Addie Finley | Billerica MA Real Estate Real Estate, Lowell MA Real Estate Real Estate


First-time homebuyers are prone to making a lot of mistakes when it comes to picking a home, due to many reasons—one of which is just plain old inexperience. If you plan to buy your first home soon, these are a few things you want to avoid.

  1. Not having a budget. It might surprise you to know but a lot of first time home buyers don’t have a spending budget before they start looking. Or sometimes, they look at houses that are way over what they can afford and end up spelling more money than they ought to. It's always better to clearly define what you are willing to spend on the new house and stick with it. That way you have a more comprehensive search scope that you can share with your realtor.
  2. Being overly emotional. Sometimes you see a house that looks like the builder intentionally had you in mind. But sometimes it's better to put your emotions in check because it might reduce your bargaining power with the seller. Being too excited might even make you oblivious to specific reasons why the home may not be a good fit for you.
  3. Not factoring additional costs of renovations and home improvements. Having a budget and firmly sticking to it is not enough, you also have to take into consideration the costs of any home additions or repair work you think of doing. You want to change the lamp fixtures or faucets in the showers? Be prepared to spend a little more.
  4. Underestimating the costs of maintaining the home. Sure, you get to buy the house at a giveaway price but have you stopped to consider what it will cost you to keep the house in that condition? Lots of first time home buyers don't do this. Electricity bill, gas bill cable bills, and even homeowner association fees are things that any home buyer should consider before concluding on any deal.
  5. Not hiring an agent. Winging it on your own is probably the most common mistake first-time buyers make. In a bid to save some money, they neglect to hire an agent of their own and choose to work directly with the seller or even worse, the seller’s agent themselves. More likely than not, what’s going to happen is a novice buyer who finds himself outclassed by an experienced salesperson.

Whatever you do, avoid these mistakes by contacting a real estate professional in your area.


With lots of homes out there and more foreclosed homes coming to the market, home sellers are always looking out for ways to expedite the home selling process. Statistics show that most homebuyers make their decisions in the first few minutes they get to a home. Consequently, experts advise home sellers to invest cash in remodeling their homes and installing features that appeal to a higher percentage of homebuyers. 

The greatest fear of a home seller is having his property sit on the market forever. Here are a few buy-me-now features for every homebuyer seek.

Top Features to Make Your Home Sell Fast

  • Extra Storage in Garage. Homebuyers have long dropped the trend of using the basement as storage. Instead, they now look for a more convenient place which can double as storage and workshop. Yes, you guessed it – a garage with extra space. Installing features like cabinets, shelving units, and the likes make the home more appealing to potential homebuyers. Convenience is the trend!
  • Inviting Exterior. Your home exterior tells potential buyers all they need to know. You could have a fantastic interior décor and still scare potential buyers off with poor unappealing exterior features. Be sure to pay attention to your door and its hardware, mailbox, and most importantly, the lighting. A well-illuminated home sells faster and better than one with poor lighting.
  • Hardwood Flooring. Wood floors have to be the most desirable feature in a home. Statistics show that homes with hardwood flooring have the propensity to seller faster and at a higher cost compared to other homes in the same neighborhood. Why? It is because hardwood flooring is durable, easy to maintain, and they make the home pop. It immediately creates a statement as visitors walk into your home.What's more? They complement just about any interior design. Who wouldn't want a home with such an amazing feature?
  • Sophisticated Kitchen. The kitchen is the heart of the home. No wonder homebuyers are willing to put out more cash to secure a house with a modern kitchen. As a home seller looking to expedite the buying process, this is an excellent place on which to focus. You also get the opportunity to upsell the property. Be sure to make the kitchen as sophisticated as possible. Homebuyers want a kitchen with ample storage space. Features like modern countertops, pantries with abundant space, hidden storage for utensils are your best shot at closing the deal sooner.

Giving your home a lift – both indoors and outdoors - increases your chances of attracting potential buyers. And the more potential buyers you have, the higher your chances of upselling the home. Invest in your home today!


Design is a way of life, a point of view. It involves a complex mixture of visual communication: talent, creative ability, manual skill, and technical knowledge. Beauty and economics, technology, and psychology are intrinsically related to the process. Great design is in total harmony, and there is no truer designer than Nature – if you look at a branch or a leaf, it's perfectly complex and beautiful. Successful designs are not the achievement of perfection, but the minimization and accommodation of imperfection.

Commercial Building Design Tips

Nature's design is the gold standard against which our built environments should be measured. On its own, nature has a finely tuned balance, but problems occur for both people and the environment when introducing synthetic or human-made materials. The essential balance is lost. Ecological, sustainable building means not just sustaining our ecosystems, but human health as well. Mind, body, and soul are affected in myriad ways by a home. And it is clear that the once finely-tuned relationship between humankind and nature is out of balance.

A construction project has specific purposes in mind. This purpose is why the plan and design of a residential and commercial buildings is substantially different. What are the commercial building design considerations? Let's explore some of them here:

Productivity: An organized working environment is dependent on the exterior and interior design of the building. This balance must be kept in mind while creating the layout. For example, an office with adequate natural lighting, proper acoustic, adequate ventilation, temperature control, and separate working space creates the right setting. Pay attention to the flow: when employees must push past each other to complete a task, or dance around each other to reach equipment, your flow is inefficient. A commercial design professional knows how to create for productive movement.

Cost-effectiveness: These structures need to be cost-effective, i.e., the building performance requires optimization. To have quality long-term operations and less maintenance work it is necessary to opt for the best possible design now. That means utilizing sustainable building materials, cutting edge environmental controls, and energy-efficient power supplies. 

Safety and Security: Preparation for the worst is always a wise idea. Design entrances in such a way that they are safe from any external disturbance; choose methods to screen individuals and packages entering the building; install blast resistance and perimeter barriers; select fire-resistant materials for commercial interior design. 

It is quite a tough task to create a design with all these specifications in mind. This difficulty is the reason you need to opt for a professional to design your commercial space.


That feeling of rest and happiness you feel when you pull up at the front of your house after a long stressful day is indescribable. Now you can rest, shower, unwind or do nothing. If you live in a detached single family home, chances are you would have your driveway and would solely be responsible for its upkeep. 

When building or remodeling a house, one of the overlooked features is the driveway. Your driveway is a part of your home and should reflect that warm, welcoming feeling of your home. Because your drive is the first thing people notice when coming into your home, it’s advisable you select the right type of driveway material for your home.

Suggested driveway materials best suitable for your house are... 

Asphalt

Asphalt is a common and highly practical driveway material that’s inexpensive compared to stone and concrete, its two primary solid-surface opponents. 

Asphalt is very high-maintenance, especially in harsh climates. Professionals recommend sealing asphalt driveways within a year of fitting and resealing every three to five years. Resealing can be quite expensive: The cost to reseal on the average is about $400, the price is lesser for shorter driveways and more costly for longer ones. You may also need seasonal maintenance depending on driveway usage, quality, and stability. Asphalt driveways are stable, of excellent quality, easy to plow during the winter season and with a higher traction quotient.

Gravel

Gravel is the cheapest and most sturdy of the other common driveway materials. It cost less than $300 to install and doesn’t require much time; Gravel driveways will last for a long time if given proper care.

The gravel driveway is very affordable and can cost about $0.50 per square foot, it’s durable, and with the right maintenance, it will last a lifetime.

Pavers

Pavers are the most expensive of the other driveway materials. It’s also considered the most attractive. Pavers blend well with different exterior and design elements, such as fountain fall, driveway islands, and stone walkways. 

Pavers improve your home appeal and give your home entrance a great look. It is durable, clean, stable and affordable to maintain.

Concrete

At first glance, concrete and asphalt have similar characteristics, but concrete is relatively durable and require less maintenance cost. A concrete driveway can last 100% more than the asphalt driveway depending on the climate and use. 

The concrete driveway is stable with surfaces not prone to mud, it doesn’t require much to maintain especially during the winter season, and it has a long life span. 

Having a beautiful and adequately maintained driveway will not only provide your home with that alluring curb appeal, but it will also boost the resale value of your property in the market if you decide to sell.


If you plan to buy a home in the near future, there is no harm in attending an open house. However, for those who want to get the most out of an open house, it helps to plan ahead as much as possible.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get ready to attend an open house.

1. Review the Home Listing

Although you may have already reviewed a home listing, it may be a good idea to take a second look at it. That way, you can double-check to ensure that a residence matches your expectations prior to attending an open house.

As you review a home listing, think about your short- and long-term plans too. If you believe a home corresponds with these plans, now may be the right time to check out this residence in-person.

2. Examine Your Homebuying Budget

When it comes to preparing to attend an open house, it may be beneficial to assess your homebuying budget. By doing so, you can ensure a residence falls within your price range.

Oftentimes, it helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you launch a home search. If you have a mortgage at your disposal, you'll know exactly how much you can spend on a home. And as a result, you can set up home showings and attend open houses for residences that match your budget.

3. Prepare a List of Questions

An open house provides an opportunity to walk around a residence and decide whether it is right for you. It also enables you to receive comprehensive insights into a home. Thus, you should put together a list of questions to ask during an open house.

Remember, there is no such thing as a "bad" question, especially if you're on the fence about buying a particular home. And if you enter an open house with a list of questions in hand, you'll be better equipped than ever before to determine whether to submit an offer to purchase.

Lastly, as you prepare to pursue your dream home, you may want to hire a real estate agent as well. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can obtain expert guidance throughout the property buying journey.

A real estate agent can help you prepare for any open house, at any time. He or she first will meet with you, discuss your homebuying options and help you map out a homebuying strategy. Next, a real estate agent will set up home showings and keep you informed about open house events for residences in your preferred cities and towns. And if you discover your dream home, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase.

For those who want to take the guesswork out of buying a home, it helps to work with a real estate agent. Contact a local real estate agent today, and you can receive plenty of assistance as you search for your ideal residence.




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