Steve Casey
RE/MAX Real Estate Center | 508-341-4464 | stcreal@aol.com


Posted by Steve Casey on 6/19/2017

A condo represents a special type of property, and for good reason. Ultimately, there are many great reasons to purchase a condo, including:

1. You won't have to worry about home exterior maintenance.

For those who dread mowing the lawn on a hot summer day or shoveling snow out of their driveway in sub-zero temperatures, a condo may prove to be a terrific investment.

Condo owners typically pay homeowners association (HOA) fees that cover the costs of home exterior maintenance. Thus, condo owners can reap the benefits of fresh-cut grass, snow-free walkways and other home exterior maintenance perks throughout the year.

Furthermore, condo owners typically are protected against the risks associated with severe roof damage. This means if a hurricane damages or destroys your home's roof, your HOA fees will cover the costs to repair or replace your roof.

2. You can be a part of a wonderful condo community.

Condo communities are set up across the United States and feature rules and regulations set up by HOAs. Although each condo community is different, many communities share rules that ensure each condo owner can enjoy a wonderful experience day after day.

For example, some condo communities set up quiet hours, minimizing the risk that you'll be forced to deal with raucous parties or loud noises late at night. Or, condo communities may prevent condo owners from renting out their properties, which means your neighbors are property owners who care about their neighborhood just as much as you.

Condo communities also may feature neighborhood events periodically. That way, you should have no trouble meeting your neighbors and making new friends in your condo community.

3. A condo may prove to be cheaper than a house.

Buying a condo frequently usually offers a cost-effective alternative to purchasing a house.

Condos are available in a wide range of sizes and styles, ensuring that you can find a property that matches your budget and personal taste. Plus, condos enable you to avoid the headaches associated with roof repairs and other home maintenance projects that may crop up for homeowners.

Purchasing a condo is a big decision, and it is important to conduct plenty of research before you make an investment in any property. With a trusted real estate agent at your disposal, you can search for condos in your area and find one that suits you perfectly.

Hiring a real estate agent with condo experience is essential, particularly for property buyers who want to get the best condo at the best price. An experienced real estate agent will be able to teach you about the ins and outs of condos and ensure that you can find a property that you can enjoy for years to come. In addition, your real estate agent can keep you up to date about new condos as they become available and help you accelerate the property buying process.

Choose an experienced real estate agent to serve as your property buying guide. This real estate professional will make it easy for you to discover your dream condo quickly and effortlessly.




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Posted by Steve Casey on 6/12/2017

As a first time home buyer, you may feel like a fish out of water when it comes to the process of getting a home. If you’re ready to buy your first home, there’s some key mistakes that you should avoid. 


You Think That You Don’t Need Help From A Professional


So many homebuyers think that they can save themselves a few dollars by avoiding working with a realtor. This is a big mistake. Realtors are a valuable resource for buyers and will help you throughout the process of purchasing a home. Realtors can help guide buyers step-by-step while providing assistance with things like negotiations and making sure all of the paperwork gets from point A to point B. You’ll also need other professionals involved in this process of home buying including lawyers and loan officers. Having these people on your team protects you and gives you a backing of knowledge that you wouldn’t otherwise have. 


Don’t Skip Pre-Approval


Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is key before you even start to search for a house. The pre-approval letter is a great resource in helping you land the home of your dreams. If you’re going up against other bids on a home, your bid will be seen as more serious if you have been pre-approved. Getting a pre-approval lets sellers know that you’re serious about the whole process of buying a home and are ready to make the financial commitment. 


Know The Costs Associated With Buying A Home


Just because you have the monthly income to pay a mortgage doesn't mean you’re financially ready to buy a home. There’s a few things that need to be in place before you can even commit to buying a home. First, you’ll need to make sure your credit score is up to par. Next, you’ll need to have enough saved up for a down payment. Without a down payment of at east 20% of the purchase price of a home, you’ll need to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI). There’s plenty of other costs that you’ll need cash on hand for when it comes to buying a home. This includes home insurance, home inspections, closing costs, property taxes, HOA fees, and maintenance. In other words, there needs to be some wiggle room in your budget for all of the extra costs that go into closing on a home and maintaining a home. 



Don’t Completely Deplete Your Savings


Just because you have been saving up for years to buy a home, doesn’t mean you need to completely deplete your savings in one pass. If you lack an emergency fund, you’re not buying a home with a responsible financial cushion. While you’ll probably take out a good chunk of savings in order to purchase the home, you need a bit more. Experts say that you need about 3-6 months of expenses saved up in case of the event of illness, job loss, or other emergency. Hence the name “emergency fund.”





Posted by Steve Casey on 6/5/2017

Most homeowners can get by just fine without a backyard shed, so it might be a stretch to call it a "necessity". However, when your yard does not have a shed, you may be missing out on many advantages ranging from convenience to being more organized and efficient. There's also a lot to be said for being able to store, protect, and quickly find the right tools, gardening supplies, or pool chemicals when and where you need them.

If you're a serious gardener, swimming pool owner, or do-it-yourself landscaper, a backyard shed can make your life a lot easier and your maintenance work less of a chore. Since a small shed can run you as little as $300, affordability is usually not an issue—especially when you factor in the long-term benefits.

Whether you decide to build your own shed, hire a carpenter to do it, or buy a prefabricated one, it's an expense that's not difficult to justify. Here are a few of the many ways that a shed can serve your needs for years to come:

  • Reduces clutter in your basement and garage: As all homeowners know, it doesn't take long for basements and garages to get cluttered and disorganized. By designating a separate space for things like tools, small machinery, gardening supplies, and pool chemicals, you'll make it a lot easier to maintain order in your home (and other storage areas).
  • Good solution for storing riding mowers: The typical garage gets filled up pretty quickly with two vehicles, several bicycles, trash barrels, barbeque grills, golf clubs, tires, and other miscellaneous items. Squeezing in a riding mower among all those other things can be difficult, if not impossible! The solution: A large-enough shed with a sturdy ramp for driving your rider mower in and out.
  • Protecting tools from the elements: Metal tools sometimes get left outside when there's not a convenient place to store them, and moisture can wreak havoc on their condition and usability. By having a dry, protected place to store your gardening and landscaping tools, they'll last longer and provide more long-term value for you.
  • Other uses for a shed: Depending on the size of the shed and your family's needs, that extra space can be used for everything from firewood storage to woodworking projects, painting, and other activities. If you own a swimming pool, a nearby shed can be a convenient and relatively safe place to store sanitizing chemicals, pool maintenance equipment, inflatable toys, ladders, and pool games.
Although most people use sheds for storing tools, yard supplies, and equipment, a decent-sized shed can also be used as an art studio, a home office, an exercise area, or a game room. As the expression goes: The possibilities are limited only by your imagination (and your budget)!




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Posted by Steve Casey on 5/29/2017

If you’re buying a home, most likely, you’ll want to have a real estate attorney. The attorney will serve a couple of different purposes, namely, to protect you in the purchase of a home.


Real estate attorneys provide legal advice related to the purchase of a home. An attorney’s duties include:


  • Reviewing and revising the purchase and sale agreement (referred to as the P&S)
  • Negotiating the P&S with the seller’s attorney
  • Adding riders to protect your interests
  • Ensuring you meet contingency dates
  • Helping the buyer to understand zoning laws
  • Helping the buyer to understand ownership interests


If there’s a dispute during the sales process, you’ll be quite happy to have an attorney on your side. The attorney can provide advice based on your legal rights and legal obligations under any contracts that you have signed. 


The bottom line is that your attorney will have your best interests in mind. In everything from ownership issues to disputes and how they will impact your ownership in the property, your attorney will be there to give you the most pertinent advice. There are numerous situations that can come up when it comes to buying a home. It’s impossible to anticipate them all. You don’t want to end up owning problems that you didn’t create, or were unaware of.

Coordinating With Other Attorneys


As a buyer, your attorney will coordinate with other attorneys involved in the sales process. This includes the seller’s attorney and the attorney that will be responsible for the closing on the sale of the home. Your attorney will make sure that all other parties have followed through to resolve any issues that may arise in a timely manner. Your attorney can actually become the closing attorney under certain circumstances, but they will at least be present at the closing.  


The Closing Attorney


The closing attorney is the one who is responsible for many different tasks before and during the closing on the sale of the home. These tasks include:

  • Searching the title
  • Resolving title issues
  • Issuing the title insurance
  • Obtaining the payoff amounts for any outstanding mortgages or leins
  • Ensuring taxes and any other city or town related bills have been paid
  • Preparing closing fees on the settlement statement
  • Explaining documents that will be signed at closing by both the buyer and the seller

Buyers in different states have different rights as to who they can choose as their closing attorney. In a technical sense, the closing attorney represents the lender. It’s a good idea to have your own buyer’s representation at closing. 

Attorneys have a duty to keep their clients‘ information confidential and also to keep their best interests in mind. If an attorney is representing both the buyer and the lender, you will most likely receive a form of written consent, notifying you of this matter.

There’s a lot going on legally during the purchases of a home, so be sure you get recommendations and find the right attorney who will represent you as a buyer.




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Posted by Steve Casey on 5/22/2017

Do the walls of your home ever feel bland and uninviting? What you need for your home is to add depth to the walls. Everything from the colors of the walls to what you place on them helps to give your rooms a feeling of sophisticated complexity. 


Try Using Contrast On Your Walls


If you choose a dark color for your walls, you can use bright colors as a contrast to bring out the prominent features of the room. 


Use Texture On Your Walls


You don’t have to rely on paint to color your walls. It’s a good idea for you to use some tapestry or cloth and hang it on the walls to help add texture and depth to a room.


Reflect On The Room


Using mirrors can help to make any room appear bigger. Mirrors are deceiving in a way, but when placed strategically, they can really add a lot to a room. Allowing for reflections in the room also adds depth and a larger feeling to the space, 


Don‘t Make A Space Too Busy


Avoid using a lot of colors in a room. While contrasting colors add something special to a space, bright, mismatched colors will only make you dizzy. 


Make Use Of Tile


Particularly in kitchens and bathrooms, tile can help to add some depth to the space. Your kitchen can be painted a lovely color and finding tiles to match for a backsplash can really help the room to stand out. Even the color grout that you use can help add complexity to a room. If you have brick, wood, or any kind of stone present in a room, be sure to help those features stand out. The best way to approach design sometimes is to take what you see in nature and bring it into your space. From earth tones to highlighting the natural features in your home, you can really make your home feel well-rounded from the inside out. 


Try Painting The Walls Different Colors


There’s no rule that says you need to paint a room all one color. Often, you can add a lot to a room just by having that one accent wall. Putting the piece of furniture that will be the focal point of the room on the accent wall can really bring out the features of the room. If your color scheme is leaning towards blues and whites, for example, paint each wall white except for one. Choose an alluring shade of blue for the accent wall. Be sure that your furniture matches with whatever wall color scheme that you choose as well.                 

Whether you’re recreating a room completely, or simply re-purposing what you have, it’s easy to make your design work for you and provide complexity and depth.




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