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


One very important, yet often overlooked aspect of setting up a home is that of lighting. We often take lighting for granted. We turn on a light in order to see something better, but there’s so much more to a well-lit room than placing a light anywhere in the space. Lighting should be done in layers. These layers include:


  • Ambient lighting
  • Accent lighting
  • Task lighting
  • Decorative lighting


For well-balanced lighting in a room, you should mix and match the types of lighting from these layers. Let’s break down the different layers of lighting:


Ambient


This kind of lighting includes natural light sources such as windows and doors. Ambient lighting would also include pendant lighting and overhead light fixtures like a combination light/ ceiling fan.


Task


Task lighting is exactly as the name denotes. You use this type of lighting when you want to complete some kind of task. These fixtures could include under the counter lighting, desk lamps, and reading lamps. 


Accent 


Accent lighting provides additional brightness to a room. These fixtures include adjustable lights and recessed lighting features. 


Decorative


Decorative lighting accents a room in a different way. These types of fixtures would be something like chandeliers, different colored light bulbs, and other lights that can be used for decoration.      


Highlights


The great thing about the right kind of lighting is that it will feature the best parts of a room. Do you have a painting that you love? Use lighting to bring it out. Is there a statue that you want to make stand out? Use a soft spotlight. You can even highlight your crown molding and ceiling features with some mounted sconces or rope lights along the edge of your ceiling for an added effect. 


Spread It Out


One of the worst mistakes that people make when lighting a room is forgetting to spread out their light sources. All of the light in the room is concentrated in one spot, leaving dark patches in the space. This can be a decorator’s nightmare. This is why the layering method works so well. The lighting is spread out around the room and even. There won’t be any spots in the room where the lighting is overwhelming or on the flip side, not enough.


Use Your Windows


One of the other big mistakes in lighting is that people often forget to make use of the natural daylight. While you may need some lighting in a room that’s used often at night, there should be some great resources coming from right outside your windows. Don’t block this light! Use creative ways to direct the light accordingly like curtains and blinds. Don’t be afraid to leave some window space open as well to let the light shine in. While you don’t want to sacrifice your privacy, you do not want to live with your windows darkened all day, every day!


Moving is an exciting time. Whether you’re moving across town, state or country you get to create a clean slate to build your home and life upon. But for children, this can be a confusing and scary time. Routine and familiarity are comforting for children and a move shakes up the very foundation they are used to.

But you don’t have to leave your child in the dark. There are several things you can do to help better prepare your child for the big move. By taking the time to spend with your child discussing the changes ahead. As you start house hunting and throughout the moving process involve your child where possible.

Keep an open dialogue with your child. Ask them what they are excited for and what their fears may be. Collect books either from the library or for your family bookshelf on stories about moving. Reading stories helps children process their feelings and become more familiar with the process. Using storytime is a great way to create a natural conversation about moving with your child.

If possible bring your child to walk or ride their bike around the new neighborhood. Take note of any parks, playgrounds or schools in the area your child may be interested in. If they have a hobby such as dance or soccer look up information about the classes and teams. Talk about the similarities and differences they will experience.

Take the time to research information about the new school they will be attending. What will be the same? What will be different? Ask if your child has any specific questions for you to seek out answers while you do your research to help ease them into the transition. 

Assure your child they will be able to stay in touch with friends and family. Collect contact information from their friends as well as the form of communication their parents are comfortable with. Offer options like sending letters, scheduling video chats and visiting the area. 

Even if you’re child is especially excited about the move it’s a good idea to keep things as similar as possible. Refrain from changing out furniture and bedding right away. And if possible maintain your usual schedule throughout the days and weeks ahead. Sticking to a familiar routine will be soothing for your child as they transition to their new environment.

Moving is a big change for children and often their first major life transition. And while they may feel confused or scared you can ensure they feel understood. By keeping an open conversation with them throughout the process you can cater to bother their excitement and fears. A new home can create both a clean slate and more importantly an opportunity to bring your family even closer together.


Purchasing a house should be an unforgettable journey for all the right reasons. However, problems sometimes may arise that can make it tough to enjoy a positive homebuying experience.

Whether it's struggling to know where to search for your dream home or getting the financing you need to purchase a house, myriad problems may prevent you from enjoying a positive homebuying experience. Lucky for you, we're here to help you identify potential homebuying hurdles and eliminate such problems before they escalate.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you reap the benefits of a positive homebuying experience.

1. Enter the Housing Market with Clear Expectations

If you know you want to purchase a house, it helps to enter the real estate market with clear expectations. That way, you'll be better equipped than ever before to streamline your house search.

Consider what you want to find in your dream house. For example, if you want to own a house near the beach, you should conduct your home search accordingly. Or, if you want to buy a home with a big backyard and outdoor swimming pool, you can hone your home search as needed.

Think about areas where you want to reside too. By doing so, you can focus on available homes in specific cities and towns.

2. Know Your Homebuying Budget

Get pre-approved for a mortgage – you'll be glad you did. Because if you have a mortgage at your disposal, you can pursue houses in a specific price range and speed up your home search.

Obtaining a mortgage can be simple. In fact, if you meet with a variety of banks and credit unions, you may be able to get a mortgage in no time at all.

Remember, banks and credit unions employ knowledgeable mortgage specialists who are happy to assist you in any way possible. If you have any mortgage questions, these specialists can respond to your queries. And as a result, you can gain the insights you need to get a mortgage that matches your finances.

3. Employ a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a difference-maker, particularly for a homebuyer who wants to seamlessly navigate the property buying journey. With a real estate agent at your side, you can achieve the best-possible results, regardless of where and when you're searching for a home.

Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you, learn about your homebuying expectations and help you map out a property buying strategy. This housing market professional can offer expert insights into the local real estate market and ensure you can pursue houses that match your expectations. Plus, a real estate agent will set up home showings, help you submit an offer to purchase your dream house and negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf. And if you ever have concerns during the homebuying journey, a real estate agent will address them immediately.

Ready to enjoy a positive homebuying experience? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can quickly and effortlessly navigate the homebuying journey.


You might believe that your house is real estate market-ready. However, if you fail to allocate the necessary time and resources to boost your house's curb appeal, you may miss out on opportunities to showcase the true beauty of your residence to potential buyers.

Fortunately, there are many proven ways to enhance your house's curb appeal, and these include:

1. Perform Home Exterior Maintenance

Consider the homebuyer's perspective as you assess your residence's exterior – you'll be glad you did. Because if you approach your residence like a homebuyer would, you may be able to identify "hidden" problem areas faster than ever before.

For example, if you notice damaged home siding or a messy front lawn, you should perform assorted home exterior maintenance and repairs. This will enable you to eliminate any home exterior eyesores before you list your residence.

2. Conduct a Property Inspection

If you want to go above and beyond the call of duty to assess your home exterior, you should conduct a property inspection. That way, you can work with a house expert to detect and resolve any home exterior issues.

During a property inspection, a home expert will evaluate your residence both inside and out. Then, the home expert will provide a report that outlines his or her inspection findings.

Review the results of a property inspection closely. The inspection report likely will contain valuable insights that you can use to prioritize myriad home exterior upgrades. And if you complete these upgrades, you may be able to transform an ordinary home exterior into a stunning one.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

The real estate market can be difficult to navigate, particularly for a seller who wants to improve a house's exterior as quickly as possible. Luckily, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals can make it simple to find ways to enhance your residence's exterior.

A real estate agent is happy to provide recommendations about how you can upgrade your residence's exterior without breaking your budget. Thus, this housing market professional can help you get the best possible results from any home exterior improvement projects.

Of course, let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent can provide throughout the home selling journey, either.

A real estate agent will help you list your residence and promote it to potential buyers. He or she will even review offers on your house and negotiate with a buyer's agent on your behalf. With all of this support, a real estate agent will make it easy for you to maximize your home sale earnings.

If you're unsure about how to improve your home's curb appeal or perform various home selling tasks, you should hire a real estate agent. By employing a top-notch real estate agent, you can speed up the home selling process and increase the likelihood of a profitable home sale.


A condo can be a great resource in expanding your property search for a home. Condos allow the same benefits of traditional single family home ownership with slightly less hassle. If you have been juggling the idea of buying a condo versus a traditional home, you may be in luck. The first thing you should worry about is whether or not your needs will actually be met by condo living. Do you want a big yard? Are you comfortable having neighbors super close by? Most importantly, you need to make an informed decision that will help you to find the kind of property that’s right for you.


The Advantages


If you want a secure space and living that provides you with easy upkeep, a condo is really a great option. Condos provide many advantages that people may have not even thought of until now. 


Great Amenities


Condo living has different perks than that of traditional homes. Your condominium complex can include things like a swimming pool, a clubhouse, community events, tennis courts, fitness centers, and more. You won’t get all of these little extras living in a single family home. It can be a great environment for both single people and families alike.    


Security


Condos often offer either a gated community or security staff on the premises. These features allow you to feel a lot more secure in your home environment. Security will keep rowdy kids from roaming the property and only allow owners and their visitors. This feature alone may be worth it for many home buyers when shopping for a place to live.   


No Maintenance


If you’re the type of person who doesn’t enjoy yard work and is not a DIYer, condo living could be for you. Included with your condo fees is the ability to have different things in and around your home taken care of. Although the fees include different extras from place to place, Living in a condo is definitely less work as far as home care goes than a traditional house.


Price


Although condos do include additional fees, the price point of most condos is much lower than that of a traditional home. If you are just starting out, a condo is a great way to ease into homeownership without needing to save up an exorbitant amount of money for a downpayment.


The Disadvantages


While condo living has many different advantages, they do carry some disadvantages for people. These include:


  • HOA Fees
  • Lack of privacy
  • A difficult sell if you want to move
  • You live under management rules



These points can be deal breakers for some buyers. While many relish their freedom from maintenance responsibility, others just want to do as they please with their yard without needing approval. A condo could be a great choice for you in your own situation, you just need to step back and look at the pros and cons.




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