Lynn D'Avolio
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage | 801-597-2857 | lynn1@soldbylynn.com


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 10/3/2017

One recurring problem all parents deal with -- especially on weekends and school breaks -- is keeping their children entertained and engaged. (Sound familiar?)

While you can sometimes take your kids and their friends bowling, to the movies, or roller skating, those type of activities are only short-term fixes. Once you've expended all the possibilities, you're back to square one! The ideal scenario is to be able to fill in some of those gaps with fun, recreational activities at home.

If you have a finished basement or are talking about renovating an unfinished area, then that part of the house can provide the space for a dedicated rec room. The cost of finishing a basement can be expensive -- with estimates ranging from $10,000 to around $35,000. The final cost would depend on factors like the square footage of your basement, contractor pricing, materials used, and whether you're willing or able to do any of the work yourself. For growing families with active children, remodeling a basement or buying a house that already has a finished basement could prove to be a priceless resource for years to come!

Setting Up a Game Room

Outfitting a rec room with items like game tables is an additional expense that could have an impact on your budget. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to keep a lid on those costs. One idea would be to spread out those purchases over a period of time. For example, one year you could buy a billiards table; the next year, you could add a ping-pong table, air hockey game, or a foosball table to the room. Many of these items also make excellent birthday or holiday gifts for the kids, so you can potentially include those purchases in your gift-buying budget. With a little online price comparison, you'll also discover that you don't have to pay top dollar for any of those game tables. It's rarely necessary to get the "deluxe" version of a pool table, air hockey game, or foosball table, and there's a wide range of sizes and prices available -- both online and off. You may also stumble upon opportunities to buy used versions of those popular rec room games, and save a lot of money in the process.

Two inexpensive ways to expand the range of activities available in your recreation room (and keep your kids happy) is to stock up on board games and age-appropriate craft supplies. A television with a DVD player, popular channels, and video games is also sure to provide hours of entertainment on rainy days, school holidays, and unstructured weekends. Finished basements can also be a great place to host children's birthday parties, sleepovers, and club meetings. A TV in the basement can also help maintain family harmony. When the grownups want to watch one program and the kids want to watch something entirely different, you don't have to draw straws or pull rank!





Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 9/26/2017

Have you ever visited someone's home and thought to yourself, "Their living room seems really cluttered" or "Those counter tops look like they haven't been updated since the 1960s!"

Many people quickly notice decorating flaws or home maintenance issues in other people's houses, but when it comes to their own homes -- well, that's another story!

Why is that the case? Two reasons: You're emotionally attached to your own home environment and you're also "too close to the trees to see the forest." It's hard to step back and see your home through a fresh set of eyes -- which is exactly the way prospective buyers are going to look it.

Curb appeal -- or a lack, thereof-- will be the first thing they notice, followed by positive or negative first impressions of your home's interior -- if they get that far! So if you're preparing to put your home on the market, you don't want to be like the person who tries to represent themselves in court. As Abraham Lincoln once said, they have "a fool for a client!"

Since first impressions are so vital when selling your house, it makes sense to confer with someone who really knows the ropes when it comes to home staging. Typically, that would be one of the following professionals:

  • An experienced real estate agent: Real estate agents are in the business of helping people sell their homes as quickly and profitably as possible -- it's a win/win situation. In all likelihood, they've conducted hundreds of house tours and listened to a massive amount of feedback from prospective buyers. One thing they've invariably noticed is that a lot of people react the same way to the same issues. Based on experience and a trained eye, most real estate agents can quickly spot and point out cost-effective ways to make your home more marketable and visually appealing.
  • A professional home stager: Although not all communities have access to professional home stagers, there are talented and knowledgeable experts in that field who can offer valuable advice. If you're working with an experienced real estate agent, however, it probably would not be necessary to pay extra to hire a professional staging consultant.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the median amount of money spent on staging a home is $675, so it doesn't necessarily have to be ultra-expensive. In a survey of its membership, Realtors ranked living rooms and kitchens as the most important rooms to stage. Also considered important are the master bedroom, dining room, and bathrooms.

Thirty seven percent of Realtors® representing sellers believe that buyers most often offer a 1 to 5 percent increase on the value of a staged home. A smaller percentage say the potential increase is in the neighborhood of 6% to 10%. However you look at it, you're tipping the scales in your direction when you make your home look its best prior to putting it up for sale.





Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 9/19/2017

Most homeowners can get by just fine without a backyard shed, so it might be a stretch to call it a "necessity". However, when your yard does not have a shed, you may be missing out on many advantages ranging from convenience to being more organized and efficient. There's also a lot to be said for being able to store, protect, and quickly find the right tools, gardening supplies, or pool chemicals when and where you need them.

If you're a serious gardener, swimming pool owner, or do-it-yourself landscaper, a backyard shed can make your life a lot easier and your maintenance work less of a chore. Since a small shed can run you as little as $300, affordability is usually not an issue—especially when you factor in the long-term benefits.

Whether you decide to build your own shed, hire a carpenter to do it, or buy a prefabricated one, it's an expense that's not difficult to justify. Here are a few of the many ways that a shed can serve your needs for years to come:

  • Reduces clutter in your basement and garage: As all homeowners know, it doesn't take long for basements and garages to get cluttered and disorganized. By designating a separate space for things like tools, small machinery, gardening supplies, and pool chemicals, you'll make it a lot easier to maintain order in your home (and other storage areas).
  • Good solution for storing riding mowers: The typical garage gets filled up pretty quickly with two vehicles, several bicycles, trash barrels, barbeque grills, golf clubs, tires, and other miscellaneous items. Squeezing in a riding mower among all those other things can be difficult, if not impossible! The solution: A large-enough shed with a sturdy ramp for driving your rider mower in and out.
  • Protecting tools from the elements: Metal tools sometimes get left outside when there's not a convenient place to store them, and moisture can wreak havoc on their condition and usability. By having a dry, protected place to store your gardening and landscaping tools, they'll last longer and provide more long-term value for you.
  • Other uses for a shed: Depending on the size of the shed and your family's needs, that extra space can be used for everything from firewood storage to woodworking projects, painting, and other activities. If you own a swimming pool, a nearby shed can be a convenient and relatively safe place to store sanitizing chemicals, pool maintenance equipment, inflatable toys, ladders, and pool games.
Although most people use sheds for storing tools, yard supplies, and equipment, a decent-sized shed can also be used as an art studio, a home office, an exercise area, or a game room. As the expression goes: The possibilities are limited only by your imagination (and your budget)!




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Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 9/12/2017

As a first-time home seller, it is important to avoid shortcuts. By doing so, this home seller may be better equipped than others to reduce the risk of accepting a "lowball" offer on his or her residence.

A lowball offer is something that every home seller would like to avoid. Yet a home seller who lacks real estate knowledge and insights may struggle to identify a lowball offer, particularly if he or she is listing a residence for the first time.

Ultimately, there is no need for a first-time home seller to settle for a lowball offer. Lucky for you, we're here to teach you how to identify a lowball offer in any real estate market, at any time.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help a first-time home seller identify and address a lowball offer on his or her residence.

1. Learn About the Housing Market

The housing market often fluctuates, and a real estate sector that favors home sellers today may morph into one that favors homebuyers tomorrow. As such, a first-time home seller should allocate the necessary time and resources to monitor real estate market patterns and trends closely.

To learn about the housing market, it is essential to analyze available houses in your city or town. Furthermore, don't forget to assess available houses that are similar to your own.

Housing market data can provide pivotal insights that a home seller can use to stir up substantial interest in his or her residence. Plus, these insights can help a home seller establish a competitive price for a home, thereby reducing the risk of receiving a lowball offer on his or her house.

2. Understand Your Home's Value

For first-time home sellers who want to avoid lowball offers, a home appraisal is ideal. In fact, a home appraisal can make it simple for a first-time home seller to understand what his or her property is worth based on its current condition.

As part of a home appraisal, a property inspector will assess a house both inside and out. After the appraisal is completed, the inspector will provide a home seller with a report that outlines his or her findings. Then, a home seller can use the report findings to review a house's strengths and weaknesses and complete home improvements as needed.

A home appraisal can help a home seller uncover ways to bolster a house's interior and exterior. In addition, the appraisal can provide insights that highlight a home's true value and help a home seller minimize the risk that he or she will accept a lowball proposal.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A first-time home seller may be uncertain about how to proceed with an offer. Fortunately, real estate agents can provide unparalleled insights into the housing market and help home sellers make informed decisions.

In most instances, a real estate agent is happy to discuss an offer with a home seller. This housing market professional can offer honest, unbiased home selling recommendations to ensure a home seller can differentiate between a lowball offer and a strong proposal as well.

Avoid the danger of accepting a lowball offer on a residence – use the aforementioned tips, and a first-time home seller will be better equipped than ever before to accept the best proposal for his or her house.




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Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 9/5/2017

OPEN SUN 12-2 Lovely Ranch in West Peabody! Love to entertain? This home is for you! The beautiful yard with pool plus a large family room with access to a screened patio that leads to the yard is the place to gather! The dining room with wood stove, stone flooring and recessed lighting is open to the bright white kitchen with skylights, recessed lighting, SS appliances and French doors leading to the pool and yard area. The large family room has a wood burning fireplace, cathedral ceiling, tile flooring and ceiling fan. Three bedrooms and 1.5 baths. Enjoy the remainder of summer in your screened porch, deck or pool area all on a corner lot. 2 storage sheds. Close to highway and convenient to shopping, walking and biking trails.

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts




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