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Maximizing Space in Your New Apartment

 

North of Boston Apartment Interior

If you have ever lived in a small apartment, then you know what a challenge it can be to keep that space from feeling cramped and claustrophobic at times. When you’re living in an apartment or small home, it is important to make every square foot count! With a little layout design and creativity, you can make it feel spacious and open in no time. Whether you are living in the city with three roommates or starting your forever home, these ideas will be sure to help you create the vibe you want in your living area, no matter the size. Here are our top three tips on how to maximize space in your new apartment.

1) Eliminate Clutter

The absolute best way to start maximizing space in your apartment is to eliminate clutter. Getting rid of the nonessentials helps you to stay clean and keep things off the ground. This helps you to utilize as much floor space as possible. Once you eliminate unnecessary items from your home, you can begin to strategize where to store the things you use daily. This is where storage furniture comes into play. You can find storage furniture that is cute, versatile, and very affordable at most furniture stores. Having bed frames with built in drawers can help prevent the accumulation of unorganized mess under your bed. Buy baskets and containers for around your house that can be functional and decorative. Eliminating and concealing clutter is the first step in making your apartment look bigger and more organized.

2) Remember, Less is More

When you buy a small apartment, the first thing you might think is that you’re limited to buying small furniture too. This is a huge misconception! In reality, having lots of little pieces around the house can actually take up much more floor space than having a few pieces of larger furniture. Let’s take the living room as an example. You might think having lots of smaller chairs in a room would add more space, but it actually creates less by taking up more floor space. Opt for a large statement couch instead and see how the room can double in size suddenly. Not only does having one large piece of furniture provide you with more space, but it also forces perspective. This goes strategy applies to decor as well. Creating a single focal point creates the illusion that the space is larger than it actually is. This is the perfect excuse to splurge out on that retro bed or sophisticated furniture piece of your dreams when you do not have to worry about buying multiples of everything.

3) Trick Your Eye

There are lots of small design hacks that can trick your eyes into believing a space has more depth and height. One of the oldest tricks in the book is to hang mirrors around your home. Any reflective surface is going to make your walls appear that they go further back than they really do. Another easy trick is to use natural light as much as possible. Open up blinds and show off as much window as possible to give your home a light and airy feeling. If privacy is a problem, then we would suggest investing in some thin, white curtains to create a similar effect. Lastly, use a light palette for your furniture and wall colors. This has a similar effect to using mirrors and natural light. It creates an environment that doesn’t feel closed off or restricting.

With these tips, you will maximize every square foot of your small space living quarters.

*Blog written by Lisa Smalls

If you have any questions about the local area, 
or if you're thinking about buying or selling a home in the North of Boston area:
Contact Christopher J. Barrett Realtors

 

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    2019 Marks the 50th Anniversary of Christopher J. Barrett, Realtors!

    Chris J. Barrett - 1976Founded in 1969 by Chris J. Barrett, Christopher J. Barrett, Realtors has made its mark in the North of Boston real estate industry by relying on experience, integrity, and commitment to their clients and community. We have consistently been leaders in the market not only in Wakefield but in surrounding towns and we take pride in being a family business for over two generations.  

    From the beginning, Chris’s hard work and endearing personality set him on a path for success. He made it a point to know the citizens of Wakefield and appreciate their needs in buying and/or selling homes. Everyone loved Chris and his growing family. His wife, Marilyn, and four sons were always visible within the town whether it was serving on a town organization, playing on a sports field or succeeding in local school events.

    As the boys graduated from college and Marilyn had more time and energy to now contribute to the firm, it was clear that Chris’s vision of a family business came to fruition. Marilyn managed the office while Chris M., Michael and Gerald joined as Realtors and quickly established themselves as a premier real estate firm north of Boston. After Chris passed away in 2013, Marilyn carried his passion forward and continued on with the daily operations of the business. When looking back on the company’s history, Marilyn expressed her pride for the reputation Christopher J. Barrett Realtors has earned and for its status as a two-generation family-run business. “Wakefield is such a special place. I have been so fortunate to call this community home for nearly six decades,” Marilyn said. “As a two-generation company, I am indeed fortunate to work with my sons, all of whom are involved in the community and give back to our community.”

    The term family includes the dedicated team of Realtors who currently work at Christopher J. Barrett, Realtors and those who came before them. Each broker really takes the time to understand the needs and wants of each and every client. “Our philosophy has always been that all real estate is local,” Marilyn said as she reflected on the past 50 years. “As Realtors, it is our job to know the market first-hand. Our Realtors take the time to do an analysis of the market in which the buyer or seller is located. It’s a commitment we have followed for the past 50 years, and it’s a commitment we will continue to follow in the future.”

    Christopher J. Barrett Realtors takes pride in helping buyers and sellers with their housing needs as well as lending a helping hand to hundreds of local, regional and national organizations. Giving back to the community was something Chris and Marilyn felt strongly about from the beginning and that sentiment continues today.

    Please join us in our year-long 50th Anniversary celebration! We are very proud of this achievement and hope you will continue to call upon us for all of your Wakefield MA real estate needs.

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    5 Ways to Update a Tired Kitchen

    White KitchenWho doesn’t love a spacious, new kitchen with top-of-the-line appliances? Fact is, when showing your home, the kitchen is THE most important room in the house. It is both the most functional room in the house and the one place that people tend to gather in to socialize and connect with one another. It is the hub of the house and, because of the function, form, and durability that must be built into a kitchen, it helps to have it up-to-date. But, a traditional remodel or renovation is a financial investment. According to a 2017 study by Houzz research published in Forbes Magazine, the average cost to remodel a traditional kitchen is between $25,001-$50,000.*

    But what if you just do not have the time or money to update the kitchen? What if you’re just looking for a little change of scenery or a slight refresh? The good news is that you don’t have to commit to demolition or a major splurge. You can still give your kitchen’s look and feel a little lift on a small, low-commitment budget.

    Here are some helpful hints for anyone looking for a little refresh. So whether you’re getting your home ready to put your Wakefield area home on the market or just looking to change things up a bit, try implementing these ideas.

    1. DECLUTTER – Purging is therapeutic! Look around your countertops and in drawers; remove non-essentials. Remember the simple phrase, Less is More and implement this mantra into your kitchen living. This is especially important if you’re preparing to show your home to prospective buyers and/or staging for photographs. Try placing a simple vase with fresh, colorful flowers or even a bowl of fruit on the counter.

    2. LIGHTING – Freshen up the space by updating or swapping out the lighting over the kitchen table or island. Include pendants or undermount lights beneath cabinets to add ambiance and illuminate the prep-space. At a minimum, replace any burned-out light bulbs.

    3. PAINT THE CABINETS – Replacing kitchen cabinets can be very costly. An alternative way to update the look is to refinish or repaint the cabinet faces. White cabinets and other colorful options add a bright, fresh look that is attractive to the eye.

    4. CABINET HARDWARE – Swapping out the handles and pulls is a quick, easy and often inexpensive way to make a significant change in the kitchen. Look for stylish options or a different type of finish such as brushed nickel. Again, keep it simple and, especially if you are selling your home, avoid using knobs with flowers or cute animals or bold shapes. Those personal choices may not be the choices of the prospective buyers.

    5. ORGANIZE THE CABINETS AND PANTRY – Buyers love storage and if your cabinets/pantry looks spacious, it will be a plus for you. Toss out expired food in the pantry, straighten up the cabinets and clear out things you’re not using to show them how much functional storage space you have.

    5. ADD PLANTS – Greenery is perfect for any kitchen. Adding live plants, flowers or herbs give a space color, a sweet scent, and even the benefit of cleaner air. A few colorful pots of leafy herbs on the kitchen windowsill suggest simplicity and tranquility.

    Thinking about selling your home in Wakefield or surrounding North of Boston community? Contact Christopher J. Barrett Realtors today!

    * Carlyle, Erin. "What It Costs To Remodel A Kitchen In 2017." Houzz/Forbes Magazine. 5 December 2017. https://www.forbes.com/sites/houzz/2017/12/05/what-it-costs-to-remodel-a-kitchen-in-2017/#17f6bcd81d7c

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      How To Get More People To Home Showings

      Home For SaleWhen you put your north of Boston home on the market, it would be nice if you could just put a “For Sale” sign out front, then the home would magically sell. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. Most home searches begin online today. Then, buyers move to open houses and private home showings. Whether you live in a condo, townhouse, or a single family home, there are ways that you can increase the amount of traffic to your home showing. The more people that see the property in person, the more likely someone is to buy it! You’ll need to work with your realtor to effectively market your home and make it easily available for home showings.

      Don’t Require That Your Agent Be The Only One Who Shows The Home

      The MLS is where properties for sale are listed and how realtors help their clients find homes. The listing should state that you have a lockbox available to allow other realtors to get into the home with a client. They will call first in order to set up an appointment for a showing. Also, don’t be restrictive for your showing times. Of course, your home won’t be available 24 hours a day, but you need to be flexible. Work with your realtor to set appropriate times for potential buyers to do walkthroughs. 

      Outside The Box Marketing Strategies

      Aside from simply listing the home and posting it on social media, try other marketing methods. Maybe you can do some direct mailing to the neighborhood in order to announce that the home is for sale and showings are available. You can also put ads for the home showing in the local newspaper, on Craigslist, and on Facebook message boards.   

      Don’t Forget The Buyer’s Agent Commission

      Most likely, your listing agreement states that the buyer’s agent and the seller's agent are splitting the commission on your home 50/50. You can raise the amount of the commission and give the buyer’s agent a higher percentage to make the home more attractive to both realtors and buyers. Realtors are more likely to want to show the home if they have a little extra incentive to bring clients to your home for sale. The money you get from the sale of your home is yours, so use a little of it to get your home sold faster, possibly for a better price.  

      Organize A Neighborhood Open House

      Open HouseIf there are a few other homes in the neighborhood for sale, ask your realtor to try and coordinate with other agents to hold all of the open houses during the same hours on the same day. Real estate agents tend to love to work together because it gives mutual benefits to both parties. This strategy will attract a larger crowd because people who attend one open house will drive by with curiosity, or notice how close the open house listings are together and plan to visit all of the showings during that day.

      If you plan your home showings right alongside your realtor, you should have your home sold in a timely manner to the right buyer for a great price.

      Thinking of selling your home in Wakefield, MA or other community north of Boston? Contact us today and learn how we can help!

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      Improving Your Home's Curb Appeal

      If you are thinking about selling your home in Wakefield or one of the other communities north of Boston, you may want to give it a makeover before placing it on the market. For many, living in the same home for an extended period of time can blur your vision of the details that may need attention. For example, you may not notice the sagging shutters on the second floor or the chipped paint on the trim.  However, these details are things that potential buyers see when they drive up to your house. The good news is that these are things that you can easily tackle before you get ready to sell that will not break the bank.

      CONSULT WITH A REALTOR

      Not sure where to start? Maybe all you need is a fresh set of eyes. Any of our agents at Christopher J. Barrett Realtors can provide insight on what improvements can be made to improve the curb appeal of your home so that the house sells quickly. We are professionals in this business and are savvy as to why properties sell and why they do not. We are here to help and would love to offer our suggestions.

      LANDSCAPING

      LandscapingOne of the first things a prospective buyer will notice when they drive up to a home is the yard. That is why having a well-landscaped lot is vital when planning to sell your home. Some DYI tasks you can do are to weed the garden, plant some fresh flowers and prune the hedges. Adding fresh mulch or window boxes with colorful annuals can add a nice touch to the appearance. Mow the lawn and try to remove any dandelions or weeds. All of these ideas can be done with just a little time and perspiration!Painting

      PAINT

      Is the paint peeling or is the color faded from years of direct sunlight? Perhaps a fresh coat will revitalize the house and give it that sparkle to attract the right buyer. Or, maybe the front door or shutters need a makeover. You will be surprised at how a new coat of paint can transform the front of the home. These subtle differences add character to a home and can make it feel more welcoming.

      DRIVEWAY/WALKWAYS/PATIOS

      The driveway and front walkway should be cared for and clean. If there are cracks in the pavement, spend a little time and money to seal them or even repave it. Remove all the weeds and provide a clean, even edge to the walkways. Sweeping the front stairs can add a nice touch and will make visitors and potential homebuyers feel at home.

      All of these suggestions will only enhance your property when looking to sell. But be sure you do not wait until the last minute to spruce up the place. Doing a little at a time will relieve stress and give you the time you need to get the job done right. If you would like one of our agents to provide an opinion on how to best prepare to sell your home in Wakefield or one of the surrounding communities north of Boston, please feel free to contact us at 781-245-5011. We can get the job done!

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      Look At The Neighborhood, Not Just The House

      Wakefield MA Home Listed by CJ Barrett RealtorsIf you’re in the market for a new home in one of the communities North of Boston and you see a property you’d like to make an offer on, take a walk or ride around the neighborhood first. This is the best way to see if the neighborhood is a good fit for you.

      • Is the neighborhood near local parks, schools, and restaurants?
      • How accessible is the highway or public transportation?
      • Is it near an industrial area or business that may be noisy?
      • Do the neighbors take care of their property?

      Buying a less than ideal home in a great neighborhood is better than purchasing the perfect home in a bad area. While you may have found your dream home, you’ll be wise to make sure that the neighborhood has all you need to make your house a home!

      Contact Christopher J. Barrett Realtors today to learn more about our communities North of Boston and for all of your Wakefield MA real estate needs.

       

       

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      Don't Be An Emotional Seller

      You’ve raised your family in your home … you’ve hosted many holidays over the years … you’ve lovingly restored or renovated your home. These things can often lead sellers to be too emotionally attached to the home, which in turn can lead to poor decision making. They may over-price the home or make important decisions based on feelings rather than facts.

      It’s only natural to be emotionally connected to your home. Try not to let emotions get in the way of selling your house quickly and at the best price.

      Try to remember that selling your property is a business transaction only. Focus your attention – and emotions - on the new home you’ll be moving into.

      Pack away anything that personalizes your home, such as family pictures, trophies, and sentimental knick-knacks. Make your home as attractive as you can.

      Don’t take negative comments personally. If you hear a potential buyer make a negative comment about your property, try to remember that not everyone has the same taste as you do.

      Don’t accept offers based on whether you like the potential buyer. You may select an offer that could fall through, jeopardizing your ability to buy a new home.

      Thinking about selling your North Shore home in Wakefield, MA or nearby town? Contact Christopher J. Barrett Realtors today and learn how we can help!

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        Pay Attention to Staging!

        Staging is very important if you want your home to make a good first impression.

        While every room is important, you should focus on three types of rooms that buyers tend to pay particular attention to: kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms.

        In the kitchen, make sure the stove, sink and countertops are spotless. Countertops should be clear of anything that isn’t necessary since you want to create the impression that there is a lot of counter space.

        Keep bathrooms clean and uncluttered. Remove personal items from the countertop and keep the shower curtain open. Make sure that the towels match and are neatly hung on the rack.

        Keep the bedrooms neat and make sure the bed is made, preferably with matching covers and pillow cases. Closets should be tidy with clothes hung neatly. If you have shoes in your closet, make sure they are neatly arranged. Loose files and papers that are stored in the closet should be removed. Don’t leave any clothes out of the dresser or closet, and make sure that the hamper is empty.

        Contact Christopher J. Barrett Realtors if you have any questions about the home selling process, or to learn how we can help you sell your home on the North Shore.

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        Welcome to our new blog!

        We look forward to making this the best resource for information about real estate, our local area, and current topics that impact you. Please feel free to comment on our posts if you have questions or reactions to share. If there is anything you'd like to see us write about, we'd love to hear your ideas.

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