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


Posted by Yvonne McNamara on 9/23/2018

Being a homeowner can be a bit overwhelming at times. It can easily become difficult to juggle your homeowner responsibilities with your family and work obligations while still taking time for yourself to relax. It's a problem made even more difficult when you don't plan ahead for things like home maintenance. Aside from keeping your home in good condition, some maintenance issues are also safety issues, making them all the more important to find time to tend to. So how can you make time to complete maintenance tasks and ensure you don't forget about them? In this article, we'll help you make a maintenance calendar that will help you hold yourself accountable to keep your home safe and in good condition.  

What should be on your calendar?

Each home is unique and will require different types of maintenance. But in general, most homes share characteristics that can be applied to your situation. We'll break up maintenance into two categories: safety and upkeep. Safety For the well-being of you and your family, be sure to add these items to your list:
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors checked (monthly)
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide batteries changed (every 6 months)
  • Fire extinguisher checked (every 12 months)
  • Test door and window locks (every 12 months)
Upkeep Many items in your home will stop working properly if you don't practice good maintenance. Some of the most important items to practice maintenance on are:
  • Inspect your HVAC filters (every 3 months)
  • Clean the drains of your sinks and shower (every month)
  • Test seldom used objects like spare bathroom sinks and toilets (every 2 months)
  • Clean refrigerator coils and vent (every 6 months)
  • Replace water filters in refrigerator, sink, etc. (every 6 months)
  • Clean your gutters and drainage system (every 12 months)
  • Repair ripped window and door screens (every 12 months)

Seasonal maintenance

If you live in an area that has significant climate changes throughout the seasons, then there are an whole host of maintenance tasks required to prepare for the change of weather. Some common tasks include:
  • Turning off outdoor water to avoid frozen pipes
  • Replacing door screens with glass
  • Cleaning, installing, and uninstalling air conditioners
  • Sealing or repaving walkways and driveways
  • Cleaning chimneys
  • Dusting off heaters
  • Inspecting your roof shingles

Creating your calendar

Now that you know what to put in your calendar, its time to decide how you're going to make it. If you carry your smartphone with you everywhere and check it constantly, it might be a good idea to use a good calendar app, preferably one that syncs with your other calendars (work, Facebook, etc.). Google Calendar allows you to categorize calendar events by colors, sync between accounts, and invite others to events (such as when you need your family's help with something on your list). If you're not big on technology, you could always keep a calendar attached to your refrigerator or in a frequented spot in the house that you and your family will remember to check often. Whichever method you choose, the important thing is to find one that works for you so that you don't forget these important items to keep your house, home, and family safe.    




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Yvonne McNamara on 9/16/2018

The home selling journey may include many ups and downs, particularly for a seller who fails to plan ahead. Fortunately, we're here to help you set realistic expectations for the home selling journey so you can achieve the optimal results.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you establish realistic expectations for the home selling journey.

1. Know Your Home

Your home's condition may have deteriorated over time. Therefore, the value of your house today is unlikely to match what you initially paid for your home.

To understand the current valuation of your house, you may want to perform a home appraisal. This will enable you to receive a property valuation from an expert home appraiser. Then, you can use this valuation to establish a competitive price for your residence.

2. Conduct a Home Inspection

Although you may have performed a wide range of home upgrades over the years, underlying house problems may persist. Thankfully, a home inspection makes it easy to learn about myriad home problems before you add your house to the real estate market.

During a home inspection, a property expert will examine your residence both inside and out. Following the inspection, you'll receive an inspection report with detailed findings about the condition of your house.

Examine the results on a home inspection report closely – you'll be glad you did. If you analyze the inspection results, you may be able to discover innovative ways to enhance your residence. And if you perform property improvements, you may be able to boost your house's value and increase the likelihood of a fast, profitable home sale.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you're unsure about how to kick off the home selling journey, there is no need to stress. In fact, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide who are happy to provide comprehensive insights into all aspects of selling a house.

A real estate agent can teach you about the ins and outs of the housing market. By doing so, a real estate agent will help you understand how to price your home and promote it to the right groups of buyers.

Moreover, a real estate agent will deliver in-depth support at each stage of the home selling journey. He or she will set up home showings and open house events, negotiate with a buyer's agent on your behalf and help you review offers on your house. And if you ever have concerns or questions about selling your home, a real estate agent is available to respond to them right away.

Working with a real estate agent can help you transform an ordinary home selling experience into an exceptional one. Perhaps most important, a real estate agent can offer honest, unbiased recommendations to ensure you can maintain realistic expectations throughout the home selling journey. And as such, a real estate agent can help you quickly and effortlessly accomplish your desired home selling results.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Yvonne McNamara on 9/9/2018

With school loans at an all-time high, and growing for each passing generation, many homeowners are ready to shoulder off any and all debt as quickly as possible. If you’re in this camp and looking to aggressively pay down debt there are a few options available when it comes to paying your mortgage off.

Seller concessions.

Also known as seller contributions, are where the seller agrees to pay a portion of the closing fees for the buyer. This can include title insurance, inspection fees, and processing fees. If the seller is looking to sell the house quickly they may consider agreeing to seller concessions.

Government options for loans.

Energy-efficient Mortgage (EEM) was created to help homeowners renovate to add environmentally friendly features to their home. So if you’re looking to install double-pane windows or update insulation this could be the loan for you.

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans offer lower closing costs, smaller down payments, and a fair interest rate.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans can be applied to homes in rural areas, regardless of if they are a part of a farm. You may qualify to apply for zero down payment and loan payments will be at a fixed rate.     

There are also many local programs offered at the state and city level. A quick Google search for loan options for your area should set you in the right direction!

Plan to Refinance

Down the road, you can refinance for a fifteen year home loan instead of thirty. You’ll pay off your loan in roughly half the time and save money on payments towards interest.

Throw It Everything You’ve Got

You’ll want to check with your lending company first as some have penalties for payments outside of the loan terms. However, if possible, making an extra payment either regularly or time to time will help cut down the overall time it takes to pay off your loan.

For example, you can make one extra mortgage payment each year or tighten up your day to day budget and apply what your savings towards your loan. Many homeowners get creative and take on side gigs to create the extra cash necessary to make additional payments.

If you don’t have that room to flex you can also always apply any bonuses, tax refunds or windfalls that come your way. This also makes a bigger impact when paired with regularly scheduled extra payments.

Aggressive debt payoff strategies aren’t for everyone. And that’s okay! However, if you’re looking to live a debt free life and enjoy your home knowing it’s been paid in total these tactics are for you. With some strategy and creativity, you can find plenty of ways to make the process go quickly and smoothly.





Posted by Yvonne McNamara on 9/2/2018

In today's real estate market, hardwood floors are a highly desired feature in a house. Potential buyers are often turned off by homes with carpeted floors because it's almost impossible to keep them clean. Time is not on your side when it comes to maintaining nice-looking carpeted floors!

No matter how careful you are, sooner or later someone's going to knock over a glass of grape juice or wine -- and that's only the short list of accidents waiting to happen! While dogs and cats can be a wonderful addition to any family, they are not a friend of floors -- either carpeted or hardwood.

In theory, hardwood floors are easier to clean than carpeting because of the absorbency factor. If your carpeting hasn't been treated with a stain-resistant chemical, it will quickly absorb stains, spills, and pet accidents faster than you can clean them up! Although the latest carpeting materials are much more stain resistant than earlier versions, spills that are not noticed and cleaned up quickly may cause permanent damage.

Spills, water, and pet urine can also wreak havoc on hardwood floors, so a quick response is essential to preventing damage. Here are a few other tips for keeping your floors looking clean and beautiful.

  • Door mats can be helpful in minimizing the amount of dirt and grit that gets tracked into your home. What homeowners and even housekeepers sometimes forget is that door mats need to be shaken out on a regular basis. If they're not, dirt, soil, and other debris will accumulate on the mats, causing them to create more of a problem than a solution! Door mats need to be replaced periodically, too, when they become too worn down or wet to be of any use.
  • Shoe removal: This is a difficult policy to enforce, but it will make house cleaning and floor maintenance easier and more effective. Whether you're talking about carpeting or hardwood floors, shoes are invariably going to track in dirt, grime, water, mud, and other miscellaneous contaminants!
  • The right cleaning methods: Although it's always a good idea to follow manufacturer recommendations when cleaning any type of flooring, hardwood floors often need to be treated with more care than their carpeted counterparts. Since there are a lot of ways to scratch, dent, or gouge hardwood floor surfaces, it's crucial to avoid trying to scrub away spills or stains with any abrasive material. To remove potentially damaging grit, floors should be regularly cleaned with a soft dust mop or broom with soft bristles. Ideally, your vacuum cleaner should also be padded on the bottom to avoid scratching the finish of your wood floors.
While any kind of flooring can be subject to wear and tear over time, the good news is that you can take preventative steps to protect your floors and keep them looking great for many years to come!





Posted by Yvonne McNamara on 8/26/2018

Want to sell your small town home? You're in luck, as many homebuyers are interested in relocating to residences in small towns across the nation.

As a home seller, it is important to do everything possible to differentiate your small town house from the competition. By doing so, you'll be able to streamline the process of adding your small town residence to the real estate market and stirring up plenty of interest from homebuyers.

Get the best results out of the home selling journey – here are three tips that you can use to simplify the process of selling your small town residence.

1. Understand Your Home's Strengths and Weaknesses

Complete a home appraisal – you'll be glad you did. This assessment will enable you to learn about your home's strengths and weaknesses and act accordingly.

After a home appraisal, you can set priorities for home improvement projects. That way, you can enhance your small town house both inside and out.

Also, be sure to review comparable homes that are available in your town. With this housing market data at your disposal, you can find out how your house stacks up against the competition.

2. Establish a Competitive Price

Ultimately, you'll want to establish a "fair" price for your small town house. To accomplish this feat, you'll want to examine the local real estate market closely.

Check out the prices of houses that recently sold in your small town. This will enable you to determine whether you're operating in a buyer's or seller's market.

In addition, set realistic expectations as you consider how to price your home.

What you paid for your small town home a few years ago is unlikely to match what your house is worth today. However, if you assess your house from a homebuyer's perspective, you may be better equipped than ever before to price your home appropriately.

3. Collaborate with an Expert Real Estate Agent

For a home seller, it can be difficult to navigate the home selling journey on your own. Fortunately, you can hire an expert real estate agent who can help you overcome any potential home selling roadblocks.

An expert real estate agent understands the challenges commonly associated with selling a small town home and will do everything possible to eliminate these hurdles. He or she will promote your residence to the right groups of homebuyers, set up home showings and open houses and negotiate with homebuyers on your behalf. As such, this real estate professional will take the guesswork out of selling a small town residence.

Perhaps best of all, an expert real estate agent is happy to provide honest, unbiased home selling recommendations. And if you ever have concerns or questions about selling your small town house, this real estate professional is available to assist you at any time.

Add your small town residence to the local real estate market today – take advantage of these home selling tips, and you should have no trouble maximizing the value of your small town house.




Categories: Uncategorized