Claire LeBlanc - REALTY EXECUTIVES



Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 1/13/2021

Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels

Outdoor garden structures can provide you with seating, shade and even a bit of shelter from the rain, depending on which type you choose. Although these structures serve a practical purpose, they’re available in a wide range of decorative styles and designs that can enhance your garden’s appearance. How do you know which type would work best for your property? Keep the following in mind when deciding on an outdoor garden structure.

Arbor 

Arbors act as entrances between different garden areas or entrances to your garden from your yard. These structures typically have an arch at the top and trellis walls that vines can grow on. While they have a relatively simple design compared to other garden structures, you can make them more elaborate with an intricate design, flowering vines or seating areas. In fact, you can set up a vertical garden with trumpet vines or other vines using your arbor. 

An arbor is an ideal option if you just want to set up a small structure with seating or if you want to highlight entrances to your garden or to different garden areas. 

Gazebo

Gazebos offer more space and shelter than arbors. Since they’re larger, these structures work well in between garden areas if enough room is available. They can also be placed closer to the edge of your garden or just outside of it, so that you still have a good view of your flowers, plants and trees. 

A gazebo typically has a roof, a floor, open sides and seating in a polygon or rounded shape. You can have built-in benches placed along the inner sides of your gazebo, or place your own luxurious chairs inside it for seating. Gazebos are a good option if you need a structure that holds more people and provides some shelter from rain overhead. 

Pergola 

Pergolas are outdoor garden structures that can be freestanding or built onto the side of your home, depending on the layout of your yard. These structures don’t have a roof, but they do have a series of beams that provide shade. Pergolas are known for having ornamental designs or cuts on the roof beams and on the columns that hold these structures in place. You can also add grapevines or other plants to the beams for decorative purposes and to add more shade.

With a larger pergola, you can add a table and chairs for dining, or have a porch swing and other seating installed. Pergolas are suitable options when you want a spacious and more open structure that still offers shade.





Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 1/6/2021


 Photo by Sue Rickhuss via Pixabay

Do you have an old garden shed in your yard that's outlived its original purpose? Perhaps your gardening tools and supplies have moved on to a new shed or been relocated to a convenient spot in the corner of your garage. If so, you may be considering tearing down your old shed. After all, these structures can harbor rodents and become safety hazards as well as detract from the overall aesthetic of your outdoor living space — even the most well-kept yard and garden space won't provide good curb appeal if a dilapidated garden shed is a part of the picture. Here's how you can take yours from sloppy to sensational in just one weekend. 

First Things First

The first thing you need to do is walk around the outside of the structure to check for peeling paint, cracked windows and any other cosmetic issues that need attention. After that, enter the inside to ensure that it's stable and level so that you can fix any structural issues such as loose floorboards. Remove any residual gardening tools and supplies and sweep the place clean. You may have to get out the shop vac if debris has been allowed to accumulate for a long period of time. 

Repair and Restore 

The next step is to repair anything that needs it. Most old garden sheds are made from pretty sturdy stuff that holds up well, but the roof and the steps are likely to need some attention if the structure has been neglected for several years, so you might have to replace a few shingles and shore up the steps. Make it look new again with paint or siding, and add decorative elements like window boxes brimming with flowering plants. If you're going to use it as a backyard getaway or playhouse, provide carpeting, wall art and furnishings. Let your imagination lead the way, but be sure to keep the end result in line with the design of the rest of your home. 

Add Landscaping 

Add a finishing touch to your garden shed renovation project by installing foundation landscaping. Simply dig a trench around the structure, plant your plants, fill it in, and cover with an attractive mulching material such as colored pebbles or oyster shells. For old-school cottage garden charm, plant climbing roses or clematis. If your yard is more of a formal affair, choose something classic like boxwood.  To add balance and extend the space, consider adding a small patio with potted plants and a comfortable seating area. 

Once you finish giving your garden shed its makeover, don't forget to pour yourself a refreshing beverage to enjoy while you admire the results of your hard work. 

 




Tags: Repurpose   DIY   outdoor living  
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Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 12/23/2020


Photo by Fizkes via Shutterstock

Months of searching, attending open houses, and viewing available homes finally paid off. You’ve found the perfect property in the perfect neighborhood for the perfect price. You’re ready to make an offer. Then, it happens, you get the dreaded call from your agent telling you there are multiple offers on the property. How does that happen?

Reasons for Multiple Offers

Re-marketing. Remember, the listing agent has the legal and fiduciary duty to the seller to seek the highest price possible. Not only does the higher offer pay the agent more, but it also gives the seller more to work with. As the listing nears its expiration, the agent has an incentive to market it more aggressively so that they can earn their commission. That means more open house events, changes to the listing to bring it back into focus even if it’s been on the market for a while, and other marketing tools.

Inventory shifts continuously. That means at any given moment, fewer houses on the market puts the home you want on more buyers’ radars. Even a house they looked past a month ago might interest them today. This is especially true when you use narrow search parameters because everyone else using those parameters sees the exact same homes.

Buyer demographics align. If you chose to wait until the end of summer, or after the holidays for family reasons, the chances are high that a bunch of other folks did as well. If you’re an empty-nester and waited for fall to start looking, so did other buyers in similar life situations. They’ll like the same things about it that you like.

New listings. Buyers that have lost out to multiple offers in the past now know better than to “sleep on it” when they see a new house available that fits their needs. The typical multiple-offer scenario happens within the first two weeks of a listing reaching the market. This is true particularly if the home is priced right, has curb appeal and desired upgrades or renovations in a preferred neighborhood.

Pocket listings. A so-called “pocket listing” is when a seller’s agent knows a home is going on the market but is not yet listed, and it that appeals to certain buyers to whom they give the head’s up. Some pocket “buyers” ask for notification when there’s another offer. Since the listing agent represents this buyer, there’s nothing stopping their agent from helping them present a better offer than yours. Ask your agent to learn if the other offer is from a client of the listing agent since it makes a difference in how you craft a counteroffer. Options include increasing your offer, your agent could reduce their commission, closing without contingencies, etc.

Trust your agent’s advice on preparing a counteroffer and whether submitting a personal letter with the offer is a promising idea. In some cases, it’s about the bottom line; but in others, it’s an emotional decision to sell a home.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 12/16/2020

Homeowner’s insurance allows you to have financial protection if your home or the contents of your home have been damaged. If you or your family member are held legally responsible for injuries that have occurred on your property, you are also protected. Insurance is generally required by most mortgage lenders in order to secure a loan. 


There are many different types of insurance policies that you can use to cover your home. You can get anything ranging from a basic insurance policy that just covers your home overall or you can go for broader protection for your home. The types of coverage that you can get will vary from state to state.


Natural Disasters


Most insurance policies will cover damage caused by fire, wind, lightning, theft, or vandalism. Floods and earthquakes typically require additional coverage, so if you live in an area that is susceptible to these issues, then you should inquire about additional coverage. 


The Standard Policy


Most insurance policies include certain basic coverages like dwelling coverage which is the allowance for you to either repair or rebuild your home. This includes the electrical systems, the plumbing systems, and the HVAC systems. You need enough coverage for your home in order to rebuild in the event that such an event would cause a need for it. Your insurance agent can help you to find a comfortable number that will allow you enough coverage for rebuilding.


Standard coverage also may include “other structures” which can include fences, garages, cottages, and sheds. You’ll also be covered for your personal property which includes clothing, furniture, and electronics that may be damaged in your home due to theft or disaster. 


Loss Of Use Coverage


This type of coverage will pay for your living expenses if you need to move out of your home while it’s being rebuilt or restored. This would allow you to find alternative arrangements when you need it most, so it’s an important aspect of home insurance coverage. 


Liability Coverage


This coverage is one of the most important aspects of purchasing home insurance. Having liability will help to protect your assets and cover defense costs in the event that you have been held liable for causing and injury to other people or property. 

Additional Coverage Options


There are many different types of additional coverages that you can add to your homeowners insurance policy to help you get the right umbrella of coverage for you.




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Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 12/9/2020

Photo by StockEU via Shutterstock

Purchasing a home for the first time is often a daunting task. There are many things to know and a plethora of conflicting advice. If you’re new to real estate and the home-buying process, keeping these tips in mind can help make the path to homeownership smoother.

Pick the Right Person

Choosing a real estate agent that specializes in helping first-time homebuyers can relieve some of the uncertainty you might feel. You must seek professional help when buying a home because you need someone to watch out for your interests. A buyer’s agent only works for you. They do not represent the seller, so when it comes to negotiating, they are committed to your best interest.

Remember that your agent does this for a living. That means they are licensed by the state and maintain that license. The information they give you is for you, in your situation. Work with your agent exclusively and don’t keep them in the dark about what you want. You won’t make a better deal with the seller by excluding your agent, and since you have a contract with them, you may set yourself up for legal action if you do.

Choose the Right Lender

Apply to several lenders to find the best loan at the best rate for you. Many lenders offer first-time buyer programs that give preferential rates to buyers that attend classes or go through a seminar. Choosing the best lender means the difference between closing the purchase on your home or losing out. Your experienced agent helps you differentiate among lenders, but check with your bank or credit union as well, since they may have a better arrangement for you.

Follow Through on Paperwork

In the end, much of the process comes down to you. You’ll be asked for a lot of paperwork, and the sooner you turn it in, the better your chances of a timely close. Keep track of other paperwork too. Your agent handles the contracts and submissions to the seller and the lender, but you need to read them and ask questions about anything you don’t understand.

Know Why You’re Buying

Back in the day, buying a home for a tax deduction as a financial tool made sense. But modern tax laws make that less of an incentive. If you’re buying a home to lower your tax bill, you might be disappointed. But when you’re purchasing a home because it is where you want to live and you want to make it yours, you’ve got the right idea in mind.

Talk to your real estate agent about what you’re looking for in your first home and start on the path to owning your own home right away.




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