Pat Baker - REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West



Posted by Pat Baker on 6/23/2017

The Massachusetts Homestead Law is a very useful law that was put into place as a protection of homeowners’ property. The law may protect your home against the claims of creditors. The act applies to your home if: 

  • You live in the home or plan to live in it
  • You use the home or plan to use the home as your primary residence 

Things To Know About The Law


It does protect manufactured and mobile home

Homestead protection does not stop your home from being foreclosed on in the event that you don’t pay your mortgage


Declaration Of Homestead


You must declare that your property is a homestead property in the state of Massachusetts. This declaration will protect the equity value of your home from creditors. The equity of your home is what the “fair market value” of the home is. To calculate this value, find out what the value of your home is, then subtract all home equity loans, liens, and mortgages that you have against the house. The number that’s left is what the equity value of your home is.


When a Declaration Of Homestead is in place, you’re protected from creditors who would otherwise force you to use your equity so that you you can repay the debts that are owed. Without this protection, creditors can foreclose on your home. The only creditors that a Homestead does not protect you from are home loan companies, the IRS and legal child support obligations. 


When the loan for your home is in good standing and a Homestead is in place in Massachusetts, the following applies:


A creditor cannot auction your home if you, other owners of your home, any family members, or any family members who move into your home at a future date live there. This means that even in the event of your death, these people will all be protected from creditors taking value from the property while they are living on the property. 


Key Points


Any family members who have debts and are living in the house are also protected under the Homestead Act in Massachusetts. 


$125,000 is automatically protected. 

A Homestead Declaration needs to be filed for up to $500,000 of protection to be initiated.  


How A Declaration Of Homestead Is Filed


You’ll need to go to the Registry Of Deeds in the county where the property is located in Massachusetts to file a Declaration Of Homestead. The document will need to be notarized and there is a fee associated with filing. You may be asked if you’d like to file the Homestead Protection during the purchase agreement signing for your Massachusetts home. Note that if a lien was put on your property before the Homestead Declaration is filed, you are not protected.


Talk to your real estate attorney and realtor for more details and information on how to file a Homestead Declaration when you purchase your Massachusetts home.




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Posted by Pat Baker on 6/22/2017

This beautiful & sophisticated townhouse is the perfect choice located "in the village" of Natick. This home includes a gourmet kitchen, granite counter tops, hardwood on the first floor, large living room, sliders to balcony, both bedroom suites with full baths plus a half bath. The third floor is flexible and could be a bedroom or very large family room. Lots of storage space. Over-sized garage. Close proximity to downtown shopping, restaurants & Boston Commuter train. Showings begin at Open House Sunday 6/25 12 Noon to 2.

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts




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Posted by Pat Baker on 6/16/2017

Chemicals, metals and other household products in your home could be making you sick. Harmful products and chemicals at your house could also be creating illness symptoms in your children, pets and house guests. Keep reading to learn about some common ways that your house could be making you sick.

Overlooked and common household dangers

Lead paint can cause you to feel nauseous, constipated and sick to your stomach. Check the amount of lead in paint before you start decorating. If you exhibit symptoms,check the amount of lead in the existing paint at your house.

High mercury levels - Too much mercury in your home can cause metal poisoning. Symptoms of metal poisoning vary from person to person, but can include numbness, difficulty walking or standing, muscle weakness and poor vision. Mercury poisoning can also cause memory and cognitive thinking impairment.

You can become over exposed to mercury by eating certain types of fish. Mercury overexposure can also be derived from chemicals that you keep in your home. The Environmental Protection Agency shares that you can come in contact with mercury several ways, including by breathing in the metal. You can also ingest mercury into your system by touching products that have mercury in them and by eating foods that contain mercury. Batteries, thermometers, certain light bulbs, some vaccines, skin creams and jewelry are types of products that contain mercury.

Allergens – Pet hairs are a major cause of allergens. If you or someone in your family coughs, wheezes or sneezes every time they are around your dog or cat, visit the doctor and have test run to see if you or your family member is allergic to your pet.

Are any of these dangers at your house?

  • Poor ventilation
  • Dust mites
  • Asbestos
  • Carbon monoxide generally becomes dangerous for humans after carbon monoxide reaches levels of 100 ppm or higher.
  • Mold
  • Leaking roof
  • Pests
  • Old food

Take quick action if someone becomes ill at your house

Contact your physician immediately should you suspect that you, a family member or guest at your home has become ill due to coming into contact with a chemical or product in your house. Avoid assuming that just because you have never become ill in your home that means that no one else could be allergic or become ill to a product or chemical in your house.

For example, you might not be allergic to peanuts. However, a colleague or friend who visits your house could become dangerously ill if he is exposed to peanut butter or another peanut food product that you store or prepare a meal with at your house.

Share as many details as possible with physicians and nurses at the hospital or urgent clinic that you visit. Tell them when the person started to show signs of illness. Also, tell the medical professional or emergency technician what you ate. If you live near a landfill, share this information with medical professionals as well. The more details that you share with medical staff, the sooner the staff can narrow what may have caused the symptoms. Information that you share can also make it easier for medical staff to start treating you or another person who becomes ill at your home.





Posted by Pat Baker on 6/9/2017

Dogs, like humans, are territorial by nature. If a stranger came into your home unannounced you would likely react in either a fearful or aggressive manner. Dogs who are aggressive and protective are no different. Fortunately, there are training techniques that can be employed to help your pet grow more comfortable when you have company at your home. Whether you have an older dog who behaves aggressively toward visitors or you are raising a puppy that you want to train to be comfortable around strangers, here are some tips that can help.

Know your dog

Before you start training you need to understand exactly what makes your dog uncomfortable. With some dogs it may be a certain type of person (like a mail carrier or the oil delivery driver). With other dogs any stranger who comes in or near the home is a trigger. Determine the fine line between your dog's comfort zone and where your dog becomes scared.

Employing a training partner

Start small by having a friend (someone your dog doesn't know) walk past your home where the dog can see. The moment they show signs of fear, assure your dog that you have the situation under control. Scolding the dog, grabbing them, or otherwise exhibiting aggressive behavior toward your dog will only exacerbate their fears. You want them to know that you have the situation in control. Saying firmly and calmly, "I got it; I'm OK" will tell your dog that you see the stranger and you're in control. Oftentimes, dogs bark at strangers because they want us to be aware of the potential danger. Acknowledging your dog is vital in these situations. If your dog is the type who barks or growls at strangers, reward them with treats when they don't bark as the "stranger" passes by your home. From there, you can try other triggers with strangers outside the house such as ringing the doorbell or walking through the yard.

Let the stranger inside

After a few sessions working with the stranger outside your home, it's time to introduce your dog to strangers inside their territory. If you think your dog will be aggressive toward the stranger, make sure you keep your dog leashed or basket-muzzled during the first visit. It will protect your training buddy and will help let your dog know you are in control. Start by having a family member let the stranger in the home while you hold your dog leashed at length. If your dog barks at the stranger, attempt to get your dog's attention and verbally reassure them you are okay; you are in control. Have your training partner avoid eye contact with your dog. Once your dog calms down enough to stop barking, try having them follow commands for treats (sit, stay, etc.). If this is successful, have the stranger try tossing treats to the dog as well. If your dog is too nervous to eat, reward them with pets and other positive reinforcement ("Good girl!").

Tips for productive training sessions

  • Try to keep your dog's focus on you as often as you can. Use treats and positive reinforcement constantly
  • Exercise your dog before training if they are high-energy
  • Train in small increments; if your dog is afraid of strangers don't start by introducing him/her to a party at your home
  • You need to be calm at all times while training. Your dog takes his/her cues from your behavior. If you get frustrated or anxious take a break and start again when you're fully calm

   





Posted by Pat Baker on 6/2/2017

Although you'd like to sell your residence soon, your home's bathroom remains an eye sore, one that could make it more difficult for you to generate interest in your home in a highly competitive real estate landscape.

Fortunately, we're here to help you simplify the process of generating lots of interest in your residence and accelerating the home selling process.

Here are three tips that you can use to enhance your residence's bathroom, and as a result, boost your chances of a quick home sale.

1. Change Out the Hardware.

Believe it or not, updating bathroom hardware like drawer pulls and faucet handles may make a major difference in the eyes of homebuyers. Plus, changing out the hardware usually requires minimal time and effort, making it a fast, effective way to bolster your bathroom's appearance.

Ultimately, you'll want your bathroom to stand out to homebuyers for all the right reasons. And if you spend some time revamping your bathroom hardware, you can move one step closer to transforming your ordinary bathroom into an exceptional one.

2. Check Out the Lighting.

Does your bathroom feature sufficient lighting? If not, your bathroom may prove to be a liability rather than an asset to homebuyers.

Sconce lighting often represents a wonderful option for bathrooms because it can help brighten up big and small spaces. In fact, sconce lighting may even help you make your bathroom appear larger, as this type of lighting empowers you to illuminate your bathroom like never before.

Furthermore, you may want to consider dim lighting in your bathroom. Dim lighting is ideal for those who want to enjoy a relaxing bath and is yet another feature that may help your house stand out to homebuyers.

3. Install Proper Ventilation.

Without the proper bathroom ventilation, mold and mildew can cause severe damage. However, those who dedicate the necessary time and resources to install new bathroom ventilation or repair their existing ventilation can avoid long-lasting problems.

Measure the square footage of your bathroom before you install a new vent fan. By doing so, you'll be able to find a vent fan that can help you minimize mold and mildew consistently.

Also, when in doubt, be sure to consult with a plumber. This professional will be able to evaluate your bathroom's current vent fan, determine if a new one is needed and act accordingly.

Updating your bathroom may seem like a substantial investment, particularly for home sellers who lack extensive time and resources. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available who can help you establish home selling priorities and ensure you can revamp your residence to make it an attractive option for homebuyers.

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of the housing market and will help you prepare your home. In addition, this professional will outline a strategy for improving your home's interior and exterior, ensuring your house will dazzle homebuyers any time they visit.

Bathroom improvements may help you differentiate your home from others on the real estate market. And with a real estate agent at your disposal, you'll be better equipped to optimize the value of your residence and accelerate the home selling process as well.




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