Chris Werme and Mike Boland - ERA Key Realty Services - Westborough



Posted by Chris Werme and Mike Boland on 3/31/2020

When it comes to selling a house, it is important to prepare as much as you can. That way, you can identify potential home selling hurdles and overcome these issues before they escalate.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you prep for the house selling journey.

1. Analyze All Areas of Your Home

You might believe your home is virtually perfect, but there may be problems that need to be addressed. Because if you fail to resolve various house issues, it may be tough to optimize your home sale earnings.

Oftentimes, it helps to conduct a home inspection before you list a residence. With an inspection report in hand, you can assess home flaws and correct these issues right away.

You may want to perform a home appraisal as well. After an appraisal, you can obtain an appraisal report to help you establish a competitive initial asking price for your residence.

2. Review the Local Housing Sector

The housing market fluctuates, and a buyer's market today could shift into sellers' favor without delay. Thus, you should analyze the local housing sector closely so you can determine whether you are about to enter a buyer's or seller's market.

A buyer's market generally features a high volume of available houses. Comparatively, there is a shortage of available homes in a seller's market, and new houses that become available may sell quickly.

To differentiate between a buyer's and seller's market, you should find out how long homes that are currently available in your city or town have been listed. In addition, review the prices of recently sold houses in your area, and you can see if sellers are accepting offers at or above their initial asking prices.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

If you are unsure about how to plan for the home selling journey, you need to remember that you are not alone. But if you hire a real estate agent, you can work with a property selling expert throughout the home selling journey.

A real estate agent understands how to succeed in any housing market, at any time. First, he or she will learn about you and your home and help you map out a house selling plan. A real estate agent next will help you establish an aggressive initial asking price for your residence and add your home to the local housing market. Then, if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent will help you assess this proposal and make an informed home selling decision.

Furthermore, a real estate agent is ready to respond to your house selling questions. There is no home selling question too big or too small for a real estate agent, and as such, you can rely on this professional for in-depth responses to any property selling queries.

Take the guesswork out of selling a home – use the aforementioned tips, and you can plan ahead for the house selling journey.




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Posted by Chris Werme and Mike Boland on 3/24/2020

Image by Kaitong Yepoon from Shutterstock

Rain in its due time is every gardener's dream. Saving and reusing rainwater is a great way to save resources for the garden. One way to collect rainwater and store it for future use is to install a rain chain. 

A decorative rain chain can be used in place of a downspout to collect water from the roof. It can be made from a typical chain or series of objects that lead from the roofline into a water storage container. As the rain falls, the chain guides water into the storage container so that it does not immediately soak into the ground. The water can then be used around the garden when the weather is fair. 

Rain chain: a decorative detail

The rain chain is not just a functional addition to your garden, it can be built from decorative elements that add detail to your outdoor space. 

Chains can be built from a single metal chain or several containers that are strung together. Some rain chains are comprised of metal elements, small watering cans, china pieces or bells. For something more unique, you may consider a chain that is built from recycled glass bottles. Constructing rain chains using shapes that hold water, may also attract more birds into your garden.

Rain chains attach to the gutters of your home to collect water during rainfall. A rain chain is smaller than a downpipe so it cannot handle the same volume of water. If you experience heavy rain in your area, keep downspouts in place and use a rain chain as a decorative addition to your space.





Posted by Chris Werme and Mike Boland on 3/17/2020


 Photo by Gerd Altmann via Pixabay

Property owners got clobbered in the Great Recession of 2008, but that was the exception rather than the rule. Real estate typically weathers hard times well compared to other investments. Still, there’s always the possibility you could get squeezed if property values drop or if your personal or business income takes a hit. Whether you’re an individual homeowner with perhaps a second home or a rental or two, or you have significant investments in many kinds of real estate, here are a few thoughts about readying yourself for a recession.

Preserve and Increase Liquidity

A big recession risk is that your income will decline (either real estate rentals or unrelated income) and you’ll have trouble meeting mortgage payments or other expenses such as upkeep and taxes. You may be forced to sell property at an unfavorable time. Having cash, or assets easily converted to cash, helps you meet your obligations. In addition, there will be others eager to sell and bargains to be had, and if you have cash on hand you’ll be able to take advantage.

If you suspect hard times are on the horizon, consider some these options:

  • Get rid of low-performing assets. This includes selling real estate that produces inadequate return or is at risk of depreciating. It might also be time to rebalance your non-real estate portfolio toward more recession-friendly assets.

  • Defer major expenditures. Put off buying that vacation home or taking that expensive vacation. Don’t get in a position where you hold assets that are hard to turn into dollars.

  • Be prepared to reduce your good tenants’ rent. They may be struggling too, and getting something from them is better than if they move out and give you nothing at all, or if you acquire problem tenants in their place. The goodwill you generate may pay off.

Own the Right Kind of Real Estate

All properties are not equal when the economy retracts.

  • The most hard-hit are vacation rentals, industrial properties, office buildings and hotels.

  • Apartments will generally continue to do well. Also multi-family units such as duplexes, triplexes, and multiplexes. In many parts of the country there are high occupancy rates and demand for your apartments could actually increase. Student apartments in college areas are another good bet.

  • Self-storage units do well when families have to downsize and store belongings.

  • REITs and crowdfunded real estate follow the same patterns. Those investing in apartments and multifamily dwellings are the best positioned.

  • Invest based on cash flow rather than hoped-for appreciation. You may be in for a few years where cash flow is all you get.

When the next recession comes, it’s unlikely that real estate will bear the brunt, but that doesn't mean you can pooh-pooh the risk. However, if you have access to enough cash and own recession-friendly properties, you have a good chance of coming through in solid shape.




Tags: market   Market Trends   recession  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Chris Werme and Mike Boland on 3/10/2020

Photo by LesPalenik via Shutterstock

Many first time home buyers simply don’t think too much about home maintenance during the purchasing process. The challenge is that once you’re in the home, regardless of whether you’ve thought about it or not, your home’s maintenance needs only increase. And if there’s a hidden problem lurking somewhere, the result of ignoring it means it only gets bigger, more difficult to repair and could potentially cause other issues.

Invite an Inspection

During the purchase process, you should have had a home inspection. On it, a certified inspector lists any areas with potential maintenance needs in the foreseeable future. Read through the inspection list to see what’s upcoming. Will you need a new roof in a few years? Does the exterior paint need some TLC? How old is the water heater and how long is the warranty on it? Did the inspector notice any weaknesses in the foundation or cracks in the supports? Minor issues likely weren’t enough to stop a sale since every home has some blemishes. But knowing the potential issues means you can keep your eye on them and stop something from developing into an expensive issue needing major repairs.

Do an Annual Review

Make a list and check it twice. Each season walk through your home, crawl in the attic space and under the floor joists to check things out. Look for evidence of water leaks, mold, or build-up of condensation. Check for dripping faucets, hissing or running toilets or loose fixtures. Tighten water valves and check for moisture inside sink cabinets and bathroom vanities.

If your house has a fireplace, have the chimney swept before you use it in the fall or winter. During the summer, birds and small animals often build nests in the chimney that can catch embers and cause house fires. If your chimney does not have a screen or cap, talk to your fireplace professional about installing them. Your fireplace isn’t the only thing that needs screens. If your gutters continually clog with leaves and debris, they can back up and cause significant water damage to your home. In areas with snow or ice, clogged gutters can overflow during a melt and damage the gutters, soffit and even the foundation. A gutter contractor can install screens that let the water in but keep the debris out.

Energy Review

Other areas that need consideration are windows and doors. If your dual-paned window steams or frosts on the inside, the seal has broken, so you won’t reap the benefit of energy savings. Drafty door jams and frames allow frigid air in and cause your furnace to run longer. Ask your public utility company to do an energy survey of your home and caulk, repair or replace when necessary.

Your professional real estate agent is the best resource for a home inspector, referrals for a handy contractor and how to contact your public utilities for a review. Reach out today for information. 




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Chris Werme and Mike Boland on 3/3/2020

Photo by Feng Yu via Shutterstock

Few things are more mysterious than insurance. When you think you know what's covered, you find out the hard way that it wasn't. Since your home is likely your greatest asset, you want to know what it includes and what it doesn't before you need to make a claim. Whether you're “in good hands” or in the hands of a small company mascot, you need to be fully aware of where your coverage stands.

Few people actually make a claim on their insurance outside of catastrophic coverages. Here are some basics on homeowner’s insurance coverage:

  • Damage from fire and smoke
  • Wind or hail damage
  • Personal property theft
  • Damage from vandals
  • Ice and snow damage including water damage or a collapsed roof
  • Damage from internal water sources (washer, dishwasher, broken pipe) but not from external flooding caused by rising rivers, seepage or groundwater.
  • Losses caused by others during a civil disturbance such as a protest or riot
  • Explosions caused by gas appliances or other combustible materials
  • Damage from vehicles or aircrafts

Policies set limits on coverages for damage to landscaping, fencing, pools, garden sheds, workshops and barns. Most policies cover contents up to a dollar limit as well but allow you to add extra for jewelry, firearms, artwork, antiques and the like.

Often, your policy has a provision for temporary living expenses if your home is rendered unlivable by a covered event. Also, most policies include liability if a family member, guest or even a delivery person is injured on your property or bitten by a pet. However, providers reserve the right to exclude specific breeds of dogs, so check with your provider to make sure you’re covered.

Items typically not covered include natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes and floods. When your home is in one of these areas, often a particular rider or separate policy is required for coverage. Other items usually excluded include sinkholes, mudslides or damage due to an act of war. Most often, accidents caused by a nuclear event — even a nuclear power plant — do not have coverage.

Before signing for coverage on the dotted line, make sure your insurance agent thoroughly explains your coverage and exclusions so that you're not surprised if calamity hits. 







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