George P. Goulas - KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY | 508-509-3833 | GGoulas@kw.com


Posted by George P. Goulas on 2/19/2020

Photo by Pixaline via Pixabay

The right home security system can make a profound difference for your peace of mind and make your home an unappealing target -- but do you have to go with a conventional (and expensive) alarm service? In the past, homeowners had few choices, but now, if you own a home and like to DIY you have more options than ever before when it comes to home security. Is a DIY home security system right for you -- or are you better off with the traditional model? Consider these factors as you determine the best way to protect your home. 

DIY vs. Conventional Alarm Services

While the installation and monitoring may differ, both DIY and conventional systems share some factors; both offer wireless connections and monitoring points, both improve the overall security of your home and both can be installed in a day or less. The differences lie in the overall cost, commitment and approach to monitoring. 

A DIY Alarm Service is Right for You If: 

You are handy: If you can do basic home repairs and set up your DVD player or smart-home technology, you have the skills needed to install a DIY alarm system. Alarms used to be very complex and require electrical knowledge. Today's systems are fast and easy to install with the tools you probably have on hand. 

You're wary of contracts: One of the primary consumer complaints about alarm companies in general involves not service, but contracts. Being locked in for a long period of time takes away some of your flexibility. If you move and you have a monitoring contract, you either have to pay to have your system relocated or continue paying for a service you no longer use. Since DIY systems don't require equipment rental or contracts, they are more flexible and forgiving. 

You're on a budget: When you work with a DIY brand, you can buy just what you need, and you'll spend less on equipment and installation. A national brand will charge you for equipment, installation and even ongoing protection fees, making them a more expensive option. 

Since the actual monthly service is very similar, most families benefit from opting for DIY systems. There are a few exceptions. If you have a very large home with many entry points, are unable to do the work needed to install the system or you need more monitoring features, then a traditional system might work. Seniors with limited mobility may have more needs than a growing family or a single individual, and may prefer the all-in-one service offered by a conventional brand. Anyone else can benefit from the low costs and convenience of DIY security systems. 

Reviewing your options allows you to choose the best possible alarm service for your home and family -- and the one that has the perfect balance of cost, commitment and coverage to protect your home. 




Tags: DIY   security   security systems  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by George P. Goulas on 2/12/2020

Photo by Breadmaker via Shutterstock

You may be thinking that your best investments are inside the home: a snazzy new kitchen, a spa-like bathroom or new wood floors, but you can actually get a high return on investment (ROI) if you focus on your home's curb appeal.

The first impression potential buyers have of your home is the outside. If you had to guess, what's the best purchase? If you guessed a garage door, you'd be right! Studies show that the recouped cost of a new garage door is usually around 97%, which means you basically get the whole amount back in home value.

Fixing Up the Outside

Before you go investing $4,000 in a new garage door, though, start by fixing up the existing features of your home. That means repairing or replacing vinyl siding, powering washing the outside and giving it a new paint job if necessary. Make sure windows and shutters are clean and without cracks or dings. Most importantly, if your roof is nearing the end of its warranty, or if you have known problems like leaks, now is the time to fix it. While the ROI on a new roof is only about 60%, roof problems can be a huge turn off for buyers, causing your home to sit on the market for longer and costing you more in the long run.

Landscaping

Start on your landscaping plan by cleaning up your yard. Get rid of the trash and yard debris so the yard stays presentable. If you have a green lawn, now is the time to review it. If your grass is growing well and covering the dirt, great! Keep it mowed and you are good to go. If your lawn is having problems, you may want to consider mixing it with other ground covering like gravel, recycled rubber or wood pellets. They are all much easier to maintain, especially in dryer climates not as well suited for grass. If you have empty or dying flower beds, now is the time to fill them up with seasonal flowers and bushes. These give you great color and make your home seem more welcoming to buyers. 

Before you start shelling out big money for upgrades, have your real estate agent review your home. They can suggest the best options for your market and price range, as well as provide accurate feedback about your homeís curb appeal. They may even have ideas for professional help to get your home in perfect selling shape.




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Posted by George P. Goulas on 2/5/2020

Not every neighborhood is pedestrian-friendly, especially if you live on a busy highway or have no access to sidewalks. However, if you're fortunate enough to live in a walkable area (or have a chance to move to one), why not take advantage of it?

Walking in your neighborhood is a free way to stay healthier, happier, and more relaxed. As long as you don't have any health conditions that would stand in the way of taking regular walks, a daily constitutional can provide you and your family with an array of benefits.

Healthy Lifestyle: Staying physically and mentally healthy is not the result of one or two positive habits, but rather a variety of lifestyle decisions you make throughout the day. Walking on a regular basis can help you achieve weight loss goals, maintain muscle tone, and increase your energy level. A moderate exercise program can also help relieve stress, enhance your mood, and slow down the aging process.

Family Bonding: Walking in the neighborhood or at a nearby public park can be a great way for your family to spend quality time together. It's also an opportunity to take a refreshing break from television watching, social media use, the Internet, and video games. Going for family walks is a simple activity, but the benefits can be far reaching.

Neighborhood Connections: The very act of walking around in your neighborhood, every day, makes you feel more connected to your environment. It also gives you a chance to chat with neighbors, meet new ones, and observe any changes that may affect the character of the neighborhood.

Critique Your Property: When you walk past your house and yard, you can often see features and flaws that may have escaped your notice when you last drove by in your car. Looking at your property from different angles and directions can help give you landscaping ideas and point out ways you can improve the outward appearance of your home. You can also pick up landscaping and property ideas by seeing what your neighbors are doing. Curb appeal is especially important if you're planning to sell your property.

Bargain Hunting: If you happen to be taking a walk in the neighborhood when yard sales are underway, it's easy to stop and scope out the treasures being offered. One caveat: If you do find something you want to buy, especially if it's a large piece of furniture, you may have to return later with your vehicle to pick it up.

Find a New Neighborhood: If you're in the market for a new home, the walkability of neighborhoods is an important feature worth keeping in mind.

Save Gas: Sometimes it's nice to take a break from driving and walk over to your neighborhood grocery store, pharmacy, or post office. On those occasions when you only need to pick up a few small items, hoofing it over to your local retailer is an alternative worth considering!





Posted by George P. Goulas on 1/30/2020

This Land in Charlton, MA recently sold for $60,000. This style home was sold by George P. Goulas - KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY.


0 N. Sturbridge Lot 69, Charlton, MA 01507

Land

$69,900
Price
$60,000
Sale Price

5.03
Acres
Agricultural
Land Type
Great 5 acre lot in quiet area of Charlton. ANR is available. Perc tests are done. There is approximately 115 of frontage on N. Sturbridge Rd.. The eastern boundary of the property is approximately 40 feet west of Utility Pole 43. The land is located to the left of 133 N. Sturbridge Rd. Great opportunity to build your dream home - ready to go!

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Tags: Charlton   Real Estate   01507   Land  
Categories: Sold Homes  


Posted by George P. Goulas on 1/29/2020

Anytime that you move it can be both physically and financially draining. Moving with children is no exception to this rule. There are certain things that you can do in order to make the transition easier when you move with kids. Children can feel a special sort of attachment to a place, especially their home. Itís important that you help them make a smooth transition. 


Tell Your Kids About The Move


While it may seem convenient to hide the fact that youíre making a big move from your little ones, itís not a good idea. Children are pretty intuitive. Sit down and have a conversation with them explaining where youíre going. You can even throw in the why if the move is due to the fact that you need more space or need to be closer to work. It may even be in your best interest to do this over your childís favorite meal or at their favorite pizza place in town. 


Donate Anything Youíre Not Using


This can be a great teachable moment for kids in the moving process. Teach them about giving things to people who are less fortunate than they are by going through their toys and clothes. Show them that you are donating items from your own collection as well. 


Let The Kids Be Involved


Kids can be involved with the move in many ways. Older kids can pack their own belongings in boxes and suitcases. Younger kids may need a bit more help. You can let them decorate the boxes as they are labeled. This will be a help for staying organized throughout the move. 


Emphasize The Cool Things About The New Place


If your new house has some neat features that you know the kids will love, definitely share it with them. Some things to talk about with kids about the new place youíre moving to:


  • New school
  • Great neighborhood park
  • Bigger bedroom
  • Having their own rooms
  • Playroom/ game room
  • Great ice cream stand


Anything that you know will be a highlight for your child in the process of moving can help them to cope with the changes ahead.  



Make Your Move Less Stressful By Staying Organized


It can be easy to snap at kids when youíre stressed out. Keep all of your important documents and papers in one place. Make sure you leave ample time for packing and moving. Hire a moving company if you need to as well. If youíre selling any of your belongings from your old house, make sure that you do so well in advance of the move to avoid any undue last minute stressors. With a bit of planning, moving with kids can go quite smoothly.




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