Lynne Hagopian - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage



Posted by Lynne Hagopian on 1/13/2020

Image by sandid from Pixabay

Our homes are special from the first time we enter. That's why we spend our precious time and money caring for our dwellings when bad weather threatens damage.

Spring Windstorms

For homeowners, windstorms are often unassuming. We all know to watch for snow or rain, but high winds can cause significant home damage.

While we can't control the wind, there are some proactive measures we can take. Refasten any loosely hanging shingles or gutters. Check the yard for unsecured items that could become projectiles in high winds. Finally, remove branches or whole trees that are within falling distance of the house.

Winter Snowstorms

During the winter, one of the biggest problems for homes involves the weight of snow. As mentioned above, make sure to trim any branches hanging over the house. The last thing you need is a heavy branch falling on your roof.

Before it gets too cold, you should also change filters and perform necessary maintenance on your home heating devices.

Spring/Summer Floods

Over the past decade, floods have happened more frequently due to climate change. If you live in a minor floodplain, now is the time for a plan of action.

You may want to consider building trenches and water runoff channels into your yard. Many homeowners also build decorative concrete walls or other barriers around their homes. Lastly, consider investing in a sump pump to remove internal flooding.

Hurricanes

Hurricanes are the most destructive of storms; however, preparation mirrors earlier examples. Preparing for hurricanes means preparing for the worst possible winds and floods. Make sure to reinforce any home appendages, barricade doors and windows, and build water barriers.





Posted by Lynne Hagopian on 1/6/2020

Photo by Thijs van der Weide from Pexels

You may be surprised to learn just how much a little DIY storage bench in your entryway can save you in time and money. Storage benches offer children a place to sit while they remove snowy or muddy shoes. That's less time spent mopping your kitchen or steam-cleaning the carpets. 

Save hardwoods from years of damage and wear.

On top of that, a bench can double as storage. Never again will you be racing around your home trying to find your mittens, scarves, rain boots and other outdoor essentials on your way out the door. It's now all in one convenient place. 

You can even store backpacks and lunch bags on the weekend -- whatever makes sense for your family.

You might think that making an entryway storage bench is complicated. But we'll show you the easy way to build your bench in less than a day.

What you'll need

*Pro tip* Borrow tools that you may never use again before buying. If you find you want to take on more new projects, you can buy one then.

  • 18-gauge nail gun
  • Miter saw
  • Framing square
  • Pneumatic framing gun
  • Hammer drill for concrete/brick or regular drill
  • Circular saw
  • 6 3/4" plywood
  • 8 2x4" boards
  • 3" strap hinges
  • 3" concrete screws or regular screws
  • 6 1x4" boards
  • Wood screws
  • How to build a DIY storage bench for your entryway

    Here's your guide.

    Gather materials & supplies

    The amount of material varies by the bench size you choose the make. Be sure to measure twice and cut once so that everything fits perfectly.

    Frame your bench

    Your frame becomes your guide for the project. Cut your 2X4's the desired length of the bench. Then cut more for the height. Find the studs. And use that hammer drill to attach the 2X4s to the back wall. Build out from there.

    Construct the front and sides

    Now build around your frame, using your plywood. Be careful with any tools you use. Just take your time to get it right. 

    Add the hinges

    Measure and drill for your hinges. Then simply screw them in. 

    Place the lid on the ground and drill holes for hinge screws. Then connect the top to the other side of the hinge with screws. You might need a partner hold the lid steady while you to screw in the lid.

    Add your finish of choice

    You can stop with a basic box. But while you're at it, it won't take much more effort to add some trim and paint it. Then place some hooks above for coats and backpacks.

    And now, you have a beautiful DIY storage bench. For more helpful tips on home maintenance and improvement, follow our blog.




    Categories: Uncategorized  


    Posted by Lynne Hagopian on 12/30/2019

    If you recently bought or sold your home, moving day may be rapidly approaching. Fortunately, you still have time to pick up must-have supplies so you can get ready for moving day.

    Now, let's take a look at three items that you should purchase prior to your upcoming move.

    1. Moving Boxes

    In all likelihood, you have a wide range of personal belongings that you need to pack. If you have lots of moving boxes at your disposal, you should have no trouble securing your personal belongings so you can transport them to your new address.

    Home improvement and moving equipment companies often sell moving boxes in many sizes. You also may want to consider visiting a local grocery or convenience store to find moving boxes; in some instances, a grocery or convenience store may be willing to provide you with its empty food and beverage boxes free of charge.

    2. Packing Supplies

    In addition to moving boxes, you'll need supplies to ensure that you can pack your personal belongings safely. With packing supplies in hand, you can guarantee that your personal belongings are protected as they go from Point A to Point B.

    Must-have packing supplies include bubble wrap, packaging tape, markers and labels. If you pick up these supplies today, you can move one step closer to finalizing your moving day preparations.

    3. Snacks and Beverages

    Oftentimes, moving day can be hectic, even for those who allocate significant time and resources to prepare for the big day. As such, it sometimes is easy to forget to eat and stay hydrated as you try to bring all of your personal belongings to your new address.

    For those who want to do everything possible to prep for moving day, it generally is a good idea to pick up snacks and beverages. Granola bars, trail mix and other portable snacks are ideal for moving day. Meanwhile, purchasing bottled water and other beverages is beneficial too.

    If you need extra help with moving day preparations, you may want to consult with a professional moving company as well. A moving company goes above and beyond the call of duty to help individuals map out all aspects of the moving day process.

    A moving company employs friendly, knowledgeable moving experts who can guide you through your move. Plus, the company can offer packing guidance, moving services and other support to ensure that you can seamlessly relocate to your new address.

    Lastly, for those who will need to move soon, it may be beneficial to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you buy or sell a house in any city or town, at any time. Furthermore, a real estate agent is available to provide support at each stage of the homebuying or home selling journey. And if you are uncertain about how to proceed along the homebuying or home selling journey, a real estate agent is happy to provide plenty of assistance.




    Tags: moving tips   moving  
    Categories: Uncategorized  


    Posted by Lynne Hagopian on 12/23/2019

    Youíve been paying off your mortgage for 10 years, building equity while making careful financial decisions to ensure that youíre on track to pay off your mortgage. So, all of those payments are essentially money in the bank for you, right?

    Not quite. The equity youíve built toward is home isnít really accessible until you either fully pay off the home, sell your home and use your equity toward a down payment, or use it to take out a second mortgage.

    In todayís article, weíre going to be talking about second mortgages--what they are, when to use them, and when you should seek out other options. Hopefully, by the end, youíll be able to make a more informed decision.

    What is a second mortgage?

    A second mortgage is somewhat deceptively named. The process of taking out a second mortgage revolves around using your equity as collateral toward a second loan. That loan amount doesnít have to be used toward a home, however. It can be spent pretty much at the discretion of the homeowner, as long as you stay within the spending limits of the loan terms.

    Why take out a second mortgage?

    Homeowners typically take out a second mortgage when an expense is tossed their way, whether foreseen or unforeseen. It could be a costly house or vehicle repair, a childís education, or any other large expense that you might not have been aptly prepared for.

    Types of second mortgages

    There are two main types of second mortgages that homeowners qualify for. First is a standard home equity loan. You receive a fixed-rate loan that usually paid off over a loan term of 15 or 30 years.

    The other type of second mortgage is a home equity line of credit (HELOC, for short). A HELOC is similar to a credit card in that you are approved for a certain amount but donít need to spend the full amount.

    Risks of home equity lines of credit

    This type of loan is ideal for expenses that you maybe donít know the full cost of. However, there is an inherent risk in taking on an expense that might go over the credit limit of your HELOC.

    Just like with credit cards, interest rates vary. However, the interest rate is linked to something called a ďbenchmark rate.Ē When interest rates for the benchmark increase, so do your HELOC rates.

    Aside from the variable interest rates, HELOCs can also prove to be difficult to manage for people who are already in credit card debt. So, itís only recommended that you take out a HELOC if you are sure that you can stay on top of your monthly payments and are in good standing with other credit lenders.

    Risks of home equity loans

    Standard home equity loans arenít without their own risks. For one, youíre putting your house on the line when you take out a second mortgage. So, before taking out a home equity loan on a new expense, be sure that you can manage that expense or you could risk losing your home.

    Having a second mortgage can also make it difficult to refinance your home loan, which could cost you in the long run if it would otherwise pay off to refinance.

    Benefits of second mortgages

    Second mortgages do have their time and place. Home equity loans, for example, can help you achieve a lower interest rate than a typical loan if you have a great deal of equity built in your home. This could make the most financial sense over the long term.

    Similarly, a HELOC might be a better option than a credit card for homeowners who donít have a credit score high enough to land them a good interest rate.




    Categories: Uncategorized  


    Posted by Lynne Hagopian on 12/16/2019

    If you discover a house that you want to buy, it generally is a good idea to submit a competitive offer. That way, you can move one step closer to acquiring your ideal residence.

    However, the hours after you submit a home offer can be stressful, particularly for a buyer who fails to plan accordingly. Lucky for you, we're here to help you stay calm, cool and collected as you wait to receive a seller's response to your offer.

    Let's take a look at three tips to help you get ready to handle a seller's response to your homebuying proposal.

    1. Plan for the Worst-Case Scenario

    Even the worst-case scenario is not the end of the world for a buyer who is awaiting a seller's response to a home offer. In fact, if a seller rejects your proposal, you can always reenter the housing market and continue your pursuit of your dream home.

    As you await a seller's response to your home offer, you should not stop searching for available houses. Because if you continue your home search, you'll have no trouble moving forward in the homebuying journey if a seller rejects your home offer.

    2. Consider All of Your Options

    If you submit a home offer and a seller says "Yes," what should you do next? Consider how you'll proceed if a seller accepts your proposal, and you'll be better equipped than ever before to enjoy a seamless homebuying experience.

    On the other hand, it helps to prepare for a potential counter-offer from a home seller as well. If you are open to negotiating with a seller, you may be able to find common ground with him or her and finalize a home purchase.

    3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

    A real estate agent knows all about the stress that is commonly associated with submitting a homebuying proposal. He or she can help you minimize this stress and ensure you can achieve the best-possible results throughout the homebuying journey.

    Typically, a real estate agent will work with you to submit a homebuying proposal. This housing market professional then will keep you up to date as you await a seller's response to your offer. And if you have any concerns or questions during this time, a real estate agent is happy to respond to them.

    A real estate agent will make it simple to streamline the homebuying journey too. For instance, if a home seller accepts your offer, a real estate agent will be ready to help you move forward with a property inspection and appraisal. Conversely, if a home seller rejects your proposal, a real estate agent will be prepared to work with you to help you discover another house that matches or exceeds your expectations.

    The waiting period after you submit an offer on a house may prove to be a challenging time. Fortunately, if you plan ahead for this period, you can maintain your confidence and continue to move forward in the homebuying journey.




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