Yvonne McNamara
SUCCESS! Real Estate | 508-858-8044 | ur@homewithyvonne.com


Posted by Yvonne McNamara on 2/18/2018

There are a lot of factors that can cause one house to sell quickly, while others in the neighborhood languish on the market for months.

In many cases, homes are scooped up because of a desirable location, a great school district, or irresistible curb appeal.

While all buyers have their priority items and wish lists in mind when shopping for a new home, final decisions are often based on psychological factors, emotions, and gut feelings -- not just cold, hard facts!

If you're getting ready to put your house on the market, here are a few strategies for improving your chances of making a fast sale:

Good feelings help sell houses. Prospective buyers are going to be drawn to your house if it looks impeccable from the street and well cared-for on the inside. When your home conveys a sense of pride in ownership and attention to detail, it sends a positive psychological message to house hunters. Very often, the power of suggestion can work in your favor when you're trying to make a favorable impression on potential buyers. Displaying fresh flowers, an appetizing bowl of fruit, or even table settings in your dining room or kitchen can help create a more inviting, appealing atmosphere. The right furniture arrangements can conjure up images of family gatherings, intimate conversations, or relaxing afternoons on the backyard deck.

Clutter creates discomfort. If you notice visitors side-stepping past your furniture or walking through your home as if they're navigating a maze, that's a sure sign your house is cluttered. Too much furniture or furniture that's too large and bulky for the space it occupies will make your rooms look and feel cramped. Creating a feeling of spaciousness and openness, on the other hand, helps bring out the best in all areas of your home.

Small touches make a difference. Displaying vases of fresh-cut flowers, an appetizing bowl of fruit in the kitchen, or colorful, new towels in the bathroom can help enhance the ambiance of your home. When conditions permit, the smell of fresh muffins, bread baking, or coffee brewing can infuse your home with a comforting and inviting fragrance. A house that looks and smells clean will also help create a positive multi-sensory experience for your visitors.

The right price can clinch the deal. Ideally, the price of your home should be based on comparable properties in your neighborhood and what they recently sold for. If your home is not in the same ball park, you could easily scare away qualified buyers who would otherwise be ready to make an offer. Working with a real estate agent can help ensure that you're house is competitively priced and that it doesn't linger on the market longer than necessary. Once you get caught in that cycle, the perceived value of your home and it's overall desirability can begin a downward slide. Take steps to prevent that from happening by having a comparative analysis done.





Posted by Yvonne McNamara on 2/11/2018

Shopping for a home is an exciting time for any hopeful homeowner. After weeks of scouring listings looking for the perfect home in the ideal location for you and your family, it can seem like youíve found the needle in the haystack.

When itís time to go visit that home, itís easy to put on rose-colored lenses and overlook issues that should, at the very least, be taken into consideration when it comes to deciding whether or not you should make a bid on the home and how much you should offer.

Todayís post is all about preparing you for that first viewing. Weíll give you tips on what to look out for and how to factor these things into your equation when it comes to making an offer.

Check the listing for omissions

Even if a home looks perfect on paper (or on its website listing), itís still quite likely that there are things youíll want to know about before considering an offer. A home listing should attempt to address several questions you might have. But ultimately, itís main goal is to attract interest in the home.

So, what type of things should be in the listing that the seller might leave out?

  • Poor street conditions, heavy traffic, and blind driveways are all things that will factor into your decision but most likely wonít be mentioned in a listing

  • Odors of any kind can be off-putting and difficult to remove. Some homeowners may not even know that their home has an offensive odor if theyíve become used to it.

  • Room omissions. If the home is listed as having two bathrooms but there are only photos of one, this could be a sign that there are problems with the second bathroom that the seller doesnít want you to see quite yet.

Top dollar home repairs

A professional home inspection will be able to give you an idea of the kind of money youíll need to spend on renovations in the coming years. But why wait? When touring a home, ask questions about the last time important renovations and repairs were made.

Roofs, septic systems, and electrical work are just a few of the things that are expensive to repair or replace. If the previous homeowner has a small family or lives alone and you plan on moving in with a houseful of kids, you might find that your impact on the septic and electrical systems of the home are too much for the house to handle. Youíll want to take this into account before considering a bid on the home.

Utility costs

The cost of heating a home in the winter and keeping it cool in the summer can be hefty if the home isnít properly sealed and weatherproofed. Ask the current homeowner what they spend per month on utilities to get an idea of what you might be spending.

Then, take a look at the windows and doors. Cracks, malfunctioning locks, and worn weatherstripping are all signs that the home will need some work to be energy-efficient.

Donít ignore the little things

Small fixes may not seem like a big deal when viewing a home. They can even deceive you into thinking that youíre getting a good deal by buying a fixer-upper for a price thatís lower than the market average.

However, itís important to keep in mind that small fixes around the house are a sign that bigger problems are also being neglected. Donít be too quick to assume the house will be a good deal before getting it professionally inspected.




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Posted by Yvonne McNamara on 2/4/2018

One recurring problem all parents deal with -- especially on weekends and school breaks -- is keeping their children entertained and engaged. (Sound familiar?)

While you can sometimes take your kids and their friends bowling, to the movies, or roller skating, those type of activities are only short-term fixes. Once you've expended all the possibilities, you're back to square one! The ideal scenario is to be able to fill in some of those gaps with fun, recreational activities at home.

If you have a finished basement or are talking about renovating an unfinished area, then that part of the house can provide the space for a dedicated rec room. The cost of finishing a basement can be expensive -- with estimates ranging from $10,000 to around $35,000. The final cost would depend on factors like the square footage of your basement, contractor pricing, materials used, and whether you're willing or able to do any of the work yourself. For growing families with active children, remodeling a basement or buying a house that already has a finished basement could prove to be a priceless resource for years to come!

Setting Up a Game Room

Outfitting a rec room with items like game tables is an additional expense that could have an impact on your budget. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to keep a lid on those costs. One idea would be to spread out those purchases over a period of time. For example, one year you could buy a billiards table; the next year, you could add a ping-pong table, air hockey game, or a foosball table to the room. Many of these items also make excellent birthday or holiday gifts for the kids, so you can potentially include those purchases in your gift-buying budget. With a little online price comparison, you'll also discover that you don't have to pay top dollar for any of those game tables. It's rarely necessary to get the "deluxe" version of a pool table, air hockey game, or foosball table, and there's a wide range of sizes and prices available -- both online and off. You may also stumble upon opportunities to buy used versions of those popular rec room games, and save a lot of money in the process.

Two inexpensive ways to expand the range of activities available in your recreation room (and keep your kids happy) is to stock up on board games and age-appropriate craft supplies. A television with a DVD player, popular channels, and video games is also sure to provide hours of entertainment on rainy days, school holidays, and unstructured weekends. Finished basements can also be a great place to host children's birthday parties, sleepovers, and club meetings. A TV in the basement can also help maintain family harmony. When the grownups want to watch one program and the kids want to watch something entirely different, you don't have to draw straws or pull rank!





Posted by Yvonne McNamara on 1/28/2018

If you need to relocate from one address to another, it usually pays to plan an early-morning move. In fact, there are many reasons to consider an early-morning move, such as:

1. You can beat the heat.

No one wants to deal with extreme heat on moving day. However, the weather sometimes can be unpredictable, and hot temperatures may force you to rethink your moving day plans if you're not careful.

One of the best ways to beat the heat on moving day is to schedule an early-morning move. That way, you can pack all of your belongings into a moving truck and begin your journey to your new address before the hottest points of a given day.

Typically, the sun reaches its pinnacle in the mid-afternoon, i.e. the period when you'll likely encounter the highest temperatures during the day. But if you complete the majority of your move before this period, you can limit the risk that excess heat will slow you down.

2. You can avoid heavy traffic.

Ideally, you'd like to take all of your belongings to your new address as quickly as possible. Yet heavy traffic may add several hours to your moving day travel.

An early-morning move offers a great opportunity to avoid heavy traffic. For instance, if you pack a moving truck early in the morning, you may be ready to drive to your new home by late-morning or early-afternoon. Thus, you can avoid the heavy traffic associated with people traveling to work in the morning, along with the traffic associated with people heading home from work at the end of the afternoon.

3. You can finish your move earlier in the day.

Remember, the earlier that you begin your move, the sooner you can finish. If you kick off an early-morning relocation, you can complete your move earlier in the day and immediately start to get settled into your new address.

If you need help planning for an early-morning move, there is no need to worry. Many moving companies are available nationwide to help you alleviate stress prior to moving day.

A moving company employs highly trained specialists who can help you take the guesswork out of getting ready for moving day. This business also offers expert moving day recommendations and suggestions and will ensure that all of your big and small items can reach your final destination without delay.

In addition, if you're unsure about where to find a moving company, you can always consult with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you buy or sell a home, as well as connect you with the top moving companies in your area. By doing so, a real estate agent will guarantee that you can get the moving day support that you need, precisely when you need it.

For those who are preparing for moving day, it may be worthwhile to consider an early-morning move. If you start mapping out an early-morning move today, you can increase the likelihood of a fast, seamless moving day experience.





Posted by Yvonne McNamara on 1/21/2018

Cleaning your home can always seem like an ever daunting task, but it truly doesnít have to be. If you spend the time to keep up with your home in small chunks and keep your cleaning routine organized, cleaning can be a breeze. Take a peek at the tips laid out below to discover how to make cleaning an easy task around your home. 


Keep All The Tools You Need In One Place


Itís a good idea to keep everything that youíll need to clean your home within one place. Use a bucket or caddy to help you tote your essentials around the house. This way, it will be easier to bring your cleaning supplies with you from room to room. You could even keep a cleaning tote on each level of your home for an even smoother cleaning process. 


Skip The Small Stuff

If you take out time during every cleaning to dust small collections and care for them, youíre wasting your time. Small knick-knacks and other hidden details of the home can stand to be dusted about once a month. 


Have A Storage System


Itís much easier to clean your house if you have a storage system. Having an organizational system in place means that everything has a place. Be sure you have shelving, cubbies, racks, and everything else youíll need to help your family put everything away as they use it. Keeping things neat and organized is half the battle when it comes to keeping your home clean.     


Use Your Vacuum Wisely


You have a vacuum to make cleaning easier, so use it! Get an extension cord to make every area of the house easy to reach. Although a broom or dust mop can sometimes be helpful in the cleaning process, a vacuum makes it much easier to get every piece of dirt and dust up off of the floors.  


Have A Plan


Beginning to clean your home without any rhyme or reason can be a recipe for disaster. If you only have time to do one room on one day, keep your cleaning schedule short but consistent. This way, the entire house will get done, but you wonít be overwhelmed. Focusing on one room at a time can help you to make your home shine. 


Use The Cleaning Supplies That Will Be A Help To You


There are many more things you can use in your home than conventional cleaning supplies. Use whatever works for you. Everything from vinegar to toothbrushes is fair game to use for your cleaning supplies.      








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