Ellen McLaughlin - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage



Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 11/16/2018




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Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 10/29/2017

Whether you're looking for the house of your dreams or the spouse of your dreams, it helps to write up a detailed description of the qualities that matter most to you!

While your goals should be realistic and attainable, you do not want to compromise your standards or aim too low.

In the case of house hunting, there are many conditions which will directly affect the success of your search.

Here are some of the main ones.

  1. Your budget: All things being equal -- the higher your budget, the greater your chances for getting everything on your wish list. The most desirable locations, lot size, amenities, and square footage often come with a price. The same can be said of homes that are in optimal condition with lots of recent updates, improvements, and energy efficient or high-tech features.
  2. The real estate market: Three factors which will invariably affect the outcome of your real estate search will be the local real estate inventory (the number of properties available -- especially those in your price range), the law of supply and demand, and property values in your chosen geographic area.
  3. Your real estate agent: Choosing a real estate agent who's experienced, resourceful, and dedicated can prove to be a significant advantage in finding a home that matches your budget, your goals, and your desired lifestyle. Once you've decided what you want in your next home, an agent or Realtor can show you houses on the market that will meet many, if not all, of your requirements.
  4. Your wish list: Creating a list of property features and characteristics that you absolutely must have in your next home will help ensure that you get them. A carefully thought-out "wish list" is also a vital aspect of your search for the perfect or "near perfect" home. By creating a clear mental picture of your ideal living space, location, and environment, you'll be increasing your chances of finding a home that meets all your expectations. There are literally dozens of features to keep in mind, including architectural style, square footage, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the size of the lot, distance from the street, privacy, the spaciousness of the kitchen, and the layout of adjacent living areas. If you plan on doing a lot of entertaining, for example, you might prefer an open floor plan. Features like a screened-in porch, a patio, and a large backyard are often major wish-list items for homeowners who enjoy outdoor living. Other items to consider may include things like a fireplace, a finished basement, a convenient laundry room, and a two-car garage. Proximity to stores, quality schools, medical/dental services, and recreation areas will also be key factors in the selection of your future home.
Thanks to the Internet and the many home improvement websites you'll find online, it's easy to get clear picture of your dream home, the countless decorating possibilities, and the many landscaping options available to you.





Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 10/22/2017

Looking to move from one neighborhood to another? You'll want to do your homework first! By learning as much as possible about a prospective neighborhood, you'll be equipped with valuable insights you can use to make the best decision for you and your family. Plus, you likely will be able to reap the benefits of residing in a superior neighborhood that fulfills all of your needs. So what does it take to evaluate a prospective neighborhood effectively? Here are three tips to help you conduct a comprehensive review of a new neighborhood: 1. Check out the local attractions. Are you searching for a neighborhood near some of the area's top schools? Or would you like to find a quiet, peaceful neighborhood that is miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city? Regardless of your preferences, you should check out local attractions surrounding a prospective new neighborhood. This allows you to get a better idea about what it's like to commute in and around the neighborhood. In addition, think about the big picture as you examine a prospective neighborhood, as this will help you determine if this destination is the best spot for you and your family both now and in the future. For instance, those who take public transportation to work may want to live in a neighborhood close to mass transit options. Or if you're planning on raising your family in a new neighborhood, you'll want to evaluate the quality of local schools, too. 2. Take a walk around the neighborhood. A new home in a new neighborhood may leave you speechless, especially if this house features ample space, a pristine front lawn and other deluxe features. On the other hand, the same may or may not hold true for other homes in a new neighborhood – it will depend entirely on your potential new neighbors. Take a walk around the neighborhood at least once before purchasing a new home. This allows you to compare the quality of your potential new home to others in the area. If you encounter a large assortment of homes that feature messy lawns, visible exterior damage and other problems, you may want to stay away from this neighborhood. Remember, you'll want to do everything you can to maintain your home's value. But if your new residence is surrounded by subpar houses, this could negatively impact your home's value down the line. 3. Perform a criminal search. When it comes to finding the ideal home in the best possible neighborhood, you'll want to go above and beyond the call of duty to maximize the value of your investment. Therefore, conducting a criminal search is paramount, as this enables you to find out if a neighborhood is safe. Performing a criminal search can be simple, and real estate professionals may be able to provide crime stats for a specific area upon request. Also, many websites are available that publish crime stats regularly, ensuring you can access up-to-date information quickly and effortlessly. Select a home in your dream neighborhood by investigating whether a prospective neighborhood meets all of your needs. This enables you to make an informed decision and benefit from a top-notch home in an outstanding neighborhood for years to come.





Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 10/15/2017

We’ve all had those times when we can’t seem to get a good night’s sleep. If you recently moved to a new home or if you’re on vacation, the new environment or mattress can make it difficult to fall asleep.

It’s even more frustrating when you’re in the comfort of your own home but are still having trouble sleeping.

In this article, we’re going to give you some tips and habits you can build to help better your sleep. We’ll talk about ways to get to sleep on time, how to improve your sleeping habits, and how to sleep through the night.

Getting to bed on time

Most of us live busy lives that make it hard to unwind at the end of the day. Others simply have a hard time calling it quits on the show or movie they’re watching when they should be getting some sleep. Either way, it’s essential to build a good bedtime routine to make sure you’re falling asleep at an appropriate time each night.

To start, you’ll want to make sure you assign yourself a bed time. Though bed times seem like a rule for children, it can help adults vastly improve their sleep. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each morning reinforces your body’s natural sleep cycle.

To ensure you go to bed on time, you can set a reminder or alarm on your phone for a half-hour before you need to be in bed. This will give you time to finish what you’re doing and get ready for bed.

There are also apps that will help you do this, which we’ll talk about in the next section.

Monitor your sleep

Sleep is deeply important to how we function throughout our day. A poor night’s sleep is a short-term hindrance, putting us in a bad mood or making it difficult to focus. But, in the long run, lacking sleep is a health risk that has been linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other serious illnesses.

The takeaway? We should all take sleep seriously. To do so, a good way is to monitor your sleep. One easy way is to download an app that does just that. For iPhone users, the pre-installed Bedtime feature (part of the Clock app) is a simple way to set reminders and gain insight into your sleeping habit.

A more thorough way to monitor your sleep is to keep a sleep journal or to buy a smartwatch that tracks your sleep for you. Regardless of your method, keeping tabs on your sleep quality will help you prioritize your health and wellness.

Quick tips for improving your sleep


  • Go to bed at the same time each time

  • Avoid bright screens (phone, TV, laptop) for an hour before bed

  • Read, knit, or do some other relaxing hobby before bed

  • Don’t eat for two hours before bed

  • If you can’t sleep, try listening to calming music or a guided meditation

  • If you’re a light sleeper, try wearing comfortable earplugs and an eye mask to bed





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Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 10/8/2017

Your home represents a one-of-a-kind property, and as such, you'll want to do everything you can to promote it to your friends, family members and, of course, your neighbors.

Ultimately, your neighbors can play a significant role in generating interest in your home. And if you incorporate your neighbors into the home selling process, you may be able to boost your chances of a quick sale and maximize your chances of optimizing the value of your house.

So what does it take to work with your neighbors throughout the home selling process? Here are three tips to help you do just that.

1. Transform an Open House into a Block Party.

If you host an open house, invite your neighbors – you'll be glad you did! By doing so, homebuyers can learn about your house as well as experience what it's like to live in your neighborhood.

Your neighbors may be able to provide insights into your neighborhood that homebuyers might struggle to find elsewhere. And if you invite your neighbors to an open house, you should have no trouble generating plenty of interest in your house in no time at all.

2. Share Your Home Listing with Your Neighbors.

As soon as your home listing becomes available, be sure to share it with your neighbors. This will enable you to extend your home listing's reach and boost your chances of connecting with a broad array of interested homebuyers.

Also, encourage your neighbors to provide feedback about your home listing. A neighbor's feedback could make or break your home listing, and any insights that a neighbor can provide may help you put your home listing over the top in the eyes of homebuyers.

3. Collaborate with an Experienced Real Estate Agent.

Employing a friendly, experienced real estate agent is paramount, regardless of whether you're selling your residence in a buyers' or sellers' market. With a top-notch real estate agent at your disposal, you'll be able to bolster your chances of connecting with your neighbors and highlighting your residence to the right homebuyers at the right time consistently.

Your real estate agent takes pride in his or her work, and as a result, will be happy to provide tips to help you incorporate your neighbors into the home selling process. In fact, your real estate agent may be able to introduce you to neighbors and help you foster positive relationships with them that may allow you to accelerate the home selling process.

Perhaps best of all, your real estate agent is ready to respond to any concerns or queries during each stage of the home selling process. That way, if you ever have questions about your home listing or homebuyers' offers for your house, your real estate agent will be able to offer expert guidance to help you make the best possible decisions.

Spend some time getting to know your neighbors and your real estate agent. This may enable you to improve your chances of selling your home in any real estate market, at any time.




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