Titine Joyce - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Scituate



Posted by Titine Joyce on 12/17/2020

Image by kitzcorner from Shutterstock

Donít underestimate the importance of a fresh coat of paint when it comes to preparing to sell your home. Apart from changing the look of your space, it also adds to the value of your house.  Painting can make your home feel brand new and attract the attention of serious buyers. While painting can be an overwhelming and messy task, don't allow this to deter you. With the following tips, you can complete the task in less time and cleanup will be a snap. 

Use heavy foil

Line your paint tray with heavy-duty aluminum foil. When changing colors or youíre done for the day, pour the excess back into the can, and toss the foil.

Cut edging tape

If youíre using painters or masking tape to protect your trim, run a utility knife down the edge of the tape before attempting to remove it. This will make it easier to remove and create a cleaner edge.

Fabric softener 

Try cleaning up your brushes with warm water and fabric softener if you are using water-based paint. The fabric softener dissolves paint easily because it is a surfactant and leaves the bristles soft and pliable. Rinse the brush thoroughly and allow it to air dry.

Drop cloths 

If youíre using drop cloths, consider using cloths that are long and narrow. This configuration is easier to move around your room and generally wonít involve a lot of folding or gathering. Youíll be less likely to trip or get your ladder caught in extra material.

Use cardboard

An excellent alternative to drop fabric or plastic is cardboard. Flattened cartons prevent paint from dripping on your floors and protect them from damage by ladders and scaffolding. Another advantage of using dismantled boxes is that their smooth edges stick closer to baseboards protecting floors from drips, spatter, and overspray. 

Painting your home will add value and freshness to your home. Consult with your real estate agent about current color trends.





Posted by Titine Joyce on 11/19/2020

When buying an older home, you might wonder how to get more livable space out of that low-ceiling basement. There are two ways to gain height: raise the foundation or lower the floor. Raising the foundation requires lifting the entire home off its current foundation, building a new foundation, and resettling the home. For most homeowners, the sheer number of things that can go wrong with a project of this magnitude makes it an unlikely option. An alternative is bench footing, a method of lowering the floor of the basement that results in a higher ceiling.

Bench footing is a straightforward technique regarded by contractors to be an optimal approach for supporting your building while providing room for more structural support and depth. With bench footing, professional contractors do not need to dig deep into the homeís foundation. Instead, they can lower the basement floor and add structural support from there.

How Is It Done?

The process is straightforward, but donít try to do this one yourself: Hire a professional contractor. Bench Footing costs less than other methods because it doesnít require you to dig underneath the existing footings. Instead, a new floor is dug through the existing basement floor. A new foundation is laid inside the existing one, creating your new basement floor and an additional wall inside your existing basement. It is important to consider that the width of your bench footing is determined by the depth you want to add to your basement.  For every foot in depth that you add, you will need about a foot of width for your bench footing.  The floor space of the basement will decrease in area by the thickness of the new wall. 

The result is a ledge or ďbenchĒ all the way around the outer wall of the basement. Thatís why they call it Bench Footing. A savvy contractor can make use of the space above the bench by installing cabinets, reading nooks and other built-ins. Others simply inset the entire wall to the new location. 

Why Choose Bench Footing?

If you need to increase your usable space but you are unable to add another story or extend your home on any side, making better use of your basement is the most valid option. In addition to being less damaging to your existing home, bench footing is less costly to complete and doesnít change the exterior aesthetic of your home. This is particularly important if your home is in a historic area or has a strict association.

To get the best results with your bench footing, hire a professional contractor with several years of experience and with many positive reviews. Consult with your real estate agent for recommendations for a local contractor who can help you with your project.





Posted by Titine Joyce on 3/12/2020

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 Photo by Laura Shaw via Pixabay 

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.





Posted by Titine Joyce on 9/12/2019

Doing a home improvement or renovation is a great way to add value to your home while learning something new. If you decide to DIY, you can enlist the help of your family and learn together.

But, when youíre taking on a task youíve never done before, thereís a lot that can go wrong. You might go over budget, or the project might take significantly longer than expected. Sometimes we start jobs that we donít have the expertise (or permits) to finish and have to call in a professional sinking more time and money into what was supposed to be an inexpensive renovation.

To help you avoid some of these common pitfalls, weíve provided these tips for running a successful home improvement project so you can focus on your renovation and not on the headaches that come with it.

1. Know when to call the experts

Undertaking a do-it-yourself project can be fun and rewarding. However, some tasks are better left to the professionals. Plumbing and electrical mistakes, in particular, can be dangerous and costly if you get it wrong. You donít want to disregard the safety of you, your family, and your belongings just to save money on hiring a professional.

2. Call the best expert for the job

Call multiple professionals for a quote before accepting an offer.

If you received what seems a very low quote for a job, make sure to call other experts in the industry to see how much they would charge for the job. Getting an unusually low offer could be a sign that the contractor will rush the project or use cheap materials.

Alternatively, if you receive a quote that seems too high, the contractor may have a busy schedule or might not really want the job, so theyíve offered you a price they donít expect you to take.

Regardless of who you choose, see if you can find reviews and testimonials to make sure youíve selected a contractor who is professional and has good customer feedback.

3. Aim high with your budget

When homeowners take on a renovation, they tend to underestimate the costs. To avoid being shocked by going over budget, estimate what you think the total costs would be and then at another twenty percent. That twenty percent could account for damaged building materials, mistakes, or last-minute changes and customizations--all are frequent on DIY projects.

4. Donít work without a design or blueprint

Even for simple home improvement projects, itís best to start out with a plan. Having detailed measurements and drawings to refer to will help you avoid costly mistakes. Weíve all felt the temptation to ďeyeball itĒ when working on a project--taking the extra few minutes to measure and refer to your plan will save you time in the long run.

5. Relax and focus on the results

Home improvement projects can be a source of frustration for many families. If you arenít an expert, itís easy to get angry when things arenít going as you planned. If you find yourself frequently hitting a wall-literally or figuratively--step back from the project and refocus on the end goal, improving your home for years to come.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Titine Joyce on 12/8/2016

You love the new house that you just purchased. Yet, you're already thinking of upgrades that you want to make to your new place. That or you've started looking at the walls, decor and furniture in your current home and came away feeling bland. If you're not careful, you could create a long list of home upgrades.

Make major home upgrades without breaking the bank

To get what you want, prioritize home upgrades. This doesn't mean that you scratch anything off your upgrade list. It means that you consider important factors before you start making home improvements. To begin, ask yourself:

Determine which upgrades are absolutely necessary - Assess the conditions or parts of your house that are out of compliance with local housing codes. These upgrades are a must. Price electricians, plumbers and contractors who specialize in the fields that these improvements are needed in. Move these home upgrades to the top of your wish list.

Spot declining areas - As you walk through your house, you may spot areas that,although still meeting housing codes, are starting to decline. Curling roof shingles, a light coating of water on the basement floor following a hard rain and uneven hardwood floor panels are signs of decay. After you get your entire house up to code, repair and upgrade these areas.

Time is valuable - Consider how much time you have to not only start, but to also finish, home upgrades. This one gets the best handy person. It's easy to tell yourself that you can add a new bedroom to your home, install a new tub and faucets in your master bathroom and upgrade the cabinetry in your kitchen, all within six months. Then, your job gets demanding, family visits and you volunteer for a project at church. Before you know it, you've got a hole in your bathroom floor and have started taking showers in the guest bathroom.Think about how much time you have to take on home upgrades before you start them.

Review your budget - Get honest about the amount of money you have to spend on home upgrades. Money doesn't magically fall out of the sky. Look at your current expenses, vacation plans and other personal items that you'd like to purchase.If you're budget doesn't allow for immediate major home upgrades, make small upgrades. For example, you could paint your house walls and hang new mirrors in  the bathroom and hallways. You could also place decorative throw rugs on the floor and add new floral centerpieces to coffee and end tables.

Home upgrades don't have to be expensive. They certainly don't have to put you in debt. To stay debt free while making home improvements, pace yourself. Think about it. If you expect to live in your home for three or more years, you could implement one to two major upgrades a year. Implement smaller upgrades over a weekend. At the end of three years, you may be delighted with upgrades you've made to your home.