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


Posted by The John Barrett Real Estate Team on 5/16/2018

Homeowners have become increasingly aware of the dangers that face them and their homes. More Americans than ever lock their doors at night and own home security systems to protect themselves and their homes from intruders.

However, one danger that many homeowners aren’t prepared for is posed by scammers. These scammers are innovative and use tools like the internet and the semblance of authority to their advantage. What’s more, the nature of their scams is always evolving.

In this article, we’ll cover some of the most common scams affecting homeowners. We’ll talk about how to protect yourself from these scams and recognize them so that you and your home can avoid potential disaster.

Foreclosure scams

There are few things more concerning to a homeowner than the thought of losing their home. Scammers take advantage of these fears by promoting “relief programs” that promise to reduce your monthly payments or otherwise protect you from being foreclosed on.

The scam here is that these companies might not help you at all but will still charge for their services. They’ll often browse public foreclosure notices or post ads online. When they reach out to a homeowner they’ll do so via a letter that seems personal and professional. They could also call your phone or send you an email offer.

By U.S. law, such companies cannot charge you for any services unless they successfully help you gain relief from your lender, and even then you must still accept the offer before the relief company can ever charge you.

Home maintenance and repair

One of the more dangerous scams on our list involves something seemingly innocent--a knock on your door to let you know your roof needs repair. While some startup companies may go door-to-door offering their services, most of the time this should send up a red flag. There are a few potential scams that come in the form of a person in work uniform knocking on your door.

First, a company might be selling real services, but they could be services you don’t need. Make sure you understand facts about your home, such as the last time your roof was repaired. This will help you avoid making a bad deal to replace something that doesn’t need replacing.

Also be sure to never let someone into your home, regardless of their uniform, if you are alone or it’s late at night. Someone may be dressed like a salesperson or utility worker, but they could in reality be doing research on your home and your valuables. Would-be burglars can often spot your valuables, and see how secure your home is before coming back when no one is home.

Protect your identity

The issue of identity theft has been in the public eye with the rise of online communications. However, one of the easiest ways to steal your valuable information could be sitting right in your mailbox or in your garbage can.

Always be sure to shred papers that have personal information on them. And, if you go away on vacation, ask a neighbor or relative to bring in your mail for you. Not only will this help keep your identity safe, but it will make it look like someone is at home by keeping the pile of mail and newspapers outside low.  




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by The John Barrett Real Estate Team on 5/9/2018

Whether you’re bringing home a new puppy or adopting an adult dog, your new 4-legged friend is sure to be a part of the family. Just as you would when bringing home a new baby, you’ll want to make preparations to your space for both you and your dog’s safety.  You don’t want to overlook anything and then have you or your pet get hurt. As a rule of thumb: Anything that you would protect a baby from you should protect a dog from. These dangers include:


  • Chemicals
  • Prescription medications
  • Small parts that can be ingested
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Hazardous houseplants
  • Chocolate/candy
  • Steep stairways


Keep your furry friend healthy and save yourself from costly vet bills by taking precautions. Simple measures can make a big difference. Safety items that you can use to help protect both you and your pet are:


  • Gates
  • Power strip covers
  • Locks for cabinets
  • Keep pills, candy, and chemicals on high shelves that can’t be reached
  • Cord wranglers


These little devices can prevent your dog from chewing or getting into hazardous things. It’s also a good idea to protect dogs from steep falls on stairways and decks by blocking certain areas off. Since many dogs don’t know what to keep out of their snouts, you want to think like a dog and know that if they can chew it, they will!  


Keep Your Dog Out Of The Trash


Dogs tend to like to see what they can find in the trash. If you get a trashcan that can’t be accessed by dogs, you won’t need to worry. A hidden trashcan in a cabinet or island can help to alleviate this problem. You can also get a can with a lid that can’t be easily popped off.


Keep The Dog’s Access To A Minimum


If your dog is home alone all day while you’re at work you may want to close doors or put up gates in order to restrict the dog to a certain area of the house. This way, the dog will know his place and won’t be able to cause any kind of damage.     

 

Keep Clutter To A Minimum


Clutter is dangerous to both humans and dogs alike. If you know a dog is bound to chew things, put it away! Keeping floors and pathways clean also protects both you and your pet from tripping. Staying organized is also a positive for everyone in the house.  


If you always think with safety in mind when you have a dog, you’ll keep both you and your pet safe in your home the whole year through.   

     




Tags: Pets   Dog safety  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by The John Barrett Real Estate Team on 5/2/2018

Filling out a mortgage application may prove to be a long, exhausting process. Fortunately, we're here to help you streamline the mortgage application process so you can move one step closer to acquiring your dream house.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you approach the mortgage application process with confidence.

1. Be Thorough

A mortgage application likely requests a lot of information about you, your finances and your employment history. However, it is important to answer each mortgage application question to the best of your ability. Because if you fail to do so, you risk delays in getting approved for a mortgage. Or, perhaps even worse, a lender may decline your mortgage application.

In addition, be honest in all of your mortgage application responses. This will ensure that if your mortgage application is approved, you will receive a mortgage that corresponds to your finances.

2. Ask Questions

There is no need to leave anything to chance as you complete a mortgage application. Thus, if you're uncertain about how to respond to various mortgage application questions, reach out to a lender for assistance.

Remember, there is no such thing as a "bad" question, especially when it comes to filling out a mortgage application. Lenders employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists who are happy to assist you in any way possible. Work with these mortgage specialists, and you can get the help you need to finalize your mortgage application.

3. Get Multiple Quotes

It may seem like a good idea to complete a single mortgage application to request home financing from a single lender. Yet doing so may be problematic, particularly for those who prioritize affordability.

Ultimately, meeting with multiple lenders and getting several mortgage quotes is ideal. If you shop around for a mortgage, you may be eligible for a low interest rate that helps you save money when you complete a home purchase.

Once you finish a mortgage application, it may be only a matter of time before you find out if you have received approval. Then, if you receive a "Yes" from a lender, you can accelerate the homebuying journey.

Of course, for those who plan to buy a home soon, it may be beneficial to employ a real estate agent. This housing market professional can put you in touch with the top lenders in your area, as well as help you complete a home search in no time at all.

A real estate agent typically learns about a homebuyer's goals and crafts a strategy to help this buyer accomplish his or her aspirations. Furthermore, a real estate agent provides recommendations and tips to help a homebuyer make informed decisions throughout the property buying journey. And if a homebuyer ever has concerns or questions, a real estate agent is available to respond to them.

Ready to complete a mortgage application? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can finalize a mortgage application, obtain home financing and make your homeownership dream come true.




Tags: Mortgage   Buying a Home  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by The John Barrett Real Estate Team on 4/25/2018

You may have looked up what the estimate of your home’s value is online. This is purely a number based on what other homes in the neighborhood are selling for. There are some obvious factors that you need to know to calculate your home’s value. These include: how many bedrooms, how much square footage and how much land the home resides on. There are some not so obvious factors that are included in calculating the value of a home. Here’s some things that typically affect a home’s value:


The Street Name


As bizarre as this sounds, it’s true. Whatever suffix that your street name ends in can have an impact on the price of a home. “Street” is less expensive than Boulevard, Road or others. You may even be lucky enough to live on Park Place or Boardwalk!   


Your House Number


People have superstitions and varying beliefs. Whether it’s numerology or the fact that you live at an infamously unlucky number house, buyers will be less attracted to your place. This is another one of the stranger factors you must keep in mind when it comes to valuing your home. 


The Neighbors


If you live close to any neighbors, they will play a factor in how much you can get for your home. If your next door neighbor has strange taste in paint color or has built an eccentric shrine in his front yard, potential buyers may be turned off. You can’t pick your family. However, if you’re moving you do have a say as to what kind of neighbors you’ll surround yourself with. Be prepared for this to affcet your home value if this is the case.   


Trees


Did you know that trees increase the value of your property? When properties are being built, trees are often cleared away. If you have trees around your property that have grown, you’ll find that you can get a bit more for your home. Want to add value to your home? Get planting!   


Crown Moldings Are King


People love crown molding. You can put in crown molding as an easy way to add value to your home and be more attractive to buyers. While buyers look for high ceilings, crown molding can certainly be a deal breaker. 


Your Hobbies Are A Buyer’s Hobby


If you have anything in your home that buyers love, they’re more likely to want to buy the home. If you’re a huge football fan, and a buyer comes along with matching interest, you could add some more attention to your home. The reason is that buyers can easily see themselves there due to the shared interest. But, this also has a reverse effect. Not everyone is a football fan. If you want to appeal to a larger pool of buyers, (which you probably do) you may want to get the extensive hobby paraphernalia out of your home before it’s shown.


A Crime On The Property


If there was a death on the property or a significant crime, people will be turned off. This will significantly affect the value of your property. You’ll most likely have to reveal the death or the crime in the buyer’s disclosure as well based on legal requirements. 


What’s Nearby?


Whatever is nearby could have a significant effect on your home’s value. Whichever kind of grocery store or restaurants are nearby can really help the value of your home. People love their daily coffee! If there’s a unique coffee shop down the street, or a popular grocery chain, you could be looking at potential gains on the value of your home.





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, you’ll 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 child’s reach. You’ll 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. It’s preferable to have these installed outside of and inside of bedrooms. Be sure that you test smoke alarms each month so that you know they’re 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. You’ll also want to keep the candle away from any combustible materials like paper and cloth. It’s 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 you’re 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 that’s 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.







Tags