Judy Korzenowski - BHHS Commonwealth | Newton, MA Real Estate, Brookline, MA Real Estate


You think a lot about ways to keep your family and property safe, but there are so many little things that need to be secured. If your home has sliding glass doors, you may not know how to secure them properly. Read on for steps on how to get your sliding glass doors completely secure.


Know The Risks


While sliding glass doors and windows provide your home with a lot of light, without the right coverage, thieves can see right into your home and view all of your belongings. Visibility is one of the most apparent security risks with sliding glass doors. 


The other fundamental risk is that these doors can slide off the track. If you’re unaware of it, it can be an easy way for criminals to get right into your home. Keep in mind that the locks on your sliding glass door may not be as secure as a traditional deadbolt lock that you have on your door.  


The Fix


A dowel rod is one of the easiest ways to secure your sliding glass door. This rod fits in the track of the sliding door to prevent the door from sliding at all. To make this fix efficient, you’ll need to measure the track and get a dowel that’s the perfect size to fit in the track. You also should ensure that the rod is thick enough.


Sensor alarms also exist that help you to identify when the door is open. An alar like this deters thieves and even alerts you as to when the door is being opened. This feature can be helpful if you have young children as well. 


Another security option for your sliding glass door is to install more heavy duty locks. Typical locks on sliding glass doors have latches that are shaped like a hook connecting to the door frame. These latches can be easily forced open. There are double bolted locks that allow for a more secure door. These locks can be a great addition to security along with the dowel rod since the locks are harder to break.


Check Your Door


Although it sounds painfully obvious, checking that your sliding glass door is locked every night before you head to bed will be an extra layer of security for your home. Make sure that the dowel rod is in place and any alarms that you have are set. Diligence is one of the best forms of security that you can have. It’s also vital that your door is functioning properly. Any problems that exist with the door should be addressed promptly.       


Purchasing a second home should be a fun, exciting experience. Yet homebuyers who fail to consider where they want to pursue a second residence may struggle to achieve their desired results.

If you know you want to buy a second home, it often helps to narrow your house search to residences in a select group of cities and towns. Then, you can evaluate available residences in your preferred cities and towns and boost the likelihood of finding a house that you can enjoy for years to come.

Of course, determining which cities and towns where you want to pursue a second house can be difficult. Yet there are lots of things you can do to hone your house search, including:

1. Evaluate Your Homebuying Budget

Your finances likely will play a major role in your ability to pursue and acquire a second residence. As such, you should examine your finances closely so you can establish a homebuying budget.

If you have paid the mortgage on your current house, focus on the mortgage costs associated with a second home. For example, if you want to find out how much you can afford to pay for a second home, you can meet with bank and credit union mortgage specialists. This will allow you to get pre-approved for a mortgage so you can enter the real estate market with a budget in hand.

Comparatively, if you still have a mortgage on your present house, you should consult with your lender. This will allow you to determine if you qualify for a second mortgage. Also, you can get financial guidance so you can figure out where to search for a second house that falls in line with your finances.

2. Establish a Homebuying Timeline

Think about when you want to acquire a second residence. Next, you can create a homebuying timeline to help you achieve your desired homebuying goal.

A homebuying timeline should remain flexible. If you want to purchase a second home in the mountains, for example, you should account for the time it may take to transport various personal belongings to this residence. And if problems arise that delay your efforts to acquire a second home, you should be ready to adjust your homebuying timeline as needed.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

Let's face it – buying a second home is rarely simple, regardless of your property buying expertise. But if you hire a real estate agent, you can receive extensive assistance as you search for a second residence.

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of the housing market. He or she will share real estate market insights with you, along with providing tips and recommendations. As a result, a real estate agent will help you find a second home in your preferred city or town as quickly as possible.

Take the guesswork out of finding and buying a second home in the city or town of your choice – use the aforementioned tips, and you could streamline your quest to acquire a second residence that matches your expectations.


Unmarried couples often find themselves surprised at the additional steps it takes to buy a home compared to their wedded friends.

This guide will help you prepare for buying a home together as an unmarried couple:

Banks will assess you differently than they would a married couple.

Whereas they look at a married couple as a single financial unit, you and your partner will be assessed individually. This certainly has its pro’s and con’s. Know that if one partner has a significantly lower credit score it can affect your eligibility for a loan as a couple.  

Legal ownership of the title will be different.

Unmarried couples have three options when it comes to title ownership: sole ownership, joint tenants and tenants in common.

Tenants in common is the most popular. The difference between tenants in common and joint tenants is this:

  • In a joint tenancy ownership is 50/50. If one partner were to become deceased, ownership of their half of the property would carry over to the other partner.

  • Tenants in common ownership can be disproportionate to reflect each partners level of investment.  If one partner were to become deceased, their living trust would inherit ownership of their portion of the property if another option is not otherwise specified in their will.

  • Sole ownership is just that. One partner owns full legal ownership of the property. This option can have tax benefits and increase your financing eligibility if one partner has a higher income or better credit score than the other.

It’s highly recommended for unmarried couples to sign a property, partnership or cohabitation agreement when buying a home together. This is a legal precaution to safeguard both partners in the future should anything happen.

If your finances are separate it is ideal to at the very least create a joint checking account from which to draw the down payment and mortgage installments. This is especially true if both partners are contributing to these payments. It create a clean, clearcut payment process each month.

Know each other's finances.

Discuss your credit scores, debt burden, savings, investments and financial goals. Get clear on where you each stand and how these factors will influence your buying process. Create a budget together as a couple to ensure you can take on not just the responsibility of a mortgage payment but also closing costs, homeowners insurance, property taxes and maintenance costs. Plan for savings like retirement, nest egg, family planning, future vacations, and emergency funds.

Buying a home together as an unmarried couple is a different process than that of married couples. However, that doesn’t mean it has to be harder. With an understanding of what to expect ahead of time and a plan in place, the process can be a smooth one.



This Single-Family in Newton, MA recently sold for $1,210,000. This Victorian style home was sold by Judy Korzenowski - Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Commonwealth Real Estate.


197 Grove St, Newton, MA 02466

Auburndale

Single-Family

$1,249,000
Price
$1,210,000
Sale Price

9
Rooms
4
Beds
2/1
Full/Half Baths
Loaded with charm & detail this warm and inviting Historic Italianate Victorian was built in the late 1800's. The house is centered on its lot at the top of a knoll & set back from the street behind a large open yard. The rear of the lot is wooded. Historically known as the Snow-Owens House this home offers spectacular curb appeal, convenient location, 4+ BRs and 2.5 baths. Recently painted, the main floor combines LR/FR. A sunny eat in kitchen has been beautifully renovated w/ lots of storage/cabinetry, Viking stove, & Corian counter tops. The DR can seat a large group..wonderful for entertaining. A gracious staircase leads to the 2nd flr. The Master Suite has a walk-in closet w/a large bathroom complete w/shower, tub & radiant heated floors. 2 additional bdrms , a room that is ideal as office/nursery, + a full bath complete the 2nd level. The 3rd flr is home to the 4th BR where there is also additional storage. Basement is unfinished. Close to Williams School, Riverside & Auburndale.

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You’ve cleaned up the paintable surfaces of your home and have removed any trace of pet damage. It’s now time to work on repairs to your wood flooring.

Wood Flooring.

Ugly gashes and scratches in your wood flooring can be a real eyesore during your open house. If you have solid wood flooring thoroughly your home that is unlikely to be ripped out by your buyer take the time to touch it up to add value to your home before the sale.

First, examine your floors and determine the damage. If you only have a few small and medium-sized scratches, some simple DIY solutions might work well for you and save on the time and monetary investment needed. Clean the surface around each mark carefully making sure the entire area is entirely dirt and debris free. If you have a wax coat on your floor make sure to remove the coating layer with a wax remover solution.

Minor Scuffs and Scratches — For small scratches try an at-home mixture of equal parts olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Using a sponge or cloth, dab the solution into the scratch. Allow the mixture to dry for the rest of the day, then rub it out of the scratch. This trick often works for minor nicks and scratches. For scuffs in your flooring try using a finish restorer. These restorer products treat light scuffs and scratches over large areas and fix finish that has faded. Blending pencils can also be handy for small surface areas. If the scratch appears as a lighter mark on your flooring select a pencil that is darker than the scratch and of the same tone and coloring as the rest of your flooring. Using the pencil fill in the scratch and lightly blend the coloring into the surrounding area.

Medium scratches — If your medium scratches only show light damage you can probably remove or significantly reduce their visibility by merely applying a new coat of finish over the affected area(s). Clean the areas thoroughly and do your best to match the new finish to the original finish on the rest of your floor. If your flooring has no finish, you may be able to fix the area by lightly sanding the scratch and reapplying the original stain to blend the scratch into the rest of the flooring.

Major scratches — Flooring with many scrapes and gashes or large scratches you'll have to refinish the entire floor for best results. To do this first clean your floors, then sand down the whole floor. After sanding clean again then evenly apply a new finish coat. If you have the extra time and capital and think the wood needs it, you can also apply a fresh coat of stain before the finish coat to significantly boost the added value to your home. NOTE — complete refinishing only works with real wood flooring. This process will not work for bamboo flooring and is more difficult for engineered wood. If you consider trying this technique on an engineered floor that has a real wood surface check the thickness of the wood surface. Sanding takes about 1mm off the top of the wood, so the surface will need to be thicker in order to handle the sanding and refinishing.

Your last step in home preparation is to take care of that carpet. Read on in part three of this series to ensure pristine carpeting for your open house.

Before you start any major repair projects like complete refinishing work with your real estate professional to determine the best investment for the resale value that works with your budget.




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