Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA
RE/MAX Leading Edge | 781-944-6060 | marilynellis@remax.net


Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 4/19/2018

Putting your home up for sale can elicit a myriad of emotions from you and your spouse -- everything from excitement and anticipation to fear and sadness. It's only natural to feel a mixture of emotions, especially if your home represents years of memories, countless milestones, and stages of family growth.

A cautionary note to keep in mind is that it's easy to get caught up in emotion-based decisions that could derail your chances for making a fast sale.

A primary example would be pricing your home higher than it might actually be worth. Despite the fact that you've experienced great family memories there and spent tens of thousands of dollars to maintain, upgrade, and beautify your home, those factors usually do not translate into a sale price that exceeds the property's appraised value. Your perspective, which may be based on subjective criteria, such as all the "blood, sweat, and tears" you put into your house -- not to mention the "TLC" that went into it -- does not hold water in the minds of would-be buyers.

What Does Determine a Home's Value?

The unvarnished truth is that the value of your home is mostly based on prevailing market conditions, the price at which comparable homes in your neighborhood recently sold, and what the market will bear. Effectively setting a price that will bring in the most money without driving away qualified and otherwise-interested buyers is a delicate balance. The homeowner rarely has the objectivity or the specialized knowledge to accurately set the right price. That's where real estate agents comes in, and why it's advisable to sell your home through a licensed agent, rather than attempting a "For Sale By Owner" approach.

Minimizing Bumps in the Road

A good real estate agent will work on your behalf to effectively market your home, collaborate with other agents in the area to schedule showings and spread the word about your listing, and advise you on ways to improve both the curb appeal of your home and its interior appearance. Your agent can also provide indispensable negotiating help, as well as guidance about seller disclosure requirements and other government regulations.

The bottom line is that real estate agents are well-versed in the intricate process of listing, marketing, and selling residential property. Since there are a lot of forms to sign, deadlines to meet, agreements to reach, and formalities to handle, those are among the many sound reasons to enlist the help of a professional.

Although the process of selling a residential property often involves delays, setbacks, and obstacles, most real estate agents are quite adept at solving problems and getting past difficulties. In addition to the marketing, networking, and strategizing they're doing on your behalf, a good agent can also be counted on to provide you with regular progress reports and boost your spirits when you're feeling discouraged.





Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 4/12/2018

Houseplants are a great way to make your home feel more comfortable, colorful, and--in the winter--to bring a bit of living nature back into your life until spring arrives.

There are houseplants that will thrive in just about any location of your home. Plus, you can find houseplants that are low-maintenance or ones that are a bit more rewarding as you care for them and watch them grow.

In todayís post, Iím going to list the best houseplants for each room of your home. Iíll cover ďimpossible to killĒ low-maintenance plants and some that require a bit more work. Iíll also cover large and small plants, as the size will often depend on the available space in the rooms of your home.

Read on for the list of the best houseplants for each room of your home.

Bedroom

The bedroom is a place for rest and relaxation. You donít want anything too high maintenance or too big and bright. Lavender gives off a calming scent that is perfect for your cozy sleeping space.

Lavender is relatively low-maintenance, just be sure to water sparsely in the winter time, and only when the soil has dried out completely to avoid root rot.

Lavender works in other rooms as well, such as on a kitchen windowsill where it can be used for cooking.

Bathroom

The bathroom tends to be a humid place without much spare room. A single aloe vera plant near a light source can be a great accent.

Extremely low maintenance and useful after a day out in the sun, the bathroom is a perfect home for aloe vera. Simply snap off a leaf and use the gel inside for your burn.

Office

There are a few choice places for plants in the home office. A large snake plant in the corner of the room is a great way to add some life and color. Similarly, a money tree is easy to care for and fun to watch grow as you braid its stem (and whatís a more fitting place for a money tree than the place where you make your money!?).

For the desk, a small cactus or succulent will do the trick, as you donít want it to take up too much room.

Living room

For the living room, we can finally start talking about some of the bigger houseplants on the list. A Norfolk Island Pine looks like a small pine tree (though it technically isnít one) and it can grow several feet high indoors. This is a great choice for homeowners in colder climates who donít want to fill their house with unfitting tropical looking plants.

Palm and Yucca, on the other hand, are perfect for homes in warmer climates. They can grow several feet high and fill up empty spaces in a large living room with ease. Thereís a reason these are used in so many hotel and office building lobbies--theyíre easy to care for and can grow large enough to fill the void in a big building.

Windowless rooms

Most plants will need at least indirect sunlight to stay healthy through the year. But, if you have a windowless room in your home that you want to brighten up with a houseplant you have options.

Dracaena, snake plants, and creeping fig all grow well in little to no light and are easy to take care of.  




Tags: decorating   houseplants  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 4/5/2018

Looking to move out of a big city? Relocate to a small town, and you can enjoy the simple joys of small town life.

Many people prefer the small town lifestyle, and for good reason. In a small town, you won't have to worry about excess traffic or noise. Plus, many homes are available in small towns nationwide, ensuring you should have no trouble discovering a wonderful residence without having to worry about breaking your budget.

Kick off your search for a small town home today Ė here are three tips to help you secure a terrific small town house.

1. Study the Local Housing Market Closely

What are you looking for in a small town home? Ultimately, you'll want to consider exactly what you'd like to find in a small town house before you conduct your search for the ideal residence.

Creating a checklist of must-haves is essential. With this list, you'll be able to examine available homes in a small town and narrow your search accordingly.

Also, don't forget to examine the prices of recently sold houses in a small town. This housing market data will enable you to differentiate between a seller's market and a buyer's market.

2. Get Financing Before You Start Your Home Search

Can you afford a small town home? It all depends on the financing at your disposal.

Meet with several banks and credit unions to explore your mortgage options. That way, you can learn about fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages and obtain financing.

If you ever have concerns or questions about home financing, be sure to ask a lender for assistance.

Remember, banks and credit unions employ mortgage professionals who are happy to help you in any way they can. These mortgage experts can teach you about different types of mortgage and offer personalized mortgage recommendations, ensuring you can get the financing you need to make your homeownership dreams come true.

3. Collaborate with an Experienced Real Estate Agent

When it comes to the real estate market, it is always better to err on the side of caution. Fortunately, real estate agents are available in small towns and big cities alike and will do whatever it takes to help you find a great house.

Hiring an experienced real estate agent who understands the properties that are currently available in a small town is vital. This real estate professional will offer tips throughout the homebuying process, guaranteeing that you can make informed decisions at every stage.

Perhaps best of all, an experienced real estate agent will take the guesswork out of buying a small town home. He or she will set up home showings and open houses, keep you up to date about new properties as they become available and negotiate with home sellers on your behalf. As a result, this real estate professional will streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

Take the next step to acquire a home in a small town Ė use these homebuying tips, and you can locate a small town home that can serve you well for years to come.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 3/29/2018

Money is the root of many peopleís stress and anxiety and itís also the cause of many fights. But it doesnít have to be for you. You may own a home now, but it doesnít mean you should stop saving or that saving has to be a difficult undertaking.

Ideally you already have a robust emergency fundóthis type of account is suggested by financial experts to have even before paying down Ďgoodí debt such as student loans. This account is extremely important as you never know when or if that ďrainy dayĒ will come. The suggested amount to have in an emergency fund is six to nine monthsí worth of incomeóand to be on the higher end if you own a home and have children. For instance, if you take home $3,000 a month, you should have $18,000 to $27,000 in your emergency fund. You should also consider whether itís best to keep these funds in a regular savings account or a money market account.

Now that weíve covered the importance of an emergency fund,letís discuss how to keep savingówhether you are saving just to save or saving for a vacation, new car, or that fancy grill youíve been eyeing.

Automatic deposit from primary income: If you arenít doing this already then you should be. Automatic deposit is the easiest way to save money. Many places of employment offer this option, and if not your financial institution will. Automatically depositing money into a savings account (separate of the rest of your income) will force you to save. And if your place of employment offers this option then that money will never enter your checking accountóout of sight, out of mind. If you must use your financial institution then have the automatic transfer occur on the day you are paid so the money is almost like it was never there for spending. Of course, this will be an adjustment if you are used to living off that money, especially if you just purchased a home. However, you can start small and work your way to a larger amount such as when you receive a raise or have other forms of incoming income.

Automatic transfer from checking to savings: Many financial institutions offer the ability to automatically transfer funds between your checking account and savings account each time you use your debit card. If your bank does not offer this opportunity there are apps for your phone that can easily connect to your online bank accounts and do the work for you. Itís a great way to save a small amount of money each time you swipe your card. And depending on how often you use your debit card, those savings could add up quickly. For example, you spend $25.33 at the grocery store and use your debit card to pay. Your bank (or app) will round that number up to $26.00 and transfer .67 into your account of choice. Itís too easy not to participate!

There are many other ways to be a better saver, but itís best to start simple and small. Overwhelming yourself with how much you need/want to save and with many ways of saving, might cause the opposite to happen. Remember, you have a house to pay for and all the other expenses that come with it. Be conscious of your financial situation and be diligent with your savings strategy and youíll be on the road to being a savings master.





Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 3/22/2018

The spare room. How is it that they always seem to be a catchall for random household items and never quite turn into a useable room? If youíre tired of walking by your spare room and itís dismal mish-mash state keep reading for tips to turn it into a room youíll be excited to use. Art studio. Whether you were born with a paintbrush in hand, havenít touched one since high school or have always wanted to learn how an art studio can bring creativity into your life and home. Invest in an easel and a paint set to get started. But be sure to cover the floors for easy clean up! Unless that is you want to go for the splattered look. Reading room. Turn your spare room into a cozy reading nook by installing floor to ceiling bookshelves and some reading chairs. Create a room others will envy by building a window seat snug between two bookcases. Add ambiance with thick, ornate curtains and a plush area rug. Music room. Have you been longing to learn piano or guitar for years? Set your spare room up to be a practice space by installing soundproof walls and adding some instruments. Hooks on walls to hang your growing guitar collection or a small bookshelf for sheet music will keep your room neat and organized. Crafting room. If you have more craft supplies than you know what to do with you would probably benefit from a craft room. By dedicating space to your hobby you can organize your projects to be picked up at will and safely stored when you are ready to dive back in. If you have more than one craft you prefer you can even set up station dedicated to each one throughout your room. Add a cozy sitting chair for knitting or needlepoint or a large desk for scrapbooking or sewing. Playroom. Give your kids a space of their own by creating a playroom to store all their toys and have ample room to play with them. The extra space allows you to add fun playtime extras like a rug with a racetrack printed on it or a large dollhouse. A playroom also helps kids transition from playtime to other activities throughout the day. Movie theater. If you are a movie buff consider turning your spare room into the ultimate home movie theater experience. Large reclining chairs with cupholders add the comfort of the movie going experience. Pick up a screen projector and popcorn machine to recreate that theater feel. Home office Donít let the extra space your spare room offers go to waste. Clear out any clutter thatís built up over the years and dedicate it to a new hobby, a long loved pastime or a place for your family to gather and spend time. Your options are endless so get creative and then get to work!




Tags: family fun   spare room   playroom  
Categories: Uncategorized