The St. Martin Team - Westford MA Real Estate
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Posted by St. Martin Team on 3/4/2021

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.      





Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by St. Martin Team on 2/25/2021

For a first-time homebuyer, it is important to realize that a home seller's acceptance of your initial offer provides no guarantees. In fact, a homebuyer will still need to complete a home inspection before a home sale is finalized.

A home inspection is a valuable opportunity to learn about any potential issues with a house. After the inspection is finished, a homebuyer has the opportunity to submit a counter-proposal, rescind a proposal or keep his or her current offer intact.

Ultimately, hiring the right home inspector can make a world of difference for a homebuyer. With an expert home inspector at your side, a homebuyer can gain insights into a house's pros and cons and determine whether a house is a viable long-term investment.

So what does it take to employ the right home inspector? Here are three tips to help a first-time homebuyer do just that.

1. Conduct an Extensive Search

Search far and wide for a home inspector – you'll be glad you did. If you allocate the necessary time and resources to locate a skilled home inspector in your area, you can boost your chances of identifying potential home problems before you complete a home purchase.

A first-time homebuyer can begin a search for an expert home inspector online. A simple web search is sure to provide plenty of results, and a homebuyer then can perform an in-depth review of local home inspectors' credentials.

Furthermore, don't hesitate to ask family members and friends for assistance. If a loved one recently sold a house and had a great experience with a home inspector, it may be worthwhile to hire this same professional to perform your home inspection.

2. Look at a Home Inspector's Background

How many years of industry experience does a home inspector have? What are past clients saying about a home inspector? And how does a home inspector approach each job? These are some of the questions that a first-time homebuyer should consider as he or she assesses a home inspector's background.

In addition, a homebuyer can always reach out to a home inspector directly to learn more about this professional's experience. A face-to-face or phone conversation with a home inspector may require only a few minutes to complete and can help a homebuyer make an informed decision.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent can help you discover your dream house as well as put you in touch with the top home inspectors in your area. As a result, this housing market professional will ensure you can purchase a first-rate house that matches or exceeds your expectations.

If you're uncertain about whether to hire a particular home inspector, it never hurts to consult with a real estate agent. By doing so, you can gain honest, unbiased tips to determine whether a home inspector is the right person to evaluate your residence.

Employ the best home inspector prior to completing your home purchase – use these tips, and a first-time homebuyer should have no trouble hiring a superior home inspector.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by St. Martin Team on 2/18/2021

Image by Solomon Rodgers from Pixabay

The real estate industry is ever-changing and with it, many trends come and go. One popular trend is the open concept layout, a style that was very popular in homes during the 19th century. The idea of open concept living fell out of favor during the early 20th century when homeowners were looking for homes with more defined spaces but has become popular once again.

An Overview of an Open Concept

The goal of an open concept is to eliminate the restrictions that are created by walls and defined living spaces. While defined spaces can offer privacy and create rooms with a specific purpose in mind, they can also inhibit flow throughout the home. In an open concept, walls that separate the living room, kitchen and dining area are removed. As a result, you can clearly see and interact with other parts of the home. There are a number of benefits that come from having an open concept in a home. 

More Natural Light

One of the biggest benefits of going with an open concept is more natural light as many of the walls are either reduced or eliminated entirely. The end result is that natural light is able to shine farther into the home. To maximize the open concept, many homeowners add large windows and glass doors. This can also lead to lower utility bills if you opt to turn off lamps or overhead lights in favor of the sun during the day.

Greater Customizability

Another key benefit of an open concept is that there are more options to customize the living space. With a single, large room, the open areas act as a blank slate with almost limitless options. You can create areas for reading, watching tv, and dining depending on what accommodation you may need. Those who like to update and rearrange their living spaces or those who enjoy entertaining will love having an open concept.

Family Togetherness is Key

Finally, perhaps the biggest benefit of going with an open concept is greater family togetherness. One of the biggest barriers that come with having clearly defined spaces is that it can be more difficult to interact with family or guests. With an open concept layout, you can work in the kitchen and talk to someone who is relaxing in the living room.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by St. Martin Team on 2/11/2021

Life of Pix via Pexels

If your lender does not demand it, skipping the home inspection might be fairly tempting as you move toward closing on the house of your dreams. Although moving full steam ahead might provide what you need in the moment, that decision could end up causing problems in the future. So, even though it will take a little bit extra time, here’s why you should always have an inspection performed before you commit to buying a home.

Puts the Spotlight on Safety Issues

Home inspectors go through the entire property with a fine tooth comb, looking for safety issues and other faults. As they go, they check off all the issues, so they can create a detailed report at the end of their visit.

Depending on what they find, they might note:

  • Mold and mildew
  • High radon levels in the soil
  • Defective electrical equipment
  • Failing roofing materials
  • Missing smoke detectors
  • Lead paint
  • Asbestos materials

With that information, you will know just what needs to be fixed before you move in, helping keep everyone in your household safe from harm.

Verifies All Work is Permitted & to Code

While inspecting the home, your inspector will verify all work is completed to code and under the right permits. They will compare the structure’s characteristics to the building blueprints and other documents to make sure all is well. Their efforts will help prevent problems in the future when you go to have the residence remodeled or even put it back on the market.

Allows for Easier Negotiations

If the inspection reveals any problems that might be a dealbreaker for you, the report can be used to negotiate with the seller. Your real estate agent can help in negotiating a price break or even to have repairs performed before closing. Then, you can have another inspection performed to verify the safety hazards or other issues are rectified before completing the purchase.

Supports Your Future Budgeting Needs

Even if you do not find any major issues with the home, you can still use the inspection report to your advantage. As you review the notes, watch for any developing issues that might require maintenance or repairs in the near future. Then, use that information to save up money for the work and complete it before the problems escalate. With that approach, you are less likely to be caught by surprise by leaks, appliance failure, or any other issues that could come your way.

Even though it might push back your closing date by a bit, you are not likely to regret having a home inspection performed. The report will provide invaluable information that allows you to move forward with confidence you are making the right purchase decision.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by St. Martin Team on 2/4/2021

How many times have you heard yourself say (or think) something very similar to this: "One of these days, I'm going to organize my closet(s)"? If not your closets, then it's your basement, attic, or garage that needs decluttering, organizing, and/or cleaning.

Question: Are you one of those homeowners (or apartment dwellers) who keeps saving things you don't need, and then finally gets around to sifting through it all when mountains of clutter have taken over your valuable storage space? If that sounds all-too-familiar, then don't worry; you're not alone! Unfortunately, the easiest thing about organizing your home is putting it off until another day.

There comes a point, though, at which clutter takes over your life. Symptoms you're moving in that direction include an inability to find things and the inexplicable disappearance of storage space (actually, there's a perfectly rational explanation for it)! So if the "clutter monster" has been rearing its ugly head in your home in recent months, here are some causes and possible solutions to the problem.

  • You know you have a lot of junk, but you're not sure what to do with it. Well, first of all, "one man's junk is another man's treasure," so things you no longer have any use for may be very useful to charitable groups, community fund drives, or homeless shelters. In addition to giving stuff away, you could also offer free or inexpensive things to people in your social media network, hold a yard sale, or offer gently used hand-me-downs to relatives and friends. If your unwanted stuff is actually junk (by anyone's standards), then it might be worth it to have a local junk hauling service pick it up at your house and properly dispose of it. An alternative is to rent a dumpster for a few days and fill it up at your convenience. The cost may be surprisingly affordable, and the amount of living and storage space you'll reclaim in your home will make it all worthwhile. You never know until you get a quote or two!
  • You just can't seem to motivate yourself to get started! Procrastination is one of the leading causes of household clutter, but there are solutions. One strategy is to announce to your significant other, best friend, or parents that you're going to devote two or three hours on Saturday (or Sunday) to straightening out your closets, basement, or garage. The value of telling someone else of your intentions is that it sort of puts you on the hook and makes you accountable. A similar approach is often used for dieting, exercising, or spending quality time with your kids. Even though two or three hours of work probably won't transform your home into a model of organization, you'll at least have gotten started and made a dent in the project. For most people, the biggest hurdle to getting organized is getting started!
Picking up a supply of inexpensive bins, storage compartments, and shelving at your local discount outlet, hardware store, or even neighborhood garage sale may also give you the nudge you need to get your decluttering plans moving forward!







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