Caroline Bianchi - RE/MAX Acclaim Worcester County | Oxford MA Real Estate


Making a good first impression on prospective home buyers is the key to getting your house sold within a relatively short period of time. Once your house is on the market, you'll want to make sure any major flaws, aesthetic issues, and potential buyer turnoffs have been fully addressed before the first prospects walk through your front door.

Although serious house hunters often return for a second -- and sometimes third -- walkthrough of your home, first impressions determine whether they'll be back for another look.

Since time is of the essence and you may be on a limited home improvement budget, it's necessary to prioritize the projects that will have the most impact on the image you project. When it comes to making cost-effective decisions on preparing your house for showings, your real estate agent can provide helpful insights and objective advice. Seasoned agents can size up a property within minutes and identify ways to improve the look and feel of your home. Although every homeowner is going to have a different set of priorities and issues to deal with, there are a few focal points that would apply to just about everyone.

Curb appeal: To attract the maximum number of prospects to your home (and to put them in a receptive state of mind when viewing your house), it's essential that your property looks well maintained. In addition to having a manicured lawn and bushes that are neatly trimmed, your curb appeal also depends on the condition of your driveway, walkway, and house foundation. The appearance of weeds, cracked surfaces, and peeling or faded paint are sure to be seen as "red flags" to many people and will detract from the impression your home conveys.

Clutter control: Getting a handle on clutter in and around your house is a vital aspect of enhancing its appearance and marketability. Whether you're dealing with storage areas that are jam-packed to the hilt, too much furniture in your living room, or a front yard that's littered with bicycles, lawn equipment, toys and junk vehicles, clutter is a visual cue to people that "something is wrong here!" Clutter inside your house can cause rooms to look smaller and living space to appear as chaotic and uninviting. Even clutter in garages, basements, closets, and attics can send the wrong message to potential house hunters. On the other hand, uncluttered space is like "a breath of fresh air," and can go a long way toward winning over one or more interested prospects.

General recommendations: While everyone's situation is different and unique, cleanliness, proper room lighting, and basic home staging techniques can help maximize your chances for a successful showing. Applying a fresh coat of paint, where needed, also increases the eye-appeal of everything from your front steps and hallways to bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchen areas. Thoroughly steam-cleaning carpets and refinishing faded hardwood floors can also be cost-effective ways to bring out the full potential of your home


Photo by Hédi Benyounes on Unsplash

Dressing up your bathroom can not only make your house have more sales appeal but also can make your morning routine a little more cheerful. One way to dress up a pedestal sink and even add a pop of color to your bathroom pallet is by adding a colorful skirt.

1. Take Your Measurements

The first step to creating your pedestal sink skirt is getting the proper measurements for your fabric. You will need to measure the distance from the bottom portion of the sink to the floor. Add one inch to these measurements to allow for the bottom hem. For width, you will need to measure around the three sides of the sink, ignoring the back. Once you have this measurement, you will want to double it, so there is plenty of fabric to gather. 

2. Choose Your Fabric

Once you have your measurements, it is time to choose the right fabric. If you have a neutral bathroom color scheme, adding a bright color is the perfect way to liven up the space. You can also go for a more modern look by adding contrasting fabric to the bottom portion. If mixing two fabrics, be sure to add and extra inch to both in your measurements to account for the extra you need to put them together. 

3. Cut & Sew Your Skirt

Use your measurements to cut the material to the required dimensions. You will then want to finish the raw edges of the material by folding them over and sewing a hem around the entire fabric. Once you're done, use a running stitch to gather the fabric, making sure to monitor the measurement to it will fit around your sink.

4. Affix the Skirt to Your Sink

The last step in the process is attaching the skirt to the edge of your sink. Apply a length of hook Velcro to the three sides of the pedestal sink that you will be covering. Next, apply the same length of loop Velcro to the fabric, making sure you use Velcro that has an adhesive. Not only does this process make it easy to install, but it also makes it easy to remove and wash when needed

By following the few simple steps above, you can transform your pedestal sink into the show-stopping center of your bathroom with simple the cost of a little fabric. Whether you prefer unique patterns or bold colors, you can find the perfect way to accentuate your decor.  


Your credit score is a fundamental component of a mortgage lender’s decision to approve you for a loan. It can also affect the interest rate and loan amount you can secure.

Along with your income history and down payment, a solid credit score is one of the three most important things you’ll need when it comes to buying a home.

Credit scores themselves, however, can be a complicated business. And finding out what score you need to buy a home and how to achieve that score can also be a complex topic.

So, in this post we’re going to break down some credit score basics as they relate to buying a home.

Types of credit scores

You may have heard of the three main credit bureaus, TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. Each of these bureaus keeps a detailed credit history for everyone in America (except for those who have yet to open a line of credit or take out a loan).

Since each credit bureau may have slightly different information available data to draw from, your credit scores from each company may vary.

However, when it comes to buying a home, most lenders use a standard scoring model called a FICO score to ensure that all mortgage applicants are treated fairly when they seek a loan.

Things are further complicated by the fact that there are several different FICO scoring models designed for different types of credit. So, if you’ve seen your FICO score when applying for an auto loan, it may be a different score than you will see when applying for a mortgage.

Build credit; raise your credit score

All of the types of credit scores and scoring models can be confusing. But what you mostly need to worry about is how to boost your score.

Your credit score will be based on five main factors:

  1. Making on-time payments

  2. The percentage of available credit (not maxing out your cards)

  3. Having diverse types of credit (auto loans, student loans, credit cards, etc.)

  4. Not opening new lines of credit frequently (a red flag that you’re struggling financially)

  5. The length of your credit history, or how long you’ve been consistently paying your bills

What score do you need to buy a home?

There are several different mortgage types available for buyers. First-time homeowners, veterans, people seeking to buy a home in a rural area, and any other number of circumstances can help you qualify for mortgages even if you have a low credit score.

A general rule, however, is that it’s always better to apply for a mortgage with a high credit score to help you secure the best possible interest rate. 

Some programs do have minimum credit scores that they will accept for a mortgage. FHA loans are one common example. The Federal Housing Authority guarantees loans for people across the country who are hoping to buy their first home (or who haven’t owned a home in the last three years). Their guarantee is what enables lenders to safely approve mortgages for borrowers with low credit scores. The current requirement for an FHA loan is a credit score of 580 or higher for a mortgage with a 3.5% down payment. You can secure an FHA loan with a lower credit score, but you’ll have to make a larger down payment.


There are several other options available for hopeful homeowners when it comes to mortgages. But, if you aren’t planning on moving in the next few months and your credit score could use some work, now is the time to start focusing on building credit.


Purchasing a home in a buyer's market may seem like a fast, simple process. However, it is important to realize that homebuyers constantly compete for the best residences in cities and towns nationwide. And if you're not careful, you risk missing out on an opportunity to acquire your dream house.

What does it take to secure a home in a buyer's market? Here are three tips to ensure that you can do just that.

1. Study the Housing Market Closely

A buyer's market features a large assortment of top-notch residences and a shortage of property buyers. As such, this market heavily favors homebuyers, and property buyers who examine the real estate market closely may be able to boost their chances of purchasing a terrific house at a budget-friendly price.

For homebuyers, it is essential to establish criteria for your dream residence. With homebuying criteria at your disposal, you can narrow your search for the ideal residence and accelerate the homebuying process.

Don't forget to check out homes in-person, either. If you set up a home showing or attend an open house, you'll be able to envision what it's like to own a home and determine whether a residence is right for you.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

What good is shopping for a house if you cannot afford to pay for it? Fortunately, you can get pre-approved for a mortgage to understand exactly how much you can spend on a new house.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you'll want to meet with several banks and credit unions. These lenders will be able to offer insights into a variety of mortgage options, respond to your mortgage concerns and questions and help you select a mortgage that suits you perfectly.

Pre-approval for a mortgage is vital for homebuyers, particularly in a buyer's market. If you have a mortgage in hand when you explore available homes, you may even be able to avoid the temptation to overspend on a residence.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to navigating a buyer's market, a real estate agent can deliver outstanding support.

A real estate agent can teach you about the intricacies of buying a home and help you streamline the homebuying process. He or she also will be available to respond to your homebuying questions, ensuring you can make informed decisions as the homebuying journey moves forward.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can help you alleviate stress as you search for your dream home. This housing market professional will keep you up to date about new properties as they become available, set up home showings and negotiate with home sellers on your behalf. By doing so, a real estate agent enables you to focus on what's important – purchasing a first-rate house at a price that matches your budget.

Buying a home can be challenging, even in a buyer's market. But with the aforementioned tips, you can simplify the homebuying process and move closer to securing a house that meets or exceeds your expectations.


This Single-Family in Oxford, MA recently sold for $170,000. This Colonial style home was sold by Caroline Bianchi - RE/MAX Acclaim.


22 Chestnut Hill Rd, Oxford, MA 01537

Single-Family

$180,000
Price
$170,000
Sale Price

7
Rooms
3
Beds
1
Baths
INVESTORS, CONTRACTORS, HGTV ENTHUSIASTS & IMAGINEERS, THIS PROJECT WILL GIVE YOU THE SAME THRILL AS A BUNGEE JUMP! Welcome to 22 Chestnut Hill Ave in one of Oxford's friendly neighborhoods of similar homes. This classic Colonial needs a "finisher" to get the job done. First floor has open concept layout with partially finished kitchen including stainless steel appliances which can be included in the sale. Large living room offers nice layout for gatherings/entertainment. Second floor has two large bedrooms (see floor plans) with his and her closets in Master. Finished basement has workshop and cable ready family room with recessed lighting and large area for everyone to spread out. Exterior has large deck overlooking large, private yard. Superb location is minutes from highway access (I-290 and MA 12), commuter options and area amenities such as shopping or gym. PUT YOUR VISION GOGGLES ON AND LET'S GO FREE FALLIN' THIS WEEKEND. EASY TO SHOW. CALL TODAY TO TAKE A LOOK






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