Gregory Murphy & Cathy Ferrone - WEICHERT, REALTORS« - Briarwood Real Estate



Posted by Gregory Murphy & Cathy Ferrone on 12/14/2017

There are countless variables in life which make it nearly impossible to predict the future. Whether you're talking about your own life, your children's future, or how society will change in coming years, we can only make educated guesses about where any of us will be in a decade or two.

One of the few things we can predict with a high degree of certainty is the continued growth of the senior citizen population. According to the Institute on Aging, the percentage of retirement-age adults in the United States will reach 20% by the year 2030. That's when the youngest members of the so-called "Baby Boomer Generation" will turn 65.

Although the proportion of older Americans will level off after that, the actual number of people in that demographic group will keep increasing. An advantage of growing older in the next few decades is that we will be in good company! As a result, services, societal attitudes, and government programs will likely be more in-tune to the needs of an aging population.

Empty Nest Syndrome

When children grow up and leave the nest, middle-aged parents often look around them and re-evaluate their needs. As more people reach retirement age, a major lifestyle decision many couples will be weighing is the possibility of "downsizing." While they may still want to be able to have enough room for family gatherings and overnight guests, a large home may no longer fit their lifestyle or financial goals.

Buying a condo, cottage, or other type of smaller home can offer retirees a lot of benefits, especially for those ready to scale back on property maintenance. Moving into a gated community or planned development can free you from the burden of lawn mowing, landscaping, and other time-consuming maintenance tasks. Since these potential benefits may also come with restrictions, it pays to fully understand and feel comfortable with Homeowner Association agreements.

There's also the option of purchasing a smaller and easier-to-manage new home in which you don't have to comply with the requirements and fees of an HOA. For senior citizens of all ages, moving to a house that has a smaller yard to maintain and fewer stairs to climb can make life a lot easier. More compact homes also bring with them the advantages of lower heating and cooling costs.

Depending on financial resources and goals, some Baby Boomers decide to keep their family homestead and buy a second property for vacation purposes, rental income, or a combination of both. While that may seem like the opposite of downsizing, costs can be offset by renting the vacation home to reliable tenants or sharing it with family and friends. Owning a second home also gives you the option of transitioning completely to it when you are ready to downsize or relocate.





Posted by Gregory Murphy & Cathy Ferrone on 12/7/2017

The quaintness that comes with a small home can be irresistible and there are a lot of benefits to choosing a small home too. Not only do they usually come with a cheaper price tag but they are also cheaper to heat and keep cool as well. Homeowners often feel stumped, however, on how to make the most out of their new homes after move in day. Below are some tips for making the most of your small space. Whether it's just one room or your whole house, you'll feel like you've found some extra square footage. Master of illusions - choose curtain rods that are wider than your window frame and install them close to ceilings so that the entire window frame is visible when curtains are open. Curtains should also come two inches above the floor. This set up will allow maximum amount of light to enter the room and make the room appear larger than it is. Reflect - adding mirrors, glass and see-through furniture provides plenty of opportunity for more light to be reflected throughout the room and create the illusions that there is more space than there is. Be bold - choose large art pieces instead of opting for a gallery wall. Choosing a large landscape piece will add an "extra window view' while a statement piece adds extra oomph. In plain sight - in small spaces storage can be an issue. Instead of trying to cram everything away into nooks and crannies consider putting things right out in the open. By arranging things in the open in a thoughtful way, it will look like an intentional statement instead of a cluttered mess. Use hooks and shelves to your advantage. Make space - get creative and maximize the square footage you have. Placing counters over a washer and dryer and installing slide out drawers in cabinets are two great ways to make the most out of limited space Color matters - warm and dark colors eat up light and can make your space feel small. Choosing a color palette consisting mostly of neutrals, cool tones, and light colors will ensure your space stays bright and therefore, appears larger. Spread out - sconces and lamps placed throughout the room evenly spread light around as opposed to a single overhead fixture which creates dark corners. Quality over quantity - a few large pieces of furniture that fill up the room may seem counterintuitive but it will actually make the room appear larger than it is. Prioritizing important pieces will be key since it will mean less will fit in the room but the effect will be well worth the effort. Show some leg - furniture with exposed legs allows for visual space under furniture making the room appear less stuffed It can be overwhelming after move in day to figure out how to prevent yourácozy new home from feeling overcrowded with stuff. With these tips in hand you'll be able to create a space that feels spacious and homey, so you can sit back and enjoy your adorable new house!




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Posted by Gregory Murphy & Cathy Ferrone on 11/30/2017

As you prepare to embark on the homebuying process, you may encounter a variety of homebuying myths. And if you believe these myths, the risk increases that you may be forced to deal with many problems along the homebuying journey.

Now, let's take a look at three common homebuying myths, along with the problems associated with these myths.

1. Buying a house is a quick, stress-free process.

The homebuying process may prove to be long and arduous, particularly for a first-time homebuyer. Fortunately, real estate agents are available to help you simplify the process of acquiring a top-notch residence at a budget-friendly price.

A real estate agent understands the challenges associated with buying a house. As such, he or she can help you identify and address these problems before they escalate.

Typically, a real estate agent will learn about what you want to find in your dream house and help you plan accordingly. With this approach, a real estate agent will ensure that you can enjoy a fast, worry-free homebuying experience.

2. Getting a mortgage won't take long at all.

There are many factors that will dictate your ability to acquire a mortgage that matches or exceeds your expectations. For instance, your credit score, income and outstanding debt will impact a lender's decision to provide you with a mortgage. And if you have experienced financial problems in the past, they may impact your ability to acquire a mortgage today.

It generally helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you enter the housing market. Because if you have a mortgage in hand, you can narrow your house search.

Also, it may be beneficial to shop around for a mortgage from several banks and credit unions. If you explore all of the mortgage options at your disposal, you can select a mortgage that suits your finances perfectly.

3. The first home that you see in-person likely will be the house that you'll end up purchasing.

The homebuying process offers no guarantees. And if you expect to buy the first home that you view in-person, you ultimately may be disappointed with the final results of your home search.

Oftentimes, it is a great idea to check out a wide range of houses. By conducting an in-depth home search, you can select a house that fulfills all of your homebuying demands.

As you search for a home, you may want to work with a real estate agent too. This housing market professional can set up home showings and keep you up to date about open house events.

Furthermore, a real estate agent is happy to provide homebuying recommendations and suggestions. He or she will do whatever it takes to help you find a terrific residence, as well as negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf to ensure you won't have to pay too much to acquire your ideal house.

The aforementioned myths can be harmful to any homebuyer, at any time. If you hire a real estate agent, however, you can learn the ins and outs of the housing market and avoid potential hurdles throughout the homebuying journey.




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Posted by Gregory Murphy & Cathy Ferrone on 11/23/2017

Homeowners insurance is necessary, but that doesn't mean you should be forced to pay an exorbitant amount for it. Instead, you can take advantage of the following money-saving tips to lower your monthly homeowners insurance premiums: 1. Bundle Your Homeowners and Auto Insurance. In many cases, you can bundle your homeowners and auto insurance to save money. This will allow you to cut costs and leverage the same insurance company for both your homeowners and auto insurance policies as well. If you already have auto insurance and are looking for home insurance for your new residence, be sure to discuss your plans with your auto insurer. By doing so, you may be able to bundle your homeowners and auto insurance and lower your insurance premiums for years to come. 2. Explore All of the Options at Your Disposal. When it comes to finding homeowners insurance, there are plenty of fish in the sea. Thus, you're sure to discover many great options at your disposal, all of which you should explore before you decide on a homeowners insurance provider. With homeowners insurance, you should try to conduct plenty of research. And remember, the most affordable option may not be the best option based on your homeownership needs. Therefore, homeowners who do their homework will be able to review all of the options at their disposal and make an informed decision about their homeowners insurance. 3. Exclude Land Value from Your Homeowners Insurance Policy. Your homeowners insurance may include the value of your land as well as your residence. In this scenario, you may want to consider removing the land value from your policy. With homeowners insurance, you'll want to ensure that your residence and its contents are fully covered. That way, these items can be replaced if they are damaged. On the other hand, you may not need replacement coverage for your land. Before you exclude land value from your homeowners insurance, however, you'll want to discuss the pros and cons of doing so with an insurance agent. This professional will be able to outline how much money you can save by making this change, along with the short- and long-term ramifications of this decision. 4. Increase Your Deductible. Boosting your homeowners insurance policy's deductible likely will result in a drop in your monthly premium. At the same time, it is important to consider the trade-off that takes place if you make this change to your policy. A higher deductible means that you'll be required to pay more out of pocket if and when a claim is filed. As such, you should weigh the immediate cost savings versus the long-term value of increasing your deductible before you finalize your decision. Homeowners insurance can be tricky to understand, but insurance agents can help you discover the best ways to lower your monthly premiums. Ask your insurance agent for help with your homeowners insurance, and ultimately, you can work with this professional to find solutions to help you save money on your insurance premiums.





Posted by Gregory Murphy & Cathy Ferrone on 11/20/2017

4 Levels Of Living In This Spacious 2 Family Home! 2 Driveways Allow for Separate Parking Areas; Gas Heat/Hot Water; Vinyl Siding & Vinyl Fencing; 1st Floor Has Finished Basement For Townhouse Style Living; 3 Beds & 2 Full Baths, Hardwood Floors; 2nd Floor Is Also Town House Style w/3rd Floor Finished & Combined For Additional Living Space; If You Need A Home With A Large Amount Of Space Then This Is The One You Have Been Waiting For!

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