Head and shoulders photo of Randal Engelmann and Erik Gould of Focus Real Estate

How to Prioritize Home Improvements

Sponsored by Focus Real Estate

Any time of year is an excellent time for homeowners to take a look at their house or condo and decide if there are home improvement projects they want to undertake. There are no hard-and-fast rules about where to start home improvements -- the highest floor, the basement, or outside the house all hold potential depending on an individual's particular needs and desires. But while homeowners may be eager to get their home improvements going, they should not start tearing out walls, let alone lift that paintbrush, without first taking stock of their entire home and prioritizing improvements accordingly. Create a master plan

"The plan is the most important part of starting any project," said Randal Engelmann, partner at Focus Real Estate. "Look at the big picture and consider everything you would like to accomplish in your house.

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For Sale: A Home-and-Garden Stunner on the Parkway

Sponsored by Norfolk Realty. This three-bedroom house on the West Roxbury/Brookline line offers a natural oasis in the heart of one of Boston’s most desirable neighborhoods. An open house is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 24, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. -- unless it sells before then! This home at 75 Garnet Road in West Roxbury, Mass., which is listed at $619,000, is well-suited for young families, garden lovers, empty nesters or anyone looking to have access to local amenities such as the Arnold Arboretum and popular dining options. Click here to see the full listing on Zillow. For more information or to schedule a showing, please contact Glenn Hadayia of Norfolk Realty at 781-975-6050.

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Head and shoulders photo of Randal Engelmann and Erik Gould of Focus Real Estate

Why Fall is the Perfect Time to Sell Your House

Sponsored by FOCUS Real Estate

The spring real estate season gets a lot of love from buyers and sellers alike, but let's not forget about its highly attractive counterpart. Just as some prefer fall foliage to springtime blossoms, some homebuyers will willingly forsake springtime madness in favor of finding their perfect home later in the year. For current homeowners looking to sell their houses, attracting these buyers means adjusting their selling strategy to suit the particulars of both the season and the circumstances of this category of buyer. Here are five reasons to embrace the fall as a great time to sell your home. The selling season is short.

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4 Mortgage Myths Dispelled for Today’s Homebuyers

Sponsored by FOCUS Real Estate

Today’s homebuyers are awash in information that can sway what is probably the biggest purchase of their lives. Especially to those new to the home search, it can be difficult to wade through sometimes-conflicting advice on home mortgages, particularly when guidelines that were generally accepted in the past may no longer apply in today’s home-buying environment. Here are four mortgage myths today’s homebuyers might encounter during their home search. You need 20 percent down to secure a loan
Following the recent mortgage crisis in the late 2000s, many housing lenders began to require at least a 20 percent down payment from buyers in order to reduce their own loan risk. Twenty percent down is still a good practice, but in expensive markets like Greater Boston, it can be extremely difficult to amass a down payment in the tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars -- especially for first-time homebuyers who do not have the ability to leverage the proceeds of a previous house sale.

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