Nelson Zide
ERA Key Realty Services | 508-277-7794 | nelson@nelsonzide.com


Posted by Nelson Zide on 5/23/2018

If youíre thinking about moving into a new home to start a family, youíll have a lot of factors to consider. Thereís more to a neighborhood than just safety, as your future children and pets will agree.

In this article, weíll talk about some signs that a neighborhood is a good place for a family. Weíll also offer some advice on weighing those factors to find a place that fits both your lifestyle and your budget.

1. Safety

One of the most important factors in your hunt will be safety. However, thereís more to the safety of a neighborhood than just crime statistics. If you have children or pets, safety includes living on a street that doesnít have high-speed traffic and blind corners.

Youíll want to be able to take your dog for a walk, let your cat roam the neighborhood, and go for a bike ride with your children without having to worry about the dangers of road traffic.

Another factor in safety is how well-maintained the neighborhood is. Oftentimes, neighborhoods run by homeowners associations tend to see to things like potholes, litter, and other things that could put you and your family at risk.

To get an idea of whether or not a neighborhood is a good fit, itís a good idea to tour the surrounding streets on foot.

2. Community

Many of us can remember a time when everyone on the street knew each other. However, as weíve gotten more digitally connected and have vehicles to travel across town, many suburban and urban neighborhoods have lost some of their sense of neighborhood community.

For a young family, knowing and getting along with your neighbors can be a big advantage. Having other kids in the neighborhood that your children can play with will be good fun for your children and it will make your life easier when it comes to play dates and keeping track of your kids.

To get a sense of the local community, ask to be introduced to some neighbors or say ďhelloĒ as you walk down the street.

3. Proximity to important services

The obvious amenities you want in the area are good schools, grocery stores, and parks to bring your kids to. However, there are some lesser known services youíll want to keep in mind. Access to reliable, affordable high-speed internet will be valuable to both you and your children, especially since much of their homework will likely be online.

4. Scout the traffic

If youíre going to be getting your child on the bus every day and then driving to work, itís a good idea to know what to expect in the mornings and when you come home. Visit the neighborhood during rush hour and take a test drive to your work to see if there are any unexpected delays.

5. Public services

Thereís more to a good town than the lack of potholes. Check out the local library, post offices, police, and fire departments as well. Ask someone you know who lives in the town or join the townís Facebook group to gauge whether the public services are on par with what you and your future family would want.




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Posted by Nelson Zide on 5/16/2018

If you're getting ready to put your home on the market, the thought of organizing, cleaning, and arranging it may seem like an overwhelming project!

Knowing where to begin and how much money to spend on home staging and decorating are among the many questions that may be flooding your mind, right now.

The key to success is to make as much of an impact as possible, without spending more money than necessary.

One way to avoid "spinning your wheels" when it comes to maximizing the appearance of your home is to work with an experienced real estate agent. A good agent will quickly notice aspects of your home that need attention and advise you on the most cost-effective ways to improve its marketability. If they've shown dozens (or more) houses in their career, they'll be very familiar with all the things that attract buyers, as well as what repels them.

Although everyone has different tastes and expectations, many house hunters are attracted to gleaming hardwood floors, energy efficient windows, and stainless steel appliances. While it may not be cost effective to have new floors, appliances, and windows installed to sell your house faster, you can make the best possible impression by making sure the windows are crystal clear, hardwood floors are polished, and appliances are clean and shiny.

Since many house hunters pay close attention to the kitchen, it's especially important to win their approval on appearance and cleanliness. Because food is prepared and often consumed in the kitchen, it's going to be one of the more challenging rooms to keep clean -- especially if you have children. However, if a prospective buyer is wavering between two houses for sale, you can be reasonably sure that the one with the clean kitchen and bathrooms will be their preferred choice.

There are a lot of other ways you can make your kitchen appealing to buyers, too. By minimizing clutter on counter tops and displaying fresh flowers and a colorful bowl of fruit, you can make your kitchen look much more inviting. Prospective buyers will also respond favorably to appealing fragrances, such as freshly baked bread, cookies, cinnamon buns, or coffee. Clean windows, attractive curtains, and plenty of natural light will also add to the ambiance of your kitchen.

The ideal reaction from potential buyers touring your home would be something to the effect of "I can imagine us preparing dinner, entertaining guests, and sitting around the breakfast table in this house!" Setting the table so that it looks like the family is just about to sit down for a meal together is one way to help convey that image. The encouraging news is that when someone expresses sincere appreciation for the comforts and features of your home, there's a good chance they'll find a place for it on their short list of possibilities!





Posted by Nelson Zide on 5/9/2018

If you've recently put your home on the market -- or are considering doing so in the near future -- home staging is a priority which will soon take front and center!

Since "presentation is everything" when trying to catch the interest of prospective buyers, it's crucial to be able to see things through their eyes.

Unfortunately, being able to accomplish that objective is next to impossible because, as a homeowner, you're looking at your home and property through a completely different lens than the rest of the world. The longer you've lived in your home, the more your objectivity is compromised.

Here are a few reasons why it's really difficult to "see the forest for the trees" when it comes to home staging:

First of all, there's the emotional aspect of owning a home and seeing your life unfold there over a period of years. That's especially true for first-time homeowners, parents of growing children, and people who have sunk a lot of money, time, and energy into improvements and customization. Once you've added personal touches to your home to reflect your own tastes, personality, and lifestyle, you're viewing your home through a unique perspective that may cloud your objectivity as a home seller.

Solution: Think Like a Business Owner

For the same reason business owners and executives hire outside consultants to tell them how to improve management efficiency or profitability, home sellers often need professional marketing guidance from a real estate agent or home staging consultant. Getting input from home decorators, landscapers, or home improvement contractors may also provide you with helpful ideas, but their recommendations may not always be the most economical and cost effective.

When staging your home to enhance eye appeal and attract the most potential buyers, a good guiding principle to keep in mind is ROI or "return on investment." While you don't want to sink more money into sprucing up and staging your home than necessary, you do want to cast it in its best possible light. Depending on how recently your home has been updated or improved, your investment in home staging may be relatively inexpensive. On the other hand, if you haven't updated, repaired, or made improvements for more years than you care to remember, the cost of making your home irresistible to buyers may be a lot higher!

One More Scenario

If your tastes could be described as eclectic, "off the wall", or otherwise out of the mainstream, you might need to consider a major overall in the look and feel of your property. Unless you're lucky enough to have it be a "sellers' market" at the time you're putting your house up for sale, it's generally advisable to make your home appealing to as wide a range of potential buyers as possible. An experienced real estate professional is usually in the best position to provide the guidance you need to accomplish that key objective.





Posted by Nelson Zide on 5/2/2018

Remodeling your home is something youíve likely considered for a long time and have carefully planned. However, if youíre not an expert carpenter designer it can be easy to make novice mistakes. Learning by your mistakes is fine, but when those mistakes are an eyesore or cost hundreds of dollars, youíre better off doing your homework in advance.

Whether youíre doing a remodel yourself to save money, or just because you have a do-it-yourself spirit and like new challenges, these tips will spare you many headaches and save you a lot of money along the way.

1. Inaccurate measurements

Unless youíre a carpenter or engineer, odds are you donít use measuring tools on a daily basis. To ensure that you get the most accurate measurements, draw plans for your remodeling project to ensure that everything will fit in the space that you have. This includes measuring for the spaces youíll be putting appliances, cabinets, and other items. If youíre installing drawers or doors, ensure that they will be able to open fully.

2. Using the cheapest materials

Sometimes you can find high-quality materials in the bargain bin. But most of the time itís there for a reason. Working with quality materials will not only usually give you the most aesthetically positive results, but will also likely outlast the cheaper alternatives.

3. Underestimating costs

If youíre planning a remodeling project always be prepared to spend a bit more than your original calculations. There are several unexpected expenses that could arise during the remodeling process, including damaging materials by mistake, buying the wrong materials, having to purchase specialized tools, or needing more than you initially thought.

4. Not taking appropriate safety measures

If youíre a novice remodeler, safety needs to be one of your top priorities. You may be unfamiliar with some of the tools youíre using and likely donít know some of the common safety hazards on the job. When it comes to electrical work, there are many projects that required a licensed electrician to perform. If youíre up on a ladder, be sure the legs are fully opened and secure. And if youíre on the roof, make sure youíre wearing non-slip boots and not carrying heavy items up and down by yourself.

5. Ignoring design and style

In todayís world of quickly fading trends and online inspiration blogs itís easy to want your home to be several things that it isnít. When planning your interiors, try to take into account the architectural style of the house. Similarly, if youíre remodeling one room think about how it will look against the backdrop of the rest of your home. Consistency is a too-often undervalued characteristic of interior design.


Those are five of the most common home remodeling mistakes to avoid if youíre planning a renovation for your home. However, there are many more. So if you take away anything from this article, let it be this: you have to look at your home every day, so be sure to take the time to do your research and plan properly so that your home comes out just the way you want it.




Tags: home remodeling   mistakes   DIY  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Nelson Zide on 4/25/2018

With school loans at an all-time high, and growing for each passing generation, many homeowners are ready to shoulder off any and all debt as quickly as possible. If youíre in this camp and looking to aggressively pay down debt there are a few options available when it comes to paying your mortgage off.

Seller concessions.

Also known as seller contributions, are where the seller agrees to pay a portion of the closing fees for the buyer. This can include title insurance, inspection fees, and processing fees. If the seller is looking to sell the house quickly they may consider agreeing to seller concessions.

Government options for loans.

Energy-efficient Mortgage (EEM) was created to help homeowners renovate to add environmentally friendly features to their home. So if youíre looking to install double-pane windows or update insulation this could be the loan for you.

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans offer lower closing costs, smaller down payments, and a fair interest rate.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans can be applied to homes in rural areas, regardless of if they are a part of a farm. You may qualify to apply for zero down payment and loan payments will be at a fixed rate.     

There are also many local programs offered at the state and city level. A quick Google search for loan options for your area should set you in the right direction!

Plan to Refinance

Down the road, you can refinance for a fifteen year home loan instead of thirty. Youíll pay off your loan in roughly half the time and save money on payments towards interest.

Throw It Everything Youíve Got

Youíll want to check with your lending company first as some have penalties for payments outside of the loan terms. However, if possible, making an extra payment either regularly or time to time will help cut down the overall time it takes to pay off your loan.

For example, you can make one extra mortgage payment each year or tighten up your day to day budget and apply what your savings towards your loan. Many homeowners get creative and take on side gigs to create the extra cash necessary to make additional payments.

If you donít have that room to flex you can also always apply any bonuses, tax refunds or windfalls that come your way. This also makes a bigger impact when paired with regularly scheduled extra payments.

Aggressive debt payoff strategies arenít for everyone. And thatís okay! However, if youíre looking to live a debt free life and enjoy your home knowing itís been paid in total these tactics are for you. With some strategy and creativity, you can find plenty of ways to make the process go quickly and smoothly.







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