Pat Baker - REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West



Posted by Pat Baker on 9/18/2017

There can come a time when renting no longer makes good sense. If you've been renting for several years, it could be tough to identify when that time has arrived. You could get comfortable knowing that you don't have to concern yourself with paying for maintenance or repairs at your property.

Low to no home maintenance costs might notbe enough to make renting make sense

However, even if you have a good landlord, if you rent long enough, you could end up spending more money on a property that you may never own than you would spend if you bought a house. If you're on the fence about whether you should keep renting or do something new and buy your own property, here are four signs that you may want to consider. Spot these four signs in your current rental arrangement and it might be time to stop renting:

  • Landlord raises rent each year - Should a landlord raise your rent a few dollars a year, it might make sense to stay at a rental property for a few years, if you're truly not ready to buy. However, if a landlord raises your rent by $50 or more a month, it might be good to start looking for a house to own.
  • Tenants are vacating at rapid speed - When other tenants start vacating a rental property, it could be a sign that rents have skyrocketed. It could also be a sign that there are issues with landlord behavior, un-kept promises and late repairs.
  • Construction is increasing - Homeowners can band together to speak out against expanding construction work like new malls, casinos and hotels going up in the area. Apartment renters may not have this same leverage. Expanding construction can attract noise, traffic and behaviors that you may not want.
  • Property decline - Bad landlords can let rental properties decline. Age is another reason why rental properties decline. While living in declining rental properties, you might be forced to deal with ongoing leaks, pests, holes in walls and sagging floor tiles, just to name a few of the annoyances that you might be left to deal with.

Renting may not make good long term financial sense

Renting can protect you from expensive home repairs, the types of home repairs that could cost you the money that you had budgeted for a new car, home upgrade or college education. That can happen whether you rent short or long term.

However, long term renting can also find you spending $100 or more a month on a rental property, a home that you might never own outright, than you would spend on a mortgage and home maintenance and repairs. As a long term renter, years could pass before you notice what's happening.

By the time you realize what you're doing, you might have invested thousands of dollars in a temporary home. That's why it's important to spot the signs that renting may no longer make good financial sense early.

You'll have to move away from comfort for awhile as you relinquish the idea of renting. But, just as you grew accustomed to renting, you could start feeling comfortable owning a property. You might also start to accept that owning property allows you to build equity. It's this type of equity that you can keep in your family. Property is also the type of equity that can position you for other loans like auto and business loans.




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Posted by Pat Baker on 9/8/2017

Let's face it – the thought of entering the home selling market can be stressful, even if you don't plan to put your house on the market for several weeks or months. However, there are many simple ways to ensure you can enjoy a fun, exciting and successful home selling journey.

Now, let's take a look at three tips that you can use to kick off an unforgettable home selling journey.

1. Examine Your Home's Interior and Exterior

How will a potential homebuyer view your residence when he or she sees it for the first time? This is a question that you'll want to consider closely, as a homebuyer's first impression of your residence may dictate whether he or she moves forward with an offer.

Take a close look at your house's interior and exterior from a homebuyer's perspective. If home improvements are necessary, now may be the ideal time to complete these tasks. That way, you can enhance your house's interior and exterior before you add your residence to the real estate market.

Also, a home appraisal may help you identify problem areas with your residence. This appraisal enables a property inspector to examine your residence from top to bottom and can help you better understand your house's strengths and weaknesses.

2. Declutter Your Residence

Unfortunately, clutter can accumulate in a home over an extended period of time. But if you start decluttering your home today, you may be able to avoid the stress of cleaning out your residence as you get closer to adding your home to the housing market.

To declutter effectively, consider items that you need to keep and store them safely. Then, take the items that you no longer require and consider all of your options to get rid of them quickly and safely.

In many instances, you can sell excess items or donate them to charity. Or, you can always offer these items to family members and friends as well.

3. Meet with a Real Estate Agent

What does it take to get your house ready for the real estate market? Meet with a real estate agent, and you can learn everything you'll need to know about selling a house.

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of the real estate market. As such, he or she can answer any questions that you may have about the home selling journey and help you plan accordingly.

In addition, after you list your residence, your real estate agent will streamline the home selling cycle. This housing market professional will set up home showings and open houses, promote your residence to large groups of potential buyers and much more. By doing so, your real estate agent will do everything possible to help you maximize the value of your residence.

When it comes to getting ready to sell your home, there is no need to worry. Instead, use the aforementioned tips, and you'll be able to enjoy a memorable home selling journey.




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Posted by Pat Baker on 9/1/2017

Most new home buyers look forward to all the happy memories that will occur under the roof of their new home. Did you know there are ways you can set up your new home to help promote a more happy day to day environment for your family? Keep reading for tips and routines you can put in place to get more smiles and quality time with those you love most. Make the bed. Each morning have your family members make their beds. It seems like such a small task but it can actually help to improve happiness and productivity levels. By making your bed first thing in the morning you are already starting off the day with an accomplishment under your belt. This can help you feel more motivated to complete other tasks throughout the day. It also helps build feelings of productivity which can lead to tackling more tasks successfully, Plus, let’s be honest a clean and tidy room just makes you feel good! Everything in order. Speaking of clean and tidy, clear clutter every day. Clutter is chaos and can actually cause stress and decrease happiness. Take a few minutes before leaving a room to put it back to how it was, a.k.a how it would be arranged if you were to have some guests over. After all, why just keep a clean and tidy home when you only have guests over? You spend the most time in your home and deserve to have it at its best. Display your memories. Hang lots of family pictures and put sentimental items out on display. If you have children display the artwork they are proud of for all to see. Keeping all these happy memories out on display will remind you of the good times you have spent with your family and lead to good feelings. Invest in joy. When you go shopping invest in pieces that will help to promote moments of happiness for your family. Whether it’s movies and large tv screen to enjoy them on or lots of indoor and outdoor games for family game nights. You know your family best so think of what you have the most fun doing together and items that can assist in making those moments happen more. Buying a new home is an exciting time and one filled with anticipation for the memories to be made within its walls. Set your home up to make those happy times even easier to make by eliminating chaos and investing in activities you family loves to do together. And don’t forget to take pictures of your new memories along the way!




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Posted by Pat Baker on 8/25/2017

Once you have moved into a new home the first thing you might want to do is paint the walls. After the paint dries, however, you’re left with bare walls. You’ll need to find some great pieces to fill up that wall space. You don’t want to choose just anything to hang on your walls. Here’s some tips to help you find the perfect artwork for your home. 



Find What You Love


You shouldn’t base your art purchases solely on value. If you like something and it inspires you, you should buy it! Anything that you will enjoy looking at in your home each day should be a part of it.  


There’s More Than One Kind Of Art


You don’t need to fill wall space with all pictures or paintings. You can choose from a variety of types of artwork. From sculptures to photographs to canvas art, by using a variety of pieces, you’ll add layers of depth to every room of your home.


Shop Around


There’s so many places to buy art. From local shops and vendors to wider selections in common retail stores, there’s plenty of art to choose from. Find pieces to help you express yourself and keep good vibes flowing throughout your home. 


Find The Right Size


You’ll need to measure the dimensions of your walls and bring a photo of the room you’re trying to decorate with you to the art stores. This will make it easier to help you envision what the art will look like in your home.  


Keyword: Focal Point


The most important thing to determine in decorating any room is to find the focal point. You will either need to find a central piece for the room, or find some pieces to complement what’s already there. The design elements of the room need to be spaced accordingly in order to help you avoid a cluttered room.  


What’s Your Color Scheme? 


You may want to choose your art based on its “wow” factor. Everything has a color within a room, and this will be one element in choosing your artwork as well. You’ll need to think of everything from the wall color to the throw pillows. Art that is within the same shades of the room can work well, but sometimes you need something that gives the room a bit more “pop.” 


What’s In The Picture?


You don’t want to buy a picture of a palm tree if the room has a country theme! Consider the theme and mood of a piece of art in order to have it complement your room.


Most of all, shopping for art should be fun! Find pieces you love. You can even use what you already have. As long as it inspires you and won’t add clutter, you should keep the art in your home.  





Posted by Pat Baker on 8/18/2017

When people hear the term "modular" a few things come to mind. Standardized, easy to assemble, minimalist, and modern. When you hear the words "modular furniture" there's probably only one thing that comes to mind: Ikea. There are, however, a wide selection of stores (online and brick & mortar) that offer furniture to fit your minimalist lifestyle.

Reasons to go modular

Form follows function. This statement should be as true in the world of decorating as it is throughout the sciences. However, many times we buy items that are large and bulky; mistaking quantity for quality. In the world of modular furniture, form is everything. Here are some reasons you may want to start buying minimal furniture:
  • If you move often. Do you relocate for work every few years? Are you a student or young professional who does a lot of jumping around apartments? In a workforce that is increasingly freelance and online in nature, there are fewer bindings holding us back from moving.
  • If you like low-maintenance. Modular furniture is perfect the the person who likes to set something up easily out of the box. You won't have to worry about complicated maintenance or difficulty finding parts because modular furniture tends to be highly standardized.
  • If you're a space-saver. Are you the type to try to take advantage of every inch of free space in your home? Alternatively, do you like to give your home a spacious atmosphere through smart decorating? Modular furniture is intelligently designed to take advantage of space. Modular furniture pieces like sofas are often able to be reconfigured or rearranged in different pieces so you can place them in corners or sparsely around the room to open up space. Similarly, they often contain interior storage space for things like blankets and pillows.
  • If you have a refined taste for space. Modular furniture is at the cutting edge of home technology. Therefore it often boasts visually-appealing, minimalist form and modern color schemes. Like any industry, style varies between makers. But generally modular furniture companies tend to stay current with trends.

The biggest names, the best prices

Since modular furniture is an up-and-coming industry, there are a number of stores to choose from, some even with brick & mortal locations. Here are some of our favorites.
ikea
Not much needs to be said about IKEA. They started with one man in Sweden and now have locations in over 40 countries. IKEA is the standard by which all other modern furniture stores are weighed against.
vitsoe
Vitsoe keeps it simple with three basic modular "systems." Chairs, tables, and shelves. One of each system could easily fill a room. Their designs are minimalist and space-saving, which is evident by the "nesting" tables which fit into one another.
way basics
If you're looking for simple, lightweight and affordable storage and shelving, Way Basics is where you should start your search. They specialize in storage cubes and they take the humanitarian and environmentalist approach to doing business.
urban outfitters
They may seem like a strange addition to this list, but Urban Outfitters--the paragon of urban hipsterdom--has a surprisingly great selection of modular furniture items in their online shop. They do an excellent job of fusing vintage style with modern function.  







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