Matt Gamache - Touchstone Realty



Posted by Matt Gamache on 10/2/2019

Many of us will move home several times throughout our lives. Whether itís relocating for work, needing a bigger house for children, or a quiet place to retire to, itís likely that the home you live in now wonít be yours forever.

 As a result, many homeowners wonder what they can do to ensure their home will have a high resale value when the time comes to move on.

 The good news is that there are a lot of things you can do now that will give you a good return on investment when it comes to selling your home later. However, there are a few factors that affect a homeís valuation that are out of your control. Weíll talk about all of those factors below. So, read on for a list of the factors that affect your homeís resale value.

 The age of your home

Your house may not complain about it, but it isnít getting any younger. Homes tend to slowly decrease in value over time. A home built in the late 1970s, even if itís well taken care of, most likely wonít sell for the same price as a 15-year-old home.

There is one exception to the rule, however, and that is historical houses. Homes that are a century old can sell for top dollar because of the craftsmanship and history that the house contains.

Admittedly, this is a niche market, as many people just want a safe and efficient home to live in. However, there are some homebuyers who will put in a bit of extra work around the house for the chance to live inside of a piece of history.

Smart renovations

When youíre upgrading your house itís important to remember how that upgrade will pay off years down the road. Some renovations will almost always give a good return on investment such as a finished basement or attic and improving efficiency via added insulation or replacing windows.

Renovations that match a very specific decorative taste or style could come back to haunt you. This includes bathroom sinks, kitchen cabinets, countertops, and other expensive projects that are subject to the next ownerís taste. While these upgrades can give a good return on your investment, theyíre more likely to be successful if they fit the current trends of style and craftsmanship.

Neighborhood and town

One of the factors of home valuation that you have little control over is the town and neighborhood the house is located in. If there are closed down businesses, foreclosed and deteriorating homes then potential buyers might be turned off to the neighborhood.

Similarly, the town you live in has a lot to do with how much people are willing to spend. If you have easy access to interstate highways and large cities, highly rated schools, and good local infrastructure, then buyers are likely to take these into consideration when making an offer, as the average cost of a home in your town is likely higher than some surrounding towns.




Tags: home   resale value   valuation  
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Posted by Matt Gamache on 9/19/2018

Buying a new home comes with a lot of new responsibilities that may have been previously†taken care of by your landlords or parents. When you're out shopping for things like tools and cleaning supplies†for your new home it's mostly guesswork as to which items you really need. Couple that with the fact that department stores are now filled with endless selections and it becomes almost impossible not to waste money or miss an important item for your home. Users on the popular online forum Reddit were recently asked what the most useful item for their house turned out to be†that they didn't think of beforehand. Their answers, which we'll go through below, serve as great advice. If you're a new homeowner or will be soon, read on for these important household buys:

  • A step stool and a ladder You'll use both of these quite often, especially when you're moving. In my house there are a few top kitchen cabinets that are just out of reach, so I'm constantly pulling out the step stool. However, they're also useful†around the house like in closets or reaching high spots while cleaning and painting. Equally important is a ladder. You won't want to mess around climbing on unsteady chairs†for changing lightbulbs or smoke detector batteries. Plus you'll need one for access to the roof of your shed or house.
  • A whole-house fan or air conditioner When you move into a house, especially in the summer months, you're going to want to stay cool while setting up and cleaning your new home. A great way to bring lots of fresh air into the house is to use a whole house fan which draws air into the attic and therefore causing air from outside to flow into your open windows. Window fans are a suitable substitute, so long as they have an exchange mode to bring air in and out.
  • A bucket and a wheel barrow Both of these items are easily overlooked but will be invaluable when it comes to cleaning your house and maintaining your yard. Reddit user shuggins points out some of the myriad†uses for a bucket: mopping the floor, pulling weeds, watering plants, washing the car, washing the dog, and even turn it upside down for a stool when you need a break from all those chores. And†in the†unfortunate event that someone is sick and queasy, a bucket can be†a lifesaver.
  • Drain stops and screens It won't take long for your drain pipes to get clogged up with food in the kitchen and hair in the bathroom without drain screens. Plus, having a drain stop for your sink will turn it into--you guessed it--a bucket! Buckets are the best.
  • New locks† Who knows who has copies of the keys in and around your home. It's important to change all the locks, including padlocks to your shed. There are many horror stories of new homeowners getting all settled in only to be burgled soon after.
  • Batteries all sizes Reddit user typhoidmarry accurately describes the necessity for extra batteries when they write, "Your smoke detectors battery WILL die at 2am. It will." Play it safe and get extra batteries for your all of your electronics to avoid frustration and rage when you can't watch Netflix because your remote battery died.




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Posted by Matt Gamache on 5/23/2018

Buying a new home is an exciting experience. Who doesnít love new thingsóand a new home at that? But a new home is also challenging and intimidating. If you have left a home that you adored then this new home has high expectations. And if itís your first home then such an investment is a big step and can be intimidating for that reason. But one thing that can be agreed upon is the need for this house to feel like your home. Letís look at a few simple tips for making your new house truly feel like your home.

Family Heirlooms: Have a family heirloom that has been passed down from generation to generation? These types of keepsakes could range from an afghan that a great-grandparent or grandparent had knit, various antiques, clocks, diaries and recipes. You can display recipes on a kitchen counter or you can even get creative and design custom wallpaper from the recipe cards. Grandfather clocks fit the atmosphere of home offices and formal living rooms. There are tasteful ways to add each one of these into your home and preserve the memory of these keepsakes.

Photos & Artwork: What better way to bring personality and familiarity into a home than photos of family and friends or artwork from a favorite artist or of your favorite place. A popular approach is a grid-like arrangement created on large, open walls. This is one way to display many beloved photos without creating clutter on tables or other pieces of furniture. A long wall along a hallway would be a great place to display larger photos or artwork that would run horizontally. This is especially nice for sequenced pieces such as change of season photos.

DIY projects: Add your personality to your home with DIY projects. Mason jars, glass vases, and wine bottles can be turned into beautiful home dťcor with only a few materials and a couple hours. Items like rope, artificial flowers, ribbon, and glitter are just a couple examples of supplies that can be used to turn those simple items into a homemade masterpiece.

Memories: Last, but certainly not least, create memories.This is the easiest and quickest way to make a house feel like a home. Things as simple as cooking dinner with your loved ones and as extravagant as starting a family are amazing memories to make. And the first time you remember something special happening in your home will be an amazing feeling. Youíll truly feel like youíve left your mark and turned four walls into something extraordinary.

Itís crucial that you add your personal touches to your home, especially if itís going to be your forever home. Itís the place you will spend most of your time, besides work. The tips above are just a couple examples of ways to help add your personality in the home. Be creative and most of all be genuine and your home will feel like itís been yours forever.  




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Posted by Matt Gamache on 1/31/2018

Tiny houses are all the rage. There are even multiple shows on HGTV based solely on tiny houses. So why is there so much hype around this type of home? And is it just a fad or are tiny homes here to stay? A tiny house is somewhere between 100 and 400 square feet. Some tiny homes have a loft bedroom while some keep it on the main floor. For added living space, some tiny homes have an outdoor shower and toilet. They also contain a small kitchen and living room area. There is very minimal storage in tiny homes (obviously). Tiny houses are on wheels so you can travel with your home or buy/rent a plot of land to keep it on. Letís take a look at why tiny homes are so popular. Simplistic life: As detailed above, tiny homes are, as the name suggests, tiny. And with that comes a simplistic life. You cannot have bounds of Ďthingsí as there is just not enough storage. Therefore, tiny homes bring you back to the basics, just the necessities. This is often an important reason why many are transitioning to tiny homes. So many live too large with too much stuff and at some point it just becomes too much. More money for experiences: There are countless people living paycheck to paycheck and a large majority of that has to do with their mortgage. Even the smallest homes can cost between $100,000 to $150,000, but many tiny homes range between $35,000 and $75,000. Purchasing a tiny home will leave you with a smaller mortgage and therefore more disposable income to spend on life experiences or even saving for retirement. Who doesnít want to travel to world rather than sitting in your home for the rest of your life because all of your money went to paying for it? More free time: With a drastically smaller space than normal homes that leaves you with less cleaning and maintenance. Therefore, leaving you with more time in life to do other things. Also, since you have a much smaller mortgage you may not need to work that 60-hour corporate job anymore. You can take a much less demanding job or career, working fewer hours and making less money, but having the additional time to really experience life. So what do you think? Do you think you could see yourself living in a tiny home?




Tags: Buying a home   home   tiny houses  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Matt Gamache on 5/31/2017

 

Two thirds of American homeowners are somewhere in the process of paying off a mortgage. It may seem like common sense that everyone should try to pay off their mortgage sooner rather than later. However, there are circumstances when it benefits a homeowner more to hold onto their mortgage longer.


In this article, weíll offer some tips on paying off your mortgage, when you should refinance, and offer some tools that will help you along the long road to debt-free homeownership. If youíre a homeowner and find yourself asking these questions, read on.

I can afford to pay more each month on my mortgage, but should I?

In many cases, paying off your home as quickly as possible saves you money in the long run. A shorter loan term means less interest applied to your loan which could save you thousands of dollars in accrued interest.


What many people donít think about is whether that money could be better spent elsewhere. If your mortgage interest rate isnít too high, you might be better off allocating that extra income toward investments or retirement funds where they could earn you more in the long run.


This technique is typically most beneficial for younger homeowners. In your 20s and 30s you stand the most to gain from long-term investments, especially tax-benefitted retirement funds. Ultimately youíll have to do the math, which is tricky because circumstances change; markets vary, our income goes up and down, etc. However, a good starting place is to determine whether you could earn more in retirement and investments than you could by paying off your mortgage sooner and therefore saving on interest. 

Iíve owned my home for a few years now, should I refinance?

Refinancing is a term that has become ubiquitous for homeowners. There are a few important things to understand about refinancing. First, lowering your monthly payments is not always ideal if it means youíll end up paying more interest in the long run. Ideally, refinancing your mortgage will help you pay the least amount in total.

One way this can be accomplished is by refinancing to a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage which often darry slightly lower interest rates. This option is designed for people who have improved their credit and increased their income since signing their first mortgage.

Math isnít my strong suit. How can I figure out my finances?

If all of the numbers and percentages associated with mortgages and refinancing seems overwhelming--youíre not alone. Fortunately, there are mortgage and refinancing calculators that will give you a good idea of where you stand if you decide to increase your payments or to attempt to refinance your loan. Here are some great tools:
  • Use this mortgage calculator for determining how much you would save by making extra payments.

  • This refinance calculator will help you understand the potential benefits of refinancing your mortgage.

  • To determine how much you could earn through investments (rather than paying more toward your mortgage) use this helpful tool.

  • You might be able to increase your savings by creating a better budget for yourself. This website will help you make a detailed budget and hold yourself accountable each month.






Tags: Mortgage   home   refinancing   finance  
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