Mary (Vigliatura) Stolarczyk
RE/MAX Vision | 508-612-1382 | [email protected]

Posted by Mary (Vigliatura) Stolarczyk on 6/11/2018

Owning your own home has always been your dream. Youíve saved for years just so you could have the chance to own your own piece of real estate. And now,you think you've found the perfect house, but it just needs a bit of work. In other words, itís a fixer-upper. A fixer-upper is a home that needs repairs before the buyer can move in.

Sometimes buying a fixer-upper is a smart investment. It allows you to move into a neighborhood you couldnít normally afford because the house is selling for less than the others surrounding it. If you've decided to buy a fixer-upper, here are some points to consider.

Should You Buy that Fixer-Upper?

Before buying a fixer-upper, hire a home inspector you wonít be surprised by any major issues with the home. Home inspectors uncover expensive problems that arenít seen by the naked eye. They may include electrical, plumbing and structural issues. These kinds of problems are expensive to fix. And you may not want to take them on if youíre a first-time homebuyer.

According to, ďHiring an independent home inspector alleviates some of the risk for the 30-year mortgage you are assuming with the purchase of a home.Ē If you buy that fixer-upper without getting it inspected, you can end up buying a home that will become a virtual vampire that sucks your bank account dry.

Having a home inspector check the home from top to bottom is crucial. You donít want to sign a purchase agreement and then discover that the house has serious problems that make it a bad investment. You want to be able to back out of the deal or renegotiate the terms if your heart is still set on buying the home.

Projects to Tackle First

One of the simplest renovations to make on a fixer-upper is repainting the walls. Paint rollers and paintbrushes, a few cans of paint and a bit of elbow grease are all you need to get started.

Mowing the lawn, planting flowers, trimming the shrubs and adding outdoor lighting will help give your fixer-upper some curb appeal. If you hate doing yard work, hire a lawn service to do it for you.

Replacing flooring is something handy people can accomplish in a short period of time. Rip out that stained carpet or faded vinyl flooring. Then, go to the home improvement store to find the right type of flooring for your house.


Planning to do your own home repairs? Use the right kind of power tools because they help you work more efficiently. Typical tools you may need include drills, jigsaws, and sanders. Checkout the local home improvement store to find a wide selection.

Major Restoration Projects Requiring Demolition Work

Does your fixer-upper have a bathroom that looks straight out of the Ď70s? Situations like these require major restoration, which often means demolition work is required. Knocking out walls and updating the plumbing isnít for the faint of heart. Youíll need professional contractors.And this may cost you some major moolah. Most homeowners spend between $1,500 and $3,586 for states that fixer-uppers ďhave been neglected for years, causing significant issues that are costly to repair.Ē

WhenItís Fixed Up

After your home is fixed up, should you stayin it or sell it? If the home is the right size for your family, you may wish to live in it for years to come. After all, you renovated the house so that it's basically your dream home. Of course, you can also decide to sell the home and hopefully receive more money than you paid for it.

If youíre a first-time homebuyer with your heart set on a fixer-upper, be a smart consumer and do your homework before purchasing the home that needs some renovations. Hire a home inspector to determine the condition of the home. Begin with simple projects such as repainting the walls, landscaping the lawn and replacing flooring. Be prepared to spend some money if serious demolition is required. If you take the time to select a fixer-upper that doesnít require too much work, you just might find a home that is the perfect fit for you and your family.

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Posted by Mary (Vigliatura) Stolarczyk on 5/25/2018

Fixer-upper homes are all the rage these days, both for homeowners who want to create the perfect place to live and for those interested in flipping a home for a profit. Thereís a lot of work that goes into one of these homes, however, and therefore, thereís a lot to consider. Not only will you need to plan for the actual homebuying process, there are many financial considerationsto make for repairs as well.

Location is an important factor, too. Whether you decide to keep the home as your own or sell it, the surrounding area and school district need to be included in your consideration when choosing the right place. As a general rule, look for the least expensive home in the best neighborhood in order to get more bang for your buck (and for a quicker sale).

Keep reading for some great tips on how to buy a fixer-upper.


Depending on the areas youíre looking in, there may be dozens of fixer-uppers ripe for the picking. Itís important to shop around a bit before you make a decision. Settling on a home hastily can lead to regrets down the road, so do some research online, make several visits to the locations, and scout out the community to get a feel for how much the average asking price is to decide whether itís worth your time.

Know what youíre looking for

Itís imperative that you make the decision to either stay or sell before you begin the fixing-up process, because the things you choose to update and add to the home will vary depending on which way you go.If you currently donít have kids but are planning to, the number of bedrooms and size of the backyard will be important. Knowing which school district the home is in will be helpful for sellers, since it could have an effect on the asking price. Know what youíre looking for in the beginning.

Donít skimp on the landscaping

Making home repairs is one thing, but itís important not to forget about the landscaping. The exterior of the home should be just as lovely as the interior, especially if youíre planning on selling, and fortunately thatís not too difficult to achieve. Planting some colorful flowers, adding small shrubs, or creating a neat garden path will all add to your homeís value and will give it some serious curb appeal. For some great tips on how to get started, go here.

Consider the work

Some homes need more work than others, and unless youíre a skilled contractor, youíll need to hire helpto take care of the major renovations, such as installing cabinetry or updating flooring. There will likely be many DIY repairs you can do, but youíll need to have the right tools on hand, such as drills, sanders, and jigsaws. Create a budget before you get started, and leave some cushion within it for unexpected needs. Keep in mind that no home renovation can ever be planned out all the way;there will always be little surprises, some better than others. With a good plan, however, you can keep stress to a minimum so you can focus on the work ahead of you.

Buying a new home is a major decision when itís brand new; when itís a fixer-upper, it becomes a little more complicated and requires lots of organization and planning to prevent financial losses. Talk to areal estate agent about the steps involved, get an inspectorís opinion, and do your research before making any decisions in order to make your project a success. With the right plan in place and some careful financial preparation, you can make your first-time home buying experience a good one.

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Posted by Mary (Vigliatura) Stolarczyk on 5/22/2018

Selling a home is a daunting task for anyone, but it can be downright overwhelming for first-time sellers. You want to make repairs to entice potential buyers, but you donít want to spend more than you will get back when you sell, or price yourself out of the local housing market. Thatís why making some DIY home improvements is a safe bet for first-time home sellers.

1.Improve Your Curb Appeal

Chances are, prospective home buyers will find your listing online and then drive past your home to check out its location before contacting you or a realtor to purchase. That means that you have to make a killer first impression with your curb appeal.

Begin with your front entrance. Realtors will bring potential buyers to your front door every time, so make sure that your walkway, yard, and front porch or stoop are clean. If you have kids, keep their toys in the garage in an organized fashion.

Depending on the time of year, you should mow your yard or clear snow off your sidewalks and driveway. Weather permitting, weed your flower beds and garden and add some fresh flowers to your entryway in containers to gain some extra appeal. Check out these tips from The Spruce for more DIY landscaping ideas.

2.Paint Your Front Door

You can go one step further with your curb appeal by painting your front door. A fresh coat of paint on a front door refreshes your entryway. A bold color that complements your exterior colors also will catch someoneís eye and give your home more character. You can tape paint swatches to your door to help you make a decision.

DIY Network recommends removing your hardware and preparing your door by cleaning it and sanding it before wiping it down, applying primer, and painting it. Itís also a good idea to begin with your trim details and feather out the paint to avoid drips. You may want to update your hardware when youíre done to give your door a total makeover. If you need to replace your front door, call a professional. This job likely will require power tools and complicated cuts.

3. GiveYour Kitchen a New Look

Kitchens can make or break a home sale. People expect upgraded kitchens. But, you may not expect the price tag that accompanies a total kitchen makeover. Fortunately, there are some ways to give your kitchen a new look without breaking the bank.

Replacing your cabinet and drawer hardware can give your kitchen a much-needed update. You also can replace your kitchen faucet with one in a matching finish. If you donít feel qualified to do plumbing work, contact a licensed plumber who has solid references.

Consider replacing kitchen light fixtures with some in the same finish to complete the look. Most homeowners can replace alight, but if you need to change a lightís location or do any wiring work, hire a licensed electrician. You donít want to risk your safety or your home by attempting electrical work yourself.

4.Clean Your Carpet

You want to make your home appear as clean as possible, so clean your carpets before listing it, especially when you have pets. If your carpet is in good shape, but you want to freshen it and reduce odors, rent a carpet cleaner or purchase a home carpet cleaner. Check out the results from Consumer Reports before you buy.

If your carpet shows a little more wear and tear and has some stains, consider hiring a professional carpet cleaning service. They have the experience and equipment it takes to deep clean carpets, and they can recommend that you purchase new carpet if needed.

To keep your carpets clean as you begin the process of selling your home with pets, which will include open houses and last minute showings, make sure that when youíre not home your dog has someone to let him outside to use the bathroom. You can ask a friend, hire a dog walker or board your dog when youíre not home to eliminate the possibility of messes being made.††

If youíre a first-time home seller, you should recognize the value of DIY home improvements before putting your house on the market. Improve your curb appeal and paint your front door. Then, refresh your kitchen and clean your carpet. Using these tips, your home will be sold in no time!

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Posted by Mary (Vigliatura) Stolarczyk on 4/16/2018

Are you thinking of selling your home? Some projects have more impact than others on resale value. Here, weíll take a look at the best way to spend a few hundred dollars and a long weekend, and also the projects you should leave to the professionals.

Do it Yourself

Beautiful backsplash. Thanks to pre-cut tile sheets (and YouTube), you can transform the look of your kitchen by adding a colorful mosaic backsplash behind your counter. This is a simple project that anyone can do and, depending on size and tile selection, will cost around $200 and take the better part of an afternoon. The most important thing here is to measure and make sure you have enough product to complete everything in one session.

Landscaping. Not only does working in the lawn give you the opportunity to get some much-needed fresh air and exercise, your curb appeal adds significant value to your property. The vast majority of landscaping chores are simple and inexpensive DIY projects.

Kitchen cabinets. Hereís a do-it-yourself project that can really pack a punch. Outdated kitchen cabinets will look years younger with a simple coat of paint and a few pieces of modern hardware. A gallon of high-quality cabinet enamel will run you about $50. It takes two to three days to do it right but will dramatically increase the visual appeal of your interior.

Power washing. Pressure washing moss- and dirt-covered hard surfaces will instantly brighten the exterior of your home. It takes about an hour and a half to properly power wash a 50-foot walkway and another hour to seal it, if necessary. The average cost to rent a medium-duty pressure washer for a day is $71 versus $350 or more to pay someone else to do the dirty work for you.

Storage solutions. Storage space is something every homeowner wants and every home buyer seeks. Increase yours by getting creative in utilizing the design of your home to increase storage capability. A simple $32 project recommended by This Old House is to simply add a small shelf above the doorway. Do this in a few key areas to add visual interest as well as storage.

Leave it to the pros

Gutter cleaning. This task often gets overlooked but cleaning out your gutters is so important for the maintenance of your home. A cluttered gutter can encourage mold to grow, do damage to your roof and cause foundation issues, among other things. However, this is a job best left for professionals who understand ladder safety and can alert you of any potential problems with your gutter system. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost for gutter and downspout cleaning in the city of Worcester is between $123 - $226.

Changing a light fixture. Did you know that the majority of home fires are due to faulty electrical wiring? A significant portion of these can be attributed to DIY wiring projects and failure to comply with codes. A licensed electrician may charge around $50 per hour to install a new light fixture or change antiquated plugs and sockets, but itís worth it compared to the cost of losing your home and irreplaceable family heirlooms.

Installing a new toilet. Your plumbing system is more important than you may give it credit for. Not only does it wash away waste, properly installed pipes will keep moisture from building up behind your walls. Improperly installed plumbing, however, can lead to mold, mildew, and wood rot. Most big-box retailers offer toilet installation services for around $100, which is a small price to pay for the peace of mind knowing itís done correctly.

Your home is an asset that you must invest in regularly in order to see the most gains. These and other simple home improvement projects can help. So get out your tools and get to work. Youíll be glad you did, especially when itís time to sell.

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Posted by Mary (Vigliatura) Stolarczyk on 3/6/2018

Adding Value: Home Improvement Tips for Homeowners

There are many ways to increase the value of your home with do-it-yourself projects that donít cost a lot of money or require a major time investment. Some donít call for anything more than a little paint or an afternoon†working in the yard. An upgrade youíve never tried before is a little different. If youíre considering something a bit more ambitious than low-impact landscaping†or freshening the smell of your homeís interior, youíll need to plan ahead and get some advice before diving into it, or get an idea of what itíll look like when youíre done.

Consult a pro

Itís important to reach a comfort level when considering aDIY improvement project. Understanding the complexity involved can help youdecide whether itís worth a try. Ask your realtor to drop by for a look and tooffer an opinion. Most are willing to do this for free, and youíll probablylearn something you didnít know. You can also hire a designer for a quick consult; $100 an hour is a standardconsultation fee for most designers. Itís well worth the investment becauseyouíll get a lot of good ideas and advice. More importantly, youíll get ananswer to the big question: should I try it myself or not? There are someprojects that absolutely will require a professional. For example, if youíreconsidering getting your roof repaired, do not attempt to do this project on your own.

Thereís always paint

Applyinga fresh coat of paint or changing colors in your entryway or bedroom is alwaysa good option. Most realtors recommend painting when homeowners are looking toupgrade their home value. Itís relatively inexpensive, anyone can do it, anditís a good option if youíve decided to forego a job thatís beyond yourability. Your house will look updated and well cared for, which is sure to geta buyerís attention. Remember that neutral colors (whites and off-whites) are your best bet if youíre tryingto upgrade. Most realtors advise against overwhelming buyers with bright,splashy colors that can make it hard for buyers to envision how they might makethe space their own.

Make it look bigger

A home that gives off the impression of space and flow ismore likely to get a positive reaction than one full of furniture anddecorations, even if theyíre well-coordinated. Buyers like spacious rooms thatpresent multiple design opportunities. Clear out all the clutter and oldfurniture to get rid of that claustrophobic feel. Keep the drapes and blindsopen so that plenty of natural light can get in, and consider hanging a large mirror, anothergood way to give the impression of space.

Tweak your bathroom

The bathroom and kitchen are two excellent places to addvalue. If your realtor or designer advises against a full-scale bathroomremodeling, you can still add value with some small-scale improvements, such asa new vanity or hanging new wallpaper. You might also consider replacing yourlight and faucet fixtures. A new tile floor will always help, but make sure youíre up to the task.Laying tile can be tricky if youíve never tried it before.

Basics first

If youíre serious about putting your house on the market,home improvement projects come with the territory. Try to get some good advicefrom professionals who can help you get the biggest return on your investment.And always be sure to take care of the basics first, things like cleaning,decluttering, and organizing. Paying for a home renovation wonít do you muchgood if buyers see a disordered and dirty house.

Courtesy of Pixabay

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