Posted by Empire Real Estate Group on 12/7/2018

With rent prices shooting soaring across the country, many young Americans who were previously happy renting while they saved for a home are now turning to other options.

One common solution is a starter home. If you want to keep your monthly mortgage prices low while being able to build equity and slowly save for your ďforever home.Ē a starter home can be a great option for first-time buyers.

When does it make sense to buy a starter home?

Buying a home means mortgage payments, home maintenance and repairs, and closing costs. However, they can also be a great introduction to the responsibilities of homeownership.

Better yet, starter homes allow you to build equity that can be used toward the down payment of your next home, something that first-time buyers often struggle with. This could help you secure a lower interest rate and avoid costly private mortgage insurance (PMI).

Sounds great, right? But when shouldnít you buy a starter home?

It might not make sense to buy a starter home if you donít plan on living in it at least 3-4 years. You might find that the cost of renting is less than that of your mortgage payments and closing costs if you donít live in the home long enough to reap the rewards.

It also might not be a good idea if your family is going to outgrow a small home in the next few years for the same reasons mentioned above. That makes it all the more important to discuss your long term plans with your spouse before considering a home.

Things to look for in a starter home

1. Resale value

One of the most important aspects of your starter home should be the ability to resell it in the future. Now, there is an endless number of factors that go into the marketability of a home. Key factors include the condition of the home and keeping it well-maintained, as well as the location of the home. Buying a starter home in an area that will attract young professionals down the road is typically a good investment.

2. Small size = low price

It probably goes without saying, but finding a home with a low price, at the expense of square-footage, is most often a smart choice when it comes to starter homes.

Small homes are cheaper to buy, cheaper to heat, and cheaper to maintain. However, since housing prices are trending upward, youíll likely still see a positive return on your investment in ~5 years time when youíre hoping to buy again.

3. Reasonable home improvements

If you can spare the time, buying a starter home that needs some work can be an excellent investment. It can be more difficult later on when you have a large family to care for and less time to focus on making improvements.




Tags: starter home   first home  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Empire Real Estate Group on 11/30/2018

The bathroom is so frequently brushed aside when it comes to decorating a new home. So often left to become the most outdated room in the house, it becomes a frustration to modernize. However, the bathroom is often a room used for relaxation whether to relax in a hot tub or to gain a momentís silence from the children. If youíre ready to ditch the shell shaped sink, infamous bathroom blue tub, and god help you, matching blue toilet here are some ways to create a clean modern room youíll love.

If youíre willing to put in time and effort you can remove tub surround yourself by removing the hardware than scoring along where the surround meets the wall. Youíll then want to pull the surround from the wall very carefully as to not damage the wall behind it, cutting the adhesive away as you go. Once torn down youíll want to prep the walls with plastic sheeting and HardieBacker for tiling. 

While a lot of work, this opens up more options for you to modernize your bathroom with elements like imitation marble or subway tiling and even install a sleek new tub. With so many options on the market now, you can have anything from a freestanding tub such as an acrylic clawfoot tub or drop in that leaves lots of deckspace for bath product and mood-setting candles.  

Tiling the wall behind or surrounding your tub is a great way to create a chic statement wall without breaking the bank imitating floor to ceiling tiling. Use the same tiling for both floors and wall or add some depth by matching smaller floor tiles with a matching larger size for the wall. Painting the remaining walls a light color brightens up the room while maintaining an overall clean feel.

A large mirror over the sink reflects light and makes the room feel more expansive. If your bathroom already has a builder grade mirror you can give it a quick upgrade by framing it with molding or even some simple boards for a sleek look. If you have a medicine cabinet you donít want to replace a coat of fresh paint and chic knob pull like a T-bar will bring the piece a whole new feel.

Updating the sink with new hardware is always a surefire way to update a room though be sure to match the finish it to the existing hardware for a cohesive look. A pedestal sink adds more visual space to a small bathroom while replacing the cabinet brings an entirely new look to the room. Undermount sinks add a crisp modern look while maintaining the extra storage availability that comes with a vanity.

Donít let an outdated bathroom continue to plague your otherwise well-designed home. The effort it takes to rip out old amenities is well worth the enjoyment youíll get out of their modern replacements. Get the most out of your renovation efforts by opting for styles that are least likely to fall out of fashion and instead remain a classic staple.





Posted by Empire Real Estate Group on 11/23/2018

If there is one project you will be thankful for taking on before a move itís a giant declutter session. Or even sessions. It doesnít matter how many it takes you, getting rid of the stuff that just sits around taking up space and collecting dust feels liberating.

Because stuff is more than just stuff. Everything comes with a reason or attachment that is keeping us from letting go. Even your cell phone from 2012 that youíve been planning to recycle responsibly for years.

Sometimes the ďjunkĒ we collect in drawers and boxes has a lot more to say about us than the more sentimental items like holey t-shirts and ticket stubs.

But donít worry we wonít go there. Instead, here are four different tactics for getting the clutter out before moving day. Because less stuff means fewer boxes, less to carry and less unpacking.

Letís start with the most extreme, what would you do if you had to start over from scratch? If you couldnít take anything with you what would you need to run out and replace ASAP? What are the non-negotiables that make your life yours?

Alternatively, schedule small bursts throughout the next few weeks where you tackle decluttering room by room. Breaking down a total declutter into smaller projects makes it easier to wrap our brains around. Iíd recommend tackling one room per weekend.

If youíre finding that breaking up your declutter room by room is too overwhelming, hereís a different technique. Plan a few days a week where you set a timer for just an hour or two to go through one junk drawer/closet/bookshelf at a time. This works because it puts an immediate end in sight that you can quite literally count down to.

Struggling with what to keep and what to toss?

Consider how often do you actually use the item in question. If itís of sentimental value how often do you pull it out to reminisce? Did you think to yourself ďWow! I totally forgot about thisĒ? What value does this item add to your day to day to life? If the answer is rarely to never, itís time to let go.

Sort items into the classic four box system. Create four boxes or piles: keep, donate, pack away, toss. And then, once everything is sorted, take action! Actually, donate those items. Toss out your collections of dead pens and old cell phones.  

Or box everything up, bring it with you to the new place and toss or donate anything you havenít unpacked within a month. With the exception of seasonal items, of course. The downside here is that youíre still going to have to pack it all up and move. But itís a less extreme version of imagining you are starting over from scratch. 




Tags: moving tips   moving   declutter  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Empire Real Estate Group on 11/16/2018

One of the final hurdles to buying a house is making sure your future home is structurally sound. To the untrained eye, the property you've made an offer on may appear to be "close enough to perfect."

However, your excitement over that gourmet kitchen, finished basement, and manicured lawn may be causing you to view your future home with rose-colored glasses!

Fortunately, you can (and should) hire an experienced, licensed professional to thoroughly inspect the property and point out flaws and potential problems that might need to be addressed by the seller -- either in the form of price concessions or repairs. If the seller is unwilling to be flexible in those areas, then you may have the option of withdrawing your offer. Hopefully, it won't come down to that -- especially if you love the house -- but that situation could arise and derail your plans for buying a particular property.

Many real estate purchases do involve a few bumps and detours along the way, but they frequently can be resolved by your real estate agent and/or attorney.

The starting point for identifying structural issues with a house is to have the property inspected by a reputable home inspector. Here are a few of the key areas they'll evaluate and include in their report:

  • Foundation and basement: Cracks, leaks, and signs of instability can often be identified through a visual inspection of the underlying structure of a home. Some issues are relatively minor, while others can be quite costly.
  • Roof and attic: Although most new roofs typically last for 20 to 30 years, time has a way of slipping by when you least expect it! Depending on weather conditions, climate, and falling tree branches, roofs of any age can be subjected to a lot of wear and tear. Since roofs play such a vital role in protecting your home and family from the many forces of nature, it's crucial that your roof be intact, in sound condition, and fully functional. An inspection of the home's attic and/or crawlspace will also reveal actual or potential problems with leaks, mold, roof damage, or infestations.
  • HVAC, electrical, and plumbing: There are a lot of systems that provide homeowners with comfort, convenience, and the ability to meet day-to-day needs. Whether you're talking about major kitchen appliances, hot water heaters, or climate control systems, there are dozens of things an inspector needs to check and keep you apprised of.
  • Exterior checkpoints: Property inspectors will also assess the condition of the outside of the house, as well as drainage efficiency and any visible structural damage or signs of deterioration.
Although all property inspectors should adhere to industry standards and best practices, some are more thorough and efficient than others. It's essential for you to understand the scope of their services, including whether they offer lead paint testing, termite inspection, radon detection, and asbestos testing.

When it comes to home inspections, your real estate agent can not only provide you with professional referrals, but they can also accompany you on the actual property inspection. That will help make sure important questions, issues, and recommendations don't slip through the cracks!





Posted by Empire Real Estate Group on 11/14/2018


107 Harrison St, Leominster, MA 01453

Multi-Family

$219,900
Price

2
Units
2,428
Approx. GLA
***More photos to come soon and you'll like them, worth the wait.*** This 2 Family Building located in a central area of Leominster is great for family living or investment buyers. With open kitchens, and sunny living rooms this building is well maintained with a lovely back yard. Close to high way on ramps and down town shops to provide easy access to amenities with out being located in downtown. Don't miss this great opportunity!
Open House
No scheduled Open Houses

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Categories: New Homes