Ellen McLaughlin - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage



Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 3/14/2021

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

If you've recently made the decision to put your home on the market in the near future, you're probably already aware that the Millennial generation has a reputation for being a bit different from their counterparts of the past. For instance, you may have heard that this generation is putting off home ownership longer than any of their predecessors and that they've got quirky requirements such as walkable urban locations. Although you can't help where your home is situated, there are other things you can do to make your home more attractive to Millennials. Here's what you can do:

Create a Low Maintenance Yard

Although many Millennials have discovered the joy of gardening, their efforts are going more to growing at least some of their own food rather than maintaining a fussy ornamental landscape. Vast lawns don't appeal to them, and neither do high-maintenance trees and shrubbery. Consider replacing much of your lawn with a low-maintenance rock garden and eliminating any feature that requires significant time and attention.

Create an Appealing Online Presence

Millennial Buyers are far more likely to decide to view specific properties as the result of gaining a favorable impression of them online than seeing them listed in a newspaper or in a real estate agent's brochure. You'll need professional quality photographs to show off your home in its best light online, but don't stop there -- Millennials want to see videos as well. 

Create a Home Office 

A designated home office is another feature that won't fail to appeal to Millennial buyers. Many of them spend at least part of their time working from home, so if you don't already have a designated home office, consider converting one of the bedrooms to one. Choose a room with plenty of natural lighting if possible. 

Create Energy Efficiency

Eco-conscious Millennials appreciate energy efficiency because it's compatible with their principles, but because their idealism is tempered with a pragmatic side, they also appreciate the cost-savings involved with energy efficient features. Consider having solar panels, on-demand hot water heaters, or other green features installed. 

Create a Smart Home

As the first generation completely raised in the digital age, many Millennials consider smart home technology to be more of a necessity than a luxury. Temperature modulation, security, and lighting are three of the most common in-home smart technologies, but they can also be used to water the lawn and garden area, activate laundry machines, and put cleaning robots to work. 

It's also a good idea to be prepared to speak at some length with Millennials come to see your home about the quality and availability of WiFi service. Remembering that their generation may have different needs and preferences than you will help ensure smooth sailing after you put your home on the market. 




Categories: Selling  


Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 3/7/2021

Entering the real estate market and buying your dream home may seem simple at first. However, problems may arise that make it tough to secure your ideal house at a price that matches your budget.

When it comes to finding the right home at the right price, it helps to prepare. Fortunately, we're here to help you get ready to enter the housing market and ensure you can quickly and effortlessly discover your dream residence.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to simplify the homebuying process.

1. Create Homebuying Criteria

Purchasing a house is rarely easy, particularly for a property buyer who has no idea how to kick off a home search. But if you establish homebuying criteria, you can speed up the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

Allocating time and resources to create homebuying criteria is essential because it forces you to consider where you want to live and what amenities you want to find in your dream residence. Plus, once you have homebuying criteria at your disposal, you can start your home search and move one step closer to acquiring your ideal residence.

2. Obtain Home Financing

Home financing is paramount, particularly for property buyers who want to avoid the risk of spending too much to purchase a house. Thankfully, banks and credit unions can teach you about a variety of mortgage options and help you secure the financing you need to buy a home.

Typically, a lender will meet with you and outline your mortgage options. It also will explain the differences between fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages and respond to any of your mortgage concerns and questions. Then, after you review your mortgage options, a lender will help you make an informed home financing decision.

Don't wait to get home financing, either. If you have home financing in hand when you launch a home search, you may be better equipped than other buyers to quickly submit an offer to purchase a home.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

For those who want to avoid challenges throughout the homebuying journey, it generally is a good idea to collaborate with a real estate agent. In fact, a real estate agent will do everything possible to help you identify and resolve homebuying problems before they escalate.

A real estate agent is a housing market expert and is happy to assist you as you proceed along the homebuying journey. If you are interested in houses in specific cities and towns, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about residences that become available in these areas. Or, if you want to submit an offer to purchase a house, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive homebuying proposal. Best of all, if you have homebuying concerns, a real estate agent will address them right away.

Ultimately, buying a house can be easy. Use the aforementioned tips, and you can streamline the homebuying cycle.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  


Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 2/28/2021

Image by Chinnapong from Shutterstock

The “simple life” is a common phrase but is there such a thing? When defining the words, it’s easy to understand the challenge that comes with pairing them together. Simple (easily understood and presenting no difficulty) + life (existence, being, living). Let's rephrase the quote to say, "The simpler life." Creating a simpler life is a more attainable and worthy goal.

The day ahead

For example, the morning routine of waking up and preparing for each day. It might not be easy, but preparing the night before by selecting clothes, setting up the coffee maker and having breakfast or lunch ready to go, the basics start to fall into place. Consider setting the alarm for 15 minutes earlier than usual and use that time to enjoy a cup of coffee before the day begins.

Mealtimes and more

Plan for meals. Create a shopping list based on meals that can be pulled together easily. Consider preparing meal components that can be brought together in different ways throughout the week. This approach often requires some preparation once the groceries are purchased. You may bake or saute some chicken or chop and roast vegetables in large batches. The benefit is that you won’t have to start from scratch with each meal. Set up a crockpot meal and let it cook all day or utilize an air fryer or pressure cooker to prepare a meal quickly. Cook double portions so that you have leftovers or components to in stock the freezer.

Introducing organizational habits and weekly plans takes time and dedication but developing ways to make life simpler is worth the time investment.




Categories: Home   organization  


Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 2/21/2021

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Common-interest housing includes individually owned spaces and common areas shared by all owners. The common areas can include clubhouses, landscaping, parking lots or pools. Multistory buildings share lobbies, stairwells, and elevators. Any community that shares property including single-family free-standing homes in developments, falls into the common-interest category. 

The two most familiar types of common-interest housing terms are condominiums (or condos) and townhomes (or townhouses). Although both belong in the category of common-interest housing, condos and townhouses may mean different things depending on regional or legal definitions.

The Difference

A condo is a shared building or group of buildings and common spaces in which housing units are owned individually. This could be a single unit within a tower building or a conjoined home having its own ground floor with exterior entry. Other homes in the condominium category include single-family cottages or even modular homes inside planned communities. When you purchase a condo, you own the unit itself while you are a co-owner of the common areas.

A townhome is a style of house that is connected to another structure on at least one side. It may be solely owned by an individual as part of a CID, part of a multi-family apartment dwelling, or individually owned without property in common. A true townhome is built with independent sidewalls that stand alone even if they touch the walls of another townhome. When you purchase a townhouse, you own the unit itself and whatever yard area is affiliated with it as you would with a detached single-family house.

While condominium units might incorporate elements like private outdoor spaces, individual ground-floor entry options or design elements that resemble those of a townhome, it is ownership that truly defines them. 

Homeowners’ Association 

All CID properties have a homeowners’ association (HOA) of some sort. While some are mainly hands-off with regard to individual units, others have specific regulations regarding renting, remodeling, and exterior décor. 

If you are trying to decide between purchasing a condominium or a townhouse, have your agent explain the differences in common ownership between them, and make certain to factor in the HOA fees to your monthly budget.




Tags: Buying a home   condo   townhome  
Categories: home buying  


Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 2/14/2021

When you’re searching for a home to buy, you’ll probably attend many different open houses. The open house is meant to help you get a feel for different properties. While you can’t get to know all the ins and outs of a home in a short time, you can get an understanding of some of the best things (and not so great things) about a property. Below, you’ll find some of the biggest warning signs that a property may not be all that it appears to be. 


There’s A Lot Of Odor Masking Elements In Place


When you walk into an open house, you may get the smell of freshly baked cookies or a lovely candle. While these are great marketing techniques, they also can be a tactic to hide things. Perhaps there are some offensive odors in the house from mold, leaks, smoke, or mildew. You may not be prepared to deal with these kinds of problems once you move into a home. 


You Notice Glaring Issues


While the home inspection will reveal many problems that may be invisible to the casual observer, you should still be on the lookout for issues on the surface of the home during the open house. These issues can include cracks in the ceiling or walls, cracks in the floor, or even squeaky floor boards. If you happen to see patchy walls in the home, that could indicate that repairs have been made several times. Be alert for these potential problems.


Does The Home Look Well-Kept?


When you pull up in front of the home is the lawn trim? Does the home appear clean? While everyone would hope that a homeowner would clean up their property before an open house, small and big things like this can indicate a bigger problem. If the home is not cared for on the surface, how many other underlying maintenance issues are there in the home? Neglected regular maintenance can cause larger problems of all kinds in a home.


Strange Cosmetic Fixes


A freshly painted wall could be suspect of a big problem. Under the paint could be mold, cracks, or other issues. Some homeowners do put fresh paint on their walls before selling in order to give the home a neutral feel. However, you should be on the lookout for other signs of problems in the home.          


Channel Your Inner Detective


While you don’t need to dig as deep into a home as a home inspector does, you should be on the lookout as you scan a home for the potential livability for you. Things like glaring cracks in the ceiling, or a strong odor of cigarette smoke could be signs of future problems living in the home. The open house is your time to find a home that fits you and your life, so make the most of the opportunity.