Kathy Craig's Blog
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351 E Main St, East Brookfield, MA 01515
When purchasing a home, there are many issues to keep in mind. These often include items such as the interest rate on the mortgage, real estate taxes, and homeowner's insurance. If you've purchased a home governed by a Homeowner's Association and have not lived within a similar community before you may find some challenges adjusting more specifically, HOA fees. Changes to rules and regulations within HOA communities usually require an official voting process before they are implemented. However, if you consider your community fees to be too high, there are a few negotiation tips that might get the process started.
Join the Board of the HOA
One of the first steps to consider is joining the governing board of the HOA. The best way to search for ways to lower HOA fees or impact other types of change within your community is to participate in meetings and to get to know the history of your community and the other members. These relationships and experiences provide a view of the current issues and goals of the governing group.
Review the Books
The breakdown of how the HOA is allocating fees is information that should be readily available to the community. If you're interested in exactly where these fees are going, request to review the books. You'll gain insight into the contractors that help serve the community whether it be landscaping, pool maintenance or any other amenities. If you have suggestions for adjustments the community may implement to save money, it is worthwhile to present those options to the board for consideration. When the HOA saves money, the HOA members save money as well.
One of the most common areas where an HOA allocates considerable funds is on landscaping. It is important to have well-kept property to benefit property values; however, it doesn't have to be expensive. If the books show high landscaping or maintenance fees, request that the board negotiates with the current provider for a reduced rate or interview other providers who may be a better value. If the current contracts are reasonable, the board may be able to defer non-essential maintenance.
Consider the Costs of Property Management
Finally, consider the costs associated with the current property management company. Those who live in a condo building, townhome, or other collective living association often have a property management company that handles the high-level issues. While they perform an important function, they can also be expensive. It can be helpful to negotiate a reduced rate with the property management company or consider other management companies that might come at a cost-saving to the community. This can help the HOA members save money on their periodic fees.
201 Fairway Dr, Northbridge, MA 01534
Many of us will move home several times throughout our lives. Whether it’s relocating for work, needing a bigger house for children, or a quiet place to retire to, it’s likely that the home you live in now won’t be yours forever.
As a result, many homeowners wonder what they can do to ensure their home will have a high resale value when the time comes to move on.
The good news is that there are a lot of things you can do now that will give you a good return on investment when it comes to selling your home later. However, there are a few factors that affect a home’s valuation that are out of your control. We’ll talk about all of those factors below. So, read on for a list of the factors that affect your home’s resale value.
The age of your home
Your house may not complain about it, but it isn’t getting any younger. Homes tend to slowly decrease in value over time. A home built in the late 1970s, even if it’s well taken care of, most likely won’t sell for the same price as a 15-year-old home.
There is one exception to the rule, however, and that is historical houses. Homes that are a century old can sell for top dollar because of the craftsmanship and history that the house contains.
Admittedly, this is a niche market, as many people just want a safe and efficient home to live in. However, there are some homebuyers who will put in a bit of extra work around the house for the chance to live inside of a piece of history.
When you’re upgrading your house it’s important to remember how that upgrade will pay off years down the road. Some renovations will almost always give a good return on investment such as a finished basement or attic and improving efficiency via added insulation or replacing windows.
Renovations that match a very specific decorative taste or style could come back to haunt you. This includes bathroom sinks, kitchen cabinets, countertops, and other expensive projects that are subject to the next owner’s taste. While these upgrades can give a good return on your investment, they’re more likely to be successful if they fit the current trends of style and craftsmanship.
Neighborhood and town
One of the factors of home valuation that you have little control over is the town and neighborhood the house is located in. If there are closed down businesses, foreclosed and deteriorating homes then potential buyers might be turned off to the neighborhood.
Similarly, the town you live in has a lot to do with how much people are willing to spend. If you have easy access to interstate highways and large cities, highly rated schools, and good local infrastructure, then buyers are likely to take these into consideration when making an offer, as the average cost of a home in your town is likely higher than some surrounding towns.