Jane Dunlap - New England R. E. Center, Inc.



Posted by Jane Dunlap on 2/17/2019

It is always a beautiful and joyous feeling when you make an offer for a home, and the seller accepts it. However, you shouldn’t be in haste to pay the seller yet. Don’t be tempted to cut corners either by neglecting professional home inspection services all in a bid to reduce cost. Skipping home inspection should never be made because it will save you lots of headaches later on.

1. More Bargaining Power

A professional home inspection should reveal faults, or perhaps potential issues with the house. Knowledge gives you more bargaining power to ask for repairs or better yet, a reduction in the house price as compensation. But without such a professional inspection, you negotiate blindly, and when the deal is sealed, you find yourself paying additional money on things you know nothing of in the future.

2. For Safety

Here is another valid reason why you shouldn’t skip a home inspection no matter the reason. Getting an inspection on your home provides you with peace of mind. The home inspector will check the house for carbon monoxide, mold, and radon. If any of these toxic or harmful substances are present, that is enough reason to pull out of the deal.

3. Insurance

Most insurance companies require certificates like wind mitigation and four-point inspection before you can finally be insured. If home insurance is one of the things you plan to do, make sure a professional home inspection is done in other to get those necessary certificates.

4. Protecting the House

The core functions of a professional home inspector aren't only to discover faults, as many assume. They can also offer tips on how to keep the house safe. Having a report definitely will save you a lot of money in return.

5. Future Cost Forecast

Another excellent reason to not skip home inspection is the insights to the future. A good home inspector can determine how long the plumbing will last, and also, the duration of the heaters or coolers before they stop functioning. With this insight, you can plan and negotiate properly with your seller.

6. Illegal Additions or Installation

In every region, there are building codes and regulations to which homeowners must abide. Otherwise, it will have a drastically negative impact on insurance, taxes, usability and overall value of the house. Through home inspections, rooms, garages or basements completed illegally will be exposed.

The advantages of not skipping home inspection are tremendous. To save yourself from future headaches, spend on a professional home inspection today. There are lots of licensed home inspectors in your locality, hire one before closing that new house deal.




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Posted by Jane Dunlap on 2/10/2019

Sharing living expenses with your partner or roommates can be a difficult and confusing issue for many.

 Life would be made much easier if there was just one bill to pay on your home that includes everything.

 Recently there have been attempts to bring such a suction into fruition. Many homeowners and renters have turned to apps that help them split expenses, or have signed up for mortgage agreements that cover stray expenses like property tax and private mortgage insurance.

 In this article, we're going to give you a few tips on splitting the bills in your home to make things easier for you, your spouse, and your roommates.

Who pays what?

Many young couples are often left wondering who should pay which bill, especially when you share so many services.

However, there's a big difference between sharing a Netflix account and sharing a car. One solution is to use the bills that report to credit agencies for whoever needs help building their credit score.

Putting credit cards under the person with the lowest score’s name can help them build credit even if they're simply listed as an “authorized user” which means you can take advantage of good interest rates and build credit at the same time.

Paying the mortgage

It can quickly become tiresome having to write two different checks each month for your mortgage or rent. To solve this problem, you can either alternate payments (you pay a full month’s rent or mortgage one month and your spouse pays the following month), or you can choose to pay bi-weekly, which will help you pay off your mortgage sooner.

The best apps to use

If you live with your spouse, you likely aren’t overly concerned with splitting all of your expenses 50/50. Chances are whoever has the higher income will foot the bill for the larger expenses.

However, if you have roommates there’s a bigger chance you’ll want things to be split evenly between you and the other members of the household. That’s where apps come in handy.

First, sit down with your roommates and go over all expenses. Write down each bill that you share: rent, heat, electricity, cable, internet, gas, insurance, and so on.

Then, decide who is responsible for making the payment on those bills. Even if you decide to split them all evenly, one person will have to be responsible for sending out the check each month.

Once you’ve determined which bills you have and who is going to pay them, it’s time to find out how you’re all going to contribute.

One way is to open up a shared account. Doing so can be messy, however, if you’re using that account for multiple bills. Some banks and services also charge a portion of the transfer, so you’ll each be losing money each month, and the amount depends on how many bills you have.

Some apps and services you can use to split bills and transfer money include Splitwise, Mint, PayPal, and Chase’s QuickPay. The benefit of apps that don’t transfer money is that they are often free and don’t collect transfer fees. So, if you’re comfortable with handling money by hand, you could save in the long run.




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Posted by Jane Dunlap on 2/3/2019

Tired of renting an apartment? Buy a house, and you can reap the benefits of homeownership for years to come.

Ultimately, there are many wonderful reasons to start a search for your dream home today, including:

1. You can enjoy the freedom of owning your own residence.

Let's face it – nothing beats the freedom of owning your own residence, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.

If you launch a search for your own house, you can find a residence that matches your personality and budget. Plus, you can always decorate and customize your house however you choose. And if you complete myriad home upgrades or maintenance, you may be able to boost your house's value – something that may prove to be important if you eventually decide to sell your residence.

2. You can capitalize on various tax benefits.

Believe it or not, buying a house may enable you to reap myriad tax benefits.

The U.S. Tax Code allows homeowners to deduct the interest paid on a mortgage and property taxes. Also, if you study the U.S. Tax Code closely, you may find that you can deduct some of the costs involved in a home purchase.

3. You can pay predictable housing costs for a set period of time.

With a fixed-rate mortgage in hand, you can pay the same amount each month for the duration of your mortgage. This means you won't have to worry about fluctuating housing costs; instead, you'll pay the same total each month – without exception.

Of course, homebuyers who choose an adjustable-rate mortgage can enjoy fixed housing costs for a set amount of time too. On the other hand, those who select an adjustable-rate mortgage likely will need to plan ahead for a potential increase in mortgage costs after three, five, seven or 10 years.

Clearly, there's a lot to like about buying a house. For those who want to enter the housing market today, it certainly helps to work with an experienced real estate agent as well.

A real estate agent allows you to take the guesswork out of pursuing a residence in any housing market, at any time. In fact, this housing market professional will ensure you can streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

In most instances, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about new houses as they become available, teach you about the ins and outs of shopping for a residence and set up home showings. Furthermore, a real estate agent will negotiate with home sellers on your behalf, guaranteeing that you can get the best price on any house.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is available to respond to any homebuying concerns or queries. This means you can get the expert insights that you need to make informed decisions at each stage of the homebuying journey.

Take the next step to pursue your dream residence – employ an experienced real estate agent, and you should have no trouble transforming your homeownership dream into a reality.




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Posted by Jane Dunlap on 1/27/2019

With Christmas behind us and winter looming ahead of us for however many months it chooses this year, you may find yourself spending more time cozying up in your bed. While this is a delightful sentiment, it might not be as pleasant as it sounds if your bed leaves you with aches and pains after what should be a restful time. 

Maybe the mattress companies know something

Winter is that time of year when mattresses tend to go on sale. If you are one of the many people who spend more of your time in bed during the winter, then maybe you can understand this. It is the time when people tend to have a chance to notice how their bed leaves them feeling and, if they don’t like it, the desire to change—pronto. 

Don’t be too hasty 

“Immediately” sounds like a good idea when you wake up with a crick in your neck and a rock in your back. But, it’s good to slow down a little to make sure that this will be a decision that you will be able to enjoy for many nights to come. 

Know your budget

Knowing what your budget is before you go helps you to narrow down your choices from the get-go. But, don't be afraid to look at one a little higher in price and negotiate it down to the budget that you have. Mattress companies can have their products marked up to twice the amount that they are willing to take for them. Keep in mind that the warranties are usually limited based on the use of a mattress protector so, ask the seller to include one in the purchase of the bed. 

Know what you need

 Go in knowing what you don’t like about your current bed and what position(s) you sleep in the most. In today's market, there are all kinds of options including beds for folks who are multi-sided sleepers (for example, both back and side) and a salesperson that knows the product and directs you to the best options on the showroom floor. 

Don’t be afraid to shop around

Shopping more than one store gives you the ability to know you are making a sound decision. Most stores will not have the same selection—even if they sell the same brand. What you can try will be important. While you are at different stores, you may find out just how much adjustment room there is in the price. And, you are more likely to see the salesperson’s true qualities when you tell them you are looking and not making an immediate purchase. It is good to find someone that you can trust since this can help make the process smoother. If one person can go lower, so can someone else. It is a good idea to find a place that has a “love it” mattress guarantee. There is no sure way to be completely confident that the one you chose in the store will sleep well for hours at a time. A warranty gives you peace of mind. 

Sleep well on your new bed

Whether you find the perfect bed and sales assistant on the first try, or it takes a few tries to locate it, give yourself some time. It will be worth the effort when you are enjoying your bed at home knowing that you made a good choice.




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Posted by Jane Dunlap on 1/20/2019

What if your move to downsize doesn't include a yard? Maybe you opted for a small balcony or patio to maximize your living area or community amenities. Whether your outdoor pet is used to a larger yard or your indoor pet is accustomed to a larger house, they'll be transitioning to the new lifestyle at home just as much as you, if not more. Finding ways to help your pet adjust to their new indoor space is just as crucial for their happiness as it is yours. Here are some tips to assist.

Keep them entertained while you’re away. 

You don't want your dog to become bored, and you definitely don't want to come home to a torn apart couch or your dog having marked all over the house. Whatever your financial ability is to invest in entertainment for your dog, there are simple purchases and DIY options for at home entertainment.

  • A room with a view - Make sure there's a space in your home where your dog can see out the window. Being able to observe the goings-on around your house can help stimulate your dog during the day. A window seat is a useful way to allow your dog to see outside, while in a laid down position, keeping them calm and less likely to bark. They can lackadaisically watch the outdoors while lying in a sunbeam.
  • Interactive feeding - Toys that incorporate mental stimulation, and food or treats, can be very effective for your pet, especially small dogs. You can purchase ball toys that slowly dispense kibble as your dog rolls it around the room or make one of your own by poking holes in a PVC pipe, filling it with food and capping the ends. For short stints out of the house filling a hollow ball toy or tube with peanut butter is a great option—for this treat make sure your pet knows the designated area for eating or for food toys, so you keep any stray peanut butter to the kitchen or the dog’s bed and off your couch!
  • Tear-apart Rope Toys - Not all rope toys are created equal. To keep your pup occupied for hours at a time find a tightly woven rope at your local hardware store or purchase a rope toy with small threads tightly woven together. For a dog that loves pulling things apart, a tight weave is crucial. They need to get interested in figuring out how to pick the toy apart and help them stay interested as they see the progress of their meticulous work. Sure, there will be some cleanup of string mess, but your grandmother's afghan (the one with the fringe? Yeah, that one) will be safe.

Prepare for transition before buying. 

If you know you'll have to lose the yard in your move to downsize think about the qualities in a new home or community that will keep life good for your pet. These qualities are especially necessary if your dog is transitioning from being an outdoor pet to a fulltime indoor pet. Check out part three in this series to learn more about the best community features for you and your dog. As always, your trusted real estate agent is here to help you find the best new home for you and your best friend. Talk with them about both of your needs to downsize in the way that works for you.




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