Stewart Woodward, REALTOR Selling Metro West Real Estate


Posted by Stewart Woodward on 12/14/2017

People often talk about boosting the value of their home with various improvements. But it is seldom that you hear anyone talk about the unforeseen factors that devalue their home. Furthermore, there are some fluctuations in a home's market value or appraisal value that are out of the homeowner's hands. In this post, we'll break down some of the broader aspects of home value and determine which "improvements" will serve you best in the long run. We'll also point out the red flags that are sure to devalue a home on the market.

Location

Few things so greatly affect the value of your home as location. If you happened to buy a house in Brooklyn Heights a couple decades ago its value has probably gone up exponentially since then due to the high demand of living in a trendy part of New York. Aside from living in the hippest neighborhood, people choose their home based on other location factors. Schools, hospitals, shopping centers, vicinity to highways or public transportation may all play a big role for many people. Location factors that will negatively affect the value of your home are high or increasing crime rates, economic decline (boarded up stores aren't very appealing to home buyers), a high incidence of registered sex offenders nearby, and neighbors that have unkempt homes or hoard junk in their yards. Other location factors are harder to sniff out. With the exception city dumps or waste processing centers--which you won't have any trouble smelling--having undesirable places like power plants or noisy freeways in your neighborhood can also devalue your home.

Inside the home

Home improvements are a great way to increase the value of your home--as long as those improvements meet a few criteria. Any changes you make should be legal and up to code. Potential buyers do not want the liability of illegal home improvements, nor can they ensure that the job was safely done and doesn't put them and their family at risk. Your improvements should also be up to social standards and changing tastes. Yes, we all have our own preferences when it comes to paint colors and home decorations. But when trying to sell a home it's important that it doesn't look like a time capsule from the 70s, rife with wood panels and shag carpets. When it comes to home repairs many homeowners elect to put off big projects because they are daunting and time consuming. Instead they focus on surface level improvements that might not do much to improve the value of their home. If you have plumbing that needs to be replaced, deteriorating flooring, or faulty heating and ventilation, make sure you take care of those before putting your home on the market.

Ask the pros

If buying or selling a home is in your foreseeable future, one great way to get a jump on your research is to consult a real estate agent and a building contractor to learn more about your area's own unique market values. This will give you a head start on making changes to your home and will tip you off on what to look out for when home hunting.





Posted by Stewart Woodward on 12/7/2017

When a house is sold, it’s generally expected that the seller will take all of their personal belongings along with them. This includes furniture, pictures, cleaning supplies, and appliances that weren’t included on the deal. This is all in the expectation that the buyer will have a clean property to move into. 

If a seller does leave personal property behind, what are the rights of the buyer? Buyers may wonder if they can move in and actually take possession of the home if belongings have been left behind. There are a few reasons that buyers may leave property behind including:

  • The item is actually a fixture and not considered personal property
  • The item could belong to a tenant (or former tenant)

In these circumstances, each state determines different rights and procedures that must happen in order for the property to be secured without hassle by the buying party.


What If There’s So Much Stuff It Impedes On Moving In?


In the case that a seller has left so many things that a buyer cannot even comfortably move into the property, the contract may be refused. If there’s an inordinate amount of furniture, trash, and personal belongings, you certainly have a good argument to not sign the final contract for the property. Your rights as a buyer do, however, depend on what exactly was written into the purchase contract for the home you’re buying. 

Hidden Items

If an item has been deemed hidden or buried, the buyers have a different circumstance on their hands. Many times, a buyer is obligated to hang onto these items for the seller. The items were not technically abandoned by the seller to the buyer. The buyer becomes what is called a “bailor,” or a keeper of the property, who needs to be an agent in the change of possession of the items.  

Possession Unknown

If the ownership of an item is unknown, the terms of the contract are held up. Standard contracts generally state that any items left behind by the seller have been forfeited to the buyer. If the contract says nothing about personal property, the buyer generally takes on the role of “bailor” again in this instance.

If The Property Owner Has Died Or The Property Has Been Abandoned


If a property has been abandoned due to foreclosure or bankruptcy, or the property owner has died, any personal property that is left behind is a bit more of a risk for both parties. These circumstances generally state that a buyer will be taking on a property “as is” and essentially anything left is the buyer’s problem. 


If a property owner has died, the executors generally take on the responsibility of removing items from the property to be distributed to the rightful beneficiaries. Occasionally, this process doesn’t work out due to family quarrels. In this case, personal property of the seller goes into the category of forfeiture. 

Personal property is just one reason why you need to understand your legal rights when you’re buying a home.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Stewart Woodward on 12/6/2017

This Condo in Canton, MA recently sold for $222,500. This Garden style home was sold by Stewart Woodward - Keller Williams Realty Boston Northwest.


38 Will Dr, Canton, MA 02021

Condo

$229,900
Price
$222,500
Sale Price

4
Rooms
2
Beds
1
Baths
Luxury condominium for those who want spaciousness and comfort in a contemporary environment all on one level. Enjoy this unit's open floor plan and custom touches throughout with well proportioned rooms. You are immediately swept up in the warm views of the elegant homescape. Your inner chef will love the sleek & stylish kitchen with recent maple cabinets, stainless steel appliances & and slider opening to a private patio for enjoying morning coffee or that perfectly chilled glass at the end of the day.Recreation facilities include Olympic pool, barbecue picnic area, umbrella tables and chairs, large screen house for connecting with neighbors. On site laundry, professional on site management. Private storage room for each unit, plenty of parking. Amazing location - minutes to commuter rail and great highway access. No Pets.






Tags: Real Estate   condo   Canton   02021  
Categories: Sold Homes  


Posted by Stewart Woodward on 11/30/2017

If you're in the process of trying to find a dependable contractor for a home improvement project, there are several steps you can take to ensure a positive outcome. Since clear and frequent communication is the foundation of any successful relationship with a contractor, knowing what questions to ask can make all the difference. Here are some general guidelines for screening potential contractors and determining which one would be the best match for your budget, your home improvement needs, and your personality. Not only is it important that the contractor be experienced, dependable, and conscientious, but it's also crucial that they're easy to work with and customer service oriented. If they're too abrasive or don't seem genuinely interested in ensuring your satisfaction, then you'd probably be better off looking elsewhere. Being competitively priced is also very important. Questions to Ask Contractors Although each situation is different when dealing with home builders, handymen, or home improvement contractors, here's a list of questions that would apply to most companies:

  1. "How long have you been in business?" One of your top priorities is to avoid fly-by-night operations that are in business today, and nowhere to be found, next week. Longevity in business is usually a sign that the contractor is conscientious about customer satisfaction, that they care about doing good quality work, and that they're in compliance with the legal requirements of running a contracting business. It's certainly not a guarantee of any of those things, but it's a good starting point in evaluating their qualifications.
  2. "Would you provide me with some recent customer references -- preferably ones who had the same type of work done as what I'm planning." If the contractor balks at this, then they may have something to hide -- like a trail of dissatisfied customers or a just a lack of customers. The ideal scenario, of course, is to get a contractor recommendation from a trusted family member, a friend, or a neighbor. When that isn't possible, a brief telephone conversation with a couple current or past customers of a contractor you're considering can provide a lot of insights into key factors like timeliness, professionalism, the quality of their work, whether they leave their work site clean, and their level of customer service and communication. By the way, one online source for neighbor recommendations is a social networking site called Nextdoor.com.
  3. "What type of insurance do you have?" If they're not current on their personal liability insurance, Workers' Compensation, and property damage insurance coverage, then you could potentially be liable for any injuries and damage that take place on your property during the project. However, reputable contracting companies recognize the importance of carrying the necessary types of contractor insurance, and they make it their business to keep those policies current and up to date. As a side note, it's also wise to find out if there will be any subcontractors working on the job, and if they also have the required licenses and insurance coverage. Asking for copies of insurance certificates is generally the only way to make sure the needed coverage is in place.
While many home improvement or construction projects come with their share of frustrations, setbacks, and minor headaches, if you take the time to screen and compare potential home contractors, your chances of getting the best value for your money and the highest possible quality will be greatly increased.





Posted by Stewart Woodward on 11/23/2017

Many home buyers seek out fixer-uppers or older homes as a way to save money. And, while this method can be a great way to save, it does come with a few caveats.

Upgrades and repairs can vary greatly in price. Some might be simple, whereas others can take weeks or months, require permits, and uproot your plans. For these reasons, it’s good to know what you’re getting yourself into with home repairs.

In this article, we’re going to cover the most expensive home repairs and upgrades. That way when you find a home listing that you’re interested in, you can rule out these costly repairs early if you aren’t willing to spend the extra money on them after buying the house.

1. Sewer and septic

Finding out you need to replace a sewer line or a septic system can be a nightmare. Sewer lines are most often damaged by tree root growth, leaving older homes the most vulnerable. On average, homeowners spend around $2,500 to repair a main sewer line.

If you move into a new home that previously only had one inhabitant, you may find that the septic system can’t keep up with the increased workload. Repairs for a septic system average around $1,500. And to replace the septic system and install a new one? You can expect to spend around $5,000 or much more, depending on your needs and location.

2. Foundation repair

Older homes are also subject to foundation damage over the years, which can cause many problems, including safety concerns and water damage.

Houses that have poor drainage and high soil moisture are particularly vulnerable to foundation damage. And, like sewer and septic issues, tree roots can also pose a problem.

For minor cracks, foundation repairs can cost as little as $500. However, more severe damage can cost up to $10,000. On average, Americans spend around $4,000 when they repair a damaged foundation.

3. Roof replacement

Roof replacements are inevitable, but there are ways to ensure you won’t have to install a new one anytime soon. For example, slate and metal roofs can last over 50 years. And concrete? A hundred years or more.

The most common type of roofs, however, are made from asphalt shingles, which last around 20 years. In terms of price, asphalt tends to be the cheapest as well, costing as low as $2,000 to replace. Metal and slate roofs are significantly more expensive, starting at $5,000 and $17,000 respectively.

4. Heat pump installation

Installing a heat pump can be quite costly, with the national average being around $5,300. However, if you live in a moderate climate, a heat pump can replace both your furnace and your air conditioning unit.

Furthermore, if you plan on staying in the home for several years, a heat pump tends to be much more energy efficient than older alternatives.

5. Kitchen remodel

Of all the household remodeling projects--basement, bathrooms, etc.--a kitchen remodel tends to be the priciest. Americans spend about $21,000 on a kitchen remodel. The most expensive part? Cabinetry and hardware at $6,000.




Tags: Home Repair   expensive  
Categories: Uncategorized