Femion Mezini's Blog
37 Edward Dr, Stoughton, MA 02072
Have you ever driven through a neighborhood or down a country road, seen a cobbled-together add-on and done a double-take? Historically, home additions tend to stick out like the proverbial sore thumb, with each new add-on displaying the most recent design trend without regard for the original style. Thus, you'll see a typical ranch-style home with a mansard or hipped-roof add-on or a modern sunroom from an entirely different era appearing as if by magic from the side of a craftsman bungalow.
Failing to match a home’s original style is not new. Castles dotting the English hillsides or lining European rivers have jumbled wings from even different centuries, and palaces and cathedrals bear the stamp of each successive architect’s desire to make a name for himself. But when it comes to your home, mixing styles and eras could be a losing proposition when the time comes to sell.
Hire a professional
Before you begin an addition, hire a licensed design contractor to discuss your home's current style and how your renovation or addition might enhance its curb appeal and carry the same theme through the complete interior and exterior of the house.
New structures should be in balance with the existing building, and although it might not have symmetry, the combination of new and old should have unity. To achieve this, bear these things in mind:
- Windows: if the new windows are double-hung with multiple lights (several small panes or a grid), then change out the old windows to match. Don’t mix aluminum sliders with wood casements (those with crank mechanisms). In other words, add some extra money into the renovation to match up the window types.
- Exterior materials: a lovely mix of brick, stone, and stucco (or plank siding) gives a home that coveted old-world feel, but a random mash-up looks, well, like a random mash-up. If possible, extend the existing outside material to the new addition. Where that isn’t possible because, for example, a brick color or style no longer is available, consider painting everything to match to give continuity.
- Rooflines and materials: adding a gambrel roof to hipped roof or a mansard to a ranch probably won’t earn you any design awards. If the existing roofline is not what you want, have your contractor update it to match the addition. A mix of roofline styles is disconcerting and screams “add-on” rather than professional addition. And watch the mix-up of roofing materials too. A lovely new metal roof on the new part with a dated three-tab asphalt shingle on your existing roof gives your home a discordant aspect — either roof the latest addition to mimic the old, or re-roof the whole thing.
If you genuinely want to add a different style, consider modifying the existing home to match the new style for a unified impression. And, if you're considering an addition to increase your home's value for a quick sale, check with your real estate professional first. There's nothing worse for your renovation's bottom line than an addition that nets a loss rather than a gain to your resale value.
With rent prices shooting soaring across the country, many young Americans who were previously happy renting while they saved for a home are now turning to other options.
One common solution is a starter home. If you want to keep your monthly mortgage prices low while being able to build equity and slowly save for your “forever home.” a starter home can be a great option for first-time buyers.
When does it make sense to buy a starter home?
Buying a home means mortgage payments, home maintenance and repairs, and closing costs. However, they can also be a great introduction to the responsibilities of homeownership.
Better yet, starter homes allow you to build equity that can be used toward the down payment of your next home, something that first-time buyers often struggle with. This could help you secure a lower interest rate and avoid costly private mortgage insurance (PMI).
Sounds great, right? But when shouldn’t you buy a starter home?
It might not make sense to buy a starter home if you don’t plan on living in it at least 3-4 years. You might find that the cost of renting is less than that of your mortgage payments and closing costs if you don’t live in the home long enough to reap the rewards.
It also might not be a good idea if your family is going to outgrow a small home in the next few years for the same reasons mentioned above. That makes it all the more important to discuss your long term plans with your spouse before considering a home.
Things to look for in a starter home
1. Resale value
One of the most important aspects of your starter home should be the ability to resell it in the future. Now, there is an endless number of factors that go into the marketability of a home. Key factors include the condition of the home and keeping it well-maintained, as well as the location of the home. Buying a starter home in an area that will attract young professionals down the road is typically a good investment.
2. Small size = low price
It probably goes without saying, but finding a home with a low price, at the expense of square-footage, is most often a smart choice when it comes to starter homes.
Small homes are cheaper to buy, cheaper to heat, and cheaper to maintain. However, since housing prices are trending upward, you’ll likely still see a positive return on your investment in ~5 years time when you’re hoping to buy again.
3. Reasonable home improvements
If you can spare the time, buying a starter home that needs some work can be an excellent investment. It can be more difficult later on when you have a large family to care for and less time to focus on making improvements.
237 Lake Street, Weymouth, MA 02189
Purchasing a home in a seller's market may prove to be difficult. Fortunately, we're here to offer expert guidance to ensure you can find the best house at the lowest price, regardless of the present real estate sector's conditions.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get ready to pursue a home in a seller's market.
1. Assess the Housing Market Closely
A seller's market likely features a shortage of high-quality houses. As such, you'll want to analyze the local real estate sector closely so you can identify your dream home faster than ever before.
Take a look at the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town. This information can help you understand the average price range for homes of all sizes in your area. You also should find out how long these homes were available before they sold to understand the current pace of the real estate market.
Furthermore, you should make a checklist of home must-haves and wants. Once you craft this checklist, you can assess the houses available in your city or town and map out your homebuying journey accordingly.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
In all likelihood, you'll need to act fast to acquire your ideal residence in a seller's market. If you have a mortgage in hand when you submit a home offer, you may boost your chances of receiving a "Yes" from a seller.
A home offer that is contingent on a buyer's approval for a mortgage often is far from ideal. If a seller receives this type of offer, he or she may be reluctant to accept it, as there are no guarantees a buyer will be able to obtain the necessary financing to acquire a home.
Comparatively, a buyer who gets pre-approved for a mortgage can enter a seller's market with a budget in hand. And if he or she finds a great house, this buyer can submit an offer without having to worry about getting financing at a later time.
To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you should meet with a variety of lenders. These financial institutions can teach you about a wide range of mortgage options and help you find the right mortgage based on your finances.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
A seller's market can be tough to navigate, regardless of whether you're a first-time or experienced homebuyer. Thankfully, real estate agents are available who can guide you along the homebuying journey.
Typically, a real estate agent will learn about your homebuying goals. He or she then will keep you up to date about houses that meet your criteria, set up home showings and help you submit offers on residences. And if you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them at any time.
Prepare to buy a house in a seller's market – use the aforementioned tips, and you can move one step closer to acquiring your dream residence.