Bill Aibel | Cambridge Real Estate, Somerville Real Estate, Boston Real Estate, Newton Real Estate


Buying a home is a very detail-oriented process, and there's a lot of important things you can overlook if you're not organized.

Home buyers generally have the opportunity to do a last-minute inspection of the premises to make sure everything's up to standards prior to closing on the property.

A real estate buyer's agent can accompany you on the final inspection or provide you with advice on what to look for.

If you've already visited the home a couple times and had the house professionally inspected, you're probably well-acquainted with any major malfunctions, flaws, or repair issues. In many cases, home buyers may reach an agreement with the seller to fix, replace, or make allowances for mechanical or cosmetic problems. While real estate negotiations and sales agreements are as varied as the people and properties involved, there are typically dozens of things buyers need to check on before they sign the final documents and accept ownership of the property.

Final Walkthrough Tips

As you're doing the final walk-through of the house, it's necessary to remember or have notes on the condition of the home when you last looked at it. You'll also want to have a clear idea of what appliances, fixtures, and window treatments are supposed to be remain in the house after it's been vacated by the seller. Depending on how close your final walk-through is to the actual closing, that has probably already happened.

If there's anything missing that the seller agreed to include in the sale, then that's an issue you'll want to discuss with your real estate agent or attorney. Any property damage that may have resulted from moving furniture and other belongings should also be discussed before final papers are signed. The same thing would apply to landscaping changes that appear to be inconsistent with the sales agreement. Your buyer's agent and/or lawyer can serve as intermediary in getting these issues clarified and ironed out.

To make sure your final inspection is thorough, it's a good idea to have a "final walk-through checklist" to help keep you organized and focused. You'll want to take a last-minute inventory of items that are supposed to be included with the property sale, such as appliances, lighting fixtures, furnishings, window treatments, children's play structures, hot tubs, and anything else that was agreed to in the sales contract.

Other items you'll need access to may include garage door openers, manuals for appliances and mechanical systems, warranties, invoices for repairs made, and remote control devices for things like ceiling fans, alarms, and other systems.

Your checklist and final walkthrough should focus on a variety of items, including the working condition of appliances, the electrical system, plumbing fixtures, and the condition of walls, floors, ceilings, doors, windows, and landscaping features. For a complete checklist, look online or consult your real estate agent.


Deciding whether to set up a home showing sometimes can be a tough decision. Yet a home showing can make a world of difference for a buyer as he or she searches for the ideal residence.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to schedule a home showing, and these include:

1. You can look beyond a home listing.

A home listing generally offers details about a house's age and features, as well as photographs of different areas of a residence. But a home listing can only provide so much information. Fortunately, a home showing enables you to assess a house in person and decide whether a residence is right for you.

During a house showing, you can walk around a residence and view each room. If you want to further pursue a residence after a showing, you can submit an offer to purchase. Or, if you find a house fails to match your expectations, you can always continue your search for your dream home.

2. You can gain comprehensive insights into a house's condition.

When it comes to evaluating a house's condition, it typically is a good idea to attend a showing. That way, you can get an up-close look at a home's condition and determine whether a residence needs major or minor repairs.

A home showing enables you to analyze a residence both inside and out. After a showing is complete, you can decide whether you are satisfied with the condition of a home and map out your homebuying journey accordingly.

3. You can imagine what it would be like if you purchase a home.

A home showing makes it easy to envision what life may be like if you purchase a particular house. As such, a showing may prove to be crucial as you pursue your dream residence.

If you feel good about a house following a showing, you should not hesitate to submit a competitive homebuying proposal. Conversely, if you feel uncomfortable with a residence, you may want to pursue other options.

Of course, hiring a real estate agent may be exceedingly valuable as you search for your ideal house. A real estate agent can schedule home showings at your convenience and provide plenty of tips to help you pursue residences in any housing market. By doing so, a real estate agent will empower you with the insights you need to make an informed decision about a house.

Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent will provide after you find your dream house, either. At this point, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive offer to acquire your ideal residence. And if you have any concerns or questions as you move along the homebuying journey, a real estate agent is happy to respond to them.

Ready to find your dream residence? Schedule a home showing, and you take the next step to acquire your ideal house.


Ready to pack your clothing for moving day? Ultimately, packing apparel and accessories can be a hassle, particularly for those who have only a limited amount of time to prepare for a move. Lucky for you, we're here to help streamline the process of getting your clothing ready for moving day.

Now, let's take a look at three tips for packing clothing before moving day arrives.

1. Sort Through Your Clothing

Take a look inside your closet and sort through your apparel and accessories – you'll be glad you did. If you organize your clothing today, you may be able to save time down the line.

Determine which clothing you plan to keep and which no longer suits your style. Then, you can eliminate assorted apparel and accessories from your wardrobe.

With excess clothes that are in good condition, you may be able to sell or donate these items. Before you do so, however, you should make sure that all of your clothing is clean.

If you find clothes that are ripped or torn, there is no need to bring them to your new address. Instead, dispose of any damaged clothes, and you can avoid the hassle of transporting these items from Point A to Point B.

2. Group Your Clothing

Group your clothing, and you can organize your apparel and accessories and speed up the process of unpacking your clothing once you reach your new address.

There are many ways that you can group apparel and accessories. Some people choose to group clothing by season. Or, you may want to group your clothing by material or purpose.

Regardless of how you group your clothes, you'll want to label moving boxes that contain clothing accordingly. This will ensure that you can instantly locate your clothing after your move and start unpacking your apparel and accessories right away.

3. Consider What You'll Wear on Moving Day

Although you'll want to pack as much as possible prior to moving day, you should put aside clothing that you intend to wear on moving day.

It often pays to pack clothing as close to moving day as you can. That way, you can keep a close eye on the weather forecast and ensure you can put aside appropriate apparel and accessories for moving day.

Furthermore, if you're moving in summertime, you may want to set aside a pair of sunglasses and hat for maximum sun protection. On the other hand, you may want to keep a pair of winter gloves and other seasonal accessories on hand if you're preparing for a winter move.

If you need extra help getting ready for moving day, you may want to consult with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can offer honest, unbiased recommendations to help you prepare your clothing and other belongings for your upcoming move.

Use the aforementioned moving tips, and you should have no trouble packing all of your clothing prior to moving day.


As a home seller, you'll want to do whatever you can to prepare your residence for an open house. By doing so, you can transform your ordinary home into an exceptional one, thereby increasing the likelihood of making an unforgettable first impression on large groups of open house guests.

What does it take to get a residence ready for an open house? Here are three tips to help you update your home, and ultimately, host a memorable open house.

1. Declutter Your Home as Much as Possible

If your hallways, bedrooms and other home areas are loaded with clutter, now is the perfect time to get rid of various unnecessary items. That way, you can show off the true size and beauty of your living space.

For those who have antiques, photographs and other items they want to keep, it may be worthwhile to rent a storage unit. Or, friends and family members may be able to hold on to some of your belongings until you sell your house.

On the other hand, if there are items you need to eliminate immediately, you can always host a yard sale or list items online. You may be able to donate items that are in good condition to local charities as well.

2. Perform Home Exterior Maintenance

Let's face it – no one wants to buy a home with a messy front lawn or cracked siding. However, a home seller who allocates the necessary time and resources to identify home exterior issues can resolve such problems without delay.

Spend some time evaluating your house's exterior – you'll be glad you did. With a close look at your home's exterior, you can establish home maintenance priorities.

Then, get to work. Perform all necessary home exterior repairs, and you can boost your home's chances of making a positive first impression on homebuyers who visit during an open house.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to preparing for an open house, there's a lot to consider. Fortunately, a real estate agent can help you keep things in perspective and ensure your open house is an instant success.

A real estate agent will teach you everything you need to know about an open house. He or she will offer expert tips to help you get your residence ready for an open house, along with provide insights into what you should expect following the event's completion.

Of course, a real estate agent is happy to help you at each stage of the home selling journey too. This housing market professional will do whatever it takes to help you list a home, price it accordingly and promote it to the right groups of homebuyers consistently.

Make your open house a joyous occasion for both you and potential homebuyers. Use the aforementioned tips, and a home seller can revamp a house's interior and exterior and ensure a residence makes a long-lasting impression on homebuyers.


Image by Kirk Fisher from Pixabay

Buying a home in a neighborhood with a Home Owner’s Association (HOA) works well for some families, while others find the HOA to be burdensome or intrusive. Learning more about what an HOA is, how it works and what to expect can help you determine if your next home should be in a neighborhood with a homeowner’s association.

What Is a Homeowners Association?

When builders or developers create planned communities with ameneties, they often also create a homeowners association to help manage the shared areas of the property when the building is complete. The homeowner’s association has some powers over the people who live in the neighborhood and is also responsible for maintaining the look and integrity of the community. Anyone owning a home in the community must also pay HOA fees for the services rendered. Dues can be paid monthly quarterly or annually and are determined by the association itself and its bylaws.

If you buy a home in a neighborhood with an HOA it is important to discover what rules are in place and what expectations the HOA has of residents. Some are far more involved and assertive than others, with rules for trashcan placement, yard maintenance and even parking. You should know what amenities you’ll have access to when you join the community and how your fees will be spent.

Since HOA fees are an added expense, they’ll also be considered when you apply for a mortgage, so be sure to factor them in when you work out what you can afford.

Benefits of Living in a Homeowner’s Association Community

Communities that have an HOA in place are generally well maintained; the HOA is responsible for caring for public areas, landscaping, sidewalks and some roadways. You won’t have to worry about living in a messy or unsightly neighborhood when an HOA is in place.

A pool you don’t have to care for, tennis courts to use on demand and even a clubhouse for parties and get togethers are big draws for some homeowners, if these things matter to you, you’ll enjoy this type of community.

A community with an active and healthy HOA will likely have groups and social gatherings. In some HOA groups, clubs, celebrations and welcomes for new members are scheduled throughout the year. If you want a close knit, involved community, then the right type of HOA may serve your needs well.

Drawbacks of Living in a Homeowner’s Association Community

The biggest drawback of living in an HOA community is having to cope with rules that you don’t agree with or that put a burden on your family.

For many homeowners, the HOA determines what colors a home can be, how often the lawn should be mowed and even what holiday decorations are acceptable. If you prefer making these decisions for yourself, you may not enjoy an HOA neighborhood.

You may not be able to make some improvements to your home; your HOA will determine if you can create an addition, add a fence (and will specify what kind of fence you can have) or even rent out your property. Homeowners who might want to expand their home, renovate or even have kids or get a dog may find that the rules for fencing and building are too stringent.

In some cases, an HOA has the power to levy annual fees or costs for construction projects and bill homeowners for the work. In some communities, this can run into the thousands of dollars per home. You should be aware of this possibility and determine if the HOA has to power to charge members for capital improvements before you buy.

Is an HOA Community Right for You? 

If amenities and low care public areas matter to you and you don’t have plans for ambitious renovations or home changes, then an HOA neighborhood could suit your needs. If you generally dislike having rules imposed on things you own or feel uncomfortable having to request permission to make changes, the HOA may be more of a burden.

Review the rules and bylaws of any HOA you are considering buying into to be sure you fully understand what to expect before you make a purchase. You’ll be able to enjoy the neighborhood without any unwelcome surprises or costs when you know what to expect.