • To access tax breaks. You can deduct a portion of your interest from your income and reduce your tax liability.
  • Stability for your family. Frequent moves and uprooting your family is usually less than desirable. Owning your home in the right school district and neighborhood gives everyone in the household a sense of stability.

Owning a home offers people a level of security. Putting down roots in a location you own can bring stability to you and your family. There’s also the sense of community that homeownership offers.

When you’re ready for the stability and advantages of homeownership, reach out to your real estate professional and begin settling into the perfect community for you and your household.  


Appliances have a certain lifespan of use, and then, unfortunately, they tend to break down one way or another. Depending on the age of the appliance and the amount of the repair cost, you should make an informed decision as to what will be a good for your finances and your home.


So, when the fridge stops producing cold or the dryer stops drying things, you may go into panic mode and try to either buy a new appliance or call a repair person. Before you make a snap judgment, you should take a step back. It’s important to ask the question: 


Is it worth getting this repaired?


If you are able to get an estimate of how much the repairs will cost, this will give you a good place to start. This is the fastest way for you to get the answers that you need. If the life of the appliance is going to only be a few years, you may be better off investing your money in a new appliance. The cost of a repair can run somewhere around 20-30 percent of the cost of replacing the appliance completely.


Understand The Life Expectancy Of Each Appliance


Some appliances are meant to last for a decade, others will last for a shorter period of time. As a general rule of thumb, if your appliance is over 7 years old and breaks down, you should probably replace it rather than repair it. It will be a better investment in the long run. Some typical lifespans for appliances are:


  • Dishwasher 9 years
  • Freezer 13 years
  • Range 15 years
  • Dryer 13 years
  • Washing Machine 10 years


Before you replace your broken appliance, there are a few things you should understand. First, sometimes, it really isn’t broken. A plug could be loose or a circuit could have tripped. You would hate to spend the money on a new appliance rather than deal with a simple problem. Troubleshoot the problem yourself by taking a peek at the owner’s manual first.              


Pricing Appliances 


Once you have repair estimates, you should find out how much it will be to replace your appliance completely with a similar model. Make sure that you factor in things like the removal of the old appliance, the taxes, and the installation. By running the numbers, you’ll know if you can afford a new appliance or not compared to the repair costs. 


New Features


If you have been dreaming of a refrigerator with an ice maker, it may be a good decision for you to spring for a new model. If you love the features you have, you’ll want to either price similar units or do the repairs. Really, your budget and needs very much dictate your decision for new appliances. Consider the options and make the repair or replacement call based on your needs.


Believe it or not, the process of buying a home can become long and complicated. And if you're not careful, you may encounter many hurdles that prevent you from acquiring your dream residence.

Lucky for you, we're here to teach you about the ins and outs of buying a house and help you simplify the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

Now, let's take a look at three common misconceptions associated with buying a home.

1. You will be able to acquire a house in a matter of days.

The process of locating your dream home is unlikely to happen overnight. Instead, a homebuyer usually will need to perform extensive housing market research to discover a residence that meets or exceeds his or her expectations.

Typically, a homebuyer will look at several houses before he or she can find the right residence. This homebuyer then will need to submit an offer on a house. And if a home seller accepts the homebuyer's proposal, a home inspection will need to be completed before a home purchase is finalized.

It is important to set realistic expectations for your home search. In most instances, it may take a few weeks or months to find your perfect residence. But with a diligent approach to your home search, you'll be able to discover a house that can serve you well for years to come.

2. You will be able to buy a home for less than a property's initial asking price.

Understanding the differences between a buyer's market and a seller's market is essential for a homebuyer.

In a buyer's market, many high-quality residences are available. This market usually favors homebuyers, and in many instances, enables property buyers to secure great houses at budget-friendly prices.

On the other hand, a seller's market features a shortage of first-rate properties. As a result, this market favors home sellers, and many homebuyers may compete with one another to secure the best houses.

Regardless of whether you're operating in a buyer's or seller's market, it is paramount to avoid the temptation to submit a "lowball" offer on a residence. By doing so, a homebuyer can minimize the risk of missing out on an opportunity to acquire his or her perfect residence.

3. You can find your dream home without help from a real estate agent.

When it comes to buying a house, the early bird catches the worm. Therefore, an informed, persistent homebuyer is more likely than others to locate a terrific home at an affordable price.

Ultimately, working with a real estate agent is ideal. With a real estate agent at your side, you can receive expert assistance throughout the homebuying journey.

A real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you up to date about new houses as they become available and much more. He or she also will respond to your homebuying questions and ensure you can acquire a stellar home in no time at all.

Take the guesswork out of buying a house – collaborate with a real estate agent, and you can make your homeownership dreams come true.



 Photo by Gregory Butler via Pixabay

A bathroom renovation can feel like a murky undertaking for homeowners, especially if the room could use multiple upgrades. Questions of where to start and how much to spend are so overwhelming that it may seem easier to skip the whole process. If you want to start somewhere though, experts agree that painting is a safe bet. Here are just a few reasons why painting can transform one of the most valuable rooms in the home. 

A High ROI  

Paint is one of the least expensive ways to smooth out the flaws on the wall and change the look of any room. It costs as little as $100 to paint an average bathroom, and this includes the primer and labor. Considering the ROI of paint can easily go over 100%, it's one of the most profitable home improvement projects to take on. Taking the time to paint a bathroom also sends a message to future buyers that your home was loved and maintained. 

A New Attitude 

The bathroom isn't just a functional room in a home, it can be transformed into a little slice of luxury with a little help. Starting with a calming color, such as a soft gray or light green, can instantly help residents feel more relaxed. Earthy tones like taupe can help the room look more modern, while warming colors like cream can instantly roll out the welcome wagon. The right color (or colors) for you will depend on everything from the style of the home to the ways in which the bathroom is used. For example, a master bathroom may have a very different attitude than a guest bathroom. 

Protects and Refreshes 

The interior paint of a home will eventually start to lose its protective qualities over time. Considering it can make a difference in the case of water damage, repainting is more than just an aesthetic upgrade to the bathroom. Semi-gloss finished paints are made to resist mold and mildew, plus they're relatively easy to clean. The right paint can keep out everything from dust to allergens while keeping the plaster from deteriorating underneath. As you paint, remember you're taking a practical step that can stave off higher cost repairs. 

Painting a bathroom is a great way to assert your creative style over a room, and the action may just inspire you to do even more. No matter how you're looking to fix up your property, painting can help both the exterior and interior. From the garage to the basement, it's an easy way to give everything a quick (and effective) spruce. 

 


When you’re looking to sell your home for a great price, there are a few things that you can do to give the sale an edge. All of the ideas you’ll find below are inexpensive yet effective for sprucing your home up fast.


Hide And Brighten What You Can


Do you have an old, lumpy sofa, an old, unsightly lamp, or a scratch on the wall? You can easily cover these things up without making any major changes. Use a slip cover, some touch-up paint, or even new bedding to help brighten any room or furnishing. You could even consider adding new window treatments or additional lighting to assist in giving your home a refreshed look. As a rule of thumb: If it looks old and you can’t remember when you last replaced the item, you should probably replace it.    



Use Paint Strategically


With the right paint, you can accentuate or downplay the features of a room including fireplaces and windows. Portions of the room that would otherwise be lost can be highlighted with the right use of color. 


Make The Room Seem Larger


Do you have low ceilings or small rooms? You can make the room seem larger just by making use of vertical lines or using the higher spaces in the rooms of your home. Easily mount shelves on your walls in order to store things to give the room the illusion of having more space.


Deep Clean


Your home can look like a new place when you take the time to deep clean the area. Don’t miss out on any part of any room. Use a little elbow grease and pay attention to neglected areas like the pantry, laundry room, and refrigerator. Get rid of any odors in the home. Potential buyers will definitely notice if things don’t smell right upon entering the house. You can use natural cleaners made of baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice in order to freshen up everything from rugs to toilets. This stage of the makeover process may take you some time, but it’s definitely worth it. 


Don’t Forget The Little Touches


Adding in little things before an open house can also make a big difference. Put some fresh flowers on the table. Light some candles. Fluff the pillows. Take the time to remove unnecessary items from the counters and tables as well. The less cluttered the home looks, the better. Buyers like open spaces, but they also like to be able to see themselves in the space and you can help them to do just that.