Joseph Duggan | Malden Real Estate, Medford Real Estate, Melrose Real Estate





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4 Improvements That Increase the Value of Your Home

Home improvement projects add useability, beauty and convenience to your house, and those characteristics make the house more desirable to potential buyers. If you’re considering a home improvement project, here are four that will increase the value of your home.

1. An Addition Increases Square Footage

One of the most impactful home improvements you can make is putting on an addition. Whether a family room, bedroom or home office, an addition adds useable square footage to your house -- and extra space is something that every prospective homebuyer can appreciate. 

While not a perfect measure because value varies with the type of room, you can roughly estimate how much value an addition would have by multiplying the average sale price per square foot in your neighborhood by how many square feet an addition is.

2. A Finished Basement Increases Useable Space

A cheaper alternative to installing an addition, finishing a basement is relatively easy and likewise increases useable space. 

Exactly what constitutes a finished basement can vary. You might simply want some shelves, carpeting and a few games, or you may want a full in-law apartment that’s complete with a bathroom and kitchenette. However you finish your home’s basement, though, the project will add value because anything is more useful than undeveloped storage space.

3. A Complete Kitchen Remodel

If you’re tired of cooking in an outdated kitchen, remodeling your kitchen will improve your day-to-day experience and let you recoup some of your investment. You probably won’t get the full cost of a kitchen remodel back when you sell your home, but you can regain most of the improvement’s cost if you’re wise in the changes that you make. Additionally, a remodeled kitchen can help sell your house faster if you’re in a slow real estate market.

4. A Master Bathroom Remodel

A house’s master bathroom is usually one of the three main rooms that potential homebuyers look at (with the kitchen and master bedroom being the other two). Thus, a master bathroom remodel is an improvement project that many will appreciate and be willing to pay for. 

When you remodel a master bathroom, consider what high-end aesthetics and luxury features would add the most perceived value from someone else’s perspective. Then, pick the ones you think will have the biggest benefit and that you personally like.

Ask a Real Estate Agent

For help deciding how to approach any of these home improvement projects, get in touch with one of our real estate agents. We’re professionals who every day see what attracts prospective homebuyers, and we’d be glad to help you design an improvement that will add true value to your home.


As a homebuyer, it is easy to envision finding the perfect house, submitting an offer on it and acquiring it right away. However, it is important for buyers to consider the worst-case scenarios as well.

A buyer who understands the worst-case scenarios that he or she may encounter during the homebuying journey can plan accordingly. That way, this buyer will be better equipped than others to avoid various homebuying worst-case scenarios altogether.

Now, let's take a look at three common homebuying worst-case scenarios, as well as how buyers can avoid these situations.

1. You find your dream home, but it falls outside your price range.

If you enter the housing market without a mortgage in hand, you may need to act quickly to acquire the necessary financing to purchase your dream house. But once you kick off a search for a mortgage, you may find that the cost to acquire your dream home falls outside your budget.

When it comes to getting home financing, it often helps to be proactive. Fortunately, if you meet with banks and credit unions before you launch a home search, you can determine exactly how much money you can spend on a residence.

Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage professionals. With these mortgage experts at your side, you should have no trouble getting pre-approved for a mortgage at your convenience.

2. You discover a wide range of problems during a home inspection.

A home inspection likely will be completed in the days after a seller accepts your offer on a residence. And in some instances, an inspection may force you to reconsider whether you want to purchase a house.

If you encounter problems during a home inspection, you still have lots of options. You can ask a seller to perform assorted home repairs or reduce your offer. Or, you can walk away from a home sale and restart your home search.

For homebuyers who are worried about any problems that they encounter during a home inspection, it is paramount to look closely at all of the aforementioned options. By doing so, you can make an informed decision about whether to proceed with a home purchase or reenter the housing market.

3. You employ a real estate agent who fails to help you achieve your homebuying goals.

Many real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide. But if you fail to conduct an extensive search for the right real estate agent, you may struggle to accomplish your homebuying goals.

When choosing a real estate agent, you should learn about this housing market professional's industry experience. It also helps to meet face-to-face with a real estate agent and discuss your homebuying goals with him or her. This will enable you to determine whether you're comfortable working with a particular real estate agent.

Enjoy a quick, stress-free homebuying experience – consider the aforementioned worst-case homebuying scenarios, and you can minimize the risk of potential pitfalls throughout the homebuying journey.


Want to hire a moving company to help you transport your belongings to your new address? You're in luck, as many world-class moving companies are available in cities and towns nationwide.

Ultimately, there are various factors to consider as you try to differentiate one moving company from another, including:

1. Experience

A top-notch moving company probably will possess many years of experience. As such, this business should have no trouble helping you identify potential moving hurdles and ensuring you can overcome these problems quickly and effortlessly.

If you're uncertain about a moving company's experience, searching the business' website may prove to be an excellent starting point. By reviewing the business' website, you can learn about the company's services and find out how it supports its customers.

Also, feel free to reach out to a moving company if you ever have concerns or questions. This will enable you to receive first-hand insights into the business' experience so you can make an informed decision.

2. Quality of Service

Although every moving company should be able to provide unparalleled customer support, few businesses may go the extra mile to ensure customers are helped at each stage of the moving process.

Try to find a moving company that is dedicated to its clientele – you'll be glad you did. This company should be able to respond to any concerns or questions leading up to moving day. In addition, the company will be able to offer affordable pricing and set realistic expectations about what to expect when moving day arrives.

Keep in mind that a first-rate moving company should be able to provide customer referrals that you can use to determine whether this business is the right choice for your upcoming move.

Ask a moving company for client referrals before you make your final decision. That way, you can reach out to past clients to learn more about the quality of service that a moving company provides.

3. Licensure and Insurance

Find out whether a moving company is licensed and insured. This may require you to allocate substantial time and resources to perform an in-depth search of licensed and insured moving companies in your area, but the benefits of doing so will pay off in the long run.

A licensed and insured moving company will possess the necessary credentials to provide support for an intrastate or interstate move. As a result, this business can safely handle all of your possessions and ensure your items are fully protected from the time they are picked up until the time they arrive at your new address.

Lastly, if you recently sold or bought a house, your real estate agent may be able to provide extra help. He or she likely can provide moving company recommendations and put you in touch with a moving company that can fulfill your moving day requests.

Get ready for your upcoming move – consider the aforementioned factors, and you can find the ideal moving company to help you take your belongings to any location, at any time.


When you are ready to buy a house, it pays to plan ahead to conduct a successful house search. That way, you can quickly and effortlessly navigate the real estate market and make your homeownership dream come true in no time at all.

Ultimately, you don't need to be a real estate expert to navigate the housing market like a pro. To better understand what it takes to complete a successful house search, let's take a look at three tips to ensure you can seamlessly go from homebuyer to homeowner.

1. Create Homebuying Criteria

If you plan to purchase a house in the foreseeable future, it helps to establish homebuying criteria. By doing so, you can enter the real estate market with a plan.

Think about where you want to reside. For example, if your goal is to live in the same small town as your family members and friends, you may want to hone your house search to properties in this town. Or, if you want to own a house that is close to your office in the city, you may want to pursue residences in or around the city itself.

Consider what differentiates your dream house from an ordinary home too. Thus, if you want to own a home that boasts an in-ground pool, dazzling garden or other distinct features, you should include these criteria in your homebuying strategy.

2. Get Pre-Approved for Home Financing

Lenders can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage prior to launching a home search. Then, you can establish a budget for the homebuying journey.

There is no shortage of mortgage options available, regardless of your credit score, income and outstanding debt. If you meet with banks and credit unions, you can learn about different mortgage options and select a mortgage that is sure to serve you well.

Of course, when you meet with lenders, don't hesitate to ask questions. Lenders employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists, and these professionals are happy to help you make an informed mortgage selection.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent can help you simplify your home search. In fact, with a real estate agent at your side, you can boost the likelihood of finding a terrific house at a budget-friendly price.

Generally, a real estate agent understands what it takes to pursue a home in any city or town, at any time. If you employ a real estate agent, you can get the help you need to accelerate your quest for your dream residence.

A real estate agent usually learns about a homebuyer's goals and maps out a homebuying plan. He or she sets up home showings and keeps a homebuyer up to date about new residences that fit a buyer's criteria. And if a homebuyer wants to submit an offer to purchase a residence, a real estate agent will help this buyer craft a competitive proposal.

Ready to buy a house? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can streamline your search for your ideal residence.


Photo by Peter Fazekas from Pexels

Whether you are relocating to follow a dream, start a new job or simply have an adventure, cross-country moving requires careful planning and consideration. Moving across the country comes with a unique set of challenges, so it is important to prepare well in advance. Below are some tips to help you simplify a cross-country move. 

1. Get organized. 

Moving across the country is no small feat, and many things must be handled before your journey can begin. Purchase a planner to use specifically for the move, and keep yourself organized at all times. Follow your schedule carefully so you don't miss anything. 

2. Hire a moving company. 

If you are simply moving down the street or to the next town over, you may be able to handle the entire process on your own. However, a cross-country move typically requires professional assistance. Consider hiring a moving company to help you transport your belongings safely to your new home. Remember to request estimates from multiple companies so you can be sure you are getting the best deal. 

3. Downsize before you go. 

The fewer items you need to move across the country, the easier and more affordable your move will be. Before you begin the process of moving, take the time to go through your belongings and get rid of anything you no longer want or need. Consider having a moving sale or simply donating unwanted items to a local charity. 

4. Prepare for your arrival. 

Before you arrive at your new home, you will need to schedule utilities to be turned on, internet service to be connected, television service installation and other such appointments. Scheduling these appointments in advance ensures that you don't have to wait any longer than necessary for the services you need.  

5. Purchase moving insurance. 

When you are moving your belongings a long distance, many things can go wrong. Purchase moving insurance to give yourself peace of mind, as well to protect against significant financial losses related to the move. 

6. Go with the flow. 

Even with the best planning and scheduling, it is impossible to anticipate every possible scenario you will encounter during a cross-country move. Whatever happens during the process, do your best to remain calm and solution-oriented. 

Moving to a new home can be stressful, especially when your new home is far away. However, by following these tips and planning in advance, you can avoid many of the common pitfalls of a cross-country moves. 




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