Jaime Kidston -KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY | Cambridge, MA Real Estate, Somerville, MA Real Estate


If you plan to purchase a house in the foreseeable future, it generally is a good idea to plan ahead for all of your potential homebuying costs. That way, you can secure the funds you need to purchase your dream house.

Now, let's take a look at three costs that every homebuyer needs to consider during the property buying journey.

1. Credit Report

A lender likely will request a verified credit report before it provides you with a mortgage. The fee for a credit report usually is minimal, but it is important to note that this fee adds to the overall cost of purchasing a house.

Oftentimes, a homebuyer can get pre-approved for a mortgage and pay a credit report fee prior to conducting a house search. On the other hand, if a buyer wants to secure financing from a lender after he or she discovers the perfect house, the cost of a credit report may be incorporated into this individual's home closing costs.

2. Home Inspection

A property inspection is crucial, as it ensures a property expert can analyze a house and identify any underlying problems with it before a buyer finalizes his or her home purchase. As such, it is paramount to account for home inspection fees to ensure you have the funds available to hire an inspector who can perform an in-depth evaluation of a house.

The cost of a home inspection varies based on the size of a residence. Meanwhile, there is no need to forgo this evaluation. Because if you ignore a home inspection, you risk encountering costly, time-intensive problems after you buy a residence.

3. Pest or Mold Inspection

A pest or mold inspection is not a requirement if you purchase a new house. Conversely, if you purchase an older residence, it typically is beneficial to inspect it for pests and mold prior to finalizing your house purchase.

Pest or mold inspection costs vary based on a home's size and location. And if you feel a home may be susceptible to pests or mold, you should pay the necessary fees to conduct a pest or mold inspection. Otherwise, you could encounter home pests or mold that may cause major problems down the line.

As you prepare to pursue your dream residence, you may want to hire a real estate agent as well. If you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive comprehensive guidance as you navigate the homebuying journey.

In addition to teaching you about homebuying costs, a real estate agent is happy to educate you about all aspects of the housing market. Plus, a real estate agent will respond to your homebuying queries and help you make informed decisions as you search for your ideal residence.

When it comes to purchasing a house, it helps to budget accordingly. If you consider the aforementioned homebuying costs, you can craft a homebuying budget and speed up your quest to discover your dream house.


Photo by Helga_SM via Shutterstock

When you begin to revamp your yard or garden, there comes a time to decide what exactly you’ll be growing. You’ll want plants that are hearty, beautiful and fragrant to grace your yard.

Choose Hearty

First, you can begin by planting ground-cover roses. These bountiful, low-growing rose varieties can provide plenty of flowers throughout the year. They tend to be very low maintenance and are drought-tolerant as well. They are great for any garden bed or container garden.

Another hearty favorite is red yucca. This plant can survive in high heat and is incredibly strong-willed. It has a bluish-gray, succulent base with long stalks that shoot up near six fee that bear red-ish, tube-shaped flowers. They are virtually guaranteed to catch the eye of any passerby.

Choose Vines

Next, you may want to throw in some vining plants. The classic trumpet vine is as tough as nails and fast-growing. Plant this vine near a trellis, fence or any vertical surface, and let it do its thing. Make sure to prune and maintain regularly; otherwise this beauty can be a bit invasive.

Choose Fragrance & Color

For a fragrant eye-catcher, you may want to turn to a classic English lavender. This plant is good for anything from a walkway border to a rock garden. It flowers throughout the end of spring and into summer and has an enchanting fragrance. There are smaller varieties that are good for container planting, as well as larger varieties that can be a beautiful hedge. When you want to add some great evergreen flavor to your garden, you’ll find purple pixie to be an appropriate addition. Purple pixie is great as a dominant ground cover or as an accent in a tall planter. It has spectacular color year-round.

Choose Blankets

Blanket flowers are a great choice for perennial color, and they attract butterflies to your garden. They also happen to be an incredibly hearty grower and resist rabbits and deer. They also come in a number of different colors, from bright yellow, gold and red hues. A classic friend to any garden.

With this list of hearty, brilliant and fragrant plants, your garden will be the talk of the town. You’ll have beautiful flowers, enchanting smells and spectacular evergreens all around.


A home appraisal often helps a property seller determine how to price his or her residence. As such, an appraisal is important. And with a great appraisal, a seller may boost the likelihood of earning top dollar for his or her house.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to trust the final results of a house appraisal, and these reasons include:

1. A home appraisal is conducted by a property expert.

An expert home appraiser will allocate significant time and resources to complete his or her report. This professional also will perform a home analysis as part of his or her assessment. That way, a home appraiser can provide an accurate property valuation.

As you consider home appraisers, you may want to search for professionals with comprehensive experience. By doing so, you can find a home appraiser who knows the ins and outs of evaluating properties.

2. A home appraisal is based on your home's condition and real estate market data.

Although many home sellers believe an appraisal's property valuation is based solely on the age and condition of a house, other factors come into play. In fact, a home appraiser generally evaluates the current state of the housing market, the prices of comparable houses that recently sold and other real estate market data to determine the optimal property valuation.

Of course, it typically is a good idea to perform myriad property upgrades before an appraisal is completed. This may help you improve your chances of receiving the best-possible property valuation.

3. A home appraisal provides home selling insights you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.

A home seller won't have to wait too long to receive an appraisal report, as a home appraiser usually can provide this report over the course of a few days. Meanwhile, the report includes a property valuation and other home insights that a seller may be unable to obtain elsewhere. And as a result, the report may prove to be exceedingly valuable, particularly for a seller who wants to maximize the value of his or her house.

When it comes to conducting a home appraisal, you may want to consult with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can explain how a home appraisal works and answer any concerns or questions that you may have. Plus, a real estate agent may be able to put you in touch with the top-rated home appraisers in your city or town.

Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent can provide throughout the house selling journey, either. A real estate agent will help you list your home and promote it to prospective buyers. And if you receive an offer to purchase your residence, a real estate agent can offer a recommendation about how to proceed with this homebuying proposal.

Ready to add your residence to the real estate market? Perform a house appraisal, and you can move one step closer to establishing a competitive initial asking price for your home.


Ready to embark on a new adventure? List your house, and you may reap the benefits of your decision for years to come.

Ultimately, there are many reasons why you should consider kicking off the home selling journey today, and these include:

1. You could profit from a home sale.

Diligent home sellers generally have no problem showcasing their properties to dozens of prospective buyers and generating significant profits. If you know how to effectively promote your residence to property buyers, you could enjoy substantial profits from your home sale.

Oftentimes, it helps to bolster a house's curb appeal prior to adding a residence to the real estate market. A home only gets one chance to make a positive first impression on buyers. And if your residence boasts a dazzling front lawn, pristine siding and other stunning exterior features, it may be better equipped than other properties to stir up interest from buyers.

You may want to get your house appraised too. This ensures you can get a property valuation from a home appraiser and establish a competitive initial asking price for your residence.

2. You can upgrade or downsize.

Although your present home may have suited you perfectly when you initially bought it, now may be a good time for a change. Fortunately, you can upgrade or downsize as needed if you sell your home.

Think about your current living situation and future plans. Then, you can simultaneously list your residence and search for a new house that matches your criteria. And once you finalize your home sale, you can seamlessly relocate to a new address.

3. You can live closer to family members and friends.

If you enjoy spending time with family members and friends, you may want to find a house that is close to these loved ones. Meanwhile, if you currently are forced to deal with a long commute to visit loved ones, listing your house may help you take the first step to live near family members and friends.

When it comes to finding a house near loved ones, it may be beneficial to hire a real estate agent as well. A real estate agent can help you list your current residence and search for a new home close to family members and friends. That way, you can get the support you need to accomplish your desired goals.

During the home selling process, a real estate agent will showcase your residence to potential buyers and negotiate with a buyer's agent on your behalf. He or she also will respond to any concerns or questions that you may have throughout the house selling journey.

Furthermore, if you need to find a new home once you sell your current residence, a real estate agent is happy to assist you. This housing market professional can keep you up to date about available properties in your preferred cities and towns and help you find your dream residence.

Hire a real estate agent today, and you can receive expert guidance any time you want to sell or buy a house.


Buying a new home can be an exciting but anxiety-inducing experience. With so many things to consider, it can be difficult to keep track of the things that matter most to you.

This process is complicated further when you discover a second or third home that you like as much as the first and you’re trying to decide which one to make an offer on.

In today’s post, we’re going to talk about how you can effectively compare houses to ensure that you’re making the most sensible, long-term decision for you and your family.

It’s all about the spreadsheet

Today, our method isn’t going to rely on any fancy new apps or paid tools. Everything you need to accomplish your spreadsheet is a tool like Google Sheets (it’s like a free version of Excel) or a simple pencil and notebook.

The columns of your spreadsheet will be made up of the factors that will influence your decision. This will include the obvious details like the cost and square footage of the home, but also finer details like its proximity to key places in your life.

The rows of your spreadsheet will be the properties you’re comparing. Now, it may be tempting to start listing every house on your radar in the columns of your spreadsheet. However, I think it’s more time-effective to only include the homes that you’re likely to make an offer on. This means doing some hard thinking and having a conversation with your family about your realistic goals for buying a home.

What is most important to you in a home and neighborhood?

Let’s turn our attention back to the top row of your spreadsheet. We want to fill that section with around 10 factors that are most important to you in a home and the location the home will be in.

In this section, you can include the estimated cost of the home and the estimated monthly expenses for owning that home (utilities, taxes, etc.).

Here’s the secret weapon of our spreadsheet, however. Rather than listing the actual cost of the home in this row, we’re going to give it a rank of 1 to 5. A score of 1 means the house is a lot more expensive than you want. A score of 5 means the house is the ideal cost. A 3 would be somewhere in the middle.

We’re going to use this 1 to 5 ranking system for all other factors on our spreadsheet as well.

Next to these costs, you’ll want to add other important factors to your home buying decision. Does it have the number of rooms you’re looking for? If a backyard is important to you, does it provide for that need?

In terms of upgrades, how much work will you have to do on the home to make it something you’re satisfied with? For DIY-minded people with time to spare, home improvement might be a welcome concept. For others, it simply would take too much time to accomplish everything you want. So, when you fill out the “Upgrades” column of your spreadsheet, make sure you determine a system for ranking the homes that suits your needs.

House location shouldn’t be overlooked

It’s a sad truth, but in today’s busy world, the average homeowner spends most of their time away from home, whether they’re at work, commuting, or bring their kids to and from after school activities.

You’ll want at least one column on your spreadsheet to be devoted to location. When ranking the location of a home, consider things like commuting time, distance to schools, hospitals, parks, and grocery stores. All of these things will have a larger impact on your day-to-day life than small details of the house itself.

Ranking the homes

Now that you have the first row and column of your spreadsheet built, it’s time to fill in the details and tally up the totals. These numbers will help inform your decision as to which house is really right for you.




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