Lisa Corr, Olde Town Realty | Haverhill, MA Real Estate


A home inspection may make or break the property buying journey. If you attend a home inspection and find no major issues with a residence, you may choose to move forward with your house purchase. However, if a home inspection reveals significant problems, you may decide to rework a home purchase agreement or walk away from this agreement altogether.

If you plan to purchase a home, it generally is a good idea to include a home inspection in your property buying strategy. And if you know how to plan for a house inspection, you can use this evaluation to gain the insights you need to make a data-driven decision about a home purchase.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you prepare for a home inspection.

1. Hire an Expert Home Inspector

With an expert home inspector at your side, you can gain comprehensive insights into a house's overall condition. Then, you can obtain an in-depth inspection report to help you weigh the pros and cons of purchasing a residence.

It is important to conduct an extensive search for the best home inspectors in your area. Search for home inspectors who boast many years of industry experience and come highly recommended from past clients. By doing so, you can find a home inspector who will meet your expectations.

2. Craft a Home Inspection Checklist

It often helps to enter a home inspection with a checklist. If you have a checklist in hand, you should have no trouble conducting a full home evaluation.

You should include all areas of a residence's interior and exterior in your home inspection checklist. Furthermore, you should include a home's heating and cooling system, roof and other key parts of a house in your checklist.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Preparing for a home inspection may prove to be stressful. Thankfully, a real estate agent can help you get ready for a home inspection and ensure you can make the best-possible decision regarding a house purchase.

A real estate agent is a homebuying expert who is happy to help you at all stages of the property buying journey. In the days leading up to a home inspection, a real estate agent can respond to any of your concerns or questions so you can prepare for the evaluation. Next, on the day of the inspection, a real estate agent will attend the evaluation with you. And after the inspection is complete, you and your real estate agent can discuss the assessment results and determine how to proceed.

Ultimately, a real estate agent can help you streamline the home inspection process. He or she may even be able to put you in touch with the top house inspectors in your area, thereby increasing the likelihood that you can identify any major property issues before you finalize a home purchase.

Ready to conduct a home inspection? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can enter a home inspection as an informed property buyer.


Make your new house an even more welcoming place to come home to by designing a fragrant flower garden. Fill your garden with these beautiful blooms and reap the aromatic rewards.

If you aren’t exactly known for your green thumb don’t think you can’t have a beautiful flower garden too! Most of these blooms are also incredibly easy to grow and require little maintenance over time.  

Sweet alyssum - Not only is the sweet alyssum beautifully fragrant, it’s also a pretty hardy plant that can tolerate both heat and drought. It is also a self-sowing plant so it will come back year after year with minimal effort on your behalf. While it grows low to the ground it’s potent sweet scent won’t go unnoticed.

Rose - The rose needs no introduction. While this bloom precedes its fragrant reputation it, unfortunately, has one misconception - that they are difficult to grow. If you have an area in your garden that receives around 6 hours of sunlight you should find little difficulty getting this coveted blossoms to grow.

Phlox - Phlox grow in small bundles of flowers, much like the sweet alyssum. There are actually three varieties to be aware of when choosing your seeds. There are border phlox, mounding phlox and woodland varieties. No matter the variety this bloom boasts a sweet almost honey-like smell you will adore.  

Butterfly bush - This shrub grows long draping cone-shaped bundles of flowers. It comes in shades of white, pink and purple. If you are looking to attract butterflies opt for a lavender-pink variety. It should be noted that this bush is considered an invasive species and can be problematic in areas with more mild climates.

Flowering crabapple - Crabapples comes in many varieties and can fit any garden’s aesthetic needs. You can find traditional round shaped trees as well as ones with draping branches much like a weeping willow. For the most fragrant blooms, you’ll want the single blossom variety.

Peony - Peonies are a stunning, showy bloom much like the rose. The lovely, fresh scent peonies throw off is well worth the 2-3 year wait for a newly planted bush to establish itself. And good news - they don’t require much fussing over throughout that time. Aside from adequate sun and plenty of root space to soak up nutrients this bush is pretty low maintenance.  

These six blooms will be sure to up the aroma ante in your flower garden. Not only can they be grouped up together but they can also be grouped with other stunning blooms whose fragrance is lacking for a well-rounded showstopper of a garden. Peonies can be put in the same garden design as roses to complement one another's showy blooms. While sweet alyssum and phlox can be added to just about any design due to their low-spreading nature.


Whether you’re a first time homebuyer or a seasoned homeowner, the terminology of mortgages can be confusing. Since buying a home is such a huge financial decision, you’re also going to want to make sure you understand every step of the process and all of the conditions and fees along the way.

In this article, we’re going to explain some of the common terms you might come across when applying for a home loan, be it online or over the phone. By learning the basic meaning of these terms you’ll feel more confident and prepared going into the application process.

We’ll cover the acronyms, like APRs and ARMs, and the scary sounding terms like “amortization” so that you know everything you need to about the terminology of home loans.

  • ARM and FRM, or adjustable rate vs fixed rate mortgages. Lenders make their money by charging you interest on your home loan that you pay back over the length of your loan period. Adjustable rate mortgages or ARMs are loans that have interest rates which change over the lifespan of your loan. You may start off at a low, “introductory rate” and later start paying higher amounts depending on the predetermined rate index. Fixed rate mortgages, on the other hand, remain at the same rate throughout the life of the loan. However, refinancing on your loan allows you to receive a different interest rate later down the road.

  • Amortization. It sounds like a medieval torture technique, but in reality amortization is the process of making your life easier by setting up a fixed repayment schedule. This schedule includes both the interest and the principal loan balance, allowing you to understand how long and how much money will go toward repaying your mortgage.

  • Equity. Simply state, your equity is the the amount of the home you have paid off. In a sense, it’s the amount of the home that you really own. Your equity increases as you make payments, and having equity can help you buy a new home, or see a return on investment with your current home if the home increases in value.

  • Assumption and assumability. It isn’t the title of a Jane Austen novel. It’s all about the process of a mortgage changing hands. An assumable mortgage can be transferred to a new buyer, and assumption is the actual transfer of the loan. Assuming a loan can be financially beneficial if the home as increased in value since the mortgage was created.

  • Escrow. There are a lot of legal implications that come along with buying a home. An escrow is designed to make sure the loan process runs smoothly. It acts as a holding tank for your documents, payments, as well as property taxes and insurance. An escrow performs an important function in the home buying process, and, as a result, charges you a percentage of the home for its services.

  • Origination fee. Basically a fancy way of saying “processing fee,” the origination covers the cost of processing your mortgage application. It’s one of the many “closing costs” you’ll encounter when buying a home and accounts for all of the legwork your loan officer does to make your mortgage a reality--running credit reports, reviewing income history, and so on.  


The realization that a family dog or cat has gone missing can be a scary, if not panic-inducing moment. While some cats seem able to fend for themselves in the outside world, if they're gone for more than a day, it's only natural to assume the worst. It goes without saying that cats kept indoors stand the best chance of staying safe and living a long life. However, many cats are determined to explore the outside world regardless of your good intentions, and trying to prevent them from doing so may ultimately be an exercise in futility. To further complicate matters, many cats and dogs are quite resourceful when it comes to spotting and taking advantage of open doors and unlocked backyard gates.

Once they're outside, cats can easily jump over fences, and dogs -- especially puppies -- have a knack for finding and escaping through small openings in the fence (often at the bottom) that you may not have noticed. There are a lot of different possible causes for the disappearance of a pet, but the sense of loss families experience when a beloved pet doesn't return is universal. Since prevention only goes so far with adventurous cats and dogs, it can also be helpful to have a quick response plan ready. Making sure your pet is either micro-chipped or wearing a collar with up-to-date ID tags can increase your chances of getting a lost pet returned to you quickly.

One vital resource to be aware of and connected with is neighborhood social media sites. By finding out if there are any active ones in your area, you can be in a better position to quickly alert your neighbors, in the event your pet suddenly disappears. Since many people are pet owners, they'll be very sympathetic and responsive to an online post of a missing dog or cat. The bottom line is this: Your prospects of a speedy reunion will often improve in direct proportion to how many neighbors know about your missing animal friend and how to contact you.

There's also the relatively old-fashioned, but often effective method of printing out and posting "lost pet" flyers. In addition to posting them in various locations, such as dog parks, neighborhood stores, and pet-oriented businesses, you can also hand them out to neighbors you see when conducting your initial search. For maximum effectiveness, the flyer should say "Lost Cat" or "Lost Dog" at the top of the flyer, and include a good photo of your pet, as well as your phone number and information about when and where they were last seen. Other features, such as breed, color, markings, age, weight, gender, your pet's name, and any unique characteristics should also be included in the flyer to help neighbors identify your pet. Additional tactics and tools for recovering a lost pet are also available through the ASPCA.


Home improvements are a great way to add value to your home if you’re hoping to sell in the near future. The problem is, however, that many home improvements are costly and time-consuming. And, if you don’t plan carefully, they could even cost more than the amount of value you add to the home.

The good news is that there are several home improvement projects that will cost you less than $100 and won’t uproot your life in the meantime.

In this article, we’re going to give you five home improvements, all under $100, that can add value to your home. That way when you do decide to sell, you won’t have to scramble to make updates. Read on for the list.

1. Add a fresh coat of paint to your trim and baseboards (Cost: $75 - $100)

Trim and baseboards fall prey to getting kicked and covered in dust and cobwebs over the years. Adding a fresh coat of white paint will make an entire room feel new.

2. Improve your lighting (Cost: ~$50)

Bright lights help to make the rooms of your home feel more spacious. If you can’t increase the natural light of a room, bright, LEDs are the next best alternative.

The cost of LEDs is constantly decreasing, and they’re becoming more energy-efficient as well. To really get the most value out of your budget, use different color temperatures depending on the mood of the room (warm for bedrooms, bright white for bathrooms, etc.).

3. Add a burst of color to your front door (Cost: ~$20)

It can be difficult to increase curb appeal on a tight budget. One way to do so is to repaint your door a bright color that stands out but still fits with the style of your home.

4.Install a new shower head (Cost: $80 - $100)

Adding a new shower head to the main bathroom is a great way to add a bit of luxury to the room. While many stainless steel shower heads cost around $200, there are several chrome options that look just as nice and cost half the price.

5.Upgrade your hardware (Cost: $50 - $80)

Replacing your kitchen cabinets is an expensive endeavor. However, you can easily revamp your existing cabinets by replacing their hardware. Add a fresh coat of paint and they’ll look brand new.

Outside the kitchen, you can also update towel racks, bathroom drawer knobs, coat hooks, and other outdated hardware. Using a consisted, dark color throughout the home is a good way to give your house a theme and a sense of continuity.


With these five simple upgrades, you can increase the value of your home, boost your curb appeal, and avoid breaking the bank at the same time.




Loading