Julie Sagan GRI - Sagan REALTORS ®, Swampscott, MA Real Estate, Marblehead, MA Real Estate


Don’t Touch Those Tools! 

3 Reasons To Wait Before You Renovate

You’ve just moved into your new home! It had just about everything you wanted, but you’ve already got some changes in mind to make it absolutely perfect! You may be tempted to grab the tools and get started, but there may be good reasons to wait before you renovate. Here are 4 reasons why you may want to hold off, and live in your home before you start changing it.

1. You just moved, and that was stressful. Whether you realize it or not, moving into a new home is a huge adjustment. It put a stress on your schedule, your body, and your wallet. Jumping immediately into a new renovation without cooling off a while, could be detrimental to the overall outcome. You’ve likely spent a large amount of money buying your home, moving, and acquiring the basics to get started. Take a deep breath and relax a little. Start with small fixes to make your house feel like home, but don’t feel pressured to make everything picture perfect in the first few months. This could add to your stress and result in overspending, over exerting yourself, and possibly making decisions you aren’t happy with in the future.

2. You haven’t gotten to know your home yet, and how you function in it. Your daily life a year from now, and your daily life right after moving in are going to be very different. It’s going to be hard to know exactly how you’ll function in your home before you actually live in it. It may surprise you what features of your home you’ll start to use, or not need anymore. 

As you adjust to your new life, keep a list of what works for you and what doesn’t before making any big adjustments.

3. Everything takes time. Major renovations take a lot of planning and budgeting. And that takes a lot of time. Starting a major project right off the bat could rob you of precious time getting used to your new home. Taking your time to figure out what you really want, can save you time, energy, and money. Getting the opinion of experts in each field of renovation could help you realize which areas you want to tackle first, and how much you’d like to spend. 

Our priorities in life change all the time. What’s most important is to find a home that keeps you and your family happy, safe, and healthy. 


A Pandemic Pause: Should I Really Be Moving or Selling Right Now?

The current world conditions have us reassessing our decisions and plans for the future. You may have had selling or moving plans before things changed, and it could be difficult to know what to do. Of course, above all, we need to do what’s right and safe for our families’ health and wellbeing. Following the state and CDC regulations for your area is essential no matter what your plans are. With that being said, there are still ways to live normally with some adjustments and perhaps follow through with your plans.

You may be asking yourself, “Is it even possible to sell my home in a time like this?” In short, the answer is yes. Technology is moving as fast as we are, even faster. People are getting creative, using safe ways to continue life while practicing safety measures. 

Things are changing rapidly, including the housing market. 

It’s difficult to keep track of the housing market, while trying to juggle the other endless aspects of life, and keep up with news and changing safety regulations. That’s where your real estate agent comes in. It’s our job to keep up to date on the changing market and adjust strategies accordingly. We have a pulse on what’s best for you, whether you’re buying, selling, or moving. Be sure to check in with your agent frequently. We are happy to guide you and know that we have your safety and health in first priority.

When selling, a great concern is a need for in-person contact. Many sellers and buyers are taking advantage of video conferencing. Instead of

physically touring every home you may be interested in, virtual tours can help you determine which homes you’re serious about. Closing transactions are also possible remotely and electronically. Sellers will do all they can to make a sale, including providing floor plans, and detailed tours or photos of spaces you may be concerned about. Sellers are well aware of the hesitation a buyer may feel without being able to be physically present. 

Perhaps you’ve put most of your plans on hold, but moving is essential. A job relocation, addition to the family, and other circumstances may prevent you from pausing your life. Consider the risks of moving at a time like this. If moving is possible to do using reasonable safety precautions there are are many steps to think about taking.

As always, keeping a distance of six feet and wearing protective clothing is always advantageous. If others are involved with the move, taking these steps, as well as providing sanitation supplies for those helping may make the move easier and safer. Be sure to deep clean your home before moving, to ensure the safety of your family and those helping. Moving supplies are often touched by many hands, and come into contact with many surfaces Frequently cleaning these supplies, big and small, including scissors and boxes, reduce the risk of spreading germs. Once moved, clean and wipe down anything moved into your new home.

As stated at the beginning of this article, always first follow the advice of the CDC and local governments for your area. Assess the risk factors before making any decisions. As your real estate agent, your safety and a smooth transition are my number one priority!


Supplies & Demand: Surplus Storage Hacks

We have all been working together to keep ourselves and others safe and healthy during this trying time. No doubt you’ve gotten the supplies you need to be able to stay at home and do your part in these worldwide efforts to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. But this means you have more than the usual to stock in the pantry and closets, so here are some tips on how to stay organized!

You probably already have small storage areas around your home from everyday life: garages, pantries, closets…etc. Have you taken a look in those recently? While you have some extra time at home, take advantage of the spring cleaning opportunities! Going through items in those areas can help you determine what you can keep or toss, and create extra room for any supplies you acquire.

Keep or Toss to Organize

Although the situation can cause us anxiety, and make us want to grab everything we can, there is a smart and efficient way to go about stocking

surplus items. Buying mass amounts of food or products that will expire soon, may be a waste of money and space. Think carefully about how long you can keep certain items, and if you will actually be able to use all of them before the expiration date.

Keeping that in mind, there are ways to store typically perishable items. Freezing meat, and fresh veggies wisely uses your freezer space as a storage unit, and is an easy way to store items that may not be available in previously frozen packages.

Another great way to reduce wasted space, is to remove the packaging from your items. Large, and oddly shaped boxes and packages reduce the amount of usable space available. By removing the packaging, you also create a way to clearly see how much of each product you have, eliminating buying in excess.

This is certainly a stressful time, but not every part of our home life needs to add to it. Simple decluttering methods, and organization can alleviate extra stress and visual clutter around the home to give us a peaceful place to spend our time. I wish you and your family health, happiness, and organization! 


Let’s Get a Move On! 4 Tips For Selling Your House Faster

Once you’ve decided to uproot and move somewhere new, the last thing you want to do is wait around for months on end for your current home to sell. There are many variables that affect how fast your home will sell. Hiring a real estate agent is your best bet to gaining a hold on all these different factors, and making smart moves to move your home quickly! 

Here are four tips that can make a difference in how long your home stays on the market

  1. Price to sell. This may seem like an obvious move, but just a few small numbers can make a big difference. Your real estate agent will know the

    ins and outs of the current market, what homes in your area are selling for, and how to adjust your price to make it more attractive to potential buyers. Your home’s location, age, size, and surrounding neighborhood all play a part in what buyers think is a fair asking price. Pricing your home competitively will speed up the process by creating interest on the market, and drum up competing bids between buyers. When looking to buy, many buyers use online search tools to find a home in their price range. The price at which you list your home could affect whether it shows up on their list of results. Your agent can evaluate all these factors and more to guide you in choosing the right asking price, and how to proceed from there.

  2. Make small repairs before listing. When showing your home, small repairs add up in the mind of the buyer. Something like a leaky faucet, or loose door handle, may seem like a minor fix. If there are too many of them, potential buyers see their money and time dwindling. Taking care of these things yourself (patching up paint jobs, fixing loose tiles, changing lightbulbs) makes the daunting task of choosing a new home easier and seemingly more attainable for anyone looking at it.
  3. Hire a realtor who uses a professional photographer for listing photos. When searching for a home, photos will always be one of the most important introductions. 

    Without proper photos, your home may not appear as nice as it really is. Professional photographers know how to light and frame each room for maximizing appeal, and showing how inviting your home is. Wide-angle lenses allow for photos of the entire room, rather than a few quick cell phone shots. Making the small repairs mentioned before, will also help the photographic results to focus on the beauty of your home, and not what needs to be fixed.

  4. Be available and flexible for home showings. No one is going to buy a home without stepping foot inside it first. Especially if you want your home to sell quickly, you’ll need to be available for many, and impromptu showings. Your agent can guide you in setting up open houses, or private tours. Tidying up, and making small repairs, as well as staging your home to sell will boost the results of any showings. 

Selling a house is no small feat, but with the help of an agent like myself, it can be done! And fast! List your home with me and we’ll get started right away!

Call it a Wash: 5 Household Items You May Be Forgetting to Clean

We all wish that Mary Poppins would come to our house, snap her fingers, sing a little song and our house would clean itself. But even if we are rather diligent in keeping our home clean, there may be a few items we’re forgetting about. 

"Keep you & your family healthy!"

Wake up and clean the coffee maker. You may be thinking that your coffee maker basically just heats up water so how could it be dirty? You should always remove the carafe and wash it up with dish detergent, but be sure to run your brewer’s cleaning program often if it has one. Heated water can create a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. And no one wants that in their morning cup!

So you’ve had your morning coffee, and you shuffle to the bathroom and reach for your toothbrush holder. A toothbrush

cleans your teeth…so how dirty could its holder be? You’d be surprised. Your toothbrush can house bacteria, from brushing but also from your hands on the handle. Especially if it isn’t dried completely before being put away, your holder could trap moisture and breed bacteria. Be sure to wash it out often and dry it completely before replacing your toothbrush. And while you’re at it, it’s a good idea to replace your toothbrush often.

Frequently used items like the remote control can easily become home to crumbs, dust, and germs. Give those a wipe now and again to prevent buildup and spread of germs from user to user.

Your dishwasher fills up with soapy liquid and swishes it around so it has to be clean…right? Wrong. Even though your dishwasher’s main job is to clean, it has the same problem as other water-using appliances in your kitchen. Food from dirty dishes can easily get trapped and the moist environment can cause bacteria to grow and mold. Run a cleaning cycle on your machine often and be sure to remove any bits of food that may get left behind.

Your mop is a huge culprit for bacteria build up. Be sure to rinse, sanitize, and wash your mop after each use. Cleaning your floors with a dirty mop won’t do any good! Ring out your mop as much as possible so it isn’t left soaking and molding until the next time.

Cleaning a home is a full-time job. Our best defense in keeping our families clean and healthy is to regularly maintain our household items so no bacteria has a chance to stay!