Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 1/13/2020

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What is natural ventilation? It's utilizing wind with the "chimney effect" to draw warm air out of the home and replacing it with cooler air from outside. As the wind blows against your home, it forces air into open windows on one side of the house while a vacuum effect draws the air out of the windows on the other side. The vacuum effect relies on convection. As cool fresh air is pulled into the home it absorbs heat from the room, the warm air rises and exits through rooftop vents or skylights on the upper floors. As the warm air moves out of the space, cooler fresh air is pulled in behind it. When mechanized to operate by a thermostat, natural ventilation systems modulate the temperature in your home efficiently. Countless benefits come with natural ventilation. Here are a few:

Low utility bills

One of the primary advantages of using a natural ventilation system is the decrease in your energy bills. Natural ventilation and hybrid ventilation consume much less energy (or no energy at all) compare to these mechanical systems. To save more on energy consumption, perhaps going for a natural hybrid ventilation system that cuts down on your energy use would be best.

Efficiency 

Natural ventilation systems have a low energy consumption level. This makes them the best choice when looking to increase efficiency in a building or home. You can save up to 70 percent of your emissions, much more than the traditional mechanical ventilation.

Maintenance

The overall cost of maintaining HVAC ventilation is high, compared to natural ventilation systems. Natural systems generally come with fewer, more affordable parts.

Space saving

A natural ventilation system takes very little space, especially as compared to an automated system. If you don’t want bulky components, a natural system is the better option.

Natural ventilation systems work best in areas where the days are warm and the nights are cool. If you live in an area that is very humid or where day and night temperatures are similar, natural ventilation systems are less effective.





Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 1/6/2020

For most college students and recent grads, the prospect of buying a home seems slim and distant. With the cost of a college education growing each year and the price of houses inflating, it can seem daunting to begin to save for a down payment or build credit.

 However, there are ways to start planning now for buying a home, even if you are burdened with student debt and rising rent.

 In this article, we’re going to do just that. If you’re a recent grad or a current college student, read on for a guide to buying a home.

What do you need to buy a home

Once you graduate college you might be wishing you could have taken an elective called “How to Be an Adult 101.” There are many personal finance problems in life that just aren’t taught in school, from saving for retirement, to borrowing for a house or car, to investing in stocks and bonds.

So, what are the main things you’ll need to buy a home? Before you start applying for mortgages, you should know that just because you can get approved doesn’t mean you should buy a home.

Purchasing a home is a huge investment and one that most homeowners take decades to pay off. With high interest rates and private mortgage insurance (PMI), the cost of owning a home can be immense.

To avoid PMI and get a good interest rate, you’ll need a few things.

Credit score

Your credit score is one thing that lenders take into consideration when determining how risky it is to lend to you. They want to know that they’ll receive a return on their investment and that you won’t stop paying your mortgage. A good way to gauge this is by looking at your financial history.

Your credit score mainly takes into account the following five things:

  1. Payment history - 35%: Do you pay your bills (utilities, loans, etc.) on time each month?

  2. Credit usage - 30%: How much of your maximum credit have you used? If you max out your cards this can reflect poorly on your ability to manage money. However, if you don’t use any accounts you might have a hard time building a payment history.

  3. Length of credit history - 15%: The longer you’ve been paying bills the more trustworthy you are to lenders

  4. New credit - 10%: If you recently opened or attempted to open cards this will temporarily lower your credit score as it could be a sign of financial duress

  5. Types of credit - 10%: store accounts, credit cards, loans, etc. Having a variety of credit types will boost your score.

Having student loans as a college graduate can often give your credit score a leg up on others who don’t have a credit history. However, to boost your score you’ll want to keep making on-time payments and consider using a credit card if you can afford it.

Employment history

Most recent college grads cringe when they hear that their employment history is important to lenders. However, you might be pleased to know that being a full-time student is something lenders take into consideration.

They will, however, need to see employment history from your current employer, and the more you can prove that you have a stable job the better.

Down payment

One of the most important things you can do right now is to save for a down payment. Designate a portion of your paycheck each week to a separate savings account if you need to in order to hold yourself accountable. The bigger down payment you can make, the better your interest rate and the more money you’ll save over the length of your mortgage.

Finally, don’t let increases in your salary change your lifestyle. Staying frugal will help you avoid “lifestyle inflation” or spending more simply because you make more. Decide what you value, and choose purchases wisely.




Tags: College   home buying  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 12/30/2019

Many sellers aren’t sure how to give a positive spin to their small backyard. We imagine that most homeowners want a large expanse of green with various types of trees and maybe even room for a vegetable garden.

However, there are ways to make a small yard a good thing. After all, less yard means less grass to mow and water and worry over when drought hits.

In this article, we’re going to give you some tips on making your tiny yard appealing to buyers.

Decorate wisely

Making an area seem more spacious is often a matter of smart decorating. Just like you can make a room appear bigger with bright colors and mirrors, you can make a yard appear bigger with proper landscaping and outdoor furniture.

When it comes to patio furniture, keep it simple. You don’t need a massive set of furniture in a small yard, and filling your yard up with chairs will make it feel crowded.

Choose a few well-placed decorations for your yard, and keep it simple.

Container gardening

A good way to make a small yard feel more in touch with nature is to plant in containers. Sticking to a central theme with your plants will give the yard a sense of continuity and simplicity that will make it feel welcoming.

Container gardening is also a good option for people who live in arid areas prone to drought. You can choose drought resistant plants that are easy to maintain.

Landscaping is key

You know how a cluttered and messy bedroom feels small and unwelcoming? The same is true for a cluttered and unkempt backyard. Cutting the grass and trimming the trees and hedges will go a long way. However, also remember to not use your backyard as a storage space. Tools and equipment that aren’t put away will make the yard feel even smaller than it already is.

Set a focal point

Small backyards don’t need a lot of features and amenities. One key area is enough to satisfy the eye. Rather than choosing several small decorations, stick to one thing. Whether it’s a small box garden, a fireplace, or a well-placed tree, drawing the eye is one way to distract from the size of the space.

Small is a style

The last important thing to keep in mind is that houses with small backyards are usually found in locations where small backyards are expected. You wouldn’t dream of finding a large backyard behind a class brownstone in Brooklyn, and as a result, the small backyards of those builds have taken on a charm of their own.

If you aren’t sure about how to incorporate landscaping and decorations in your tiny backyard, look up some inspiration online for urban backyards that match the style of your home. This will attract buyers who are already looking for something that your home already has--character.





Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 12/23/2019

Creating an offer to purchase a home may require several minutes, hours or days – it all depends on the buyer. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to accelerate the process of putting together a homebuying proposal that will get a seller's attention. These include:

1. Study the Housing Market Closely

When it comes to preparing an offer to purchase a house, there is no need to leave anything to chance. If you analyze the real estate market closely, you can gain the housing sector insights you need to craft a competitive homebuying proposal.

Take a look at the prices of recently sold houses in your area, along with how long these residences were available before they sold. With this information in hand, you can determine whether the current housing market favors buyers or sellers and craft your offer to purchase accordingly.

Analyze a house's age and condition as well. By doing so, you can account for the state of a house as you put together an offer to purchase.

2. Maintain Flexibility

Although you may be in a hurry to acquire your dream residence, a seller may need time to find a new place to live. As such, you should maintain flexibility as you craft your offer to purchase and be ready to accommodate a seller's requests.

Ultimately, it is important for a home sale agreement to meet the needs of both a buyer and seller. If you consider the seller's perspective as you create an offer to purchase, you may be better equipped than ever before to craft a homebuying proposal that works well for both you and a seller.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Let's face it – creating an offer to purchase a house can be challenging, particularly for a buyer who is putting together a homebuying proposal for the first time. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available nationwide who can help you craft a competitive offer to purchase in no time at all.

A real estate agent is happy to provide you with homebuying insights you may struggle to obtain elsewhere. He or she can offer recommendations and suggestions as you prepare a homebuying proposal. Plus, a real estate agent can help you submit an offer to purchase and negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf.

Let's not forget about the support a real estate agent provides after you submit an offer to purchase, either. If your homebuying proposal is approved, a real estate agent will help you finalize your house purchase. Or, if your offer to purchase is rejected, a real estate agent will help you reenter the housing market so you can discover your dream house. In the event a seller counters your offer to purchase, a real estate agent can help you determine the best course of action, too.

Ready to submit an offer to purchase your ideal residence? Use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble submitting a competitive homebuying proposal and acquiring your dream house.





Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 12/19/2019

This Single-Family in Lexington, MA recently sold for $807,400. This Cape style home was sold by Mary-Lou McDonough - Barrett Sotheby's International Realty.


68 Harding Road, Lexington, MA 02420

Single-Family

$809,900
Price
$807,400
Sale Price

8
Rooms
3
Beds
2/1
Full/Half Baths
Your holidays just got a lot brighter. Looking for a terrific home with top notch schools, this 3 bedroom home is located in an outstanding neighborhood and convenient to all that Lexington has to offer. You will love the spacious rooms including a first floor master suite complete with a full bath and sliders leading to your back deck. Enjoy autumn nights by the fire in your tranquil living room or entertain in your eat-in-kitchen with stainless appliances. Just off the kitchen is a generous family room which offers even more entertaining space. Two freshly painted bedrooms with built-in shelves are located on the second floor and another full bath. The finished lower level with its separate entrance offers you great flexibility with two finished spacious rooms and a half bath. Enjoy your private yard or relax on your sizeable back deck. This home has been lovingly maintained by the current owners for over 25 years. Welcome Home for the Holidays!

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Categories: Sold Homes