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


Posted by Lynne Eliopoulos on 7/21/2019

Hosting an evening of activities is a great way to spend time with and engage your friends, family, and community. A fun game-night can quickly become a new ritual for your neighborhood family and help you develop and maintain friendships. Whether it’s your first time hosting a game night or your 50th, here are some key steps to making it a success.

Have plenty of options.

The one tricky part about game nights is picking a game that everyone likes. Especially if you don't know everyone you've invited well, it's hard to select a game ahead of time. Everyone loves something different, some people prefer trivia-based games, while others like role-playing games, still others want to stick to the classics or strategy games. While some board games and electronic games are expensive, there are plenty of ways to collect enough games to have a good variety, without breaking the bank.

  • Always have a deck of cards, or two, or three. So many games can be plaid with a simple and inexpensive deck of cards. Having a few decks on-hand immediately opens up your options. Consider looking up a few classics like Gin Rummy, Bridge, Spades, poker (Texas Hold’Em or Five Card Draw) or Cribbage and having the directions on hand.
  • Invest in the classics (or the modern version). Scrabble, Dominos, Pictionary or a combination game like Cranium are great games that most people already know how to play, and easy to learn for any inexperienced players.
  • Find games you can explain easily. You might love RPG and strategy games, but these might not be the best option for new neighbors you’re just getting to know. Save these for when your game night has become established, and you've learned what level of games your group can best play. Start with simple and easy to learn games playable while socializing. Remember, the games are fun, but their value is as a tool to help you engage with your community.
  • Invite participation. Invite your guests to bring their own games. Don't insist on playing something you own, or on selecting a specific game for each night. Invite all your neighbors and friends to bring their favorite games and decide as a group what to play.
  • Own some kid-friendly games. Even if you plan to only play games with adults, have options for kids to play as well. Maybe your kids are home, or your neighbor couldn’t get a sitter but would still love to come to game night. Prevent exclusion by providing fun ways to keep the kids and parents entertained. Simple toys for young ones and a selection of appropriate interactive video games can go a long way to making your night.

Plan for flexibility.

A significant reason for having different games on hand is to allow for flexibility in numbers and ability. Not everyone you invite to your game night is going to attend. Don't ask a specific number of people with a particular game in mind. Invite everyone who you think you'd enjoy playing with or who you want to get to know. Perhaps have an idea in mind of different games you can play with varying numbers of people. Also consider making a backup plan for having multiple game boards going if everyone you invite shows up, or for keeping the game night fun and entertaining if you have a less than stellar turn out the first time.

No last minute invites.

Don't wait up until the last minute to invite your friends and neighbors. People have their own lives. Between work, kids and activities it's hard to commit to a last-minute invitation. Give folks a couple of weeks-notice that you'd like to have a game night and give them time to make any necessary arrangements. Once you have a couple of successful nights, you can establish a monthly or biweekly night that people can incorporate into their ongoing planning.

Supply refreshments but ask for help.

You should always provide refreshments and snacks, but a great way to engage your neighbors is to ask for help. Make sure you have enough food to offer, just in case, but invite people to bring a dish or beverage or anything they’d like to share. As much as you enjoy hosting, your neighbors like contributing and showing off their best recipe or introducing you to their favorite new coffee or beer. Invite them to find their own way to engage while using your get together as a platform.

Be a good host.

The group you invite to your game night will be composed of outgoing people, shy people, people who already know each other and total strangers. Be a good host by acting and engaging first. If no one wants to go first at charades, get up there and show them that it's okay (and even fun!) to succeed or fail, to make a fool of yourself and laugh it off or act out the perfect clues. To start the ball rolling, you want to make the first move. Just getting people over to your house and supplying games isn't enough, take the stage and open the floor to engagement.




Categories: entertainment   games   party  


Posted by Lynne Eliopoulos on 7/14/2019

As a home seller, it is important to do everything possible to make your residence an attractive choice for buyers. Because if your home stands out from the pack, you may be better equipped than other sellers to enjoy a fast, seamless and profitable house selling experience.

Ultimately, there are many ways to make your home an attractive option for buyers, and these include:

1. Perform Home Improvements

If your home has a leaky roof, defective heating and cooling system or other problems, there may be no time like the present to perform house upgrades. That way, you can transform assorted home weaknesses into strengths.

For home sellers who are uncertain about how to upgrade their residences, it may be beneficial to conduct a home inspection. This evaluation enables a home inspector to review your residence both inside and out. Then, a home inspector will provide a report that details his or her findings, and you can use the report results to prioritize home improvement projects.

2. Remove Clutter

If your home is full of antiques, furniture and various personal belongings, it may be tough for homebuyers to envision what life may be like if they purchase your residence. Conversely, if you eliminate clutter from your home, you can show off your living space's full potential to buyers.

Oftentimes, it helps to rent a storage unit before you list your residence. This unit will allow you to store a wide range of personal belongings in a safe place until your house sells.

It also may be a good idea to host a yard sale or sell excess items online. By doing so, you can simultaneously remove clutter and earn extra cash.

3. Boost Your Residence's Curb Appeal

Your house's curb appeal is a difference-maker in homebuyers' eyes. If your home boasts a pristine front lawn, flawless siding and other dazzling exterior features, your residence may stand out to buyers as soon as they see it. Comparatively, if your house has a messy front lawn, damaged siding and other noticeable flaws, your residence is unlikely to make a positive first impression on buyers.

Allocate time and resources to bolster your house's curb appeal – you'll be happy you did. If your home makes a positive first impression on homebuyers, you may receive lots of interest in your residence. And as a result, you may be able to accelerate the house selling cycle.

Lastly, as you search for ways to distinguish your residence from other available houses, you may want to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can offer expert recommendations and suggestions to help you enhance your residence. Plus, if you have any concerns or questions throughout the home selling journey, a real estate agent will always be available to address them.

Ensure your residence is an attractive option for buyers – use the aforementioned tips, and you can differentiate your house from the competition.





Posted by Lynne Eliopoulos on 7/7/2019

Want to sell your residence? As a home seller, you'll want to take a cautious approach to the real estate market. That way, you can improve your chances of getting the best price for your residence, regardless of the current housing market's conditions.

Ultimately, there are many reasons why home sellers should err on the side of caution as they prepare to add their houses to the real estate market, including:

1. The housing market constantly fluctuates.

For home sellers, it is important to differentiate between a seller's market and a buyer's market. By doing so, a home seller can assess the current housing market and proceed accordingly.

In a seller's market, there is usually a shortage of high-end houses and an abundance of interested homebuyers. This means home sellers who operate in a seller's market may be more likely to stir up plenty of interest in their houses as soon as these properties become available.

Conversely, a buyer's market typically favors homebuyers, as it features a limited number of homebuyers and a wide range of home sellers. If you're selling your home in a seller's market, you'll likely need to price it competitively to help your residence stand out from the competition.

Allocating the necessary time and resources to analyze the housing market is key. With housing market data in hand, a home seller can determine whether he or she is getting ready to list a house in a buyer's or seller's market.

2. What your home was worth yesterday is unlikely to match what it is worth today.

The price that a home seller initially paid for a residence is unlikely to match what the house is worth today. Thus, a home seller should perform a home appraisal to learn about the present value of his or her residence.

During a home appraisal, a property inspector will assess a house both inside and out. Then, the property inspector will identify any problem areas with a house that could negatively affect the residence's value.

A home appraisal is exceedingly valuable to home sellers. It enables them to understand a house's strengths and weaknesses as well as uncover ways to transform a home's weaknesses into strengths. As a result, a home seller can use a home appraisal as a learning opportunity and find innovative ways to enhance a residence before adding it to the real estate market.

3. Homebuyers are always on the lookout for bargains.

Although a home seller will do everything possible to learn about the housing market, there is always the danger that a homebuyer will submit a "lowball" offer on a house. Conversely, a home seller who errs on the side of caution will be able to differentiate between a legitimate offer and a lowball one time and time again.

Lastly, if you need extra help as you get ready to sell your house, don't hesitate to work with a local real estate agent.

Real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide. They can help you get your house ready for the real estate market and ensure you can reap the benefits of a quick, seamless home selling experience.

Become a cautious home seller, and you can move one step closer to maximizing the value of your house.





Posted by Lynne Eliopoulos on 6/30/2019

When many homeowners set out to declutter their home, they aren’t quite sure of what they’re getting into. Decluttering is a big job that requires some planning and an understanding of your end goals.

Some homeowners are setting out to declutter their home because they’re moving in the near future and want to simplify their move or make their home more appealing to potential buyers. Others have just noticed the junk piling up in their drawers and on their countertops and are fed up.

Regardless of your situation, if you want to declutter you’ve come to the right place.

In today’s post, we’re going to talk about one of the best ways to set out on your mission of decluttering your home.

Why room by room?

Decluttering a home can take a lot of time and can be demotivating if you aren’t seeing a lot of progress. One way to break this process down into more manageable pieces is to declutter your home one room at a time.

This method also helps you manage the time you plan on spending decluttering. If your goal is to declutter one room per week until you move, then make sure you have 4 or 5 weeks to complete your cleaning and decluttering.

Bathroom

We’ll start with one of the smaller and easier rooms in your home, the bathroom. A good way to start is by going through your closet and cabinet and getting rid of old supplies and medicines.

Have a first aid kit that you haven’t touched in five years? There’s a good chance most things in it are expired anyway.

Once you’re done throwing out expired items, see if you can reorganize what’s left. A good way to take advantage of the space in a small bathroom is to use door hangers on the inside of your bathroom closet for hanging brooms, dustpans, mops, etc.

Does your bathroom also have messy stacks of assorted towels? One good solution is to roll up your hand towels and store them vertically in a basket that will be kept in your closet. This prevents your stacks of towels from tumbling over, never to be straightened again.

Kitchen

It’s amazing how kitchen utensils and appliances can add up over the years. Do you have a garlic clove grinder that’s been sitting in your drawer for years? Chances are you can toss it out.

Once you’ve made some space in your kitchen drawers and cabinets, bring some order to what’s left by using compartments and stackable organizers. This will help keep you on track by giving each item in your kitchen a “home.”

Bedrooms

You probably already guessed it, but the most disorganized area in most bedrooms is the closet. A good rule of thumb when cleaning out clothes is to ask yourself if you’ve worn the item since this time last year. If not, there’s a good chance you can safely donate it to a thrift store.

Have a tendency of throwing dirty clothes in piles on the floor? Make things easier on yourself by keeping a clothing bin nearby that you can toss all of your dirty clothes into and worry about sorting them later.





Posted by Lynne Eliopoulos on 6/23/2019

Buying a home is the mark of an important milestone in your life. While you’re very excited, you need to be prepared for all of the costs that are associated with buying a home. There are a few different costs that go into buying a home that are often overlooked. Before you dive into the home buying process, you’ll want to be prepared.



The Closing Costs


Many homebuyers have gone smoothly through the process of buying a home until they get to the closing table. They suddenly realize that they need a bit more cash than they anticipated. You probably were more than prepared with your down payment, but there’s other costs that are associated with buying a home. Some costs that you should be prepared for include:


  • The home appraisal
  • Attorney’s fees
  • lender’s fees
  • Underwriting fee
  • Processing fees
  • Inspection fees



You’ll receive a disclosure up front to help you understand all of the charges and cash that you must present when your signing the final documents for the purchase of the house. Keep in mind that many of these fees can be negotiable. 


Decorating Your New Home


Once you move into a new home, you’re going to want to decorate the space. You may need a some new furniture. Perhaps you own no furniture and need to furnish the entire house. You’ll want to budget for this. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to fill up your home with items that won’t break the bank yet look good in the home. Places that you can shop include online sources like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. You can even check out local second hand stores for some great deals on furniture and decor that is in good condition. The important thing is that you understand how much you’ll need to buy as you move into the home.   



Escrow Accounts


The escrow account typically holds the insurance and taxes for the home. Funds are withdrawn as premiums and payments are due. Not every lender has these set up, but you should be prepared to have the money up front for the home insurance and even the taxes at the closing table.  


Improvements Around The Home


There will be plenty of things that you’ll want to do around your new home to spruce up the place and make it your own. From planting bushes in the front to flower gardens outside to fresh coats of paint, you’ll quickly discover how expensive it is to be a homeowner. 

     

If you’re preparing to buy a home, now you understand why saving is so important! Investigate all the costs that you’ll need to pay up front while you’re in the midst of buying a home to avoid any surprises.