Alyx Akers
Five College REALTORS ® | 413-320-6405 | AlyxAkersRealtor@gmail.com


Posted by Alyx Akers on 1/19/2020

The factor that has the most impact on your home search is your finances. You’ll need to save a significant amount of money. It’s not easy to save when you have continuous monthly bills and responsibilities. Read on for tips on how to get your finances under control in order to save the amount of money it takes to buy a home.  


Do A Budget  



Once you have decided to buy a home, the first thing you should do is take a good look at your finances. A budget is critical when you buy a house because it tells you how much you’ll have to spend on your mortgage. Doing this ahead of time will allow you to maximize your income and make adjustments ahead of time as needed. Don’t forget that even though you’re buying a home, you still need some savings in addition to all of your other monthly expenses. Your budget should be outlined as follows:


  • Necessities
  • Monthly utility spending 
  • Insurance bills
  • Entertainment expenses
  • Grocery spending


Basically, you want to write down how much money is coming in and where all of the money is going. That’s a budget in a nutshell. See where you can cut back. What you’re left with is the amount you can save each month. You may want to do this on a percentage basis rather than a flat dollar amount. 


Get A Separate Account


The most straightforward things to do when you start saving for a home is to put all of your money for your house fund into a separate account. This way you can automatically transfer money in, and you’ll be less likely to spend any of the money if you don’t see it.


Sacrifice The Small Things


Can you take some hand me downs for your kids? Maybe you can start packing a lunch for work instead of buying lunch. Can you cut the cord on cable? It may be hard to sacrifice small luxuries, but these expenses can add up. If you cut these out of your budget, you’ll have a little more wiggle room to save for a home purchase. You’ll be surprised how much money you can save just by doing little things. Your morning latte is probably around $5. You could save at least $25 per week by merely making coffee at home! That’s a saving of over 1,200 per year!   


While saving for a home can seem overwhelming, if you take it in small chunks, you’ll be see the results of your efforts rather quickly. 





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Posted by Alyx Akers on 1/16/2020


468 Coles Meadow Rd, Northampton, MA 01060

Multi-Family

$1,190,000
Price

3
Units
6,064
Approx. GLA
One of the most unique properties in Northampton, comprised of two single-family homes, two-car garage/barn with apartment on nearly 7 acres, surrounded by Fitzgerald Lake Conservation area. Many possibilities here for live/work spaces, studios, or a private multi-generational compound. The homes offer spacious, well-applianced kitchens, hardwood floors, finished walkout lower-levels, central air, generators, garden areas, custom stonework, and private views of nature. The one-bedroom apartment features a loft space, full bath with tub and separate shower, and hardwood floors...all with great natural light. Much to see here, and just moments from I91 and downtown Northampton. New septic system was installed in 2019. Schedule your own private tour!
Open House
No scheduled Open Houses

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Categories: New Homes  


Posted by Alyx Akers on 1/12/2020

If you’re making the transition from renting an apartment to buying a home, it can be difficult to ensure you have a place to stay while you search.

There are a number of reasons you may need temporary housing while house-hunting. Maybe you’re moving to a new state and need temporary housing while you search in the area. Or, maybe you just don’t want to sign a year-long lease on a new apartment that you don’t plan on staying in for a full year.

Regardless of the reason, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’re going to talk about how to find temporary housing while you navigate your way toward homeownership.

Short-term rentals and sublets

One of the most convenient way to rent an apartment while you search for a home is to simply find short-term rentals.

Landlords use leases for a number of reasons. Among them is knowing that they can count on a tenant to stay long enough to be worth the hassle of going through the rental process.

However, there are some landlords who cater to people who need to rent for only a certain amount of time--namely business professionals and college students. Landlords rent to these people with short-term leases because they are certain that they will get the full lease amount in pay.

Similarly, searching for sublets is a good way to find an apartment on the short-term. Sublets are often cheaper than their normal renting price because the tenant needs to find someone soon. You’re especially likely to find a sublet if you plan on moving in May or June when college students are going home for the summer.

Another service that could be helpful is Airbnb. Many people think of Airbnb as a tool for finding a vacation home or spare room while traveling. However, there are also a number of short-term rentals on the site. You can simply enter the dates you’re planning on staying and compare results. Just be sure to read reviews of the house to be sure that you’re dealing with responsible and trustworthy property managers.

Words of caution

While short-term rentals can save you money while you search and help you avoid a lease, they do come with risks. For example, if renting off of Craigslist, never send sensitive data, payments, or bank account information before verifying that they are actually the manager of the property.

If you do decide to sublet an apartment, take photos when you move in so that tenants or landlords don’t try to hold you liable for any damage caused before or after you leave.

Finally, if you decide to go with a service like Airbnb or extended stay hotels because they appear cheaper than renting, remember that you won’t be able to store your belongings there and might have to pay for storage and a moving truck to transport your belongings. These extra fees can add up quickly over a couple months.

Once you’ve determined your options for temporary housing, hunting for your new home will become much easier.




Tags: house hunting   renting   sublet  
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Posted by Alyx Akers on 1/10/2020


7 Eastview Dr, Belchertown, MA 01007

Single-Family

$242,000
Price

7
Rooms
4
Beds
1/1
Full/Half Baths
Great Belchertown opportunity! Priced below appraisal: Lender owned 4 bed, 1 1/2 bath Cape in cul-de-sac close to all Belchertown amenities, being sold AS-IS. Two bedrooms on first floor, full bath, and spacious living room open to dining room that overlooks kitchen. Enclosed porch with wood stove connects dining room to garage. Two additional bedrooms and half bath located on second floor. Partially finished basement for bonus area/playroom/workout room. Oil heat via hot water baseboards. Hot tub on deck. Shed in yard stays.
Open House
No scheduled Open Houses

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Categories: New Homes  


Posted by Alyx Akers on 1/5/2020

If you add your house to the real estate market but fail to garner buyers' attention, now may be a good time to revamp your home pricing strategy. Otherwise, your home may remain on the housing market for many weeks or months before it finally sells.

Generally, there are several factors you need to consider to determine if you have priced your residence appropriately. These factors include:

1. The Current State of the Housing Market

The demand for houses in your city or town may have far-flung effects on your property selling experience. For example, if there is significant demand for houses in your area, the real estate sector favors sellers. Or, if there is minimal demand for homes in your city or town, the real estate market favors buyers. And if you do not price your house appropriately in a seller's or buyer's market, you may struggle to stir up interest in your home.

It often helps to price your house based on the current state of the real estate market. By doing so, you can establish an initial asking price for your home that falls in line with buyers' expectations.

To assess the current state of the housing market, evaluate the prices of recently sold residences in your city or town. You should find out how long these houses were available before they sold, too. Once you have this housing market data in hand, you can determine whether a seller's or buyer's market is in place and price your house accordingly.

2. Your Home's Age and Condition

The price you originally paid for your home is unlikely to match your house's current value. Fortunately, if you evaluate your residence's age and condition, you may be better equipped than ever before to set a competitive initial asking price for your home.

Sometimes, it helps to conduct a home appraisal before you list a residence. An appraisal enables you to receive a property valuation that accounts for your house's age and condition, along with various real estate market factors. Then, you can use this valuation to determine the optimal initial asking price for your house.

3. Your Home Selling Timeline

If you are in a hurry to sell your home, you should establish an initial asking price that will grab buyers' attention. On the other hand, if you can afford to be patient during the home selling journey, you should not settle for a subpar offer to purchase your house.

When it comes to establishing a home selling timeline and determining how to price your residence, hiring a real estate agent may be beneficial. A real estate agent understands what it takes to sell a home, regardless of the current housing market's conditions. As such, he or she will work with you to ensure you can price your home competitively.

For those who want to streamline the home selling journey, it typically helps to start with a competitive initial asking price for your house. If you consider the aforementioned factors, you can boost the likelihood of pricing your home appropriately from day one of the house selling journey.




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