Lynne Eliopoulos
ERA Key Realty Services | 508-832-1032 | [email protected]


Posted by Lynne Eliopoulos on 9/13/2020

Photo by Rob3rt82 via Shutterstock

As temperatures start to drop, many people are focused on Autumn plants like pumpkins and apples, but now is the best time to plant bulbs for your favorite spring and summer-blooming flowers. The cool fall and winter temperatures are necessary to prepare the bulbs to grow properly in the spring. When you stop hearing crickets chirping outside, and the overnight temperatures drop towards 45 degrees, you’ve reached the correct time for planting.

Your Planting Choices

  • Tulips – The most beloved bulb of spring, experts say it's best to plant these during November in most areas. By this point, the fungi in the soil that might attack the new bulb are dormant for the winter, and squirrels won’t be bothered to dig for them.
  • Garden Mums – A favorite for both fall and spring, you’ll get best results with mums planted early in the fall season. They will bloom in your garden through the fall and, in moderate climates, can easily survive through the winter for spring blooms as well.
  • Peony – These beauties bloom across the whole spring season, so set them up in groups when you’re planting this fall. Make sure you don’t plant your peonies too deep, though. Stick to just two inches below the surface, or they may not flower at all.
  • Garlic – This popular bulb is a great one to grow yourself. You’ll get the largest garlic bulbs if you plant them during the autumn. Your goal here is to let the roots grow into the soil but not to let the garlic actually sprout. Try to plant them around five weeks before the ground is expected to freeze. They need some insulation to keep them warm and promote further growth, so add a layer of straw on top.
  • Giant Allium – These baseball-sized bulbs are perfect for fall planting. In spring, with flowers nearly a foot wide and up to four feet in the air, you will have a truly impressive display. Don’t clump them too close together, however. Instead, shoot for six to eight inches apart and get those bulbs in the ground as close to eight inches deep as possible.
  • Daffodils – A lovely bright, yellow splash in your garden, these flowers are like summer sunshine. Each bulb should be planted twice its height below the soil. For example, a three-inch bulb should be planted around six inches deep. Want more than just the standard yellow? No problem! Daffodils come in a variety of colors from pale, whitish-yellow to deep gold.

If you’re thinking of a spring sale, fall is the best time to get your garden ready. Research plants local to your climate for the best results and ask your real estate agent for curb appeal layout advice or the name of a reliable landscaping company for professional help.




Categories: Garden   lawn  


Posted by Lynne Eliopoulos on 9/6/2020

Want to buy a house? If you plan ahead for the homebuying journey, you may be better equipped than ever before to reap the benefits of a seamless homebuying experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you prepare for the homebuying journey.

1. Figure Out Where You Want to Live

Do you prefer the hustle and bustle of the big city? Or, would you like to reside in a small town? Think about where you want to live, and you may be able to speed up the homebuying journey.

A homebuyer who narrows his or her search to houses in a set number of cities and towns may be able to quickly discover the ideal residence. Thus, if you know where you want to go, you can act fast to pursue your dream house. And once you find your dream home, it may be only a few weeks before you can finalize a home sale.

2. Obtain a Mortgage

A mortgage generally is a must-have for a homebuyer, regardless of where he or she decides to live. If you submit a mortgage application before you embark on the homebuying journey, you can enter the real estate market with a budget in hand.

Oftentimes, it won't take long to get pre-approved for a mortgage. You can meet with a variety of banks and credit unions, and these financial institutions can teach you about a wide array of mortgage options. Next, you can select a mortgage that satisfies your personal requirements.

When you meet with banks and credit unions, don't hesitate to ask plenty of questions, either. If you receive expert mortgage insights, you can make an informed mortgage decision that likely will serve you well for years to come.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Let's face it – pursuing a home should be a quick, easy process, but problems may arise that prevent you from buying your ideal residence. Thankfully, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals can help you make your homeownership dreams come true.

A real estate agent is a housing market expert who can teach you how to discover a terrific house at a budget-friendly price. This housing market professional can explain the differences between a buyer's and seller's market and help you map out a successful homebuying journey. That way, you may be able to improve your chances of acquiring a superb residence if you hire a reliable real estate agent.

In addition, a real estate agent will serve as your guide along the homebuying journey. He or she will keep you up to date about new residences that become available, set up home showings and help you submit homebuying proposals. And if you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, a real estate agent is available to respond to them.

Achieve the best-possible results during the homebuying journey – use the aforementioned tips, and you can plan ahead to acquire your ideal residence.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  


Posted by Lynne Eliopoulos on 8/30/2020

If you plan to conduct a house search, there is no reason to settle for inferior results. Instead, you should dedicate the necessary time and resources to conduct a comprehensive search for your dream house.

Ultimately, there are many reasons why it pays to perform an in-depth home search. These include:

1. You can avoid the risk of buying a subpar house.

As a homebuyer, it is paramount to discover a residence that meets or exceeds your expectations. Because if you purchase a house that falls short of your expectations, you may suffer the consequences of your decision for years to come.

For example, if you want to acquire a home quickly, you may be tempted to submit an offer to purchase the first house you view in-person. You might even choose to ignore house problems that are discovered during an inspection.

In the aforementioned scenario, you may wind up purchasing a home that will require costly, time-intensive repairs in the foreseeable future. Perhaps worst of all, you may struggle to generate equal value for your residence if you decide to re-sell it at a later date.

2. You can boost the likelihood of finding a house that matches your budget.

If you have a limited homebuying budget at your disposal, there is no need to leave any stone unturned in your quest for your ideal residence.

By dedicating time and resources to conduct an extensive house search, you'll be better equipped than other buyers to find a first-rate residence at a budget-friendly price. Plus, you may be able to pounce at the opportunity to buy a home that matches your budget as soon as this residence becomes available.

3. You may be able to capitalize on a buyer's market.

A patient homebuyer may be able to wait out a seller's market, i.e. a real estate market that features an abundance of buyers and a shortage of sellers. And in this situation, a buyer could capitalize on a buyer's market, i.e. a real estate market that boasts an abundance of sellers and a shortage of buyers. As a result, this buyer could choose from a wide selection of top-notch residences in a buyer's market and select a residence that offers a great combination of affordability and quality.

If you plan to pursue a home soon, you may want to hire a real estate agent. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive plenty of support throughout the property buying journey.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to conduct a thorough home search. He or she will keep you up to date about new houses that become available in your preferred cities and towns and offer expert homebuying recommendations. Also, if you want to submit an offer to purchase a home, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive homebuying proposal.

Simplify the homebuying process – work with a real estate agent, and you can streamline your house search.





Posted by Lynne Eliopoulos on 8/23/2020

Creating curb appeal is an essential ingredient to attracting potential buyers to a house for sale. Similar to the concept of "dressing for success," when you make a strong first impression, your chances for producing positive results are greatly enhanced.

Looking good from the outside is the first step to capturing people's interest, but that's only the first of several hurdles that you have to clear. The last thing you want to do as a home seller is disappoint prospective buyers when they start looking around inside. That's why it's important to start strong and finish strong! While that may be easier said than done, it's a principle of success you can't afford to ignore.

Once you put your house on the market, there are two factors that could potentially work against you: the elements of time and competition.

  • Time is of the essence: Time can either be your friend or your adversary, depending on how long your house has been on the market. When house hunters see the words "just listed," it creates a feeling of excitement and urgency. For many eager home buyers, those two words mean there's a fresh opportunity to discover the house of their dreams... or at least a reasonable facsimile! It's especially enticing to frustrated buyers who have already looked at a lot of homes, without having found the right one yet. When a new house is listed and put on the market, couples will be thinking and saying "Maybe this house will be the one!" Your challenge as a home seller is to do everything possible and cost-effective to live up to their expectations! An important factor to keep in mind is that the longer a house is on the market, the less appealing it generally is to prospective buyers. Once a house has been languishing on the market for more than a couple months or so, it also puts the sellers at a negotiating disadvantage.
  • Competition is a fact of life: Buying a house is weighty decision. No one takes it lightly, and few buyers are going to make an offer on a house if they haven't looked at several others, too. Well-organized house hunters will have wish lists, "must have" requirements, and detailed notes and recollections about how each house stacks up. So it's important to work with your real estate agent to present your home in its best possible light. When your home compares favorably to other similar properties on market, your chances of getting it sold within a reasonable period of time are greatly improved.
Maintaining an appealing exterior will help give you an inside track in the competitive real estate market, but making sure your property is in good shape from top to bottom will often be the deciding factor in how soon you get to the finish line!





Posted by Lynne Eliopoulos on 8/16/2020

There’s a lot of things to think about before buying a home--some financial, others personal. Most people tend to focus on one or the other. However, both are instrumental in choosing the right house and buying at the right time.

In this article, we’re going to talk about some of the ways you can determine if you’re ready for homeownership. We’ll discuss things like credit scores and down payments, but also important life factors like your career and future plans.

Getting your finances in order

There are a few simple things you can do right now that will help you understand if you’re financially secure enough to start looking at houses. First, you’ll want to look up your credit score.

Lenders strongly consider your credit when determining how much risk is involved in lending to you. A higher credit score can not only get you approved for a mortgage, it can lower your interest rate and make you eligible to borrow without having to pay private mortgage insurance.

The amount of money this saves seems trivial in the short term, but over the lifespan of your loan it can save you tens of thousands of dollars. So, read a free credit report and if your credit is lower than 700 start finding ways to improve your credit.

In the meantime, you’ll want to save for a down payment. While it’s possible to buy a home with a small or no down payment, it can come back to haunt you in the form of interest as you pay off your loan. Furthermore, many lenders won’t pre-approve you unless you make a down payment of a minimum amount (often 20% of the loan).

If you have a high credit score and you’ve saved for a down payment, another thing to check off your list would be proving your stable income. This can be difficult for the self-employed, contract workers, or people who have recently changed jobs.

Lenders want to see that you have a stable income history to ensure that you’ll be able to pay your mortgage each month. If you recently changed jobs or are in between jobs, it could be to your benefit to wait 3-6 months before getting pre-approved. In that time, you can continue to raise your credit and save for a down payment, further increasing your chances of getting a low-interest loan.

Preparing for homeownership

While the financial aspects of homeownership are important, so are the personal aspects. You’ll want to consider several life factors before buying a home.

First, think about your longterm goals. Do you want to live in the same area for the next 10 to 30 years? Will your career bring you to different regions or will you attend school somewhere else? These questions will help you decide if it’s a good time to buy or a better investment to save money while renting.

If you have a family (or plan on having one soon), you’ll also have to find a way to balance all of your living needs.

Finally, ask yourself if you have time for homeownership. Many people who are used to renting aren’t aware of the amount of time and money it takes to maintain a home. You’ll have more bills, you’ll have to mow your own lawn, and you’ll be responsible for maintenance of your home.