Robin Spangenberg
Northeast Signature Properties, LLC | 508-277-4144 | robin@nesignature.com


Posted by Robin Spangenberg on 4/15/2018

You may think of downsizing as something that makes sense when you have an empty nest. Larger families do, of course, need more room. Downsizing can also be financially strategic and rewarding for you and your family if you have the opportunity to do so.


How Much Is Your Home Worth? 


There comes a point in your life when the amount of money that your home is worth is very important. Maybe you need the money for retirement and are looking to move to a cheaper city or state. Maybe itís time for you to pursue your goals and dreams. Whatever the reason, your home is a very large asset.  


If you downsize, youíll have a bit more money available to invest for your future. You may even consider buying an investment property. If all of your money isnít tied up in a home, youíll have a bit more freedom to do other things with your money.


A Smaller Home Means Smaller Expenses 


When you downsize your home you end up with much lower expenses for your housing. Youíll save big on both utilities and home maintenance. Youíll be surprised as to how much extra cash youíll have each and every month that youíll be able to use for other things like investing, travel, or other expenses. Youíll have the ability to do things beyond simply achieve that one dream goal of home ownership. 


What If You Donít Already Own A Home?


Thereís a lesson to be learned here for renters as well. If youíre getting ready to buy a home, you may want to think small. A smaller home that can suit your needs will allow you to save thousands of dollars over the life of the mortgage on your home. Remember that a mortgage payment is more than just the cost of the home. Youíll need to include things like taxes, insurance, mortgage insurance, heating, electricity, and more. The smaller the house that you buy, the less all of these things will cost. Think of what you could do if you invested that extra money that you saved on all of these things each month. 


What Would You Do With The Money You Save?


Having a big, beautiful home is a fantastic goal to achieve. You may have other dreams that you want to pursue in addition to owning a home. While downsizing isnít for everyone, many people use the money they save to do some pretty incredible things like:


  • Travel
  • Go back to school
  • Buy a vacation home


The Negatives Of Downsizing


If you move into a smaller home, there are a few drawbacks. For one, youíll have less storage and will actually need to downsize your amount of belongings as well. Youíll also have less room for visitors if hey come to stay. If grandkids frequent your home, you may be hesitant to sell and find a smaller place. It may also be difficult to find what youíre looking for at a certain price in a specific area. Think carefully before you decide to downsize and see if it has the right benefits for you.





Posted by Robin Spangenberg on 12/31/2017

Buying a house may prove to be a long, complex journey, especially for a first-time homebuyer who decides to pursue a residence on his or her own. Fortunately, many real estate agents are available to help first-time homebuyers make their homeownership dreams come true.

Now, let's take a look at three tips that first-time homebuyers can use to find the right real estate agent in any housing market, at any time.

1. Go Beyond a Web Search

In many instances, it is easy to conduct a web search of real estate agents in a city or town. However, a diligent first-time homebuyer will know to look beyond a simple web search to discover the ideal real estate agent.

Take a look at a real estate agent's website. By doing so, a homebuyer can learn about a real estate agent's industry accomplishments and experience.

Also, don't hesitate to contact a real estate agent's office directly. This enables a homebuyer to have a brief conversation with a real estate agent and find out exactly what this housing market professional is all about.

2. Host a Face-to-Face Meeting

A face-to-face meeting may prove to be exceedingly valuable for both a first-time homebuyer and a real estate agent, and for good reason.

During a face-to-face meeting, a homebuyer can ask questions and learn about a real estate agent's industry expertise. Plus, a homebuyer can receive comprehensive insights into what it will take to acquire a top-notch residence at a budget-friendly price.

Meanwhile, a face-to-face meeting helps a real estate agent learn about a homebuyer's goals. A homebuyer can provide information about what he or she wants in a dream home, and a real estate agent can offer details about what a homebuyer should expect at each stage of the property buying journey.

3. Receive Client Referrals

Although a first-time homebuyer may feel comfortable with hiring a real estate agent after a face-to-face meeting, it is always better to err on the side of caution. Thus, a homebuyer who requests client referrals from a real estate agent ensures that he or she can make the best possible decision.

A real estate agent should have no trouble providing you with multiple client referrals. Then, you can reach out to this housing professional's past clients to find out how he or she has helped homebuyers achieve their desired results.

Spend some time reaching out to a real estate agent's past clients Ė you'll be happy you did. With additional client insights at your disposal, you can improve your chances of choosing the perfect real estate agent.

Lastly, it is important to remember that a real estate agent should be available to guide you along the homebuying journey. This housing market professional boasts in-depth industry experience, and as such, can share deep insights to help you make informed decisions as you go from homebuyer to homeowner.

Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and a first-time homebuyer can employ a first-rate real estate agent and gain unparalleled support throughout the homebuying cycle.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Robin Spangenberg on 11/26/2017

Thereís a lot to buying a home. Thereís no perfect home. Home inspectors will tell you that even brand new houses have their issues. If you know the right questions to ask before you even buy a home, youíll be armed with a knowledge that you wouldnít otherwise have. There are some very revealing questions that you can ask sellers to help you get some insight into a property. These questions can usually also be answered by your home inspector when you get to the inspection process.  


Have You Had Water Damage Or Pipe Issues?


Water damage is a big deal. It can hide mold and other damage. Thereís also a big issue if the pipes in a home have previously burst, or caused water damage on their own. Especially in cold climates, water damage and burst pipes can be common if the piping has not been properly insulated.


The Age Of The Roof


If the roof on a home has been recently replaced, thatís a huge bonus to buying the home. Roofing typically lasts about 25 years until it needs to be replaced. If a roof is getting close to the end of its lifespan, you can ask for a rebate or be wary that repairs will need to be made in the near future. 


Pests


If a home has had any kind of significant pest infestation, then youíll want to know about it and be sure that it has been resolved. There could be some underlying conditions within the home itself that have made the pest infestation possible. Whether thereís some unaddressed holes, rotting wood, or hidden leaks, theyíll need to be taken care of so that an infestation doesnít reoccur. 


Paranormal Activity


This may sound strange but some people will run out of their homes as fast as they can if they see a ghost or something else. ďHaunted housesĒ are a particularly difficult sell. This includes homes with:


  • Ghost sightings
  • Murders
  • Suicides
  • Unusual deaths
  • Drug labs


Many states require that these problems and conditions be revealed in a disclosure statement. Other states do not legally require this. Check local laws to find out more about paranormal activity disclosures.

Some other great questions to ask when youíre in the process of buying a home are:


  • Will your car fit in the garage?
  • How much are the utility costs?
  • Who are the utility companies?
  • Does the home have a sewer or a septic tank?
  • Are there any warranties left on items in the home?


Asking these questions not only helps you as you move into a new home, but it helps you to get a better understanding of what types of insurance you need to put on your home. If you need to add a few extra pieces to the policy to protect yourself due to any information that you learn, youíll feel safer.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Robin Spangenberg on 11/12/2017

Whether new or old, many homes can have issues that arenít obvious from photos. Many of the most common problems in a home have to do with the plumbing system. Since water can be so damaging, itís especially important to get these issues out in the open prior to sale.

Some sellers might be aware of their plumbing issues, others may have no clue at all. Oftentimes, if a home was previously occupied by only one or two people who didnít entertain many guests, they may not be aware of the strain that a larger family could have on things like the septic system.

In this article, weíll cover some of the most common plumbing issues that a home has and help you identify these issues before you buy a new home.

The small fixes

Letís start with some problems that are common and simple to address. When touring a home or performing an inspection, test all of the homeís faucets. Dripping faucets might not seem like a big issue, but the cost of wasted water can add up on your utility bill.

Leaking pipes are another issue that is seemingly harmless, but can lead to bigger problems that could cost thousands of dollars to repair. Check ceilings, floors, and underneath cabinets for signs of water damage.

Flush the toilets in the house to see if they continue running. Toilets that continue running water is often a simple fix, like replacing the chain or flapper in the tank. However, a leaking toilet could be symptomatic of a bigger problem that could include having to replace the toilet.

Sewer line and septic systems

Ask the owner about the history of the sewer or septic system. Find out if theyíve had problems recently and when the last time they were taken care of. If there is a septic tank or field on the property, look for signs of issues such as the grass having been dug out, water pooling in the yard, or foul smells in the area.

When it comes to septic and sewer issues, always reach out to a professional. They will be able to give you an accurate assessment and estimate of costs.

Inspect the pipes

Spot-checking the pipes in the home will tell you a lot about the state of the plumbing. Pipes that are old, worn, and lacking insulation are signs that plumbing issues could be coming. Rust is a major red flag. The water lines that lead out of the house for lawn faucets should also be wrapped to avoid freezing in the winter months.

Hot water heater

Just like the septic system, youíll want to ask about the history of the homeís hot water heater. If itís over ten years old, you might have to replace it soon after purchase.

You should also consider the size of the hot water heater. Youíll want to be sure it can accommodate your expected water usage. If children are in your future, having a bigger hot water heater might be something you want to plan for to avoid cold showers in the morning.





Posted by Robin Spangenberg on 10/29/2017

As you go on the house hunt, youíre likely to attend many different open houses. After awhile you can get confused as to what you have seen and where you saw it. Each open house or home showing is only a short window of time. As a buyer, youíre trying to get the feel for a house. Being an observant home shopper can help you to avoid a lot of problems down the road. Check out some of the biggest red flags that you need to look out for when you attend an open house.


The Candles Are Burning Bright


You walk into an open house and see a lovely candle lit on the kitchen table. While it may make you feel all warm and fuzzy, itís not always a good sign. Candles are a great way to mask odors. There could possibly be a musty odor coming from the sink, the basement, or another part of the house. This spells hidden damage and possible danger for you as a homebuyer. While the home inspection should pick up on things like this, you donít necessarily want to get that far in the process. The art of masking odors could be a sign that the sellers are trying to hide something.


Be Your Own Inspector


As you walk through the home do you notice squeaky floor boards, cracks in the walls, cracks in the ceilings, or a drippy faucet? Maybe you see some patches on the walls or mirrors and paintings that seem out of place? These are all issues that could be signs of a greater problem. Keep in mind that no house is perfect, but you should do a little investigating on your own while walking through the house at showings.


The Home Doesnít Appear Cared For


Curb appeal is one thing, but a home that looks unkept is a sign of a larger problem for you. Has the lawn been mowed? Is the fence in disrepair? How does the home appear from the outside at first glance? There are plenty of ways that you can fix up a home to make it your own once you buy it, but the question is just how much of a challenge are you up for? There is always a chance that youíll have large maintenance costs when a home hasnít been properly maintained by the previous owners.


Searching for homes and going to open houses can be fun. It can also be an educational experience to help you narrow down what youíre looking for and what you can handle as a homeowner.            





Categories: Uncategorized