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



Posted by Chris Werme and Mike Boland on 2/18/2020

Image by Mark Ort from Pixabay

While house-flipping in general is slowing down, and profits are slowly decreasing, there are still a few places left worth flipping. Here, real estate investors can score big returns by buying foreclosed or distressed properties, renovating and then selling them. If you're an investor who's looking to dive in, these five U.S. cities are tops in the nation for home-flipping profits.

Pittsburgh, Scranton, Reading

Pennsylvania is a big player when it comes to the best cities for home flippers. Pittsburgh, Scranton, and Reading all consistently average well above a 100-percent ROI for investors brave enough to take the plunge, with Scranton topping the list at 134, according to AnchorLoans. Pittsburgh is second at 132.5 percent, and Reading comes in at an impressive 129.3. Several factors combine to make these areas ideal for home investors:

  • Pennsylvania hovers near the top of the list for home foreclosures, meaning plenty of properties are available.
  • Home values in these cities are beginning to edge up. Once you've flipped your home, you won't have any trouble selling it. 
  • These towns are riddled with older homes that sell low because they need renovation. Once flipped, the market for reselling them is prime. 

If you're considering entering the house-flipping industry, these three towns in the Keystone State are good places to begin. 

Kingsport, Tennessee

Kingsport, TN boasts high livability scores, thanks to its strong economics, sweeping Smokey Mountain vistas, and tons of green space. The average annual income here is around $37,500, lower than other cities in the U.S. But it's high enough to make the average home highly attainable at just over $135,000. Kingsport is right in the middle of a huge tourism industry that's built around country music, and you can't fault the view. House flippers who come to buy up older homes, renovate and then sell them are earning up to a 104-percent ROI. This makes Kingsport a major attraction for investors looking to flip. 

Augusta, Georgia

Home flippers in Augusta are still clearing an average profit of 101.1 percent -- even as the flipping industry continues to decline. This is due, in part, to the downtown area that's rapidly under development. Augusta University and the Cyber Training and Innovation Center are huge draws for this area, and rental properties are in great demand. This makes downtown Augusta a prime real estate market for anyone hoping to buy high and sell higher. 

If you've always wanted to try your hand at real estate flipping, you're getting in near the end of the game in 2020. Still, if you snap up the right properties in the right areas, there's money to be had. These cities are great jumping-off points.





Posted by Chris Werme and Mike Boland on 2/11/2020

Photo by Thijs van der Weide from Pexels

You may be surprised to learn just how much a little DIY storage bench in your entryway can save you in time and money. Storage benches offer children a place to sit while they remove snowy or muddy shoes. That's less time spent mopping your kitchen or steam-cleaning the carpets. 

Save hardwoods from years of damage and wear.

On top of that, a bench can double as storage. Never again will you be racing around your home trying to find your mittens, scarves, rain boots and other outdoor essentials on your way out the door. It's now all in one convenient place. 

You can even store backpacks and lunch bags on the weekend -- whatever makes sense for your family.

You might think that making an entryway storage bench is complicated. But we'll show you the easy way to build your bench in less than a day.

What you'll need

*Pro tip* Borrow tools that you may never use again before buying. If you find you want to take on more new projects, you can buy one then.

  • 18-gauge nail gun
  • Miter saw
  • Framing square
  • Pneumatic framing gun
  • Hammer drill for concrete/brick or regular drill
  • Circular saw
  • 6 3/4" plywood
  • 8 2x4" boards
  • 3" strap hinges
  • 3" concrete screws or regular screws
  • 6 1x4" boards
  • Wood screws
  • How to build a DIY storage bench for your entryway

    Here's your guide.

    Gather materials & supplies

    The amount of material varies by the bench size you choose the make. Be sure to measure twice and cut once so that everything fits perfectly.

    Frame your bench

    Your frame becomes your guide for the project. Cut your 2X4's the desired length of the bench. Then cut more for the height. Find the studs. And use that hammer drill to attach the 2X4s to the back wall. Build out from there.

    Construct the front and sides

    Now build around your frame, using your plywood. Be careful with any tools you use. Just take your time to get it right. 

    Add the hinges

    Measure and drill for your hinges. Then simply screw them in. 

    Place the lid on the ground and drill holes for hinge screws. Then connect the top to the other side of the hinge with screws. You might need a partner hold the lid steady while you to screw in the lid.

    Add your finish of choice

    You can stop with a basic box. But while you're at it, it won't take much more effort to add some trim and paint it. Then place some hooks above for coats and backpacks.

    And now, you have a beautiful DIY storage bench. For more helpful tips on home maintenance and improvement, follow our blog.




    Categories: Uncategorized  


    Posted by Chris Werme and Mike Boland on 2/4/2020

    There is no set amount of time that you will need to allocate to sell your residence. In certain instances, a seller can generate lots of interest in his or her house and receive an offer to purchase within one day of listing a home. On the other hand, a seller sometimes requires many weeks or months to stir up interest in his or her home.

    Ultimately, you should strive to commit as much time as you can to sell your home. If you do everything possible to promote your residence to potential buyers, you could reap the benefits of a fast, profitable house selling experience.

    There are many things that a seller can do to ensure a seamless home selling experience, and these include:

    1. Improve Your Home Both Inside and Outside

    Remove clutter from inside your home – you'll be happy you did. In addition to making it easy to show off the true size and beauty of your home, eliminating clutter could help buyers envision what life may be like if they purchase your house.

    Meanwhile, your home's curb appeal can make a world of difference during the property selling journey. If your house boasts a stunning front lawn and other exceptional home exterior features, your home may be better equipped than ever before to make a positive first impression on prospective buyers.

    2. Establish an Aggressive Initial Home Asking Price

    Take a look at the prices of comparable houses in your city or town. In addition, evaluate the prices of recently sold houses in your area that are similar to your own. This housing market data may help you establish an initial home asking price that falls in line with the current housing market's conditions.

    Furthermore, it may be beneficial to conduct a house appraisal. With an appraisal report in hand, you'll have a property valuation that you can use to establish an aggressive initial asking price for your residence.

    3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

    A real estate agent is an expert guide for selling homes. He or she can help you list your residence, promote it to prospective buyers and much more.

    Of course, let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent provides at each stage of the property selling journey, either. A real estate agent will help you create a house selling strategy and put this plan into action. He or she will be ready to respond to any of your home selling concerns or questions too. And if you're unsure about how to proceed at any point during the house selling journey, a real estate agent can provide property selling recommendations and suggestions.

    For those who want to add a house to the real estate market and streamline the home selling journey, it may be a good idea to hire a real estate agent. By collaborating with a real estate agent, you can get the support you need to quickly navigate the home selling journey.




    Categories: Uncategorized  


    Posted by Chris Werme and Mike Boland on 1/21/2020

    For those who want to buy a home, it generally is a good idea to remain open to negotiating with a seller. That way, you can acquire your dream residence without delay.

    Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you streamline a negotiation with a home seller.

    1. Be Flexible

    There is no telling how a home negotiation will turn out. Fortunately, if you maintain flexibility, you will be able to go with the flow throughout a negotiation with a seller.

    Remember, a homebuyer and home seller share a common goal: to ensure a seamless transaction. If you are open to negotiating with a seller, both you and this individual can work together to achieve results that satisfy all parties.

    Don't forget to maintain open lines of communication with a seller during a negotiation as well. By doing so, you and a seller can keep in touch with one another throughout a negotiation and avoid potential miscommunications that otherwise could slow down or stop a home purchase.

    2. Establish Realistic Expectations

    A home negotiation may work out in your favor or a seller's favor. Or, in the best-case scenario, you and a seller will come to terms that fulfill the needs of both sides. On the other hand, in the worst-case scenario, you may need to walk away from a home purchase altogether.

    As a homebuyer, it is important to prepare for all possible scenarios. If you establish realistic expectations as you enter a home negotiation, you can plan accordingly. Then, you and a seller can work together to accomplish the optimal results.

    You may want to study the housing market closely too. In fact, you can review the prices of available houses that are comparable to the one you want to buy to ensure your offer to purchase falls in line with the current housing market's conditions.

    3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

    A real estate agent is well-equipped to help you handle a homebuying negotiation. Thus, if you work with a real estate agent, you can get the assistance you need to acquire your dream house at a price that matches your budget.

    Typically, a real estate agent will learn about your homebuying goals and help you discover your ideal residence. Once you find a house you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase this home. Next, if a seller wants to negotiate the terms of a home transaction, a real estate agent is ready to negotiate with this individual on your behalf.

    A real estate agent also will keep you informed throughout a home negotiation. Plus, if you ever have concerns or questions during the homebuying journey, a real estate agent is prepared to respond to them.

    Want to acquire your dream house as quickly as possible? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble handling a home negotiation with any seller, at any time.





    Posted by Chris Werme and Mike Boland on 1/14/2020

    One of the perks of moving out of an apartment into a home is having your very own outdoor space. Depending on how close to the city you live, you may not get much of a yard with your home. If you’re looking for that perfect outdoor space to dwell in, read on for some tips on buying a house with a yard. If you check the yard out, you could save yourself from facing problems further down the road. 


    Are The Trees In Good Condition?


    While mature trees in a yard are a sure fire way to have privacy and shade, the trees must be safe. You want any trees in your yard to be healthy. Otherwise, during a storm, you may have an issue with falling trees. If you have a lot of trees in your yard, it may be a good idea to hire an arborist who can tell you if the trees are safe. Tree removal can be costly, so you’ll need to plan for this expense if your yard has many trees.


    How Safe The Outdoor Living Areas?


    You should check out any outdoor living areas the yard has. If the home comes with a patio, or gazebo the soundness of the structures should be checked. Any cement should be free of cracks or crumble.


    The Layout Of The Lot


    There is more to a yard than the size of a property. You should keep in mind where the home is situated on the lot. Is the front yard more prominent than the backyard? Is the home on a slope? Is there a chance water will pool near the foundation of the house? All of these questions are important for the long-term health of the property. 


    How Much Yard Are You Willing To Care For?


    You need to know how large of a yard you’re actually willing to care for. For many buyers, a small yard is just enough. Other buyers aim to care for a large lawn the many flowerbeds. The larger the yard, the more possibilities you have. If you are willing to take the extra time and incur the additional expense that a large yard will cost, it could be a good feature to look for. Yard size may also narrow down your home search considerably. 


    Buying a home with a yard can be a great decision, all you need is to understand your own preferences and ability to care for properties of different sizes.