Michelle Anne Murphy - South Shore Real Estate Services | Scituate MA Real Estate


If you want to purchase a home, it may be beneficial to check out the residences available in a major city. In fact, there are many reasons to pursue a city house, and these include:

1. You can live near a variety of attractions and landmarks.

Most cities provide quick, easy access to attractions and landmarks. And if you purchase a city residence, you can explore a wide range of attractions and landmarks any time you choose.

Of course, it generally helps to plan ahead if you intend to buy a city residence. If you enter the real estate market with a homebuying strategy in hand, you can narrow your city house search to residences near your preferred attractions and landmarks.

2. You can upgrade or downgrade from your current residence.

If you find your current residence no longer matches your needs, don't stress. Houses are available in cities around the country so you can upgrade or downgrade from your current home.

Oftentimes, it helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start to explore city residences. If you are pre-approved for a mortgage, you'll know exactly how much you can spend on a city home. Then, you can hone your city house search and speed up the homebuying journey.

3. You can find a residence close to family members and friends in the city.

If your family members and friends frequently rave about life in the city, now may be the perfect time to join them. And if you kick off a city house search, you can find a great home that allows you to live close to loved ones.

The city real estate market often fluctuates, and a housing sector that favors buyers today may shift into sellers' favor tomorrow. Thus, if you want to buy a city home near loved ones, you should allocate time and resources to learn about the local housing sector. Because if you have housing market insights at your disposal, you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market and prepare accordingly.

As you get ready to launch a search for a home in the city of your choice, you may want to hire a real estate agent too. By employing a real estate agent, you can get the help you need to streamline your city house search.

Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you, find out where you want to reside in your city of choice and help you budget for the homebuying journey. He or she also will keep you up to date about city residences that meet your homebuying criteria. And if you find a city residence that you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase this home.

Simplify the process of locating and purchasing your ideal city home. Hire a real estate agent today, and you can receive extensive assistance at each stage of the property buying journey.



 

Generally, a closet ought to bring simplicity to your life. Whether it's a large walk-in or an itty-bitty space, a neat closet should be where you can get the things you need any time of the day. However, keeping a closet neat and organized can be more complicated than it seems. One day you have a clean closet that makes you hum James Brown's "I feel good." The next day the closet looks like a sharp gust of wind swept through it. No worries. Erase your closet headaches with these excellent tips.


Remove What You Don’t Need

Take your time to go through every single item in your closet, and discard anything you have not worn in a year or so. You could always donate to your local shelters or clothing drives visiting your community.

Save with Hanging Organizers

If there is no space for shelves or a dresser in your closet, try using hanging organizers to save more space. They are inexpensive and will provide an ideal place to put your folded clothes.

Hang Items on the Inside of the Door

For those that don't have sliding doors, you can add hooks to the inside of your closet door to hang items like scarves, handbags, and jewelry.

Store Out-of-Season Items

If you live in an area that is particular to season changes, storing your clothing from the prior season could free up some of your space. Check for any out-of-season clothes and neatly fold them into a bin or utilize space-saving bags to keep any critters, dust or unwanted things from getting to them. Bin's and saver bags are easy to stack and can fit neatly under your bed or in a corner in your closet.

Add a Light

Some closets come with light, while others may not. If your closet does not have a light fixture, you could easily add one. You may wish to use a preexisting light feature from another area of your home, such as free-standing lamp, or simply use a wall-mounted lamp to give your closet a little more illumination. If you opt for in-depth installation, there are a few key points to remember when it comes to choosing your bulb, such as halogen lights not typically being suitable for small, enclosed spaces due to the heat they give off. Instead, make use of fluorescent or LED options. They're energy efficient and give off minimal heat. Being able to see your things will help you keep them in order.

Store Your Shoes Elsewhere

If your closet has limited floor space, you can store your shoes in a bin under your bed, or in an over-the-door, hanging organizer on your closet or bedroom door. Both are relatively inexpensive and save a tremendous amount of space. If you prefer to do it yourself, there are ample ideas to search for such as recycled PVC shoe holders or repurposing old display furniture, like bookshelves.

Follow these simple tips, and you could save endless amounts of space in your closet. You can then use your well-designed closet as a great home feature to entice new buyers. Talk to your real estate agent about the most popular closet layouts and how to set yours up for an open house. 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

When it comes to protecting your high-value home in your absence, few things beat an actual living, breathing caretaker who lives on the grounds. And you'll score bonus points for hiring someone who's trained in fighting fires or apprehending invaders. Your second line of defense should be a local monitoring service that can respond on-site or that can dispatch first responders to your home should something happen while you're away. 

Security Is More Than Just Doors and Windows

The cost of your security system should increase with the value of your home, say the experts. It's no good to have a standard alarm system installed on a home that's worth a million dollars or more. High-value homes need increased security, including:

  • Monitoring of Doors and Windows
  • Monitoring of Perimeter Fences
  • Monitoring of Indoor Temperature and Humidity
  • Presence of Back-up Power Sources 
  • Presence of Indoor Sprinklers
  • Monitoring of Heat, Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Levels
  • If a pipe breaks or a basement floods in your luxury home, you should instantly be alerted. Likewise, if power to your home is interrupted. Having someone on site to keep an eye on things is paramount. Receiving alerts to your personal devices and having the ability to alert local authorities is also vital. 

    Begin With Thoughtful Construction

    The best home security begins with prevention, and this includes thoughtful construction as the site is being chosen and the home built. Homes built in storm belts need to meet additional specifications such as using reinforced glass on windows and doors and the addition of hurricane straps. Homes built in flood plains should be constructed on stilts or should at least allow space for water to flow under and around the home without breaching it. 

    Hiring professionals builders and contractors who are experienced in luxury home construction is key. And if you're buying a luxury home pre-built or opting for a historic mansion that was built a century ago, be prepared to upgrade and fortify it to deal with today's home security threats. 

    Be Discerning With Technology

    The more technology your home employs, the more opportunities bad guys have to hack into it. Technology is good, but you should have other fail-safes available in the event that it ultimately fails or worse -- it becomes the source of the intrusion. Today's newspapers are filled with horror stories from homeowners whose home security devices were hacked and used against them. Make sure your home tech is backed by a service that employs real humans who can respond in the event of an emergency.

    Securing your high-value home is a lot more complicated than it used to be, which is why a bigger investment is required. Play it safe and consult with professionals who have experience protecting luxury homes before purchasing a home security system and simply assuming it's good enough to do the job required. 


    The number one factor that affects the length of time a house remains on the market is curb appeal. That's the consensus of real estate professionals across the country, and was documented in a recent study by a well-known real estate website.

    So if it's such a high priority, then why do a lot of homeowners skimp on that aspect of preparing their home for a fast sale? Sometimes it's a lack of awareness; other times it may be a lack of money. In extreme cases, it can be quite pricey to transform a home from "shabby" to "exquisite!" That's an unusual scenario, though, and in most cases the cost of enhancing your home's curb appeal should be both affordable and cost effective.

    Where to Begin

    The ideal visual (and visceral) effect you want to achieve can be summed up in ten words: fresh, well cared for, aesthetically pleasing, manicured, meticulous, updated, and clean. Perhaps a more concise way to describe the image you want to project to potential buyers is "pride of ownership." Once you're conveying that impression, people are going to make positive assumptions about the value and condition of your home. While it's not necessary that the front of your property and home look perfect in every imaginable way, it is important to pay attention to small details and overall impressions.

    Some homeowners will see this goal as an overwhelming challenge, but it doesn't have to be. The first hurdle is to take care of the basics, such as making sure your lawn always looks freshly mowed and that there's no signs of peeling or faded paint on your home and garage. Pulling weeds, placing a few colorful hanging flower baskets in strategic locations, and trimming overgrown bushes and trees are also effective ways to make your property look more desirable.

    An advantage of working with a seasoned real estate agent is that they can quickly size up the outside appearance of your home, and make cost-effective suggestions of ways to improve curb appeal and increase the attractiveness of your property. When it comes to selling your house in the shortest period of time, first impressions are vitally important.

    One helpful tactic for getting your house noticed by house hunters and real estate agents is to take a walk (or drive) in your neighborhood to see how your curb appeal stacks up to other homes for sale in the area. Ideally, you want your home to look at least as good, if not better, than other nearby properties. Since potential buyers may be focusing their search on specific neighborhoods, such as yours, you'll be giving yourself more of an "inside track" in the real estate market by making sure your home compares favorably to others in the immediate area -- both inside and out.


    It’s always a goal in life to be happier in our jobs and make more money. When it comes to buying a home, your job status can have a big effect on whether or not you’ll be able to buy a home or not. You will be able to buy a home using a new source of income. Even refinancing can be a breeze when you have a new job and the right knowledge. 


    Many people believe that changing jobs or having gaps in between employment is a certain type of black hole when it comes to getting a mortgage. However, if you approach all of the changes in the correct way, you should be able to land the mortgage deal and secure a home.


    Average Income


    One of the most important numbers that your lender will calculate when you’re buying a home is that of your average income. This will be based on the pay that you had earned in the past 24 months‘ time. If you have had the same job and pay, this won’t be much of a big deal, However, if any of these things have changed (or will soon change) your lender may have some questions. This doesn’t mean that your mortgage application will be struck down completely. 


    Information That’s Needed In The Event Of A Job Change


    If you have recently changed jobs in the process of trying to refinance or buy a new home, your lender will need a few pieces of information from you. These items include:


    • An offer letter for the job
    • A role or title change letter (if applicable)
    • Compensation package change confirmation
    • Verification of employment
    • Most recent pay stub


    Hourly Employees


    If you’re an hourly employee, unfortunately, you’re under the tightest type of scrutiny when it comes to applying for a mortgage. Your income will be averaged for as long as you have been an hourly employee. If you work full-time, this won’t be too much of a problem. If your hours fluctuate from week-to-week, this can make things a bit more complicated.


    If your hourly rates have recently gone up, you’ll need a bit of info from your employer to help you get the income verification that your lender needs. These items include:


    • An offer letter
    • Recent pay stubs
    • The new compensation structure or offer

    If you have any sort of extenuating circumstances like a relocation or a new position, this information can help to bridge the gap in any information that just doesn’t add up as far as your employment history goes. 


    Salaried Employees


    If you’re a salaried employee, things are a bit simpler. Your lender will have a much easier time calculating your average income. The only issue that you may encounter is if you have had a gap in employment. For this, your lender will require a written explanation of what occurred during that time period.  

     

    Lenders want to protect themselves, but in a way, they also want to protect you from getting in over your head with how much you can afford for a home. With some proof and a little explanation, you should be able to get a house you can afford if you have all of the information that you need to back up your financial history and employment history.