Lisa Westerman - ReMax Professional Associates


Ready to discover your dream home? With help from your loved ones, you may be able to accelerate your journey from homebuyer to homeowner.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to include family members and friends in your search for the perfect home, including:

1. Loved ones are happy to help you in any way they can.

Loved ones have your best interests in mind and will do whatever they can to assist you. That way, you can get extra help as you embark on the homebuying journey.

Before you begin your home search, it may prove to be helpful to meet with loved ones so that you can explain your homebuying goals to them. This will allow you to describe what you'd like to find in your dream home. Plus, meeting with loved ones gives family members and friends an opportunity to ask you questions about your home search.

If you and your loved ones are all on the same page, you'll be able to get ample support as you prepare to kick off your home search. Then, you and your loved ones can check out a broad array of houses and find one that matches or exceeds your expectations.

2. Loved ones can share their homebuying experiences with you.

For those who are entering the real estate market for the first time or have not purchased a house in several years, it may be beneficial to involve loved ones in the property buying process.

Loved ones who have recently purchased homes can provide real estate insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere. They can respond to your homebuying concerns and queries and help you prepare to enter the housing market.

Also, loved ones may be able to help you avoid potential pitfalls as you search for the ideal residence. Although some family members and friends may have made mistakes when they bought homes in the past, your loved ones can help you learn from their errors and ensure you can avoid various homebuying pitfalls.

3. Loved ones can help you make tough homebuying decisions.

Let's face it – the decision to buy a home is one of the biggest that an individual may make in his or her lifetime. As such, the decision to purchase a home is not one that should be taken lightly.

Loved ones are happy to listen to your homebuying concerns time and time again. They can offer suggestions and recommendations as you explore homes and help you remain calm, cool and collected at each stage of the homebuying journey.

Of course, if you want additional assistance during the homebuying journey, it never hurts to hire an expert real estate agent. This housing market professional can set up home showings, negotiate with home sellers on your behalf and provide comprehensive homebuying support at any time.

Reach out to loved ones for support as you get ready to search for your dream home. By doing so, you may be able to speed up the homebuying process.


When it comes to finding your dream home, your vision is going to be both unique and personal.

For many people, their idea of a dream home may be a composite of the home they grew up in and other mental snapshots they accumulated over the years.

In some cases, the house of your dreams may bear little or no resemblance to the image you conjured up in your mind. Sometimes, you just instinctively know the right home when you see it -- even if it's not exactly the one you originally envisioned.

A good starting point for launching your home search is to develop a detailed priority list. It should consist of both "must have" characteristics and "wish list" items. Hopefully, you and your spouse (or partner) will be in full agreement on most of the important features of your next home, such as whether you want a ranch house or colonial. Being on the same page in terms of location can also make a big difference in how satisfied you both are with your real estate purchase. As an example: Someone's going to less than thrilled if, let's say, you want a townhouse in the city, while your spouse has their heart set on a Craftsman-style home in the suburbs!

Trends in Home-Buying Preferences

If you're a member of the so-called "millennial" generation, your top priority in a new home would probably be the quality of the neighborhood. That's according to a "Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report" (2015) compiled by the National Association of Realtors. In order of importance, factors influencing home purchasing choices are: the convenience of the home to one's job(s), overall affordability, access to friends and family, and the quality of schools in the district.

Many buyers in that same demographic are also leaning toward homes that are energy efficient, ones that offer "smart home" capabilities, and dwellings that include a space that can be used as a home office. Since nearly 40% of Americans telecommute for their jobs on at least a part-time basis, more and more home buyers are adding that requirement to their priority lists. Surveys have also shown that prospective homeowners in their twenties and thirties are opting for low-maintenance surfaces, such as flooring, counter tops, and backyard decks. Updated interiors are also a strong preference for many in that age group since they don't have the extra money, time, or inclination to get involved in major renovation projects.

Other factors which belong on house-hunting priority lists include square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the size of the yard. If privacy and noise levels are concerns, then key factors to consider would be fencing, trees and hedges, and the amount of space between houses.

While it's not always possible to find a home that includes every single item on your wish list, an experienced real estate agent can help you find what you want and match your requirements with the available listings in your desired neighborhoods.


This Condo in Worcester, MA recently sold for $125,000. This Garden style home was sold by Lisa Westerman - RE/MAX Prof Associates.


6 Inverness Ave, Worcester, MA 01604

Condo

$119,900
Price
$125,000
Sale Price

4
Rooms
2
Beds
1
Baths
Welcome to Sherwood Hills Condos. This desirable 2 bedroom unit is situated on the top floor & is in move in condition! Perfect for the first time buyer or investor. It doesn't get any better than this!! Updated interior includes updated kitchen with young stainless appliances, solid surface counters & tile flooring..Updated bathroom with tile flooring, tile backsplash and updated cabinets and fixtures. Other recent upgrades include wall unit air conditioner, water heater & young roof (4 years). Light-filled living room with skylights, that is large enough to accommodate a dining area on one side. Two bedrooms with ample closets, the master with its own private balcony. One assigned off street parking spot included. Other off street visitor spots as well. Laundry facilities and extra storage on site! Close to major routes, UMass, shopping, restaurants & commuter rail. Come see - you won't be disappointed.

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Curb appeal alludes to the visual attractiveness of your property by way of the road or sidewalk. When it comes to curb appeal, you can look to many places for inspiration. Entire magazines are dedicated to the topic, and many television shows, YouTube channels, and online blogs will give you unending advice on how to improve the look of your property. You can explore anything from simple DIY to large structural elements.

Keep it Clean

Curb appeal always starts with a piece of property that is clean and tidy. Pressure washing the exterior of your home and the driveway is a great start. Make sure your yard is mowed and edged with any debris cleared away. Trees and shrubbery need to be pruned up and in healthy condition. You will want to wash the inside and out of all the windows. Repair anything that may need attention such as loose siding, pavers or door handles for example. If your property has fencing, you will want to check the entire perimeter for any maintenance.

Pretty as a Picture

The landscaping choices and exterior elements of your house are the main pieces that make up your property's curb appeal. The layout of the yard can create a picturesque view for onlookers that sets a welcoming tone. Bear in mind the style of your home and the surrounding neighborhood. A simple pathway leading to your front door beckons; welcome. Well-manicured lawns and interesting plantings can speak volumes to the passerby. The way you play with different heights of plants, trees, and any architectural features can draw onlookers to take a second look. A wraparound porch with rocking chairs and some hanging baskets of colorful flowers on a farmhouse-style home invites you to pull up and sip some lemonade. A craftsman home with a beautiful pergola is a striking image that can create a porch-like feel in a small space.

In Living Color

The color combinations are a big way to make a statement. From the color, you choose for your house to the flowers and leaf colors in the yard the entire palette needs to work together. The front door color can make the whole front porch area pop. Trim colors can add dimension so can shutters, awnings, and gables. Placing a few containers strategically near the front entryway can add a lot of color and drama but doesn't take too much time, effort or money. You can keep the containers seasonally up to date and reap the curb appeal rewards all year long.

Tour some local open houses this weekend and note what elements of the curb appeal you enjoy most.


In a high competition market, you may be tempted to do whatever you can to entice the seller to accept your offer. Buyers write offer letters, provide large down payments, or waive the inspection. Sometimes, this strategy includes removing contingencies from your contract. 


Beware. Removing contingencies can easily become a nightmare for you as a buyer. Certain contingencies should be kept no matter how much you think you should waive them for enticement. 


The Home Inspection Contingency


This contingency is basically universally recommended by realtors everywhere. This contingency allows you to get a licensed home inspector who will check the property. The inspection typically should be done about 7 days from the time you sign the purchase agreement for the home. 


Following the inspection, you as the buyer can request that the seller make certain repairs. The seller can either make the repairs or provide a counter offer. If you’re not satisfied or cannot reach an agreement, you can back out of the deal and still get your money back. 


Without this contingency, you’ll never know what’s wrong with the home until you move in it. It’s a huge risk to take to move into a home without understanding all of its moving parts. Is the roof stable? Has the basement flooded? Will the appliances last? There are plenty of questions that you might have about a home that can be answered simply through an inspection. 


Financing Contingency


This is an important contingency. Your offer on the property will depend on being able to get the financing you need to purchase the home. With this protection in place, in the event that you can’t get a loan, you’ll get your deposit on the home back. Be sure that the clause specifies the number of days that would be recommended by your lender to have the mortgage approved.   


Appraisal Contingency


This could be the most important contingency of all. This protection could possibly save you thousands of dollars of a headache. Once an offer is accepted on a home, you’re far from done. The lender will typically order an appraisal. If the appraisal comes in lower than the offer you made on the home and agreed to pay, you may have some problems. 


The lender will only lend you what the house is worth. If the appraisal comes in lower, you’ll need to make up for tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket. Make sure you have an appraisal contingency included in your contracts!  


As you buy a home, remember how important contingencies can be in the process.