Bay State Home Sales Team's Blog
Moving to a new neighborhood brings with it, well, the new neighbors. Although you may be an exceptionally private person — others, by nature, are naturally curious. They want to know who’s moved in next door. This is particularly true when your house is just a few feet or a few inches away from their house. Sometimes, your window looks right out on their window — and vice versa. When it comes to nosy neighbors, follow these tips.
Introduce yourself and satisfy their curiosity about your basic information. Without getting too personal, let them know who is living in the house with you and if you moved into the neighborhood for a specific reason.
Many neighborhoods have a neighborhood watch. If this is the case, meet the people that look out for strangers so that they know who you are. Ask them questions too so that you know what kinds of things trigger a response from the watch or from other neighbors. If your neighborhood has an association, ask about it and meet the officers.
People that live in one place for an exceptionally long time may fear change. Let them know you hope to love the neighborhood as much as they do. If their questions bother you, deflect and redirect the conversation.
Builders don’t always pay attention to how one house aligns with another. If your neighbor’s dining room overlooks your bathroom, cover your bathroom windows with a frosted or stained-glass overlay. It’s a simple fix that lets daylight shine in your bathroom without the neighbors peering in, even accidentally. If it’s a bedroom window, cellular blinds let light in but give full coverage.
When the opportunity arises, invite your neighbor for a cup of tea or simply to share a conversation while you weed the flowerbed. Friendliness goes a long way toward increasing everyone’s comfort level as new neighbors. Moving into a new neighborhood is a time of adjustment for both the old neighbors and the new.
If you’re proactive, prepared, courteous, inventive and friendly, you’ll soon move from being merely neighbors to being friends. Your real estate professional is a great resource on learning about your neighborhood too, so ask them what they know.
When you think of making improvements to your home, you probably often turn to the inside of your home to bring the value of your home up. The outside of your house provides the same type of opportunities and adds value at the same time. People not only like to live in the indoors of their homes, but the outdoors as well. Maximizing the outdoor space allows for entertainment opportunities and increased living space without maximum costs.
Spruce Up Your Garden And Landscapes
The landscape of your home is a revolving battle. You’ll need to continually maintain these areas of the home. Choose your plants based on the climate you live in. Keep the grass looking green, or plant a drought-tolerant yard. Adding trees for shade, shrubbery for beauty, and other types of plants not only helps increase the curb appeal of your home, but plants and trees can lower energy bills and keep your home cool at the same time.
Build An Outdoor Space
Building something like a deck or a patio to your home can really be effective at adding living space and value to your home. Whether you decide to go all out and attach a deck to your home for you to step out on, or do things a little more simply and pave a patio, you’ll find a return on your investment. Most homeowners look for a nice outdoor space to hang out on, so this improvement can make a big difference.
Curb Appeal Matters
The curb appeal of your home is what it looks like when people pull up tot he front of the house. Having a better looking home from the outside can increase the value of your home and the future appeal it has to buyers. Your home will be more inviting by doing improvements like repaving the driveway or adding a stone wall. Whatever you think the front of your home needs to make it more inviting should be done not only if you’re planning on selling your home, but for your own enjoyment as well.
Add Other Touches
There are certain luxuries in a yard that can make a big difference. Add a small waterfall or a fountain to add a lot to a yard. Along with your deck or patio area, you should also consider adding a fire pit or an outdoor fireplace. These items attract people for their immense enjoyment. The design doesn’t even need to be elaborate. These can be some of the biggest, yet most inexpensive improvements that you can make to your yard.
Remember that no matter how you want to spruce up your yard, it’s all about enjoyment and the ability to make use your yard. Add the personal touches that you know will make your yard special and purposeful.
When it comes to hiding an AC, it's vital to maintain proper airflow. But you don't have to block airflow to remove an air conditioner from your line of sight. Check out these five creative ways to hide your AC.
A Hanging Garden
To make this project easy, pre-made lattice works just fine for a basic hanging garden. But if you're looking forward to a weekend project, go a little more advanced.
Nail six to eight 2X4s together into a grid, leaving space between them. Then simply encourage vines up the structure or hang potted plants on the slats.
You can also turn your grid into a 3D structure so that each compartment becomes a planter for herbs, succulents, flowers or whatever inspires you.
The exact design is up to you. Just keep two things in mind. First, you'll need to maintain it to prevent overgrowth that blocks airflow. And second, it should be easily removable. Or place it three to five feet from the unit so that a professional can service the AC when needed.
A Slatted Bench
So your AC unit is right in the middle of your outdoor entertainment space. Not to worry. You can build a beautiful deep, slatted bench that fits perfectly over the unit. Think up-side-down crate with a bottom that comes off like a lid and you have the perfect hide-away for an AC.
Stain the bench/cover to match your home or lawn furniture and no one will ever know. And because it doubles as a bench, you'll forget your AC is under there, at least when it's not running.
A Row of Hedges
If you can still maintain access to the unit, some AC units can be concealed by a row of hedges planted three to five feet away from the unit. You can place the hedges along one side or grow them all around.
A Bird Sanctuary
Simply adding a fence would be too ordinary, But combining a fence with a line of beautifully painted birdhouses can cover your AC and add character to your yard while giving local birds a safe and warm place to nest in the spring.
If you want to build the birdhouses from scratch, you can. Or you can head down to your local lawn and garden store to choose three to five you like. Then it's just a matter of using a nail and hammer to secure them to the fence.
Give it its Own House
If you want to have some fun and have a little more carpentry skill than the rest of us, create a miniature version of your home that you can place over the unit. It can't be a replica since it needs proper airflow, but by mimicking your home's style, the structure seems to fit right in. That AC will be an eyesore no more.
Love your yard and home with simple and creative tips like these. For more fresh DIY home maintenance and improvement ideas, follow our blog.
Whether you’re shopping for your first house or your next house, finding a listing you love is exciting. You browse the pictures, check out the property facts, share the link to your significant other, and maybe even schedule a showing.
With the exciting prospect of owning a new home that has all or many of the features you’re looking for, it can be easy to forget about certain details that matter. Most of us look for similar things in a house--close proximity to work, enough bedrooms, an upgraded kitchen, and so on.
In this article, we’re going to give you a list of things to investigate about the house you’re looking at to get a better idea of whether or not it’s the perfect match for you and your family.
1. Re-read the listing
If you’re like me and get lost in the photos of a home and forget to make note of the details, be sure to go back and check out the listing a second time. It will likely give you important details of the house that you overlooked on your initial visit.
Look for things like the year the house was built, information of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, and the total acreage of the lot and square footage of the home. These things are hard to accurately represent in the listing’s pictures, but will likely be important to your decision of whether or not you should view the home.
2. Do your online research
The number of things you can learn about a home and neighborhood on the internet is astounding. We suggest that before you go to visit a home, you spend 10-20 minutes on Google researching the following topics:
School district ratings. If you have or plan to have school-aged children, you’ll want to know what your options are for your child’s education. It’s often a good idea to check out the local schools’ websites to see what
Commute times. With Google Maps and similar sites, you can plan out what your new commute will be and see how long it will take. You might find different routes that will save you time or avoid traffic (we could all use those extra few minutes in bed every morning). Google Maps isn’t always accurate when it comes to morning traffic estimates, but it’s a good place to start.
Amenities. Having moved into a neighborhood that has no grocery stores within a 20-minute drive, trust me--you’ll want to know what’s in the area. Use Google Maps to find stores, gas, schools, parks and trails, hospitals, and other things you’ll want close by.
Street view. While we’re on Google, use street view to take a remote look around the neighborhood. You’ll be able to see how the infrastructure looks--if the neighborhood is taken care of and if there are sidewalks that offer a safe place to walk or jog.
Crime ratings. Don’t get too caught up in this section. Crimes happen everywhere, but this is a good way to see if the area you’re moving to is a safe place
3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
If, after all of your online research, you decide you want to go view a home, don’t be shy when you arrive. It’s understandable that you wouldn’t want to be a burden in someone else’s home. But remember--if you’re considering living there someday you’ll want to know as much as possible before making an offer.
Test the plumbing, ask about average utilities, and don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to neighbors and ask them questions about the community. The more you know, the better. Happy sleuthing!