Michelle Gillespie - Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices N.E. Prime Properties



Posted by Michelle Gillespie on 12/10/2017

There are countless reasons you might want more privacy in your backyard. Whether you live on a busy road and have motorists gawking at you as you cut the grass, or if you live in close proximity with your neighbors and want a bit of alone time on your back patio, we'll cover all of the best ways to get more privacy out of your living space.

Planting your way to privacy

If you want more privacy but don't want to build fences around your yard, one good alternative is to use planned and structured planting to build a natural barrier. This technique is especially beneficial because of the endless variations available on what plants to use. From small shrubs to massive trees, you can determine just how much privacy you want. Similarly, you can choose to layer tress, bushes, plants, and grasses to create a garden-like wall that you and your family can enjoy looking at.

Walls and fences

The standard American household's means of privacy has long been the picket fence. There are a variety of fences on the market and their materials have been updated over the years to become sturdier and less vulnerable to wear than wood. Many old properties have rock walls surrounding their perimeter. If you have a rock wall but it doesn't provide enough privacy, one creative option is to build a small, decorative fence on top of the rock wall. They add a modern look to your wall and increase privacy at the same time.

Take indoor techniques and bring them outside

If you live in an urban area with a very small backyard or patio area one great way to add privacy is to take indoor barriers like curtains and room dividers and use them outside. This will give you the privacy you want but will also make your backyard or patio a cozier place to spend time. Use weather-resistant curtains and dividers when applicable. They will require less cleaning and will last exponentially longer.

Partial privacy options

If you want more privacy but don't want your home to seem like a closed-off fortress there are many partial privacy options to choose from. Some of them are just scaled down versions of the above. For example, you could choose to use dividers or plants only in the area around your patio table. Another great option of partial privacy is to use latticework. To make it more or less private, incorporate plants and vines in the lattice.

Audible privacy

Do you have noisy car traffic on your road? Do you live in the city where there are constant passersby having discussions on the sidewalk? If so you might want to consider some options for audible privacy. Most barriers you put up (a wall or fence, for example) will provide some amount of noise reduction. The properties of the wall will determine just how many decibels will be blocked out. However if you are more concerned with masking or distracting from the outside noise consider using water and nature as a means of audible privacy. Fountains and streams create a pleasant background noise that will drown out some of the background sounds.    





Posted by Michelle Gillespie on 12/3/2017

Purchasing a residence can be quick and simple, particularly for those who know the ins and outs of the housing market.

At first, navigating the real estate market may seem impossible. Fortunately, homebuyers who consider the right questions before they browse residences can streamline the process of acquiring a house.

There are many key questions for homebuyers to consider prior to entering the housing market, including:

1. Where Do I Want to Live?

When it comes to the real estate market, it is all about location. Thus, you'll want to consider where you want to live and plan accordingly.

For example, if you enjoy the city life, you may want to purchase a house in a major metropolitan area. Or, if you prefer quiet country living, you might pursue houses in small towns.

Consider your current and future living situations as well. If you want to work in a particular city or town, you may want to purchase a nearby home. Or, if you plan to have children in the future, you may want to consider properties near schools.

2. How Much Can I Afford?

Unfortunately, bad credit may hinder your chances of securing your ideal residence. But if you know your credit score, you can work to improve it prior to searching for a house.

You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report annually from each of the three reporting agencies (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax). Request a free copy of your credit report, and you can learn your credit score and find out how it may affect your ability to buy a home.

Also, getting pre-approved for a mortgage may make it easy for you to secure a house that matches your budget. With a mortgage in hand, you'll be able to browse homes within a set price range and find one that you can enjoy for years to come.

3. How Do I Get Started?

Let's face it – the real estate market can be complex, but there are many ways to simplify the process of obtaining the perfect residence.

First, create a list of must-haves for your residence. This list will help you narrow your search and determine exactly what you'd like to find in a dream home.

Don't forget to work with an experienced real estate agent, either. This real estate professional can offer support in many areas and ensure that you can explore a wide range of houses at your convenience.

Your real estate agent will help you set up home showings, submit offers on houses and handle negotiations with home sellers. Plus, if you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, your real estate agent will be ready to respond to your queries immediately.

Employing a real estate agent enables you to get your home search started on the right foot. With a real estate agent at your disposal, you can learn about all aspects of the homebuying process. And as a result, you can streamline the homebuying process and find your dream home quickly and effortlessly.




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Posted by Michelle Gillespie on 11/26/2017

If you're considering putting your house on the market, the job of helping you find a qualified buyer is an important one. The real estate agent you choose to market your home, schedule appointments, and provide you with day-to-day guidance will play a crucial role in the outcome of your sale.

In addition to picking an agent who has a successful track record of selling houses similar to yours, their overall attitude, communication style, and energy level can provide you with valuable insights into whether they're up to the challenge.

Here are three of the top reasons that a positive attitude is an indispensable quality in a real estate agent.

  1. When prospective buyers and agents tour your home, they will be influenced by several factors. While their main focus will be on the look and feel of your home, their opinions will also be swayed by your agent's presentation style. Your real estate professional should have a knack for helping prospects focus on the desirable aspects of a home, while downplaying its negative features. Although issues and potential problems with a property usually need to be acknowledged, a resourceful real estate agent will make sure the problem is kept in its proper perspective, rather than blown out of proportion. They'll also do their best to suggest cost-effective solutions. To the extent that it's possible and practical, a good agent will help prospective buyers imagine how much they'd enjoy moving into the house, customizing it to their personal preferences, and making the space their own. People will quickly pick up on the enthusiasm and attitude of your real estate agent, and will be consciously and unconsciously influenced by their verbal and nonverbal messages. Most, if not all, buyers will be quick to detect everything from authenticity and sincerity to indifference and lethargy in an agent. These traits should also be obvious to you when you're interviewing agents during the selection process.
  2. An optimistic, results-oriented real estate agent will tend to be more resourceful, proactive, and solution-oriented that one who focuses more on problems than solutions.
  3. Both enthusiasm and negativity are contagious, so your agent's attitude will have a direct impact on your own outlook. Since your responsibility as the seller is to keep your home and property looking its best at all times, discouragement and a loss of optimism can easily spill over into noticeable details like home cleanliness and staging.

Choosing a great real estate agent can potentially translate into a higher sale price and a shorter period of time that your home will be on the market. Since thousands of dollars are at stake, it makes good financial sense to pick an agent who possesses the necessary people skills, the relevant knowledge, and the professional expertise to bring you the best possible return on the sale of your property.





Posted by Michelle Gillespie on 11/19/2017

When you have an extra bedroom, you should take advantage of it to the full extent. All of the extra space can actually be kind of overwhelming. If you have a plan in mind, your extra bedroom can be so much more than a “spare” room. Here’s some ideas to help you jumpstart your imagination on what to do with an extra bedroom in your home. The great thing about these suggestions is that these rooms can be used day or night for specific purposes. Spa This sounds extravagant to have an in-home spa, but really, it’s possible. If you often hire professionals to give you a massage or a facial, many will actually come to your home. Your extra bedroom can become your private spa room in an instant! Thinking Room The health benefits of meditation are numerous. Having a room that can be a sanctuary for clearing your head, meditating, or just simply making decisions is a great use of an extra bedroom. There will be no other room in your home as quiet and as peaceful! Keep your favorite comfortable chair in there and enjoy the silence and solitude for clear thinking. Reading Room Having a reading room in your home is a classic use of an extra bedroom. If one of your ideas of pleasure is to sit quietly and read, a reading room can be the perfect sanctuary for you. The beauty of a reading room is that the furnishings can be very simple. All you need is simple seating and adequate lighting for a great reading room. A Room For Morning Routines Whether your morning routine is a workout, or simply reading the news with a cup of coffee, having a room to start your day off right is the perfect use of an extra bedroom. Being able to get through your morning routine without any interruptions can help you to set the mood for a great day. You’ll have plenty of room for what you need, be it workout equipment, or a set of a table and chairs. A Toy and Games Room Even adults need some time to have fun. Whether you keep a bunch of board games in this room, install a poker table, or buy some classic arcade games the possibilities are endless when it comes to building a fun room. If you have kids, and don’t have the heart to make an “adults only” room, an extra bedroom can be put to great use if you need a place to store toys and other “kid” things. This can help keep your house a bit neater when the toys are contained. Music Room If there’s a musician or two in the family, a spare room can be put to good use for making music. All of the equipment and supplies can accumulate in the house. Now, there will be a room to keep all of it in. Make sure there’s adequate seating for guests and plenty of outlets available for the musicians to plug in speakers and amplifiers.




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Posted by Michelle Gillespie on 11/12/2017

Selling your home can be scary, particularly for those who are listing a residence for the first time. Fortunately, we're here to help you face your home selling fears so you can overcome them before you add your property to the real estate market.

Now, let's take a look at three common home selling fears, along with some of the ways that you can put these concerns to rest.

1. I won't be able to get the best price for my home.

Getting the best price for a house is the number one concern for most home sellers, and for good reason. Lucky for you, there are several quick, easy ways to ensure you can maximize the value of your residence.

First, check out the housing market and see how your house stacks up against similar residences that are available. This will enable you to collect valuable housing market data that can help you price your house accordingly.

Don't forget to complete a home appraisal too. A property appraiser will allocate the necessary time and resources to analyze your house's interior and exterior. Then, he or she will provide a report that outlines your home's strengths and weaknesses so you can better understand the true value of your residence.

2. My home will stay on the real estate market for years to come.

Let's face it – a home seller likely wants his or her residence to sell as soon as it hits the real estate market. Sometimes, a house can linger on the real estate market for an extended period of time. And when this happens, it is easy to question whether a homebuyer will ever submit an offer on a residence.

As a home seller, it is important to ensure your house makes a positive first impression on homebuyers.

Spend some time mowing the front lawn, clearing dirt and debris from walkways and performing assorted home exterior improvements. This will enable you to boost your house's curb appeal instantly.

Also, declutter your home's interior as much as possible. By doing so, you can make it simple for homebuyers to envision what life would be like if they decide to purchase your residence.

3. When the time comes, I won't be able to relocate to a new home.

After you sell your residence, you'll need to move to a new address. The relocation process often can be difficult, especially if you have lived in a particular house for many years.

A real estate agent can help you prepare for the relocation process. This housing market professional understands all aspects of the home selling cycle, and as such, will be happy to offer expert assistance at all times.

Although selling a home may seem challenging, an informed home seller will understand what it takes to get the best results possible. And if you address your home selling fears now, you should have no trouble optimizing the value of your house and accelerating the home selling process.




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