At the flowers begin to bloom and the weather starts to warm up, everyone is thinking about spring cleaning. It is critical to make sure the house is ready for the warmer weather. What are the top spring maintenance tasks that have to be completed? Do not procrastinate on these tasks, as the price could be high.
Prune The Trees Before They Start To Bloom
Take a closer look at the trees, particularly those that hang over the house. As they begin to bloom, the weight on these branches could start to increase. If that happens, branches could snap over the house, leading to serious roof damage. Prune these trees before they start to bloom. If they are too high, it may be better to reach out to a trained professional who can prune them safely.
Always Look For Signs of Leaks And Water Damage
Check around the house for signs of leaks and water damage. If the floor is buckling, the walls are starting to change color, or the water bill is going up without an explanation, these could be signs there is a leak somewhere. Address any signs of water leakage now. Waiting to address a water leak could lead to serious repair bills down the road. Be sure to get the plumbing system maintained regularly. That way, these leaks can be avoided.
Inspect The Water Heater
Take a closer look at the water heater. It is important to get it inspected by a trained professional once per year. Over time, mineral scaling and gunk can accumulate in the water heater. It needs to be flushed regularly. Even though online tutorials can be helpful, it may be better to reach out to trained professionals who have the equipment to do this properly. In addition, professionals may take a look at other areas of the water heater that might have to be addressed.
Get Ready For Spring
These are a few of the most important spring cleaning maintenance tasks that have to be completed now. Make sure these systems are ready to go before they are called upon. If homeowners do not procrastinate on these important tasks, they could save a lot of money down the road.
For those who are getting ready to put their home on the market, they want to make sure they get as much money as possible for their home. This means making a positive first impression. There is never a second chance to make a first impression. Therefore, homeowners need to make sure they do everything possible to “wow” potential buyers at open houses and showings. What are a few of the top tips that homeowners should keep in mind?
Listen To The Agent
Homeowners know their home the best. Therefore, they feel like they are able to show their home in the best manner possible. Even though they should have some input, homeowners are ultimately selling a building. They are not selling their memories.It is a prudent idea to listen to the agent. For example, the real estate agent may recommend staging the home in a certain way. The real estate agent may even recommend that he or she hosts the open house personally. Homeowners will need to listen to the experience of their real estate agent in order to have the best showing possible.
Clean The Home Thoroughly
Homeowners also need to make sure they clean the home thoroughly. There is a high chance that the real estate agent may even recommend a cleaning service to scrub the house from top to bottom. Even though a potential buyer is probably going to clean the home after he or she buys it, nobody likes to see a dirty house. If there are any children or pets living in the home, try to eliminate all traces of them.
Put Away Family Photos And Memories
Finally, homeowners also need to put away any family photos or personal items they have left out. When someone is looking for a new home, they want to envision what their life might be like in that home. This is going to be challenging if the current homeowner has family photos all over the walls. Remember, selling a home does not mean selling the memories in it. As a result, homeowners should try to put away their family photos and trinkets before the open house or showing. This will increase the chances of getting a great offer.
As you have probably heard, on April 27, 2020, Governor Baker signed, a new law, “An Act Providing for Virtual Notarization to Address Challenges Related to COVID- 19,” now Chapter 71 of the Acts of 2020.
The new law provides a framework and process for a Massachusetts Attorney to notarize documents with the use of video conferencing allowing the notarization of documents without meeting the statutory “in-person” requisite. Based on the requirements of the law, the following is an example breakdown of the process which would be followed under the law. If you would like more information on the law and the process contact us and we can schedule a video conference with Attorney Rocheford, you and your team to provide a detailed explanation of the law and the process.
Sample Virtual Notarization Process:
- Closing documents will be provided to the borrower/signor (individuals signing) by FedEx or another express carrier. This is the preferred method for getting documents to the signor.
- Alternative options (additional fees may apply):
- The documents can be sent securely in electronic form (PDF).
- The documents can be picked up in person.
- The documents can be delivered to the borrower/signor by courier.
- Borrower will print the documents; in the event they are provided electronically.
- Borrower will review all the documents and make note of any questions or concerns.
- Borrower will send an email with any questions or concerns they may have.
- Once questions and concerns are addressed, at a prescheduled time, borrower will join a Zoom meeting with Attorney/Notary and establish a video call.
- During the video call, the borrower will sign and acknowledge the mortgage and other documents that require notarization. All other documents will be signed prior to the video call.
- Borrower will return the original signed paper documents to the Attorneys office.
- Once the original, signed paper documents are received back a second video call with the borrower to confirm/complete the notarization will be scheduled.
- After the second video call the closing/documents will be processed as normal.
- In certain cases, some of the closing documents may be able to be signed electronically. However, any document that requires notarization will need to be processed virtually in compliance with the Act. The Act does NOT provide for electronic notarization, and the Act does not provide for electronic signatures for documents that will be record.
- To be physically located in Massachusetts
- Blue ink pen
- One government issued photo ID
- One additional form of government identification
- Ability to provide a copy or photograph of their IDs
- Internet access to Zoom.us
- Video camera with audio (Facetime is not an option)
- The ability to return original, singed documents back to our office promptly.
- A Virtual Notarization Affidavit will be executed by the notary for each transaction
- The Zoom conferences will be recorded
- The affidavit and video conference recording will be kept on file for 10 years
Providing title, escrow, closing and settlement services to clients throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire
“I would highly recommend David as a closing attorney. I have known David and have been using his office for many years. David’s professionalism when dealing with me, my closing department and most especially my clients has been always exemplary.”
“The Law Office of Attorney David R. Rocheford, Jr. is by far the most exceptional real estate law office that I have had the pleasure of working with. The professionalism is by far second to none.”
“Attorney David Rocheford has provided settlement and title services for me and Greenpark Mortgage several years. He has assisted all of my clients, including my family and friends with mortgage closings. Always providing excellent service. Reliable and trustworthy!”
Every year, homeowners spend billions of dollars renovating their homes. It almost seems expected that homeowners are going to end up going over budget on any project. On the other hand, this doesn’t have to be the case. In reality, there are a few tips and tricks that homeowners can follow to help them save big money on that next home renovation project.
Serve As The General Contractor
Many homeowners hire a general contractor to control the staffing of each individual project. While this might reduce stress levels, it also costs more money. Hiring a general contractor adds an additional middle man to the project who might charge a premium for each individual project.
Homeowners that need to renovate the kitchen, replace the roof, and find a new water heater should hire professionals to handle these individual projects; however, they don’t necessarily need to hire a general contractor. Skipping this step can save money.
Seek Out Multiple Bids On Each Project
Some homeowners don’t like making phone calls and filling out paperwork to collect bids for various projects; however, collecting multiple bids can help homeowners save money. On any given home renovation project, try to collect at least three bids. For larger projects, it is better to collect even more.
Then, once all the bids are collected, they can be leveraged against each other for a lower price. Homeowners are often surprised by the wide range of bids on a project. Some proposals might even be thousands of dollars apart.
Take Advantage Of Sales
Just as food goes on sale at the grocery store, the materials needed to complete a home renovation project might go on sale from time to time as well. Taking advantage of sales at department stores can be a great way to reduce overhead costs. There might even be cheaper options online.
Reduce Home Renovation Costs
These are a few of the most important tips for reducing the cost of that next big home renovation project. Home renovation projects don’t have to break the bank! Be sure to collect multiple bids and leverage inventory sales.
Those who own homes might regularly receive mail advertising something called a home warranty. Many people end up tossing these leaflets away because they think this is just another form of home insurance, which many people get through their mortgage lender. In reality, a home warranty is not home insurance. Therefore, some people might be wondering whether or not a home warranty is worth the money.
There are a few important points that people should know.
What Is A Home Warranty?
A home warranty is similar to insurance is that people are going to pay a set premium per year to protect them against the risk of larger expenses down the road; however, people need to know what a home warranty is going to cover. This is where people need to read the policy.
Typically, a home warranty is going to cover the cost to repair or replace certain appliances or home systems is they are damaged or break down. If someone needs to file a claim, this is usually done online or over the phone. Then, the homeowner is going to bring out a professional and pay a service fee (which is similar to a deductible) to get the repair completed. In some cases, the homeowner will have to pay the entire bill and get reimbursed later.
Is The Home Warranty Worth It?
In general, if someone has purchased a brand new home, this policy simply isn’t necessary. In many states, the builder is required to repair defects for a few years after the home is built. The common time-frames range from two years to ten years. Therefore, a home warranty might be duplicate coverage and, thus, unnecessary. Furthermore, brand new appliances are almost always protected by one or two-year warranties. Again, a home warranty might be duplicate coverage.
On the other hand, if someone has an older home or older appliances, the home warranty might be worth it. Older appliances are more likely to break down and, thus, require repairs. Therefore, people need to think about their own individual circumstances and weigh the risk of a broken appliance against the cost of the policy. A home warranty may be right for some people but not others.
Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, a home appraisal is a critical component of the home selling process. An appraisal is also required in situations where a home is gifted to a family member, so it’s important to have a clear understanding of what it entails.
What Is A Home Appraisal?
A home appraisal is an unbiased estimate of a home’s fair market value conducted by a professional appraiser. All 50 states require that appraisers be licensed and/or certified and demonstrate knowledge of the specified area. The purpose of a home appraisal is to determine whether the home’s asking price is appropriate based on its location, condition, size, and amenities.
Appraisals are done in almost all purchase, sale and refinance transactions, with the exception being when a buyer uses cash and doesn’t have a mortgage. They are typically coordinated by the mortgage lender to ensure the loan isn’t too large in relation to the home’s value.
How Are Appraisal Values Determined?
Licensed appraisers calculate a home’s value based on comparable recent sales in the area and current market trends. Factors such as the home’s floor plan, size, number of rooms, and any upgrades or amenities are also considered. Upgrades and amenities could include things such as a pool, an expanded garage, or a remodeled kitchen.
The appraiser conducts a visual inspection to appraise a home, noting the home’s condition and whether any major repairs are needed. It’s important to note that this differs from a home inspection in that the appraisal assesses a home’s value, while an inspection assesses its condition. In an inspection, the home inspector actually makes repair recommendations. During an appraisal,the appraiser notes any necessary repairs but does not make recommendations.
When Is An Appraisal Done?
After an offer is made, an appraisal is one of the first steps in the closing process. Everything will proceed as planned as long as the appraisal value comes in at or above the price in the contract. If it appraises for below that amount, closing can be delayed or canceled altogether.
What Does A Home Appraisal Cost?
Costs vary based on the mortgage type, but a home appraisal generally costs $300-500. It is almost always paid for by the borrower as part of closing costs.