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Christine Norcross' Blog

By Christine Norcross | Agent in Wellesley, MA
  • 3 Steps to Choosing the Perfect Wellesley Home

    Posted Under: General Area in Wellesley, Home Buying in Wellesley, In My Neighborhood in Wellesley  |  June 6, 2013 10:46 AM  |  1,394 views  |  No comments

                            Wellesley home for sale

    There are many great homes and neighborhoods in the Wellesley real estate market and homebuyers have so many options when they choose to move here. So how do you find the perfect home? How do you narrow down your options to find the one that is best for your family?

    List Your Needs and Wants

    As you begin house hunting, it's easy to get distracted by all the options and forget exactly what you are looking for in a home. Keeping in mind the reason you are moving, make a list of the things you need in your new home. Things like more space, a better location or a bigger yard are common reasons for moving.

    Then, make a list of needs, or the things you want in your new house but that you are willing to forgo if a house meets other requirements. This list could include things like an extra bedroom or specific features. When you look at houses, consider how each one measures up to your lists. 

    Think Long Term

    Even if you aren't sure how long you plan on living in your new home, think long term. Think about buying your home as an investment, and try to envision yourself living in the home for years to come. With this mindset you can make better decisions about which home is best for you. For example, you may want a home your family can grow into, or you may want to find a home that has room for a garden. 

    Another way to think long term is to ask yourself if you will be happy in a home for several years. Don't decide put an offer on a home on a whim, but instead, consider if it is what you really want and if you can see yourself living there for years to come. This approach can also help you save money down the road, since moving multiple times can be expensive.

    Use a Comparison Table

    Organizing the homes you have looked at and taking notes about what each has to offer is an important step in choosing the right home. One great way to do this is to create a comparison table. On a sheet of paper, make a column for each characteristic (number of rooms, square footage, extra features, etc.) and then fill the table in row by row as you look at homes. Then, you can easily see at a glance which homes have the things listed on your needs and wants lists. This method can also help you quickly eliminate homes that are not a good fit for your family.

    The way you compare homes is up to you, and your real estate agent can help, but the idea is to compile all the information you are gathering about each home in one place so you can easily compare all your options and make the best decision.

    Finding the right home for your family is important and these three steps can help make the undertaking a little easier. An experienced real estate agent can help you find homes that might interest you and then arrange for you to see them. When you work with an agent you will have someone there to help you through the process, negotiate an offer and help with the closing paperwork. To find a Wellesley home for sale, contact Christine Norcross at 781-929-4994 or connect with her on Facebook.

    Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
  • Don't Make These Common Mistakes When Buying a Wellesley Home

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Wellesley, Home Ownership in Wellesley  |  May 28, 2013 10:40 AM  |  1,378 views  |  No comments

    mistakeIt's easy to get caught up in the excitement when you place an offer on or purchase a new home. However, by doing your homework and keeping a few things in mind, you can make sure you are making a wise investment and can even avoid future problems. Here are a few common mistakes and how you can avoid making them.

    Not Getting Pre-Approved for a Loan

    You can make buying a home easier by becoming pre-approved for a loan before you begin house hunting. Knowing exactly how much you qualify for, and how much you can realistically afford, can help you narrow down your options and find the right home faster. It can also help you save a lot of time when you decide to make an offer on a home.

    Failing to Explore the Neighborhood

    Wellesley has many wonderful neighborhoods, but it is important that you find the one that is the best fit for you. You can ask the buyer and even some neighbors about the neighborhood before you place an offer on a home. Also, don't forget the importance of seeing things for yourself. Drive through the neighborhood at different times of the day, check to see how close it is to public transportation and learn about nearby schools before you decide to put an offer on a house.

    Ignoring Problems with the Home

    If you found a home you absolutely love, don't let the excitement cause you to ignore any problems it may have. Anything from structural damage to aged appliances can be an added cost to you, and should be carefully considered before you make an offer.

    Not Requesting a Home Inspection

    You can check for problems, and make a better decision on how much to offer for a home, by requesting a home inspection. Even if everything seems to be in good shape, a home inspector may uncover problems that you can't see. An inspection can also alert you to potential additional costs or future problems.

    Purchasing Without a Realtor's Help

    One of the best things you can do to make sure the process goes smoothly is to work with an experienced realtor. A professional can help you understand what steps are involved in buying a house and how to navigate the process. Realtors have valuable experience, understand market conditions and are knowledgeable about specific neighborhoods. A realtor can also provide a market analysis and help you negotiate an offer.

    Not Acting When the Time is Right

    Once you've decided you want to make an offer on a home, take action before you lose the opportunity. The Wellesley real estate market is very seller-friendly, with more buyers than there are sellers in many areas. When you have properly considered these guidelines, and chosen a home to make an offer on, don't waste time; let a real estate agent help you make an offer.

    Avoiding these common mistakes can help you make wise investment decisions and find the perfect home for your family. Doing some research, requesting a home inspection and working with an experienced realtor can help you save time and money. For assistance finding a Wellesley home for sale, contact Christine Norcross at 781-929-4994.

    Image courtesy of Michal Marcol/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
  • What Makes Wellesley a Great Place to Raise Your Family

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in Wellesley, Home Buying in Wellesley, In My Neighborhood in Wellesley  |  May 21, 2013 10:23 AM  |  1,471 views  |  No comments

                              family in Wellesley

    If you want to relocate to an area that is fit for raising your family, Wellesley would be an excellent choice. This beautiful city is full of opportunities for families and isn't lacking in education, employment or entertainment venues. Families often move to homes in the Wellesley real estate market in hopes of finding the perfect spot for raising children, and many agree that they have found it.

    Exceptional Educational Opportunities

    Wellesley boasts three colleges: Wellesley College, Massachusetts Bay Community College and Babson College. The town is also the city with the second largest concentration of citizens with advanced degrees in the United States. Wellesley High School has been ranked as the 70th best public high school in the country and local schools are on the cutting edge of technology, constantly implementing new tools and systems to help children learn.

    Family Activities

    Whether your family likes a night out on the town or a day outdoors, you'll find it at Wellesley. Wellesley has excellent entertainment and dining opportunities in the city, which are ideal for family time. There are also 17 commuter rail trains that stop in Wellesley, making it easy to visit nearby attractions.

    Wellesley has a huge variety of summer camps that help kids learn everything from self-confidence and sports to sailing, and from arts and crafts to theater skills. Some of the area's colleges offer summer programs, and many other organizations also host camps for kids of all ages.

    This area offers lots of cultural attractions, like the Hunnewell Arboretum, the Elm Bank Horticulture Center and the various opportunities on college campuses. The city is only a 30-minute drive from Boston and all if its historical and cultural sites.

    Wellesley has 25 miles of trails for running, walking and biking and 8 parks and recreation areas your family can explore. The temperatures here allow for both summer and winter activities like hiking, snowshoeing, swimming, biking and more.

    Family-Friendly Events

    Wellesley prides itself in its annual event called "Wellesley's Wonderful Weekend," which includes a parade, fireworks, a scavenger hunt, tours, kids' centers, a dog competition, a movie night and a picnic in the park. Other family-friendly events include concerts at the Town Hall Green and at the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra, among other events.

    Thriving Economy

    Wellesley has a low unemployment rate: just 3.7 percent. Corporations in education, business, financial, pharmaceutical and other major industries have offices here, meaning there are a lot of employment opportunities in Wellesley. Knowing you can provide for your family is important, and when you relocate to Wellesley you can rest assured that there are job opportunities in the city.

    There's no question that Wellesley is a great place to raise a family. If you are considering relocating to this area, contact Christine Norcross at 781-929-4994 for assistance finding a Wellesley home for sale.

    Image courtesy of photostock/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
  • 10 Things to Know About a Wellesley Neighborhood Before You Move In

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Wellesley, In My Neighborhood in Wellesley, How To... in Wellesley  |  May 16, 2013 1:33 PM  |  1,505 views  |  No comments

                 

    Wellesley is an excellent city with lots to offer. From educational institutions to recreational opportunities, there is something for everyone here. As you decide which neighborhood is right for you and your family, here are a few things to ask about the neighborhoods you explore.

    Details About the School District

    If you have young children, ask about the school district the neighborhood is in. Find out what the schools are like and if students there tend to perform well. You should be able to pull the MCAS as a 1st look at the school performance. In Wellesley all the schools tend to do well.  You may also want to know about sports and extra curricular activities available to kids.

    Proximity to Public Transportation

    Wellesley has a great public transportation system that could help you get to work faster. Find out how close the neighborhood is to these options and whether or not it will be convenient for you. You may also want to calculate how long your commute will be. 

    Property Taxes 

    The property taxes for your neighborhood, and your home specifically, is one of the costs of owning the home. Make sure you fully understand what the taxes will be so you can decide if you can afford the home.

    Average Utility Costs

    Your utility cost will depend on your family size and use, but you can get an average cost from the seller and neighbors. When you know about what people in the neighborhood pay for electricity, gas, water and any other utilities, you'll have a better idea of what to expect each month.

    If there is a Floodplain Nearby 

    If the neighborhood and your home are on a floodplain you'll be required to get special insurance. This will likely make your regular homeowner's insurance a little more expensive, so find out ahead of time if you'll have to pay for this. 

    Average Age of Residents

    The average age of the neighborhood's residents can give you an idea of the type of people you'll be living close to. For example, if you have several young kids, you may be more interested in finding a neighborhood with young families and children. 

    Whether There are Any Neighborhood Issues

    Unfortunately, there are nuisances in some neighborhoods. You can talk to the seller and some of the residents to find out if there is anything about the neighborhood you should be aware of.

    Why the Seller is Moving

    You can ask the seller why he or she is moving to get a feel for the neighborhood. Many times people move for jobs or for a change of pace, but if the seller is moving because of a problem in the neighborhood, you should know about it.

    Laws About Pets

    If you have pets be sure to ask about any laws or regulations that may dictate how many pets you can have or how you must house them. Not all neighborhoods have specific requirements, but it's better to find out if yours does before you move in.

    What the Neighbors Think

    The best people to give you a feel for the neighborhood are the people that live there. Don't be afraid to talk to a few neighbors and ask them what they like and dislike about the neighborhood. This will give you a chance to meet people and hear some honest opinions about the area.

    Asking questions about a neighborhood before you make an offer on a Wellesley home for sale can help you decide if the house is the best fit for you and your family. If you are interested in learning more about the Wellesley real estate market, contact Christine Norcross at 781-929-4994.

    Image courtesy of StevenM_61/Flickr.
  • Open House! May 19 at 44 Carisbrooke Rd, Wellesley, MA

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Wellesley, In My Neighborhood in Wellesley, Home Ownership in Wellesley  |  May 9, 2013 6:23 PM  |  362 views  |  No comments

            Wellesley home

    Come see this exquisite home on Sunday May 19 from 12:30 - 3:30 pm at 44 Carisbrooke Road in Wellesley. Ths extraordinary home is privately sited on over 1.5 acres in Wellesley Farms. This remarkable residence features exquisite architectural detail and character throughout. The estate offers more than 7,700 sq feet of luxurious living on 3 floors. Features of this home include, 6 ensuite bedrooms, a state-of-the-art kitchen, a family room with a TV/sound system, a butler's pantry, a marble foyer, a library and wet bar, 2 staircases, and a master suite with his and hers closets. The home overlooks magnificent private grounds and a pool and spa.

    Here is a first look to access these magnificent home photos! 

    We have a team of experts to help you with your real estate transaction and assist you in finding the home of your dreams. Call Christine Norcross at 781-929-4994 or visit our Wellesley Real Estate or Newton Real Estate website for more information or to research Boston neighborhoods.

    You can also search for homes here. Our team, Christine Norcross & Partners, at William Raveis  can help you find your dream home in a city like Natick, Newton, Needham, Wellesley, Wayland, Weston or another area on the Wellesley real estate market.

  • Signs You Have Outgrown Your Home: Relocating to Wellesley

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Wellesley, Moving in Wellesley, Home Ownership in Wellesley  |  May 9, 2013 3:36 PM  |  361 views  |  No comments

    Wellesley home for saleAre you starting to feel a little cramped in your current home? Are you quickly running out of storage space? The Wellesley real estate market is full of opportunities for individuals ready to relocate or families who need a little extra space.

    How do you know when it's time to upgrade to a larger home? These signs might mean you need more space. 

    You Don't Have Enough Bedrooms

    It almost goes without saying that if you don't have enough bedroom space for all the members in your family, it's time to upgrade. Sharing a bedroom often works for young children, but if you feel crowded or your kids are getting too old for small, shared spaces, you may want to consider a home with more or larger bedrooms.

    Your Floor Plan Doesn't Fit Your Needs

    Whether you like to entertain guests on a regular basis or you have the grandkids over frequently, you need a floor plan that is spacious enough to meet your needs. If you constantly feel like your current arrangement doesn't allow for enough space when you have guests over, it may be time for a bigger home.

    You Lack Storage Space

    Do you have things stored under every bed and are your closets full to the point of overflowing? It's time to upgrade. When you shop for a bigger home, look for one that has plenty of closets and cupboards or even a storage room in the basement, since a bigger home doesn't always mean more storage.

    Your Family Members Argue over Bathroom Time and Space

    If you have a lot of older kids in the house, bathroom time and space may be hard to find. When you no longer have enough bathroom space for everyone to get ready and out the door on time, look for a home that has an additional bathroom.

    You Can't Easily Gather as a Family

    The family room is meant for the entire family, and if yours can't comfortably fit in the same room for family activities or movie nights, you have a problem. Many larger homes have bigger and more spacious and open family rooms, which can more easily accommodate a larger crowd.

    You Need an Additional Room for Specific Needs

    Needing an extra room for a specific need, like a home office, play room or guest room is a common reason for upgrading to a larger home. If you have outgrown your current home, chances are you don't have enough space for these needs, but a larger home could provide the space you need.

    Your Kitchen Is too Small 

    Many older homes have smaller kitchens that weren't designed for today's appliances. If that's the case, a newer, bigger home could allow you to upgrade you kitchen's appliances and storage spaces. If your family is the type that likes to gather in the kitchen, but you lack the space, a larger home can help with that too.

    You are Ready to Leave the Apartment Scene 

    If you're ready to leave the apartment life behind for a neighborhood and a yard, upgrading to a bigger home would be a good move for you. Apartments don't always offer a lot of space, and most don't have much private outdoor space, but a home can offer both.

    Upgrading to a larger home can benefit your family life, your work life and your recreational needs. If you are interested in finding a Wellesley home for sale, contact Christine Norcross at 781-929-4994.

    Image courtesy of nokhoog_buchachon/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
  • What to Ask Before Buying a Wellesley Home

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Wellesley  |  May 7, 2013 11:58 AM  |  214 views  |  No comments

                            Wellesley Home for Sale

    If you're a first-time homebuyer, or even if you've been through the process before, knowing what to ask a seller or real estate agent can make the process smoother and ensure that you are making a wise investment. As you investigate the Wellesley, MA real estate market, here are a few questions you should be asking.

    How much is the home worth in the current market? 

    Ethically, real estate agents can't tell you what you should offer for a home. However, you can find an approximate home value by asking the agent how much similar homes and properties nearby are selling for.

    Are there any problems with the house?

    When you buy a home, you want to be aware of any potential problems like roof, flooring, window or foundation damage. Sometimes homeowners are willing to make needed repairs for a seller and the right price. Other times you will need to make the repairs yourself, which will mean additional expenses.

    How old is the home and its appliances?

    Knowing the age of the home and things like the plumbing, roof, air conditioner and any appliances included in the sale can help you determine if there may be maintenance costs to cover in the near future.

    Is the home on a flood plain and what is the property tax liability for this home?

    If the home is situated on a flood plain, you'll need to invest in flood insurance. Also ask about the property taxes for the home, since both of these aspects will be determining factors of the cost of living in the home.

    What are the average monthly utility costs?

    Your monthly utility costs will fluctuate depending on your personal use and family size, but knowing what the seller pays can help you estimate the utility costs you can expect should you purchase the home.

    What kind of neighborhood is the home in?

    The type of neighborhood you are looking for is a personal decision, so ask the right questions for you and your family. For example, you may ask about nearby schools or the demographics of the neighborhood. Things like access to public transportation, hospitals and shopping may also help you determine if the home is right for you.

    Why is the seller moving out of the home?

    If a seller says that he or she is moving due to reasons directly related to the home or property, you should carefully consider your investment. Common reasons to move range from outgrowing a home to relocating for work, but if the reason includes problems with the property, you may want to reconsider your offer or even whether or not you are still interested in the home.

    These are just some of the questions you should ask as you look at homes and start the buying process. There is a lot to know and consider when investing in a home, and an experienced real estate agent can guide you through the process. For assistance finding a Wellesley home for sale, contact Christine Norcross at 781-929-4994.

    Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
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