Snow What?

snowy path in the woodsAll dug out from the Big Storm? Make sure you remember to clear:

1. Walkways 
2. Stairs 
3. Heating system vent pipes! 

Remember that today’s modern, high efficiency heating systems have “direct” venting out the wall, about sill height.

When it comes to gas and oil fired systems, these vents can become blocked from snow. When this happens Carbon Monoxide can be prevented from exhausting and thereby create a potentially deadly environment inside a dwelling.

So clear all walking and driving surfaces for slip and fall safety, but remember to clear heating system vents to avoid even more serious threats to one’s life.

Now is also a good time to clear snow from roofs that are prone to ice damning, as the melt and freeze cycle we often get at this time of year is sure to create ice damning in vulnerable areas.

Happy trails and stay warm!

Sam Webb, Broker Associate, Realtor
International President’s Circle
Free MLS for my
Cell 781-893-1195

Clean Air is Vital – 5 Things to Consider When Buying a Home

Dust1. An important consideration should be paid to ventilation systems, particularly in bathrooms, kitchens, as well as attics.

2. Properties need to breath as do heating and ventilation systems. Next in the lowest level of the house we look for any signs of moisture especially around any bulkheads and base of foundation walls. If there are any odors, dampness, mustiness, then one should check for mold.

3. Once one is comfortable with the level of air exchange, then the next thing to do is close up the house and come back in 24 hours to start a radon and or air quality test(s).

4. Air ducts are prone to trapping not only dust and dirt, but spores and other bacteria as well. So ducts should be professionally cleaned every couple of years. One way to know that they are becoming dirty is the air filters getting excessively dirty quickly. Under normal conditions, HVAC systems air filters should be replaced every 90 days.

5. Pet dander and hair are another source of fresh air contamination. Not all pets shed, but if there are several pets in a home and they are the type that shed, their dander can easily get into carpeting, cloth furniture, bedding and the ventilation system. So if you come across a property with these issues, know that it will take deep cleaning to eradicate.

I hope these tips will help you in your real estate search, as always feel free to ask me any questions and I’ll reply in a timely manner.

Have a Happy New Year!

Sam Webb, Broker Associate, Realtor
Free MLS for my
Cell 781-893-1195

Timing is Everything

fallContrary to popular belief, with Fall clearly in the air, it is a great time to buy! Many people think that when daylight gets shorter and the leaves start falling that it isn’t a particularly good time to buy a property.

However, the fact that only really serious sellers have their homes on the market, and that there are few competing buyers checking out those houses really can be advantageous to buyers. Heating systems, insulation, energy efficient windows and all components of properties show their true functionality.

Landscaping can look a little drab, but you can always tell the difference between well maintained grounds and those that are in rough shape. So if you are considering investing in real estate I suggest looking now, when there are fewer competing buyers. Interest rates are still at historical lows and only really motivated sellers are on the market at this time of year.

Have questions about a house you saw or anything else real estate related? Please comment on this post or reach out via email and I will be happy to answer them!

Also check out my site to see what else is currently on the market.

Not All Square Footage is Created Equal

sqftLayout has a huge impact on the usability. A well laid out floor plan of 1200 sq ft can be better than a poorly laid out 1350 sq ft. Furthermore, it’s important to know that “living” sq ft is different, sometimes very different, from gross square footage.

High rise buildings show this by valuing the higher units more than same square footage at a lower level. Think Penthouse vs. basement! Same square footage in same building, with same layout can have vastly different value based on views, light, privacy, etc. With single family dwellings “walkout” lower levels are much more usable and desirable than basements below grade. So when you are looking at square footage be sure to get the real living square footage and the layout to make sure the space works for you!

Have questions about square footage or anything else real estate related? Please comment on this post or reach out via email and I will be happy to answer them!

Why Own a Home Anyway?

Besides the beneficial tax write-off of all the interest that one pays on their mortgage, it’s nice to be in control of your own moving schedule without having to worry about renewing a lease. gloucesterIn addition, it’s nice to be able to make your own house rules, to paint the walls or even the house whatever color you like. It’s a good way to build a significant asset to cash-in on later in life. Plus you never get rent increases!

Have any questions? Please comment on this post or reach out via email and I will be happy to answer them!

The 6 Best Ways to Make Buying or Selling a Home a Good Experience

1. Find a top notch broker who is a good listener. The best way to do this is by asking a friend or relative who has recently sold or bought a home. Otherwise if you know an agent – call them!

2. Get pre-approved by a local lender (bank or mortgage company) that you are comfortable with. Again friends or relatives is always a great place to start – being pre-approved means you are ready and able and qualified to spend a certain amount on a home and can comfortably afford it.

3. Meet with the agent you choose (sometimes you have to interview more than one sometimes you just know “this one” is the right person for you.) Have them sit down with you and talk about your price range, house style, location, etc.home_for_sale

5. If you have little children looking at multiple homes can get boring for them and also it will not allow you to focus on the home and all the amenities. I suggest you find a babysitter or a relative or friend to babysit.

6. Attend Open Houses and be sure to sign your Buyer Agents’ name. This protects your relationship with them and you will be able to view several homes in one day. Also as a courtesy make sure the agent running the open house knows you already have an agent and let your agent know of any homes you think you are interested in.

Feel free to ask me any questions about Real Estate and I will be happy to reply.

5 Key Steps to Buying the Home That’s Right for YOU.

1. It’s vitally important that you know your real budget. So it is wise to get pre-approved by a local lender. Get a referral from your Buyer Agent or from someone you know who recently obtained a mortgage and was happy with their terms and service. This means providing the most recent 2 years of your tax returns, along with other savings, debts and investments. Looking at homes without a pre-approval can result in one either falling in love with a house they can’t afford or buying too little house and outgrowing quickly.

2. Find a no pressure agent who is experienced knows the ropes, pitfalls, red flags, and a fair amount about construction. While great agents aren’t home inspectors they will have keen eyes for critical components of properties.

3. Be sure to pay close attention to the contour of the lot and abutting properties, as water, although we all need it and love it, we don’t want to have it in our basements or anywhere it can do damage to a home. Driveways are of particular concern for safety in the icy winter months, inclement weather, and for convenient access with the groceries.

4. Another critical factor in selecting a home is the clearance between the foundation and any siding. There should be a minimum exposure of the foundation of at least 8 inches. Poured concrete is always preferred over concrete block as termites can much more easily find access to the wood in the dark!

5. Once one finds a home they want it is important to get the utility costs. Energy efficiency can often be improved, but you will want to know what your heat, hot water and electricity costs will be on annual basis.

Please send me any questions you have about residential real estate, condominiums or multi- families.

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Feel free to reach out reach out via email with any of your Real Estate needs!