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


 

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! 



Smart Home, Smart Move: Advantages of Smart Home Technology


Finding the right home isn’t just about finding the right price, or the right street, or the right amount of bedrooms. Finding the right home is about feeling safe, feeling comfortable, and feeling confident that we have control over our homes whether we are there or not. Advances in technology are astounding, and so are their numerous benefits. Here we will explore some of the advantages of installing smart home technology.


The convenience factor here is huge. The ability to control just about your entire house from one app and one device saves loads of time and frustration. We all remember the days of having 8 different remotes for one television, trying to remember which switch controls which light, and asking ourselves a million times if we remembered to lock the door when we left for work. 


Smart home technology allows you to control things like your thermostat, locks, security cameras, alarms, appliances, etc. Protecting our homes and families is the number one concern for us all. With this new technology, you can keep an eye on your loved ones when you aren’t home. You can see who is at your door, even if you’re not inside. Close shades, turn off lights and lock doors with the click of a button. You can be alerted to when alarms or motion-sensing cameras are triggered. The possibilities are endless with the number of devices available for install, even detecting leaks or smoke before the damage is done.


We’ve also been highlighting lately, ways to keep your energy costs down. With an automated thermostat or automated lights, you can be sure that no electricity is being wasted. Program your thermostat to your schedule, so your home is always at the optimal temperature. Never forget to leave a light on again, when you have automated lights that turn off when no one is in the room. With smart technology, saving money and going green has never been easier.


Not to mention, smart technology streamlines the aesthetic of your home, making the lines of each room cleaner, and sleeker. If you’re looking to sell again in the years to come, smart technology can help boost your resale value when buyers are looking for convenience and safety.


Technology isn’t going to stop. When we can use it to our advantage to feel safe, secure, and comfortable in our environment, it’s worth the investment. Either way, finding the perfect fit for your family isn’t an easy task to go at alone. I’m here to help you figure out what your most important needs and wants are for you and your family, and find a home to fit them!


 


A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: 

What To Look For When Choosing Yours


Choosing the perfect home for you and your family is important and there are a lot of different factors about the house itself that influence your decision. But one of the most important factors actually lies outside your home… your neighborhood. Here are some make or break elements for picking the perfect neighborhood.


Talk to your neighbors. People love to talk, and they love to share their opinions. Don’t be afraid to knock on your potential new neighbors’ doors and ask them what they think of the neighborhood. What is it lacking? What is their favorite part? They’ll all have at least one thing to share that can help you make your decision. 


Take a walk. Get a feel for the neighborhood yourself. Talking to your neighbors will help you get a read on whether there is a real sense of community and trust between the residents of the neighborhood. When you walk around, do you feel safe? Could you picture yourself living here, and bringing the kids for a walk with you?


Where there’s a park, they will play. Having a well maintained, well-populated park in the neighborhood speaks well of the overall safety of the neighborhood, and the pride the residents and town take in its community. If the local parks are empty or aren’t well kept, this may be a sign to keep walking. 


Educate yourself. Ask the neighbors, and research yourself, what the schools are like in your town and the surrounding towns. The better the school, the better impact it will have on the value of your home, especially if you plan to sell in the future. Is there a library nearby where the kids can spend extra time reading? If there is a library, you can most likely find out what types of events they hold for residents and local communities.


Be curious about community activities: Take interest in local events like farmers’ markets to see how involved the community is with one another. Many

towns host community-building activities where you can get to know your neighbors and work together to keep making the neighborhood better.


Commute Conscious: How far, and how easy is it to get to work every day? Is there a grocery store nearby? Small inconveniences add up when they happen every day or every week. When there are many retail shops, coffee shops, local restaurants, and amenities nearby like gyms, community pools, and emergency rooms, life will be easier for you and your family.


Grow big and grow homes: The presence of new communities and homes being built nearby, and more well-kept retail/grocery stores going up is a sign that your neighborhood is a growing one. This is a good thing for future selling, but also keep an eye on the local flora and fauna. Mature trees and abundant nature provide the area with clean air, much-needed shade in the New England summers, and show that the community values what they have organically. 


When you’re choosing a new neighborhood, take the time to visit at different times of the day. Whether on your feet or in the car, you can get a good sense of whether it’s a good fit for you pretty quickly. For more information and tips, I’m always here to lend a helping hand. Let me be your friendly neighborhood real estate agent.




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