Your Guide to May

As you’re busy juggling your spring to-dos, be sure to check out what’s happening this month … and don’t forget to stop and smell the roses!

“The world’s favorite season is the spring. All things seem possible in May.”
– Edwin Way Teale

May 1 — May Day/International Workers’ Day

This twofold holiday celebrates both the spring season and the rights and achievements of working people. So whether you want to spend more time in your garden or stand in solidarity with your fellow workers, there’s no wrong way to celebrate!

If you’re not familiar with this holiday, here are some fun facts to get you up to speed:

  • May Day traditions can be traced back thousands of years to ancient Celtic and Roman cultures, where they held festivals to celebrate the coming of spring.

  • The holiday took on a different meaning in the U.S. in the late 19th century, when laborers joined forces to fight for safer working conditions and an eight-hour work day.

  • The distress signal “Mayday! Mayday!” has nothing to do with May Day, but is actually an adoption of the French word m’aider, meaning “help me.”

May 4 — Star Wars Day

PYou don’t have to be in a galaxy far, far away to get in the Star WarsTM spirit on May 4th. This is a day for fans everywhere to revel in all things Star Wars. From hosting a movie marathon to cosplaying your favorite character to trying weird things like this blue milk recipe, there are a million and one ways to celebrate the beloved saga. Find more ideas at starwars.com.

May 5 — Cinco de Mayo

 

Officially a celebration of Mexico’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla, this lively holiday has become a fun and popular way to honor Mexican culture and heritage. Take part in the fiesta by heading to your nearest Cinco de Mayo festival, where you can enjoy traditional Mexican food, dance, art, and other cultural treasures.

May 13 — Mother’s Day

 

Let the moms in your life know they’re loved and appreciated, not just on Mother’s Day, but every day. Whether it’s quality time, a home-cooked meal, or a day at the spa, think of ways you can give Mom a break and make her feel extra special this Mother’s Day.

May 28 — Memorial Day 

On Memorial Day, we pause to remember those who bravely gave their lives for our freedom. Please join me in honoring the memory and sacrifice of our nation’s fallen heroes.

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$449,900

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How To Prepare to Buy a Home

Talk to mortgage brokers.
Many first-time home buyers don’t take the time to get pre-approved. They also often don’t take the time to shop around to find the best mortgage for their particular situation. It’s important to ask plenty of questions and make sure you understand the home loan process completely.

Be ready to move.
This is especially true in markets with a low inventory of homes for sale. It’s very common for home buyers to miss out on the first home they wish to purchase because they don’t act quickly enough. By the time they’ve made their decision, they may find that someone else has already purchased the house.

Find a trusted partner.
It’s absolutely vital that you find a real estate professional who understands your goals and who is ready and able to guide you through the home buying process.

 

1st-time-hb.jpgMake a good offer.
Remember that your offer is very unlikely to be the only one on the table. Do what you can to ensure it’s appealing to a seller.

Factor maintenance and repair costs into your buying budget.
Even brand-new homes will require some work. Don’t leave yourself short and let your home deteriorate.

Think ahead.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in your present needs, but you should also think about reselling the home before you buy.

Develop your home/neighborhood wish list.
Prioritize these items from most important to least. Select where you want to live.

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Billerica, MA
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It certainly feels like spring today!

Spring is certainly right around the corner and even though the flowers aren’t quite blooming just yet, this is a great time to prepare your home for the spring market! 434_large_image

If you are a prospective seller, it is important to use this time to start getting your home ready:

 
Start Interviewing Prospective Realtors
One of the most important thing to do when selling your home is to find a great agent to represent you. If you don’t have one already, then get recommendations from friends and interview different agents to find one who will be the best fit for you. A good listing agent should have a great marketing plan, experience, and deep knowledge of the area and market. Don’t simply go with the one who tells you they can sell your home at the highest price – choose someone who can present you with a detailed and realistic market analysis to back up their numbers.

 

Make a Plan
A big mistake a lot of sellers make is not having a plan. Here are some questions you should be asking yourself:

Are you planning on buying another home once your home sells?
Do you have the option to move in with family?
Can you rent?
Can you buy non-contingent?
Think about these things and discuss your financing options with a local lender before you list. If you can get pre-approved to buy a home non-contingent it will give you a huge advantage over another seller selling their home subject to finding a suitable property to purchase.

Clear the Clutter
This may seem like a no-brainer but its really important! Be proactive and start the cleaning process now.

Wash your windows, Dust your blinds, Dust baseboard trims, Clean appliances, Clean showers and toilets, Clean inside cabinets. When you’re selling your home, it’s important to de-clutter too. Plus it will give you a head start on moving packing. Clean out your closets and pack away anything that’s not a necessity. Your home will look so much better and most likely sell a lot faster if its organized and de-cluttered.

Prospective buyers are going to want to step into your home and see a place they can visualize living in and making their own. The best way to do that is to create a blank slate. Keep it neat, reduce the amount of clutter you have on shelves and surfaces, and depersonalize as much as you can. The idea is to showcase your home without distracting from it.

 

Make Repairs and Improvements
The last thing anyone wants to do before they sell their home is to dump a bunch of money into it for an extensive renovation; however, there are minor repairs and improvements that can be made to make a home look fresher for potential buyers. Here are a few worthwhile improvements that can be made without spending a fortune:

Freshen Up Paint, Front Door and Hardware, Applying a coat of paint to walls and trim, or even touching up certain areas, can make a world of difference in the appearance of your home. If painting isn’t an option, you can give the walls and trim a thorough cleaning to improve the overall space. It’s also a good idea to spruce up your front door, since that’s the first thing a buyer will see when they walk in.

 

Spruce up the Curb Appeal
You want to impress potential buyers as soon as they step onto the property or take a drive by, which means making the outside of your home look as appealing as possible. Make the extra effort to rake leaves, weed the garden, and mow the lawn. Clean and put out your outdoor furniture, and even consider adding some colorful plants to the front of the house.

 

Know Your Local Spring Market
Every market is different. The best way to be informed about yours is to connect with your realtor. They should advise you on current, past and projected market conditions as well as give you advice on when to list.

The time you list is critical! Wait too long and you could miss the prime selling time frame. There are some realtors who suggest listing earlier and not waiting till spring in order to beat the spring market competition. However, as stated above, it all depends on your local market. This is another reason having a good realtor is of key importance.