Larry Costa REALTORģ
CENTURY 21 Classic Gold | 508-272-8028 | larry@larrycosta.com


Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 11/16/2018

For better or for worse, the kitchen is the most fragrant area of the house. Itís where we cook and store our food, but itís also where we throw away our garbage.

 In this winter months, people do most of their cooking indoors, which can lead to an increase in grease splatter. In the summer, the high temperatures in the kitchen can cause garbage to smell and fruit to become overripe more quickly.

 Regardless of the time of year, we can all use some help when it comes to reducing kitchen odors. In this article, weíll give you some advice on how to do just that.

 Read on for tips on eliminating odors in your kitchen.

Air quality

The odors in your kitchen, both the good and the bad, come in the form of tiny particles floating in the air. So, it follows that one of the ways to remove lingering odors would be to remove them from the air in your kitchen.

One way to do this is with the use of an air purifier. These appliances come in a number of different sizes and can vary in price from under $100 to several hundreds of dollars. Depending on the size and layout of your home, youíll want to search for a purifier that can safely handle the number of square feet that youíll need to purify.

One benefit of using an air purifier is that it can also help you remove dust and other allergies from the air while removing unpleasant odors. However, keep in mind that most air purifiers run 24/7, so expect a few extra dollars added to your electric bill each month.

Cooking surfaces

One of the most common causes of kitchen odors are the surfaces of your counters, oven, and appliances. There are a few ways to handle this problem, but the best solution is to take preemptive measures.

When cooking items with grease, oil or butter, use a splatter screen. This will help you keep most of the grease inside the pan and off your surfaces where they will later emit a smell.

Itís important to frequently wipe down surfaces in your kitchen and clean them with a degreaser. If you donít have kitchen tile or some other form of easy to clean surface around your cooking surfaces, consider installing one.

Dishes and garbage

We get it, after working all day, cooking dinner, and finally sitting down to relax no one wants to clean dishes. However, leaving dishes in the sink is one of the leading causes of kitchen odors. This is also true for people who donít run their dishwasher frequently.

Speaking of dishwashers, be sure to check the drain at the bottom for debris, which can cause your dishwasher to smell badly.

When it comes to garbage, itís often better to have a small garbage can that you empty more frequently than a larger one that will start to smell. Try to find a smaller can that has a cover, and consider scented bags to help mask any odors that do find their way out of the garbage can.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 11/9/2018

In todayís world, everything is online. You probably have started your home search online as well. Itís plain fun to look at real estate. You can dream of living in a place you canít afford. You might never see any of those listings that youíre browsing in person. Should you?


No matter when your home search may become a reality, there are a few benefits to seeing houses in person. 


Youíll See What Your Money Can Get You


What you want and what you can afford may be far apart. You wonít understand the reality of the housing market unless you see it firsthand. By looking at whatís available on the market at a given time, you will be able to see how much house your dollars will buy you. Knowing what you can afford will help you to keep your expectations in check when you do head out to search for a home. Looking at what homes are on the market can actually help you to help your real estate agent find you something that will suit your needs. Thereís nothing worse than telling your agent that you want a home thatís impossible to find.


Youíll Meet Real Estate Agents


By going to open houses, youíll be able to meet different real estate agents. Through this process, you could very well meet the agent who will help you to find your dream home. If you like the way an agent is helping to sell a home, youíll very likely get along with them as a buyer. 


You Will Know How Much Competition You Have


If youíre attending open houses and find that there are many other people there the same time as you, it could be a sign that the market has tight competition. A lot of open house attendees means that prices are higher because the competition is fierce. You may have to offer above asking price in order to secure a deal on a home.


Youíll Learn Different Areas


Open houses can bring you to places you may have never thought of living before. Youíll get a sense of what different neighborhoods are like if you spend some time exploring through attending open houses. 


Youíll Learn What You Can Live With


Itís easy to have a concrete picture in your mind of what you want in a home and what you can deal with. When you see houses firsthand, you may be able to open your mind a bit as to the type of home youíre seeking.  


 





Tags: Buying a home  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 11/2/2018

Persistence may prove to be exceedingly important to a home seller. In fact, a persistent home seller may be better equipped than others to reap the benefits of a fast, profitable property selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you become a persistent home seller.

1. Analyze the Real Estate Market

Persistence and confidence often go hand-in-hand. And if a seller allocates time and resources to learn about the housing sector, he or she can build the confidence needed to remain persistent throughout the home selling journey.

Take a look at the prices of available houses in your city or town that are similar to your own residence. By doing so, you can see how your house stacks up against the competition and identify innovative ways to differentiate your residence from the pack.

Furthermore, it may be beneficial to look at the prices of recently sold residences in your area. This housing market data can help you determine whether you're preparing to enter a seller's or buyer's market.

2. Set an Aggressive Initial Home Asking Price

A persistent home seller will take a data-driven approach to establish a competitive initial asking price for his or her residence. That way, this seller can set an aggressive home price that will help his or her residence stir up plenty of interest as soon as it becomes available.

Conducting a home appraisal offers a quick, easy way to receive an expert property valuation. It usually only takes a few days to receive a home appraisal report. Once a seller has this report, he or she can use it to set an aggressive initial home asking price.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

Even a persistent home seller realizes that he or she may struggle to navigate the home selling journey alone. Thankfully, if you hire a real estate agent, you can receive comprehensive support at each stage of the home selling cycle.

A real estate agent is committed to helping a home seller enjoy a seamless property selling experience. He or she will work directly with a seller and keep him or her up to date throughout the house selling process. As a result, a home seller and real estate agent together can maximize the value of any house, at any time.

In addition, a real estate agent is resourceful and will do whatever it takes to promote a residence to the right groups of buyers. He or she will host open house events and home showings and provide a property seller with plenty of feedback. Best of all, a real estate agent maintains constant communication with a house seller. And if a seller has questions, a real estate agent is ready to answer these queries.

For home sellers who want to achieve the best-possible results, persistence is paramount. With the aforementioned tips, anyone can become a persistent home seller and boost the likelihood of a successful house selling experience.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 10/26/2018

To maximize the value of your house, you may need to perform a wide range of home improvements. Fortunately, there are many quick, easy ways to ensure you won't have to break your budget to upgrade your residence before you add it to the real estate market.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you save money on home improvements.

1. Receive Multiple Quotes from Professionals

When it comes to performing comprehensive home repairs, it generally is a good idea to err on the side of caution by hiring professional contractors. However, hiring professionals to complete home improvement projects may put a major dent in your day-to-day finances.

If you request multiple quotes for home improvement projects, you can shop around for the best price. Plus, you may be able to negotiate the price from a professional if you have various competitor quotes at your disposal.

2. Consider Do-It-Yourself Projects

In many instances, a home may not require a full overhaul. Conversely, you may only need to perform a series of minor upgrades to ensure your residence is show-ready.

When possible, it may be beneficial to try to perform home improvement projects on your own. If you complete simple tasks like removing clutter from your home's basement or mowing your front lawn, you can simultaneously enhance your residence and avoid the costs associated with hiring professionals.

If you're unsure about how to perform certain home repairs, there is no need to leave anything to chance. In these scenarios, reach out to professionals for expert support, and you can minimize the risks associated with trying to complete these tasks on your own.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Finding the best ways to cut costs on home improvements can be tricky. Luckily, real estate agents are available who can help you get your house ready for the real estate market, even if you're dealing with a tight home improvement budget.

Typically, a real estate agent will be able to assess your house and help you establish home improvement priorities. This housing market professional then can put you in touch with the top home improvement professionals in your area, as well as provide tips to ensure you can quickly upgrade your residence on your own.

A real estate agent also will serve as your expert guide throughout the home selling journey. He or she will help you list your residence and promote it to dozens of potential buyers. Plus, a real estate agent will host home showings and open house events that enable buyers to get an up-close look at your residence. And if you receive offers on your house, a real estate agent will help you review these proposals and make an informed decision.

There is no reason to overspend to upgrade your residence. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can save money on home repairs and prep your house for the real estate market faster than ever before.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 10/19/2018

If youíre hoping to buy a home in the near future there are several financial prerequisites that you should aim to meet. Ideally, youíll want a sizable down payment, a verifiable income history, and a good credit score.

It takes time to build credit. For most people, it can be several months or even years before they see a double-digit change in their credit score. However, if you have a low credit score and want to give it a quick boost, there are ways you can make a big difference.

But first, why should you focus on your credit score?

Credit scores and mortgages

When you apply for a mortgage there are several factors that your lender will take into consideration. One of their top concerns will be your credit score. This score is like a snapshot of your financial reliability. It tells lenders how much risk is involved in lending to you.

As a result, lenders will increase your interest rate if you are high risk and lower it if you are lower risk. To be a low risk homeowner, youíll want your score to be in the high range, (usually 700 or above).

Credit change potential

Depending on your financial history, it can be more difficult to raise your score in a shorter period of time. If you are young, donít have a long credit history, or havenít had many bills to pay in your lifetime, your score will be more malleable than someone who has had low credit for years due to late payments.

In the United States, you have to be eighteen to open up a credit card or take out a loan by yourself (this is different from getting a loan co-signed by a parent or guardian).  You can also ask your parents or guardians to add you as an authorized user of their credit cards. This will let you build credit without having to settle for the high interest rate credit cards you would be eligible for.

If you happen to have a low score (anywhere between 300 - 600), the good news is you can achieve a larger change over a shorter amount of time than someone who already has a high score.

So, how do you achieve that change?

Credit errors

One of the easiest ways to quickly improve your score is to check for errors in your credit report. You can get a free report each year from the three main credit bureaus--Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.

Look out for bills that have been mistakenly put under your name and for collections that shouldnít be on your account.

Avoid new credit

One thing that can do short-term harm to your credit score is opening or attempting to open new lines of credit. That can be a store card, a loan, or getting your credit checked by a lender.

If you want to build credit quickly, making several inquiries could land you with a lower score than where you started.

Pay your regular expenses with credit

A good way to gain credit points in a few months is to pick a monthly expense to use your credit card for. Pay off your full balance at the end of each billing cycle to earn the most points while avoiding building up too much interest.





Categories: Uncategorized