The John Barrett Real Estate Team
KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY | 774-836-0235 | JBarrettRE@kw.com


Posted by The John Barrett Real Estate Team on 4/18/2018

There are many different ways that you can stay safe around your home. One of your top safety priorities should be to try to prevent a fire from happening at your home. Below, youíll find some tips to reduce the risk in your home.

Pay Attention To Your Dryer


You need to prevent your dryer from overheating. To do this, clean the lint screens after each and every use. A dryer that overheats can cause a serious fire.


Keep A Fire Extinguisher On Hand


Every home should have at least one fire extinguisher accessible. Keep these out of a childís reach. Youíll want to choose an extinguisher that is rated A-B-C. These extinguishers fight different kinds of fires including those that have been started by liquids, electricity, and combustible materials. You never know what could start a fire in your home. When using an extinguisher, think of the acronym PASS (pull the pin, aim, squeeze, and sweep across the fire.)


Smoke Detectors Are Incredibly Important


A smoke alarm should be installed on every floor of your home. Itís preferable to have these installed outside of and inside of bedrooms. Be sure that you test smoke alarms each month so that you know theyíre working properly. 


Be Mindful When Burning Candles


When you light a candle, be especially careful. As the candle burns, the temperature of the outside of the glass gets very hot. This can start a fire easily. Youíll also want to keep the candle away from any combustible materials like paper and cloth. Itís a good idea to have the candle on a heat-resistant surface. You should also place candles in a place where they cannot be tipped over by children or pets in the house while lit.  


Never Leave Space Heaters On Unattended  


Space heaters can be very useful, but you should never leave them on unattended or while youíre sleeping. If you do choose to use a space heater, make sure that it is far away from combustible items like curtains, blankets, or papers. 


Keep Matches And Lighters Away From Children


Children get curious and tend to want to play with whatever they can get their hands on. This means that you should keep the matches and lighters in your home locked away in a space thatís preferably high up. This is an important safety measure for any home with kids. 


Have A Fire Escape Plan


You and your family should collaborate on a fire escape plan just in case of an emergency. You can even have periodic practice drills, showing children where they need to meet outside the home to have everyone accounted for. Help children to understand what the fire alarm sounds like. Younger folks should also understand that you never go back into a burning building once you have successfully escaped.





Posted by The John Barrett Real Estate Team on 4/4/2018

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 The John Barrett Real Estate Team on 3/28/2018

Finding the ideal home for your family's needs is no easy task, but if you stay organized and focused, the right property is sure to come along!

One of your most valuable resources in your search for a new home is an experienced real estate agent -- someone you trust and feel comfortable working with.

They'll not only set up appointments for you to visit homes in your desired price range and school district, but they'll also help keep you motivated, informed, and on track. Once you know and have shared your requirements (and "wish list") with them, your agent will be able to guide you on a path to finding the home that will best serve your needs -- both short- and longer term.

In addition to proximity to jobs, good schools, and childcare, you'll probably want to pick a location that's close to supermarkets, recreation areas, and major highways. If you have friends or family in the area, then that would also be a key consideration.

While your immediate needs are a good starting point for creating a checklist of requirements, it's also a good idea to give some thought to what you may need in the future. Plans to expand your family, possibly take care of aging parents, or adopt pets are all factors to consider when looking at prospective homes to buy.

If you have college-age children or recent graduates in the family, you might have to save room for them in your new house. Many grads need a couple more years of financial and moral support from their parents (not to mention home-cooked meals) before they're ready to venture out on their own. Houses with a finished basement, a separate in-law apartment, or even a guest cottage on the property are often well-suited for multigenerational households.

In many cases, people tend to buy a home based on their emotional reaction to it, and then justify the purchase with facts. For example, if the price was right and a particular house reminded you of your childhood home, then that combination of elements could prompt you to make an offer on the house -- assuming those childhood memories were happy!

Sometimes prospective buyers might simply love the look and feel of a neighborhood or the fact that there's a spacious, fenced-in back yard in which they can envision their children or dogs happily (and safely) playing.

According to recent surveys, today's buyers are attracted to homes that have energy efficient features, separate laundry rooms, and low-maintenance floors, counter tops, and backyard decks. Gourmet kitchens, stainless steel appliances, a farmhouse sink, a home office area, and outdoor living spaces are also popular features. Although your tastes may differ, many house hunters also like design elements such as subway tiles, hardwood floors, shaker cabinets, pendant lights, and exposed brick.

When it comes to choosing the home that you and your family will live in for the next few years, your top priorities will probably include a sufficient amount of space, plenty of convenience, and a comfortable environment in which you and your loved ones can feel safe, secure, and happy for the foreseeable future!





Posted by The John Barrett Real Estate Team on 3/21/2018

If youíre looking to make changes to your home in a big way but donít have the time or the budget, thereís plenty of things that you can do in order to bring your home to another level without breaking the bank. 


Look From The Outside In


Enhancing the landscaping and curb appeal of your home can be an easy project to add value and comfort to your home. Whether youíre getting ready to sell or you just want to feel more at home, making your home look more inviting from the outside is a worthwhile project. 


Open Some Space


Just knocking down a wall can make a huge difference in your home. Once a wall is removed, it can really transform your space. Be careful though, as knocking down a wall where plumbing is or electrical work is can disrupt a lot. This can become very costly, so you may not want to undertake such a big project. Also be mindful of reconnecting floors or moving features like a kitchen island. Be sure to get a few quotes from contractors for these jobs before you settle with one.


Get New Windows


Putting in new windows is a great project that can add a lot of value to your home. You should really replace the windows in your home every 20-25 years. Updating the windows in your home not only changes the look of your home but makes it more energy efficient as well. The extra insulation can also help to keep out noise disturbances and keep your home a quiet place to live. If you live near a main road, new windows are a must. 


Upgrade Appliances 


There is nothing more attractive to buyers and homeowners alike than new appliances. These are fairly cheap investments considering their returns. You can replace one appliance or go for a whole new kitchen if youíd like. It all depends on the condition of the appliances. Even simply replacing the washer and dryer can make your life easier and also make your home more attractive to buyers when you decide to sell.


Change Up The Floors


Simply switching your carpet or ripping up carpets to put in hardwood floors can be a huge game changer for your home. The costs of these improvements can vary greatly. The size of your rooms and the type of materials that you choose can affect the costs as well. 


Get Organized


Putting in shelving or other organizing systems to help you and your family keep organized can be invaluable. Not having to deal with constant clutter can reduce stress and make your home look more presentable. This is another improvement project that is totally worthwhile for you to complete.





Posted by The John Barrett Real Estate Team on 3/14/2018

If you plan to sell your home, it may be helpful to prepare for a difficult negotiation with a homebuyer.

Although your home may be in great shape and you've set a fair price for it, there are no guarantees that you'll be able to avoid a long, complex home selling negotiation. However, a home seller who prepares for a difficult negotiation now may be better equipped than others to remain calm, cool and collected throughout the home selling journey.

Now, let's take a look at three tips that home sellers can use to get ready for a difficult negotiation.

1. Assess the Housing Market Closely

A home seller who sets a competitive price for his or her residence may be able to avoid a complicated home selling negotiation entirely.

To determine a fair price for your house, a property appraisal is ideal. During this appraisal, a property inspector will evaluate your home's interior and exterior and help you identify any problem areas. Then, you can complete assorted home improvement projects and price your house accordingly.

Furthermore, it is important to assess the prices of comparable houses in your area. With this housing market information at your disposal, you can enter a home selling negotiation with data to support your arguments.

2. Understand Your Home Selling Goals

How a home seller approaches a negotiation may vary based on his or her goals.

For example, a home seller who needs to move out of a house as soon as possible may be willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to satisfy a property buyer's requests. By doing so, this home seller can speed up the property selling cycle.

On the other hand, a home seller who can afford to be patient may be unwilling to budge on various homebuyer requests.

Consider your home selling goals closely before you enter a negotiation with a homebuyer. And if you feel uncomfortable, you can always walk away from a negotiation and reenter the housing market.

3. Focus on the End Results

A home selling negotiation can become contentious, but it is important to remember the end goals of this negotiation.

Ultimately, a successful negotiation will meet the needs of both a property seller and buyer. If a negotiation heavily favors a homebuyer, a home seller should be ready to exit the negotiation.

A home selling negotiation can be stressful, and you should be ready to take breaks as needed. For example, spending a few minutes meditating or walking outdoors may help you clear your head and reenter a home selling negotiation with a fresh perspective.

Lastly, if you want additional support, real estate agents are happy to help you. A real estate agent knows what it takes to negotiate with homebuyers and will do everything possible to ensure all parties involved in a negotiation get the best results.

Take the guesswork out of a home selling negotiation Ė use these tips, and you can prepare for a difficult negotiation before you add your house to the real estate market.




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