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Preparing Your Home for Late Fall and Winter 

Fall is here. The days are shorter, and we are well on our way to the dreaded (for some) Winter months. There are a number of things you can do to prepare your home, your property and yourself for the next several months.

Rhonda Kayson, from The New York Times offers the following tips. To read the full article, click here.

FALL

Preparing Your Property

Garden. You may be weary of gardening by early fall, but it is a great season to plant perennials, like peonies, columbine or hydrangea. Fall is also a good time to plant trees and shrubs and reseed your lawn. Be sure to give new plants plenty of water before they go dormant, and by spring you may get a first bloom, depending on the variety. Plant bulbs such as tulips, daffodils and hyacinth anytime before the ground freezes. Those hours spent digging little holes and burying bulbs will be well worth your sore knees when they bloom in all their glory in early spring.

Raking leaves. If fall could be summed up in a word, it would be “leaves.” Once the leaves start falling, the season of raking begins. Aside from annoying your neighbors, a thick bed of leaves atop your grass could smother your lawn and lead to mold growth. But do you need to scorch the earth clean of any remnants of leaves? No. A light layer of leaves under your shrubs and trees will provide a natural mulch, protecting the roots over the winter and providing refuge for insects and wildlife. If you plan to rake and bag the rest, enlist the kids to help, luring them with a chance to jump on the pile when they’re done. But there are alternatives to raking. Researchers at Michigan State University have found that mowing over the leaves once a week breaks them down, provides nutrients and does the job. Some communities now encourage mowing rather than bagging leaves.

The Outside of Your Home

Gutters. Once the leaves fall, call your gutter company to get those gutters cleaned and inspected. Any repairs that need to be done on the gutters or downspouts should happen before winter sets in. Your workers should also inspect the roof for any loose or broken tiles. Schedule the job before you get a heavy snow, which could leave frozen leaves and debris in the gutters.Faucets and hoses. Before the first freeze, drain and shut off your outdoor faucets so that they do not freeze. Roll up your hoses, and store them for winter.

Sprinklers. If you live in a cold climate, you need to shut your sprinkler system for the winter to protect it from harsh weather. Skip this step now, and come springtime you could have a hefty repair bill.

  1. Shut off the water supply to your irrigation system before freezing weather arrives.
  2. Insulate the main shut off valve and any above- ground piping.
  3. Shut down the timer, if you have an automatic system.
  4. Drain the remaining water from the system.

Firewood. If you plan to use your fireplace this winter, stock up on seasoned firewood in the fall. Stack it on pallets, so it does not sit on the moist ground. Don’t pack the wood to tightly, or fungus could grow. Cover the wood with plastic sheeting, making sure it does not touch the ground, either. Wood can be stored in an unheated garage, but don’t keep logs in your house for more than a week, as they could attract insects, according to Michigan State University Extension.

Pool. Once the sweaters come out of the closet, it is time to accept the fact that pool season is over. Clean, close and cover your pool for winter, or call your pool maintenance company to do the job for you.

Inside Your Home

Air-conditioning. If you have central air, get the system serviced (you can do this at the same time that you service your furnace). Window units can stay in the window year round if they are sealed with no gaps. Cover the inside and the outside of the appliance to prevent drafts, provide insulation and protect the equipment from the elements. There are even some decorative options out there. But if you’d like your window back, or have concerns about drafts, remove the unit and store it for winter. A window unit is heavy and unwieldy, so take it slowly. Store it upright, not on its side.

Furnace and HVAC. Get your furnace and ductwork serviced. A clean system will be more energy efficient, and an inspection will alert you to problems. Check and replace air filters, as necessary. Test your thermostat to make sure it works properly. Make sure heating vents are open and nothing is blocking them.

Boilers and radiators. For homes heated with steam heat, the boiler is the tank that holds and heats the water. Call the plumber for its annual checkup. You should also drain water from the boiler to remove sediment that has collected and settled in the tank. Make sure the tank is refilled before you turn it on. A plumber or heating specialist can also check your radiators to make sure the valves are working properly and have not worn out. Check your thermostat, too.

Chimney. If you did not get your chimney cleaned and inspected in the spring, call a chimney sweep now and have it done before you start using your fireplace or your furnace.

Windows and doors. Walk around the house and check windows and doors for drafts. Caulk door and window frames where necessary. In late fall, install storm windows and the glass panel on storm doors to keep the heat in and the cold out.

Dryer vent. Clothes dryers cause 2,900 fires a year, with many fires happening in the fall and winter, according to the United States Fire Administration. Lint is a major culprit, so have your dryer vent inspected and cleaned annually by an HVAC specialist who specializes in ductwork or dryer vents.

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. There’s no harm in checking your detectors twice a year, so when you turn your clocks back to standard time, check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, too. Change the batteries as needed.

Inside projects. Planning to update the bathroom, or paint the living room? Fall is a good time to get moving on those projects: The temperature is usually moderate and many contractors have wrapped up their outdoor projects for the year.

WINTER

For the most part, we hunker down in the winter, as the weather is often too cold and unpredictable to tackle major home improvement projects. Make sure your home is prepared for the harsh weather.

Your Grounds

Bring out the snow blower. Make sure your snow blower is in good working order before it snows. You do not want to be caught in the first major storm with only an orange shovel to dig you out, Send the snow blower to a small-engine repair company for a tune-up. Some companies will pick up and drop off your equipment for you. Expect to spend $60 to $200, depending on the size of your blower, according to Angie’s List. Make sure you have gasoline and motor oil. 

Stock up on supplies. Stock up on ice melt before the Weather Channel tells you a storm is coming. Pet owners and parents should shop carefully, as the chemicals in ice melt can harm pets and people alike, if ingested. Look for brands free of salt or chloride. But even products billed as “pet safe” can still harm your pet, so wipe their paws and don’t let them lick treated snow. Ice-melting products can also damage your foliage, so use sparingly. Make sure your shovel survived last winter because you will need to dig out of stairways and narrow pathways, even if you have a blower.

Ice dams. When ice accumulates along the eaves of your roof, it can cause a dam that can damage gutters, shingles and siding. As water leaks into your house, it can wreak havoc on your paint, your floors and your insulation. Throughout the winter, inspect the exterior of your home regularly for signs of ice dams. Look for icicles, because the same forces create dams. Consider buying a roof rake. The $30 tool will help keep ice off your roof in the first place by removing fresh snow from your roof after a storm. Do not hack away at the ice, as that could harm you or your roof

Inside Your Home

Heating systems. Check and change filters on your heating system, as filters need to be replaced anywhere from twice a year to once a month.Keep an eye on the water levels in your boiler to make sure they do not fall too low.

Frozen pipes. When water freezes in pipes, it expands, damaging or cracking the pipes. When the ice melts, and the pipe bursts, your home fills with water. Pipes near the outside of your home are at greatest risk, like outdoor faucets, pipes in an unheated garage or swimming pool supply lines. A few tips:

  • Shut off and drain outdoor faucets before the cold weather hits.
  • Insulate pipes where you can.
  • On cold days and nights, keep the cabinets below sinks open to let warm air in.
  • You can also run the faucet at a drip to keep water moving.
  • Keep the thermostat set at a steady temperature.
  • If you go away, set the thermostat to a minimum of 55 degrees, according to the American Red Cross.

Generator. A portable generator can provide you with a lifeline in a blackout. Power it up every three months, and have it serviced twice a year (even if you never use it). Keep fuel and motor oil on hand in the event of a storm. Do not let fuel sit in the tank for long periods of time, as that can damage it. Check it regularly for corrosion and wear.

Winter storm prep. A heavy winter storm can leave you housebound for days. Stock up on wood for the fireplace, gas for the snow blower and canned food and bottled water, in case you lose power. Check your emergency supply kit for batteries, a radio, a first-aid kit and any medicines you may need. Check in on neighbors who may need help shoveling out (a little camaraderie in a storm goes a long way).

 

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    How to Acclimate to Your New Neighborhood After a Move

    This is part of Molisse Realty Group's new, guest blog series designed to provide outside, expert perspectives for helping you find your dream property, settle into your new space, improve your home, or just simply enjoy the little things in life.

    If you are moving to a new house, you likely have a long to-do list. If you are not only moving to a new home but also an entirely new town, that checklist gets even longer. In addition to dealing with packing, organizing, and cleaning, you also have to figure out the basic essentials of daily life—like finding a plumber to call when emergencies strike or figuring out which supermarket near you offers the best deals. We at Molisse Realty Group hope these pointers help you on your transitional journey as you get settled in your new neighborhood.

    Do your local research before you make the move

    A successful move starts before you've even packed the first box. Before you arrive, start researching your future neighborhood. Pinpoint basic needs like schools, banks, dentists, and doctors as well as emergency services from electricians to plumbers. If you are moving across state lines, you may need new car insurance because requirements vary by state. 

    Start with the essentials when unpacking and then move on to aesthetic touches

    When you pack for your move, set aside one box with essentials you will need on the first night, and make sure these items are easily accessible. Include items like a small vacuum, toilet paper, toothpaste, and prescription medications. Use color-coded sticky notes to easily label boxes based on which room they belong in, and ask the movers to place them in the according rooms once you arrive. Finally, before you settle in for the first night, do a safety check and ensure you have a working smoke and carbon monoxide detector. Once these basics are taken care of, you can go on to deal with aesthetic touches like color coordinating your interiors.

    Ensure that kids and pets are making a smooth transition

    Whether it's an animal or a child, you will have to ensure their comfort both during and after the move. If you have a dog, for instance, help them transition to a new home by making sure they have access to familiar sights and smells like their favorite dog bed and their food bowl. Let them sleep near you in their crate if they are having anxiety following the move. 

    When it comes to helping your kids settle in the new area, reach out to neighboring families to see if they have children in the same age range. You can also encourage little ones to find playmates by getting them involved in activities like sports or art classes.

    Make the extra effort to get social and meet new people

    Finally, for your entire family—from yourself to your children and your pets—a big part of a successful move is about connecting with the community. Check out your local coffee shop and visit the area visitors center or library to discover events you can participate in. Take your dog for a walk, and you're sure to meet other dog-owners and their canines—or bring your child to the park to meet new parents with kids. Meet your neighbors and invite them over for a barbecue to introduce yourselves. Before hosting, pick out a new grill, spruce up your patio, or build a DIY fire pit. Such interaction is part of what will allow you all to feel comfortable in your new community. 

    Keep in mind that you won’t feel “at home” overnight after your move. Give yourself time to transition and acclimate to your new surroundings. WIth the above tips to help you, you can get settled and make new friends. Socializing not only allows you to feel connected, it’s also shown to make you happier overall.

    At Molisse Realty Group, we understand that moving to a new location can be fraught with challenges, and we hope the above tips can help you settle into your new home. 

    On the other hand, if you’re just now looking to relocate to Massachusetts, let the experts at Molisse Realty Group help you find the perfect home for your family. Reach out today to get started!

    To read more great insights by Natalie Jones, visit homeownerbliss.info!

    Additional Fees to Remember When Starting Your New Home Search

    Purchasing a new home is a big decision. For most people, it is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in your lifetime. As you start your hunt, don't forget there are other costs associated with your new home purchase aside from the price of the home. 

    Here are 5 fees to keep in mind as you start to develop a budget:

    1. Home inspection. 

    This is a crucial step in the home buying process. The findings that come from the inspection can help you negotiate price and repairs. Generally, you can expect to pay between $300 to $1,000 depending on the home and the location.

    2. Title services. 

    Title services encompass the transfer of the title from the seller and a thorough search of the property’s records to ensure to no one will pop up with a claim to the property. Additionally, you may need to buy title insurance which will protect the lender or your investment in the home.

    3. Appraisal fee. 

    Before getting a loan, you may be required to get an appraisal of the home to determine its estimated value. This will be conducted by a third-party company and the cost can land anywhere between $300 and $1,000, depending on the size of the home.

    4. HOA / Condo fees. 

    Many communities have a homeowners’ association that enforces monthly fees. This money is used for general maintenance and updates to areas like pools, parks, and more. HOA fees are dependent upon the type of property, the amenities, the expenses covered by the fees, etc.

    5. Taxes. 

    The taxes each buyer pays at the closing table differ, but it is not uncommon for it to be up to two months’ worth of county and city property taxes. Additionally, there may be taxes for the transfer of the home title.

    If you would like more information or need help planning for purchasing a new home, CONTACT US, and we’ll put you in touch with an agent who can help you get your ducks in a row!

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      Tips for Properly Storing Your Wine at Home

      Let's face it. Since March, we've all been spending A LOT more time at home. We've binge watched our favorite shows. We've had Zoom calls with friends and family. And perhaps even imbibed on some quarantine cocktails.

      There are countless online recipes for "quarantinis." But maybe traditional cocktail recipes aren't for you, and you've been enjoying some of your favorite red and white wines while in lockdown.

      Whether you are a big wine connoisseur, just saving a few bottles to crack open on special occasions, or keeping a stockpile for evenings in the backyard, it’s important to understand how best to store them safely until you’re ready to partake. Here are a few guidelines for keeping your wine in tip-top shape at home.

      Temperature

      To ensure each wine bottle maintains the proper flavor and aroma, storing it at the correct temperature is essential. Regardless if it is red, white, or sparkling, storing your bottles at 53°F to 57°F is most ideal. Keeping your bottles in a room where the temperature is much warmer than that may cause the flavor to become flat. Keep your wine in the dark and away from direct UV rays as much as you can to protect the wine’s flavor. 

      Moisture

      Controlling the humidity in the room is important if you plan to store bottles for more than a couple of years. The ideal humidity for storage is between 50 to 75 percent and anything below that could cause the corks to dry out, letting air seep into the bottle.

      Positioning

      Generally, it is advised to store wine bottles on their sides. This allows the wine to stay up against the cork which should aid in keeping it from drying out. However, if you don’t plan to store the wine for long or if the bottle has a screw top or plastic cork, this is not required for safe storage.

      Timing

      Not all wine is designed to have a long shelf life or be aged. Make sure you know what the winemaker’s intention was for that particular bottle. It is always better to open it a little early and enjoy it!

      We hope you continue to stay safe and enjoy your social distancing time, and if a glass of wine is your thing, we say "Cheers!"

       

      Buying Strategies in an Age of Multiple Offers, Bidding Wars, and Above-Asking Sales

      We are in the midst of a very unique time in real estate. The pandemic has led to lower interest rates, homeowners are hunkered down in the comfort of their own homes – opting to stay put –  while long-time-city-dwellers are looking to escape the close proximity of the city for the renewed comfort and safety of the suburbs.

      That means it’s an attractive time to buy, financially. There is low inventory availability, and there’s exceptional demand for properties outside of the city.

      Bottom line: It is a complicated time for buyers!

      Homes are selling fast, with multiple offers, for as much as 20-30% over asking price.

      As a realtor, the first thing I do when working with prospective buyers today is set expectations. By setting expectations about the reality of the current environment, we mitigate the potential for frustration while helping the buyer understand how they can best position themselves for success when the right property comes along.

      There are a number of guidelines that can help make buyers more attractive to sellers, especially if they are looking at a multiple offer situation.

      1.  Plan ahead and get a pre-approval with a well-trusted, local bank.

      As a realtor, I look favorably at local banks and lenders that are trusted by realtors and the local community. Ask your realtor who they trust, and if your comfortable doing so, ask other realtors and friends within the community.

      Using a reputable, local lender, with a good reputation in the community can help move the process along faster, with fewer approval and closing date delays. This can give you an edge in a multiple offer situation.

      2.  If you can do a pre-inspection before making an offer, do it!

      Personally, I would never recommend that my clients waive a home inspection. That can be a risky proposition, but you may be able to do a home inspection prior to making an offer!

      In the current real estate market, many sellers are delaying reviewing offers for days, which may present an opportunity for buyers to conduct a preemptive home inspection. Essentially, this is a home inspection before the offer is made, and this allows you to waive the home inspection when you make your formal offer.

      If a seller won’t give you permission or access to the property to do this prior to making an offer, you can schedule your home inspection prior to the offer deadline, meaning you could make it happen faster than the typical 10 days. Sometimes, cutting this down to 5 days can be attractive to a seller giving you a potential upper hand.

      3.  Have your realtor find out what’s important to the seller.

      Maybe the seller wants to stay in the house for 4 months. Maybe they would rather not be bothered by having to clean out the contents of the shed. Have your realtor try to find out what would make the sale and transition easier for the seller. There may be small things that you can do, if you have some flexibility, to make you a more attractive buyer.

      4.  Don’t get caught in the feeding frenzy.

      Homes are selling quickly and for over asking prices. You don’t have to get caught up in that frenzy. This, too, shall pass.

      If, however, you find the property of your dreams and you’re prepared to really go after it, make sure you are fully informed. Determine what the house is worth on paper by talking to your realtor and reviewing comps to justify the price. Then, determine what the property is worth to you! Because we’re in the midst of a unique time in real estate, knowing what the house and worth, and what it’s worth to you personally, is essential to make an educated decision about your offer.

      If you’re going to make an offer above asking, do it for your own reasons, not simply because you feel like the market demands it, and you have to.

      5.  Hire an experienced, full-time realtor.

      When things are selling quickly, you need a full-time realtor who is always available, ready to move fast, and is on top of all of the important details. 

      Realtors, who have been at it for a long time, also have other tricks of the trade. They may not publicize their trade secrets – but experience brings knowledge and strategies for making things happen. When you are considering a realtor, ask if they have any strategies or tactics that they employ to help their buyers look more attractive to sellers.

      6.  Pick up the phone. 

      Yes, texting is convenient, but it never paints the full picture. Be prepared to speak to your realtor as frequently as needed to ensure you are working together to execute a flawless search and attractive buying strategy.

      Following these steps can help put any buyer in a more attractive position in this unusual real estate market. Be diligent, thorough, and don’t get frustrated.

      If you’d like more information, reach out to Jessica Tully at jessica@molisserealty.net or 978-835-3879.

       

      Your Online Home Search – Be Prepared!

      In the age of Covid-19, we all find ourselves doing things a lot differently than we did in the past, including searching for our dream home.

      Hunting for a new property online is a great place to start your search, but it should not be your end all be all. Realtors who have listings for what they expect will be high-demand properties as scheduling weekend appointments – often in 15-minute increments – in lieu of the traditional open house format.

      This is a great safety precaution, but it makes it especially important that new home buyers stay on top of new listings, open houses, and appointment schedules for properties they are interested in.

      With historically low interest rates and historically low inventory levels, many properties are selling in record time, with multiple offers above asking price. While it may be tempting to make a quick offer to avoid a bidding war, we always recommend seeing your prospective purchase before making an offer.

      Good listing agents are excellent at highlighting the best features of the home, but keep in mind there may be more than meets the eye. To make the most of your time and efforts and gather a well-rounded picture of home listings online, keep the following three things in mind.

      • Stay up to date. When you start your search, make sure you find a site that pulls up-to-date listings directly from the multiple listing service (MLS) where real estate agents actively post their most current homes for sale. Many online resources update less often or fail to remove listings that are off the market, making it more difficult to sort through the clutter.
      • Pictures can be deceiving. Real estate photographers are experts at showing a home in the best possible light. Many use tools and strategies to boost appeal, such as a fisheye lens to make areas look larger and creative editing to make colors and textures really pop. But, often listings will not contain photos of unappealing parts of the home, like small closets or outdated bathrooms.
      • See it to believe it. Once you find what appears to be your dream home online, call up your real estate agent and schedule a showing. You want to take the opportunity to vet the home in person and explore every part of it before beginning the offer process. Your real estate agent will help you cover all your bases and will ask questions you may not have thought of.

      If you’re trying to formulate your buying strategy, our certified Realtors can help you put a plan in place to find your dream home! If you’re looking for an agent to guide you through your home-buying journey, you can find all of Molisse Realty Group’s professional agents RIGHT HERE!

       

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        What to Repair to Maximize Your Sales Potential

        We see clients struggle with the age-old question whenever they are preparing to list their homes: what should I invest in repairing before I list?

        When you’re getting ready to list your home, of course, it’s very important to ensure you are showing your property in the best light. Taking time to highlight its strengths and fix up some of its possible weaknesses can make a big difference in how fast it sells. At the same time, over-investing in unnecessary repairs should be avoided.

        Here are four recommended repairs to make before selling your home – and they won’t break the bank!

        Repaint walls.

        Giving your home a fresh coat of paint is one of the most cost-effective ways to spruce it up, and generally, it can be a do-it-yourself project. Make sure to cover any walls with scratches and chips and consider updating any accent walls with a more neutral coat.

        Repair floors.

        Hardwood floors are a very desirable feature in a home, so you want to ensure they look their best by fixing scratches or dull areas. If your carpet is worn or stained, consider replacing them. And don’t forget the tile in your kitchen or bathrooms. Re-grouting can go a long way in making dingy tile work look brand new!

        Refresh the landscaping.

        Show buyers your home is the complete package by dressing up the outside as well as the in. Clean walkways and driveways, plant seasonal flowers and plants, trim hedges and trees, and fill in mulch and gravel. It’s important that your home look as desireable as possible from the curb!

        Fix your fixtures.

        Leaky faucet? Rusted drains? Loose drawer handle? Making these small fixes can make a big difference to potential buyers with detailed-orientated minds. Improve your kitchen. An outdated kitchen can be a real eyesore in a home. 

        If your property is very tired, and you want to command top dollar, updating cabinetry, repairing or replacing countertops, and installing new faucets and sinks may be worth the investment

        If you have questions about what repairs you should invest in, reach out to one of our agents. We’ll make sure you only put as little in as necessary to ensure you get the most you possibly can out of your home sale!

        Creating a Staging Strategy for Your Home

        Did you know that homes that are setup (staged) to sell reap far greater rewards than those that are not? 

        According to Forbes, every $100 invested in staging can result in a potential return of $400. Staged homes often sell faster, and they frequently sell for more than un-staged homes, which can mean big returns if you are looking to optimize your selling price.

        Staging your home is all about putting the best foot forward for potential buyers. By highlighting its most desirable features, you can draw more interest for your home and leave a lasting impression that is sure to help you sell it more quickly. Here’s what you should keep in mind as you prepare for your next open house or viewing!

        1. Help them visualize it as their own. Make it easier for buyers to imagine themselves making your house their home by removing personal memorabilia, knick-knacks, and photos. Instead replace them with simple décors, such as paintings, nature images, and plants.
        2. Think sleek instead of comfy. Modern-day buyers are leaning toward modern, crisp, clean interiors over comfy, homey looks. When staging your home, keep a minimalist mindset, and incorporate bright colors and metal accents.
        3. Deep clean the small spaces. It's obvious to say you should clean your home before viewing, but don’t forget to cover your bases by deep cleaning the small spots. Take time to scrub porous areas like grout that may hold on to stains and baseboards where small pet hairs and dust love to cling.
        4. Spruce up your landscaping. The first impression your home gives to potential buyers is its exterior. Ensure you have a freshly mowed lawn, neat hedges and shrubbery, bright flowers, and a clean driveway.
        5. Set the mood. A home is so much more than just the way it looks, so you need to appeal to the other senses. Prior to having potential buyers over, set the mood by burning delicious smelling candles and selecting an upbeat, happy soundtrack to play in the background.

        Molisse Realtors are experts in staging homes. Contact one of our agents – they can be found HERE – to determine the best strategy for staging and selling your home in an unprecedented sellers' market!

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          Six Easy Ways to Prepare Your Property for Sale

          So, you’re thinking of selling your home? 

          Maybe it’s time for something larger to accommodate your growing family, or perhaps you’re looking to downsize later on in life. No matter what your reason may be, it’s incredibly important to prepare your house before listing it, so potential buyers walk in and say, “wow, I need to have this!” 

          Showing your house in the best possible light will increase your likelihood of selling fast!

          The key to preparing your house for listing is to be sure you highlight its strengths and fix up some of  the areas that can use a makeover or improvement. This can make a big difference in how quickly your property sells. 

          Here are five easy, relatively inexpensive ways, to prepare your house for listing:

          1. Repaint the walls.

          Giving your home a fresh coat of paint can be one of the most cost-effective ways to spruce it up, and generally, it can be a do-it-yourself project. Be sure to spackle or fill any scratches or dents and consider updating any funky accent walls with a more neutral color to allow potential buyers to envision what they might do with the property.

          2. Fix your floors.

          Hardwood floors are a very desirable feature in a home! It’s critically important that they look as good as possible, so consider fixing scratches or dull areas. Sanding down and refinishing floors may not be necessary, but a fresh coat of polish will go a long way. If your carpet is worn or stained, consider replacing it. Kitchen or bathroom tile should also be considered. Again, you may not need to replace the tile, but re-grouting can go a long way in making tired tile look brand new!

          3. Spend some time on your landscaping.

          Show buyers your home is the complete package by improving the outside areas as well as the inside. Clean your walkways and driveways, plant seasonal flowers and plants, trim the edges and trees, and be sure mulch and gravel are fresh. This will ensure the outside of your property doesn’t feel tired.

          4. Fix your fixtures.

          Leaky faucet? Rusted drains? Loose handles? Discolored air vents? Making these small fixes can make a big difference to potential buyers with detailed-orientated minds. 

          5. Improve your kitchen. 

          An outdated kitchen can be a real eyesore in a home. Updating cabinetry with a fresh coat of paint, repairing or replacing countertops, and installing new faucets and sinks may be worth the investment to help your property move quickly.

          6. Declutter

          If you think your property may need to be decluttered, don’t wait for your agent to tell you so! Less is always more when it comes to presenting your home for sale. A clean property photographs better, shows better, and sells faster!

          Use this as an opportunity to improve your space – even if you decide not to list your property – no one has ever done this and said, “Geez, I wish I still had all of that unnecessary stuff lying around.”

          These are just a handful of ideas to prepare your home for listing, and of course there are other that may be right for your property. You may have some ideas of your own.

          Before investing too much in updates, reach out to one of our realtors, and they will be happy to tell you which updates will yield the greatest return and which ones are not worth investing in at all.

          For more information, email us at info@molisserealty.net.

           

          55+ Active Adult Communities on Massachusetts' South Shore: Boston's south coast offers something for all tastes

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          Active Adult Communities began to spring up on the South Shore about 20 years ago. This beautiful area is now home to over 35 communities with close to 2,500 residential properties. 

          People often wonder why these lifestyle homes have become so popular in recent years. The number one reason that my clients give me is that they are looking to eliminate the exterior maintenance that comes with traditional home ownership so they can free up time to fully enjoy their retirement years. It’s also appealing to move into a community where people are at the same stage in life which creates a seamless transition by offering the opportunity to make new friends easily – with shared-interests – and, again, to take full advantage of the retirement years. 

          The South Shore’s Active Adult Communities have a lot of things in common. Most have everything you need on the 1st floor so that you can age in place. These amenities include 1st floor master bedrooms and laundry rooms. Most homes have at least a 1 car garage, central air, gas fireplaces, hardwood flooring and granite kitchens and baths. In addition, a good number of homes also include a 2nd floor that houses a guest suite and loft or a second living area. 

          One of the questions I get most often is “why do the builders put 2nd floors on these 55+ homes?” The answer is twofold. First, the builders can build more homes and therefore make them more affordable by building vertical rather than horizontal. A builder can fit more homes on the land if each home is 2 stories instead of having all the living space spread out on one floor. The second reason is that most buyers want an area for their visitors, especially out-of-towners, – family, friends, kids or grandkids – to spread out in a private space without impinging on the main living area. 

          Some of our South Shore communities do offer strictly one floor living. Most of the communities have homes that are attached in duplex or triplex buildings, but there are some communities that offer detached homes. 

          What else sets this area’s communities apart? The most diverse qualities include the size of the community, the price range, the number of group amenities that are offered, and the size of the homeowners’ association fee.

          For the purposes of this article, I am going to highlight four of the active adult communities on the South Shore. If, however, you are interested in learning more about any or all of the communities, please feel free to reach out to me anytime. 

          Plymouth | Great Island by Del Webb 

          If activities are important to you, then Great Island located within The Pinehills in Plymouth is definitely the place to be!

           With 600 homes located within the woodland beauty and towering pines of this community, Great Island also boasts a 12,000 square foot clubhouse that includes a full time activities director, an indoor pool, fitness center, pool tables, activity rooms, gathering rooms, kitchen, grand ballroom, outdoor patio with grills, bocce courts and tennis courts. In addition, there are miles of walking trails and two ponds for canoeing and kayaking. Residents also have access to the amenities within the Pinehills including two championship golf courses. 

          There are a dozen different floor plans to choose from, and there are attached and detached models as well as some homes that are one level only. Alas, this community is all sold-out for new construction, but with such a large community, there are usually some resale homes available at any given time. Lately, resales have been selling anywhere from the $400s to $600s, depending on the size and features of each home. 

          Weymouth | The Village at Weathervane 

          Are you looking for a community closer to Boston? Then, look no further than the Village at Weathervane in Weymouth. 

          This stunning community is one of the South Shore’s best kept secrets. This community offers beautifully designed, detached homes that are bordered by a nine-hole golf course. Many of the homes overlook sweeping fairways while other homes enjoy views of the luscious landscaping. 

          You don’t have to be a golfer to live here as golfing is separate, but you do get to enjoy the views regardless! Prices at The Village at Weathervane are at a premium with recent resales commanding from the mid $600s to the low $700s. 

          Marshfield | Spyglass Landing 

          Looking for a neighborhood location in the seaside town of Marshfield? Spyglass Landing is a beautiful community located on Telegraph Hill. 

          These 84 townhomes are ringed by wooded views, and the high vistas allow for gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. Although there is no clubhouse, make no mistake, there are activities if you desire them. This community is very well organized and there are tons of opportunities to get exercise, to socialize, and to stay active and involved. 

          The location affords you access to all of the beaches in Marshfield, as well as being close to the highway for those getaway trips to the Cape, Boston and skiing up North. 

          Oh, and the homes are lovely! 

          Designed by the award-winning builder, Pulte, every home was thoughtfully designed and contains all the bells and whistles that you won’t be giving up for retirement living. Resales here are generally in the low to mid $500s. 

          Plymouth | Sawyers Reach 

          Do you have your heart set on new construction? This is a beautiful community currently under construction in an ideal location in Plymouth. 

          Situated just behind the Colony Place shopping complex, you will have access to an abundance of nearby options for groceries, retail, restaurants, recreation and healthcare. It is also convenient to the Rt 44 extension connecting Routes 3 and 495. The Cape or Boston or Rhode Island are all within easy reach. 

          In the words of the builder, “Prepare to be wowed by our contemporary sophisticated condominium homes inspired by the Back Bay.” 

          There will be 224 homes upon completion. This community offers traditional townhomes or condos that are located in a building that is serviced by an elevator. That is a great option if stairs are not your thing. And, the community will have a large clubhouse containing a saltwater heated pool. 

          Homes here are selling in a very broad price range of $300s to $600s depending on whether you are purchasing a condo or townhome. This community will offer something for everyone! 

          About the author, Mary Mabey:

          Mary Mabey, Molisse Realty Group’s resident Active Adult Community Expert, has been with MRG since our inception in 2008, and she took an interest in 55+ communities right from the start. She would be thrilled to answer your questions and help you find the right home for your needs. You can reach Mary at 617-688-0358.