Mark Carmien - Maple and Main Realty, LLC



Posted by Mark Carmien on 9/19/2020

Obtaining a home loan is a must for most homebuyers. However, assessing a wide range of home loan options and making the best-possible decision can be difficult, particularly for a buyer who is evaluating these options for the first time.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you perform a deep analysis of home loan options and make an informed decision.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you evaluate different home loan options.

1. Find Out How a Home Loan Works

The home loans that one lender offers may differ from the options provided by another lender. As such, you'll want to learn the ins and outs of each available home loan to guide your decision-making process.

Understanding how a home loan works may make it easy for you to discover your dream house too.

For example, if you get pre-approved for a home loan, you can enter the real estate market with a budget in hand. You then can use this amount to narrow your house search, which may lead to a fast, seamless homebuying experience.

2. Understand All of the Costs

The total amount that you pay each month under the terms of a home loan agreement may vary based on a variety of factors. Fortunately, if you understand all of the costs associated with a home loan, you may be able to find a loan that matches your finances.

Review all of the paperwork associated with a home loan as well. That way, you can find out the length of a home loan agreement and other relevant home loan information and proceed accordingly.

3. Get Expert Home Loan Insights

There is no such thing as "bad" questions about home loans. And if you're uncertain about how to proceed with a home loan, you can always receive expert guidance from a lender.

Oftentimes, lenders employ friendly, knowledgeable home loan specialists who can respond to your concerns and questions. If you meet with these specialists, you can get comprehensive home loan insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.

As you get ready to pursue a home loan, you also may want to consult with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you get in touch with the best lenders in your area and secure a home loan in no time at all.

Of course, let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent can provide throughout the homebuying journey, either.

A real estate agent will serve as your guide to buying a house. He or she will help you hone your home search, explore top-notch residences in your city or town and find a residence that matches your expectations. Plus, a real estate agent will even negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf to help you get the best price on your dream house.

Ready to make your homeownership dream come true? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can secure a home loan and take the next step toward purchasing your ideal residence.




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Posted by Mark Carmien on 9/12/2020

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Water efficiency is good for both the environment and your wallet. Changing habits, such as turning off the tap while brushing your teeth saves about 3,000 gallons a year. This is great, but if you want to take it a step further to conserve water, here are four DIY ways to bring better water efficiency to your bathroom.

Replace Your Old Toilet with a New One

Many homes still have outdated bathrooms, including toilets. Even if in good condition, these toilets are definitely not water efficient. Experts suggest they use 4X more water than modern toilets do. Considering toilets account for about 30% of overall household water use, this is substantial. Replacing a toilet is a great way to reduce use. When purchasing a model, be sure to look for the WaterSense label because toilets with this certification use far less water than other models. Low-flow models use about 1.6 gallons as opposed to 4 to 6 gallons—a significant difference.

Upgrade Your Old Toilet

If you aren’t ready to invest and/or install a new toilet, but want to scale back on your water use, you can upgrade your old one. A few modifications can do the trick.

  • Install an adjustable flapper and save up to three gallons per flush.
  • Hang a tank bag in your tank so it can displace water. It’s less water savings than replacing a toilet, but every bit helps. (Sometimes people place bricks in their tanks, but these deteriorate and can create clogs, so it’s not recommended.)
  • Install a fill cycle diverter to eliminate excess water going down the trail and save about a half-gallon of water per fill.

Every bit of water saved puts money back in your pocket and helps with conservation of this precious natural resource.

Faucets & Shower Heads

Faucets account for over 15% of indoor water use in a household. If you don’t currently have faucets and showerheads with the WaterSense label, consider replacing them. According to the EPA, consumers can reduce water flow by as much as 30% by making this change.

Fix Leaks

Identifying any leaks in your bathroom can save about 10% on a water bill every month.

  • Inspect the toilet flapper and valve seal. (Consumer Reports suggests pouring food coloring into the toilet tank and seeing if it appears in the bowl 15 minutes later to help determine leaks.)
  • Check to see if faucet washers and gaskets are intact, if they are compromised, they’ll need replacing to stop leaks.
  • Look at showerheads to see if they are dripping water—if there is a gap in the connection, they may need to be taped up or replaced.

Many homeowners can DIY leaks, but keep in mind sometimes attempting to fix pipes or tackle any of the more complicated aspects of plumbing can open up a can of worms and lead to further problems. In these instances, it might be time to call a plumber for inspection and/or to get an estimate.

Homeowners making an effort to conserve water can also potentially improve their resale value if they eventually decide to sell. Many of today’s buyers actively seek out homes containing green or efficient features. Conserving water is a great place to start!




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Mark Carmien on 9/9/2020

This Multi-Family in Hatfield, MA recently sold for $405,000. This style home was sold by Mark Carmien - Maple and Main Realty, LLC.


191 Pantry Road, Hatfield, MA 01066

North Hatfield

Multi-Family

$369,000
Price
$405,000
Sale Price

2
Units
2,624
Approx. GLA
Here's a beautifully maintained, historic farmhouse in North Hatfield that will instantly feel like home! Currently set up as a 2 family, it can easily be converted back to a single family. Many updates throughout the recent past, but the original charm of the house remains. Features include a large wrap around porch offering a panoramic view of open space, double living room, eat-in country kitchen, hardwood floors, original trim and moldings, large pantry and laundry room, 1st floor bedroom and full bath. Ample storage is provided in the attached shed, large barn or separate 2 car garage. Recent updates include all new wiring and CB panels, newer furnaces and water heaters, updated bathrooms, large sliders leading to the deck, rebuilt front porch, repaved driveway and MassSave insulation. For the past 30 years this was the home of "Marion's Art Barn", a summer arts & crafts camp for school children. Watch the attached video and read the attached history! Showings begin Sun, 7/19.

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Categories: Sold Homes  


Posted by Mark Carmien on 9/5/2020

Photo by Larisa Koshkina via Pixabay

Restoring native habitat to our surroundings is like pressing the "refresh" button on biodiversity. Homeowners who embrace native gardening are making big contributions to healthy landscapes, which is great for maintaining the native ecosystems.

Making a Difference—Beautifully

Native plants are the greenery that would grow in certain areas with or without human intervention. These plants evolved along with the rest of the living community in the same area, meaning native, dynamic gardening brings in more than plants. It buzzes with life and energy, above and below the soil - from flitting birds to pollinating insects.

The impact of native plant species on even a small stretch of land is impressive. Areas where oak trees thrive, for example, can sustain about a hundred times the diversity as other types of nursery trees. This is all due to the fact that the oak is the native tree of the land and has a built-in capacity for the surrounding ecosystems.

What's more, native gardens produce beautiful flowers, abundant fruits, and lovely, ever-changing seasonal displays of subtle and vibrant hues. They produce the age-old foods of a local area's wildlife. The nectar attracts pollinators, such as bats and hummingbirds.

Payoffs of Native Gardening

You can re-do your garden completely and go 100% native— or choose to implement a majority of native plants with a few accented implants. You could also gradually transform your garden by bringing a few native plants yearly into what you already have. This is called "conservation by addition." 

Either way, native plants in a landscape or garden take about as much effort as establishing other plants you might buy from a market or nursery. Yet after their roots take hold, native plants can flourish with surprisingly little gardening work.

Indigenous plants have evolved to do well in the local weather and soil. This means they rarely need extra resources or sprinkler systems for support. Great news for water bills! No matter what size your garden project, your native garden can help save water and key resources.

Plus, oaks, maples, and other native trees to your region work efficiently to hold in carbon dioxide while replenishing precious oxygen. These trees continually add shade, beauty, and pure, refreshed air to your surroundings.  

Ready to Give It a Go?

Visit natural areas around you. This will give you ideas about what will fit in well on your property. Use your zip code to find local plants that will delight your local birds and bees.

Contact other gardeners in your area for advice. Social media is another great source of tips.

Then enjoy learning, and celebrating the natural character of the land on which you live.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Mark Carmien on 9/2/2020

This Single-Family in Amherst, MA recently sold for $550,000. This Colonial style home was sold by Mark Carmien - Maple and Main Realty, LLC.


21 Sacco Dr, Amherst, MA 01002

Single-Family

$550,000
Price
$550,000
Sale Price

9
Rooms
4
Beds
2/1
Full/Half Baths
Well maintained Colonial home with beautifully landscaped lot and private back yard. Updated kitchen with cherry cabinets, stainless steel appliances, and granite counter tops. From the kitchen step into a large living room with a handsome fireplace and entry to dining room. The kitchen opens onto a well crafted, screened in outdoor living area, where you can enjoy the natural surroundings from the porch or deck. Second floor master bedroom is equipped with dressing area and curb-less shower stall with handicap features.Three additional large bedrooms and a full bath are on the second floor. Bonus room over garage is ideal for a private home office. The basement has a comfortable finished play room. This home is currently handicapped accessible. The neighborhood is minutes to downtown Amherst and UMass and makes this home a great location to live. A must see!

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Categories: Sold Homes  




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