Landmark, Realtors - Landmark, Realtors
Western Massachusetts and Northern Connecticut Homes for Sale. Guiding People Home Since 1987.



Posted by Landmark, Realtors on 7/17/2018

There's a cheap office supply product available almost anywhere that can improve your home organization, save you money, and help prevent food-borne illnesses: ordinary stickers.

By stocking up on a variety of blank stickers, you can boost your efficiency around the house, save time, and reduce confusion.

Here are a few examples of how this basic strategy can prevent problems and simplify your life:

  • Leftover food: How many times have you looked at a container or package of leftover food in the refrigerator and wondered if it's still reasonably fresh and safe to eat? If you label it with the date, you'll never have to risk getting sick from food that's been sitting around in the fridge for weeks (or longer). "When in doubt, throw it out" is a good policy for dealing with perishable food items, but you also don't want to get in the habit of throwing out perfectly good food. Everyone has slightly different standards for how long food should be kept, but when leftovers are not labeled, your only option is to guess how long it's been there -- and that method isn't too accurate! As a side note, there are several government agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, that can advise you on recommended refrigeration storage times (and safe temperatures) for different types of food. Generally, it's three or four days, but it can be more or less, depending on how perishable it is, whether the package has been opened, and if it's cooked or raw. Frozen food has a much longer shelf life (usually one or two months in the freezer), but if you don't label it, you may have no idea what it is ("mystery meat?") or how long it's been in storage! Clearly labeling refrigerated and frozen food will give you peace of mind, help prevent you from throwing away food prematurely (saving you money), and reduce your chances of getting food-borne illnesses.
  • Old keys: Did you ever stumble upon an old key and wonder which door, suitcase, file cabinet, or car it's meant for? You can always try it out on different locks, luggage, or vehicles, but it could easily be from a previous residence, an item you no longer own, or a vehicle you traded in years ago. A much more efficient method would be to place the key in a small envelope or zip-lock bag and label it with identifying information. Labeling the tag on the keychain is another option.
  • House paint: Paint cans that have been around for years can often be difficult to identify, especially if the original product label is obscured by paint spills. By adding a descriptive label displaying the date, the room it was used on, and the color, it will be much easier to organize and find the paint you need when you want touch up your walls or baseboards.
While some members of the family may tease you for putting labels on everything, the amount of time, money, and frustration you'll be saving down the road will be well worth the inconvenience (and the ribbing)!





Posted by Landmark, Realtors on 7/10/2018

If you receive an offer to purchase your house, determining how to proceed with this proposal sometimes can be difficult. Ultimately, a home seller needs to weigh the pros and cons of accepting an offer to purchase. And if the pros outweigh the cons, it probably is a good idea to accept the homebuying proposal.

When it comes to reviewing an offer to purchase, there are many reasons why a seller should accept this proposal, and these include:

1. An offer to purchase matches or exceeds a home seller's expectations.

If a home seller receives an offer to purchase at or above the initial asking price for his or her house, accepting the proposal likely is a no-brainer. In fact, a seller may want to provide an instant "Yes" to this offer so he or she can quickly move on to the next step of the property selling journey.

Of course, it helps to establish realistic home selling expectations before listing a residence. If a seller sets a competitive initial asking price that corresponds to his or her home selling expectations, then this individual may be better equipped than others to enjoy a seamless property selling experience.

2. An offer to purchase falls in line with the current housing market's conditions.

If you're selling a home in a buyer's market, you may pounce at the opportunity to accept any offer to purchase that comes your way. Comparatively, if you list your house in a seller's market, you may need to consider all of your options closely before you accept an offer to purchase.

As a home seller, you should evaluate the current state of the real estate market. If you allocate time and resources to learn about the housing market, you can gain real estate market insights to help you determine whether to accept an offer to purchase.

3. An offer to purchase enables a home seller to speed up the property selling process.

If you're operating on a tight home selling timeline, you may be more inclined than ever before to accept an offer to purchase, even if it falls below your initial expectations. Conversely, if you plan ahead for the home selling journey, you may reduce the risk of facing a time crunch to sell your house.

For home sellers, hiring a real estate agent is key. This housing market professional can help a seller prepare for the real estate market and ensure that a seller sets a competitive price for his or her house. Plus, a real estate agent will set up home showings and open house events to showcase a residence to prospective buyers. And if a seller receives an offer to purchase, a real estate agent can provide a recommendation about the best way to respond to this homebuying proposal.

Ready to add your house to the real estate market? Collaborate with a real estate agent, and you can boost the likelihood of getting an offer to purchase your home that allows you to maximize the value of your property.





Posted by Landmark, Realtors on 7/3/2018

Refinancing your home can have many benefits. First, you’ll be able to take out money to address immediate needs in your home like improvement projects. These things can only benefit your home’s value in the long term. Before you take the leap to refinance your home, you should be sure that you’re actually ready to take this step. Knowing what you’re in for allows the entire process to go more smoothly. Read on for tip to understand more about the refinancing process and what you’ll need.


Know Your Finances


Just like when you initially purchase a home, refinancing your home will require you to have your finances in order. Take a look at your budget and needs and determine if it makes sense for you to refinance your home. For example, your employment status or distance from life goals like retirement could have a factor on the term of the loan you’re willing to take out. A 15-year mortgage may make more sense than a 30-year mortgage, but your monthly payments will also be a bit higher. You need to take all of this into consideration before you refinance. 


Your credit score will also be a factor in refinancing your home just as it was when you initially bought your house. Check your score and see if any red flags pop up. Getting these corrected earlier rather than later can help you to get a better rate on the loan. There are plenty of free services that exist online that allow you to check your credit score.   


Know The Value Of Your Home


If you know the value of your home and understand how much equity you’ve built up in the house, it will give you a better idea of your refinancing options. You can’t get more than 70% of what your home is currently worth as a cash-out refinance. If you owe more than your home is worth, you might be in a tighter financial situation than you realize. You can do plenty of things to increase the value of your home; it will just take some time. You may even consider selling your house, making a move, and starting from scratch. Financially, this could be the best option, and you could also end up with a better interest rate.


Getting your finances in order and the simple act of preparing for a home refinance could give you some insight into your financial picture after being a homeowner for some time.


Stay out of debt. Don’t open new accounts. Pay down any debt you may have. That is the standard advice for people who are trying to get in good financial standing before buying a home or refinancing a home. 


Do some research and find the best home loan refinance rates around. Then, look into your own finances and decide what’s best for you regarding refinancing your home loan.      





Tags: Mortgage   refinancing  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Landmark, Realtors on 6/26/2018

Create a flower garden you love coming home to after a long day at work that is bursting with color.

Sweet peas are a stunning annual that quite literally descends from the pea plant! They do best with the sun on their petal and shade protecting their roots so do well with a shorter plant nestled in front of them. The April in Paris variety offers yellow and purple tinted petals while the aptly named America boasts red and white stripes.

Snow Princess is sweet but tough - incredibly resistant to drought and heat. These blooms will sprawl out with its tiny white flowers making a perfect base for brighter colors to pop. It also makes for a stunning cascading plant when potted. Put this beauty in full sunlight with occasional shade.

Cinderella stock is another annual to add to your wish list. Unlike the snow princess, it prefers the cooler temps just before full summer heat hits. But it will thrive in full sunlight. You can find varieties in pink, blue, red and white so whatever your colorway, these guys are sure to fit right in.

Blue Cornflower is a distinctive color that’s found its way of naming everything from crayons to nail polish shades. This annual is easy to grow and so a great starter for beginners. A fairly long stem length, cornflowers can be placed towards the back of your garden as not to shade out shorter blooms. 

Nasturtium adds warmth to your garden with shades of red, orange and yellow. Not only are these easy to grow but they’re edible! Perfect for the culinarily adventurous and beginners alike. There are so easy to grow, in fact, that they can grow perfectly happy in less nutrient-rich soils.

Begonia comes in every shade and size you could possibly need. They’re a step up from a true beginner plant in that they will need at least a little attention. However, these will look beautiful in a container garden or in a setting they are allowed to sprawl.

Marigold Signets add a pop of cheery warmth to your colorful garden. With stunning fully rounded “globe” of flowers these will happily fill up your garden. The “gem” hybrids are the most popular variety in shades of lemon, orange, red, and tangerine. These are another edible bloom with a slight lemony flavor to add to a dish.   

Pansies are perhaps the most well-known for the bright and varied color palette. They come in varieties that offer blooms with a single color or petals in alternating colors. Like sweet peas, they prefer sun but the cooler temps of the spring and fall. These are a ground cover plant that also does well (and are incredibly popular) in container gardens.





Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Landmark, Realtors on 6/19/2018

Whether new or old, many homes can have issues that aren’t obvious from photos. Many of the most common problems in a home have to do with the plumbing system. Since water can be so damaging, it’s especially important to get these issues out in the open prior to sale.

Some sellers might be aware of their plumbing issues, others may have no clue at all. Oftentimes, if a home was previously occupied by only one or two people who didn’t entertain many guests, they may not be aware of the strain that a larger family could have on things like the septic system.

In this article, we’ll cover some of the most common plumbing issues that a home has and help you identify these issues before you buy a new home.

The small fixes

Let’s start with some problems that are common and simple to address. When touring a home or performing an inspection, test all of the home’s faucets. Dripping faucets might not seem like a big issue, but the cost of wasted water can add up on your utility bill.

Leaking pipes are another issue that is seemingly harmless, but can lead to bigger problems that could cost thousands of dollars to repair. Check ceilings, floors, and underneath cabinets for signs of water damage.

Flush the toilets in the house to see if they continue running. Toilets that continue running water is often a simple fix, like replacing the chain or flapper in the tank. However, a leaking toilet could be symptomatic of a bigger problem that could include having to replace the toilet.

Sewer line and septic systems

Ask the owner about the history of the sewer or septic system. Find out if they’ve had problems recently and when the last time they were taken care of. If there is a septic tank or field on the property, look for signs of issues such as the grass having been dug out, water pooling in the yard, or foul smells in the area.

When it comes to septic and sewer issues, always reach out to a professional. They will be able to give you an accurate assessment and estimate of costs.

Inspect the pipes

Spot-checking the pipes in the home will tell you a lot about the state of the plumbing. Pipes that are old, worn, and lacking insulation are signs that plumbing issues could be coming. Rust is a major red flag. The water lines that lead out of the house for lawn faucets should also be wrapped to avoid freezing in the winter months.

Hot water heater

Just like the septic system, you’ll want to ask about the history of the home’s hot water heater. If it’s over ten years old, you might have to replace it soon after purchase.

You should also consider the size of the hot water heater. You’ll want to be sure it can accommodate your expected water usage. If children are in your future, having a bigger hot water heater might be something you want to plan for to avoid cold showers in the morning.







East Longmeadow
60 N. Main St.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
413-525-4600
Ludlow
488 Center St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
413-583-5000
Monson
204 Main St.
Monson, MA 01057
413-267-5252
Springfield/ Lortie
655 White St.
Springfield, MA 01108
413-739-9636
Wilbraham
2133 Boston Rd. Suite 10
Wilbraham, MA 01095
413-596-4500