Catherine Albiani - Sales Associate - CENTURY 21 Commonwealth | Winchester, MA


Anytime that you move it can be both physically and financially draining. Moving with children is no exception to this rule. There are certain things that you can do in order to make the transition easier when you move with kids. Children can feel a special sort of attachment to a place, especially their home. It’s important that you help them make a smooth transition. 


Tell Your Kids About The Move


While it may seem convenient to hide the fact that you’re making a big move from your little ones, it’s not a good idea. Children are pretty intuitive. Sit down and have a conversation with them explaining where you’re going. You can even throw in the why if the move is due to the fact that you need more space or need to be closer to work. It may even be in your best interest to do this over your child’s favorite meal or at their favorite pizza place in town. 


Donate Anything You’re Not Using


This can be a great teachable moment for kids in the moving process. Teach them about giving things to people who are less fortunate than they are by going through their toys and clothes. Show them that you are donating items from your own collection as well. 


Let The Kids Be Involved


Kids can be involved with the move in many ways. Older kids can pack their own belongings in boxes and suitcases. Younger kids may need a bit more help. You can let them decorate the boxes as they are labeled. This will be a help for staying organized throughout the move. 


Emphasize The Cool Things About The New Place


If your new house has some neat features that you know the kids will love, definitely share it with them. Some things to talk about with kids about the new place you’re moving to:


  • New school
  • Great neighborhood park
  • Bigger bedroom
  • Having their own rooms
  • Playroom/ game room
  • Great ice cream stand


Anything that you know will be a highlight for your child in the process of moving can help them to cope with the changes ahead.  



Make Your Move Less Stressful By Staying Organized


It can be easy to snap at kids when you’re stressed out. Keep all of your important documents and papers in one place. Make sure you leave ample time for packing and moving. Hire a moving company if you need to as well. If you’re selling any of your belongings from your old house, make sure that you do so well in advance of the move to avoid any undue last minute stressors. With a bit of planning, moving with kids can go quite smoothly.


Your living room is one of the most used rooms of the house. It’s where the family gathers and company comes to chat. If the furniture in your living room is not arranged comfortably, then you may not enjoy the space as much as you should. Heed the tips below in order to get the furniture in the living room is arranged for comfort and practicality.  


See How Conversations Will Play Out


You want your living room to be a place where face-to-face conversation actually thrives. Even in the age of the smartphone, people still like a certain kind of connection with one another. Make sure that food and drinks will be in easy reach and that the seating is arranged in a way that allows everyone to be involved with a conversation. 


Use Dividing Factors


If you have a large living room, you’ll need to divide the space with either a room separation apparatus or a piece of furniture. Using furniture actually keeps the room cozy and free from feeling stuffy. If the living room bleeds into another room with an open floor plan, this becomes especially important. Use a sofa, and allow it to face away from the dining area in order to divide the conversation spaces and keep your home’s interior design flowing. 


Use A Focal Point


Most living rooms have a TV or a fireplace, or both. You can keep both on the same wall, or create separate spaces for both activities in order to have some division in the room. There are many different strategies that can be used in order to keep both the fireplace and the television in the same space without making a dizzying focal point.


Think Outside The Box


By arranging your furniture at a diagonal, or different angle than simple straight lines, you’ll be able to give your living room some flavor. First, set the sofa and the coffee table, then create the rest of the space around these establishing angles. This will make the room feel bigger and give it a sense of symmetry with flavor.          


Matching Furniture Gives Flow


By getting matching sofas, chairs, and side tables, you’ll be able to create a sense of symmetry in the room. The way you arrange the furniture ultimately depends on your needs and tastes, but you’ll have a few anchoring pieces to work with that will allow you to make the living room your canvas and your furniture your subjects. Have fun playing with the layout and design of the room. There’s really no right or wrong answers, just simply what will make you happy and what looks good in the space.


Ready to enter the real estate market for the first time? As a first-time homebuyer, you may encounter many challenges as you kick off your search for the perfect house. However, property buyers who understand these challenges will be better equipped than others to overcome such difficulties quickly and effortlessly.

Now, let's take a look at three common challenges that first-time homebuyers may face:

1. You don't know what to look for in a house.

You know you want to own a house, but how do you define your "dream" residence? Ultimately, you'll want to consider what you'd like to find in your perfect house so you can map out your real estate search accordingly.

Creating a checklist of things you'd like to have in your dream home usually represents a great starting point for first-time homebuyers. This checklist should include both "must-haves" and "wants" and can help you narrow your search for the ideal residence.

2. You aren't sure how much money you have available to purchase a home.

How much can you spend to acquire a residence? Without a budget, you may struggle to begin your real estate search.

Lucky for you, many banks and credit unions make it simple to get pre-approved for a mortgage.

Set up meetings with a few lenders in your city or town – you'll be glad you did. These lenders can help you assess your current financial situation, outline all of your mortgage options and ensure you can gain pre-approval for a mortgage.

With a mortgage in hand, you may be better equipped than other homebuyers to secure your ideal residence. This mortgage will help you determine exactly how much you can spend on a home. Plus, getting pre-approved for a mortgage can help you avoid the temptation to spend beyond your financial means to acquire your dream house.

3. You don't know what it takes to go from homebuyer to homeowner.

The homebuying process can be long and complicated, especially if you have no idea about what to expect from it. Fortunately, real estate agents are available to help you take the guesswork out of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

A real estate agent is a housing market professional who is happy to share his or her insights with you. He or she will respond to your homebuying concerns and queries and teach you about all stages of the homebuying cycle.

Furthermore, a real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you up to date about new houses as they become available and negotiate with property sellers on your behalf. This housing market professional will even go above and beyond the call of duty to guarantee you can purchase a home that you'll be able to enjoy for years to come.

When it comes to buying a home for the first time, there is no need to navigate the homebuying journey alone. Instead, collaborate with a real estate agent, and you can accelerate the process of acquiring a top-notch house at a budget-friendly price.


Older homes can be a great investment opportunity. A solid home in a revitalizing but established neighborhood is perfect for flipping, renting out for additional income or first-time homebuyers. There are a variety of differences between buying an older home that may require renovation and newer homes that are move-in ready.

Benefits of Older Neighborhoods

Since cities spread outward, many older neighborhoods are closer to city centers. That means shopping, local businesses, nightlife, parks and more within easy access. Longer established areas tend to have more character including larger trees with shade, sidewalks and even bike lanes. Older architecture has a distinct charm, and if it’s genuinely a designated historic landmark neighborhood, you may be required to keep some or all the classic details of your home, whether you want them or not. Some older neighborhoods boast back alleys that give you rear garage access and may even allow alley trash pickup.

Newer neighborhoods and construction tend to be further out, especially brand-new construction, which means less access to public transportation and greater distances to shopping and local businesses. Some newer neighborhoods also are built with higher square footage versus open space, so you could be passing on a larger yard in favor of a larger home.

Tax-Saving Opportunities

State, local and federal governments offer a variety of tax breaks to preserve historic homes and stabilize or accelerate revitalization. The most common type is a tax abatement. Also called a tax break, these are used by local cities to prompt people to move into these neighborhoods allowing buyers who otherwise couldn't afford the property or the renovations required on an older home to move in.

While your property taxes may initially seem a bit higher, they should be more stable than new-construction neighborhoods which can include widely varying assessments as new infrastructure is needed.

Does an older or historic neighborhood sound like the right fit for you? Your real estate agent can help you find the best property for your needs.


Cleaning is most peoples' least favorite thing on a typical day. But for Open House day? It can seem either terrifying or expensive, but it doesn't have to be. A little elbow grease can make a huge difference and save you a bundle.

Walls

You have to be careful of painted walls. If you're too abrasive, you'll rough up the paint. If you don't scrub enough, and the walls remain dirty. Start with a soft damp cloth like microfiber or a new sponge and just some clean water. If that's not enough, try a mild grease-cutting soap like dish or hand soap. If your walls are still dirty, use a kitchen or all-purpose spray cleaner or try a wall eraser. Stay away from steel wool or exfoliating style cleaners since they can take the paint right off your wall, which increases your cost.

Appliances

It should be no surprise that your best option here is to clean your stainless-steel appliances regularly. Regularly here means once or twice a week depending on how often you use it. A disinfectant spray or bleach and water solution will help to clean off any grime. Follow that up with a stainless-steel finishing spray available at your local appliance store. Use a soft, lint-free cloth and never liquid glass stovetop cleansers or soft scrubs as they can scratch or damage the surface and finish. 

Tile Countertops, Floors, and Showers

You can purchase a variety of tile cleaners at your local home improvement store, or easily make your own neutral pH cleaner from baking soda and water (use about ¼ cup baking soda per 1 gallon of water). Use a soft sponge or sponge mop to apply the mixture directly to your tile. You can clean the grout with the same solution, or for more stubborn stains get an oxygen bleach-based grout cleaner (it’s probably right next to the tile cleaner at the store). This time use a toothbrush to apply the cleanser and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before wiping it off. You can use a grout sealant to protect your grout once it’s clean to help keep it that way longer.

Wood Flooring and Carpets

Household cleaners and wood soaps are best for wood floors. You can use a similarly colored oil-based polish to fill in any scratches. If you have too many scratches, you might wait to sand the wood down and apply a stain-finish product, but be careful you know what you’re doing. If it’s a big job, it might be best to leave this one to the professionals. 

Your carpet needs more than just a regular vacuum, so try out a carpet cleaning machine, usually available for rent at your local home improvement store. Be careful only to use the soap or cleaner recommended for the device you rent, and in the right amounts. Extra soap can work against you. If it's left in the carpet, then it attracts more dirt.

Your real estate agent can help you determine if your cleaning situation is DIY or requires the professionals.




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