Hopkinton MA Real Estate | Donna Coakley McGowan - Millennium Realty


There are few things for a home seller that are more stressful than the home inspection. You hope and pray that everything will come out a-OK in your house so that your buyers will want to continue with the sale without asking for too many contingencies. There’s a few simple things that you can do to make sure your home inspection goes smoothly. The good news is that these tasks won’t cost you a lot of time or money. A few simple actions can save you a lot of grief in unnecessary service calls. Check out these tips to help you get through the home inspection with flying colors:


Check Your Light Bulbs


If you have a light bulb that’s simply burnt out, that could prompt the need for a check of the entire electrical system in your home. Avoid a costly visit from an electrician just by checking your light bulbs and replacing them where necessary. 


Check Your Air Filters 


The air filters in your home can be easily neglected and be a big problem in the home inspection process. Even if a filter looks a little gray, take the time to replace it. You should check your air filters and furnace filters for any potential problems like tears or excess dirt. For bonus points, you may want to just replace the filters before the inspection no matter how little dirt they have on them. Otherwise, a clogged filter can be a sign that your furnace or heating and cooling system isn’t working properly. 


Check Your Sinks


A few dollars spent on some drain unclogging chemicals is a few hundred dollars potentially saved on a plumber. Fill up your sinks with water and see how they drain. If they’re a bit slow, get the chemicals that you need to work on unclogging the drains (such as Drain-o). If there’s a funny smell coming from the drain, be sure to address it. Lemons also work wonders on everything from drains to garbage disposals. Even some baking soda and vinegar can help to clean a drain wonderfully. 


Fix Major Repairs Before Your Home Goes On The Market


If you know something pressing needs to be fixed or replaced in your home, be sure to fix it before the home even goes on the market. It’s much easier to take care of things before a buyer’s contingency and a time limit is involved. Although you may be hesitant to spend the money, you should replace certain appliances, fix the roof, or address that creaky floor before the “For Sale” sign even goes out front.


With more and more people abandoning cable television in favor of streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Go, having a reliable internet connection is more important than ever. However, as much as technology has improved in recent years, many people across the nation still have poor WiFi reception in their homes.

There are ways to improve your home WiFi reception that you may not be aware of. There are also many common mistakes that homeowners make in setting up their routers that might cause them connectivity and reception issues.

In this article, we’ll talk about some of the reasons your home WiFi might not be performing as well as you’d like, and how to address those problems so you can stream and download at higher rates with better quality.

Testing your internet speed

Before we start diagnosing your internet problems, it’s a good idea to find out how your reception compares to others in your area. While there are a few good online resources to do this, one of the most respected tools is the free Speedtest by Ookla.

You can take this speed test on your laptop, desktop, cell phone, and any other decides that you connect to your router. You can also move your devices to different parts of the home to determine if your issue is a matter of reach.

If all of your devices perform poorly, try plugging your computer directly into your cable modem and taking the speed test. This will help you determine if your router is possibly malfunctioning.

Update firmware and devices

If you have an older router, it may need to be updated. To do this, you’ll need to login to your router’s administrator interface. Find out how to do this by visiting the router manufacturer’s website.

Once you’ve ensured that your device is updated, it’s a good idea to diagnose your devices. If you have one device that is performing worse than others, you may have to do software updates or maintenance to that device.

Change the placement of your router

Sometimes poor WiFi reception is simply a matter of the location of your router. Wireless routers should be elevated off of the ground and away from any large appliances that may interfere with reception.

Change your router channel

Just like radios, routers work on wireless frequencies or “channels.” This means that they can sometimes interfere with one another. If possible, switching your router to the 5GHz band can improve your connection and limit the amount of interference from other routers. Then, experiment with different channels to determine which one gives you the best reception.

Upgrade your hardware

If none of those quick fixes did the job, you might need to consider upgrading your wireless hardware. This includes purchasing a newer router, a range extender, or a mesh router system. Since newer homes tend to be larger, a mesh router system is a way to ensure coverage throughout your home via multiple access points.


Is there anything more classic and charming than an old house? One aspect of older homes that make them so cozy is all the built-in shelves, drawers and other nooks and crannies that make each house one of a kind. While houses that have been more recently built usually lack these features, it doesn’t mean you can’t add them yourself.

Today I have six custom cabinetry ideas for you to create your own charming abode, even if it’s builder-grade.

When creating faux cabinetry the only limit is your imagination. Search home magazines and Pinterest boards for inspiration. Save ideas you love to a gallery on your phone or print out in one document. With inspiration in hand head out to your local home improvement store to find millwork options that match your vision.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Install floor to ceiling bookshelves with a bench tucked in between to create a cozy reading nook. Add molding and other decorative millwork to take this D.I.Y. to a true polished built-in look.

Capitalize on any empty corners by adding corner shelves or a corner cabinet. Adding beadboard before installing the shelves and finishing off with molding. There are also many corner cabinetry options on the market to choose from today. Choose one that fits the height of your room in a color that matches the molding in your home.


For cabinetry with drawers and doors add charm by replacing with reproduction brackets, knobs and pulls. Or if you love the thrill of the hunt check out your local yard sales and flea markets for vintage sets. Sites like Ebay and Etsy are another great way to find matching sets of vintage finds.


Add personality with splashes of bold color. Blues, greens, and yellows are popular hues for a pop of color while maintaining classic old home character. Paint on of your new custom pieces a charming shade to bring a room to life. Alternatively, installing cabinetry with glass front doors allows you to put bright decor on display without committing to one particular color. Add vintage books, glassware, and small paintings to shelves for smaller doses of color.

For a luxurious touch, stained glass windows look stunning in a bathroom and allow for privacy while still allowing light shine through. Adding custom sized stained glass windows to the upper portion of a wide doorway works well in homes with higher ceilings and will have guests in awe.  

When house shopping sometimes we have to make compromises when it comes to our wants to prioritize our needs. But that doesn’t have to mean you can’t have your cake and eat it too. With a little bit of creativity and a few D.I.Y. projects, you can add a dose of old home charm to any house to make a cozy, welcoming home.


If you plan to buy or sell a home in the near future, it is important to find the right real estate agent. By doing so, you should have no trouble getting the optimal results from the homebuying or home selling journey.

Ultimately, you'll want to conduct extensive research before you hire a real estate agent to help you buy or sell a home. This will require you to look at a variety of factors, including:

1. Communication Skills

A real estate agent should serve as a friendly, knowledgeable source of housing market insights. This individual should be able to provide you with the information you need to make homebuying or home selling informed decisions. That way, you can seamlessly navigate the homebuying or home selling process.

Hiring a real estate agent who is a great communicator is essential. This housing market professional will allocate the necessary time and resources to listen to your concerns and questions and respond accordingly.

The right real estate agent will stay in touch with you via email, phone and text. This will ensure you can stay up to date as the homebuying or home selling journey moves forward.

Plus, a real estate agent who understands the importance of communication is unafraid to be honest with you. He or she will provide honest, unbiased suggestions as you buy or sell a home and guarantee you can get the support you need at all times.

2. Industry Expertise

How long has an individual served as a real estate agent? Spend some time learning about a real estate agent's expertise, and you may be better equipped than others to determine whether this person can help you accomplish your homebuying or home selling goals.

A quick online search offers a great starting point as you assess a real estate agent's expertise. In fact, this will allow you to learn about a real estate agent from any location, at any time.

If you want to go a step further, set up a face-to-face meeting with a real estate agent. This will enable you to ask questions and gain deep insights into a real estate agent's background.

3. Client Referrals

How would past clients rate their experiences with a particular real estate agent? Thanks to client referrals, you can find out how a real estate agent has supported his or her previous clients.

A real estate agent should be able to provide you with client referrals without delay. Then, you can reach out to these client referrals and gain unparalleled insights into how a real estate works with homebuyers and home sellers.

Client referrals allow you to find out what it's like to work with a real estate agent at each stage of the homebuying or home selling journey. They also can provide you with insights into a real estate agent that you might struggle to obtain elsewhere.

Evaluate the aforementioned factors as you search for the right real estate agent, and you can employ a top-notch housing market professional to help you buy or sell a house.


Submitting a "fair" offer on your dream home may seem difficult, particularly for a first-time homebuyer. Lucky for you, we're here to help you determine what it takes to submit a fair offer on a home that increases the likelihood that a home seller will accept your proposal without delay.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to ensure that a first-time homebuyer can submit a fair offer on a house.

1. Study the Housing Market Closely

Are you preparing to submit an offer in a buyer's market or a seller's market? Ultimately, the current state of the housing market may help you define a fair proposal based on the sector's conditions.

For example, a buyer's market frequently includes an abundance of top-notch residences and a shortage of homebuyers. In this market, you may be able to submit an offer at or below a home seller's initial asking price and receive an instant "Yes."

On the other hand, a seller's market usually features a shortage of high-quality houses and an abundances of homebuyer. As such, you may need to submit an offer at or above a home seller's initial asking price if you want to secure your dream residence.

For first-time homebuyers who analyze the housing market closely, they should be able to differentiate between a buyer's market and a seller's market. That way, a first-time homebuyer can determine fair market value for a residence and submit an offer that corresponds to it.

2. Evaluate Your Homebuying Budget

There is no need to overspend for a house, regardless of the current housing market's conditions. But with a homebuying budget in hand, a first-time homebuyer can resist the urge to pay too much to acquire an outstanding residence.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage often provides a great option for those who are uncertain about how much they can spend on a home. This budget will enable a homebuyer to narrow his or her home search based on the finances at his or her disposal.

Meet with a variety of banks and credit unions to learn about all of your mortgage options. Then, you can select a mortgage that matches your budget and move one step closer to acquiring a terrific residence.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a must-have for a first-time homebuyer, and for good reason. This housing market professional can teach you about the intricacies of buying a house and help you submit a fair offer on a residence any time you choose.

Furthermore, a real estate agent will guide you along each stage of the homebuying journey and help you overcome any potential pitfalls along the way. And if you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, a real estate agent is happy to respond to them at your convenience.

Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and by doing so, a first-time homebuyer should have no trouble submitting a fair offer on a residence.




!funct=on(f,b,e,v,n,t,s) {=f(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function(){n.callMethod? n.call=ethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments)}; if(!f.=fbq)f._fbq=n;n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n.version='2.0'; n.queu==[];t=b.createElement(e);t.async=!0; t.src==;s=b.getElementsByTagName(e)[0]; s.pare=tNode.insertBefore(t,s)}(window,document,'script', <=iv style="min-height: =6px;margin-left:16px;white-space:pre-wrap;word-break:break-word;">'=ttps://connect.facebook.net/en_US/fbevents.js'); =div style="min-height: =6px;margin-left:16px;white-space:pre-wrap;word-break:break-word;"> =bq('init', '1722654454445446'); fbq(&#=39;track', 'PageView'); =lt;img height="1" width="1" src=&=uot;https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1722654454445446&ev=PageView<=div> &no=cript=1"/>
Loading