Karen Majalian | Brookline Real Estate, Boston Real Estate, Newton Real Estate


Honesty is the best policy when you’re selling your home. There can be messy legal consequences when it comes to not disclosing problems contained within your home. If you’re unsure if you should disclose something, you probably should reveal it. Legally, here’s what you’ll need to be concerned about in your home as a seller:


A Death On The Property


Some would refer to these as “emotional defects.” A murder, suicide or violent crime occurred on the property most likely needs to be disclosed. If a death is more than 3 years old, it may not need to be discussed. If a buyer asks about it however, even crimes that occurred on the property more than 3 years ago must be exposed. 


The Use Of Lead Paint 


This is a must when it comes to seller disclosures. Any homes built before 1978 must have a lead paint disclosure signed. This is a federal law that applies to every state. Even if lead paint has been removed, the former presence of it must be revealed. If you are completely unaware of lead paint issues, you aren’t legally required to provide the information. In this area, it’s best to be honest.   


Got Ghosts? 


There truly is no disclosure too big or too small when it comes to selling your home. You may not think of paranormal activity as something you must reveal, but everything is important. If you believe your house is haunted or if an exorcism has been done to the home, buyers should know about it. Many states have laws that include the obligation to disclose all known facts about a home. Even if you think it’s a silly issue, it could be important to discuss with potential buyers.


Property Drainage Issues 


If your basement gets flooded or your backyard gets standing water, you need to expose that in the disclosure. Even if you believe an issue has been fixed, adding what has been done to documents can help to save you legal trouble later on. If you believe an issue has been resolved, at least the buyer has the information on hand as to what they might expect.


Unwanted Houseguests


Sellers are required by law to disclose any pest issue or infestation. Any types of creatures that have been found in the home like bedbugs, snakes, mice, or bats are an issue that must be shown on the disclosure. Even if the building has had the pests but you have not personally seen them, it’s a good idea to tell buyers about it to cover yourself.


Disputes With Neighbors


It’s wise to disclose neighborly disputes with potential buyers. This is especially true if it involves your property lines and fences. Even small issues can become big ones, so it’s always best to reveal them upfront.     


We may drool over homes that we see on TV, wondering if we could ever have a home that measures up. The truth is that anyone can have the benefits of luxury living with the right adjustments made to a property. We’ll take a look at some of the most prominent features of luxury homes and how you can have them in your own home- all at a less-than-luxury price. 


Open Floor Plans


Homes with grand entryways, and elaborate architecture present as you enter tend to be a sign of luxury. However, the open floor plan is the most important part of a luxury home. This gives the feeling of open spaces, large rooms, and an airy feeling. Why wouldn’t you want to feel this way? Everyone can afford to make their home a bit more open simply by removing furniture or doing some simple remodeling.


Smart Homes Rule


A sign of a luxury home that’s actually readily accessible to everyone is that of a smart home. The more technology that’s present in the home, the more luxurious a home feels. Homeowners want every piece if technology that they can get their hands on when it comes to smart living. With the touch of a button, you can lock your doors, control the alarm system, or control your home’s climate. You don’t even have to be anywhere near your home to perform these operations. Installing wireless technologies is a great idea because they provide ease and a sense of security for homeowners. 


Be Environmentally Friendly 


If you decide to install some solar panels or build an addition to the home with reclaimed materials that could be very attractive to homebuyers. People are looking for ways to contribute to a better environment and save money at the same time. Environmentally friendly features in a home are very attractive to buyers. and provide a sense of luxury.


Outdoor Kitchen And Seating


An outdoor kitchen is truly a luxury item. People who are looking for a bit of luxury in their life look for a great outdoor living space. The kitchen should include a built-in grill, a sink, and a food prep area. You should also have adequate seating for this outdoor area. If you’re unable to install an entire kitchen, consider possibly installing just a built-in grill on its own. If you have the budget and the room, consider putting in a hot tub for the ultimate backyard of luxury. 


Game And Theater Rooms


If you have a room of the house that can be used as a home theater or a game room, you have a golden piece of luxury that many people crave. Separate entertainment spaces are really an item that not many homes have. If you can finish your basement and transform it into either a home theater, game room, or both, your property has a piece of luxury with it.  


If you want to sneak a peek into the lives of the rich and famous, now you can. Many prominent features of luxury homes are accessible to everyone with a bit of planning.


Ready to launch a search for your dream home? Ultimately, you'll want to do everything possible to streamline your home search to boost your chances of getting the best possible results.

There are many best practices for conducting a successful home search, and these include:

1. Define Your Homebuying Criteria

The definition of the "perfect" home varies from property buyer to property buyer. This means that your definition of the perfect home is unlikely to match that of a friend or family member.

Think about what separates an ordinary home from a can't-miss residence. Then, you'll be able to narrow your home search and map out a successful homebuying journey.

As you consider the perfect home, make a list of homebuying "must-haves." For example, if you want a garage where you and your wife can park your cars, a two-car garage is a homebuying must-have. Or, if you want a home that's close to high-quality schools that your kids can attend, buying a house in a great school district is a must.

2. Get Home Financing

Although your ultimate goal is to acquire a top-notch residence, you'll likely need financing to help you transform your homebuying dream into a reality. Fortunately, many banks and credit unions are available to teach you about a wide range of mortgage options.

Meet with several banks and credit unions – you'll be glad you did. These lenders can educate you about the different types of home loans and help you get pre-approved for a mortgage.

After you receive pre-approval for a mortgage, you're good to kick off your home search. In fact, with a mortgage in hand, you can tailor your search to homes that fall within a specific price range.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

Regardless of your homebuying goals, it pays to work with a real estate agent. That way, you can receive expert assistance as you search for houses in various cities and towns.

A real estate agent is happy to teach you the ins and outs of purchasing a house. By doing so, this housing market professional can help you become a real estate expert in no time at all.

Furthermore, a real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you up to date about new houses that become available and help you submit home offers. This housing market professional is committed to your homebuying success and will do whatever it takes to assist you along the homebuying journey.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is available to respond to any homebuying questions that you may have. No homebuying question is ever too big or too small for a real estate agent, and as a result, this housing market professional will make it simple for you to make an informed homebuying decision.

Launch a successful home search today – use the aforementioned best practices, and you can increase the likelihood of discovering your dream home.


There’s few things in life that are more exciting than closing on your first house. All of the money that you saved and the paperwork that you have filled out has finally come together so that you can now say you’re a proud homeowner. 


Before you start planning your housewarming party, there’s a few things that you need to do with your new home and its contents.


Copy The Closing Paperwork


Undoubtedly, there were dozens of pieces of paper that were handed to you during the closing on your new home. You should have an extra copy of everything that was signed. While the local registrar of deeds probably has a copy of everything filed there as well, it’s always a good idea to have extra copies of these papers.


Lock The Doors With New Keys


You’ll need to change the locks when you move into a new home as soon as possible. Many different people had the keys to the home while it was still on the market. Also, before the home was even put up for sale, family members could have passed sets of keys amongst family and friends. The lock category also includes securing sliding doors, electrical boxes, and windows accordingly. 


Put Your Name On It


You’ll need to place your name on a variety of things including your mailbox, the trashcans, the buzzer, and anything else that is property of you and your new home. If it won’t pose a privacy issue for you, it’s better to claim what’s rightfully yours early on to ease confusion. 



Put Up Curtains Or Cover The Windows


There’s probably 1,000 other things that you would rather do when you move into a new home than put up some curtains. Yet, this is so important to your privacy. Without curtains or window treatments, all of your home and its contents are exposed for the outside world to see. Until you have a chance to settle in, you can even use boxes or towels to cover the windows. This is used initially for a security measure to deter thieves and nosy neighbors.


Meet The New Neighbors


It‘s a good idea to know who is living around you. For one, you’ll be aware of any suspicious activity that’s happening in case you see strange people hanging around the area. It’s good to know who you live next to and what you might have in common with them. At the very least, you’ll have a new friend. They might even water your plants while you’re away on your next vacation. 


Don’t forget to change your addresses as well. That’s always one of the biggest hassles about moving. Take the right measures for safety and comfort when you move into your new home for a smooth transition


Moving to a new home can be both exciting and stressful -- especially if pets and young children are involved!

Fortunately, there are plenty of strategies for avoiding frayed nerves and keeping problems to a minimum.

Cultivate a Positive Mindset: Making a conscious decision to remain cool, calm, and collected throughout your move will set the stage for a more relaxed experience for everyone. Since stress and irritability can quickly spread from one family member to another, it's up to the parents to set a positive example for the kids. When you resolve to be patient and optimistic about how things are progressing, you'll tend to be more resourceful, encouraging, and solution oriented.

Be organized: Creating a priority list of tasks that need to be completed by a target date is an excellent strategy for staying focused and on schedule. There are a lot of details to attend to when you're moving, so it's usually necessary to have a written plan and a checklist of things to remember.

Here are three ideas to consider for avoiding confusion at your new home: Clearly label all boxes; make sure that screws and other fasteners for dissembled furniture are stored in an easy-to-find clear bag or container, and take a photo (for easy reference) of cable and Internet connections before disconnecting your TV, sound system, and computer equipment. That way, when everything needs to be reassembled and reconnected at your new home, the process will go much more smootly!

Some people tend to just throw odds and ends into boxes, hoping that all the "pieces of the puzzle" will somehow magically fall into place at their new home. Unfortunately, when you pack your belongings in a haphazard manner, frustration is always the end result.

If you really want to be super-organized, consider drawing a "furniture map" of each major room. That way, you can give copies of the plan to the movers and hopefully streamline the furniture setup phase at your new home. Another efficiency tip is to color-code your boxes to help make sure the right moving boxes end up in the correct rooms.

First-Day Survival kit: Since it's highly unlikely that you'll unpack all your belongings and supplies on the first day, it's always a good idea to pack toiletries, medications, a first aid kit, and cleaning supplies in an easy-to-reach place. Other things you might want to have handy in the car for the first day at your new home would be a vacuum cleaner, pet food, dog leashes, toys for the kids, stuffed animals, games, healthy snacks, and cold beverages.

Miscellaneous Priorities: Digital photographs and computer files can be securely stored on a portable hard drive or a free cloud storage service available through Google or Dropbox. As far as small valuables, such as laptops, jewelry, mobile devices, and important documents, it's generally recommended that you transport those items with you in your car -- preferably in a clearly marked box.




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