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


Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 1/25/2019

If you intend to list your residence in the near future, you might believe your house is worth more than you originally paid for it. However, there are many factors that impact a house's value, and these factors include:

1. The Current State of the Real Estate Market

The housing market can vary from city to city, town to town and state to state. So it's generally a good idea to analyze the local real estate climate. You then can use housing market data to determine whether the current real estate climate favors buyers or sellers.

In a buyer's market, there is typically an abundance of quality houses. Meanwhile, a seller likely will need to dedicate time and resources to differentiate his or her home from the competition in a buyer's market. A seller will also want to hire a real estate agent who can help them navigate the challenges of listing a residence in a buyer's market.

Comparatively, in a seller's market, a seller has a golden opportunity to maximize their house sale earnings. In this market, there is usually a shortage of first-rate houses, and homes may sell shortly after they become available. If the market is currently favoring sellers, you may be better equipped than ever before to enjoy a seamless house selling experience.

2. Your Home's Condition

Over the years, you may have committed substantial time and resources to upgrade your residence both inside and out. As such, if you list your home now, your residence may be worth more than you initially paid for it.

On the other hand, if your home has its fair share of problems, these issues may negatively affect its value. But if you upgrade your house before you list it, you could improve your house's value accordingly.

Of course, a home appraisal may help you verify the current value of your residence based on its condition, the housing market, and other factors. During a house appraisal, a property expert will analyze your residence both inside and out. They will provide you with an appraisal report that can help you determine how to price your house.

3. The Economy

Economic fluctuations are common across the United States, and the present state of the national economy may have far-flung effects on your house's value.

For example, a thriving economy may lead people to pursue their dreams of owning a house. In this economy, a seller who lists a top-notch house could reap the benefits of a fast, profitable home selling experience.

Conversely, in a fledgling economy, the number of home sellers may exceed the number of homebuyers. In this scenario, sellers will need to work diligently to promote their residences to the right groups of potential buyers and price their residences competitively.

Consider these factors as you get set to list your home. By doing so, you can analyze your home's value and explore ways to boost the likelihood of getting the best price for your residence.





Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 9/21/2018

A home repair checklist can make a world of difference for any home seller, at any time. With this checklist in hand, a home seller can prioritize assorted home repairs. Plus, a home repair checklist helps ensure that a seller can enhance his or her house before adding it to the real estate market.

Ultimately, there are several items to include in a home repair checklist, such as:

1. Inspecting and Repairing the Roof

If you notice damaged, loose or missing roof shingles, you'll want to repair or replace these shingles immediately. That way, you can improve your home's roof – something that may make your house more attractive than others to dozens of potential buyers.

Remember, many homebuyers don't want to deal with the hassle of roof repairs. If you allocate the necessary time and resources to repair your roof today, you can include details about your upgraded roof in your home listing. Thus, roof repairs may help you increase the likelihood of a fast, profitable home sale.

When it comes to roof repairs, it often pays to hire professionals. Reach out to local roof repair companies, and you should have no trouble upgrading your house's roof.

2. Sealing Cracks and Gaps in Windows and Doors

Cracks and gaps in windows and doors can cause warm or cold air to leak outside a house. As a result, these problems can drive up a homeowner's monthly heating and cooling bills.

Fortunately, sealing cracks and gaps in windows and doors can be quick and easy. In most instances, caulk or weather stripping can help minimize these issues. Or, you can always reach out to local contractors for professional assistance as well.

3. Power-Washing Windows and Siding

Your home's curb appeal can have a significant impact on how quickly your residence sells. If you power-wash your residence's windows and siding, you can instantly boost your home's curb appeal and help your residence stand out to potential buyers.

Oftentimes, you can rent a power-washer from a home improvement store. You also may choose to buy a power-washer; by doing so, you can use your power-washer both now and in the future.

A home repair checklist is a must-have for home sellers, regardless of the current housing market's conditions. If you need extra help determining which home repairs to complete prior to listing your residence, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent too.

By hiring a real estate agent, you can receive expert guidance throughout the home selling journey. A real estate agent can put you in touch with the best local contractors to help you finish myriad home repairs. In addition, a real estate agent will help you promote your residence to the right groups of buyers and ensure that you can generate substantial interest in your house.

Ready to sell your house? Include the aforementioned items in your home repair checklist, and you can upgrade your residence in no time at all.





Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 12/15/2017

Many new homeowners are eager to begin renovations on their home to make it fit the beautiful picture they have in their mind. Unfortunately the aesthetic improvements, while important, are often prioritized over important structural and functional repairs that should be made first. The key to making smart financial decisions for renovating your home is to have a good budget and to stick to it. Home improvements are one of the few expenses that people often forget to budget for, alongside car repairs and emergency medical expenses. If done properly, however, a budget will help you prioritize your repairs so you'll spend your time and money wisely. In this article, we'll explain how to budget for home repairs in a way that works for you and your family.

Understanding your money

To budget for home improvements, you first need to budget for other things in your life. Use an app or website like Mint or You Need a Budget to get a better understanding of how you spend your money. For some, budgeting for home improvements may mean cutting back on other spending areas. Fortunately, these apps break down all of your purchases by categories and help you spend less each month.

Ranking your renovations

If you're dying to update the bathroom but the roof needs to be redone, you should call the roofers first. Some home improvements are a ticking time bomb: deteriorating roofs, poor insulation, HVAC issues, water damage, and safety concerns like fire hazards are all problems that need to be addressed first on your budget. Some will save you money, others could save your life, but all of them are more important than adding closet space in your bathroom.

Estimating costs

Do your research when it comes to the the cost of repairs and home improvements. Once you have a ballpark figure, add it into your budgeting app as a new item on your budget. There is a general rule, when budgeting for home repairs, that you should set aside 1% of the cost of your home for maintenance and repairs each year. However, there are many other factors involved in how much it will cost to upkeep your home like the age of the house, the weather in your area, and how well-maintained the home was before you bought it.

Sticking to your budget

Everyone starts with good intentions, but keeping a budget isn't easy. Thankfully, it has been made much more manageable with the help of apps and websites that link right to your bank accounts. To stick to your home repair budget, make sure you sign up for reminders on your spending and progress. If you're keeping a budget the old fashioned way (pen and paper), put reminders on your calendar each month to check if you're spending too much on home repairs. Another key to successful budgeting it to make sure everyone in the house is on the same page. If your significant other plays a role in home repairs, go over your budget together. This will help you keep one another accountable and set priorities that work for everyone.





Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 2/10/2017

Owning a home is expensive. Aside from your mortgage, you also have to pay for insurance, utilities, property taxes... the list goes on.

It may seem like there are few ways to cut back on the expenses of owning a home. However, one of the most effective things you can do to save money as a homeowner is to do your own maintenance. The cost of home repairs can add up, especially if you live in an older home or in an area where services like plumbers and electricians aren’t accessible or affordable.

With a little research and some hard work, however, maintaining your home can be a source of pride and of saving yourself money.

In this article, we’ll cover the basic home maintenance and home improvement knowledge that will save you money, and point you in the direction of some resources that will help you attain those skills.

Maintenance is key

To increase the longevity of appliances like refrigerators, washers and dryers, you’ll need to perform some mundane tasks regularly. That includes cleaning filters, fans, and going online to order new ones when necessary. In the same way that failing to change your oil filter will result in a much more expensive issue, so will failing to properly maintain your appliances.

In a world where companies are making it increasingly difficult for consumers to repair their own devices, it’s more important than ever to learn the basic skills needed to make simple repairs.

What you should do before repairing anything

There are some precautions you should take before repairing or maintaining things like appliances. First, always be sure the item is turned off and unplugged before working with its components.

Next, refer to the manual first, but if that fails, search for tutorials online such as on YouTube for your particular model. Always keep in mind that sometimes warranties are void if you attempt repairs yourself,  so make sure the repair you’re attempting is easy enough so that you don’t risk losing your warranty.

The right tools for the job

It might be tempting to go down to The Home Depot and fill a cart with power tools when you buy your first home. Remember, however, that certain tools are more useful than others. Find out which tools you’ll be using most often. Odds are they’re simple, inexpensive hand tools that will fit in a small toolbox. Some power tools, such as a cordless drill, will probably be worth the investment as long as you take care of the batteries.

Don’t throw out good materials

Ample storage space is a problem many homeowners face. But if you can spare the space, hold onto materials from previous projects that might come in handy. Some examples include:

  • Paint. You don’t want to have to go back to the store and mix a new can of paint just for a touch-up.

  • Nails and screws that come with your purchases. Sometimes the screws are designed specifically for whatever you’re building. Save your backups so you don’t have to buy a new bag if one is lost.

  • Wood. Having extra wood around can come in handy for any number of home improvement projects.




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Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 6/10/2016

It is great to have a room renovation every once in a while but painting and changing the look of a room can be costly and time consuming. Here are three quick and simple ways to change the look of your room without busting the budget.

  1. Window Treatments are one of the quickest, simplest and most affordable ways to change the whole look and feel of a room. If you prefer to take the focus away from the windows, choose neutral colors, and a simple style. If you would like to create a dramatic look and emphasize the view, choose more color or a bolder style in the window treatments. A layered look with sheers or a top treatment will also do the trick.
  2. Lighting can definitely add color. A simple solution would be to add colored bulbs to some of your light fixtures. Incandescent lighting can also add more warmth, and accent lighting can highlight an area of the room. Transform a room’s mood with dimmers, uplights, and sheer textile lampshades. Wall sconces, floor lamps and even candles can also change the look of a room.
  3. Artwork can change the look without busting the budget. Artwork can be from a local gallery, children’s drawings or just what you already have hanging around the house. Choose pieces that showcase intense colors but also work well with the existing pieces in your room. Try moving your current artwork around. Photos, vases, and other collectibles can give new life to a room. Group them in sets of three or five for an instant eye-catching display.
The possibilities are endless. You can infuse a lot of color into any room without once having to pry open a paint can or spend a fortune. Have fun!