Image by RoadRunnerDeLuxe from Shutterstock

Heating bills are an engrained part of homeownership. Make some energy-savvy updates to your house that will give you more to spend (or save) throughout the year.

  • Windows: Upgrade old single-pane windows with double- or triple-pane versions with low U-factors (energy efficiency ratings). Repair leaky seals or drafty sashes too. If you can’t replace your windows, cover them with heavy clear vinyl during the cooler months to protect your home from the winter chill.

  • Insulation: Check the insulation levels in your rafters. Over time, loose-blown insulation settles and shifts, leaving gaps and thinner areas. You can purchase bags of loose insulation at DIY stores and use a lawn rake to spread it evenly to fill in where it needs more. Add layers of rolled insulation atop existing insulation for added thickness. Insulation comes in R-values with a higher number denoting better insulation.

  • Go solar. Adding solar panels is an excellent way to reduce energy costs. You can go one step further and install a solar water heater. A flat-paneled solar system that sits on your roof can heat water up to 140 degrees. They even work on cloudy days and have a backup system to augment if necessary. Another use of solar is metal or passive solar roofing materials that allow snow or ice to slip off the roof. These products protect your home from the snow’s weight, and any damage ice could cause.

  • Live outdoors year ’round. To get the most from your outdoor living space, roof patios, sunrooms, and porches with glass panels so that winter sun warms the space with radiant heat. Screen your outdoor space with heavy-grade transparent vinyl curtains. That way, you’re protected from the wind and chill and heated by the sun.

  • Invest in a smart thermostat. Install a thermostat that adjusts your home’s energy usage down while you’re away and adjusts up to a comfortable temperature a little before you arrive home for the evening. If you get one you can operate from an app on your phone, you can make adjustments without being home.

For other ideas on getting the most from your home’s energy usage, ask your local utility about a home energy inspection. They’ll check for leaks in vents, around windows and doors, and in the attic and basement, too. If you require a more energy-efficient home, be sure to let your real estate agent know that it’s top of your list.

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When it comes to adding your residence to the real estate market, it is always better to err on the side of diligence.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to become a diligent home seller, including:

1. You can price your house competitively from the get-go.

For those who want to become diligent home sellers, it is paramount to set a competitive price from the get-go. By doing so, a diligent home seller can stir up plenty of interest in his or her house and boost the chances of a quick home sale.

A diligent home seller will allocate the necessary time and resources to learn about the real estate market. As such, this home seller will have no trouble establishing a competitive price for his or her residence from day one.

In addition, a diligent home seller will examine the prices of available houses that are similar to his or her own. With this housing market data in hand, a diligent home seller can establish a price range for his or her residence.

2. You can identify home improvement opportunities.

A diligent home seller likely understands that his or her residence has various pros and cons. At the same time, this property seller recognizes home improvement opportunities.

To learn about home improvement opportunities, a diligent home seller usually will conduct a home appraisal. This appraisal enables a property inspector to evaluate a residence and provide the home seller with an in-depth report about the house’s condition. Then, the home seller can use these property insights to streamline his or her home improvement efforts.

Completing a series of home improvements can make a world of difference in the eyes of homebuyers. In fact, a diligent home seller will prioritize home improvement projects and finish assorted home interior and exterior tasks to transform an ordinary residence into a stellar one.

3. You can keep your cool in stressful negotiations with a homebuyer.

Let’s face it – no home seller wants to worry about stressful negotiations with a property buyer. Fortunately, a diligent home seller will know what it takes to remain calm, cool and collected as home selling negotiations proceed.

A diligent home seller will understand the true value of his or her house. Thus, this home seller can enter negotiations with actionable data to help him or her make informed decisions.

Plus, a diligent home seller will maintain an open approach throughout negotiations. This approach will enable a home seller to listen to what a homebuyer has to say at all times. And if a home seller maintains an open approach, he or she increases the likelihood that all parties involved in negotiations will get the best possible results.

If you ever need extra assistance as you prepare to list your residence, you can always reach out to a real estate agent too.

Even a diligent home seller will collaborate with a real estate agent to get home selling guidance. That way, a diligent home seller can move one step closer to optimizing the value of his or her residence.

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Mattapoisett, MA:

This Single-Family in Mattapoisett, MA recently sold for $1,280,000.
This is a Cape style home and features 7 total rooms, 3 full baths, 1 half bath, 4 bedrooms, 1.11 acres, and was sold by
Chuck Joseph – RE/MAX Executive Realty

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Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

There are many parts and pieces that go into relocation. Finding the perfect home is, of course, an important step in the process. But once you have found a residence in your new city or town, it is crucial to consider other home-ownership factors that will affect your monthly and annual expenses. As part of your relocation preparation, research what other fees and bills you may need to pay outside of your mortgage. 

If you’re moving to a new state, review the escrow process and any new, or different, closing costs that may increase the amount you’ll owe. Understand what annual property taxes will be assessed and fees you will be responsible for. Homeowners Associations may also function differently in your new city or state. Closely review all paperwork and research what costs are normal for the area. Know what your requirements are as a homeowner, so you don’t agree to anything outside the norm or incur fees from not aligning to your contract.

Utility costs vary from city to city and state to state, but even within the same city, prices can be different from neighborhood to neighborhood. While you’re house hunting, include a visit to the electricity, water, gas and trash company websites that service the homes you’re considering. For electricity and water, learn what the costs are per unit, time of day and any special programs available for conservation. See what bins your new trash company offers and how much they charge per month. There might be different sizes available to you at different pricing, along with compost or yard waste bins and lower to even free rates for recycling. Your new city may also have monthly fees for general upkeep of parks, greenbelts and other public services.

When you consider the monthly mortgage payment you can afford, it’s smart to take these other costs into account. You might be able to make a mortgage payment, but a high electricity or water bill might put your monthly outgo outside your budget. It’s easy to forget about these little (or big) costs. Make your move easy and successful by planning for monthly and annual costs outside of your mortgage.

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