Karen Scopetski - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage-Vice President, MA real estate single family


For a buyer who is interested in learning more about a residence, it may be beneficial to set up a house showing. In fact, there are many reasons why now may be a good time to schedule a home showing, such as:

1. You can determine if a home is right for you.

Many houses are available in cities and towns nationwide, and as such, differentiating a good home from a great one sometimes can be difficult. Fortunately, a home showing offers a worry-free opportunity to get an up-close look at a residence. And after a showing is complete, you can decide whether a house matches your expectations.

During a home showing, a seller's agent can respond to any of your house concerns and questions. This agent also can provide details about why a seller has listed his or her residence, as well as other information about a home that you may be unable to obtain elsewhere.

Of course, if you are satisfied with a home following a showing, you can submit an offer to purchase this residence. Or, if you find that a home fails to meet your expectations, you can continue your pursuit of your dream house.

2. You can compare and contrast similar houses.

A home showing provides a valuable learning opportunity, as it enables you to compare and contrast houses against one another. If you set up multiple home showings, you may be able to review a wide range of residences in a short period of time.

You can set up as many home showings as you want, too. Therefore, if you find you still have questions about a house after a showing, there is no need to stress. Simply schedule a follow-up showing, and you can take a second look at a residence at your convenience.

3. You can make an informed homebuying decision.

As a homebuyer, it is important to gain as much information about a house as possible. And if you believe a home may be your dream residence, there is no harm in setting up a showing. That way, you can view a residence in-person and make an informed decision about whether to proceed with an offer to purchase.

Pursuing a home may be challenging, regardless of whether you are interested in buying a home for the first time or have purchased residences in the past. If you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can receive comprehensive support as you search for your ideal house.

A real estate agent can help you schedule home showings and weigh the pros and cons of different residences. Plus, if you find a home you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase this residence.

Want to accelerate your quest to acquire your ideal home? Schedule a showing today – you'll be glad you did. Because if you allocate time and resources to view a residence in-person, you may discover your dream home.


Many house hunters are so focused on finding the ideal house, yard, and neighborhood, that they sometimes sacrifice one of their main objectives: a short commute to work.

At first, a long drive to the office may seem like a small price to pay for finding your ideal house, but your outlook might change when the tedium of commuter gridlock becomes a daily burden.

Fortunately, there are ways to ease the stress of being stuck in rush-hour traffic twice a day.

Car pooling: By sharing driving responsibilities with one or two other people, you can reduce the overall stress of your trip to the office. You can also save money on gas, highway tolls, and parking fees. Assuming you find carpooling companions whose company you enjoy, time will pass a lot faster. Then, of course, there's the advantage of less wear and tear on your car. Although carpooling may not be as idyllic as living 15 or 20 minutes from work, it can be an effective way to ease the burden of back-and-forth driving.

Telecommuting: As technology advances and more and more people are adapting to it, the option of working from home is becoming increasingly popular. When you consider the many options there are for document sharing and communicating remotely, you may have a strong case for proposing a work-from-home arrangement with your employer. Even though it may be necessary to meet face-to-face with coworkers, colleagues, and clients a few days a week, the ability to split your work time between home and office can save you time, money, and aggravation. As long as you can maintain your productivity working from home, it may turn out to be a life-changing arrangement! Granted, it doesn't work for everyone, but it may be well worth looking into -- at least on a part-time basis.

Public Transportation: If you happen to live close to a train station, then public transportation might be the perfect solution to an otherwise long, tedious drive into the city. Instead of concentrating on road signs and traffic conditions, you can read a book, listen to your favorite music, or prepare for a meeting or presentation. You can also check your email, get a head start on your work day, or even sneak in a few minutes of sleep or meditation.

While the best option for many people is to buy a home that's within 30 minutes of their job or business, that may be difficult to accomplish for couples working in different locations. Long commutes can infringe on important aspects of your life, though, including family time, relaxation time, and being able to get things done around the house. Not having enough time to "recharge your battery," every day, can eventually take its toll on your health, your relationships, and your outlook on life. If finding a house close to work is not panning out, then alternatives like telecommuting, carpooling, and public transportation may be, at least, a partial solution.


This Single-Family in Northborough, MA recently sold for $815,000. This Colonial style home was sold by Karen Scopetski - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.


257 Brewer St, Northborough, MA 01532

Single-Family

$824,900
Price
$815,000
Sale Price

11
Rooms
5
Beds
3/1
Full/Half Baths
Beautifully maintained colonial filled with amenities & custom detail! Built by highly acclaimed builder. Cabinet packed red birch kitchen with center island, Corian counters, new dishwasher, microwave & upgraded stove to gas. Kitchen is open to large family room w/gas fireplace & picture window. Formal dining & living rooms w/crown molding & chair rail. Gleaming hardwoods thru-out main floor. Fresh interior paint. Master suit includes master bath, walk in closet & new carpet. 3 other generous size bedrooms with new carpet. Cathedral 5th bedroom w/full bath, home office or in-law over garage w/separate stairway. Sky-lit finished 3rd floor walk up bonus room. Full finished lower level with a gas fireplace in the game/media room. Upgrades include new furnaces, a/c, water heater, back slider, porches & exterior doors. Sit on your new trex deck overlooking professionally landscaped private back yard! Top rated schools, easy access to major highways, Solomon Pond Mall, Apex Center.

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 Photo by James DeMers via Pixabay

That bathroom tile once looked terrific, so newly laid contrast between tile and grout. You were so proud to show it off to all your guests. 

But over time, grout becomes dull, stained and chipped. Tiles fade and look dated. When they do, it's time to refreshen or replace tile and grout. 

If you love the tile, keep it. Refresh the grout to make that tile job look sparkling and new. If not, replace the flooring too. Here's how to refresh or replace tile and grout.

What you'll need

  • Margin float
  • Sponge
  • Earplugs (if using power tools)
  • Safety glasses
  • Rotary tool (required for big re-grouting jobs)
  • Manual grout removal tool with a carbide blade (for smaller spaces)
  • Grout

If also replacing tiles, you'll need:

  • Tiles (measured and cut as required)
  • Chisel
  • Floor scraper
  • Drop sheet (for debris)
  • Hammer
  • Notched trowel
  • Thin-set mortar

And we're ready to do this!

Cut away the grout

First, put on your safety glasses. Now use your rotary tool or grout removal tool to loosen the grout between each tile. It should chip away and pull right out.

In either case, work slowly to avoid damaging your tiles. If at any point you feel you've taken on more than you can handle, contact a professional.

Mix & apply grout

Mix your grout in a bucket. Then apply it using your margin float. Let it set for 10 minutes. Then clean the tiles with your moist sponge. 

And you're done. Don't your re-grouted tiles look fantastic! It really is that simple. But what if you want to replace the tiles? You'll add some extra steps in front of mix and grout.

Remove your tiles

After removing grout as described above, use a hammer to break a tile to remove it. Be careful not to cut yourself. Now use the chisel to remove the remaining tiles. The floor scraper helps you crack and lift the adhesive underneath. 

Do a dry run

Here's a pro tip! Always place your tiles out dry to make sure they fit. Then make any adjustments. 

This seems like a waste of time. But unless you've tiled hundreds of bathroom floors, adjustments are almost a certainty. And once you lay mortar, you'll have a limited time to work.

Apply your mortar & place tiles

Apply a thin layer of your thin-set mortar to a small area using your trowel. Then lay each tile over it, evenly spaced. Press down gently but firmly. 

After laying tiles in a small area, repeat and lay more tiles until all tiles are laid. Wait 24 hours. Then mix and apply grout as described above.

Enjoy your new floor! And follow our blog for more home maintenance and repair tips.


Image by Rvector from Shutterstock

What is natural ventilation? It's utilizing wind with the "chimney effect" to draw warm air out of the home and replacing it with cooler air from outside. As the wind blows against your home, it forces air into open windows on one side of the house while a vacuum effect draws the air out of the windows on the other side. The vacuum effect relies on convection. As cool fresh air is pulled into the home it absorbs heat from the room, the warm air rises and exits through rooftop vents or skylights on the upper floors. As the warm air moves out of the space, cooler fresh air is pulled in behind it. When mechanized to operate by a thermostat, natural ventilation systems modulate the temperature in your home efficiently. Countless benefits come with natural ventilation. Here are a few:

Low utility bills

One of the primary advantages of using a natural ventilation system is the decrease in your energy bills. Natural ventilation and hybrid ventilation consume much less energy (or no energy at all) compare to these mechanical systems. To save more on energy consumption, perhaps going for a natural hybrid ventilation system that cuts down on your energy use would be best.

Efficiency 

Natural ventilation systems have a low energy consumption level. This makes them the best choice when looking to increase efficiency in a building or home. You can save up to 70 percent of your emissions, much more than the traditional mechanical ventilation.

Maintenance

The overall cost of maintaining HVAC ventilation is high, compared to natural ventilation systems. Natural systems generally come with fewer, more affordable parts.

Space saving

A natural ventilation system takes very little space, especially as compared to an automated system. If you don’t want bulky components, a natural system is the better option.

Natural ventilation systems work best in areas where the days are warm and the nights are cool. If you live in an area that is very humid or where day and night temperatures are similar, natural ventilation systems are less effective.




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