Patty Connolly - Falmouth MA Real Estate, Mashpee MA Real Estate, Bourne MA Real Estate


If you intend to buy a house, you probably will check out a lot of home listings over the next few days and weeks. However, it is important to note that not all home listings are created equal, and how you analyze home listings may dictate your homebuying success.

Ultimately, there are several factors that homebuyers need to consider as they assess home listings, and these factors include:

1. Price

The price of a home is one of the key factors – if not the most important factor – that a homebuyer needs to consider in a home listing. Because if you ignore a home's price, you risk wasting precious time and resources as you pursue a home that falls outside your price range.

When it comes to buying a home, it pays to develop a budget ahead of time. That way, you'll know how much you can spend on a residence and can tailor your home search to fit your budget.

You may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage prior to looking at home listings as well. By doing so, you can enter the housing market with a budget in hand and explore available residences that won't force you to spend beyond your means.

2. Condition

Are you looking for a fixer-upper or a brand-new residence? Take a look at a home's condition, and you can determine whether a particular residence is right for you.

Oftentimes, a decades-old residence may require myriad upgrades. This means you may need to allocate significant time and resources to enhance the condition of an old house after you finalize your home purchase.

On the other hand, it is essential to remember that a new house may prove to be more expensive than an old residence. And if you're on the lookout for a bargain, you may want to shy away from listings for brand-new houses.

3. Features

Creating a list of must-have home features is ideal, as this will enable you to narrow your search for your dream residence.

For instance, if you want a home that has a big swimming pool, you can browse home listings accordingly. Or, if you would like to buy a house that is located near some of the nation's best schools, you can focus on home listings in cities and towns that feature top-rated schools.

If you want to streamline your home search, it usually helps to look beyond home listings. Fortunately, real estate agents are available to help you accelerate your search for the perfect residence.

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of the housing market. He or she will learn about your homebuying goals and provide you with the latest home listings. Then, a real estate agent will work with you to simplify your home search and ensure that you can discover a terrific residence at an unbeatable price.

Take the guesswork out of reviewing home listings – use the aforementioned tips, and you can quickly evaluate a wide range of home listings and find your dream house.


Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash

Outdoor living areas give you opportunities to spend more time outside during the year. Instead of a traditional patio or deck, consider adding an elaborate outdoor living room, kitchen and dining area. These are a just a few ideas to think about including in your high-end outdoor living area, so you’ll have a spacious and comfortable place to entertain guests outside or relax with your family. 

Outdoor Gourmet Kitchen

Your outdoor kitchen can go far beyond a simple gas grill. With the right setup and equipment, you can prepare full meals outside. Outdoor kitchens can have ovens, cooktops and side burners that allow you to make side dishes or desserts while you’re grilling your main entree. You can also invest in a double-sided grill that lets you grill meat and vegetables separately or use charcoal on one side and gas on the other side. Other outdoor kitchen features to consider include a wood-fired pizza oven, warming drawers to keep food heated, full refrigerator and freezer, sink and even a dishwasher for easy cleanup.

Outdoor Dining Room

An outdoor dining room for your luxury home offers an inviting place to savor meals with family and friends. Set up a rustic dining area with a reclaimed wood table and chairs, or arrange an elegant, classic outdoor dining area with a wrought-iron table and chairs. Your outdoor dining room can be uncovered and open, so you can enjoy plenty of sunshine or views of the night sky at evening meals. For a more secluded feel, you can add a roof to your outdoor dining area, and use drapes or curtains around it to create a cozy atmosphere. 

Outdoor Living Room

Having an outdoor living room provides you with a place to read, watch a movie or show or sit with others while enjoying fresh air. You can fill your outdoor living room with an upscale furniture set that’s designed for use outside. Your living room can also have a large stone or brick fireplace or hearth for a rustic look that keeps this area warm when it’s cooler out. Place a fireplace or hearth at one end of your outdoor living room with your TV over it, or have a fireplace or hearth installed in the middle of this area with built-in seating all around it.

If you’re using your outdoor living room for watching movies or TV, consider installing a state-of-the-art entertainment center that can be used outdoors. Depending on space and your personal preferences, you can even set up an outdoor movie theater area with plush seating, a popcorn machine and a high-end sound system.


When selling your home, you want to be able to get the largest return for your investment. And buyers are looking for their next place to call home. They are looking for a place that they can see themselves living and creating a future. And oftentimes, it’s very difficult for buyers to look beyond the cosmetics of a home, especially when viewing online. Therefore, if large investments are not in the cards for you or won’t bring a significant ROI, small home improvements are the way to go. These small improvements can take your home from blah to wow!

Let’s take a look at some of the best small home improvements that will certainly provide you with a return.  

1. Fresh coat of paint: A fresh coat of paint can make the world of a difference in a home. It can instantly brighten up a space and make the home look and feel newer—an instant plus for any seller and buyer. But be sure to choose more neutral colors as not everyone will be a fan of bold colors.

2. Adding architectural touches: Architectural features like crown molding and a chair rail can add an elegant upgrade to any home. They can be fairly inexpensive and would only take a weekend to put up.

3. Update front door: Your front door is a large part of your curb appeal. And a home’s curb appeal can leave a substantial impression on buyers. You can go the inexpensive route and add a pop of color that compliments your home’s exterior and landscaping or purchase a new door if a coat of paint won’t do the trick.

4. Add a backsplash: Backsplashes don’t have to break the bank to catch a buyer’s eye. And there are so many options from subway tile to mosaic to antique tin.

5. New hardware: Updating the hardware in your kitchen and bathroom can make the world of a difference. Adding modern hardware to cabinet doors will add a refreshing, simple update.

6. Update fixtures: Replacing old, worn down bathroom and kitchen fixtures is a very simple home improvement. Although not the cheapest of these options, they will definitely make a big difference in those rooms.Think of a home built in the 90s that has brass fixtures. The home looks very outdated and therefore worth less in the eyes of a buyer. If you update these fixtures to pewter or brushed nickel, you are instantly bringing the spaces into the 21st century and catching the appeal of buyers.

The amount of time, effort, and money that you want to put back into your home is a decision that you alone can make. It may seem silly to put more money into the home you are trying to sell, but it’s quite the opposite. Be smart about your updates and improvements. Try to think like a buyer and make updates that the majority will like and want.


Finding the right house that meets your family's needs is an important decision; it's one that can affect the quality of your life for years to come. That's why it's especially important to be in a focused, resourceful state of mind when house hunting. It's also helpful to have a clear idea of what you're looking for and have a system in mind for comparing the strengths and weaknesses of every house you visit.

Knowing What You Want

Chances are, you're going to approach your house search with some preconceived notions about features like the floorplan, bedrooms, and number of bathrooms. You may also have strong preferences for a particular school district, the size of the back yard, and proximity to neighbors. One thing's for sure: There are a lot of details on which you'll need to concentrate as you meet with your real estate agent and visit different homes for sale. While conditions are not always ideal for taking it all in, here are a few tips which may help you get the most from the experience.

  • Work from a checklist: Before plunging into a serious house-hunting campaign, it's a good idea to prioritize the features and characteristics you're looking for in a new home. Ideally, you should have a separate copy of the list for each home you visit and create a simple rating system for evaluating how well each property lives up to your expectations. Make note of your impressions and take a few photos of key rooms, such as the kitchen, master bathroom, or whatever areas are most important to you. As a courtesy, ask the real estate agent if they or the homeowner would mind if you took some pictures.
  • Arrange childcare if possible: When you're going over important details with your real estate agent or visiting a listed house for the first time, you'll be able to get more out of the experience if you can devote your full attention to it. Children, especially young ones, tend to be more focused on their own agenda, including hunger, boredom, sibling conflicts, and the impulse to wander off on their own to explore unchartered territory! When the opportunity arises to check out a potential new home, you'll want to have 100 percent of your mental and emotional resources available to appreciate and absorb all the details, nuances, and possibilities of a house that's for sale. Since "the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry", it won't always be feasible to arrange alternative (and sometimes last minute) childcare plans for your little ones. When it is possible though, you'll have more of your wits about you for the important task at hand.
  • While it's unrealistic to always expect house hunting to go smoothly and without a hitch, a focused and organized approach to finding the home of your dreams will always yield the best results!
     


    As a home seller, it is important to do everything possible to ensure your house impresses buyers. If your residence makes a positive impression on buyers, you could speed up the house selling process. Plus, you may be better equipped than ever before to maximize your house sale earnings.

    Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you transform your home from drab to fab and ensure your residence garners lots of interest from potential buyers.

    1. Upgrade Your House's Curb Appeal

    Your house only gets one chance to make a positive first impression on buyers. Fortunately, if you enhance your home's curb appeal, you can make the most of this opportunity.

    Completing assorted home exterior upgrades may help you make your residence stand out to buyers. For instance, mowing the lawn and trimming the hedges will help you quickly improve your house's front lawn. You also may want to repair any cracked or damaged home siding.

    2. Eliminate Clutter

    There may be no time like the present to remove unwanted items from your house. Because if you eliminate home clutter, you can show off the full size of your living space to potential buyers.

    To cut down on home clutter, you may want to host a yard sale or list unwanted items online. This will allow you to simultaneously get rid of unwanted items and earn extra cash.

    You can always donate unwanted items to a local charity, too. Or, you can give unwanted items to family members and friends.

    3. Clean Each Room of Your House

    An in-depth home cleaning is a must, particularly for an individual who wants to enjoy a seamless house selling experience.

    When it comes to cleaning a home, there are lots of options at your disposal. For do-it-yourselfers, you can allocate time and energy to mop the floors, wipe down countertops and perform other house cleaning tasks. On the other hand, if you want extra help, you can hire a professional home cleaning company.

    As you search for ways to stir up interest in your residence, you may want to employ a real estate agent as well. If you have a real estate agent at your side, you can get the help you need to expedite the house selling journey.

    A real estate agent knows the ins and out of the home selling journey and can help you plan accordingly. First, he or she will meet with you and learn about your home selling goals. A real estate agent then will put together a plan designed to help you achieve your goals without delay. And if you ever have concerns or questions as you navigate the home selling journey, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them.

    Want to get your house ready for the real estate market? Take advantage of the aforementioned home selling tips, and you could reap the benefits of a fast, profitable house selling experience.




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