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Christine Norcross' Blog

By Christine Norcross | Agent in Wellesley, MA
  • Three Easy Ways to Increase Your Wellesley Home's Value

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Wellesley, Curb Appeal in Wellesley, Remodel & Renovate in Wellesley  |  April 16, 2013 10:04 AM  |  296 views  |  No comments

                       Wellesley home improvement

    To get the highest offers on your Wellesley home, there are some things you can do to increase its value. In fact, many of the changes you can make seem small and are easy to do, but can have a big impact on the type of offers you receive when you put your home on the Wellesley, MA real estate market. 

    Touch Up and Paint Your Walls

    It sounds cliché, but one of the best ways to increase your home's value is to add a new coat of paint. If your walls are looking a little dingy, adding a new coat can make your rooms look like new. Do things the right way by using spackling to fill holes or repair damage and painter's tape to make sure the job looks professional. If you are completely repainting, consider choosing a color that is neutral and can appeal to many peoples' tastes and styles.

    Don't forget the outside of your home! Touch up or repaint your front door, the trim on your home, your deck, porch, fence and any other areas that could use a little attention. 

    Transform Your Garage

    Believe it or not, your garage can be one of the most attractive features of your home. Many homebuyers are looking for a garage that can house their cars and has room for storage or a workbench.

    Transform your garage by cleaning it out and getting rid of or storing extra items. Sweep the floors, dust the lighting and add things like shelving unites, a workbench and stool, a tool storage system and even outdoor rugs to give your garage a look that conveys storage and functionality.

    Update Your Flooring 

    The flooring throughout your home can make a big impact on how potential buyers view your home. Outdated and worn-out flooring can send the false signal that your entire home is outdated or in need of major upgrades.

    Replacing the vinyl floor in your kitchen or installing new carpet in high-traffic areas of your home can make a big difference in the look and feel of your home, not to mention the offers it could bring. As with painting, choose floor colors that are neutral and that can be matched with most decor styles.

    Not all home upgrades need to be expensive. These simple updates are affordable and can even be DIY projects that won't require you to hire a professional. As you prepare to sell your home, consider making these changes to increase its value and make it more attractive to homebuyers. 

    To list your Wellesley home for sale, contact Christine Norcross at 781-929-4994.

    Image courtesy of Ambro/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
  • How to Turn Negative Feedback From Wellesley Homebuyers into Opportunities

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Wellesley, Remodel & Renovate in Wellesley, Design & Decor in Wellesley  |  March 14, 2013 9:58 AM  |  205 views  |  No comments

                             
    If you're selling your home and have hosted some open houses or showings you may have received some negative feedback from buyers. While sometimes it's hard to hear, negative feedback can often present you with some very good opportunities.

    By listening to feedback and taking action when necessary, you may be able to make the changes to your home that will help it appeal to more buyers and even sell faster in the Wellesley real estate market.

    Be Open to Feedback

    The first step in leveraging negative feedback is being open to hearing what buyers have to say about your home. Welcome comments from buyers who walk through your home and ask your real estate agent what buyers have to say about your home. 

    Don't take comments and suggestions personally, but objectively consider the feedback you get. The more open you are to feedback, the more likely you'll be to gather information that can help you make your home attract more buyers. 

    See Your Home Through Buyers' Eyes

    If you've lived in your home for several years you may overlook things that buyers focus on. Put yourself in their shoes by considering what you would look for in a new home. When you get negative feedback, consider what it means for the buyer.

    For example, if your buyer complains about the paint in your kitchen, consider what your walls look like to a buyer. Maybe it's a great paint job but a very specific color that doesn't appeal to everyone. Look at criticism as a way to find out what buyers are looking at and how they feel about certain aspects of your home.

    Remember that Each Room Counts

    As a homeowner you probably make small changes to different areas of your home over time, and you may focus on spaces that get the most use or are seen most often by guests. Remember that when buyers view your home they are looking at every room.

    If you receive more negative feedback about a certain room, take that to mean that an area that was less important to you may be more important to your buyers. When you know which rooms in your house get the most attention from buyers, you can make updates and repairs in places that may help bring the most opportunity. 

    Most importantly, don't take every piece of negative feedback as a sign that your home isn't up to par. Instead, look at critical comments as pieces of advice that can help you make your home more attractive to buyers.

    For information on how you can list your Wellesley home for sale and how to make the most of open houses and showings, contact Christine Norcross at 781-929-4994.

     

    Images courtesy of KROMKRATHOG/FreeDigitalPotos.net and Charles & Hudson/Flickr.

  • Money to Purchase AND Renovate Your Wellesley Home

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Wellesley, Remodel & Renovate in Wellesley  |  September 1, 2011 6:47 AM  |  220 views  |  No comments

    Money to Purchase AND Renovate Your Wellesley Home

    203k Wellesley RemodelCall Christine Norcross for more information – cell 781-929-4994 or to research the Boston neighborhoods, visit my Wellesley Real Estate or Newton Real Estate websites.  Search for homes HERE.

    Whether you’re looking at a foreclosed home, bank REO, a Short Sale or really any home, you need to be aware of the FHA 203K Program. The general condition of real estate has taken a dip over the past few years, as homeowners are not sprucing up their home as they have in the past.

    (Pssst…there’s a recession going on…people are afraid of losing jobs…and they believe they won’t “get back” the money they spend by renovating upon sale).

    The 203K loan can be used for small repairs (with a minimum of $5000 of work) such as a new roof or replacing the boiler. It can go all the way up to practically rebuilding the home and anything in between.  Maybe you love a home, the neighborhood, etc., but you hate the kitchen cabinets. The 203K may be for you. As long as the existing foundation stays intact, we can talk about any type of repair, upgrade, modernization or expansion.

    With one closing, we will give borrowers money to satisfy their contract with the seller AND establish a Rehab Escrow Account to fund the agreed renovations. The Rehab Escrow Account is managed like a Construction Loan. Money is released after work is completed, the property is inspected by the lender and the title is updated.

    Like all FHA loans, the property must be owner occupied and loan approval requires full documentation of income, assets and credit worthiness. At the same time, underwriting guidelines have some flexibility built in. (In theory, we can lend up to 110% of the After-Improved Value of the home for example.)

    Loans are processed in the same fashion as any other loan (in terms of income, asset and credit) with the exception of the appraisal. Appraisers work in conjunction with the home improvement contractor and a HUD Approved Pre-Planner to determine: “As-Is” Value, “After-Improved” Value, costs of construction and the draw schedule of the renovation portion of the loan. This work typically adds about a week to the approval process, largely because it should be done BEFORE contracts are signed.

    SOME UNIQUE FEATURES OF THE 203K

    • Mixed-Use Properties may be eligible! As long as the commercial space is no more than the allowable square footage based on the number of floors in the building and none of the renovation monies are used for a commercial renovation, the 203K gives tremendous interest rates for Mixed-Use Properties.
    • The loan can be used  to change property usage (when appropriate municipality approval)…..converting a 1 Family Home to a 2 Family or a 4 Family to a 3 Family or any variation that stays within the 1-4 Family boundaries works.
    • On major renovations we will finance up to six months payments into the loan. In these cases,the house will not be habitable until after the work is completed.
    • There is a Streamline 203K for projects that require less than $35,000 of repairs. Typically, we like to see only one or two items of work that can be done quickly (with one inspection).

    It is recommended that you work with an experienced loan officer when exploring the 203K Program, as there are many details that need to be considered (from selecting a qualified contractor to the inner workings of the draw schedule and preparing for different contingencies). While the program is more intricate, with the right education ahead of time, it is extremely manageable.

    Other articles on Wellesley Real Estate:
    Some Home Improvements Offer More Return Than Others in Wellesley, MA

    Popular Wellesley, MA Remodel Trends

    Remodeling Trends Have Changed in Wellesley, MA


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  • Renovating in Wellesley, MA? Think Bathrooms

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Wellesley, Remodel & Renovate in Wellesley  |  December 22, 2010 5:50 AM  |  217 views  |  No comments

    Renovating in Wellesley, MA? Think Bathrooms

    Call Christine Norcross for more information – cell 781-929-4994 or to research the Boston neighborhoods, visit my Wellesley Real Estate or Newton Real Estate websites.

    Bathrooms should not be overlooked when remodelingWhen considering renovating a home it is important to think about bathrooms. Bathrooms and kitchens have traditionally been important features when it comes to real estate and should not be overlooked when remodeling a home. From green fixtures like energy efficient shower-heads and low flow toilets, to environmental flooring options like bamboo, updating a bathroom can become an environmental issue as well as a design issue.

    When remodeling a bathroom it is important to consider what is current in trends and design, especially if selling your property is in the future. That said, here are some features that can make a great bathroom.

    Light. Of course light is important in every room of a house, a bathroom should not be overlooked. From adding a skylight to a large picture window, the ability to shed natural light in a bathroom is key.

    Cabinets. When choosing cabinet space or a vanity for your bathroom consider what kind of storage the room has or needs. For example, a powder room needs storage for what? Toilet paper, soap, hand towels. A pedestal sink can work in a powder room if you have a shelf or basket for toilet paper and a rod for hand towels. If a master bathroom has a linen closet in it then a simple, sleek vanity is possible if lots of storage isn’t necessary in the vanity. If storage is need the choose a vanity with a lot of space.

    Design. Is your home modern in feel? Classic? Choose fixtures, shelving, vanities and other items that fit in with the feel of your home. If your home has an old-time Victorian feel, don’t add a trendy, modern vessel sink that doesn’t fit the style of your home.

    Bathrooms are fun to design and remodel. The best part of a new bathroom is a fresh, clean start, and considering the ease of cleaning it should be at the forefront of your decisions.

    Other great articles on remodeling:
    The Boston Area Remodeling Cost vs Value Report is Out.

    Some Home Improvements Offer More Return Than Others in Wellesley, MA

    Remodeling Trends Have Changed in Wellesley, MA

    Call me if you want help with your home purchase. We have a team, Christine Norcross & Partners, at William Raveis and we can help you find your dream home in the Wellesley Real Estate market – Natick, Newton, Needham, Wellesley, Wayland, Weston and more.


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  • Some Home Improvements Offer More Return Than Others in Wellesley, MA

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Wellesley, Remodel & Renovate in Wellesley  |  September 27, 2010 6:17 AM  |  225 views  |  No comments

    Some Home Improvements Offer More Return Than Others in Wellesley, MA

    Call Christine Norcross for more information – cell 781-929-4994 or to research the Boston neighborhoods, visit my Wellesley Real Estate or Newton Real Estate websites.

    There are many improvements that a person can make to a home, many offering more of a return than others.  There are some home improvements that can actually hurt a home’s investment potential.  Some improvements limit the number of future potential home buyers due to the uniqueness of the improvement, for example not everyone wants a home spa, sauna, full workout room, etc.  In essence it is important to make sure that home improvements and additions be well-planned and then well-executed.

    Historically, the best improvements are kitchens, bathrooms, and decks.  These renovations and/or additions offer the best return for the dollars spent, being that they are completed reasonably and not over-the-top.  The simpler the project, the better.

    Most people want to get their money back when they sell a home, but many will not.  One key element to remember is to keep your home in line with the neighborhood.  If every home on your block is similar and you add a huge garage, fancy finishes and ornate touches that do not exist in your neighborhood you probably won’t get your money back.  Of course, if you don’t care about the return that you will get on your home then you can feel free to throw caution to the wind.

    Call me if you want help with your home purchase. We have a team, Christine Norcross & Partners, at William Raveis and we can help you find your dream home in the Wellesley Real Estate market – Natick, Newton, Needham, Wellesley, Wayland, Weston and more.

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