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Western Massachusetts and Northern Connecticut Homes for Sale. Guiding People Home Since 1987.



Posted by Landmark, Realtors on 6/11/2019

The world today is experiencing high amounts of pollution and energy usage that stresses the environment. But being environmentally conscious helps to reduce the number of greenhouse gases that your home produces. Here is how to reduce your home's carbon footprint:

Hire a professional to carry out an energy audit of your home. 

This stage of the energy audit will allow you to know your house better and give you the necessary facts you need to make a decision. In this way, you will identify precisely the weak points of your home. The auditor will then propose several options to you according to your budget. 

Improve the insulation of the walls, roof, and floor of your home

Generally, the first thing to do to save energy is to prevent heat from escaping. For this, you must identify all the points where you lose cooling and try to repair or improve the insulation. 

Change your windows

Ten to 15% of the heat escapes through the windows. You have to choose your windows and install new ones with double or triple panes depending on your home. The objective is to avoid unnecessary expenses from energy being wasted.

Think about the ventilation of your home

A well-ventilated home will conserve temperature all through the day and reduce the amount of work that air conditioners do. This also reduces your energy bills and keeps the air on your own home circulating without becoming stale.

Opt for natural materials

A truly green home uses materials that have little impact on the environment and indoor air quality. These are usually natural materials (straw wood, stone, etc.). Consider using bio-based insulation – made from renewable plant or animal raw materials (wood wool, hemp wool ...). In terms of finishes, use natural paints or coatings for better indoor air quality.

For heating, have renewable energy products installed in your home

Solar heating, wood heating and heat pumps (geothermal, aerothermal), existing equipment ecological heating are efficient and reliable. The idea is to recover energy naturally present in the air, the sun, the soil or our forests to limit the use of fossil fuels. And so reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases.

Recycle waste

Don't throw away your home waste without checking for items that could be reused or recycled. Start a local recycling program in your home and do your best to make sure that the volume of waste reduces. Plastic bottles can also be re-used for other useful purposes.

Many contractors are upgrading properties to improve their green ratings, talk to your real estate agent about finding a green contractor in your area.





Posted by Landmark, Realtors on 6/4/2019

After you receive an offer on your home, how should you respond? Ultimately, there are many questions for a home seller to consider before accepting a proposal, including:

1. What is my home worth?

Did you get your home appraised before you added it to the real estate market? If so, you may want to review a home offer in contrast to your home appraisal. This will give you a better idea about whether the offer is "fair" based on your home's condition.

If you have not received a home appraisal, there's no need to worry. In fact, there are many ways to assess your home to determine whether to accept or decline a proposal.

Check out the prices of comparable residences in your city or town. This will enable you to see how these houses are priced and better understand how to proceed with an offer.

Also, review the prices of homes that recently sold in your area. With this information, you can learn about the current state of the housing market.

2. Are there any other offers to consider?

As a home seller, you'll likely have 24 to 48 hours to respond to an offer on your residence. But if you receive multiple offers at the same time, you'll want to evaluate these proposals in conjunction with one another.

Even if you receive two offers for the exact same price, these proposals may differ.

For example, a homebuyer who has financing in hand will be able to streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner. On the other hand, a homebuyer who submits an offer without financing in hand may require additional time to secure a mortgage from a bank or credit union.

Take a close look at all of the offers on your home. Review these proposals with a fine-tooth comb, and you'll be able to make an informed decision.

3. Does this offer meet or exceed my expectations?

An offer on your home may fall short of your initial asking price, but this offer can still meet or surpass your expectations.

Consider what you hope to accomplish as a home seller as you review an offer.

For instance, if your goal is to sell your home as quickly as possible, you may be more inclined to accept one of the first offers you receive. Or, if you can afford to remain patient, you may want to take a wait-and-see approach to ensure you get an offer that matches or exceeds your initial asking price.

4. What will happen if I accept the offer?

After you accept an offer on your home, a homebuyer likely will want to complete a home inspection.

If the home inspection goes well, the homebuyer probably will proceed with his or her purchase. If it does not, you may need to complete home maintenance or repairs to finalize the purchase agreement.

Remember, if you accept an offer, there are still several steps that will need to be completed before you sell your house. With an expert real estate agent at your side, you'll know exactly what to expect at each stage of the home selling process.




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Posted by Landmark, Realtors on 5/28/2019

One of the many challenges of putting your home on the market is keeping it clean!

That task can be even more difficult if you have kids, pets, and a busy schedule. If everyone is always rushing off to their jobs, classes, lunch dates, meetings, practices, or appointments, it's hard to keep your home in a perpetual state of cleanliness and order.

Probably the first step to keeping your house ready for real estate showings is to remind your family to clean up after themselves. While this may require more than one reminder, any amount of cooperation will help keep messes to a minimum. Implementing some sort of reward system or even a competition among siblings, can go a long way toward maintaining a semblance of order in the house. Some parents even post a calendar of assigned chores to make sure everyone does their fair share.

Professional Help May Be Needed!

Getting your home ready for real estate showings can feel like a monumental task, especially if you have a large house and a messy family! The good news is that you can hire some outside help without depleting your kids' college funds! Many households already have a house cleaning person or service that comes in at least a couple times a month to keep things looking civilized. If your house is actively being shown to prospective buyers, however, you might want to consider having your housekeeper clean the house a little more frequently than usual. That way, you only have to do some minor tidying up when your real estate agent notifies you about a scheduled house showing in a few hours or tomorrow morning.

If any of your rooms are carpeted and the floors haven't been professionally steam-cleaned for as long as you can remember, it may be time to hire a carpet cleaning service. Carpeted floors have an unfortunate tendancy of locking in stains, allergens, and ground-in dirt for months, if not years! Although you can often improve the appearance of your carpets by cleaning them yourself, it often requires the services of a professional carpet cleaning service to really get those stubborn stains out. You can often get recommendations from neighbors, friends, relatives, or coworkers, and can look for online reviews of carpet cleaners on social media websites.

Once you've cleaned, dusted, and sanitized the inside of your house, there may be one more area to tackle before you're ready to have your house shown: its exterior! Your home's siding may be covered with filmy layers of dust, grime, splatters, and environmental pollutants -- a condition which thankfully can be reversed by using the services of a local power-washing company. While not all power-washing services are created equal, a reliable one can remove years of accumulated filmy deposits from pollen, birds, spider webs, acid rain, snow blower splatters, rust, smoky emissions from backyard barbeques, vehicle exhaust emissions, and other miscellaneous air pollution.

So even though the environment, your family, and the wear and tear of normal, everyday use will take its toll on the appearance of your home, there are many things you can do to reverse that process and restore many aspects of your home's original freshness, charm, and appeal!





Posted by Landmark, Realtors on 5/21/2019

A fire pit can go a long way in affording homeowners the luxury of the comfortable outdoor living they want. It provides an avenue to bond with loved ones, sharing intimate moments and even be one with nature. There is a lot to enjoy when you decide to fit a fire pit in your yard. However, just like everything, installing a fire pit should be approached with considerate caution. This is especially true if you are a fan of do-it-yourself methods.

Here are some ways to ensure that your fire pit is in the best possible condition when being installed in your home:

Use the best materials

Whether you are settling for a fixed or portable fire pit, don't let the thought of acquiring something inferior and cheap cross your mind. Cheap materials put you at risk of starting a disastrous fire which could damage your properties and even harm people. Go for quality; it's worth it!

Keep a safe distance

Ideally, a fire pit should be at least 10 meters away from any structure or neighboring yard. Proper positioning will help in curtailing the spread of fire to combustible parts of your yard like bushes and fences.

No flammable materials around

The fire pit should be placed on a non-flammable surface, preferably patio blocks or concrete. Also, be sure to pick up any materials around the fire pit that can quickly catch fire like dried leaves, paper bags, and the like. 

Fire pits shouldn't be placed on wooden decks or directly on the grass. It's best to keep them in the open. That is, don't consider putting them beneath low hanging tree branches or under a covered porch. Not only will low-hanging tree limbs or deck roofs be a fire hazard, but they also trap smoke around the fire pit making it less enjoyable for you and your guests.

Remove the vegetation

Landscaped yards will, most likely, have grasses and shrubs lying around. Of course, they add to the aesthetics of the yard. However, after selecting the spot for the fire pit, the vegetation around it should be removed. If no combustible materials are accessible, the fire has no chance of spreading.

Get the right depth

Ideally, the pit should be, at least, 6 inches deep and 2 feet wide. Having a fire pit of this dimension allows the structure to contain embers. After fitting the fire pit, pile dirt or rocks around it to stop fire spread.

Have a garden hose and fire extinguisher handy

Fire is a surprising element that can go out of hand at any time. For extra safety, keep a source of water, preferably a garden hose, nearby. With it, you can extinguish any escaping fire before it becomes something big to deal with.

There you go! While you plan to share special moments with people around your fire pit, remain safe. A quality fire pit will serve you and your family for years to come.




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Posted by Landmark, Realtors on 5/14/2019

One of the most critical aspects of your financial state, when you’re buying a home, is that of your credit score. Credit scores take your entire economic history into account. That means every missed payment, every account opened, and that three-digit number represents every debt you owe. Once you obtain your credit score and assess your finances, if you realize your score needs help, you may feel desperate. The good news is that you’re not helpless. There are plenty of things that you can do to raise your credit score in a short time to increase your chances of getting a better rate on a loan for your home purchase. Read on for some tips on how to improve your credit score.



Keep An Eye On Your Credit Card Balances


One of the most impactful factors on your credit score is how much debt you have. How much debt you have versus how much available credit you have is a significant factor in your score. If you pay your balances in full each month, that’s great. Keep in mind that even if you do pay off your balances that monthly balance amount affects your score as well. Paying off your outstanding credit card balances will have a positive effect on your score.


Remember Some Debt History Is Good


Once you pay off a car or home loan, it can be tempting to want these accounts removed from your credit history. When you’re getting a home loan, the lender wants to know that you’re reliable. If you can show that you have responsibly paid off other loans that can only be a positive thing for you and your credit score. Don’t be so quick to remove old accounts that have been paid off from your report. 


Pay On Time


If you pay your bills on time continuously, it can only bring your score up. If our rating needs help, this could be the most critical thing that you can do to raise your score.


Keep Your Payments Equal Over Time


Keeping your payments equal means that you shouldn’t start charging more than you usually would. You also shouldn’t begin to make lower payments than you have been. Keeping your spending and payments consistent can help you to raise and maintain a good credit score.


If you know you’ll be purchasing a home soon; you should check your credit score. If you’re not close to heading out on the home search, you can pull back a bit. While you always want to maintain good credit health, you shouldn’t be so focused on your credit score that you forget about other things like saving for a downpayment. Know that your credit score is essential in buying a home, but understand that there are many moving parts when it comes to buying a home. 





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