Jim Sheridan | Burlington Real Estate, Billerica Real Estate, Reading Real Estate


When you budget to buy a home, you sit down, do the math, and try to estimate what all of your monthly costs will be. There are so many monthly costs that come with being a homeowner that can make the whole process complicated. Sure, you have taken the standard costs into account like home insurance, property taxes, and even utilities. But there are a few out-of-the-box costs that you’ll need to consider for your house hunt.


Flood Or Other Natural Disaster Insurance


Natural disasters are costly and devastating. Many homeowners who live in areas that are affected by natural disasters like floods and earthquakes often opt for additional coverage for their homes. Premiums for earthquake and flood insurance often end up being very high. As a natural disaster strikes, these premiums can go up even more. If you live in one of the high-risk areas for natural disasters, you’ll want to check with your insurance agent ahead of time to plan for the additional costs that these special kinds of insurance will incur.


Water Costs During A Drought


There are many areas across the US that suffer drought conditions from time to time. Your water bill can skyrocket during these times. It’s best to continue conserving water and watch your bill closely in order to try and save some costs. There’s not a whole lot you can do otherwise to control your bill. You’ll need to stay prepared with some extra cash on hand in case of these emergencies and know that costs can rise due to different environmental conditions.  


Tax Hikes And Special Assessments 


As a homeowner, you’ll need to prepare for different kinds of assessments and tax increases. If your condominium complex needs significant repairs then you’ll probably end up paying an assessment to help offset the costs. This is what comes with belonging to a homeowner’s association. 


You can’t prevent that the town is building a brand new school that requires a tax increase, nor can you prevent roof damage on one of the buildings in your complex. Financially, this is a hidden cost of homeownership that you should be prepared for. 


Unexpected Maintenance Costs And Home Furnishings


Once you move into a home, you’ll need to prepare for the unexpected. The dishwasher may need to be replaced. The roof may need repair. The walls may need some paint. 


When you buy a home you may also need a bunch of things to furnish the home. These could include dishes, pots and pans, sofas, beds, and more. You don’t want to leave your new home completely empty! You also don’t want to be without vital appliances like an oven or a sink for too long if they are outdated or in disrepair. This is why it’s a good idea to have extra money on hand to deal with any of these costs.


The best rule of thumb to follow when buying a home is to always be prepared with a but of extra cash on hand to avoid major issues down the road.           



A home inspection is a crucial part of the homebuying process. At this point, a home inspector will walk through a house with you and examine the property inside and out. If a home inspector identifies underlying problems with a residence, these issues could put your purchase in jeopardy. On the other hand, if a home inspection reveals that there are no major problems with a residence, you may feel comfortable proceeding with a purchase.

Ultimately, how a homebuyer approaches a property inspection can have far-flung effects. For those who want to achieve the best-possible home inspection results, we're here to help you get ready for a house inspection.

Let's take a look at three tips to ensure you know exactly how to approach a house inspection.

1. Prepare for the Best- and Worst-Case Scenarios

Regardless of how a home inspection turns out, you need to be ready. That way, you'll have a plan in place to act quickly, even in the worst-case scenario.

In the best-case scenario after a house inspection, you likely will take a step forward in your quest to complete a home purchase. Conversely, in the worst-case scenario following a home inspection, you may rescind your offer to purchase a house and reenter the real estate market.

It also is important to remember that you can always walk away from a house sale if an inspection reveals there are significant problems with a residence. For a homebuyer, it is paramount to feel comfortable with a house after an inspection. If a home raises lots of red flags during an inspection, a buyer should have no trouble removing his or her offer to purchase a house.

2. Ask Plenty of Questions

A home inspector is a property expert who can provide insights into the condition of a residence. Thus, you should rely on this property expert as much as possible.

Don't hesitate to discuss a home with an inspector. Because if you ask lots of questions during a home inspection, you may be able to receive comprehensive property insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.

3. Analyze the Inspection Results Closely

Following a home inspection, you'll receive a report that details a property inspector's findings. Review this report closely, and if you have follow-up questions about it, reach out to the inspector that provided the report.

Lastly, as you look for ways to streamline the homebuying journey, you should work with a knowledgeable real estate agent. This housing market professional can put you in touch with the top home inspectors in your city or town. Plus, if you want to request home repairs or a reduced price on a house after an inspection, a real estate agent will negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf.

Let's not forget about the support that a real estate agent provides at other points in the homebuying journey, either. If you ever have concerns or questions during the homebuying journey, a real estate agent will respond to them at your convenience.

Prepare for a home inspection, and you can use this evaluation to gain the insights you need to make an informed homebuying decision.


This Condo in North Reading, MA recently sold for $352,500. This Garden style home was sold by Jim Sheridan - Elite Realty Experts.


200 Martins Landing, North Reading, MA 01864

Condo

$359,900
Price
$352,500
Sale Price

3
Rooms
1
Beds
1
Baths
NORTH READING'S PREMIER 55 + Community is just listed!! Perfect SINGLE LEVEL Jensen style home with 956 square feet of living space. Your SUN-FILLED living area opens out to a private balcony. The large EAT-IN KITCHEN is part of the OPEN CONCEPT main living area and features GRANITE COUNTERS and STAINLESS STEEL APPLIANCES. The home features HARDWOOD FLOORS and stunning crown and panel molding details. There is a Separate OFICE / DEN, and a FULL SIZE WASHER/DRYER. The MASTER SUITE is spacious and features a WALK-IN CLOSET and private bath with walk in shower. All of this in a QUIET COMMUNITY with easy access to all MAJOR HIGHWAYS, shopping, and so much more.

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Image by ArtCoreStudios from Pixabay

Having a nutritious breakfast gets your day off to a great start. However, finding time to make it can be tough when your mornings are busy. You don’t have to gather a ton of ingredients or set aside a lot of time to prepare a good breakfast. Keep the following easy and healthy breakfast ideas in mind for hectic mornings. 

Yogurt & Fruit Parfait

You can get a solid helping of nutrients from this simple breakfast parfait recipe, and you only need about 10 minutes to make it. You’ll need the following ingredients for this recipe:

  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp almond butter or peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup grapes chopped in half
  • 3 strawberries cut into quarters
  • 2 tbsp chopped almonds
  • To make this recipe, start by whisking the Greek yogurt, peanut butter or almond butter and honey in a bowl. When you have a smooth mixture, add some of it to a glass. Put a layer of strawberries, grapes and almonds on top, then add another layer of yogurt mixture. Place a layer of strawberries, grapes and almonds on the yogurt mixture, then enjoy your healthy morning parfait.

    Cheesy Eggs in a Mug

    When you’re in the mood for eggs for breakfast and don’t have time to cook on the stove, give this recipe a try. You’ll get a good serving of protein along with vitamin C and a few other important nutrients. You’ll need these ingredients for this egg recipe:

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli 
  • 1 tsp water
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp low-fat or skim milk
  • 1 tbsp chopped red bell peppers
  • 1 sliced green onion
  • 1/4 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
  • Salt 
  • Black pepper
  • For this recipe, you’ll need to use non-stick cooking spray on the inside of a microwavable mug. After coating the mug, add the broccoli and water, and microwave for a minute or two on full power. Add the eggs, sliced onion, red pepper pieces and milk to the mug, and use a fork to beat the egg mixture. Microwave the egg and broccoli mixture for 45 seconds, then stir and microwave for about 30 seconds. Remove the mug from the microwave, and top the egg mixture with the shredded cheese. Cover the mug with foil to let the cheese melt for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper for seasoning. 

    Oat Banana Pancakes

    Pancakes only take a few minutes to prepare and a few minutes to cook, making them an ideal choice for busy mornings. With this recipe, you can skip the flour entirely and use oats instead for some extra fiber. Gather the following ingredients:

  • 2 bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup quick-cook oats 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • To make these pancakes, mash the bananas in a bowl, then add eggs and vanilla. Mix these together, then add the cinnamon and oats and mix again. Add a scoop of pancake batter to a heated skillet, then cook for about 2 minutes. Flip the pancake, and cook for about a minute or two. Repeat until you have a stack of golden brown pancakes.


    Image by Nattanan Kanchanaprat from Pixabay

    Preparing to purchase a home? It’s time to get your finances in order. Although this is an exciting time, you’d be surprised to learn how much a new home purchase can leave you strapped for cash. Saving for your home can get you prepared to have money for your down payment and a discretionary fund to cover any additional expenses that may come up you haven’t anticipated. Here are a few tips for saving for your new home:

  • Budget
  • Creating a monthly budget will help you see what you spend money on and where you can cut unnecessary expenses out.

  • Stash your savings
  • Put every penny you save in an account that is hard to withdraw money from. You can use another savings account for other things, but this one should be off-limits.

  • Automate it
  • Your savings should automatically come out of your paycheck or withdraw from your checking account. By doing this, you’ll get used to not having that money while building your nest egg.

  • Bank any excess
  • If you got a refund from a rebate or something else unexpected, take the time and send that money to the savings stash.

  • Downsize
  • In order to get fully ready to move into a home, you may have to downsize your place to save money. Saving 20% of your rent to go towards the home fund is helpful and commendable.

  • Additional work
  • Taking on side jobs while you’re saving will help you get the amount you are trying to save in your pocket a little bit faster. This extra money can help pay down bills and save at the same time.

  • Cut retirement giving
  • Until you save the amount you would like to use for your down payment and other incidentals, cut the automatic payments into your retirement account. Once you have achieved the amount you would like to save, restart your automatic withdrawal.

    This can be a tedious process, especially if you aren’t used to saving. Confide in someone close to you to keep you accountable. This person is someone who won’t tempt you with going out to eat or meeting to catch the latest sales. You can also make it a goal you share with everyone, and they all start saving for something special too. It’s a process so cut yourself some slack when you’re feeling as if you could be saving a lot more, or you slipped up. If eating out was your thing, buy the ingredients at the store and cook a gourmet meal, or if you went to the movies, subscribe to a streaming service instead.

    You’ll put yourself in the position to get your home sooner than you think while adopting habits you can continue to use throughout the year.




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