156 Hamilton St., Leominster, MA

Four Tips on Selling a Home With Pets

Four Tips on Selling a Home With PetsThere are more residential homes with pets in the U.S. than in any other country. However, that also means that the home also takes on the characteristics of the pet, including the smells, and that can make things a bit difficult when it comes time to sell that home. Homeowners with pets will have to work at removing any signs the pet has left behind. Here are four tips on how to do that.

Get Rid of the Obvious Evidence

As much as homeowners love their pets, when it comes time to sell a home any sign of the pet has to be removed. Don’t forget where the pet left their marks as well. Cats, for example, love to rub against specific locations to leave a scent. Fur and oil end up leaving a mark on the walls over time. Homeowners should look for and expect to make any sign of the pet’s presence disappear for a successful sale. This can be challenging if the you are still living in the home. The best way to approach removing the scent is to wait until you have moved out and deodorize and clean at that time.

Deodorize, Deodorize, Deodorize

Pets produce a distinct smell over time, but pet owners usually don’t notice it. Have a friend or neighbor come over after every cleaning to check if the pet smells are still there. People who do not own pets will notice pet smells immediately. The more sensitive the nose, the better. Homeowners should keep deodorizing the home until every pet smell is sufficiently purged. Then, bake some cookies on open house day.

Deep Cleaning

Anything with fabric, like carpets, will need to be deep cleaned. People with allergies will pick up on an animal’s fur right away. Animals also have a habit of leaving stains. Ideally, the house carpet should be replaced before a sale, but that’s not always practical. So, plan on a thorough professional carpet cleaning. Hard surfaces and walls should be fully washed and sanitized as well.

Don’t Forget the Backyard

If your pet likes to roam, the backyard needs help too. You should redo the landscaping and erase any sign of the pet’s presence. Dogs are the big culprit in this category. Fresh lawn and new flowers help a lot, and new bark is a great ground cover at low cost.

Popcorn Ceilings and the Trend to Remove Them

Popcorn Ceilings and the Trend to Remove ThemDuring the 1970s, home building picked up on the idea of a cheap but effective way to reduce sound travel from one floor to the next: popcorn ceilings. Essentially, after the drywall was installed, a finisher would come in with a plaster mix and spray on the ceiling drywall for a bit of a lumpy effect. The disparate clumps and bumps not only created a texture to an otherwise flat-looking ceiling, they also helped break up sound waves. After being spray-painted in white, the ceiling texture essentially blended with the rest of the room to produce a finished look. Popcorn ceilings were such a common approach, entire home subdivisions had cookie-cutter ceiling work done by teams on new homes.

A Bad Memory From the Past

Today, popcorn ceilings are like sheet vinyl on flooring, relics of the 1970s decade and almost a trigger for a negative gut reaction from anyone who lived in that time period, particularly as a kid. Worse, prior to 1978, some of the material used to create the popcorn ceiling also included asbestos under the idea that it would improve safety and increase fire resistance ( disregarding the fact that asbestos is extremely hazardous to breathe once airborne).

Leverage for a Buyer, Vulnerability for a Seller

No surprise, anyone in modern times coming into a used home as a new buyer and owner will likely want to have the popcorn ceiling texture completely removed and redone. In some cases, during a buyer’s market, some prospects will actually want the seller to pay for the work to sell the home quickly.

Sellers should expect, at a minimum, that the issue will be used to argue for a lower price, at least in a normal market or where there is competition to secure a buyer. Only during a seller’s market will the presence of the popcorn ceiling pretty much be a non-issue for a quick sale.

While it might seem tempting to just have the owner scrape the ceilings and repaint them, it’s best to have a professional take care of the removal in a clean process. Especially if the home is older than 1978, the work could be hazardous and require specific steps for proper mitigation.

How To Find The Right Home Insurance Coverage For You And Your Family

How To Find The Right Home Insurance Coverage For You And Your FamilyThose who are taking out a loan for a home will probably be required by the lender to purchase home insurance. Even those who don’t need a loan will still need to make sure that they protect their property accordingly with a comprehensive home insurance policy. This is important for making sure homeowners have the money to replace their belongings and repair their property in the event of a disaster. At the same time, homeowners do not want to spend more than they must for a home insurance policy.

How can homeowners find the right home insurance policy to protect themselves?

Think About The Disasters In The Area

First, homeowners need to make sure the home insurance policy protects them against the right risks. If homeowners live in an area that is prone to floods or earthquakes, they need to find a policy that will protect them against these risks. If homeowners live in an area that gets a lot of hurricanes, they should make sure their home insurance policy protects them against hurricane damages. Not all policies include these as standard coverage, so homeowners should make sure they do not have to purchase a rider.

Make Sure There Is Money To Rebuild Your Home

Remember that the cost to rebuild a home could be more or less than the original purchase price. Lenders will want to make sure that all homeowners have a policy that gives them enough money to rebuild. Otherwise, the lender might not finance the mortgage. The local construction costs and the square footage of the structure will all play a role in the cost to rebuild. It might be prudent to work with a real estate agent to estimate this cost. The type of exterior, the style of the house, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and other properties on the premises will all play a role in the cost to rebuild a home.

Other Factors To Consider

Homeowners also need to think about whether their home is up to code. When the home is rebuilt, it needs to match new codes, which could increase the price. Homeowners also need to make sure their home insurance policy will cover valuable belongings in the home as well, such as furniture and electronics.

Keeping A Closet Organized: The Top Tips

Keeping A Closet Organized: The Top TipsHomeowners need to make sure they maximize every square foot of their home. This includes the closet. Many people get frustrated when they look at their closets because they feel like they cannot find what they are looking for. Anyone who is struggling to keep their closet organizers should take a look at a few important points below.

Remove Items That Are No Longer Being Used

The first step in creating more space in a closet is getting rid of items that are no longer being used. First, take a look at all the items on the hangers. Then, see if it has been worn during the past year. If not, it is time to get rid of it. In addition, it might be helpful to remove clothing items that are not in season. Then, store them until the weather changes again. Creating more space in the closet can make it easier to keep the closet organized.

Check The Quality Of The Hangers

Next, take a look at the hangers. It is critical to use the right hangers because the wrong hangers could damage the clothes. Even though it is tempting to keep clothes on hangers that came from the store, they could stretch the clothes out over time, ruining the appearance. Try to use hangers that have pads on them. These softer hangers will not leave impressions on the clothes, extending their lifespan. 

Create More Storage In The Closet

Finally, remember that not everything has to go on a hanger. There are some items that can be folded or tucked away in drawers. That is why it might be helpful to invest in alternative storage options in the closet. This could include cubbies that hang from the bottom of the shelf. Or, it might be nice to install drawers at the bottom of the closet. This could be another way to create more storage space and keep the closet organized. 

Improve Closet Organization

Ultimately, there are plenty of ways to keep a closet organized. By removing items that are not being used and increasing storage space in the closet, it might be easier to find what is needed. This is a great way to keep the closet clean. 


Four Excellent Reasons You Should Check Your Real Estate Agent’s References and Testimonials

Four Excellent Reasons You Should Check Your Real Estate Agent's References and Testimonials There are different methods that home buyers may use to find a real estate agent to work with. While some may use the services of a real estate agent who they know personally, others may reach out to a professional who they have located online. Regardless of whether you previously knew the individual in a non-professional setting or not, it is important that you check your agent’s reference and testimonials before you get started with the home buying process. There are several good reasons for this.

The Importance Of Accessibility

Whether you are trying to find the perfect property and submit an offer before anyone else or you are actively negotiating with a seller, you need your real estate agent to be accessible to you. Simply because you are friends with the agent or they were friendly to you with the first phone call does not mean that they will continue to be accessible to you until you close on the home. References and testimonials can give you more information about this.

Professional Demeanor Throughout The Process

The right real estate agent is one who remains cool and composed throughout the transaction with all parties. Negotiations can become heated at times, and you want your real estate agent to have a professional demeanor under pressure. References and testimonials can give you first-hand insight about the agent’s demeanor.

Skilled With Negotiations

It is not enough to have a real estate agent represent you in negotiations. You also want the real estate agent to have some skills and a track record for success. You may not get everything you want with negotiations because of the need to compromise, but your real estate agent should be able to structure a deal that works well for you.

An Overall Great Experience

There will inevitably be times of stress and anxiety when you are buying a new property, and it is not reasonable to expect otherwise. However, a real estate agent should be by your side to facilitate the process, to explain concepts and to help you make better decisions from start to finish. When you read reviews and testimonials, pay attention to how satisfied the clients were with the overall process.

There are many factors to consider when selecting the right real estate agent to work with. While you want to have a great interactive dynamic with your real estate agent, you also need to focus on these factors to make the best decision possible. You can begin by contacting an agent today and requesting references from the professional.

Taking A Look At The Top Trends In Bathroom Design

Taking A Look At The Top Trends In Bathroom DesignIt is important to make the bathroom a relaxing, peaceful, and stress-free location. Many people view their bathrooms as a sanctuary, and it is important to treat them as such. What are a few popular trends that are taking place in bathroom design? 

Customized Tiles In The Bathroom

Many people enjoy customizing the tiles they use in their bathrooms. These are commonly called affinity tiles, which are concrete tiles with creative scenes and prints on them. They come in a wide variety of colors, designs, and styles. Many homeowners like to use these types of tiles to create a bold pattern in the bathroom. They are commonly used on the floor, near the bathtub, or in the shower. 

Floating Sinks And Vanities

One popular trend that is taking place is a floating vanity. This is a sink that looks like it is floating above the ground. Instead of having a pillar that connects the sink to the ground, the sink sits on a shelf. Then, the pipe is relatively short, making it difficult to spot. From a standing height, this makes it look like the sink is floating, creating a crisp, clean appearance in the bathroom.

A Natural Theme

Many homeowners are creating natural things in their bathrooms by using botanical wallpaper. The reality is that right now, bold patterns are in. During renovation projects, many homeowners are showcasing their personal styles in their bathrooms. For example, a large botanical print often includes colorful leaves and flowers. This makes it easier for homeowners to make a statement. Then, the flowers and leaves are printed on either a light or dark background, allowing the nature scene to stand out. This creates a relaxing feeling that many people love when they spend time in the bathroom. 

Bring The Styles Together

Finally, homeowners should remember that these options are not mutually exclusive. There are plenty of fusion designs that can bring all of these together. That way, everyone will feel more comfortable while occupying the bathroom. Renovating a bathroom could also be a great way to add more value to the home.