Yuri Karukin - Arlington, MA Real Estate, Belmont MA Real Estate, Winchester MA Real Estate


Once you have bought a new house, you may feel lost as to where to start. There’s a long checklist of things that you should do to get yourself established in a new space. Here, you'll find a plan on what to do next. 


Get Recommendations On Local People You Can Work With 


Your realtor is a good place to start in asking who they recommend for many types of workers including plumbers, electricians, contractors, and more. You may even want to talk to your next door neighbors and see who they have used in the past for these types of handy work jobs. Even if you don’t need any kind of work done immediately, it’s a good idea to have some names and numbers on hand for future reference.


Don’t Paint Right Away


Although it seems much more practical to paint an empty house, once you live in your new home for awhile, you’ll get a sense of where the light hits and what colors will complement your furniture. When you pick colors in a rush, you run the risk of choosing shades that you may not love in the long term. Focus on properly lighting your rooms before you even start to paint.


Don’t Forget The Housewarming Party!


If you plan a housewarming party for a date that’s not too far after you move in, it will give you motivation to get things done in the house. The housewarming party is your accountability partner to get you to unpack those boxes and get decorating. Try to plan the party somewhere between one and two months after your planned move-in date. This will give you time to get things done, just not too much time!  


Meet The Neighbors


You should take some time very soon after you move in to meet your new neighbors. They can be a great resource for you as to what happens in your new neighborhood. Find out if any of your new neighbors have dogs that your own dog could meet for a friendly walk. Your new friends will even give you information about a neighborhood watch or important community activities as well.


Safety First


You’ll want to check all of your smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and alarm systems. Be sure that they work. Then, change the batteries in each system to start fresh. You should also equip your house with a fire extinguisher or two. You can never be too prepared for an emergency. 


Next, you should check all of the door and window locks. Replace anything that used a key. You never know who had keys to the home before it was sold.

When you start small in a new home, things will begin to come together slowly but surely just like puzzle pieces.


Whether you plan on selling your home in the next few months or the next few years, it’s always a good idea to start thinking about the things that can increase or decrease the value of your home.

There are some factors that are mostly out of your control. Things like climate and the state of the housing market aren’t something you can do much about. However, there are several ways you can gain an edge once you put your house on the market.

In today’s article, we’re going to talk about some of the main things that contribute to the value of a property, and a few lesser known ideas to help increase your home value.


The most important appraisal factors


Before you start thinking about adding bonus features to your home you should make sure the basics are covered. To maximize appraisal value, your home should be:

  • Structurally sound. The foundation, roof, plumbing, and other vital items need to be in top shape.

  • Efficient. Houses that haven’t been updated with energy efficient windows, insulation, and HVAC systems are going to drag down the value of the home. Prospective buyers want to know they won’t be spending extra each month of the utilities.

  • Well-maintained. Inside and out, having a clean appearance shows potential buyers that you’ve taken care of the home. This includes driveways, lawns, and fences on the outside, and paint and carpets on the inside.

  • Size, location, and market. You won’t be able to influence these, and many times putting additions on a home can actually lower its estimated value, so it’s best to focus on other areas where you can make a difference.


How to increase your home value


Depending on how much time you have left before you want to sell, there are a number of things you can do to improve your home. Some home improvement projects are costly and time-consuming, where others can be simple and cost-effective. Here are some ideas for increasing the value of your home.


  • Revitalize the neighborhood. If you’re going to be living in your home for years to come, it can be worthwhile to integrate yourself into the community. Starting community gardens or converting lots into fields and playgrounds are long-term projects that will add culture and amenities to your neighborhood. Not only is this good for the town, but it could also increase the value of your home.

  • Small upgrades pay off. If you plan on moving within the coming months, you still have time to increase the value of your home. By replacing old faucets, handles, and doorknobs you can make older items appear new again. Similarly, minor electric upgrade, like replacing old light switches or outlets, combined with a fresh coat of paint can make a room look like new.

  • Simple landscaping. You don’t need to start carving topiary animals into your shrubs to increase your curb appeal. On the contrary, having a yard that is simple and well-maintained will appear cleaner and easier to take care of for prospective buyers.

  • Consult an expert. If you’ve lived in your house for a while, it might be difficult for you to see which things might decrease the home’s value. Contacting an agent will help you gain an outside perspective on your house so that you can plan home improvement projects accordingly.


If you are plagued with a small room and are ready to make that room feel and appear larger take a look at the tips below. De-clutter: Clutter can make any size room feel small. This goes for wall clutter, trinkets and ‘stuff’ clutter, furniture clutter, etc. Too much on the walls can make the room feel and look smaller. Go for a simpler approach and choose a focal wall, adding frames or artwork there. Everyone has items that they absolutely ‘have’ to display, but there comes a point where it’s too much, especially in a small room. If you can’t part with anything, rotate displaying these items with the seasons, changing them out when you change out your seasonal décor. Less Furniture: Take a look at the furniture you have in the room and decide whether it is all absolutely necessary. Could you do some cleaning and remove a dresser or cabinet? Or could you move those storage pieces into a closet so you aren’t losing the storage but creating more space in that room? Smaller dressers can fit quite nicely in typical 2 door closets, still leaving plenty of space for hanging clothes. If considering a living room, it’s best to have one larger couch than multiple pieces. Wall Storage & Hidden Storage: Removing storage pieces that sit on the ground and replacing with wall storage will add the perception of a bigger space. Wall storage such as shelves or small horizontal cabinets are an easy way to create more storage (moderation is key or it will also clutter the room). Would you rather place pieces of art on the walls? Try hidden storage pieces such as coffee tables and ottomans that open. This trick will also allow for you to remove cluttering pieces of small storage furniture. Light Colored Paint: It’s a known fact in the world of interior design that dark colors make a room feel and look smaller. If you are trying to make the room appear larger, choose a lighter colored paint. To take it a step further, choose cool lighter colors rather than warm tones. This could include a range of blues and greens and cool grays and whites. Light colored floors: Piggybacking on the point above, lighter colored floors are another way to create the perception of a larger room. Lighter floor colors such as oak or birch laminate or hardwood and lighter colored rugs such as tans, grays, and white/cream are all good options. There are many ways to create the perception of a larger room. Above are just a few. Be mindful of the type of room you are trying to make feel larger. You can try just one or try them all together but they are sure to do the trick.

There’s many different reasons why you might want to consider choosing a mortgage payment over a monthly rent check. But there’s also a few drawbacks to buying a home. One big obstacle is that of the down payment. When you’re renting a property, there’s a lower amount of money that you’ll need to come up with in order to secure a place to live. With a 20% down payment required to buy a home, saving for that down payment seems a lot more daunting than renting. There’s so many financial advantages to owning a home.  With quite a few factors to consider, buying a home may not be so far out of reach for you. 


Rates Are Low


Even though mortgage rates fluctuate from time to time, they’re still low enough that it makes sense to buy a home and make it a much cheaper monthly cost than renting.  


Rental Rates Are Not Guaranteed


Your rent is not guaranteed to stay the same over time. The price can go up after the lease ends. Another problem with renting is that the landlord can decide that he wants to make improvements to the building at any time, even improvements that you’ll be required to move out for. You could end up in a bind fairly quickly if you’re put in this situation. 


If you buy a home, the only change to your expenses would be if you choose an adjustable rate mortgage or if there’s changes in property taxes and insurance rates. Your expenses are more predictable when you buy a home. 


You’ll Build Equity When You Buy A Home


One of the top reasons to buy a home is to enable you to build equity. Over time, you’ll have a piece of property that will provide cash that you’ll be able to tap into when needed. Home equity doesn’t replace the other ways that you save, but you’ll have another source of financial backing. Your monthly mortgage payment is in essence going into the “bank” of your future. 


There’s Plenty Of Tax Breaks For Homeowners


This is one known financial benefit of owning a home. The initial years of your home ownership mainly go towards paying down the interest on the home. The good news is that this expense is tax deducible. Also, you’ll benefit financially when you sell your home as you won’t have to pay tax on gains you have earned if you live in your home for at least half the time within the 5 years before you sell. Home insurance and mortgage insurance are also tax deductible. 


While the idea of buying a home may seem like a feat, financially, it’s a smart decision. When you’re renting, you don’t see a return on the monthly check that you shell out. If you own a home, you own it and it’s your to do with as you please. You get out of your home what you put into it. 


Many home buyers seek out fixer-uppers or older homes as a way to save money. And, while this method can be a great way to save, it does come with a few caveats.

Upgrades and repairs can vary greatly in price. Some might be simple, whereas others can take weeks or months, require permits, and uproot your plans. For these reasons, it’s good to know what you’re getting yourself into with home repairs.

In this article, we’re going to cover the most expensive home repairs and upgrades. That way when you find a home listing that you’re interested in, you can rule out these costly repairs early if you aren’t willing to spend the extra money on them after buying the house.

1. Sewer and septic

Finding out you need to replace a sewer line or a septic system can be a nightmare. Sewer lines are most often damaged by tree root growth, leaving older homes the most vulnerable. On average, homeowners spend around $2,500 to repair a main sewer line.

If you move into a new home that previously only had one inhabitant, you may find that the septic system can’t keep up with the increased workload. Repairs for a septic system average around $1,500. And to replace the septic system and install a new one? You can expect to spend around $5,000 or much more, depending on your needs and location.

2. Foundation repair

Older homes are also subject to foundation damage over the years, which can cause many problems, including safety concerns and water damage.

Houses that have poor drainage and high soil moisture are particularly vulnerable to foundation damage. And, like sewer and septic issues, tree roots can also pose a problem.

For minor cracks, foundation repairs can cost as little as $500. However, more severe damage can cost up to $10,000. On average, Americans spend around $4,000 when they repair a damaged foundation.

3. Roof replacement

Roof replacements are inevitable, but there are ways to ensure you won’t have to install a new one anytime soon. For example, slate and metal roofs can last over 50 years. And concrete? A hundred years or more.

The most common type of roofs, however, are made from asphalt shingles, which last around 20 years. In terms of price, asphalt tends to be the cheapest as well, costing as low as $2,000 to replace. Metal and slate roofs are significantly more expensive, starting at $5,000 and $17,000 respectively.

4. Heat pump installation

Installing a heat pump can be quite costly, with the national average being around $5,300. However, if you live in a moderate climate, a heat pump can replace both your furnace and your air conditioning unit.

Furthermore, if you plan on staying in the home for several years, a heat pump tends to be much more energy efficient than older alternatives.

5. Kitchen remodel

Of all the household remodeling projects--basement, bathrooms, etc.--a kitchen remodel tends to be the priciest. Americans spend about $21,000 on a kitchen remodel. The most expensive part? Cabinetry and hardware at $6,000.




Loading