Ellen McLaughlin - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage



Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 8/2/2020

Everyone is looking for something different when it comes to finding the ideal home. While some people prioritize architectural styles and curb appeal, other house hunters place the most value on the quality of the school district and proximity to jobs.

Neighborhood quality is also a significant factor in house-buying decisions. What exactly does "neighborhood quality" mean, though? Although definitions may vary, the characteristics that are typically considered to be desirable include a low crime rate, relatively light street traffic, a minimal amount of "noise pollution," and neighborhoods in which houses and properties are consistently well cared for and in good condition.

If peace, quiet, and tranquility are high on your list of house-buying requirements, here are a few other items you might consider adding to your "wish list."

Space between neighbors: While it's generally a good thing to get to know your neighbors on a first-name basis, you don't necessarily want to get to know them too well -- or vise versa! In other words, it's nice when you can sit out on your back porch without having to be too concerned about being overheard or needing to edit your conversations. If privacy is a top priority for you, then you might want to limit your search to properties that provide a comfortable buffer zone between houses.

Greenery and privacy hedges: A residential street with green, well-tended lawns and mature, leafy trees is not only visually appealing, but it's also a sign that people take pride in their property and care about the neighborhood. Homes for sale that offer a "park-like setting" on a nice street can be the ideal environment for creating a private, backyard refuge.

Fireplaces: Even if a fireplace is not on your "must have" list, it's a relatively inexpensive luxury to have and enjoy during the holidays and when the temperature drops. Regardless of the climate in which you live, there are going to be plenty of wet, cloudy, or snowy days during the winter months. When the weather turns chilly, there's nothing like a crackling fire in the fireplace to infuse your home with a cozy, relaxing atmosphere!

Large windows: Large bay windows, picture windows, and floor-to-ceiling windows not only let in a lot of natural light, but they also help you enjoy views of your neighborhood and backyard. That combination of sunshine, green foliage, a well-landscaped property, and the smell of freshly cut grass can set the tone for a relaxing home environment -- both indoors and out! Along those same lines, a sunroom can also be a highly desirable feature in a new home you're considering buying.

Although there are a ton of things you can do to enhance the beauty and relaxation value of your next home, the starting point is to find a peaceful neighborhood and a spacious, nicely landscaped property on which to add your own personal touches.





Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 7/26/2020

Let's face it – there are many risks that you may face during the homebuying journey. From submitting an offer on a house that ultimately proves to be a poor investment to failing to obtain a mortgage due to a bad credit score, there are various issues that may prevent you from achieving your desired results. Lucky for you, we're here to help you focus on the task at hand and eliminate potential risks as you search for your ideal residence.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you avoid risks throughout the homebuying journey.

1. Set Realistic Homebuying Expectations

How you search for a home may determine whether you are successful or unsuccessful. For example, if you evaluate houses that fall outside your price range, you may struggle to find a home that you can actually afford. On the other hand, if you establish realistic homebuying expectations from the get-go, you may be able to streamline your house search.

Think about where you want to live and how much you can afford to pay for a home. Also, you should consider home must-haves and wants. With this information at your disposal, you can avoid the risk of missing out on an opportunity to acquire a residence that matches your expectations.

2. Get a Mortgage

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is pivotal. Because if you obtain a mortgage today, you can enter the housing market with a budget and narrow your house search accordingly. Perhaps most important, a mortgage enables you to avoid the temptation to pursue homes that be priced beyond your budget.

Consult with banks and credit unions, and you can learn about a broad array of mortgage options. Then, you can select a mortgage and kick off your search for your dream residence.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

Problems may arise at any point during the homebuying journey. And if you're unsure about how to address these issues, it may be tough for you to acquire your ideal residence. Fortunately, if you hire a real estate agent, you may be able to identify and address homebuying problems before they escalate.

A real estate agent understands the housing market and is happy to share his or her expertise with you. This housing market professional can teach you about the differences between a buyer's and seller's market, help you prepare a homebuying strategy and much more.

Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent can provide as you get ready to submit an offer on your dream home, either. A real estate agent will help you craft a competitive homebuying proposal. Furthermore, he or she will negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf and do everything possible to ensure you can acquire your dream residence at a budget-friendly price.

Take control of the homebuying journey – use the aforementioned tips, and you can limit risk as you search for your ideal house.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  


Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 7/19/2020

As you complete the final steps of the home selling process, it is important to cancel various everyday house services prior to moving day. In fact, some of the essential services that you may need to cancel include:

1. Electric

Notify your electric company about your plans to move. You also can tell the company how much longer you will be staying in your house and provide it with a forwarding address for your final invoice.

Ultimately, you should provide your electric company with at least a few weeks' notice about your plans to relocate. This will ensure that you and the electric company can work together to settle your final bill.

2. Cable and Internet

If you like your current cable and internet services provider, you may be able to transfer your current services to your new location. And if you call your cable and internet services provider and speak with a customer service agent, you can find out exactly how to do that.

Of course, there may be instances where you need to cancel your cable and internet services. If you are moving to a city or town where your current cable and internet services provider is unavailable, for example, you may need to cancel your services.

3. Water

Contact your local water company and give it the news about your moving plans. This will ensure that you won't be billed for any water services after your moving date.

Don't wait until the last minute to notify your water services provider about your move, either. Remember, the sooner you inform your water services provider about your moving plans, the sooner you can guarantee that any water services in your name will be discontinued once you relocate from your current address.

As the day of your home closing approaches, it helps to plan ahead as much as possible. If you collaborate with a real estate agent throughout the property selling journey, you can get the help you need to overcome any potential house selling hurdles.

A real estate agent is a house selling expert, and as such, will serve as a helpful guide throughout the property selling journey. First, a real estate agent will learn about you and your home. He or she next will craft a custom property selling strategy, one that ensures you can quickly sell your residence and maximize its value. Then, a real estate agent will list your residence, promote it to prospective buyers and set up house showings and open house events. And once you receive an accept an offer to purchase your residence, a real estate agent will make it easy for you to finalize your home sale.

When it comes to selling a house, it often helps to hire a real estate agent. By employing a real estate agent, you can receive in-depth insights at each stage of the house selling journey. And as a result, you can quickly and effortlessly accomplish your desired home selling results.





Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 7/12/2020

If you're on the fence about whether to reject or accept an offer to purchase, it is important to remember that a third option is available: submitting a counter-offer.

Ultimately, deciding to submit a counter-offer can be a tough choice for first-time and experienced house sellers alike. But we're here to teach you about the benefits of counter-offers and ensure you feel confident to submit a counter-proposal as needed.

Let's take a look at three tips to help you decide when to submit a counter-offer.

1. Assess Your Residence

Although the initial asking price for your house is not set in stone, you likely have expectations about how much you should receive for your home. But if a homebuyer submits an offer to purchase that falls below your expectations, you should assess your residence to help you make the best-possible decision.

Try to take an objective view of your home – you'll be glad you did. For instance, if you discover your home is one of many similar properties available in a buyer's market, you may want to accept an offer to purchase, even if it falls below your expectations. On the other hand, if you feel that your home is in great condition and you receive an offer to purchase that is short of your initial asking price, you may want to counter the proposal or reject it altogether.

2. Review the Housing Market

Housing market data can help any home seller make informed decisions throughout the property selling journey. There is plenty of housing market data at your disposal, and you should not hesitate to use it, especially when you analyze an offer to purchase.

Oftentimes, it helps to look at the prices of recently sold residences, the prices of available residences in your area that are similar to your own and other pertinent housing market data. With this information, you can gain deep insights into the housing market. Then, you can determine whether an offer to purchase falls in line with the current state of the real estate sector.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

There is no need to review an offer to purchase on your own. Fortunately, if you hire a real estate agent, you can get the help you need to perform an in-depth analysis of any offer to purchase.

A real estate agent is a house selling expert who will allocate the necessary time and resources to help you review an offer to purchase. He or she can provide a recommendation about whether to counter a homebuying proposal and explain the reasons for this recommendation as well. Plus, if you ever have concerns or questions about an offer to purchase, a real estate agent is happy to address them.

Should you counter an offer to purchase? The answer depends on the home seller, the real estate market and other factors. And if you use the aforementioned tips, you can perform a full evaluation of an offer to purchase and proceed accordingly.





Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 7/5/2020

One of the perks of moving out of an apartment into a home is having your very own outdoor space. Depending on how close to the city you live, you may not get much of a yard with your home. If you’re looking for that perfect outdoor space to dwell in, read on for some tips on buying a house with a yard. If you check the yard out, you could save yourself from facing problems further down the road. 


Are The Trees In Good Condition?


While mature trees in a yard are a sure fire way to have privacy and shade, the trees must be safe. You want any trees in your yard to be healthy. Otherwise, during a storm, you may have an issue with falling trees. If you have a lot of trees in your yard, it may be a good idea to hire an arborist who can tell you if the trees are safe. Tree removal can be costly, so you’ll need to plan for this expense if your yard has many trees.


How Safe The Outdoor Living Areas?


You should check out any outdoor living areas the yard has. If the home comes with a patio, or gazebo the soundness of the structures should be checked. Any cement should be free of cracks or crumble.


The Layout Of The Lot


There is more to a yard than the size of a property. You should keep in mind where the home is situated on the lot. Is the front yard more prominent than the backyard? Is the home on a slope? Is there a chance water will pool near the foundation of the house? All of these questions are important for the long-term health of the property. 


How Much Yard Are You Willing To Care For?


You need to know how large of a yard you’re actually willing to care for. For many buyers, a small yard is just enough. Other buyers aim to care for a large lawn the many flowerbeds. The larger the yard, the more possibilities you have. If you are willing to take the extra time and incur the additional expense that a large yard will cost, it could be a good feature to look for. Yard size may also narrow down your home search considerably. 


Buying a home with a yard can be a great decision, all you need is to understand your own preferences and ability to care for properties of different sizes.