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Is It Time to Downsize Your Home?

by Mary Jean Agostini

In 2010, the average size of a new home was 2,169 square feet. That’s over a 1000 square foot increase in the last 30 years. A large home can be nice, especially when you’re raising a family. However, if your kids are now grown or you’re just tired of cleaning and maintaining all that space, you may be thinking about downsizing to a smaller home.

However, selling your home and buying a smaller one is a big commitment. To be sure that you are ready to move to a smaller place and before putting your home on the market or shopping for a new house, take an earnest look at your reasons for making this change.

You may have rooms you never use. Do you find yourself wondering why you even have a formal dining room, or when you’ll ever use that fourth bedroom again? Your home should suit your lifestyle. So, if your formal dinner party days are over and your current home no longer makes sense, it might be time to downsize.

Upkeep on a larger home is time consuming.  Extra rooms and a large yard need regular cleaning and maintenance.  Significant dollars spent on hiring help for extensive landscape and lawn care, systems inspections and other maintenance or repairs can be a cash drain for spaces rarely used.

Your family and friends may have already moved out of your neighborhood and into smaller homes or city condos. When the people you care about and socialize with have moved on with their lives, it may be time for you to move on, too.

Accessibility will eventually become an issue. That second floor master suite may no longer be optimal and a smaller, one-story home, designed for easy access, could be exactly what you need for prolonged independence.

Fortunately, if you are ready to downsize, now is a great time to do it. Home prices are affordable, and mortgage interest rates are low. If your downsize time has arrived and you’re ready for your new dream home, contact me at any time and we can discuss how I can help you to make that transition more easily.

Mary Jean Agostini, CCIM,CRS,CRB
mj@mjagostini.com
www.mjagostini.com
860-995-9665
Licensed in CT,RI,MA
Realty 3
Offices in Berlin, Southington, Essex and Stonington

Photo courtesy of Lonnie Bradley, Stock.XCHNG.

Bunny Breakfast

by Mary Jean Agostini

Newington, CT

Make reservations this Saturday for the Bunny Breakfast at Stew Leonard’s, for you and your young ones! Stew Leonard’s chefs are preparing a huge breakfast that will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Your children will love having an eventful breakfast with the Easter Bunny and all his friends! During breakfast everyone will be offered Easter themed coloring pages, a free copy of Stewie the Duck Learns to Swim, and will be given the chance to take pictures with the Easter bunny!

Be sure to make your reservation for the Bunny Breakfast in advance at Customer Service. There are two seating times, at 9:00am and 10:30pm.

Costs:

Ages 12+ - $9.99/each
Ages 11 and under - $7.99/each

Saturday, March 28, 2015

3475 Berlin Turnpike
Newington, CT 06111
(860) 760-8100
 

For more information on the Bunny Breakfast, visit the site here.

Mary Jean Agostini, CCIM,CRS,CRB
mj@mjagostini.com
www.mjagostini.com
860-995-9665
Licensed in CT,RI,MA
Realty 3
Offices in Berlin, Southington, Essex and Stonington

Photo courtesy of Nemo/pixabay.com

Get Organized Before Shopping for Your Dream Home

by Mary Jean Agostini

The process of buying a home has gotten more complicated in recent years. To make sure everything goes smoothly, you’ll want to get organized before you even begin to look for a house. Once you’ve taken care of these things, you’ll be ready to shop for the home of your dreams.

Check Your Credit Score. Examine and fix any blemishes on your credit score, before you apply for a loan. Also, avoid taking on any new debt at this time. This includes buying a new car or other large item on credit.

Look at Your Finances. Take an honest look at your budget and figure out how much home you can afford. There are many online calculators available to help you with this. In general, most loan programs require that your mortgage payment be no more than 28% to 31% of your gross monthly income.

Beef up Your Savings. You should have enough cash saved up to cover your down payment and closing costs. Depending on your mortgage, you’ll need anywhere from 3.5% to 20% down, plus money available for closing.

In addition, mortgage lenders like to see borrowers with a healthy savings account. This shows that you have enough money to pay for your closing costs and any incidental expenses, as well as enough to live on once you move in. Savers aren’t likely to be living paycheck to paycheck, and are good candidates for a loan.

Apply for Your Mortgage. Get pre-approved for a loan before you even start to look at homes. Applying for a loan first gives you a definitive answer on how much mortgage you can afford, and ensures you have financing ready when you find your dream home.

Refine Your Shopping List. Finally, think about the features you really want in a house. You’ll probably live in this house for several years, and you want it to serve your needs the entire time. After all, if you change your mind in a few years, you may not be able to sell this house quickly.

Shopping for a home is exciting. Take the time to organize and prepare before you look at properties, so you can be ready to make an offer when you do find a home that you love. Contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the home buying process.

Mary Jean Agostini, CCIM,CRS,CRB
mj@mjagostini.com
www.mjagostini.com
860-995-9665
Licensed in CT,RI,MA
Realty 3
Offices in Berlin, Southington, Essex and Stonington

Photo courtesy Kristja, Stock.XCHNG

Ashley’s Ice Cream

by Mary Jean Agostini

New Haven, CT.

For the 29th year in a row, Ashley’s Ice Cream shop has been voted best Ice Cream in New Haven by the, “Best of New Haven Advocate Readers' Poll.” Ashley’s Ice Cream is known for their creamy, homemade, sweet ice cream, freshly baked waffle cones, and their delicious hot fudge made with the best quality chocolate. Ashley’s doesn’t use artificial flavors or dyes in their ice cream, and they get most of the ingredients from local farms such as the Bishop’s Orchards in Guilford.

Ashley’s Ice Cream has served many satisfied customers over the years, some that you might even know! Paul Giamatti, James Franco, Jordana Brewster, and David Duchovny, have all stopped by to satisfy their sweet cravings with this sweet cream. With a welcoming atmosphere, and many delicious flavors to choose from, this will soon become your favorite sweet stop!

For more information about Ashley’s, please click here.

Mon-Sat: 11 am - 11 pm
Sun: 12 pm - 11 pm   
 
280 York Street
New Haven, CT
(203) 776-7744 
 

Mary Jean Agostini, CCIM,CRS,CRB
mj@mjagostini.com
www.mjagostini.com
860-995-9665
Licensed in CT,RI,MA
Realty 3
Offices in Berlin, Southington, Essex and Stonington

Photo Courtesy of Hans/pixabay.com  

Make Your Home Stand Out to Buyers

by Mary Jean Agostini

With lender requirements loosing up and additional types of mortgages being offered, things are looking up for the housing market. However, buyers are still hesitant. That’s why you need to take extra effort to set your house apart from the others on the market. If you can make your house stand out, buyers will want to make an offer.

Clear Your Hallways. In addition to clearing out the clutter from your living space, make sure you remove everything from hallways and doorways. Buyers need to be able to get around your house easily. Any furniture or clutter in the hallways will slow them down and make them think your space is cramped.

Empty Your Storage. While you’re cleaning, clear out as much as possible from closets, cupboards, and bathroom vanities. Storage space is always valuable, and a nearly empty closet looks much larger than a full one.

Freshen Up. Homeowners tend to get used to odors from pets, smoke, or just the general smell in a home. Have a friend come over and give your place an honest assessment. Experts say you can’t mask odors with air fresheners or fresh-baked cookies. You’ll need to eliminate smells by cleaning furniture, cleaning or replacing carpets, and scrubbing your house from top bottom.

Repair Things. If anything in your home needs to be updated, fixed, painted, or replaced, do it. Most buyers aren’t looking for a fixer-upper. They want their home to be move-in ready, and even a small project can turn them off.

Decorate with Plants. Fresh green plants and fresh cut flowers give the impression of light, even if your house is dim. Bright arrangements also give buyers something to focus on and remember. Make sure the plants are healthy and in good shape, not droopy or dying. Also, stay away from silk or plastic plants, since they attract dust and can look dingy.

There are obviously many factors that go into selling a home. You need to be sure your home is priced right for the neighborhood, clean, in good repair, and ready to show at a moment’s notice. By taking care of some additional details, you can help your home stand out from the others on the market in your neighborhood. Contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and help you determine the value of your home.

Mary Jean Agostini, CCIM,CRS,CRB
mj@mjagostini.com
www.mjagostini.com
860-995-9665
Licensed in CT,RI,MA
Realty 3
Offices in Berlin, Southington, Essex and Stonington

Image courtesy of Svilen Milev, Stock.XCHNG.  

January 2015 Greater Hartford Association of REALTORS® Market Report

by Mary Jean Agostini

The January 2015 Greater Hartford Association of REALTORS® Market Report is now ready for your review. This market report provides an insight on the real estate market statistics for the Greater Hartford area. These statistics are helpful when you are considering buying or selling in today’s real estate market.  And remember should you need tailored reports on any communities in the counties of Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, or New London, Connecticut, please let me know.

Mary Jean Agostini, CCIM,CRS,CRB
mj@mjagostini.com
www.mjagostini.com
860-995-9665
Licensed in CT,RI,MA
Realty 3
Offices in Berlin, Southington, Essex and Stonington

St. Patrick’s Day at Mystic Aquarium

by Mary Jean Agostini

Mystic Aquarium, Mystic, CT

This Saturday at the Mystic Aquarium, they’re celebrating “Green Weekend” with a splash! In the spirit of this holiday, The Mystic Aquarium has arranged a scavenger hunt for their younger guests to take part in. While exploring the indoor exhibits your little ones will have a blast searching high and low for hidden gnomes that will win them chocolate coins! And don’t think that they will be the only ones enjoying this holiday, even some of the animals like to have a little St. Patties fun:

10:30am: Mystic Aquarium’s spectacular sea lions will be treated with festive green ice and shamrock shaped treats at the Pacific Northwest exhibit.

2:30pm: Stop by to see the beautiful Belugas in the Arctic Coast, enjoy shamrock shaped ice treats!

3:30pm: Return to the Pacific Northwest exhibit to watch the Harbor seals and fur seals splash around for their green ice and shamrock shaped treats as well!

From tiny clown fish to playful sea lions, this exhibit is one that the whole family will enjoy. So come join the fun and experience exciting close encounters, and an adventure that you and your family will never forget!

(Be sure to keep up with the schedule so you don’t miss out on anything!)

Saturday, March 14 2015 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

For more information regarding this weekend at the Mystic Aquarium, please click here.

For tickets and pricings, please click here.

Mary Jean Agostini, CCIM,CRS,CRB
mj@mjagostini.com
www.mjagostini.com
860-995-9665
Licensed in CT,RI,MA
Realty 3
Offices in Berlin, Southington, Essex and Stonington

Photo Courtesy of PublicDomainPictures/pixabay.com

Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7