Monthly Archives: July 2012

The spring season is not the only time of the year to consider moving.  Fall is a great time to list your house for sale.  This fall comes with a bonus.  Since interest rates are still extremely low, there are many buyers looking to make a purchase.  This improves your chances for a quick sale.

Before you list, proper preparation could net you extra bucks in your pocket.  A fresh coat of paint & new carpets make a world of difference.  Also make sure to organize, clean, & declutter!

Hire a REALTOR to help with the process.   A REALTOR can advise on what touches will be needed to add value & net you the most money.  A REALTOR will also help you with pricing, put together a marketing plan, & manage the entire process from beginning to end.

The fall is traditionally one of the most beautiful times of the year.  As the seasons change & the leaves turn colors, the cool breezy days make house hunting enjoyable.  So whether you are considering buying or selling, the fall of 2012 is a great time to make a move.

About the Author: Sharon Potts is a Realtor at RE/MAX Legacy and would love to work with you if you are considering making a move this fall season. She can be reached at 617-633-8909


Category: Home Buying
“What is my home worth?” This is a typical question that many homeowners ask, whether they are interested in selling their home or they are just curious.  The question really should be “What is the fair market value of my home”?  I say that because what it’s “worth” to the homeowner is completely different to what it’s “worth” to a buyer.  A number of different factors are at play when it comes to “worth”.  Motivation and emotion are the two biggest ones.  Let’s look at the seller’s motivation; has the seller already purchased or made an offer on another home, are there health issues at play that necessitate selling as quickly as possible, is the home just too much to handle, is the family growing or is it just a case of moving on?  If the seller is not highly motivated to move on a buyer’s “fair market value” offer may not seem “worth it” to the seller.This concept of “worth” and “motivation” is also in play when buyer’s make an offer on a home.  Their motivation is driven by their living situation, the condition of the home and many of the same factors that a seller is experiencing.  These are all factors that will how much they are willing to offer on a home.  If their motivation is high, then it is very likely that the buyer will pay at the higher end of the “fair market value” range or even exceed the higher end of the range.   The other factor of “emotion” comes into play with “worth” most commonly with sellers because usually they have raised their family in the home and it has been the scene of several emotional instances; birth, death, anniversary’s, graduations, etc.  They have invested much tender loving care and this reinforces that emotional attachment that often times inflates the “worth” of their home in their eyes.  Emotion is not as great a factor in a buyer unless they have some type of attachment to the neighborhood or home.

Fair market value, unlike worth, is predominately determined by some very specific facts.  These facts are: at what price have similar homes sold for and taking into consideration differences in condition, location, maintenance etc, how many similar homes have accepted offers, how many other similar homes are on the market ie; what’s the competition?  These facts have a specific value attached to them and that’s what determines the “fair market” value of a property, unlike motivation and emotion which are what determines “worth”.

As you can see “worth” and “fair market value” are really two very different concepts.  So when someone asks me “What’s my home worth?”, my answer usually is, “It depends.”

About the Author: Veronica McManus has been answering the “What’s my Home Worth?” question for many years. She now uses her vast knowledge in her new role at Realtor Property Resource, LLC where she is the marketing manager for the New England region. She can be contacted at

Many years ago my parents moved with three young children from the Boston area to Williamsport, Pennsylvania. I will never forget that summer as I was a shy young girl going into second grade and leaving the only home I ever knew. I was leaving behind a neighborhood full of friends, my school acquaintances, and my entire  extended family of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. My sisters and I had never been to Pennsylvania, and we knew nobody in Williamsport almost 370 miles away! That summer was a traumatic experience, and something I have never forgotten.

Here are some Moving with Children tips that could help with your move!

Let your children share in the experience of moving, and this will help with the transition. Tell them you are depending on them to help with the move.

Encourage your children to express their feelings concerning leaving their old home and moving to a new home.

Have a yard sale or donate to charity. This will help your kids sort through their rooms and decide with a positive attitude what isn’t coming to the new house.

Let your children plan their new bedrooms. With your help they can arrange their furniture, pick out the color of the paint or wallpaper, and shop for the curtains or blinds.

Help your kids to get their friends contact information. Possibly make plans for some of their friends to visit once you are settled.

Map the moving route with your children. Are there places you can visit along the way?

On moving day give each child a special job. This will make them feel important and appreciated on what could be a very hectic day.

A week after you have moved in plan a special family field trip to somewhere in your new town.

The bottom line is:  make your move a positive experience with good memories for your child.

About the author:

Gale Spadafora is a Realtor at RE/MAX Legacy and has had both personal and professional experience when it comes to moving with children. Visit her website at

Your home purchase is probably your biggest investment in life. In order to avoid the stress of buying a home you should be prepared by doing homework. You must start by educating yourself in order to avoid any surprises later. Make sure you hire your private teacher for every step.  Every person in this list has a key role and will help educate you. Your choice will make or break the deal. Make sure they all have the same values you have in order to make this deal as smooth as possible.


Stress Free Tip # 1: Hire a buyer agent. Your agent is your key person to the transaction. Make sure to sit down with them and get educated. Questions to ask your new buyer agent:

  1. How many buyers does he/she represent at the same time?
    It is important for you to know how much of their time will be assigned to you.
  2. Is he/she a full-time or a part-time Realtor?
    Most real estate agent free-lance so they make their own schedule. Make sure their hours line up with yours. Do you prefer to see homes in the morning or the afternoon, week days or weekends? Make sure you know who to contact when he/she is on vacation.
  3. How many transactions did she close in the last year?
    This will show you how dedicated and experienced he/she is.  By knowing the number of transactions you will be able to evaluate the experience he/she has.
  4. Ask about their extended team?
    Can he/she recommend the names of home inspectors, mortgage brokers, attorneys and pinpoint the values of each.
  5. Google the web for testimonials.

Your real estate agent is the key person to the transaction they should be knowledgeable, patient, and a great project manager. He/she must be able to manage the team you hired in order to have the transaction close on time.

Stress Free Tip # 2: Hire a mortgage broker. He/she is another key person to your transaction. They will educate you on programs available and rates. Questions to ask your new mortgage broker:

  1. Do they close their loans in house?
    Having the underwriter in the same office is much easier to deal with issues and to follow up in case of issues.
  2. What are the documents you will need to get the loan approved?
  3. Google the web for testimonials.
    Check what people say about your mortgage broker.
  4. How will they keep you informed about the process?
    Some parts of the process are long and quiet but will they stay in touch weekly with you and your buyer agent or are you supposed to chase them? Will they call or email?
  5. Who chooses the closing attorney?
    They have a set of attorneys that they work with but can you use your attorney or choose from the list?
  6.  Do they have guide lines to follow?
     What are their policies?

Stress Free Tip #3: Hire a good home inspector. They are a key element to your transaction. They can be very detailed and scare you out of the deal or not give you enough information that they might scare you away. Hire a person that has been referred to you by your agent or your friends a good experience is a good one. Make sure you know who is coming since big companies have multiple inspectors and they all have different approaches.

Stress Free Tip #4: Hire a good attorney. Not all attorneys are the same you don’t want to be a number on a file.

  1. Make sure you know what their turnaround time is to answer your emails and get your questions reviewed.
  2. How are they going to communicate with you? (phone, email, text message…)
  3. Are they going on vacation during your transaction?
  4. Who is covering for them?
  5. Who is paying them? You or the bank.
  6. Who do they represent in case of instigation?

 You are now ready to go through a smooth and stress free transaction.

About the Author: Janine Elkhoury is a Realtor at RE/MAX Legacy and has been helping her clients enjoy the stress free home buying process for 9 years! She can be contacted at her website

Summer is in full force and for those of you who have planted gardens, things should be looking good.  You are watching things grow and can’t wait for the day you can begin to harvest the benefits of your efforts.  Someone else is watching too.  That pesky woodchuck!  He may not like everything you’ve planted, but he loves zucchini plants, carrot tops, cucumber plants and more.

So how do we address it?

There are some obvious ways to approach the problem.   You can use motion devices such as a pinwheel around the garden area and it will tend to keep them away.  Another approach would be to use smells that would create fear.  Fox urine is one possibility.  Another approach are tastes that would discourage their eating the plants but not damage the plants such as Epsom salts.  Fencing will also work, and but needs to be low enough to allow easy access for you.

If these approaches don’t work, perhaps you have to take it to the next level.  If you have found their hole, there are gas cartridges you can purchase that will assist in getting rid of the animal.  As a last resort, there is live trapping where you catch the critter and relocate them to a distant area.  Check the laws in your area as some states prohibit this.  And if this is your approach, be careful as what you catch may not be what you intended to catch (like the neighbor’s cat or the timid opossum.)

The bottom line is that without taking action of some sort, there is no way your garden and your resident woodchuck can peacefully exist.  Be creative; be sensitive; and, oh by the way, you’re smarter than the average woodchuck…..right???

About the author: Roland Spadafora is Realtor at RE/MAX Legacy and is a garden enthusiast with personal experiences from the woodchuck dilemma. He can be contacted through his website at