Christine Lindemer | Groton Real Estate, Lunenburg Real Estate, Westford Real Estate


Home renovations are generally thought of as a good thing. You can update your home for your own comfort. New amenities will make your life easier. Your home can expand in size. Whatever you are planning to do in your home is bound to have a positive affect. One thing to be aware of when you’re gearing up for the process of any type of home renovation is that of your home insurance. You want to protect yourself and your home as your go through the stages of home renovations. Below, you’ll find some tips to help you complete renovations you desire in your home without having surprise insurance bills. 


Check That Your Contractor Has Insurance Coverage


Before you sign a contract with any contractor be sure that they have sufficient insurance coverage. In particular you want to be sure that they have workers‘ compensation coverage and liability insurance. Don’t be afraid to ask the contractor for the necessary certificates and confirmation of insurance coverage before you even sign the contract. It’s your right as a consumer to know that your contractor is covered properly.


Beware Of Subcontractors As Well


Just because your general contractor is covered doesn’t mean that all subcontractors that are hired have the correct insurance. Electricians, plumbers, and other specialty contractors will need their own insurance on the job. The same rules apply as when you’re hiring any other contractor. Check with the general contractor to understand if their policy will cover all workers that are hired, or if these individuals need to carry their own insurance policies. Check with your home insurance company to see what your home insurance does and doesn’t cover during a renovation period on your home. The more knowledge that you have going into the process, the better it is for you. 


For Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy


Once the renovations are complete, you’ll need to reassess the policy coverage amounts that you have for your home insurance policy. The renovations that you have completed will undoubtedly increase the value of your home causing you to need to increase the replacement value of your home on your insurance policy. Don’t forget to include everything from new appliances to furniture that has been replaced in the renovation. This will help you to avoid any gaps in coverage. This way, you’ll know that your home will be fully covered. With the right insurance coverage you’ll know that your home is can be rebuilt to the same specifications in the event of a complete loss. You always want this peace of mind as a homeowner.      



Have you ever wondered what makes some house’s curbside appeal look so great and otherse2e more of a “what were they thinking”?

No one plans to be the latter. This can make choosing a paint color for your home’s exterior quite the daunting task. Afterall, it’s not exactly a quick project you can repaint if the color isn’t quite what you thought it should be.

Use these general guidelines to pick the perfect color for your home’s exterior.

You want to pick a color that goes well with your home’s surroundings. These are the things you don’t plan on changing anytime soon like the roof, stonework, the driveway, and pathways.

It’s important to understanding if the undertones of these elements is warm or cool as this can help inform your color decision. Warm colors would be browns, beige, and brick while cool colors would be blacks grays and blues.

Whichever the main undertone is for the surroundings choose the opposite tone for the color of your home. This will help your home feel like a natural placement without completely blending into its surroundings.

Another factor to take into consideration is to know your home’s architectural style and the colors typically used in that style and era. Sticking at least somewhat close to these color schemes when you choose your own shades will prevent your home from feeling “off”.

Once you have these two factors determined it’s time to do some research. Drive through your neighborhood and those that have homes which catch your eye. You can also take to Pinterest and pin images of homes that catch your eye to make an inspiration board. Take notes on those that are your favorites, have a similar style to your home or have a color you particularly like.

When it comes to choosing your color you’ll want to pick two or three colors. One for the siding, one for the trim and a third if you are looking to repaint doors or shutters.

Typically the trim work color contrasts with your main color. Think of the traditional white trimming that pops against most popular home colors. You could also select a lighter shade of your siding color for a monologous color palette that creates a serene peaceful feel.

Pick a good quality paint that will withstand time and weather. Painting exterior is a lot of work and making the investment means not having to touch up as often. It is also wise to pick a brand that offers sampler options for you to “try on” the paint color. Try just a few colors on your home as a swatch test to see how they look in different lighting your house receives throughout the day.


You may have heard about home warranties, but are unsure of what they are. A home warranty is an excellent addition to your home insurance and has a particular function. When you buy a home, the last thing you want to worry about is things breaking or malfunctioning in the house after you buy it. Buyers fear the expenses they may incur if items in the home start to break down shortly after the property becomes theirs. As a first-time homebuyer, a home warranty can be incredibly helpful since you may need a crash course on home maintenance. 


Depending on what’s the norm for homebuyers locally, either the buyer or the seller will pay for the home warranty. Some sellers pay for warranties up front as an extra assurance to the buyer of the property they’re about to purchase. Sellers also use this as an excellent tactic to “wash their hands” of the property. The buyer won’t need to contact the seller if something goes wrong with the property. A home warranty is a fairly inexpensive way to show buyers that appliances and the home itself have been well taken care of. Occasionally, real estate agents will give buyers a home warranty as a gift for their business. Usually, this is done for higher-end homes. 


Home warranties aren’t very expensive. They usually range in price around a few hundred dollars in cost. The cost is based on a yearly rate and can be renewed each year at a slightly higher premium. 


How Do The Warranties Work?


The warranty provider works with specific companies for different purposes. When the homeowner calls the warranty provider to let them know there’s a problem, the service provider will call the homeowner to make arrangements to fix the problem. If an appliance cannot be repaired, the warranty company may replace the item. There are usually small service fees associated with these repairs and replacements.


Is Anything Not Covered?


A home warranty will not cover numerous items around the house. These items include:


Outdoor fixtures and plumbing

Indoor plumbing fixtures

Pools

Hot tubs

Some appliances may not be covered

Heating system

Water heaters

Cooling system

Fans


Home warranty plans can vary based on your location and the type of policy. Make sure you review what’s covered before you finalize any home warranty. It’s an individual choice that homeowners make to have a peace of mind when moving into a new place.  


Making a good first impression on prospective home buyers is the key to getting your house sold within a relatively short period of time. Once your house is on the market, you'll want to make sure any major flaws, aesthetic issues, and potential buyer turnoffs have been fully addressed before the first prospects walk through your front door.

Although serious house hunters often return for a second -- and sometimes third -- walkthrough of your home, first impressions determine whether they'll be back for another look.

Since time is of the essence and you may be on a limited home improvement budget, it's necessary to prioritize the projects that will have the most impact on the image you project. When it comes to making cost-effective decisions on preparing your house for showings, your real estate agent can provide helpful insights and objective advice. Seasoned agents can size up a property within minutes and identify ways to improve the look and feel of your home. Although every homeowner is going to have a different set of priorities and issues to deal with, there are a few focal points that would apply to just about everyone.

Curb appeal: To attract the maximum number of prospects to your home (and to put them in a receptive state of mind when viewing your house), it's essential that your property looks well maintained. In addition to having a manicured lawn and bushes that are neatly trimmed, your curb appeal also depends on the condition of your driveway, walkway, and house foundation. The appearance of weeds, cracked surfaces, and peeling or faded paint are sure to be seen as "red flags" to many people and will detract from the impression your home conveys.

Clutter control: Getting a handle on clutter in and around your house is a vital aspect of enhancing its appearance and marketability. Whether you're dealing with storage areas that are jam-packed to the hilt, too much furniture in your living room, or a front yard that's littered with bicycles, lawn equipment, toys and junk vehicles, clutter is a visual cue to people that "something is wrong here!" Clutter inside your house can cause rooms to look smaller and living space to appear as chaotic and uninviting. Even clutter in garages, basements, closets, and attics can send the wrong message to potential house hunters. On the other hand, uncluttered space is like "a breath of fresh air," and can go a long way toward winning over one or more interested prospects.

General recommendations: While everyone's situation is different and unique, cleanliness, proper room lighting, and basic home staging techniques can help maximize your chances for a successful showing. Applying a fresh coat of paint, where needed, also increases the eye-appeal of everything from your front steps and hallways to bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchen areas. Thoroughly steam-cleaning carpets and refinishing faded hardwood floors can also be cost-effective ways to bring out the full potential of your home


When it comes to adding your residence to the real estate market, it is always better to err on the side of diligence.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to become a diligent home seller, including:

1. You can price your house competitively from the get-go.

For those who want to become diligent home sellers, it is paramount to set a competitive price from the get-go. By doing so, a diligent home seller can stir up plenty of interest in his or her house and boost the chances of a quick home sale.

A diligent home seller will allocate the necessary time and resources to learn about the real estate market. As such, this home seller will have no trouble establishing a competitive price for his or her residence from day one.

In addition, a diligent home seller will examine the prices of available houses that are similar to his or her own. With this housing market data in hand, a diligent home seller can establish a price range for his or her residence.

2. You can identify home improvement opportunities.

A diligent home seller likely understands that his or her residence has various pros and cons. At the same time, this property seller recognizes home improvement opportunities.

To learn about home improvement opportunities, a diligent home seller usually will conduct a home appraisal. This appraisal enables a property inspector to evaluate a residence and provide the home seller with an in-depth report about the house's condition. Then, the home seller can use these property insights to streamline his or her home improvement efforts.

Completing a series of home improvements can make a world of difference in the eyes of homebuyers. In fact, a diligent home seller will prioritize home improvement projects and finish assorted home interior and exterior tasks to transform an ordinary residence into a stellar one.

3. You can keep your cool in stressful negotiations with a homebuyer.

Let's face it – no home seller wants to worry about stressful negotiations with a property buyer. Fortunately, a diligent home seller will know what it takes to remain calm, cool and collected as home selling negotiations proceed.

A diligent home seller will understand the true value of his or her house. Thus, this home seller can enter negotiations with actionable data to help him or her make informed decisions.

Plus, a diligent home seller will maintain an open approach throughout negotiations. This approach will enable a home seller to listen to what a homebuyer has to say at all times. And if a home seller maintains an open approach, he or she increases the likelihood that all parties involved in negotiations will get the best possible results.

If you ever need extra assistance as you prepare to list your residence, you can always reach out to a real estate agent too.

Even a diligent home seller will collaborate with a real estate agent to get home selling guidance. That way, a diligent home seller can move one step closer to optimizing the value of his or her residence.