Douglas Schmidt - REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West



Posted by Douglas Schmidt on 10/2/2017

Congratulations on your recent home sale! Now, you just need to figure out how to tell family members, friends and other loved ones that you'll be packing up and moving out of your current residence.

Informing loved ones about a home sale may seem challenging at first. Fortunately, we're here to help you keep your cool as you tell loved ones that you've sold your house.

Here are three tips to ensure you can avoid the stress and headaches sometimes associated with informing loved ones about your decision to sell your home.

1. Get Ready for Questions

Loved ones have your best interests in mind, and as such, likely will have many questions about why you sold your residence.

What prompted you to sell your home now? How much did you receive for your home? And where do you plan to live in the future? These are just some of the questions that you should be ready to face from family members, friends and other loved ones.

Moreover, answer loved ones' questions as best you can. And if you are uncertain or uncomfortable about answering a question, you can politely decline to respond.

2. Keep an Open Mind

Things will move quickly after you sell your home. Although you may have plans to buy a new residence or relocate out of state at some point, you might still need time to finalize your next move.

Oftentimes, loved ones may pressure you to move in a certain direction following your home sale. But it is essential to keep the best interests of yourself and your family in mind at all times.

If family members or friends pressure you to make a move that makes you feel uncomfortable, let them know. Remember, your loved ones want you to be happy, and they should be willing to listen to your concerns after you share the news that you have sold your residence.

3. Operate Fearlessly

After you accept a homebuyer's offer for your residence, the toughest part of the home selling journey is over. At this point, you can finalize your home sale and move forward with the next stage of your life.

It takes a lot of courage to sell a house, and you should maintain this confidence as you tell loved ones about your home selling decision.

Regardless of how a loved one feels about your decision to sell your house, what's most important is how you feel about your choice. If you believe you made the best decision possible, you should feel good, even if family members or friends disagree.

When it comes to telling loved ones about your home selling decision, don't forget to reach out to your real estate for assistance. This real estate professional understands the challenges of informing family members and friends about a home selling decision and may be able to offer expert guidance. That way, you can remain poised and confident as you share your home selling news with others.





Posted by Douglas Schmidt on 9/25/2017

Fireplaces can serve as a focal point in a room, provide a source of heat and add to the comfort of your home. They can also help you to save on energy costs. Thereís so many different kinds of fireplaces that you can either install or find in a home. If youíre shopping for a home, you may want a home with a built-in fireplace. You donít necessarily need one to get all of the benefits that a fireplace can provide. Thereís different types of fireplaces that are made to suit the many different needs of homeowners. Here, weíll show you some different kinds of fireplaces along with their pros and cons. 


Wood Fireplaces 


The most commonly thought of fireplace is the wood-burning fireplace. This will be built-in to your home, or you can install them in your home to use as a heat source. You may even install a wood stove in the upstairs part of your home and another in the downstairs in order to keep an even heat throughout the home. In some homes, however, just one wood stove is enough to heat the entire house! 


This type of fireplace requires maintaining from time-to-time including cleaning the chimney. Youíll also need to clean out ash from the inside of the fireplace. The material thatís being burned- wood, needs to be stored somewhere. Rain and inclement weather can cause a problem, as youíll need to dry the wood some before it can be burned effectively. Youíll need a screen to protect you and your family from the ash and embers that may be blown around form the inside of the fireplace while itís burning wood. These fireplaces are advantageous for a classic look and feel but can often be a pain to clean.   


Gas Fireplaces 


If your home is fitted with a gas fireplace, youíre lucky because these types of fireplaces are cleaner and provide a more even heat source. Gas fireplaces, true to their name, burn gas instead of wood. A vented gas fireplace will look very similar to that of a wood- burning fireplace. There is a firebox present in the chimney that allows for ventilation with these types of heating sources. You can use a variety of things to give the appearance that you are ďburningĒ them in a gas fireplace. This includes beads that will bring flames up and ceramic logs that appear just like the logs that would be present in a wood-burning fireplace. You can even easily convert a gas burning fireplace to a wood burning one. This is, if you seem miss cleaning up all of the ash that they create!   


Direct Vent Fireplaces


These fireplaces donít require a chimney. They draw in outside air and feed off a gas line thatís attached through the wall. The flame of these fireplaces is secured behind a piece of glass. The big advantage to these kinds of fireplaces is that they emit a large amount of heat and donít lose much heat in the process, since thereís no chimney to lose air through.  


Faux Fireplaces

If you choose, thereís a variety of options that you have in getting a fireplace that doesnít actually create a flame at all. These fireplaces are typically run on electricity and give the same effect of a fireplace but are much easier to install anywhere in your home. Consider these if you really would like a fireplace without the hassle!





Posted by Douglas Schmidt on 9/18/2017

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For home sellers, transforming an ordinary kitchen into one that garners homebuyers' attention is no small feat. However, there are many quick, easy ways to clean your kitchen and ensure it will dazzle homebuyers any time they visit.

Here are three kitchen cleaning tips that every home seller needs to know.

1. Eliminate Wall Splatters.

Wall splatters can be major eyesores in any kitchen. Fortunately, home sellers who spend a few minutes identifying and addressing wall splatters can beautify their kitchens with ease.

If you notice waterborne kitchen wall splatters like ketchup, mustard or wine stains, you can use a wet cloth or paper towel to wipe away these problems immediately. Or, if you find grease stains on your kitchen walls, be sure to utilize a mix of dishwasher soap and water to minimize such issues.

Try to eliminate kitchen wall splatters as soon as you notice them. Wall splatters may become more difficult to minimize over time, and the sooner you identify them, the sooner you can eliminate them altogether.

2. Clean Out the Refrigerator.

Homebuyers will examine every nook and cranny of your house, so don't be surprised if they take a look inside your refrigerator. However, if your refrigerator is messy, overloaded with leftovers or has not been cleaned out in several years, it could negatively affect a homebuyer's impression of your residence.

Even devoting a few minutes to cleaning out your refrigerator daily can make a world of difference for home sellers. Wiping down the refrigerator shelves, cleaning the refrigerator drawers and getting rid of outdated products can give your refrigerator a clean, streamlined appearance.

Don't forget to place an open box of baking soda inside your refrigerator every few months too. This box will help absorb and eliminate odors consistently.

3. Check Out Your Dishwasher and Sink.

If you run your dishwasher daily, you'll want to clean it out and ensure there are no dishes, pots, pans or cooking utensils inside of it when homebuyers visit your residence. Instead, you should try to keep your dishwasher looking pristine, as this will help you show homebuyers exactly what your kitchen has to offer.

Plus, you should keep your sink as clean as possible. Be sure to clean the sink itself after you wash dishes in it. Also, try to avoid leaving dirty dishes in the sink, as this may cause odors to form that could move throughout your home.

Maintaining a clean, beautiful kitchen can be tricky, but there is always extra help available if you need it.

For example, your real estate agent may be able to offer kitchen cleaning recommendations and ensure you can find a professional cleaning company to help you beautify your kitchen. That way, you can reap the benefits of an immaculate kitchen, one that homebuyers are sure to appreciate and may enable you to speed up the home selling process.

Conduct an in-depth review of your kitchen today, and you can move closer to transforming a bland kitchen into a fabulous one.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Douglas Schmidt on 9/11/2017

Forget the fact that rising housing prices are often used to signal a strong economy. For many house hunters, three or more months of consecutive upticks in area housing prices are too much to swallow. It's not hard to understand why.

Despite signs of economic recovery, new home buyers want low housing prices

Following the Great Recession, homeowners lost a painful sum of money on houses that they were trying to sell. It left some homeowners with no choice except to stay in a house that had become too expensive. This was especially a fact for homeowners who had experienced a job loss or a severe cutback in their work hours.

What happened was that housing prices rose dramatically prior to the housing bubble then sunk, leaving some homeowners responsible for ballooned mortgages. When these same homeowners tried to sell their houses, they either took a loss (as home values tanked) or they found themselves staring at a house that had been on the market for three months or longer.

Housing price costs of stronger economy

Even if the economy continues to get stronger, it could prove costly for house hunters to buy residential property when prices are going up. Slight economic shifts could put these house hunters at risk of defaulting on mortgages they barely afforded when the economy was good. It's why knowing the signs of potential housing price increases is valuable.

As with most real estate issues, a good first pass is to check with local residents. Find out what current homeowners are planning to sell their houses for and why. Do a little research and surface competitive house prices in areas you're thinking about moving to. Also research prices in low costs areas. Stay open to moving to lower costs areas that offer safety, great commutes, education,entertainment and business opportunities. As you conduct due diligence, think about the signs of rising housing prices.

Spot potential increases in housing prices early

Here are some signs to look for if you're in the hunt for a new house and want to avoid buying in an area that's about to experience a rise in housing prices. Although these signs may not cover every situation when housing prices could spike, the following signs do offer clues that you may want to pay attention to as you continue your house search:

  • Professional sports arenas are under development - Ask Brooklyn, New York residents how rents and housing prices can soar after a professional sports arena is constructed in the area. Housing prices rose so much following the opening of Brooklyn's Barclays Center that some long time Brooklyn residents made plans to move from the area so that they could, once again, better afford housing costs.
  • Shopping centers - If retailers expect an area to grow, housing prices could start creeping up.
  • New quality schools - It's not every day that you see new schools being constructed. Should this happen, it might be a sign that developers and investors are planning to sink money into the area.
  • Increasing investor attention - Although investor attention is good, an abundance of investor attention could find current homeowners and housing developing raising prices.
  • Entertainment options are expanding - Similar to professional sports arenas, a growing number of entertainment options could attract more affluent home shoppers. This could cause you to see a spike in area housing prices.

Waiting to see how far housing prices will climb may be the last thing that you want to do if you're in the market to buy a new residential property. Do yourself a favor and look for signs that an area is strengthening and growing. If an area becomes significantly attractive to house hunters and investors, don't be surprised to see area housing prices head upwards.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Douglas Schmidt on 9/4/2017

Student loan debt does more than keep some millennials up at night, trying to figure out how they will stay current in their monthly student loan payments while they also pay for food, clothing, transportation and rent. Student loan debt is keeping some people from owning a home. As with credit cards and as challenging as it can be, the sooner you pay off student loans, the better.

Steps to Less Student Loan Debt

However,simply paying the loans down could qualify you for a mortgage. So too could setting a limit on how much student loan debt youíre willing to take on. To reduce the amount of student loans you have to repay, consider:

  • Living with your parents until you get your degree
  • Applying for educational grants and scholarships(Donít just apply for one grant or one scholarship. Apply for several grants and scholarships annually or each semester.)
  • Sharing an apartment or house with two or more roommates
  • Creating a spending budget and sticking with it
  • Working a full-time or part-time job while attending college

Go with low interest student loans when you do take out loans. Compare private loan interest rates against federal rates. Donít assume that one is automatically lower than another. Whichever route you take, look to student loans as a last option to pay for tuition.

Ask your parents to check with their employers to see if they offer scholarships or grants. If you work, check with your employerís human resources representatives to see if you qualify to receive tuition assistance. Earning high grades could help you to get most of your tuition paid for by your employer, depending on the type of tuition assistance program your employer offers. Also, check with the college or university youíre attending to see if they offer tuition assistance or know of places where you can apply for scholarships and grants.

Limit the amount of loans youíll take out compared to the salary that jobs in your major pay. For example, if youíre studying to be a cosmetologist and jobs for cosmetologists where you live pay $35,000 or less, you may not want to take out a $20,000 loan to get a cosmetology certificate or degree.

Which leads to another point - consider enrolling in a community college or technical school to get certificates or your associateís degree. Two years at a community college could save you hundreds of dollars in tuition. Just make sure that the majority of the credits that you earn at a community college are transferable to a four-year school.

Road from Student Loans to Home Ownership

Should you take out student loans, start paying extra on the loans. Even if you pay $50 extra a month on loans, it can make a difference over the lifetime of the loans. Create a student loan repayment plan. Avoid taking on new debts while youíre repaying your loans. Another option that you could consider is to work with an experienced financial advisor. This option might prove beneficial if you invest a portion of your money and start building long term equity.

Consider a rent to own option. Include a clause in your rent to own agreement that allows you to walk away from the mortgage should you decide not to buy the property at the end of the lease agreement. If you're a school teacher or public servant,check with the government to see if you qualify for loan forgiveness. Serving in AmeriCorps or the military could also offer you repayment options that could put home ownership within reach.

Move to a rural area and you could take advantage of a USDA home loan. Think about what you want to do after you graduate from college. If your work aligns with a rural lifestyle, check into how much you'd pay on a house in a rural neighborhood. Home ownership might also come through the purchase of an older home that you fix up.







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