All posts by James Shea
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March 2, 2018

8 Signs That It’s Time to Remodel Your Bathroom

If you’re thinking of putting your house on the market, you probably already have a giant to-do list. You want to paint the bedroom, hang new curtains and fix the broken planks on the deck. In reality, those might not be the best places to concentrate your energy. An updated bathroom can make or break a home’s appeal and value.

“Some people want new, clean spaces,” said Ken Kostecki, Maison Construction & Renovation president. “Kitchens and bathrooms are the places where you get top value. You’re going to get that money out of it.”

Here are some signs that it’s time to update your bathroom:

1. Out-of-Date [...]
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February 20, 2018

2018 Mortgage Rate Outlook

Mortgage rates are always changing. They go up; they go down. For a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, rates peaked in 1981 at 18.63%, unheard of in today’s era of low-interest rates. Mortgage rates bottomed out in 2012 at 3.31%, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

If you’re buying a home, you need to pay close attention to mortgage rates. They have a significant impact on the cost of buying a home. As the rates increase, your monthly payments go up. When rates go down, the cost of a home declines. For 2018, experts are predicting rates will increase.

What influences mortgage rates?

A variety of factors influence mortgages. They can [...]

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February 9, 2018

7 Design Trends to Implement in Your Home This Year

Design trends are always changing, and today’s homebuyer wants an up-to-date house. Shag carpet and veneer walls were popular in the 1970s but now, those are seriously outdated. A home with that type of interior design can be harder to sell.

When you are looking to improve a home before a sale, you should consider some of the current interior design trends. Here are several of the hottest design trends for 2018:

Earthy Colors Reign Supreme

For the last several years, gray tones have been all the rage. Sometimes called greige, it is a mixture of gray and beige. Gray is dominant, but the color palette adds a little color to the soften gray. Soft pastels and earthy [...]

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February 2, 2018

Real Estate Commission and Brokerages 101

Real estate is no longer a one-size-fits-all business. Technology and a competitive market give you more options and provide you with new ways of saving money on a real estate transaction. The trend is clearly apparent in brokerage fees, generally one of the most expensive parts of selling a home.

Brokerages have historically split a 6% commission when a home is sold. The buyer’s agent got 3%, and the seller’s agent received 3%, and you had little to no negotiating power with the arrangement. That model worked well when homes sold for $50,000, as the fee was relatively small. Now, with homes selling for $500,000 or more on average, the fee has become larger, and [...]

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January 5, 2018

When Do You Offer Over the Asking Price?

In a traditional home-buying market, the buyer offers less than the seller’s listing price. This starts the negotiations. The seller counteroffers and the two parties usually meet somewhere between the two original prices. It’s a simple process when it works. That is not always the case in today’s real estate market. Low-interest rates and a hot real estate market in certain areas of the country have combined to create an environment where buyers sometimes compete for the right to purchase a home. That often means that a buyer must offer more than the original list price. The amount can be a few thousand dollars above asking price, but in some situations, buyers [...]

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December 25, 2017

Why Should I Hire a Staging Company When I Sell My Home?

Selling a home is a stressful and complicated process. It requires you to hire a real estate agent and consider a fair market price for the house, in addition to cleaning and repairing the house so that it shows well in a competitive market. The walls must be painted, the trees should be trimmed, and the grass cut. The key is de-personalizing the process. Instead of thinking of the house as “your home” you must look at it from a sales perspective. You need to visualize the property from a buyer’s viewpoint and not as the home where you and your family reside. Your outlook should be about moving forward. As part of that process, you may want to hire a staging [...]

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