Highland Real Estate
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Posted by Highland Real Estate on 10/21/2019

Time... a non-renewable resource. Spending time, wasting time, bidding your time, you can do all of these things but make more time; No! Since you can't make more time, then you have to allocate time, doing things that create the life you want for yourself. If you have a significant other or a child then you know spending time with them is imperative. Time spent with each other not only builds those relationships but can also improve your overall health. 

Time to Connect 

Now, remember you have a job, or a few jobs, that demand hours out of your day. You also have to take care of essentials such as paying bills, groceries, and taking care of your health. Whatever is left is what you have to invest in the relationships, specifically that significant person. Fitting in blocks of time together can be difficult, but creates, or strengthens the relationship. So, you need to get creative. Be mindful about making opportunities to do the mundane together. Meeting between appointments or activities to touch base is not enough for most relationships. Shopping for the groceries or detailing the vehicles can become wonderful times to relate to each other. Taking a simple walk together enjoying each otherís company and the world around you is a great way to spend your time. It doesnít always have to be a well-executed date night with dinner and entertainment. Just sitting in the same room while planning the weekly schedule can bring a sense of connection. Making your time together count is the goal. 

Time Away to Connect

Time away from the static grind of daily life is an investment in a relationship. Planning time together outside of the normal stress of living gives you a place to relate on another level entirely. Creating memories of fun and relaxing moments carry with them a bond that can help during times of turbulence or stress. Being able to take the time to really listen to the other person and ask more in-depth questions about themselves and their hopes for their future. Setting up your environment so that it enables you to stop for a moment in time, to really have time on your side. 

As the Steve Miller Band song states, ďTime keeps on slipping into the future.Ē so, make your present count.




Tags: time management   family   how to  
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Posted by Highland Real Estate on 10/14/2019

Sometimes the simplest habits can yield the greatest results. Making to-do lists is the perfect example of a productive habit -- especially if you're getting ready to sell your home.

When putting your house on the market, here are a few tips to keep in mind for staying on track and avoiding delays.

Organization: As a home seller, there are a lot of things you can do to prepare your house for real estate showings.

Making lists can be an extremely effective way to reinforce goals, clarify objectives, and remind yourself what needs to be done. Knowing your priorities for the day (and week) can strengthen your confidence and help you avoid that feeling of being overwhelmed. On the other hand, when you lack clarity and keep forgetting important tasks, frustration and pessimism can creep in, causing you to lose your edge.

Like any method of staying organized and focused, making lists is not without its potential pitfalls. Priority lists are of little use if they get misplaced, buried under other documents, or forgotten about for days or weeks. Ideally, your list of important tasks should be readily accessible, highly visible, and regularly updated. While some people like to use old-fashioned written lists in a spiral-bound notebook or legal-size pad of paper, others may prefer their mobile devices, computer, or a reminder app.

The benefit of creating a list and checking off items as you progress is that it helps keep you focused, goal oriented, and organized. The sooner you create a priority list of tasks, the greater your efficiency will be in getting them done.

Motivation: Although your real estate agent will handle most of the details related to selling your home, there are still dozens of tasks you'll need to be involved in. Keeping your home and property well maintained, presentable, and in a state of good repair are among them. If you're like most home sellers, however, your plate is already full with family responsibilities, career demands, and other obligations. Fortunately, there are strategies for balancing your priorities.

The three keys to getting important stuff done in a timely way are: effective time management, prioritization, and staying motivated. Selling a house is a team effort involving you, your family, your real estate agent, and other professionals. Doing your utmost to keep your real estate objectives on the "front burner" will help keep the sales process moving forward and make a good impression on potential buyers.

Goals, in general, should be specific, attainable, measurable, and deadline-oriented. As motivational writer Napoleon Hill said, "A goal is a dream with a deadline." When you fail to assign a target date or deadline to a house-selling task, it's all-too-easy to let that goal slide and cause you to lose your advantage.





Posted by Highland Real Estate on 10/7/2019

Shopping for a new house can seem like an overwhelming experience because there are so many factors to consider.

The top priorities for the majority of house hunters include the quality of the school district, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the overall condition of the house. Price is also a major consideration, as is square footage, commuting distance, and the character of the neighborhood.

In many cases, house hunters have specific requirements in mind, ranging from privacy to the layout of the rooms.

Although your search will be much more efficient if you know exactly what you want, the process of looking at houses will help you clarify your preferences, needs, and design ideas for your next home. Touring houses online and browsing home decorating websites can give you a lot of useful ideas, but nothing compares to actually visiting houses and taking a close look at everything the property has to offer.

Working with an experienced real estate agent is often the best way to find a home that checks off most of your priority items and meets your expectations. Searching the real estate market on your own is like going on a self-guided tour of a large historical site or tourist attraction. Without expert guidance, you could easily overlook some of the best aspects of the property, and you could also miss some "red flags" and negotiating opportunities that only a trained real estate professional could recognize.

Other than price, location, size, and property condition, what are other key features you might want to keep your eye out for? Everyone has different priorities and "wish lists," but when you know what you want, you'll be a lot more likely to be satisfied with the outcome! While there is no shortage of house hunting checklists online, here's a quick overview of some of the features and property characteristics you'll want to keep in mind.

Although you'll generally want to have a home inspector take a close look at any home you've made an offer on, there are a few key things you can notice before you even get to that stage. The condition of interior walls, the roof, and basement are three areas worth paying close attention to. Wet basements are not uncommon, but they can cause damage to your foundation and many things you might want to store there. Wet basements are also breeding grounds for mold spores, so a chronically wet basement can potentially be hazardous to your health, too -- especially if you or your family is prone to allergies, asthma, and other respiratory conditions. The Environmental Protection Agency is a good source of information on indoor air quality issues.

There are literally dozens of other details you'll want to pay attention to in prospective homes, including amount of storage space, the size of the back yard, privacy -- or the lack, thereof -- the house's distance from the street and other houses, the neighborhood noise level, the amount of street traffic, the reputation of nearby schools, and convenience to shopping centers, medical facilities, transportation, recreation, and entertainment. Other desirable features include a nice patio or deck, a garage, a fully functional HVAC system, updates to bathrooms and the kitchen, and enough room in the house for your growing family, overnight guests, and the occasional holiday party.





Posted by Highland Real Estate on 9/30/2019

If you are thinking of refinancing your mortgage, there are so many options available to you that address your needs. Whether you want to do some home improvement projects or provide a down payment for another property refinancing can be a good option for you. There are many different options when it comes to home loans and refinancing. Below, youíll find some of the most popular choices and what they mean for your mortgage and your finances. 


Standard Refinance


A standard refinances requires that you have a certain amount of equity in your home. If you want to avoid Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI on the refinance, you need 20% equity in the home. Different lenders have different requirements for the amount of equity that you need in order to do this primary refinancing of your home loan. Keep in mind that a good credit score is also a requirement to do this type of loan.


Refinancing With Cash Out


This option is great when you need to take some of the equity out of your home. This way, you can get some of the equity out of your home without selling the house. This way, youíre able to refinance the mortgage, get a good loan term thatís affordable, and borrow a part of the equity you have built up in your home.


You can use the cash that you take out for just about anything you need including college, home renovations, business start-up costs, or to consolidate other debt you have. The only drawback is that youíre not able to borrow 100% of your equity. Usually, the highest percentage youíre eligible to borrow is 80%. The amount is based on both the equity you have built up in your home along with your income. Also, keep in mind that after you take out one of these loans, the amount of equity you have in your home decreases.  


Short Refinance


Short refinances may not be offered by all lenders. If you donít qualify for a HARP loan or standard, refinance this could be a good option for you. If you hope to avoid foreclosure and are struggling to pay your mortgage each month, your lender may agree to the terms of this type of loan. The loan is in effect is a combination of a short sale and a refinance. The lender agrees to pay the existing mortgage off. The loan s replaced with a new mortgage. Beware that if you choose this option, your credit score may go down significantly. If youíre able to keep up with the new mortgage payments, youíll be able to repair your credit score over time.         





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Posted by Highland Real Estate on 9/23/2019

There are so many factors that go into finding and securing the financing to buy a home.   While lenders require quite a bit of information for you to get a loan, you still need to be aware of your own financial picture. Even if youíre pre-approved for a certain amount of money to buy a home, you still need to dig into your finances a bit deeper than a lender would. The bottom line is that you can't rely solely on a lender to tell you how much you can afford for a monthly payment on a home. Even if youíre approved to borrow the maximum amount of money for your finances to buy a home, it doesnít mean that you actually should use that amount. There are so many other real world things that you need to consider outside of the basic numbers that are plugged into a mortgage formula.   


Run Your Own Numbers


Itís important to sit down and do your own budget when youíre getting ready to buy a home. You have plenty of monthly expenses including student loan debt, car payments, utility bills, and more. Donít forget that you need to eat too! Think about what your lifestyle is like. How much do you spend on food? Do you go out to the movies often or spend a regular amount of cash on clothing? Even if you plan to make adjustments to these habits when buying a home, youíll want to think honestly about all of your needs and spending habits before signing on to buy a home. 


Now, youíll know what your true monthly costs are. Be sure to include things like home insurance, property taxes, monthly utilities, and any other personal monthly expenses in this budget. If you plan to put down a lower amount on the home, youíll also need to include additional insurance costs like private mortgage insurance (PMI).


The magic number that you should remember when it comes to housing costs is 30%. This is the percentage of your monthly income that you should plan to spend on housing. Realistically, this could make your budget tight so this is often thought of as a maximum percentage. By law, a lender canít approve a mortgage that would take up more than 35% of your monthly income. Some lenders have even stricter requirements such as not allowing a borrower to have a mortgage that would be more than 28% of monthly income. This is where the debt-to-income ratio comes into play.


As you can see, itís important to take an earnest look at your finances to avoid larger money issues when you buy a home.  





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