Julianne Krutka
Park Square Realty | 413-297-6718 | julianne.krutka@gmail.com


Posted by Julianne Krutka on 5/23/2019

The neighborhood you live in has just as much to do with the value of your home as the features of the house itself. The right amenities in a community can increase the value of your home significantly. Read on to find out the most desirable features of any area.


Places To Walk


Whether itís immaculate sidewalks, hiking trail, or parks, anywhere that you can be outdoors and walk easily increases the value of the nearby homes. This is because itís great for families to get out, get some exercise, and not have to go very far. This feature can bring in anywhere from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars above your homeís asking price.  


Trees


We often take trees for granted, but trees that have grown up around a property can add some value to the home. Think of it in the context of, however natural a neighborhood is, the higher the value of the homes in it. Before you think about cutting down any trees around your house, consider the fact that grown trees can increase the cost of a home by up to 5%!


History


Neighborhoods that are surrounded by historic districts, landmark homes, or other places of historical interest have the higher value. For one, these are usually walkable neighborhoods. Second, your area has a story unlike any other. Itís a fun place to get out and explore. All homes in these historic districts arenít ancient; you can find some newer construction homes in these areas, which means that thereís truly something for everyone! 


Dog Friendly


A dog-friendly neighborhood is a valuable neighborhood. People love places that they can take their dogs like dog parks. This especially holds true in the city where yard space is limited. Even better is a neighborhood where dogs can be seen in restaurants and coffee shops. If you can drive around the block and see people walking dogs everywhere, itís a good bet that itís dog-friendly! People love their pets and want them to be a part of the family, so they need to live in a place that allows them to do that. 


All The Essentials


If your neighborhood is near all of the essential things that people need on a daily basis, your homeís value may increase. Places like grocery stores, pharmacies, shopping malls, hospitals, and safety support services all play a role in improving the value of homes in a neighborhood.


A Sense Of Community


If a neighborhood has community groups, a neighborhood watch, or other organizations that help to bring about a community feel, your home may be a bit more valuable than you think it is.   






Posted by Julianne Krutka on 5/16/2019

Becoming a home owner for the first time is an exciting milestone for Millennials! Going from renting an apartment to owning your own property represents a big transition from dependency to independence.

For many people, it even symbolizes making the leap from childhood to adulthood. Once you're a homeowner and a property taxpayer, there's often a newfound feeling of being more established and successful.

While home ownership may bestow upon you a boost in status, the added responsibility of paying for your own repairs, maintenance, and upkeep can take an unexpected toll on your budget. With a little extra planning, however, you can avoid many of the pitfalls of home ownership.

Looking at the Big Picture

Here's a misconception that sometimes creates a financial strain for first-time homeowners: "If we can afford to pay $1800 in rent, every month, then we should be able to afford monthly mortgage payments in that same amount!" While that premise may sound logical, there are a few crucial "missing pieces" from that equation -- pieces which could throw your household budget out of kilter!

In addition to the costs associated with purchasing real estate, such as a down payment and closing costs, there's also the matter of home repairs and property maintenance. Depending on where you decide to live, there could be other fees to absorb, too, including garbage collection, yard waste removal, and water usage. Other expenses that first-time homeowners may overlook include the cost of buying a lawnmower, a snow blower, yard maintenance supplies, tools, and furniture. That's why creating a detailed estimated budget, based on your income, debts, and anticipated expenses can help you determine whether you're truly ready to take the plunge into homeownership.

Enlisting Professional Help

A mortgage broker or bank loan officer can provide you with assistance in calculating your financial readiness for purchasing a home. A good real estate agent can also offer insights and guidance into the process of finding, buying, and owning a house you can comfortably afford. They should be able to provide you with vital information about school taxes, property taxes, average utility bills, homeowner association fees (if any), and any issues revealed in the seller's disclosure form.

One way to avoid -- or at least be prepared for -- costs that often accompany home ownership is to have a qualified property inspector take a close look at the condition of everything in the house from the basement and attic to major appliances and structural features. They can generally tell you whether there are any concerns about mechanical systems, water in the basement, foundation damage, issues with property drainage, the electrical system, potential plumbing problems, and dozens of other vital checkpoints

Whether you're a first-time house hunter or a seasoned homeowner, it pays to understand, anticipate, and budget for the many costs of being a property owner. While owning your own home can be a rewarding and satisfying experience, a guiding principle to keep in mind as you consider available homes on the market is "caveat emptor" (Let the buyer beware)!




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Julianne Krutka on 5/9/2019

Getting a mortgage is one of those things that everyone seems to have quite a bit of advice about. While people surely have good intentions, itís not always best to take the buying advice of everyone you meet. Below, youíll find the wrong kind of mortgage advice and why you should think twice about it. 


Pre-Approvals Are Pointless


Getting pre-approved for a mortgage can give you an upper hand when it comes to putting in offers on a home. Even though a pre-approval isnít a guarantee, itís a good step. It shows that youíre a serious buyer and locks you in with a lender so they can process your paperwork a bit more quickly when you do want to put an offer in on a home. 


Use Your Own Bank


While your own bank may be a good place to start when it comes to buying a home, you donít need to get your mortgage from the place where you already have an account. You need to compare rates at different banks to make sure youíre getting the best possible deal on a mortgage. Youíll also want to check on the mortgage requirements for each bank. Different banks have different standards based on down payment, credit scores and more. Youíll want to get your mortgage from the bank thatís right for you and your own situation. 


The Lowest Interest Rate Is Best


While this could be true, itís not set in stone. A bank with a slightly higher interest rate could offer you some benefits that you otherwise might not have. If you have a lower credit score, or less downpayment money, a bank offering a higher interest rate could be a better option for you. Low interest rates can have some fine print that might end up costing you a lot more in the long term. Do your research before you sign on with any kind of bank for your mortgage. 


Borrow The Maximum


Just because youíre approved for a certain amount of mortgage doesnít mean that you need to max out your budget. Itís always best to have a bit of a financial cushion for yourself to keep your budget from being extremely tight. When life throws you a curveball like unexpected medical bills or a job loss, youíll be glad that you didnít strain your budget to the end of your means. Even though the bigger, nicer house always looks more attractive, youíre better off financially if youíre sensible about the amount of money you borrow to buy a home.




Tags: mortgage rates   mortgage   bank  
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Posted by Julianne Krutka on 5/8/2019

Are you tired of the noise and the bustle of living in the city? Do you desire to live in the country but fear a super long commute? Then this home is for you! Just about 14 miles from downtown Westfield, an easy 20 minute ride, you'll find this oasis of a location! This 7 room 1488 sq ft home won't disappoint with 3 bedrooms, possibility for a fourth, 2 updated full baths, wide open and updated kitchen/living/dining area, a practically new oversized 3 car garage and 6.4 acres of land to call your own! This home is wired for a full house generator. Features an installed pellet stove to help keep you cozy all winter long. Has a fenced in area for your favorite pets. And at the end of the road you'll find the privacy of the Chester/Blandford State Forest! And all this for an affordable price! Showings will begin at the Open House on Sunday, 5/12 from 12-1:30. Looking for the perfect gift for the Mom in your life...why not buy her a dream home?!

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Posted by Julianne Krutka on 5/3/2019

Affordable retirement living awaits! Don't miss your shot at this beautiful single wide mobile home with newly updated bath! This home is move in ready! Seller has had all carpets cleaned, fresh paint throughout kitchen/dining/living area, new closet doors hung, new dishwasher installed, new lighting in some areas, new floor registers...the list goes on! Everything is clean and shiny and just awaiting your personal touches! Hampden Village is an active senior retirement community for persons age 55 or older and buyer is responsible for obtaining park approval. The monthly lot fee is 395.00 and includes water, trash pickup and use of common areas such as community center, heated inground pool and tennis or shuffleboard courts. If you are looking for affordable retirement living in Western MA, this could be the one!

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