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

These 3 Maintenance Projects Will Help You When It’s Time to Sell

Whether or not you’re getting ready to sell your home, regular home maintenance is a must. Keeping up with big and small projects alike, ensures that your home stays in tip-top shape and that small fixes don’t turn into big overwhelming ones. There’s no need to wait until you’re putting your house on the market to start a list of projects in and around the house that need some attention. Keeping up with these 3 maintenance projects will help you when it’s time to sell your home!

It’s no surprise that upon arriving at your home, potential buyers will notice the surrounding landscaping. You don’t necessarily need to have a perfectly manicured lawn and garden to attract buyers. But there are a few upkeep projects that, if left unchecked, could give off the impression that your home is more work than they thought. Small cracks in your driveway, if unfixed, can lead to bigger, more costly repairs in the future. Not to mention they will distract from the overall look of your home, and scare away buyers who don’t want to shell out the time and money to fix it. Repairing cracks in your driveway can boost the value of your home and make it a step above the rest. While you’re outside, take a look around at the rest of your landscaping,

including trees or bushes that may be getting out of hand. If they are too close to your home, they could cause damage to areas like the roof, or be a safety hazard if tree branches fall. Trim trees and landscaping before they cause any expensive damage or danger.

Be sure to check your gutters and downspouts regularly to prevent water damage to your home’s roof, siding, or foundation. Unchecked gutters could easily clog and cause rotting where there are any cracks or leaks. If your downspouts aren’t where they’re supposed to be, rainwater won’t be drawn away from your home, leading to potential foundation damage.

All it takes is a slow and steady checklist to get your home ready to sell, and keep it in great shape even if you aren’t! Taking these steps regularly to prevent damage to your home will maximize your home’s value and appeal!

3 Great Benefits of Investment Property

The opportunities real estate lends us are endless. From finding your dream home, to buying a family vacation home, to investing in rental property, your real estate agent is here to guide you through it all. It may seem a little daunting to invest in real estate if you’ve never done so, or can’t imagine yourself as a landlord, but the benefits of investment property are numerous! Let’s take a look at 3 great benefits of investment property that will put your mind at ease, and motivate you to explore your options!

Passive Income Everyone needs a place to live, and a source of income. If you invest in the right property and have tenants, you can establish a source of passive income. Passive income is a steady cash flow from rental income that requires little work from you. You can use that money to pay off your mortgage, to build equity, and after you’ve paid off your mortgage, use it as an extra source of income. 

Keeping and Adding Value Even though we can’t always predict exactly what the housing market will do,

your investment property has the ability to hold its value, and appreciate in value over time. Even if the market takes a dip, you can hang onto your rental property while still taking in income, and wait for the value to increase and the right time to sell. Instead of selling for less than you wanted, you can comfortably wait for the market to pick back up. The great thing about a home is that there are plenty of ways to increase its value. Adding amenities, fixing and updating old appliances, or improving landscaping can increase your home’s value. This allows you to rent or sell it for more. If you wanted to sell but it wasn’t the right time, renting out your property is a great way to make money in the meantime.

Stability Investing in a rental property means you will always have somewhere to come back to. Whether you have moved away, started the search for your own dream home, or relocated for work, you will always have a home as long as you hold onto your investment property. If your property is in a great location and is well maintained, finding tenants shouldn’t be hard. This means you will have a reliable source of income you can track.

The same real estate rules apply to your dream home as they do to investment property. Looking for ideal locations, ways to increase value, and being willing to take the leap are all keys to being successful homeowners!

Suburbs and Cities: Pros & Cons of the Switch

2020 caused a lot of change in the real estate market, causing people to reevaluate their needs and find a home that better suits their lifestyle. While for many that meant leaving the city and entering a quieter suburban area, others decided to get closer to the bustling city and its home-buying opportunities. If you’re thinking about making either switch, it’s a good idea to examine your needs, wants, don’t wants, and some pros and cons of the trades and upgrades you’ll be making. 

Let’s talk location. More opportunities for larger homes and properties are available in the suburbs, but just adding size to your location isn’t enough. If you’re moving from the city, examine the conveniences you might be trading. If you have a car, distance to and from schools, grocery stores, and doctors may not be an issue. But if you’re relying on public or other modes of transportation, you’ll have to be sure you’re within a reasonable distance of common destinations.

If you’re trading a suburban home for one in the city, location is a large factor. The closer you move to the city center, the more you’ll have to think about noise and views. If you need a little nature in your life, you may consider having a view of the water or park from your windows. If you like having the noise of the city’s activities, you may not mind being closer to the city center, making it more convenient to get around.

After you’ve chosen a location, you’ll want to think about space. What kind of lifestyle do you want to live? Looking to move to the suburbs so your kids will have more space to play or to have a larger kitchen for cooking and entertaining?  Do you need an office space inside the home? If you’re simplifying and heading to the city, are you willing to have less space in a better location? If you can walk or take public transportation to work, or the gym, you can live comfortably in a home that doesn’t include an office, home gym, or garage. Will you need space for a pet that had a yard in the suburbs? Proximity to a park, and a pet-friendly building will be a must.

Whether you’re looking for a suburban home or one in the city, it’s all about the lifestyle you want to live. There are endless opportunities for simple convenience, luxury homes, and room to grow in both locations! I can help you find the perfect place for you and your family, helping you to fill all of your needs, and your wants in a new home. I’m here to help you sort through the pros and cons of locations, the movement of the market, and steer you toward the home you’ve been dreaming of. Let’s get started!


 Open Concept Design Benefits

When searching for a new home, it’s good to keep an open mind. But what about an open concept design? Many current buyers express their desire for a more informal floor plan, where rooms blend together and create larger multi-purpose spaces. This serves contrary to the typical home plan which is comprised of smaller closed-off rooms each serving an individual purpose. So what is an open concept floor plan, and what are the benefits of living in one?

Typically, open concept designs join areas like kitchen, dining, and living room spaces to create a sense of unity in the home instead of individually designed rooms. Open floor designs work in both large homes and small ones where the adjoining rooms can make the layout appear roomier and brighter.

Without walls and doors closing off each room, open concept designs allow for better traffic flow throughout the home. This, in turn, creates more opportunity for the family to spend time together and encourages engagement even when carrying out separate activities. With fewer doors and walls, comes less hallway space, which increases the livable space of your home. Entertaining is easier with an open floor plan.  Oftentimes, the host is moving around the home making sure everyone is taken care of, and can often be found in the kitchen cut off from the festivities. With an open concept kitchen, you’ll be able to see the fun and hang out with your friends while preparing!

These floor plans show their best highlights when the light and air are filtering beautifully throughout your home, unobstructed. Especially at times like this, when we’re spending more time at home, brighter open spaces give you more room to move around and more options for productive spaces. 

Many of us live in a traditional colonial-style home though. If you are eager to have a more open floor plan sometimes you can get this feeling just by opening up the doorway to an adjoining room. For example, what was once a small entrance from the kitchen to the dining room can now become one larger open kitchen dining area where everyone loves to gather.

Using an open concept floor plan doesn’t take away the idea of separated space, it just uses it in a different way. Arranging your furniture and decorations in a way to section off the larger rooms can create cozy spaces without cutting them off from the main living area. It also reduces the need for individual design in small rooms, by giving your home a unified style.

Keeping an open mind while house hunting can help you realize your dream home’s full potential. Whether your style is more traditional or leaning toward modern design, I can help you find the perfect home!

Go Green: Budget-Friendly Ways For Sustainable Living at Home

When you hear the phrase, “sustainable living,” what do you picture? You might picture a picturesque home in the middle of a farm that utilizes all of its natural surroundings. Or you may be picturing a home in the suburbs that was very expensive to outfit with solar panels and green appliances. While both of these scenarios exist, you may be pleased to know that you can live sustainably anywhere with a few simple, smart changes! It all starts with one step, and many of these small changes are affordable and easy! Let’s go green together!

 Sustainable living is attainable!

Let’s start outside since that’s where all the nature is! Think about making a small garden at home! Growing some of your own food is a great way to go green, that doesn’t have to be a massively expensive project. Start small with a few vegetable plants and see the difference. While you’re at it in the garden, think of ways you can increase your recycling and composting efforts. Food scraps can make a great fertilizer for your garden. Look into outdoor compost options, and keep a compost bin inside where it’s easy to access and a good reminder every time you go to the trash. If you’re using hoses or sprinkler systems to water your garden, consider using rainwater. There are a myriad of ways to collect rainwater, some simple and some more intricate that involve installing collectors to your gutters. 

Speaking of water, and moving on inside, an easy way to live sustainably is to fix any leaking faucets in your home. Repairing these leaks can save a lot of water each month, and will contribute to lower monthly bills as well.

When it’s not raining, and the sun is shining, it’s a great reminder of our energy usage! Using natural light to warm and light your home cuts down on

energy costs and adds some much needed sunshine to our daily grind. Using that sunlight to its fullest also means sealing up your windows and doors tightly to either keep cool air or warm heat inside. You’ll be surprised at the result when you get your next cooling and heating bill!

What are the benefits of sustainable living? Whatever your lifestyle, the benefits far outweigh the cost and effort. Maybe you’re doing your best to keep our planet clean and safe and leave less of a footprint. Maybe you’re just trying to reduce your everyday costs and monthly bills. No matter what your end goal is, sustainable living is attainable! See for yourself!