Larry Costa REALTOR®
CENTURY 21 Classic Gold | 508-272-8028 | larry@larrycosta.com


Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 3/15/2019

Ready to submit an offer on a house? Not so fast. First, you'll want to consider a few key questions, including:

1. Can I afford to buy a house?

If you find a house you like, make sure you can afford the monthly mortgage payments. By doing so, you may be able to avoid costly, time-consuming problems down the line.

Ultimately, getting pre-approved for a mortgage can make a world of difference, particularly for a homebuyer who is ready to submit an offer on a home.

With pre-approval for a mortgage, a homebuyer will understand exactly how much money is at his or her disposal. As a result, this homebuyer can avoid the temptation to overspend on a house.

2. Should I submit a "lowball" offer?

For many homebuyers, it may seem like a good idea to submit a "lowball" offer on a house. But doing so may be problematic for a number of reasons.

If you submit a lowball proposal, a home seller is unlikely to take your bid seriously. As such, this home seller may dismiss your offer and move on to other proposals quickly.

In addition, a lowball offer may cause you to miss out on the opportunity to acquire your dream residence.

When you locate the perfect residence, there is no need to leave anything to chance. If you submit a fair proposal that meets or exceeds a home seller's expectations, you can avoid the risk of losing your dream house to a rival homebuyer.

3. How much should I offer for a residence?

We've already established that a lowball offer is rarely, if ever, a good idea. Now, you'll just need to determine what differentiates a fair proposal from a lowball one.

A fair proposal accounts for the needs of both a homebuyer and home seller. It should be based on the current state of the housing market as well as the condition of a home.

For instance, if you're operating in a buyer's market, there is likely to be a broad assortment of homes available. This means a home seller may need to lower his or her expectations due to the sheer volume of quality residences currently on the market.

Don't forget to study the prices of recently sold homes in a particular city or town too. This housing market data will help you better understand how a residence you're considering stacks up against comparable houses so you can submit an appropriate offer.

4. Do I need a real estate agent?

A real estate agent will take the guesswork out of buying a home, and for good reason. This real estate professional can help you prepare an offer and will negotiate with a home seller on your behalf. That way, you can streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

Hire a real estate agent before you submit an offer on a house – you'll be glad you did. A real estate agent will guide you along the homebuying journey and ensure you can secure a great house at a price that fits your budget.




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Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 3/8/2019

To clean a kitchen cabinet, the type of cabinet you have in your kitchen matters. For general kitchen cabinet cleaning, the following cleaning materials are essential:

  1. Water and detergent
  2. All-purpose cleaner
  3. Vinegar and water
  4. Non-abrasive All-Purpose Cleaner
  5. Baking soda and water

Painted Cabinets

Oil-based painted cabinets are durable and easy to clean. You can use any of the above-listed cleaning materials for this type of finish. There is no concern about damaging the finish, hence; all you need to do is scrub hard to rid it of the dirt and food items. Use water and baking soda if your painted kitchen cabinets have stubborn stains. 

You, however, should be careful if your painted cabinet comes with a water-based latex style of paint. Baking soda, for instance, might scratch off the surface. Instead of this, consider warm water and be sure to be gentle while scrubbing. 

Metal Cabinets

The easiest of the cabinets to clean are the metal type. You can use any of the above means to clean a metal cabinet, except a baking soda. Be careful not overuse water to prevent the obvious – rusting!

Wood Cabinets

An oil-soap wood cleaner is the best cleaning material to use for a wooden cabinet. You can get this at the local grocery or hardware store. Also, with everyday kitchen materials, you can also clean your wooden cupboards easily.

  • Detergent: Any grease or oil laundry detergent and water works well on wood cabinets. Just mix two cups of water alongside every cup of soap. Be sure not to over wet the wood because it can affect the finish. It is also important to wipe it down with a damp and separate cloth.
  • Vinegar: Without any liquid based detergent, you can use water and vinegar as a good alternative. With vinegar, you can get rid of sticky films as a result of dirty hands.
  • Baking Soda: When you have stubborn stains, baking soda is the best to get rid of it. Mix baking soda with water to have a paste, with a wet cloth wipe it cloth

Conclusion

Since a kitchen cabinet is like the workbench in a kitchen, it sees a lot of bacteria, oil, dirt, and grease. That is why it needs frequent and regular cleaning. With routine cleaning, you save more on cleaning services and also ensure you have healthy cooking all year round. If you are having trouble cleaning your kitchen, call in a professional cleaning service to help you get it into shape.




Tags: how to   cleaning tips   kitchen  
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Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 3/1/2019

Selling a home can be quick and seamless, particularly for an individual who crafts a property selling blueprint. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you create a successful plan to sell your house.

1. Analyze the Local Housing Market

A seller who understands the housing market in his or her city or town may be better equipped than other sellers to achieve the optimal results during the property selling journey. In fact, this seller can use various housing market data and insights to make informed decisions time and time again.

For a home seller, it is important to review the prices of recently sold houses in his or her city or town. This individual also should find out how long these residences were available before they sold. With this housing market data in hand, a home seller can determine whether a buyer's or seller's market is in place.

Furthermore, a home seller should look at the prices of comparable houses in his or her city or town. This housing market data will enable a house seller to see how his or her residence stacks up against the competition and prepare accordingly.

2. Learn About Your Home's Strengths and Weaknesses

Consider what separates your home from other houses in your area. This will allow you to explore ways to showcase your residence to the right groups of potential buyers.

Look at your house from the buyer's perspective and think about why a buyer may choose to purchase your residence. Then, you can craft a buyer-centric home selling blueprint designed to stir up lots of interest in your home.

It may be beneficial to conduct a home inspection too. By performing a home inspection, you can learn about any underlying house issues. You next can address these issues before you add your house to the real estate market.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a must-hire for a home seller who is unsure about how to create a successful property selling blueprint, and for good reason. This housing market professional can offer expert insights into the real estate market and home selling journey. By doing so, a real estate agent can help you make the best-possible decisions throughout the property selling cycle.

In addition, a real estate agent will do whatever it takes to help you get the best price for your residence. He or she will promote your residence to the right groups of potential buyers, set up property showings and open house events and much more. And if a buyer submits an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent will help you analyze this proposal and determine whether to accept, reject or counter it.

Ready to list your home? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can develop a home selling blueprint and boost the likelihood of enjoying a successful property selling experience.




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Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 2/15/2019

Packing your suitcase have got to be the most demanding part of your prep. With work, home chores, and other daily routines, the flight you booked a month ago may be upon you in a few minutes.

Say you have just thirty minutes to pack your suitcase or miss your flight for good. What do you do? For starters, bookmark this page and follow the steps listed below. You will be happy you did!

  • First things first, get a suitable bag or suitcase. A big suitcase will make you pack more than you should while a small carry-on bag may be a bit too small. Take the time to choose a bag that suits your stay.
  • Start with relevant items such as bras, socks, shorts, PJ’s, and tops. Be sure to pack one or two extra tops should the need arise. You could also pack one or two fewer shorts. You can always repeat shorts.
  • Set aside two traveling outfits. Make sure they are clothes you are comfortable in because rides are typically unpredictable. Remember to pack your return outfit and leave the other gear for the soon-to-commence journey.
  • There is always space for toiletries. Fix in your conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, body lotion, shampoo, body wash, and perfume.
  • Of course, you need some accessories. Pack in a few accessories such as jewelry and your makeup kit. Remember to pack light. You don't want to go against the TSA rule.
  • Your outfit is incomplete without shoes. Yes, shoes. Try packing at least one type from each category — to have something for every occasion. You don't want to wear flip-flops to a business meeting. And no one wants heels on a beach — pack for the event.
  • Don’t forget to bring a few stuff to make the journey fun. Your suitcase should always have space for your fun bag. Be sure to come with anything that floats your boat. A journal, laptop, drawing pad, headphone, etc. Of course, your phone and chargers should also be in your fun bag. Just about anything to keep you engaged to and from the journey will work the trick.
  • And you are good to go!

Who said packing has to be stressful? You can pack for a week-long vacation in thirty minutes or less with the right hacks. Try these hacks and leave your feedback on how minutes you spent packing. Bon Voyage!




Tags: how to   vacation   clothing  
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Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 2/8/2019

The wall finishes you loved five years ago seem a little stale now. Even though the walls have held up and don't need repainting, the look seems dated. Either that or your do-it-yourself gene wants to express itself again with something completely different. Go ahead. Splash some paint on those walls. Better yet, try a new finish to add warmth, depth, and sophistication to any room.

Decorative techniques

  • Sophisticated stenciling. Instead of flowers, paisley, and fleurs-de-lis think techno dashes or graphic geometrics. Try a single wall in the bathroom, or above the backsplash in the kitchen. For a fanciful finish, wrap your design around a corner and fade into the larger wall.
  • Stripes and checks. New painter tapes and smoother wall finishes lend themselves to stripes and checks. For an intricate detailing try graduating from wide stripes to narrow as you move up the wall or start with a darker color and move to a lighter one. Another sophisticated look is a plaid or check. Think gingham for a classic design. You'll need both a deeper and lighter version of the same hue to complete the look.
  • Strié. Different from stripes, strié is a faux finish utilizing glaze and brushes in a horizontal or vertical motion to create natural striations—fine ridges or grooves—on the surface of the wall. Because the process removes glaze with each brush stroke, it is a "negative technique" rather than adding it. The simplest version requires rolling a layer of faux-glaze over the entire wall, then removing it in lines with a dry brush.
  • Dots and harlequins. Add a bit of whimsy to the wall of a bedroom wall with polka dots or harlequins (elongated diamonds). Use a stencil for the dots and tap for the harlequins. Raise the bar a bit with your dots by placing them randomly rather than an evenly-spaced pattern or put larger groups of dots nearer the ceiling with fewer and fewer as they progress down the wall toward the floor.
  • Metallics. A newcomer to the paint scene, metallic paints such as pewter or copper in a glossy finish add drama to a niche or alcove. Use a metallic bronze above a fireplace or paint a powder room ceiling antique gold.
  • Sponging. Arguably one of the least complex finishes to master, sponging can date your home back to the 90s or move it into the modern era depending on the care and precision you use. A single color, say blue or green on a white wall, is the old version of this technique. To give a completely updated version, paint the wall a medium dark color, say an ocean blue, and then sponge on slightly lighter and slightly darker colors with a light hand to give the wall the look of aged azure stone. For a more formal look, lightly add metallic touches with a dry sponge to add reflective tones.
  • Color wash. For textured walls and paintable wallpaper, color wash creates a beautiful finish. Paint the walls in a satin finish paint, then, brush over it with a glaze mixture to bring out the texture.
  • Hand rubbed. Like color wash, the hand-subbed technique uses a soft cloth or old cotton sock, instead of a brush, to rub the glaze in a circular pattern onto the wall.

No matter what the technique, if you don't love the finished product, simply paint over it and start again. Before utilizing a specialty paint technique on the walls in a home you plan to sell, chat with your local real estate professional to see if it's the right choice for your home.




Tags: decorating   painting tips   DIY  
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