Steps For A Healthy Boston Area Home

During the winter months, people tend to spend more and more time indoors. It’s important to pay attention to the air in your home, and know whether you have a healthy Boston area home, or one that could be responsible for making you sick.

There are several things that could be responsible for you not having a healthy home. Mold, lead, a tainted water supply, or hazardous household products can all lead to a less than healthy Boston area home.

Steps To Ensure a Safe, Healthy Boston area Home

Mold can prevent you from having a healthy Boston area homeProtect Against Mold
Mold, sometimes known as mildew, grows where there are wet or damp surfaces.

To protect against mold, be sure your gutters are clean and not leaking, and that downspouts direct rainwater away from the house. Your yard should slope away from the building.

Repair leaking roofs, walls, doors and windows right away. Water is insidious, and can cause problems if left to stand. That means anywhere, even in refrigerator drip pans. Mold is one of the most difficult things to get rid of from all the things on the list responsible for you not having a safe and healthy Boston area home.

Carbon Monoxide
Unlike mold, you can’t see, smell or feel carbon monoxide, a deadly gas that can make you sick or even kill you. Signs of low-level carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sleepiness, tightness in the chest and difficulty breathing. Many people confuse it with the flu.

Install carbon monoxide alarms near each sleeping area and on each floor. But to make sure they never go off, do not use the kitchen stove or oven to heat your house.

Never use charcoal grills or run car engines inside your house, garage or basement — even for a short time. They produce so much carbon monoxide that even opening the windows and doors will not give you enough fresh air. Never warm a vehicle while it sits inside the garage, even with the garage doors open. Start lawnmowers, leaf-blowers and other yard equipment outside, never inside.

Check for Lead
Lead poisoning poses a serious health risk for children. Lead is not used as much in paint, pipes and other materials as it once was — lead paint was banned in 1978 — so houses built prior to 1950 are the most problematic.

Also check for lead pipes, which are a dull gray in color and scratch easily with a key or penny, or pipes which are joined with lead solder. Water that flows through them can contain lead which can make for a very unhealthy Boston area home. This leads us to our next item on the list of things to watch for to ensure a safe, healthy Boston area home…

Contaminated Water
Public drinking water is safe, but if you have a well or other private water supply, it’s up to you to protect yourself. And since you can’t see, smell or taste potentially dangerous microbes, you should have your water tested about every two years for bacteria, nitrates and perhaps pesticides at a laboratory. Nothing can make an otherwise healthy Boston area home unhealthy quicker than contaminated water.

Household Products
When it comes to hazardous household products, buy only what you need, and read and follow the directions. Properly dispose of what you don’t use, or give the leftovers to someone who can use it. Never burn or dump leftover containers.

Most of these tips for having a healthy Boston area home come from the Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture ( You can find a whole list of other websites that specialize in making sure you have a healthy Boston area home by searching “healthy Boston area homes” on Google.

Reasons Your Boston Area Home Isn’t Selling

Ever wonder why your Boston area home isn’t selling and others around you are snapped up in a matter of days from the time they go on the market?

Reasons why your Boston area home may not be selling...While a lot of it has to do with price and local inventory, a whole host of factors can combine to make a home sit and stagnate on the multiple listing service without showings or offers.

Maybe your house is not painted purple, but the longer your Boston area home sits on the market, the more it gets stigmatized. People start to ask, “What’s wrong with that house?” and “Why hasn’t it sold?” Here are some possible reasons:

Your Boston Area Home is Priced Too High

Pricing your Boston area home too high is the main reason a home just sits. Many sellers have unrealistic ideas about what their home can bring, others simply can’t afford to take anything less because they are underwater on their loan.

It’s always price for condition or price for location. That’s one of the main reasons a Boston area home will just sit and stagnate.

Your Boston Area Home Is Dated

Everybody’s taste is different, so less is more when it comes to decor at sale time. Loud patterns and bold colors can be big distractions. Other buyer turnoffs include time-capsule interior treatments such as mirrored walls, cheap wood paneling and 1970s kitchens.

Your Boston Area Home Is In Poor Condition

If a home looks as if it’s going to cost half as much to repair or renovate as it does to purchase, it’s going to take a long time to move. Buyers are a lot more reluctant to take on a project, especially if there are houses around it that don’t need as much work.

The same goes for strong odors in the home, such as pets or mold. Either fix it or chop the asking price to accommodate for someone else fixing the problem.

Your Boston Area Home Suffers From Bad Design

With some homes, it’s a strange or inefficient floor plan that may be killing the sale. Cosmetic things like old linoleum floors or a rough interior can be easily fixed. If you have to walk through one bedroom to get to another one, that may qualify as functional obsolescence.

Your Boston Area Home May Be in a Bad Location

The location of your Boston area home is very important.You’ve heard it a million times when it comes to real estate: It’s all about the location, location, location. There’s not much you can do when your location includes overhead high tension power lines, or you’re close to a power plant or waste-treatment facility. If your location just comes down to the neighbors not keeping up their property, you may have some recourse if your Boston area home is part of a homeowner’s association that oversees the neighborhood and takes action if owners allow their properties to become run down.

These are just a few of the many reasons your Boston area home may be sitting on the market and not selling. If any of these things are things you can do something about, now is the time to take action to correct what you can.

For more tips on selling your Boston area home, see our section on Boston Home Selling  Tips to your right under Boston Real Estate Categories.

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Winning a Boston Area Home Bidding War

Boston area home bidding wars have become increasingly common since the housing market turned around. Here are a few tips for buyers and sellers on handling multiple offer situations.

Tips for winning a Boston area home bidding warTips for Winning a Boston Area Home Bidding Battle

Keep it Clean

The cleaner the offer, the better. That means fewer contingencies or no contingencies. Cash buyers almost always have an advantage.

Don’t Overpay

Sometimes losing is winning, if that means not overpaying. Do your homework, and know what a property is worth. Never fall in love with a property to the point where you lose a grip on your common sense.

Be Quick

It pays to snag properties before others make offers. Get out there, beat the bushes and find something others aren’t seeing. Make sure your real estate agent knows all of your wants and must-have’s so they can keep a keener eye out for your perfect Boston area home.

For Sellers

Pricing a property correctly can generate a lot of interest and potentially spark a bidding war. Overprice your property, even a little, and that will almost guarantee that this article won’t apply to you, because you won’t have multiple offers coming in if you’re overpriced.

Make It Human

Sometimes what wins sellers over is a personal letter saying who you are. Try to connect with the seller and not just be a number on a piece of paper. Some sellers take the offer with a letter which was less money than the one without a letter.

Be Ethical

Go back to everyone and give a deadline for all bidders to turn in their highest and best offer. But be honest and ethical. Buyers will recognize a shyster and run for the next Boston area home for sale.

We encourage our Boston area home buyers not to engage in bidding wars. Let Buyer’s Choice Realty help you do your homework so as not to find yourself in multiple offer situations. Call us today for a no-obligation consultation on the current state of the Boston area home market. 1-800-252-8937.

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Rent or Buy a Boston Area Home?

With both Boston area home prices still at attractive levels and interest rates at all-time lows, now may be the time to buy your dream home. The question renters are always asking is, “is it cheaper to own or to buy a Boston area home?” Stacy Johnson looks at owning versus renting in this short video…

If you need help deciding whether renting a Boston area home or buying a Boston area home is best for your particular financial situation, contact us at Buyer’s Choice Realty for a free, no-obligation consultation.

You might want to check out an article we published earlier this year “7 Reasons to Buy a Boston Area Home in 2013” or an article we published last year about “Buying a Boston Area Home Instead of Renting.” In that particular article, we discussed how in some markets, the break even point is 4 to 5 years, but in other areas, buying a home wins out in less than 2 years. There are wild markets where residents must wait up to 14 years for buying to make more sense than renting.

The analysis took into account a host of factors potential buyers should think about when considering the leap, including the down payment, mortgage and rental payments, buying and selling costs, property taxes, utilities, maintenance costs and tax deductions. The analysis adjusts for inflation and forecasts home value and rental price appreciation.make more sense than renting.

For more tips on buying a Boston area home, check out our Boston Home Buying Tips under the Boston Real Estate Categories in the column to the right.

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Is Your Boston Area Home Insured Against Meteorites?

If a Meteorite were to hit your Boston area home, does your insurance cover that?

Is Your Boston Area Home Insured Against Meteorites?It’s been an odd time lately for Earth and celestial objects. A 10-ton meteorite crashed into the earth and exploded near the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, injuring hundreds and causing widespread panic. Meanwhile, a 143,000-ton asteroid passed just 17,000 miles away from Earth on February 15th, a little too close for comfort.

NASA scientist Don Yeomans recently noted that a basketball size object hits the earth’s atmosphere every day. This may have you wondering how a meteor shower or asteroid collision could theoretically affect your family or your Boston area home.

Does Insurance Cover Your Boston Area Home Against Meteorites?

If a meteorite crashes through your roof, the damage to your Boston area home and belongings would generally be covered by your standard homeowner’s insurance policy, according to the Insurance Information Institute, a consumer education organization funded by the insurance industry.

Meteorites are classified as a falling object, one of the many “named perils” for which insurance companies cover personal property damage. Other odd perils include a volcanic eruption, a riot, and a falling airplane. In fact, you’re covered if your Boston area home is hit by “blue ice”, which is the frozen discharge that comes from airplane lavatories. (This might be a fate worse than a meteor crash).

While you’re most likely covered if a space rock hits your Boston area home directly, things would be more complicated (in a lot of ways, obviously) if an Armageddon-sized asteroid like the one cruising near Earth on February 15th entered your neighborhood. Standard insurance policies only cover personal property damage in your Boston area home if the falling object blasts directly through your roof or your walls. If an asteroid slams into the Earth a mile away from your Boston area home and your prized art deco sculptures tumble to the ground and shatter, insurance isn’t likely going to cover it. It has to be a direct hit.

The rules for meteors are actually no different than for a much more common falling object: trees. Your car would also be insured in this instance of cosmically bad luck, assuming you have comprehensive auto insurance.

For more timely insurance articles and information, check out our Boston Insurance section under the Boston Real Estate Categories to your right.