Hopkinton MA Real Estate | Donna Coakley McGowan - Millennium Realty


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Giving your space a much-needed makeover doesn't have to take a lot of time or money. Whether you want to recreate the space for a party, prepare for a sale, or simply make an old room look new, here's a solution for you. Use these tips to completely transform your room in just a day.

Update the Paint

Real estate agents often say that nothing makes potential buyers drunk quicker than a fresh coat of paint. It's intoxicating the way new paint provides an instant makeover to any space. Not only does it scream newness, it also keeps your walls protected from moisture and can improve the air quality of your home. So, if you want to redo a room or an entire house, grab the paint brush and get busy.

Focus on Decorative Storage Spaces

There's no rule that storage shelves must be used for storage. Instead, use them as a decorative centerpiece by establishing a theme or motif and carrying that through with well-chosen colors, textures, and accent pieces. Have a lot of clutter that needs a home? Consider decorative woven baskets to keep magazines, accessories, toys, and more tucked away while looking naturally beautiful.

Purchase Rugs

In the time it takes to place a rug, you can have a completely new atmosphere in any indoor or outdoor space. Rugs allow you to bring texture, color, or patterns into a room without overwhelming it. They can also serve as a focal point when placed correctly, or as a backdrop when something more subtle is preferred.

Switch Out the Pillows

Similar to rugs, pillows can really make a room pop at a fairly inexpensive price point. Mix textures and patterns to create a depth and layering effect on beds, benches, and couches. To create a palette that stuns, consider adding splashes of texture with feathered pillows, tassels, or ribbing. You also may want to choose bold colors combined with neutrals to add dimension to an otherwise flat area.

Power Wash Outdoors

A complete update of a deck or driveway can be accomplished easily with a thorough power wash. Doing so can make a home feel brand new. If time allows, consider restaining any wood panels and adding furniture to a deck, or replacing worn down rockery along a driveway.

Replace the Lighting

How you physically feel in a space often comes down to the lighting. Update your space with a dramatic lighting fixture or simplify and unify a room by choosing a neutral fixture. Effective design is about pairing lighting levels with the tasks being completed in that space. Think of a brightly lit kitchen island instead of a lamp in your reading space.

If you'd like more home decorating tips or want help with an upcoming move, feel free to reach out!


Buying a home is a very detail-oriented process, and there's a lot of important things you can overlook if you're not organized.

Home buyers generally have the opportunity to do a last-minute inspection of the premises to make sure everything's up to standards prior to closing on the property.

A real estate buyer's agent can accompany you on the final inspection or provide you with advice on what to look for.

If you've already visited the home a couple times and had the house professionally inspected, you're probably well-acquainted with any major malfunctions, flaws, or repair issues. In many cases, home buyers may reach an agreement with the seller to fix, replace, or make allowances for mechanical or cosmetic problems. While real estate negotiations and sales agreements are as varied as the people and properties involved, there are typically dozens of things buyers need to check on before they sign the final documents and accept ownership of the property.

Final Walkthrough Tips

As you're doing the final walk-through of the house, it's necessary to remember or have notes on the condition of the home when you last looked at it. You'll also want to have a clear idea of what appliances, fixtures, and window treatments are supposed to be remain in the house after it's been vacated by the seller. Depending on how close your final walk-through is to the actual closing, that has probably already happened.

If there's anything missing that the seller agreed to include in the sale, then that's an issue you'll want to discuss with your real estate agent or attorney. Any property damage that may have resulted from moving furniture and other belongings should also be discussed before final papers are signed. The same thing would apply to landscaping changes that appear to be inconsistent with the sales agreement. Your buyer's agent and/or lawyer can serve as intermediary in getting these issues clarified and ironed out.

To make sure your final inspection is thorough, it's a good idea to have a "final walk-through checklist" to help keep you organized and focused. You'll want to take a last-minute inventory of items that are supposed to be included with the property sale, such as appliances, lighting fixtures, furnishings, window treatments, children's play structures, hot tubs, and anything else that was agreed to in the sales contract.

Other items you'll need access to may include garage door openers, manuals for appliances and mechanical systems, warranties, invoices for repairs made, and remote control devices for things like ceiling fans, alarms, and other systems.

Your checklist and final walkthrough should focus on a variety of items, including the working condition of appliances, the electrical system, plumbing fixtures, and the condition of walls, floors, ceilings, doors, windows, and landscaping features. For a complete checklist, look online or consult your real estate agent.


If your parents owned their home, you probably remember watching them work through weekend honey-do lists fixing things around the house. Now, you’re ready to buy your own home and take on that responsibility. You’ve read all the articles, found the best buyers agent, went through hundreds of properties until you found the perfect one, and now it's yours! Along with that furnace you’ve never checked, faucets that will leak eventually, gutters you’ve never cleaned and trees you’ve never cared for. Taking on the job of maintenance provider at your home can be a big job, but just like the purchase, you can be prepared for this too.

Ventilation and HVAC 

Check your windows and ensure they are sealed around the edges or add weather stripping as needed to prevent air coming in and messing with your perfect temperature. Its also essential to ensure your insulation is correct for your area, including the depth of your loose attic insulation. If your winter weather gets below freezing, remember to remove or winterize your window air conditioners as well.

Your HVAC system needs its own love and care as well. Regularly check and change out your filters, clean dust buildup from ducts and vents and get your furnace periodically inspected by a technician, so you know if there are any more significant issues and whether or not you are due for a professional cleaning.

Water

Water can be the most dangerous element in your home. Small leaks can hide within your walls causing mold, mildew, rot and more serious physical damage. Make sure you know what kinds of pipes run through your house and where you are in danger of springing leaks. Check those areas regularly. If you live in a winter area that gets down to or below freezing, you may need to leave your indoor faucets dripping in winter to protect your pipes from freezing.

Outdoors, keep your gutters clean year-round so that water doesn’t build up around your roof. Make sure all the spouts in your system point away from the home and the foundation. Lastly, ensure that your roof is in good repair to prevent leaks and further damage. 

It's important to know what maintenance the home needs, so if it's you're first, start with a candid conversation with the current owners. If they lived there for a time, they might be willing to share traits of the home with you to help direct your maintenance plan. Talk to your real estate agent about getting the right inspections and professionals to learn about your home.


If you decide you're ready to purchase your dream house, you should submit a competitive homebuying proposal from the get-go. Otherwise, you could risk missing out on the opportunity to acquire your ideal residence.

Submitting an offer to purchase your ideal house that meets the expectations of a property seller can be simple. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you craft a competitive offer to purchase your dream house.

1. Examine the Local Housing Market

The price of a home in a big city may prove to be much higher than the price of a comparable house in a small town. Much in the same vein, a housing market that features an abundance of sellers is likely to be far different from a market that includes many buyers. However, if you assess the local housing sector closely, you can identify real estate market patterns and trends and craft your homebuying proposal accordingly.

Oftentimes, it helps to look at the prices of recently sold houses in the city or town where you want to live. You also may want to find out how long these homes were available before they sold. That way, you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's one and put together a competitive offer to purchase based on the present's real estate sector's conditions.

2. Analyze a Home's Age and Condition

A brand-new home may prove to be more expensive than an older house that is in need of major repairs. Comparatively, a recently renovated house is likely to be a great choice for buyers who want to avoid property repairs, while a "fixer-upper" home may be a top option for those who are ready to tackle property repairs on their own.

As you analyze a home's age and condition, you should consider how much you are willing to pay for this residence. It sometimes helps to consider potential home upgrades and repairs that may need to be completed. And if you evaluate possible home improvement costs, you can account for these expenses in your offer to purchase.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a homebuying expert, and his or her goal is to ensure you can acquire a great house at an affordable price. Thus, if you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can put together a competitive offer to purchase in no time at all.

Typically, a real estate agent will offer housing market insights that you may struggle to find elsewhere. And when you're ready to submit an offer to purchase your dream home, a real estate agent will help you craft a homebuying proposal that is sure to get a seller's attention. Plus, a real estate agent will negotiate with a seller's agent to help you get the best price on your ideal house.

Ready to submit an offer to purchase your dream home? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can put together a competitive homebuying proposal and quickly accomplish your homebuying aspirations.


After you accept an offer on your house, it is only a matter of time before you need to move out. This means a home seller will need to start packing up his or her belongings and figure out which items need to stay and which items need to go.

Ultimately, it often pays to leave high-quality items behind as part of a home sale. And if you include top-notch items as part of a home listing, you may be better equipped than other home sellers to receive multiple outstanding homebuying proposals.

Determining which items to leave behind as part of a home sale can be simple. In fact, here are three of the most common items that home sellers choose to offer in a home listing:

1. Refrigerator

If you intend to move into a house that already has a refrigerator, there may be no need to bring your current refrigerator to your new address. Thus, you can include your current refrigerator as part of your home listing.

A refrigerator that looks and performs great may be worth several hundred dollars. Therefore, this appliance could become a key part of a tight negotiation with a homebuyer and may help you move closer to finalizing a home sale agreement.

Of course, if you include your refrigerator in your home listing, you also won't have to worry about moving this big, heavy appliance to your new address.

2. Washer and Dryer

Your washer and dryer have helped you keep your clothes clean and dry for many years. Now, these appliances may prove to be exceedingly valuable to a homebuyer who wants to avoid the hassle of shopping for a new washer and dryer.

If possible, it may be worthwhile to include a washer and dryer in a home listing. Plus, you can include information about the age and condition of your washer and dryer to help your home listing stand out from others.

3. Big-Screen TV

A big-screen TV that served as the centerpiece of your living room or man cave may be tough to move. Thankfully, you can include this item in a home listing and make it simple for a homebuyer to enjoy a wonderful TV as soon as he or she buys your house.

Determining which items to leave behind as part of a home sale sometimes can be tough. Fortunately, if you work with a real estate agent, you can get expert assistance as you put together a home listing.

A real estate agent is happy to provide comprehensive support throughout the home selling process. He or she will learn about your home and help you craft a home listing that highlights your house's features. In addition, a real estate agent will set up home showings, respond to your home selling concerns and questions and much more.

When it comes to selling your house, don't hesitate to leave various first-rate items behind. By doing so, you may be able to make your home more attractive to potential homebuyers and boost your chances of a fast home sale.




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