Massachusetts & Southern NH Real Estate Industry News

Welcome to our blog! The purpose of this real estate blog is to provide some tips for staging your house, simple easy updates, what to do in the areas, all for you to enjoy. We plan to publish this blog monthly, so please subscribe or check back often!

March 9, 2023

Is it Time to Say Goodbye to Your Condo? Here's Why Many Owners are Making the Move to Single Family Homes


Attention condo owners! Are you considering selling your condo? It seems like there's a movement happening in 2023 with many condo owners putting their condos on the market. There are three main reasons why this trend is taking place and one factor that's impacting it all: inflation.

You might be wondering, how does inflation affect condos? Well, as inflation increases, so do your homeowner's association payments, which you can't control. This is frustrating for many condo owners who are tired of seeing their payments continually rise without any say in the matter. Selling your condo and buying a single-family home might mean a slightly higher monthly payment, but at least you'll have control over where your money goes and what you do with it.

Another reason why condo owners are hitting the market is to gain greater control over their living space. Condo living can be restrictive, especially for those with pets or a growing family. If you want more space or the ability to make changes to your home, buying a single-family home might be the solution. In fact, for the first time in over two decades, the cost of home renovations, including additions and finishing new space, can be more beneficial than buying a new home that already has these features.

Lastly, many condo owners want a greater sense of ownership. With homeowner's association payments, you have limited control over repairs and maintenance, and you can't make changes to the exterior of your condo. Buying a single-family home gives you the opportunity to pick your own repairs, contractors, and the look of your home.

Interestingly, while inflation has increased, interest rates have also gone up. This affects homebuyers, but baby boomers who are downsizing from larger homes to smaller condos are able to buy with cash and are less impacted by interest rates. However, low inventory still creates competition, with multiple buyers fighting over every single condo.

If you're frustrated by rising homeowner's association payments, lack of control over your living space, or a lack of ownership, there are solutions out there. Working with a great lender can help you secure a lower interest rate or participate in a rate watch program to refinance when rates drop at no charge. Whatever your obstacle or fear may be, let us know in the comments below, and we'll work with you to find a solution.

March 3, 2023

Renting in 2023: Flexibility and Comfort or a Missed Opportunity?

As we move deeper into 2023, the trend of renting continues to be popular. Many people are drawn to the flexibility and convenience of renting. They don't have to worry about maintenance, repairs, or mowing the lawn. However, what about the missed opportunity of owning a home?

There are many reasons why people choose to rent. Some may not know where they want to settle down, while others prefer the comfort of not having to worry about homeownership responsibilities. But what about the reasons why people decide to stop renting?

One of the most significant reasons is the desire to settle down permanently. Investing your money in a home has a return on investment. You can add value to your home, make money by adding solar panels, and save money on energy bills. When you rent, any improvements you make to the property are enjoyed by the landlord, not you.

Another reason people continue to rent is the convenience of being able to move whenever they want. However, there are other options, such as owning a condo or hiring someone to take care of maintenance tasks.

The decision to rent or own is not cut and dry. It's important to ask questions and gain knowledge to make an informed decision. Figure out what's important to you and what's holding you back. If owning a home is something you desire, take action to make it a reality.

So, what's keeping you renting? If you have a reason why you continue to rent, share it in the comments below. Let's have a conversation about the benefits and drawbacks of renting and owning a home. Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all solution. It's about finding what works best for you.

Posted in Buying a Home
Feb. 28, 2023

Get Top Dollar for Your Home: Expert Tips for Getting Your Home Ready to Sell

When it comes to selling your home, preparation is key. With the right approach, you can make your property more appealing to potential buyers and increase your chances of a quick sale. Here are some tips to help you get your home ready to sell:

Declutter and Clean - One of the most important things you can do to prepare your home for sale is to declutter and clean. A cluttered home can make it difficult for buyers to envision themselves living in the space. Remove any unnecessary items and put away personal belongings. Make sure to also clean the home thoroughly, including windows, carpets, and appliances.

Make Repairs and Improvements - Small repairs and improvements can make a big difference when it comes to selling your home. Fix any broken appliances, leaky faucets, or other issues that could turn off potential buyers. Consider making cosmetic improvements, such as repainting rooms or updating fixtures, to freshen up the home's appearance.

Stage Your Home - Staging your home can help potential buyers see the property's full potential. Rearrange furniture to create an open and inviting atmosphere, and add decorative touches to make the home feel warm and welcoming. Consider hiring a professional stager to help you make the most of your space.

Price Your Home Right - Pricing your home correctly is essential to a successful sale. Overpricing can lead to a longer time on the market and fewer offers, while underpricing can leave money on the table. Work with a real estate agent to determine the right price based on comparable sales in your area.

Use Professional Photos and Videos - High-quality photos and videos can make your home stand out online, where most buyers start their search. Consider hiring a professional photographer or videographer to showcase your home in its best light.

By following these tips, you can make your home more attractive to potential buyers and increase your chances of a successful sale. Working with a trusted real estate agent can also help you navigate the process and achieve your goals.

Posted in Selling Your Home
Feb. 28, 2023

5 High ROI Kitchen Renovation Ideas!

Are you planning a kitchen renovation but don't want to spend money on upgrades that won't add value to your home? It's important to consider cost versus value and ROI when making interior updates, especially when it comes to the heart of the home: the kitchen.

Here are the top 5 kitchen improvement projects recommended by real estate and remodeling professionals for maximizing your home's value:

  • New Cabinets - Replace old, worn-out cabinets with updated ones for a consistently high ROI. Even refinishing cabinets with new hardware and paint can go a long way in adding value.
  • Increased Countertop Space - Counterspace is key when it comes to a kitchen's value. Homebuyers are always looking for more room on countertops, so adding additional space through counter-extension cabinets or a stationary kitchen island can add value.
  • Skylight - An under-the-radar way to make a kitchen feel larger, installing a skylight draws potential homebuyers' eyes upward and can contribute an estimated $5,000 to $6,000 in value upon resale.
  • Upgraded Flooring - Replacing outdated linoleum with tile or hardwood floors can provide up to an 80% ROI upon resale. Opt for continuity throughout the house by reflooring the kitchen and dining room at the same time.
  • Avoid these low-ROI upgrades - Fancy countertop materials, personalized design choices, and nonessential luxury items may not hold their value in the long run. Consider your local market and comparable listings before investing in these amenities.

Maximize your home's value with these high-impact kitchen renovation upgrades and avoid wasting money on low-ROI improvements.


Feb. 28, 2023

Pricing Tips Every Home Seller Needs to Know for Maximum Profit



When it comes to selling your home, one of the most important decisions you'll make is how to price it. Price your home too high, and it may sit on the market for too long, causing buyers to lose interest. Price it too low, and you may end up leaving money on the table. In this blog, we'll discuss some home pricing strategies to help you get the most value from your home.

Get a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)

  • A CMA is an analysis that compares your home to similar homes that have recently sold in your area. This will help you understand what buyers are willing to pay for homes like yours, and give you a better idea of what to price your home at. A real estate agent can provide you with a CMA, or you can use online tools to get an estimate.

Consider the condition of your home

  • The condition of your home will also affect its value. Consider the age of your home, any upgrades you've made, and any repairs that may need to be done. If your home is in excellent condition, you can price it higher. However, if it needs some work, you may need to price it lower.

Look at the competition

  • It's important to know what other homes are on the market in your area. Look at homes that are similar to yours in size, style, and location, and see what they are priced at. This will give you an idea of what buyers are willing to pay for homes like yours.

Understand the Different Pricing Strategies

  • There are three main pricing strategies: aspirational pricing (for those who don't have to sell), fair market pricing (based on what similar homes are selling for), and competitive or event pricing (priced slightly below fair market value to create competition and drive up prices).
  • Competitive or event pricing involves creating amazing pictures and ads, targeting different demographics, and turning the sale into an event.

Be willing to negotiate

  • Remember that the price you set is not set in stone. Be willing to negotiate with buyers, as this can help you get the best possible price for your home. You may also want to consider offering incentives, such as paying for closing costs or offering a home warranty, to sweeten the deal.

In conclusion, pricing your home is an important part of the home selling process. By getting a CMA, considering the condition of your home, looking at the competition, understanding the different pricing strategies, and being willing to negotiate, you can ensure that you get the best possible price for your home. Don't be afraid to seek the help of a real estate agent, as they can provide you with valuable insights and advice.


Posted in Selling Your Home
Feb. 28, 2023

Maximize Your Home's Value with these 5 Proven Curb Appeal Boosting Tips!


First impressions matter and the exterior of your home is the first thing visitors and potential buyers see. Improving your home's curb appeal can make a big difference in its overall appearance and value. Here are five tips to help you enhance your home's exterior and create a welcoming atmosphere.

Keep it clean: A clean home exterior immediately creates a positive impression. Regularly clean the siding, windows, gutters, and entryway to keep your home looking its best. Pressure washing can remove built-up dirt, grime, and stains from your home's exterior surfaces, leaving them looking like new.

Enhance your landscaping: Well-maintained landscaping can add color, texture, and interest to your home's exterior. Start by trimming bushes, hedges, and trees, and remove any dead or overgrown plants. Consider adding new plants, flowers, and mulch to create a fresh look. You can also add visual interest by installing landscape lighting or a decorative pathway.


Upgrade your front door: Your front door is the focal point of your home's exterior, and upgrading it can make a big impact. Consider painting your front door a bold, eye-catching color, or replace it with a new, stylish door that complements your home's architecture. Adding decorative hardware such as a door knocker, handle or a kick plate can also create a more elegant look.


Add outdoor lighting: Outdoor lighting can highlight your home's best features and create a welcoming atmosphere for visitors. Install lighting fixtures near the front door, along the walkway, and in the backyard to enhance your home's ambiance and safety. Choose fixtures that complement your home's architecture and provide the right amount of illumination.


Upgrade your mailbox: Your mailbox is a small detail that can make a big impact on your home's curb appeal. Replace an old, worn mailbox with a new, decorative one that complements your home's style. You can also add a new post and surround it with flowers or shrubs to create a beautiful, eye-catching display.

In conclusion, improving your home's curb appeal can make a big difference in its overall appearance and value. With these five tips, you can create a beautiful and a welcoming exterior that will impress visitors and potential buyers. Remember that even small changes can have a big impact, so don't be afraid to start with something simple and build from there.

Posted in Selling Your Home
Feb. 28, 2023

Top 9 Renovations To Increase Your Home’s Value Today


Real estate has been on a whirlwind ride in recent years, and 2023 continues that trend. The boom of 2020-2022 has given way to a different market where higher interest rates are pricing out many buyers and keeping potential sellers in place, even as home values remain elevated above pre-pandemic levels.

As the market changes, so too does the list of best home renovation projects to increase value. During the pandemic, staying at home led to an increase in extravagant outdoor kitchens and elaborate home offices. However, as homeowners start to leave the house more often, the best return on investment (ROI) in 2023 comes from smaller renovation projects and updated kitchen, bath, and living spaces.

Renovations will become increasingly important for homeowners seeking an upgrade without having to buy and take on higher interest rates. According to a HomeLight survey, 38% of top agents predict that homeowners will use their home equity to finance home renovations in 2023. However, not everyone will stay put after renovations. The same survey found that 34% of agents predict that more homeowners will try to sell and cash in, in case prices drop in 2023.

To help you prioritize your list of projects, we've compiled research from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), and top insights from HomeLight agents.

Renovating your home can be a smart investment, but there’s no guarantee that you'll make back the money you spend. The national average return on investment for popular remodeling projects in 2022 was around 59%, according to Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs. Value report. Although this is a continuation of a downward trend over the past few years, some projects now have a higher return on investment due to buyer demand and pandemic-related priorities.

To increase your home's value, here are some home renovation projects to consider in 2023:

1. Improve your home's curb appeal

Curb appeal is important because it gives buyers a first impression of the home and can get them excited about it as soon as they drive up. Real estate agents estimate that investing an average of $3,467 on curb appeal projects can yield an ROI of 238%. Basic yard care, such as cutting grass, weed control, and fertilization, is crucial. Adding three cubic yards of bark mulch and tidying up the landscaping, including shrubs, walkways, and flower beds, can also improve curb appeal.

Fresh exterior paint can add an estimated 152% ROI or about $7,600 in resale value, while a new garage door has an estimated ROI of 133%, or about $2,800 in resale value. Renovations like a garage door replacement, siding updates, adding a deck, and creating a grand entryway can often provide the best ROI for renovations that buyers see before they even walk through the front door.

2. Create a functional floor plan

The functionality of the floor plan often determines livable square footage, which increases your home's appraised value. Smaller bathrooms and kitchens that are separate rooms are outdated, and buyers are no longer as willing to make them work. Consider reworking the floor plan or adding additional space to make the home more functional for modern living. Adding large bathrooms, kitchens connected to other rooms, walk-in closets, and more prep space to the kitchen can improve livability.

If you have an unfinished basement of 400 to 1,500 square feet, adding flooring, drywall, and other touches to make it a livable space can have a potential ROI of 70%. If you can't add more space to the home, consider converting an unused space into a functional one, such as turning an unused home office into a bedroom or reworking an unused living room into a flex space.

3. Upgrade to luxurious bathrooms

Buyers are seeking a spa-like experience in their bathrooms. Rain shower heads, double-sink vanities, extra storage, and soaking tubs are all features that can make a bathroom pop in 2023. Adding more square footage to the bathroom is also an option if you have more funds for a renovation. According to real estate agent Santiago Valdez, buyers are seeking more spacious bathrooms than they did in the past. Adding mirrors or reworking the floor plan to create the illusion of more space can also improve the luxurious experience in the bathroom.

4. Install a kitchen island or walk-in pantry

According to NARI, it's common for multiple people to be cooking at the same time with different food prep and storage needs. To accommodate this, buyers are looking for multiple sinks, flexible pantry and refrigerator space, various refrigeration options, and a convection microwave. HomeLight agents say the top kitchen upgrades buyers seek are:

  • A kitchen island (64%)
  • A walk-in pantry (62%)
  • Lots of drawers and cabinet storage (57%)

These upgrades provide extra counter space for unloading groceries or takeout, gadgets, and food prep without bumping elbows. A double kitchen sink or a walk-in pantry rank high for 81% of buyers, according to the NAHB. Walk-in pantries alone yield 76% of their average $3,400 cost.

5. Build or convert a home office

If you're not a fan of cooking, consider converting an existing walk-in pantry or closet into a home office. In Provencher's experience, devoted space for a home office is a bonus. More than 70% of buyers interested in a home office or exercise room want it to be 100 square feet or larger, according to the NAHB.

Sellers can remove clothing racks in a double closet and put in a tabletop and adjustable shelving for office space, which fits well in a guest room or is an efficient way to use the closet in a baby's or toddler's room. The beauty of a home office is that it doesn't have to look like a cubicle. NARI suggests matching your home's decor and introducing natural surfaces and artistic pieces. For more appeal, be sure to find a way to add natural lighting (or at least softer lighting if you can't access a window).


6. Expand your outdoor space

Buyers often appreciate functional outdoor space, but this feature now has even higher appeal. One survey of 2,000 homeowners found that participants spent 14 hours a week outside, or three hours more than before the pandemic. In addition, 7 out of 10 said adding to their home’s exterior spaces had become a new hobby, and 73% said being outside was “therapeutic.”

Touch up your garden or hardscaping, then consider incorporating any of these sought-after features:

  • Pool
    • Adding a pool can increase your home’s value by up to 7% if you live in a warmer climate area or a neighborhood where most of the other houses have pools.
    • Talk to your real estate agent to get advice on the value a pool may or may not add to your property.
  • Deck or patio
    • You could recoup between 62% – 65% of your costs if you decide to build a deck.
    • Decks gained greater popularity during the pandemic.
  • Hot tub
    • An in-ground hot tub gives your backyard the feel of a high-end spa.
    • Although you’re unlikely to recoup your entire installation cost, you currently stand to recover about 42%.
    • If you’re shy about breaking ground, a freestanding hot tub isn’t a bad compromise.


7. Modify your home for intergenerational living

As the housing market remains uncertain, homeowners are shifting their expectations, including retirees. Instead of selling, 39% of HomeLight agents we surveyed predict that in 2023, retirees will opt to modify their current home to age in place.

This trend means that intergenerational living will become more popular as well. According to 22% of agents we surveyed, renovations will increase to make way for children moving in with their older parents.

One affordable and innovative housing solution in high-cost areas is an accessory dwelling unit (ADU), which can house extended family members or add rental income to a property. More buyers are looking for mid-price homes with ADUs, according to our 2023 Agent Insight Report. According to a study by NAR, ADUs can add up to 35% to the value of a home.

Building an ADU can be expensive, however, with an average cost of $180,000, but costs can vary depending on the type of ADU, materials used, design, labor costs, and systems equipped.

NARI advises considering universal design features, especially for older relatives or those interested in aging in place. These features can include blending ramps into the flow of the landscape.

8. Make your mudroom bigger and more functional

A mudroom or foyer with a place to drop off the day's gear has long been a home design perk, especially in areas where corralling wintery shoes and boots is a must. In-demand features include a laundry area, a central charging station for everyone's phones, and shelving or other specified storage for each family member.

Even adding a bench, hooks, and built-in cubbies to a small foyer entry creates a natural stopping point and a perceived value-add.

9. Small Changes Can Make the Biggest Impact

According to Valdez, the best return on investment comes from ensuring the home doesn't show signs of deferred maintenance. Some small updates that can make a big impact include:

  • Cleaning up the property
  • Adding fresh paint
  • Fixing windows with leaks
  • Repairing any gas leaks
  • Resanding floors
  • Updating old or outdated appliances
  • Filling in caulk or grout that needs repair


Refinishing wood floors has the highest ROI at 147%, while upgrading insulation is also a good investment.


Bottom Line

Not every renovation project will increase your home value, so it's important to invest wisely. Focus on current trends and functionality that can build value in your home.


To decide where to focus your efforts, talk with a local real estate agent about which renovations increase home value in your area. Additionally, consider which renovations can help you enjoy your space until you're ready to sell.

Feb. 23, 2023

6 Key Habits for Successful Home Buying: Tips from the Pros


Are you in the market to buy a home? Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned pro, there's no one-size-fits-all approach to finding your dream home. However, there are some key habits that the most effective homebuyers have in common. In this blog post, we'll cover six essential tips for optimizing your home buying experience.

1. Be Patient and Practical
The most important habit to cultivate as a homebuyer is patience. Don't rush into a decision just because you're excited to own a home. Remember, it's a long-term commitment, and you want to make sure you find the right fit for you and your family. It's essential to be practical and not let emotions drive your decision-making. Kiss a few frogs before you find your prince, and be prepared to see multiple homes.

2. See Homes Back-to-Back
When you're ready to start seeing homes, try to schedule back-to-back showings. Seeing homes one at a time may cause them to blend together, and you may forget which home had which feature. Comparing and contrasting homes is easier when you see them back-to-back.

3. Create a Needs, Wants, and Dreams List
Before you start seeing homes, make a list of your needs, wants, and dreams. Be honest with yourself about what you need versus what you want versus what you dream of. Your dreams are the things that will impact your life and make you happy. For example, maybe you want a backyard for your dog to play in, or maybe you dream of having a home office with a view.

4. Don't Be Afraid to Ask Questions
The home buying process can be overwhelming, and there's no such thing as a dumb question. Ask your real estate agent about the process, the market, interest rates, inspections, legal issues, contracts, and more. If your agent doesn't have all the answers, they should be able to refer you to someone who does.

5. Don't Judge a Book by Its Cover
Don't let a home's appearance online or in photos sway your decision. The house may look perfect in pictures, but the reality may be different. Keep an open mind, and be a visionary. Look past the cosmetic issues and focus on the bones of the house. A little bit of work may be necessary to make it your perfect home.

6. Trust the Process
Finally, remember that everything happens for a reason. You may make an offer and lose out, or you may have an offer accepted only to find issues during the inspection. Trust that the right home will come along at the right time. It's crucial to be transparent and honest with your agent and each other throughout the process.

In summary, cultivating these six habits can make the home buying experience smoother, more efficient, and ultimately, more successful. Keep these tips in mind, and you'll be on your way to finding your dream home in no time! Stay tuned for our next blog post on successful home selling.

Posted in Buying a Home
Feb. 23, 2023

Pocket Listings: What You Need to Know



Have you heard the term "pocket listing" thrown around a lot lately, especially with what's going on in the real estate market? If you're not sure what it means, you're not alone. In this blog post, we'll break down what pocket listings are, as well as off-market listings, and what you need to know about them.


What Is a Pocket Listing?

A pocket listing is a term used to describe a situation where a real estate professional has a client who wants to sell their home, but for a number of reasons, the home hasn't been put on the open market yet. You won't find it on popular real estate websites like Zillow, Realtor, Redfin, or even the MLS. Instead, it's kept "in their pocket."

Typically, a pocket listing, which isn't best practice, is where the agent who has the listing holds onto it until they find the "perfect" buyer. This means that the property is not available to everyone in the market.

What Is an Off-Market Listing?

An off-market listing is different from a pocket listing. It's where a client wants to sell their home, but for various reasons, they don't want to put it on the open market yet. For example, they may not be ready to sell yet or want to maintain privacy or confidentiality. In this scenario, the listing agent would have an exclusive contract to represent and support the seller, but they would also have permission to market the property off-market in different channels.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Off-Market Listings

There are pros and cons to using an off-market listing to sell your home. On the one hand, it can save you time and make the process more efficient because you don't have to worry about putting your home on the market, doing showings, or dealing with multiple offer situations. It can also help maintain your privacy.

On the other hand, the downside of an off-market listing is that you could leave some money on the table. Competition is what drives up home prices, and an off-market listing may result in you leaving some money on the table.

What Should You Do?

Ultimately, whether you choose to use a pocket listing or an off-market listing to sell your home is up to you. It depends on what you value more: your time and privacy or a higher sale price.

If you have any questions or want to talk about pocket listings, off-market listings, or where you can find off-market listings, reach out to a local real estate professional. At Chinatti Realty, we have an off-market database that can help buyers and investors find their next deal, and we're happy to provide more information and support to sellers looking to navigate the current real estate market.

Thank you for reading, and let us know if you have any questions or want to learn more!


Posted in Selling Your Home
Feb. 8, 2023

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