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Alisa Coyle

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Questions from First Time Home Buyers

by Alisa Coyle

Starting something new can be intimidating, and this goes double for buying your first home. Thankfully, houses are a great investment, and can provide a great foundation for a person or couple. If you’re thinking that it might be time to buy a home, here are the answer to frequently asked questions from first time home buyers:

Am I Ready for Home Ownership?

There isn’t one definitive signal that you’re ready, but if you’re in a place financially that you can handle a mortgage payment, and if the Greater Boston area is going to be your home for at least the near future, you should look into the benefits of owning your own place.

Why Should I Buy Instead of Renting?

The biggest reason that home ownership makes more sense than continuing to rent is that your monthly payments are put toward an investment. When you pay off your mortgage, you will own your home, instead of paying off a lease and having nothing to show for it.

Do I Need a Real Estate Agent?

Buying a home, especially your first home, is very hard to do on your own. As experienced real estate agents, the staff at Greater Boston Realty are trained to help you find the right home, and will also help you navigate the process of purchasing the home. We can introduce you to other Boston professionals, like lenders, appraisers, home insurance providers, and more.

Having a great real estate agent can take a lot of stress out of the first-time home buying process, so call Greater Boston Realty at 617-469-4040 today. We can help you hit the ground running in the search for your new home.

Keywords:

First Time Home Buyers, Frequently Asked Questions, Home Buyer FAQ, Boston Real Estate Agent, Advice for Home Buyers, Roslindale homes for sale

 

Don’t Fear! Buying a Home Doesn’t Have to Be Scary

by Alisa Coyle

Here at Greater Boston Realty, we work with a lot of first-time home buyers. If you’ve never purchased a home before, it’s an understandably scary process. After all, your home will likely be your biggest investment! Thankfully, many parts of the home-buying process that seem scary at first aren’t quite so bad. Here are a few of the biggest concerns that home buyers have, along with what you can do to lessen your fear:

Having a large mortgage payment: A mortgage payment may seem like a looming and ever-present obligation, but let’s face it – so is paying rent. The good news is that with a mortgage payment, you will eventually own your home and no longer owe!

Buying a home with structural issues: It’s nerve-wracking to think that you may buy something that’s less than perfect and not even know it. But that’s why you will hire a Massachusetts home inspection professional before you sign anything. A qualified inspector will alert you to any issues with the home so that you can make an informed decision.

Maintaining a home: When you rent, you can simply call someone if something breaks. When you own a home, repairs are up to you. This may seem like a big task at first, but often homeowners enjoy learning how to do simple DIY repairs. For bigger tasks, there are many reliable and knowledgeable handymen and tradesmen here in Boston that can help you.  Before you buy, make sure that you get a copy of any Homeowner’s Association requirements so that you can familiarize yourself with the upkeep required in your neighborhood, if applicable.

Still have concerns about whether now is the right time to buy a home in the Boston area?  Call 617-469-4040 to speak to a Greater Boston Realty professional. Our real estate agents can help you understand why owning a home may be the right path for you and your family.

 

 

Tips for Selling Homes in the Winter

by Alisa Coyle

Winter is a beautiful time of year here in the Boston area, but it can present some challenges, especially when you’re trying to sell a home. Thankfully, you’ve got Greater Boston Realty on your side! Here are just a few tips from our top-notch real estate agents about what you should do when you’re trying to sell your home in the winter season:

· Before potential buyers come for a showing, be sure that your driveway and sidewalks are free of snow and ice. After all, you don’t want someone’s first experience on your property being a slip and fall!

· Keep your entryway free of snowy or muddy tracks, and have a place for your guests to place their coats so that they are unencumbered as they tour your home.

· Your home should be a pleasant temperature – not too chilly, but also not too warm. Aim for an ambiance that’s just right. Add a touch of coziness to your home with a cozy throw in the living room, or a crackling fire if you have a fireplace.

· Embrace the holidays, but do so tastefully. Homes sell best when there’s not too many personal items, so keep holiday decorations tasteful and generic for the best effect. Also make sure not to overdo it – no one likes to walk through a cluttered home.

· It’s always nice to offer your visitors a refreshment. Consider going above and beyond with a seasonal snack or beverage, like apple cider or a plate of holiday cookies.

If you’re interested in selling your home, just call 617-469-4040. One of the friendly and knowledgeable Realtors here at Greater Boston Realty will be happy to meet with you, and give you tips on how to sell your home for top dollar!

 

 

 

Tips for Selling Homes in the Winter
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As the saying goes, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” This couldn’t be truer than when you’re selling your home. The first time a buyer sees your home in person, it is up to the front of your home to leave them wanting more. Here are a few simple ways to increase the curb appeal of your home:

Make sure that your walkway is clear and level. People touring your home are going to start forming opinions the minute they step foot out of the car. This makes your walkway very important – it should be free of clutter (leaves, snow, bicycles, etc.) and should have no major cracks or tripping hazards.

The area near your front door should be neat and tidy. If you have a porch area with furniture, make sure it is clean and looks welcoming. A potted plant or a simple wreath on the door can go a long way forward helping make a good impression on people there for a showing.

Your home’s front door should be clean and inviting. Take an extra minute before a showing to make sure that your front door is clean. Windows should be free of smudge marks, and handles should be wiped down. Also make sure that the door’s paint is in good condition.

For more tips on how to sell your home from the real estate experts here at Greater Boston Realty, just call 617-469-4040 to make an appointment. We help sell homes in all of the Greater Boston area, including Roslindale, West Roxbury, and Jamaica Plain. Don’t hesitate to call us today!

 

 

What's Included? A Guide to Fixtures and Extras

by

When you’re buying a home, there is one question that you will probably ask quite a few times: “Is that included?” Seeing a home that is well furnished is always a treat, but it is important that you know exactly what is included with the sale. Your real estate agent will often know the answer, but it’s always worth asking, especially on certain items, like these:

Appliances: The refrigerator, oven, and dishwasher may be included in the sale, or they may be taken by the homeowner upon sale of the property.

Window Treatments: Sometimes owners will want to keep custom drapes and shutters, other times they will be a part of the sale. Make sure that you know one way or the other so that you can plan your décor budget accordingly.

Light Fixtures: Often these are considered a part of the home and are included with the sale, but your real estate agent will tell you if the homeowners insist on keeping any of the light fixtures. This most often occurs with chandeliers.

Mounted Televisions: Although they are attached to the wall, it is often up in the air whether mounted televisions are considered a fixture. Ask your Realtor whether the homeowner will be leaving the television, leaving just the mounting hardware, or neither.

Each home will be different when it comes to what’s included with the sale. That’s why it’s so important to get a top-notch real estate agent. If you would like to speak with one of our friendly and knowledgeable Realtors here at Greater Boston Realty, just call 617-469-4040.

 

 

Moving to the Area? Tips for New Bostonians

by Alisa Coyle

As real estate agents in Boston, we work with a lot of people who are new to the area. It is always such a pleasure to see our home buyers take in the local sights, and to help them plan a future in this great city. So, whether you move to Jamaica Plain, Hyde Park, Roslindale, or any of the other neighborhoods around, you will be ready to embrace the Bostonian mindset:

· Most of the country seems to have a Starbucks addiction, but here in Massachusetts, we also run on Dunkin’ Donuts.  And remember – asking for coffee ‘regular’ isn’t black.   Here, ‘regular’ coffee has cream and sugar.

· You should probably get up to speed on the Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics, and Patriots – they’re always a talking point for Boston locals. Also, the Green Monster isn’t actually scary – it’s the name of the left field wall at Fenway Park!

· Don’t call the MBTA “the subway” unless you want to be ridiculed. Here, it’s “the T” and nothing else. It’s also a great way to get around town if you don’t want to brave the (sometimes crazy) traffic.

· There is history everywhere. In fact, you will be hard-pressed to find a place that isn’t historically significant in some way. If you want to experience the city’s offerings, the Freedom Trail downtown is a great place to start.

And if you’re looking to move to the area, the best place to start is with a five-star Realtor. Call Greater Boston Realty today at 617-469-4040 to make an appointment and speak with a real estate agent that can help you choose the right neighborhood for you and your family.

 

 

Massachusetts Home Selling Tip: Light it Up!

by Alisa Coyle

When you’re selling a Boston home, you know that there are a few tasks you should complete before your real estate agent brings in a potential buyer for a showing. You should always make sure that your home is tidy, that there is no trash visible, that evidence of pets are hidden, that the place smells nice, and you may choose to leave out water bottles or a small candy dish for your visitors.

The last thing you do before you head out the door should be to bring as much light into your home as possible. Turn on all the overhead lights and light fixtures, and open the curtains and blinds. This is done to increase the natural and artificial light and to make the house feel light and airy, as well as spacious.

If you turn on all the lights in your home (yes, end tables and floor lamps too!) and it still needs a little more light, consider increasing the wattage of a few of the bulbs in your fixtures. This will improve the lighting quality without the need to buy a new lamp. Another way to make a room feel brighter is to change the paint color. You don’t want walls to be stark white, but a light neutral color can make a room feel more open to a potential buyer.

For more tips on how to get your home ready for a showing, call Greater Boston Realty. One quick call to 617-347-5589 and we will schedule a consultation to show you how to get the highest price for your home.

 

What is a Walk Score?

by Alisa Coyle

If you’ve ever taken a look at the Greater Boston Realty website’s homepage, you may have noticed that we have the Walk Score listed for three of our most popular neighborhoods: Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, and West Roxbury. These numbers may seem arbitrary at first, but learning how to use them can improve the quality of your Boston home search.

This Walk Score gives a numerical value to the walk ability of a neighborhood. When assigned a number on a scale of 0-100, you can easily see if you will need a car for all errands, or if you don’t need to rely on a car to accomplish your regular shopping trips. For example, Roslindale has a Walk Score of 88, meaning that it is “Very Walkable” and that most errands can be accomplished on foot.

In addition to giving a Walk Score, you can also see a Transit Score and a Bike Score. The Bike Score incorporates whether the area is flat or hilly, as well as the availability of bike lanes and trails. Jamaica Plain has a Bike Score of 91! Transit Scores evaluate public transit based on types of transit lines available, as well as their distance from the neighborhood or address in question.

To learn more about finding a home in a neighborhood that you can walk or bike, or that is close to public transit, just call the real estate experts at Greater Boston Realty – 617-469-4040. We can show you options that will suit your needs when it comes to Walk, Bike, and Transit Scores, and much more!

 

 

Easy Renovation Projects for New Homeowners

by Alisa Coyle

When you purchase a new home in Boston, you may get the urge to spruce it up and make it your own. If you’re looking for a few easy and inexpensive DIY renovation projects, here are some suggestions from the Massachusetts real estate experts here at Greater Boston Realty:

You can’t have a second chance at a first impression. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that your front entryway is making the right statement. Spruce up the paint on your mailbox, add a plant or a wreath to your doorway, and make sure that your walkway is smooth and level.

Another simple DIY project is installing crown molding and baseboards in your home.  With relatively little effort, you can make a huge impact on your new home. While you’re at it, it only takes a screwdriver to install new kitchen and bath hardware – the hardest part of that project is picking out new knobs!

There is one thing that every homeowner wishes for: more storage. Take matters into your own hands by installing organizers in your kitchen, bathrooms, closets, garage, and more! A little bit of elbow grease can help you and your family stay organized for years to come!

If you are looking for a new home in the Boston area, contact Greater Boston Realty at 617-469-4040. We can help you find the home that fits your needs in West Roxbury, Roslindale, Jamaica Plain, and beyond! And make sure to Like us on Facebook and share DIY projects that have added a little bit of pizzazz to your home.

 

Getting the Most Out of Your “Green” Upgrades

by Alisa Coyle

Energy efficient home upgrades are on the rise. Did you know that nine out of ten homebuyers would like to have an energy efficient home – and they’re willing to pay more for a home with ‘green’ upgrades? If you have made efficiency improvements to a home that you’re selling, make sure that you are compensated for the added value that they provide with these tips:

When you begin the process of selling your home, make a list of all of your ‘green’ upgrades. Include anything that improves your energy efficiency - like special windows, insulation, low-flow toilets, gas fireplaces, modern appliances, etc. If you can, include the estimated savings on water, heating, and electricity bills for each of your upgrades.

Listing benefits is a good start, but if you really want to attract buyers you should consider getting an efficiency rating for your home. There are three main scoring systems: the Energy Performance Score, the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index, and the Home Energy Score. Find a local professional that will rate your home on one of these scales, and include the score you receive on marketing materials for your home.

Last, but certainly not least, it’s important to work with people who will appreciate the improvements that you have made. Your appraiser should recognize the added value of your energy efficient home. In addition, you need a real estate agent that can sell your property and all of its perks.   If you’re looking for a skilled real estate agent to sell your energy efficient home, just call Greater Boston Realty at 617-469-4040

 

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Greater Boston Realty
2012 Centre St.
Boston MA 02132
617-469-4040