Tatiane DaSilva | Mashpee Real Estate, Sandwich Real Estate, Falmouth Real Estate


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An HOA — or Homeowners' Association — is an organization in your subdivision or community that creates and enforces regulations and rules for the properties and residents. If a property is part of an HOA's jurisdiction, buying it automatically makes you a member. Therefore, you are required to pay HOA dues that cover the organization's costs and services. The strictness of HOA rules can vary significantly from community to community, and while some are very restrictive, others allow a wide range of changes to your property. It's essential to check in to what an HOA requires, costs and offers in a particular community or neighborhood before purchasing a home. Contrary to fictional portrayals, an HOA can be really beneficial to the homeowners by providing deals on local services and generally keeping the home values constant or increasing by keeping the neighborhood the same.

Collective Bargaining

In a lot of ways, you can think of an HOA like a homeowner's union. It gives you that collective bargaining power with larger agencies like utilities, city services and local governments. This power can save you a lot of money by getting members better deals on trash services or electricity, including landscaping with HOA dues and more. It's a well-known rule that the more you buy, the better prices you get. That means when a group of 50 homes is negotiating for a landscaping deal, they can get much better prices than if it's just one home. Don't feel like you're cheating the other business owners either. They offer lower prices because doing a bunch of things in one area lowers their overhead, and having a consistent client increases their overall profits.

Maintaining Home Values

The main job of any homeowners' association is to maintain property values. They do this not by restricting what you can do but by limiting what your neighbors can do. And yes, since you are a neighbor as well, you are also subject to the same neighbor restrictions. That means you typically can do whatever you want inside your home since that only affects you. However, you can only do things within a specific range to the outside of your home since that affects your neighbor's houses as well. The look of a neighborhood, especially neighboring homes, can significantly affect the value of a home and usually are outside the purview of the homeowner. HOAs seek to fix this by requiring that everyone keep their home up to the same standards and avoid practices that will devalue the neighborhood.

It's essential to understand the benefits and restrictions of living with an HOA, especially if you've never had one before. Your professional real estate agent will be familiar with or be able to get, the bylaws of any HOA that covers a home you are considering. Sit down and go over them together to ensure that those rules work with your preferred lifestyle.


If you’re in the market to buy a home, you have a lot of options. Do you want to buy a fixer-upper? Should you get a home close to the city or nestled in the suburbs? How much can you spend on a home to get the amount of space you’ll need for you and your family. There are so many variables that exist in the decision to buy a house.


One thing that many buyers want but aren’t sure of is the concept of a “move-in-ready” home. Sometimes, move-in-ready means that a home is brand spanking new. There should be no work in the house that needs to be done because everything is installed new during construction. As soon as construction is completed, you should be able to move right into the home. 


Other homes that are deemed ready to move right in are those that are relatively new and have very little work to do. If a home has a roof that’s caving in, it’s not move-in-ready. If a home needs paint, it’s a sure bet that you can move right in. You may just need a bit of elbow grease in some of these situations. It’s your job to let your real estate agent know what you are looking for and what your budget is. Read on to discover the benefits of buying a move-in-ready home. 


You Can Enjoy It ASAP


It takes a lot of work and a lot of cash up front to buy a home. You want to enjoy the fruits of your labor sooner rather than later. If you buy a home that needs little to no work, you’ll be able to enjoy it sooner. There’s no waiting period to move in when you buy a house that’s in excellent condition. You can just start living.


New Upgrades


If you buy a home that you can move right into, you will often get things that are trending at the moment. The best of appliances, technology, and security are just some of the benefits that you’ll be able to enjoy when you buy a home that doesn’t need a lot of work. 


Good Location


Many times, you’ll find move-in-ready homes in great locations. These homes will also give you a great resale value once you head to sell the house in the future.


Motivated Sellers


Whether you buy a brand new home or a home that has been upgraded, these sellers are often very motivated. Builders want to get paid for the work they have done. Sellers of upgraded homes wish to get their homes off of their hands and get a return on their investment.


Finding a move-in-ready home may take some time, but the benefits are definitely worth it.          


Photo by Mateusz Dach from Pexels

Augmented reality, or AR, is available to anyone with a smartphone, which makes it an ideal tool for realtors showing unstaged homes. Why would someone show a home that hasn't yet been staged, you might ask? Depending upon where the home is located, staging can cost thousands of dollars, while an AR app is free to anyone with the technology capable of running it. How's that for incentive? 

AR Personalizes the Home-Shopping Experience

Many of today's realtors are already using AR technology -- have actually been using it for awhile, now -- because it's a cheap, convenient way to personalize the home-shopping experience. Prospective buyers are able to view the home while adding in the decor and furnishings that fit with their own tastes and ideas. No expensive goggles are required with AR, as they are in virtual reality (VR) tours. The technology is readily available and non-invasive enough for anyone to use. This makes it appealing to buyers from all age groups. 

The AR Experience Is Expected to Grow

While it's fun for potential homeowners to tour a home while adding in virtual tables, chairs and sofas that speak to them, bigger things are on the horizon for the home-show industry and its collaboration with Augmented reality. At least one real estate company is working on exterior for sale signs that allow interested buyers to scan the sign and change the color of the home's exterior on their mobile app. And it's theorized that AR could even become useful to home inspectors, who would view a home's major systems such as electrical wiring and plumbing virtually. No crawling under the house or exploring attics required. 

See a House Where No House Exists

Stuck with showing an empty lot? An AR app can set a home on those empty acres, giving a potential buyer the opportunity to envision his dream home up close. Change out front porch styles, trim colors and more at the touch of a screen and give any buyer a full experience that would otherwise exist only in his imagination. It's much easier to sell a home that's seen than once that's only envisioned. With augmented reality, it becomes possible to show a home that's yet to be built -- no model home required. 

If you're not using augmented reality in your home showings for both the interior and the exterior of the home, why not? It's a free, high tech and decidedly fabulous way to go. 


A home showing represents a valuable opportunity for a property buyer. However, there may be instances in which a buyer is unsure about whether to attend a house showing. Lucky for you, we're here to help you weigh the pros and cons of scheduling a home showing.

Now, let's take a look at three questions to consider before you attend a house showing.

1. Is a home the right size for me?

Take a look at a home listing and find out the square footage and number of rooms in a house. That way, you'll be able to determine whether a house is the right size for you without setting foot inside the residence itself.

Of course, you should consider your immediate and long-term plans as you evaluate a home's size. If you plan to start a family soon, for example, you may want to search for a home that offers sufficient space for you, your spouse and your children. Or, if you intend to retire in the foreseeable future, you may want to pursue a small home that requires minimal maintenance.

2. Is a home located in one of my preferred cities and towns?

Think about where you want to reside. Oftentimes, it helps to make a list of preferred cities and towns and narrow your home search to these areas. And if you find a home you want to check out in one of these cities or towns, you then can schedule a property showing.

In addition, it is important to remember that a big city home may prove to be more expensive than a comparable residence in a small town. If you decide to pursue a house in a big city, you may face increased competition for city homes in comparison to small town residences too.

3. Could a home be my dream residence?

Ultimately, if there is even a small chance that a home could be your dream residence, it may be beneficial to set up a showing. If you attend a showing and find a residence is your ideal house, you can submit an offer to purchase this home. On the other hand, if you attend a showing and find a residence falls short of your expectations, you can simply continue your pursuit of your dream house.

As you conduct your search for your ideal residence, it generally is a good idea to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional will set up home showings, keep you informed about new residences that become available in your preferred cities and towns and much more. Plus, if you ever have concerns or questions during the homebuying journey, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them.

Consider the aforementioned questions before you schedule a home showing – you will be glad you did. And if you decide to attend a house showing, you will be better equipped than ever before to determine whether a particular home is right for you.


Image by Andrian Valeanu from Pixabay

Whether you’re renting or buying, transitioning into a new home can be a big step. From the moving costs to the costs associated with deposits, first and last months’ rent, and more, the whole process can be stressful and expensive. But before these worries pop into your mind, you may also be dealing with a tough decision: whether to buy or rent your next home. This can be an extremely hard decision to make and there are many factors that go into it. But by taking the time to think about your needs and understand the implications involved with either decision, you should have confidence as you make this next step in your life. In this post, we’ll discuss some key factors that you should think about as you’re trying to make the decision between buying or renting your next home.

Ready to Settle Down?

Buying a home is a huge step; therefore, you should only pursue purchasing a home if you’re ready to settle down. While you could always move and resell your home, or have it as a rental property, buying a home typically means that you plan to be in the area for quite some time. Do you like to move a lot? Not ready to settle in any specific location for a long period of time? If any of these are true, then renting is probably the best choice at this time.

Maintenance Costs

The costs associated with maintenance is another consideration to make. When you’re renting a property, you simply contact your landlord if the dishwasher isn’t working or if the thermostat is on the fritz. But when you own a home, these costs are up to you. And if serious issues happen like plumbing issues, mold growth or even a fire, then those costly repairs and added stress are in your hands. If you aren’t ready — both mentally and financially — to handle these maintenance tasks, then you may want to stick to renting.

Remodeling Possibilities

Have you ever been renting a home, then felt that the home would be 10x better if there were some renovations? Unfortunately, your hands are tied when renting a home and remodeling or add-ons are typically not allowed. But when you buy, you can make all the changes you want (unless there’s an issue with the HOA). This adds a certain level of flexibility with the homeowner and allows them to make any changes that they see fit.

Payment Control

Another factor to consider is your control of rent or mortgage payments. When you own a home, you accept the price of the home, then that price doesn’t change throughout the term of the loan. When you rent, the landlord can raise or lower the rent, which could leave you in a tough position. That being said, renting can be very beneficial, but the lack of financial control can be a huge disadvantage.

By focusing on the factors above, you can make an educated decision on if it makes sense to buy or rent your next home.