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



Posted by Jane Dunlap on 4/14/2019

Green homes are becoming popular, and more home builders are now including eco-friendly homes in nearly all their projects. Apart from the growth in the number of new eco-friendly homes springing up, there is also an increase in the number of green renovation projects. If you are planning to renovate your home, here are some eco-friendly ideas to consider:

Passive design 

Passive design means designing a house such that it needs little or no artificial heating or cooling. When thinking about a passive design, you must take the seasonal weather pattern of your locality into consideration. Once you know the kind of weather to expect all year round, you can structure all the rooms in the home to optimize cooling and heating. Elements for passive design are insulation, orientation, airflow, double glazing as well as thermal mass. The benefit of this is that it does not cost much to incorporate passive design into your house.

Material selection 

Here are some green tips that will assist you in choosing the right material when renovating your home:

  1. First, look into the possibilities of reusing existing building material to reduce waste. 
  2. When buying the materials for restoring your green home, select elements that are environmentally-friendly, avoid substances that release toxic waste to the surroundings. Examples of such materials are glues and paints.

Use sustainable building features

Not only do sustainable building features like skylights assist in creating a cleaner and healthier environment, but they also boost the home's thermal performance by minimizing the need for heating and cooling.

Insulation

Installing effective insulation is an eco-friendly home renovation idea that you should seriously consider. The benefit of proper insulation is that it will make the house comfortable; staying cool during the summer and warm during the winter. Apart from making your home more sustainable, it significantly reduces your energy bill which is one of the most significant sources of carbon footprint in a home.

Minimize construction waste

You should try to consider your waste options before starting the renovation of your green home. There will be a sizeable amount of construction waste such as metal, rubbers, bricks, vinyl, and even toxins such as asbestos. This waste should be cleared effectively by employing the service of licensed professionals who are skilled in this regard.

To get the results you want, work with a general contractor that is experienced in building and renovating eco-friendly homes.





Posted by Jane Dunlap on 4/7/2019

The function and safety of your home can be increased tremendously when you change some specific indoor and outdoor items on time. To automate the process, simply make sure these six home improvement tasks are added to your calendar, to remind you of whatever necessary home updates you need to carry out.

1. CO2 and Smoke Detectors

While CO2 detectors last up to seven years, smoke detectors can last up to 10 years. Properly functioning smoke detectors can significantly increase your chances of surviving a house fire by as much as 50 percent. While you replace these devices regularly, you should also remember to change the batteries in both detectors at least once a year.

2. Fire Extinguisher

If you use a rechargeable fire extinguisher, it can serve you for as long as six years. Disposable fire extinguishers, on the other hand, have a have a shelf life of 12 years. Always check the pressure gauges of your fire extinguishers at least once monthly to ensure that they still work and that they remain charged or full. Replace the extinguishers as required.

3. Water Filters

Your refrigerator's water filters should be replaced twice a year while you should change that of your portable water pitcher every two months or after 40 gallons of use, whichever comes first, while that of the total house system should be changed every four to six months to reduce your exposure to harmful bacteria and chemicals.

4. Washing Machine

If well cleaned and maintained correctly, your washing machine should last between eight to twelve years. You may carry out routine maintenance tasks such as changing the door gasket or tightening water connections behind the unit to prevent leaks. The need to balance the machine may also arise, or if it makes extreme noise, a replacement of the motor mount.

5. Dishwasher

A good dishwasher can last as long as ten years if it's regularly cleaned and maintained. If you would like to save on your energy and water bills, you should consider replacing your dishwasher around year eight after purchase. 

6. Clothes Dryer

You should switch out your entire dryer once every eight to 10 years. But before then, you can replace any faulty parts such as the drive belt, drum roller, blower wheel, and heating element when it needed. The dryer vent should also be cleaned after each use to improve the dryer’s effectiveness.

Simply set reminders for all these tasks and watch the process become a lot easier for you.




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Posted by Jane Dunlap on 3/31/2019

A home seller may face a variety of dilemmas as he or she tries to get the best price for a residence. However, a seller who prepares for potential problems may be better equipped than others to enjoy a fast, profitable property selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get ready for potential home selling dilemmas.

1. Upgrade Your Residence

You may believe your residence will sell quickly, but the housing market offers no guarantees. Fortunately, if you allocate time and resources to upgrade your residence, you could differentiate your home from comparable houses in your city or town.

Removing clutter will make it easy for you to show off the true size of your home's interior to prospective buyers. Furthermore, you should clean each room of your home. If necessary, you may want to hire a professional home cleaning company too.

Don't forget to trim the hedges, mow the front lawn, repair cracked or damaged siding and perform other home exterior upgrades, either. If your home boasts amazing curb appeal, potential buyers may fall in love with your residence as soon as they see it.

2. Establish a Competitive Initial Asking Price for Your Home

If your home's initial asking price is too high, you risk alienating potential buyers. But if you analyze the real estate market closely, you can use housing sector data to establish a competitive initial home asking price.

Take a look at the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town, as well as the prices of available residences that are comparable to your own. This information provides a glimpse into the current state of the housing market and can help you determine how to price your residence.

It may be beneficial to conduct a home appraisal as well. In fact, a home appraisal report includes a property valuation that you can use to set a competitive initial asking price for your residence.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent understands what it takes to sell a home in any housing sector, at any time. As such, he or she can offer expert guidance to help you identify and overcome home selling dilemmas.

Oftentimes, a real estate agent will meet with you, find out why you want to sell your house and craft a personalized home selling strategy for you. He or she next will list your residence and promote it to prospective buyers. And if you receive an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent will help you determine how to proceed with this proposal.

A real estate agent also is ready to provide immediate responses to your home selling concerns and questions. That way, you can receive plenty of support as you navigate the home selling journey.

Ready to add your house to the real estate market? Use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble addressing potential home selling dilemmas and enjoying a seamless property selling experience.




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Posted by Jane Dunlap on 3/24/2019

A home inspection represents a key stage during the homebuying journey. This inspection enables you to examine a house with a professional property inspector. And if you discover minor or major property issues, you can ask a seller to perform repairs. Or, you may choose to reduce your initial home offer or rescind your proposal.

Ultimately, it pays to be diligent during a home inspection. If you perform an in-depth assessment of a house, you can understand whether this residence is the right choice.

On the other hand, there may be property problems that you identify during a home inspection that you won't ask a seller to repair. These issues may include:

1. Cosmetic Problems

If you ask a home seller to perform cosmetic repairs, the seller may choose to walk away from your homebuying proposal. And if this happens, you could lose your dream house to a rival homebuyer.

There is no need to jeopardize a home sale due to a cracked floor tile, a deck that needs to be stained or other cosmetic problems. Instead, plan to perform cosmetic repairs on your own.

In addition, keep in mind that many cosmetic issues are quick and easy to fix and won't require you to break your budget. This means you likely will have no trouble completing myriad cosmetic repairs after you close on a home.

2. Loose Fixtures

A loose doorknob or light fixture can be frustrating. And as you walk through a house during an inspection, you may feel like repairing a loose fixture is a top priority.

Loose fixtures generally require simple hand tools to repair, and problems with these fixtures frequently can be solved in just minutes. As such, you may want to focus your attention on bigger and potentially more expensive home repairs as you determine which property repair requests to submit to a seller.

Of course, if a loose fixture creates a safety hazard, you should not hesitate to ask the seller to fix this problem. Because if a hazardous fixture remains in place, it may put your health and safety at risk.

3.Non-Functional Light Switch

A non-functional light switch may raise red flags as you inspect a house. But in many instances, this problem is minor.

If you notice a non-functional light switch during a home inspection, there usually is no need to worry. In fact, a property inspector typically can tell you whether a home's electrical system is safe to use and up to code.

For homebuyers who are uncertain about how to proceed with a residence following an inspection, it pays to consult with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can offer expert tips to help you make informed decisions at each stage of the homebuying journey.

Consider your potential property repair requests following a home inspection. By doing so, you can prioritize major property repairs and increase the likelihood that you and the seller can find common ground as you work toward finalizing a purchase agreement.




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Posted by Jane Dunlap on 3/17/2019

For a home seller, hosting an open house can be a double-edged sword.

On the one hand, an open house provides an opportunity to showcase your residence to large groups of prospective homebuyers. Conversely, hosting an open house also requires lots of preparation, and getting ready for an open house may prove to be overwhelming, time-consuming and costly.

Lucky for you, we're here to help host an unforgettable open house.

Now, let's take a look at three factors that a home seller needs to consider before an open house.

1. The Current Condition of Your Home

Although you might believe that your home is currently open house-ready, it may need some work. Fortunately, there are many ways to learn about the strengths and weaknesses of your residence and plan your open house accordingly.

For example, a home appraisal may prove to be exceedingly valuable. This appraisal enables a home inspector to review your residence both inside and out. Then, he or she can offer home improvement recommendations so that you can upgrade your residence as needed.

Take a home appraisal report seriously. By doing so, a home seller can transform an ordinary residence into one that matches or exceeds homebuyers' expectations during an open house.

2. The Home's Interior or Exterior

Homebuyers are drawn to residences that feature dazzling gardens, clutter-free interiors and other stunning features. Thus, a home seller who dedicates the necessary time and resources to bolster a house's interior and exterior can increase the likelihood of hosting a successful open house.

To improve a home's interior, a home seller can scrub the floors, clean the walls and ceilings and perform assorted home interior maintenance and improvements. In addition, a home seller should depersonalize and declutter a home's interior as much as possible.

Comparatively, to enhance a house's exterior, a home seller should mow the front lawn, clear debris and dust from exterior walkways and ensure the house looks great to passers-by. With simple home exterior improvements, a home seller can boost a house's curb appeal and help a home stand out from other available residences.

3. Your Real Estate Agent

Let's face it – prepping for an open house can be stressful. However, a real estate agent can help a home seller get ready for the best- and worst-case scenarios.

A real estate agent will help a home seller prepare his or her residence for an open house. Next, he or she will promote the open house to potential homebuyers and collect feedback from them throughout the event.

After an open house reaches its conclusion, a real estate agent will offer honest, unbiased insights into the event. He or she also will keep you up to date about any potential home offers and ensure you can make informed home selling decisions.

Take the guesswork out of preparing for an open house. Consider the aforementioned factors, and you can get your residence ready for an open house in no time at all.




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