Massachusetts Real Estate News

 

Jan. 17, 2022

How Smart is Your Home?

 

Technology seems to be an always changing and evolving thing to consider in your home.  Once upon a time, a home was thought to be advanced if it had a telephone connection in multiple rooms. Then bedrooms with cable hook-ups were all the rage, especially if you were house shopping with teenagers.  Has anyone ever come across an intercom built into the wall?  Things that once felt like luxury now seem quaint.  

 

Today people want their refrigerators to buy their milk for them.  Just how “smart” do people want their homes to be?  And, what’s the best way to make your home a smarty-pants?

What are you looking for in a tech-assisted home?

The first thing you really need to ask yourself is what are YOU looking for out of these devices.  Are you looking to make your home more secure or more convenient?  

 

It’s not too difficult to make your existing home smart.  You can use Alexa or Nest devices with smart plugs and smart bulbs and control them either with voice or apps on your phone. When you move you will most likely take these devices with you so you don’t have to worry about tech compatibility with new buyers.

 

But what of more permanent devices? Such as appliances or security systems.  Amazon, Google, and Apple all have devices to help you control every aspect of your home.  Of course, you want to tailor your devices to your preferences but it’s a good idea to stick with the major players, the companies that you know are going to be around and updating their software a year from now, to make the home transfer easier.  You don’t want to be trying to sell your Betamax home in five years.  (Points if you know what I’m talking about). 

 

If you are planning on upgrading your kitchen with Wi-Fi enabled appliances you can feel pretty comfortable with most manufacturers, as they are working to make each of the major smart home hubs able to integrate into their products.  This means that while you may have an Apple device running your home you don’t have to worry about selling to just Apple users.  

 

https://www.consumerreports.org/appliances/smart-appliances-that-work-with-amazon-alexa-google-home-and-more/

 

The same can be said for most Smart Door Locks and Security Cameras and Doorbells.  Though, those you can also take with you if you’d like to reuse them in your new home.  

 

https://www.schlage.com/blog/categories/2019/05/moving-with-smart-locks.html

 

https://support.ring.com/hc/en-us/articles/360038010351-I-Would-Like-to-Take-Over-Change-Ownership-of-Ring-Devices

 

**If you are selling or buying a home with these Smart Home devices make sure you include the login information in the transfer paperwork.  As a buyer you don’t want to have to track down the previous owner, or go through the support headache, just to control your home.**

 

If you are building a new home you want to keep all of this in mind, but today it’s not telephone or cable connections you need to plan for, but Ethernet Ports.  Also, to make sure you avoid bad network pockets a mesh network is suggested. 

 

For an existing home, there are apps you can download on your phone to test your Wi-Fi signal and if you find you have bad pockets you can upgrade to a mesh network.  

 

https://www.pcmag.com/picks/the-best-wi-fi-mesh-network-systems

 

I know this is some bare-bones advice but hopefully, the information I’ve provided will start you on the best “education” for your smart home.




 

Posted in News
Dec. 13, 2021

How to Repurpose your Christmas Tree

 

Are you a die-hard live Christmas tree or nothing type of person?  If so, do you struggle every year with simply dumping the tree on the curb and wondering if there are better ways to dispose of it in Subury or Wayland?

 

Well, there are…

 

In the Garden

 

Pine needles dry quickly and decompose slowly, making them great moisturizing, and nutrient-full, mulch.  Of course turning your tree into mulch can be difficult if you don’t have access to a chipper.   You can rent a chipper from the local hardware store.  Or, see if your local garden center offers a mulching service.

 

If you don’t have a garden in need of mulch, many garden centers will take your tree, free of charge, so they can mulch it for others.

 

You can also remove the boughs of the tree to use as insulation for your perennials.  

 

You can cut the trunk into 2 inch discs to use as flower bed edging.  Or use the trunk and thicker branches as pathway edging.

 

If you have muddy pathways in your garden the pine needles make great ground cover to add traction.

 

And if you go the extra mile to buy a tree with a root ball you can replant it after Christmas… assuming you took the proper care of it while it was inside.

 

In Nature

 

You don’t have to rush to discard the tree, you could put it to use outside.  Make sure you put it in a secure pot and let it be used as housing for birds and squirrels.  Hang bird feeders, peanut butter filled pine cones, and suet from the boughs to feed the wildlife all winter.

 

Christmas Tree Turned Bird Feeder 😃🌲🐦 // Garden Answer

 

If you have a large pond on your property you can sink the tree for the fish to house in and feed off.  (Assuming your tree is chemical free, of course.)

 

Check with your local parks department to see if they take trees to use for the wildlife in the local parks.

 

And, some coastal areas will collect trees to help with coastal erosion, and even to help build up new sand dunes.

 

In Crafts  

 

Use some of the pine needles in a potpourri.  If you’re really creative you can cut off a disc of the trunk, put it in a heat resistance bowl, cover it halfway with water, add pine needles and other ingredients (such as cinnamon sticks, cloves, cranberries, etc ), and place the bowl in a warm spot, away from pets and children, such as over a heating vent.  As the water warms up the scents will fill the air.  Once the water evaporates you will need to refill it and refresh the ingredients.  

 

You can cut the trunk to make candle holders, coasters, ornaments, flower pot risers…  If you can think it, you can make it.

 

4 Easy DIY Ideas from Logs and Branches

 

You can strip some of the smaller branches of the tree needles and use the twigs as stakes for other plants.  

 

To keep warm OUTSIDE ONLY

 

If you enjoy your fire pit all year long you can add the trees to the fire, but only OUTSIDE, do not use the trees in an indoor fireplace  as the creosote will build up and cause a fire hazard.

 

If you don’t want to bother with the hassle of dealing with your tree after the holiday then make sure to check into whether your local garden centers or parks take donations.  Or, maybe your city has special tree pick-up times for recycling.  A little extra research is worth your tree being put to use, rather than simply ending up in the MetroWest area landfills.  

 

Posted in News
Nov. 15, 2021

Tips on Buying Power Tools

 

It’s almost the holidays and many men have a power tool wish list. And, hey, being homeowners, even some metrowest women have power tools on their list. With the market being saturated with various brands of power tools, it can be a really tough decision to choose the right ones.

 

Here are some basic areas of comparison that you need to take into consideration. These tips will also help you get the best deals on the power tools you do decide to purchase.

 

Of course, the purchase price is something we are all going to look at.

 

It doesn’t matter how great a power tool is, if it is too much for the budget then it probably won’t even be considered. Most power tools are reasonably priced but you are going to run across some heavy-duty, top-of-the-line power tools that have a price tag to reflect it. Don’t spend a fortune on a tool you’re only going to use once or twice, just get what you need to get the job done safely. You can rent many expensive, ‘single-use’ tools such as a tile saw, table saw, floor sander, etcetera, from your local Lowes, Home Depot, or similar store. 

 

When you are starting your search, be sure to consider some local hardware stores too and not just the big box stores. You will most likely find their customer service much better. 

 

If you are going to purchase, keep in mind that the total cost is more than just the purchase price. You have to include the ‘expendables’ or accessories needed to make the tool do what it has to do. Take the cost of these essentials into consideration as well. Depending on the type of power tool, these essentials can be sandpaper, belts, blades, bits, or any number of other items. Optional accessories are also something to consider, which may make the tool even more useful or versatile.

 

What features are you looking for in a particular power tool?

 

Don’t get caught up in all the ‘special’ or added features that some have to offer. You may end up paying a great deal more for a power tool that has features you won’t or don’t intend to ever use. Take a good look at those features, however, because you may find a few that you could really use. that you didn’t think of, such as a laser guide on a miter saw, or a drill that has a hammer-drill setting. That will definitely make a particular model more appealing to you. Note: when it comes to circular saws, some are ‘left-hand’ blades and some are ‘right-hand’ blades. Which works best for you, something we sometimes forget!

 

Consider Replacement Parts and Customer Support...especially Batteries!

Since most power tools are designed to last a very long time, you want to find out about the availability of replacement parts. You also want to find out about customer support. It can be over the phone, by mail, or on the internet. It is important that customer support is available to you in the event you have questions, comments, or complaints about your power tool purchase. Manufacturers who have been in business for a very long time are likely to still be there down the road when you need a replacement part for your power tool. READ REVIEWS!

 Here’s a great example. For cordless tools, look at DeWalt. They are available everywhere. Batteries are available and are common or shared, and are compatible among many different tools. Many times, you can find them in sets, all using the same batteries and charger. Keep in mind that less common replacement batteries can be quite expensive. DeWalt tools are used by professionals and do-it-yourselfers alike, are of good quality, and they last!

 

Stanley, Milwaukee, Ridgid (Rigid) Tool Company, Dremel, Crescent Tool, Channel-Lok, Klein, Wiss tools, Snap-On, Craftsman, Black & Decker, Estwing, Lenox, and Leatherman, are others to consider. These are generally all brand names that have been around a while, so replacement parts and customer service are generally good and available.

 

 

The quality of a power tool is very important.

 

A good way to compare the quality of a particular type of power tool is to check reviews online from other consumers.and professionals. These reviews are free to look at and usually unbiased. You can also check with magazines or websites that do comparisons such as Consumer Reports. However, you will probably have to pay for a subscription to get this information. Their monthly magazine has features for a variety of products. You can search their archives online to find articles and reviews about power tools as well.

 

It is a good idea to purchase a particular model and brand of power tool only after you have physically looked at it and touched it. Is it too heavy? Does it seem too flimsy for the job you plan to do with it? How noisy is it? Does it fit properly in your hands? These things are all very important and will affect how compatible the power tool is for you.

 

Safety should be a top priority on your list when it comes to selecting power tools.

 

 What is the safety rating? How many accidents have occurred with a particular model of hand tool? What safety features does the power tool offer you? All power tools on the market have basic safety mechanisms in place, but keep in mind that some only offer the bare minimum as regulated while others go the extra mile to ensure their customers are safe while operating them. NEVER remove a safety guard, it is there for a reason!

 

 

To get the most from the power tools you purchase, follow these guidelines: Don’t be blind-sided by the brand name or the design of a particular power tool. Take the time to find out exactly what it has to offer you. With a little research, you are sure to get just the right tool to get the job done.

Posted in News
Oct. 14, 2021

10 Tips to Help You Save for a House Deposit

It can be a struggle to save money to put a deposit down on a house. For some people, it can take years of saving to come up with enough for a deposit for a home. Shorten the time it takes you to save up for a new Sudbury home by using these tips each day.

Turn these tips into daily habits and see your savings grow more quickly:

Set up a standing deposit order. Rather than relying on your own good intentions to save money each month, set up a standing order at your bank or with your employer to ensure money is put into an account every month without you even having to think about it. This can add up quicker than you think.

Try to cut back on buying frivolous things. Do you really need that Netflix subscription? What about the number of meals you eat out each month - could they be cut back?

  • Once you take control of your finances by sitting down and looking at your bank statements, you will see how much money you spend on purchases that you don’t even get much enjoyment from.

Find a new savings account. If you’ve had the same savings account for several years, you may find that you’re not getting as much interest on your savings as you would in a different account. It’s worth shopping around to see what accounts are available.

Set goals for your savings. To save a large amount of money, it helps to break it down into more manageable amounts. This will help keep you motivated as the savings are realistic and tangible. These small goals will add up to something much more substantial over time.

Sell your unwanted items. Your rubbish may be someone else’s treasure, so it is worth setting aside some time to sort out your current home and to sell any unwanted items. Start off with one room at a time. When you’re done, add the money that you get from selling the items to your savings account. Craigslist, eBay and even Facebook marketplace are good places to start if you aren’t a fan of hosting a garage sale.

Save money by buying in bulk. Consider buying certain items in bulk. If you have storage space, you can save a lot of money. Consider using generic items as well, as these are often less expensive than more popular brands and way better than they used to be.

Rent somewhere cheaper. Saving money for a deposit may require drastic action, such as moving into a less expensive rental property.

Lower your expectations. Perhaps you can begin home ownership with a smaller property, rather than your dream home. Once you are on the property ladder, it’s often easier to save for a larger property.

Stick to a budget. When you plan your expenses for the month, you’ll know how much you are able to save. It will show how much money you need to pay those bills, plus how much disposable income you have. You can set your disposable money aside for the deposit. Here’s a great worksheet to help in setting a budget. 

Consider a rental setup. Do you have a spare room? Maybe you can rent it out. Own a travel trailer? Rent it on Outdoorsy.com. Large car, maybe you can Uber on weekends. Get creative.

 

Using these tips will help you to save money for a home deposit. It may take quite a few months or even a couple of years but taking measures to save more quickly will be worth it if your dream is to own your own home.

 

Want more information regarding financing and down payments? Check out my videos below:

 

 

 

Posted in News
Sept. 13, 2021

Home Organization Tips for the Unorganized

 

Being unorganized can make life tough in a number of ways. Disorganization in your home can cause an unending, overall sense of stress, because you're lacking a certain amount of order in your life. It also causes unsightly clutter and makes it hard to find things. 

 

The good news is that with some easy home organization tips, you can have your home whipped into shape in no time. It may seem like an impossible task right now, but when broken down into smaller projects, organization is inevitable. 

 

Try these simple organization tips: 

 

1. Get rid of your clutter. There's no use in organizing items that you're not going to keep, so getting rid of them first is a good initial step. It's best to live by the rule that if you haven't used an item in over a year and it doesn't hold sentimental value, you should probably consider letting go of it. 

  • Make piles for trash, donations, and things to sell. You can use websites like eBay or Craigslist to sell unwanted items for extra cash.  

 

2. Start small. It's important to set small goals for yourself, room by room, throughout your house. When you focus on everything as a whole it can get so crazy that it might just seem like a lost cause. 

  • Try starting in your bathroom, or better yet, just start by going through the cabinet underneath your bathroom sink. Throw out old items and organize the rest. Afterward, you can call it a day and then work on another small project another time.  
  • As you move to new rooms, maintain the organization of the rooms you've already done. You don't want to complete a few rooms only to find out that your bathroom cabinets are disorganized again.  

 

3. Learn how to store things. Just because you've gotten your things out of sight, it doesn't mean that you've got an organizational method. Plan a strategy to store similar things together in marked storage bins.  

  • Once you follow through on your storage strategy, then you'll know where things are. You can also benefit from learning how to store things in sight. Make good use of shelves, baskets, or furniture with built-in storage space to keep things neat and where you're likely to need them. 

 

4. Create a cleaning schedule. Once you have your home in order, it's all about maintenance. You'll need to find a way to keep things in order. Make a schedule to keep track of what chores are done and when. You can even schedule in a time to deal with clutter to get everything back into its proper place. 

  • Dividing up the cleaning tasks throughout the week will make it easier to maintain the order you worked so hard to attain. This limits "chore time" to short increments of time. Instead of spending an entire Saturday cleaning, clean a room each day, and then you can have fun on the weekend while your home is still neat and tidy. 
  • Establish the habit of picking up as you go. When you take something out of its place to use it, put it back when you're done.  

If you really want to change your life, you can make it so. Even if you've been unorganized forever, use these tips to help you turn things around and enjoy the lovely home you've created. 

 

 

Posted in News
Aug. 19, 2021

Create a More Energy Efficient Home When Remodeling

According to Home Advisor, Americans spent upwards of $4 billion remodeling their homes in 2020. So if you’re planning to renovate, you may want to remember one point: It can pay to make your Sudbury home more energy efficient while you remodel.

 

“Homeowners are putting extra emphasis on energy cost savings when remodeling their homes,” explains Danny Lipford, homebuilding expert and host of the television show “Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford.” “Projects that provide more energy efficiency have proven to help reduce heating and cooling costs, in some cases by up to 15 percent.”

 

Lipford says that homeowners would be wise to seek every possible way to keep their homes energy efficient and resistant to moisture. He recommends that early in the remodeling process you should ask the contractor plenty of questions. Find out where he thinks you can maximize energy savings, where energy can be lost during a renovation, how to protect against potential weather damage and if he plans to use innovative products such as DuPont Tyvek Weatherization Systems Products that can help save energy while protecting your home.

 

The three key zones Lipford identifies as those to focus on to cut energy costs are:

 

ZONE #1: The Attic

 

Attic insulation can result in significant energy savings, reducing heating and cooling costs by using innovative building materials like DuPont Tyvek AtticWrap. “Some of the most effective solutions that help make homes more efficient are the ones you can’t see and are important to focus on early in the remodeling process,” says Lipford.

 

ZONE #2: The Walls

 

During construction, contractors can use a house wrap-such as DuPont Tyvek HomeWrap, which meets ENERGY STAR standards-under the siding. The wrap protects the house like a windbreaker, forming a protective skin around the walls, doors and windows. Installing house wrap can help lower heating and cooling costs by keeping outside air and water out while allowing moisture to escape. Without a quality house wrap, homes are more vulnerable to exterior deterioration, air and water infiltration and possibly mold.

 

ZONE #3: The Windows

 

Vinyl windows have become one of the most popular choices for superior energy efficiency and moisture management, especially when flashed correctly and installed with insulated glass panels.

 

If you have any questions on how to make YOUR home more efficient, let’s talk about it. 

Posted in News
July 12, 2021

Shopping in a Tight Market




Last year forced people to put their plans on hold, and that included many real estate decisions.  While the Metro West market stayed strong in 2020 there were many homeowners who delayed either buying or selling due to health or economic concerns.   That is just one of the reasons that this year’s housing market around Sudbury and Wayland is quite competitive.

 

Experts point to other factors as well--

  • In order to help the economy recover, interest rates have been kept low, but experts keep hinting that it may soon start to rise, so now is a good time to take out a new mortgage.  
  • Millennials are starting to enter the time in their lives when they are ready to start buying their first homes.  And for some 2020 was a year when they were able to save up for a down payment.
  • With the rise of working remotely, more urban dwellers are able to move out into the suburbs and into a larger home with room for a home office.
  • Even before 2020, the years spent in a home were trending longer.

If you’re a seller you welcome people competing for your home.  Chances are good that you will sell quickly, over your asking price, and without worrying about inspections sinking your sale.  Because you can find a buyer willing to forgo demanding contingencies.

 

Though, if you are trying to buy,  you don’t much care about the reasons.  You want to know how you can improve your odds, beyond just paying more and risking no inspections.  

 

Before I give you some tips for navigating the tight market I want to warn you about Buyer Fatigue.  Many home shoppers are simply giving up without even making an offer on a home.  An open house may have 20 or 30 people go through and only receive 1 or 2 offers because many shoppers just don’t expect success. They are reading so many articles about the market being tight they assume it is everywhere.   So...

 

Don’t Give Up!

 

Not all markets are the same.  There are many where the old rules still apply.  So if you can’t afford to go over the asking price, make your best offer anyway. (Here's a video on how to get your offer noticed)  If you are nervous about skipping the inspection, make an offer with contingencies.  Rejection does get frustrating, but don’t let it stop you from trying because you don’t really know if you’ll be successful or not.  


If you do find yourself in a tight market I’ve got a few ideas to help:

 

Use a realtor

 

Especially one familiar with the local area/market.  Make sure you contact your realtor early so they can keep an eye and ear out for new listings to help you get a jump on the competition.  A realtor can also be your advocate in case there is a bidding war.

 

Get pre-approved/Have a downpayment ready

 

When you find something you like you need to be ready to move.  In a tight market a seller doesn’t have to wait for you to get your stuff together, they can simply move on to the next buyer.  

 

Also, be aware that in a competitive market savvy investors will use cash to buy properties in order to beat out those who are taking out a mortgage.  (Here's a video on making an offer when you are up against cash buyers)

 

Know your wants vs needs

 

You may need to temper your expectations a little and be willing to compromise.  It’s very difficult to find everything you want in one perfect house, but in a tight market you really don’t have the time to debate one home’s perfect kitchen over another’s perfect bathroom.  

 

You might even want to consider buying a fixer-upper.   Though this one will require consultation with your realtor on which improvements are worth it and which are risky.  Potentially with a contractor, on how much improvements may run you.  And, with your lender on getting approval for home improvement loans.

 

Consider expanding your geographical area

 

Are you going to be working from home more often?  Maybe a short commute doesn’t have to be number one on your list if you aren’t going to be making it every day.  

 

Maybe you’ve always dreamed of living in “neighborhood A” but “neighborhood B” has homes just as nice closer to your price range.  

 

One way to help you with this is to do some virtual shopping of your interest areas. Seeing the different homes for sale will give you an idea of what the market has to offer.  

 

Tell all your friends and family to keep their ears open

 

The more options you have the better your chances of snagging a winner.

 

It’s easy to get frustrated when your offers are being rejected or homes sell before you’ve even had a chance to see it in person.  The best way to avoid that frustration is to prepare, prepare, prepare.  Yes, you want to be able to make your decision quickly but you want that decision to be made smartly, and with all available information.  

 

Here's a quick video on getting yourself noticed when you are up against multiple offers.

 

 

I am here to help you plan, and then when you are ready, help you get that new home!





Posted in News
June 14, 2021

Smart Home Automation Features You Want in Your House

When you make modifications to your home, you should always have one question in mind: “Will this make my home more desirable if it ever goes on the market?” If a project doesn’t make your house easier to sell, there isn’t much point in making the investment of your time and money. If you’re looking for projects that make your house more enjoyable and convenient while you’re there and more sellable down the line, smart home features are the way to go. 

 

Many of today’s smart home features have already gone through their first-generation growing pains, and they’ve been tweaked and updated to truly make your life more convenient. Imagine how cool it will be controlling electronics using voice commands through Alexa. Think about the peace of mind you’ll have when you can check a security feed from the convenience of your smartphone when you install a Ring Doorbell security system. The more you integrate these features, the more efficient your smart home will be.

When installing smart home automation products, you want to make sure the job is done safely and correctly the first time. Hiring an electrician in your area to help with installment ensures just that. The cost to hire an electrician is nominal compared to the time and trouble it will save you. 

 

Smart Security Features

 

All homeowners want more security. There are tons of smart security systems and products on the market, but what interests a lot of homeowners are the more affordable options that do not require a contract for service. When it’s time to sell the house, the new homeowners don’t have to start up a new one and pay monthly fees for the kind of security we all want and deserve. Look for easy-to-set-up security devices that don’t require a contract: all-in-one security systems, cameras that show footage night or day, motion-sensing lights, video doorbells, and contact sensors that will notify the homeowner when a door or window has been opened.

 

Smart Kitchen Features

 

The crown jewel of any smart kitchen will always be the smart refrigerator. These handy appliances do so much more than keep your food fresh. They can help you plan your meals based on the ingredients you already have on hand. Some models let you program expiration dates into its internal clock so the machine can alert you when something’s gone bad. Many models support Alexa and Google Assistant so they can be fully integrated, too. 

 

Smart Energy Saving Features

 

Smart home features appeal to millennials for many reasons, but a big one is because they’re looking for the environmental sustainability and energy savings that they offer. Features like smart thermostats learn household habits and adjust the temperature based on the weather and consumption to help homeowners save money on energy bills. Many versions also allow homeowners to change the temperature from the convenience of an app — no more getting out of bed to make it cool enough to sleep! Smart lighting systems can also help homeowners save money on energy bills. First, the LED bulbs these systems use last longer and use less energy overall. When integrated with security, some systems can even alert homeowners to let them know if lights are on with no one in the house to use them. Homeowners turn them off with their smartphone apps, and the savings are reflected on their next power bill. 

 

Smart home features make your house more enjoyable today and easier to sell in the future. Rather than buying the latest and greatest things, look for features that appeal to what potential buyers would want. Many smart kitchen gadgets are too specialized to appeal to a wide audience, but a smart refrigerator can help with meal planning and grocery shopping. Millennial homebuyers want energy efficiency — smart thermostats and lighting systems give them just that. Finally, there are a lot of smart security systems out there, but one that doesn’t necessitate a contract is easy to pass on to new homeowners when the time comes. 

 

Looking for the perfect Massachusetts home? Connect with Rachel Bodner by calling 978.505.1466. Rachel’s track record speaks for itself, as she is one of the top agents from Coldwell Banker in New England — out of approximately 4000 — and is in the top one percent of agents nationally. She has also been featured on HGTV’s “House Hunters” and brings over 30 years of experience in marketing, managing and promotion to the table. Visit Real Estate of Mass to learn more! 

 

Guest author Katie Conroy is the creator of AdviceMine.com. She particularly enjoys writing about lifestyle topics and created the website to share advice she has learned through experience, education, and research. 

 

Photo credit: Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Posted in News
May 12, 2021

The 9 Biggest Mistakes of Millennial Savers

Millennials are less interested in money and finances than any previous generation. Even so, it’s still important for Millennials to take steps to avoid the common financial mistakes committed by younger folks. Placing too much emphasis on financial wealth can be a shallow way to live, but having financial challenges isn’t a lot of fun either.

 

Avoid the common mistakes of Millennials that can derail your financial future:

 

Waiting to get started saving. Sure, you want a new car or a big-screen television instead. However, if you take the time to do the math, it’s obvious that the most important part of saving is getting started now.

  • Every seven years that you delay cuts your retirement nest egg in half.

Failing to take advantage of full matching in your 401(k). Your employer may give you free money for your 401(k). It’s crazy not to take full advantage of this generous offer. Get in the habit of saving by contributing to your 401(k) as soon as possible.

Underestimating the value of a budget. No one enjoys making and sticking to a budget. But what happens when you don’t have a budget? You do whatever your emotions of the moment dictate. A budget keeps you grounded and on track. You’ll spend more than you should, and save less, if you don’t have a sensible budget in place.

Ignoring the importance of an emergency fund. A single, unforeseen, financial mishap can derail the best of financial plans. For most Millennials, this will probably result from a major car repair or medical bill. Even with health insurance, the deductible can set you back thousands of dollars.

Failing to realize that retirement isn’t that far away. High school may have seemed endless, but you’ll be surprised by how quickly the next few decades go by. Avoid being shortsighted. Start saving and preparing for a bright future.

Underestimating the value of establishing and protecting your credit. Poor credit can be very expensive. You’ll pay more in interest on credit cards and any other type of loan. It can even cost you a new job. Higher interest payments leave less money for your savings.

  • Avoiding credit cards altogether might be admirable, but it’s important to build your credit in some fashion. How will you ever purchase a car, home, or condo without any credit?

Not calculating student loan payments before taking the loan. Art history is a wonderful field of study. But if you’re going to be stuck paying $850/month on your student loans at graduation time, it might not be the best option. Ensure that your eventual salary can cover your loan payments adequately.

  • You might find that you need a less expensive school or a better paying career path.

Failing to have adequate insurance. Millennials are the most likely to skip health insurance. This can be a grave mistake. Under the current laws, you’ll pay for not having insurance. You may as well get the coverage you need. Ensure that your possessions are covered adequately, too. If you’re married or have children, life insurance becomes important, too.

  • Without insurance, your savings can be wiped out in an instant.

Accumulating unnecessary debt. Debt is the albatross around your neck. Most of us need to borrow money to purchase a car or home. However, accumulating debt to purchase unnecessary items is foolhardy. Debt has a way of growing and creating sleepless nights. Do yourself a favor and avoid silly debt. Debt will ultimately steal from your savings.

There are many advantages to being young. There are also many opportunities to make your future challenging. Avoid committing errors in your youth that will haunt you for the rest of your life. Making saving a priority.

 

If you have questions or concerns about being able to save for a home give me a call, I'd love to chat about it!

 

Posted in News
April 14, 2021

Home Buyer Tax Credits

Are you a home buyer or even a first-time home buyer in the Metro West Boston area looking for homebuyer tax credits? Then you are going to want to read this! 

Let’s talk about possible homebuyer tax credits & a few other plans that the new Biden Administration has to help home Buyers in 2021. 

1) A Proposed Tax Credit for First time home Buyers-

The Biden Administration is proposing a $15,000 credit for first-time homebuyers to help families purchase their first homes. 

The refundable credit would be received by homebuyers at the time they buy their home, offering more financial flexibility after a major purchase rather than forcing them to wait to receive the benefit until they file taxes the next year. 

First-time buyers are defined by the federal government as people who have not owned a residence within the previous three years.

The National Association of Realtors stated that they are a little concerned that the tax credit could cause demand to rise higher, and without additional supply, this could send prices even higher. 

Therefore, if you are a first-time home buyer and this passes you will want to make sure that you take advantage of it right away!

2) State and Local Tax Changes-  

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 implemented a $10,000 cap on deductions of state and local taxes. That aspect of the law disproportionately hit high-tax states such as Massachusetts where tax bills typically exceed $10,000. 

Property taxes alone can be several times that amount.  The Biden Administration is proposing to eliminate the cap thus making more of our property taxes deductible!

3) Student loan forgiveness-

While it is unclear how much The Biden Administration is thinking in terms of student loan debt forgiveness, the end result is the same. It will go a long way towards freeing up millennial incomes, which means that money will be more available to pay for a mortgage and get into the housing market sooner.

4)Creation of a Public Credit Reporting Agency-

Being able to obtain a credit report is a critical step for homeownership. But today credit reports, which are issued by just three large private companies,  often contain errors. 

The Biden Administration plans to create a new public credit reporting agency to provide consumers with a government option that seeks to minimize racial disparities, and by accepting non-traditional sources of data like rental history and utility bills to establish credit.

This is also an interesting concept since during this past year I have had more than a few buyers surprised by their credit score only to dig further to find errors and thus needing to wait to get their credit score up before purchasing.

 

I hope you enjoyed this quick blog about possible Buyer Tax Credits and other plans the new Biden Administration has for 2021 that could have an effect on our Local Real Estate Market. If you’d prefer to watch it in video form or want to share this with someone, my YouTube version is below.

All these policies still need to be passed into law so we will need to stay tuned to see what will happen!

Feel free to reach out with questions about your Buying and Selling Real Estate plans- even if you are not planning a move in the near future. It is never too early to plan for the future!

 

Posted in News