Cynthia Owens - Five College REALTORS ®



Posted by Cynthia Owens on 9/24/2020

Photo by Robert Arthur Designs via Shutterstock

If you’re moving to a new city, particularly an area with new development, you may discover that most homes are part of a homeowner’s association. If you’ve never been part of one before, you might not understand their function and why they are useful within a neighborhood.

When an association functions properly, it improves the value of homes in the community. The rules and conditions keep your neighbors from infringing on your rights and vice versa.

Here’s a brief list of how your HOA benefits you:

  • It handles disputes between neighbors, so if your neighbor’s tree falls on your fence, the association mediates getting your fence repaired. Rules regarding approval for changes, renovations or upgrades to exteriors keep your neighbor from adding a second story that blocks your lake view or changing their exterior to a particularly obnoxious shade of orange.
  • It gives access to and maintains shared or common property. Typically, playgrounds, pools and parks fall into this category. In the case of condominiums and patio homes, the HOA often handles repairs to the exterior, roofs, elevators, garage doors and fences. Entry doors, hallways, and security also often fall under the jurisdiction of the association.
  • Many HOAs hire a property management service to take care of entry gates for a gated community, make agreements for waste removal and negotiate with the city regarding rezoning that might affect your home.
  • In some cases, HOAs handle the landscaping on the front of your home so that you only take care of your enclosed back yard or patio. For busy homeowners, this is quite an advantage. Other associations merely govern how long you can let your grass grow. This protects you from a negligent property owner that doesn’t take care of the house down the street.

While some of the rules may seem onerous, quizzing longtime residents can give insight into why one or another was added. A rule about basketball hoops in the driveway might make it seem as if they don’t want your kids playing out front. But perhaps the rule resulted from a freak windstorm that sent a freestanding basketball hoop across the street and through a neighbor’s window. Unless you ask, you don’t know.

Take time to attend your HOA meetings and become involved in the community. Even run for office and make your voice heard. If you have questions about living in an HOA community, your professional real estate agent can answer them.




Tags: hoa   buying  
Categories: Home Buyer  


Posted by Cynthia Owens on 9/22/2020


268 West Pelham, Shutesbury, MA 01072

Single-Family

$340,000
Price

8
Rooms
3
Beds
2/1
Full/Half Baths
This lovely home will charm you the minute you enter! The welcoming family room and updated kitchen provide a comfortable space drawing you in to this charming, expanded Gambrel Colonial. The formal dining room and spacious living room with hardwood floors and a wood stove make for great entertaining or cozy times at home. First floor laundry and powder room complete the first level. The primary bedroom with skylights and sitting room, two bedrooms and two baths on the second level. The private rear deck overlooks a small pond, terraced gardens and plenty of space for play! A gardeners delight with abundant established perennial, flowering trees. A peaceful haven! Newer appliances, broadband internet and a great location a short drive to Amherst, easy access to points north or south. Schedule your private showing!
Open House
No scheduled Open Houses






Categories: Price Change  


Posted by Cynthia Owens on 9/17/2020

Getting the best price for your residence can be easy, particularly if you allocate the necessary time and resources to become a smart home seller.

What does it take to become a smart home seller? Here are three tips to help you do just that.

1. Analyze the Housing Market Closely

The housing market can be tricky to navigate, especially for a first-time home seller. Fortunately, those who spend some time reviewing the real estate sector closely can identify housing market patterns and trends and plan accordingly.

For example, a home seller should check out the prices of comparable houses in his or her area. This will enable a property seller to understand how his or her home stacks up against the competition.

A home seller also should review the prices of recently sold homes. This will allow a home seller to differentiate between a buyer's market and a seller's market.

2. Take a Look at Your Home – Both Inside and Out

When a homebuyer views your house for the first time, will your residence make a positive first impression? If you're unsure, you may want to conduct a home appraisal as soon as possible.

A home appraisal allows a property inspector to examine your residence both inside and out. That way, you can identify any potential problems with your residence and make home improvements as needed.

There are many quick, simple ways to enhance your property's appearance without breaking your budget too.

For example, mowing the front lawn and trimming the hedges can help you transform an ordinary home exterior into an exceptional one.

Or, if you want to upgrade your house's interior, eliminating clutter usually is a great idea. Removing unwanted items from your house will help you free up space so you can show off the true beauty of your residence's interior.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

No one should be forced to navigate the home selling journey alone. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available who can help you seamlessly add your home to the housing market and optimize your residence's value.

A real estate agent will meet with you to understand your home selling goals. Then, he or she will help you map out a home selling journey, one that guarantees you can generate plenty of interest in your residence as soon as it becomes available.

Usually, a real estate agent will help you get your home ready to add to the real estate market. He or she will offer honest, unbiased home improvement recommendations so you can upgrade your residence in no time at all.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will set up home showings, promote your residence to homebuyers and negotiate with property buyers on your behalf. And if you ever have home selling concerns or questions, a real estate agent will be happy to respond to them instantly.

Take the guesswork out of selling your home – use the aforementioned tips, and you can become a smart home seller.





Posted by Cynthia Owens on 9/10/2020

If you want to quickly find and acquire your dream house, it generally is beneficial to narrow your property search. Because if you focus on available homes in a select group of cities and towns, you may be able to speed up the process of buying your ideal residence.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you locate your dream home.

1. Consider Your Short and Long-Term Aspirations

Think about where you want to be in the next few years. Then, you can map out your home search based on your short- and long-term goals.

For instance, if you currently work in a big city and intend to stay with your company for many years, you may want to search for a residence in the city itself. Or, if you plan to start a family soon, you may want to focus on houses near parks and schools.

You should try to be flexible as you begin a home search too. Remember, even the best-laid plans won't necessarily come to fruition. But if you maintain flexibility, you could find a home that will suit you perfectly both now and in the future.

2. Create a Budget

The homes in large cities tend to be more expensive than those in small towns. Fortunately, if you craft a homebuying budget, you can determine where you can afford to reside and plan accordingly.

Oftentimes, it helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you meet with banks and credit unions, you can learn about myriad home financing options. Next, you can select a mortgage and enter the real estate market with home financing in hand.

If you have concerns as you pursue a mortgage, don't hesitate to ask questions. Banks and credit unions employ expert mortgage specialists, and these professionals are happy to provide you with the insights you need to make an informed home financing decision.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you are uncertain about how to approach a home search, there is no need to worry. In fact, you can hire a real estate agent who can help you identify your dream residence.

A real estate agent is dedicated to client satisfaction, and he or she will work with you to make your homeownership dream come true. First, a real estate agent will help you narrow your house search. This housing market professional then will keep you up to date about available homes in your preferred cities and towns. Once you find a house you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase this residence. Finally, when you are ready to close on a house, a real estate agent will help you complete your home purchase.

Dedicate time and resources to find your dream house – you'll be glad you did. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can accelerate the process of locating your ideal residence and acquire a house that can serve you well for years to come.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  


Posted by Cynthia Owens on 9/3/2020

Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels

When you view a home for the first time and speak to the agent hosting an open house or showing the home, you're talking to someone working for  the seller -- not for you. Anything you share could be passed on to the seller -- and used to leverage a better offer from you if you do end up wanting the home. The best way to avoid this scenario is to work with a buyer's agent. This is a real estate agent that works for you and helps you get the best possible deal on a home. 

A buyer’s agent represents you, the prospective buyer; this ensures that the agent you work with has your best interests in mind and that they do not have a stake in showing you one particular property over another. Just calling the name on a “for sale” sign isn’t enough if you want someone who can truly represent you and your needs – and successfully negotiate on your behalf. Agents who are working for a seller need to sell the home, and are not out to get you the best possible deal.

A buyers agent will show you a variety of properties and help you determine which one meets your needs best. Once you find a property that you love, your agent will help you get the best possible deal. You’ll sign a contract with this agent and they will receive a commission from the seller when you do buy a home. You should make sure that any contract you sign is a buyer’s agent agreement – and that the agent does not also represent the seller of a home. Any real estate agent you are considering working should reveal any conflict of interest before you sign a contract.

Benefits of Working with a Buyer’s Agent

When you work with a buyer’s agent you have someone on your side who can help you through the negotiation process. They will also be aware of market conditions, of terms that would be favorable to you and when you’re ready, help you make an offer. The agent you choose will have a big impact on your success and how much you enjoy the process.

Finding the Right Buyer’s Agent for your Home Search

Any agent you are considering should be a dedicated buyer’s agent. An Accredited Buyer Representative is someone who has been certified in this role. You should ask any agent who you are considering if they also list homes – and determine if there is a conflict of interest.

Choosing an agent who understands your needs and works with buyers like you can also help you have a successful experience. Some agents work mostly with luxury homes and well-established buyers, while others are dedicated to helping first-time buyers find a home.

Your buyer’s agent should be familiar with the areas you are most interested in. If they are not in the immediate area, they may not be able to provide you with the assistance you need to make a great deal

Choose the Right Agent from the Start

Since a buyer’s agent has such an impact on your success and the process, it is important to choose the right person from the start. Interview a few agents to see who you feel comfortable with and who meets your needs best. This is the person that will help you find your next home, so you should be confident in their abilities and able to work with them for a prolonged period of time.




Categories: Buying  




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