Ann Marie Martin


Posted by Ann Marie Martin on 6/14/2021

Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels

When you view a home for the first time and speak to the agent hosting an open house or showing the home, you're talking to someone working for  the seller -- not for you. Anything you share could be passed on to the seller -- and used to leverage a better offer from you if you do end up wanting the home. The best way to avoid this scenario is to work with a buyer's agent. This is a real estate agent that works for you and helps you get the best possible deal on a home. 

A buyer’s agent represents you, the prospective buyer; this ensures that the agent you work with has your best interests in mind and that they do not have a stake in showing you one particular property over another. Just calling the name on a “for sale” sign isn’t enough if you want someone who can truly represent you and your needs – and successfully negotiate on your behalf. Agents who are working for a seller need to sell the home, and are not out to get you the best possible deal.

A buyers agent will show you a variety of properties and help you determine which one meets your needs best. Once you find a property that you love, your agent will help you get the best possible deal. You’ll sign a contract with this agent and they will receive a commission from the seller when you do buy a home. You should make sure that any contract you sign is a buyer’s agent agreement – and that the agent does not also represent the seller of a home. Any real estate agent you are considering working should reveal any conflict of interest before you sign a contract.

Benefits of Working with a Buyer’s Agent

When you work with a buyer’s agent you have someone on your side who can help you through the negotiation process. They will also be aware of market conditions, of terms that would be favorable to you and when you’re ready, help you make an offer. The agent you choose will have a big impact on your success and how much you enjoy the process.

Finding the Right Buyer’s Agent for your Home Search

Any agent you are considering should be a dedicated buyer’s agent. An Accredited Buyer Representative is someone who has been certified in this role. You should ask any agent who you are considering if they also list homes – and determine if there is a conflict of interest.

Choosing an agent who understands your needs and works with buyers like you can also help you have a successful experience. Some agents work mostly with luxury homes and well-established buyers, while others are dedicated to helping first-time buyers find a home.

Your buyer’s agent should be familiar with the areas you are most interested in. If they are not in the immediate area, they may not be able to provide you with the assistance you need to make a great deal

Choose the Right Agent from the Start

Since a buyer’s agent has such an impact on your success and the process, it is important to choose the right person from the start. Interview a few agents to see who you feel comfortable with and who meets your needs best. This is the person that will help you find your next home, so you should be confident in their abilities and able to work with them for a prolonged period of time.




Categories: Buying  


Posted by Ann Marie Martin on 6/7/2021

Whether your adult children have left the nest or you recently decided to "upsize" to a larger house, you're now faced with the minor "problem" of what to do with that extra space.

While some homeowners just use it for storage or guest bedrooms, there are plenty of other possibilities that are well worth considering.

Exercise room: In spite of the many proven benefits of regular exercise -- ranging from increased strength and endurance to weight control and slowing down the aging process, many people have trouble getting started and staying motivated. It's a lot easier to come up with a laundry list of excuses than join a gym and stick with an exercise program. It's surprising how many people actually join a health club, but then stop going after the novelty (and their enthusiasm) wears off.

However, when you create a dedicated fitness space at home, most of your former excuses no longer hold water! With a home gym or exercise room, you not only have convenience, privacy, and 24/7 availability, but there are no parking issues, traffic problems, membership fees, or noisy weightlifters. If you prefer a regimen that's less vigorous, there's always the option to use the room for yoga, tai chi, and meditation.

Home office: With more homeowners telecommuting, consulting, freelancing, blogging, and starting ecommerce stores, it makes sense to set aside a dedicated space in your home for business and career development. A home office is also a quieter place to go for other tasks, such as paying bills, applying for jobs, social networking, catching up on your email correspondence, or planning your next vacation.

Home library: If you or any of your family are avid readers, a room with lots of built-in shelving, comfortable furniture, and adjustable lighting would be the perfect place to curl up with a good book and a hot cup of tea. Not only would a home library be the ideal environment for reading, studying, or doing research, but it might even encourage your children to cultivate more of an appreciation for reading and learning.

Craft room: Whether there are artists, embroiderers, or jewelry makers in your household, a special room for artistic endeavors lends itself to creativity, while helping to keep craft supplies and projects confined to one area of the house! A craft room can also be ideal for storing gift-wrapping supplies and holiday cards.

Music room: If your family is musically inclined, a separate room for practicing instruments is beneficial to both budding musicians and those who want to watch TV, do homework, or have quiet conversations elsewhere in the house. A dedicated music room can also be a good spot for making music videos, recording music, and having jam sessions.

As you can imagine, extra space in your house gives you and your family the opportunity for more physical, intellectual, and creative development. Designating a spare room, a finished basement, or an attic area for artistic expression or personal development may even encourage others in your family to discover and cultivate their hidden and emerging talents!




Categories: spare room  


Posted by Ann Marie Martin on 5/31/2021

Photo by Chen Liang-Dao via Shutterstock

As a homeowner, sometimes you want to change things up about the appearance of your home, and a terrific way to do that is with a slight change to your landscape. Here are a few ways to make a positive, aesthetic impact on your landscape and keep your home fresh and new.

Mix in Mulch

One colorful way to make a significant visual impact, and help provide sustainably healthy soil, is to introduce some new mulch into your garden beds. There are distinct types of mulch that you can use depending on the design, color scheme and types of foliage in your landscape. There is natural bark mulch, chipped cedar or other softwoods, which look great under a more rural-looking scape.

If you have a more modern look to your landscape, you can always go with painted mulch (several brands make varied colors including red, brown and black painted wood chips) that add a great color pop. And of course, you can always go all natural with your mulch, by saving your grass trimmings, fallen leaves and other yard scraps and spread it in garden beds for a nutrient-rich natural mulch.

Try a Rock Garden

Another sustainable way to change up the visual impact of your landscape is to convert a garden bed (or garden beds) into rock gardens. A rock garden is a beautiful, minimal maintenance, easily sustainable option that is also very drought-friendly. You can make a rock garden with several large boulders or stones surrounded by smaller rock, different types of gravel or crushed rock. You may even opt to add a couple of succulents or hearty, drought-tolerant plants (like rosemary or boxwoods), and you’ll have a beautiful landscape that is very water-efficient and low maintenance.

Plant a Tree

A new tree in the yard makes a big addition to your landscape that will last for many years to come. A beautiful, leafy maple or malleable, cypress tree can add variety, color and shade to your yard. With your innovative ideas on sprucing up your landscape, all you need to do is get your gardening gear and get to it! Your family, friends and neighbors will all be sure to notice your new rock garden, mulched beds or new tree next time you have company. And you’ll get that incredible satisfaction that comes along with a visually stimulating addition to your landscape.




Tags: mulch   Landscape   rock garden   tree  
Categories: landscape  


Posted by Ann Marie Martin on 5/24/2021


Photo by Samson Katt from Pexels

When buying a new home, the house itself is only part of the purchase. The surrounding area is just as important and there are many factors to consider when choosing not only the property but the neighborhood. However, it can be very difficult to evaluate a neighborhood you don’t already live in. How can you learn whether a neighborhood is right for you? There are many things to look for, but here are 3 of the most important things:

Safety

Looking at an area’s crime statistics won’t tell you everything. It’s still a good idea to check on, but there are other ways to get a sense of how safe you’ll feel in a specific neighborhood. Some things you can look for:

  • Are there “neighborhood watch” signs or similar evidence of organized security?

  • Is there proper street lighting at night?

  • Are the home exteriors generally well-kept?

  • Are there lots of other properties for sale or rent?

These are all good questions to guide you when scouting out possible new homes. It’s ideal to visit at different times of day and weekends to get a sense of the activity level, noise and other things that could affect your comfort level. When in doubt: go with your gut. If you have a bad feeling about a place for any reason, you shouldn’t ignore it.

Schools

If you have children or are planning to have children in the future, the quality and choice of schools in the area is something important to look for. Research the nearby school districts to see where your choice of home would fall among the options. Many online sources allow you to access and compare statistics like dropout rates and test scores for chosen districts, as well as “score” schools based on other factors like parental (and even student) reviews. Regardless of whether you have children, knowing how local schools compare can help get a bigger picture of the neighborhood.

Lifestyle

Don’t forget your life outside of your house. The type of lifestyle you want to live or want to avoid should be top of mind when evaluating a potential neighborhood. Are there community organizations or specific activities you want to live nearby? Are you specifically trying to find a place that’s quieter or a place where there is always something going on? Do you need a place to walk your dog? All of this should factor in to your choice. Look for the proximity of local businesses and activities and calendars or advertisements for local events. It helps to make a “wish list” of things you would prefer in a neighborhood as well as to identify any potential deal-breakers. Being clear about what you do and don’t want will help guide your research.

These are just a few of the things to look for when learning about a potential new neighborhood. Make use of all the resources available and don’t underestimate the effectiveness of simply visiting yourself. Your life and comfort level in your new home doesn’t end at your property line.





Posted by Ann Marie Martin on 5/20/2021

This Single-Family in Chicopee, MA recently sold for $249,000. This Ranch style home was sold by Ann Marie Martin - Landmark, Realtors.


439 E Main St, Chicopee, MA 01020

Single-Family

$245,000
Price
$249,000
Sale Price

5
Rooms
2
Beds
1
Baths
OPEN HOUSE Saturday 4/3/21 12:00 To 2:00 If you're looking for a ranch, this could be the home for you! Enter the front door into the spacious living room, complete with wood flooring. This home features a large kitchen with great appliance's that Will be left for the new homeowners. Dining room is next to the kitchen.The garage and driveway entrance are on the side street with additional parking for easy in and out. A Beautifully Updated bath, and newer roof (2 years old) The Large back yard has plenty of room and a nice shed. This one won't last long.There is additional area in the basement for family room exercise area or pool table.

Similar Properties





Categories: Sold Homes  




Ann Marie Martin