John Colby
Colby Realty | 978-249-5871 | [email protected]


Posted by John Colby on 10/10/2021

While your property may be well insulated, there are a few things you can do to elevate your home’s winter efficiency. By following these suggestions, you can save money on your energy bills, protect your home from the elements and keep your home warm all winter long. 

Check the Fireplace

Your fireplace is a prime location for birds to call home. However, the nests they create can be a serious hazard and safety concern. During an annual inspection, a professional can look, remove any issues and effectively clean the space. It’s essential to have your fireplace and chimney cleaned before starting your first fire of the year. Also, be sure to sweep up any debris or ash that accumulates after the cleaning process.

Add Weatherproofing

Whether you install storm doors and windows or add weatherstripping, weatherproofing tasks can make a vast difference. These help to prevent cold air from entering your home, while also reducing the amount of heat that escapes from your home. Weatherproofing not only keeps your family more comfortable, but this improved insulation also leads to lower energy bills.

Clear Out Gutters

Dirty, clogged gutters present a serious fire hazard and can lead to inefficient storm drainage. Cleaning your gutters should be an annual maintenance task before the cooler weather arrives.

If you would rather not worry about this maintenance, you can install gutter guards. Typically made of stainless steel or polyvinyl chloride (PVC), these products prevent leaves, pine needles and other debris from getting stuck in your gutters. While these must be brushed off occasionally to ensure effectiveness, the cleaning process is much easier compared to gutters without guards.

Protect Those Pipes

Bursting pipes is a common situation that homeowners deal with. Not only can this result in costly damages, but dealing with an emergency repair in the heart of winter can be stressful. Luckily, there are some easy winterizing tips to prevent this problem. From sealing up openings to adding insulation, there are various ways to keep these pipes flowing correctly.

Upgrade to a Programmable Thermostat

If you want to maintain a comfortable home temperature while keeping the bills down, consider upgrading to a programmable thermostat. These products allow you to customize the indoor environment, leading to less energy consumption and more personalized heating comfort. To help you save even more, drop the temperature on your thermostat when you’re sleeping or away from home. The Department of Energy suggests setting the temperature to 68 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re not inside your property.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by John Colby on 8/22/2021

If you intend to buy a house in the foreseeable future, it pays to prepare. That way, you can enter the real estate market as an "extraordinary" homebuyer, i.e. someone who knows exactly what it takes to find a great house at an outstanding price.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help any homebuyer go from ordinary to extraordinary.

1. Learn the Ins and Outs of the Housing Sector

The real estate market is complex, particularly for someone who is pursuing a house for the first time. Fortunately, plenty of housing market data is available that can help you gain the insights that you need to make an informed home purchase.

Take a look at homes that are currently available in your city or town. By doing so, you can better understand the prices of houses that match your expectations. Then, you can tailor your home search accordingly.

Furthermore, don't forget to assess the prices of recently sold residences in your area. This housing market data will help you determine whether you're about to enter a real estate market that favors buyers or sellers.

2. Get Your Finances in Order

Meet with banks and credit unions to learn about your mortgage options – you'll be glad you did. If you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you can begin your home search with a budget in hand, thereby reducing the temptation to spend too much on a house.

Lenders are happy to provide you with information about a broad range of mortgage options. Also, if you ever have mortgage questions, lenders employ friendly, professionally trained mortgage specialists who are ready to respond to your queries.

In addition, it usually is a good idea to evaluate your credit score prior to applying for a mortgage.

You can obtain a free annual copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). If you review your credit report closely, you can identify and resolve any potential credit problems and increase the likelihood that you can obtain a favorable mortgage.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to becoming an extraordinary homebuyer, it is important to note that it can be difficult for even the most diligent homebuyer to succeed on his or her own. However, if you employ an expert real estate agent, you can streamline the process of acquiring your dream residence.

A real estate agent is committed to your homebuying success, and as such, will do everything possible to help you find the perfect residence.

Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings, negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf and provide honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations. This housing market professional will even help you alleviate homebuying stress and ensure that you can quickly go from homebuyer to homeowner.

Ready to embark on the homebuying journey? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can become an extraordinary homebuyer in no time at all.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by John Colby on 8/15/2021

If you plan to sell a house, you should allocate time and resources to remove clutter from the attic. By doing so, you can show off the true size of your house and increase the likelihood of a fast, profitable home sale.

Ultimately, there are several best practices to help home sellers declutter an attic, and these practices include:

1. Separate Clutter from Items That You Want to Keep

Your attic may be filled with a wide range of items. As a home seller, you'll want to differentiate attic items that you want to keep from those that need to be removed from your home.

With items that you intend to keep, you should package these items safely. Then, you can store these items neatly in your attic. Or, you can move these items into a storage unit.

For home sellers who encounter a massive collection of attic clutter, there is no need to worry. You may be able to sell or donate excess items that work properly and are in great condition. Furthermore, be sure to dispose of any damaged or broken items immediately.

2. Get Plenty of Help

The temptation to tackle attic cleaning on your own may be overwhelming, but it is important to remember that Rome was not built in a day. Thus, if you try to remove attic clutter on your own, you risk myriad problems along the way.

Attic clutter can range from small and lightweight to big and heavy. If you're operating on a strict timeline, you might struggle to quickly get clutter out of your attic if you work alone. And if you're forced to remove large items on your own, there is a risk of injury as well.

When it comes to decluttering an attic, caution is key. As such, you should enlist the help of family members and friends to ensure you can remove attic clutter quickly and safely.

In addition, if you want to avoid the hassle of decluttering your attic, you may want to hire professional help. With friendly, knowledgeable cleaning professionals at your side, you should have no trouble eliminating clutter from your attic.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Clutter is a major problem in many attics, and few h





Posted by John Colby on 8/8/2021


Real estate transactions have so many steps and moving parts they can feel unending. Your hard work and patience will pay off when you reach your closing day—as long as there are no unforeseen issues. Unfortunately, there are some common reasons that a closing can be delayed. While you cannot predict everything, you can familiarize yourself with some of the typical problems that can occur in order to prepare for them. Here are some of the most common reasons closing can be delayed:

The Buyer’s Mortgage Is Not Approved

Mortgage approval issues are the most common cause of home transactions being delayed or even terminated. During the approval process, a lender will observe your financial situation to monitor for any risky credit behavior. If they find something, it could either cause them to change the mortgage terms or deny the request outright. To avoid this, buyers should get full preapproval from their lender well before making an offer on a home but they should also avoid borrowing more money or opening new credit accounts until closing.

The Appraisal Is Too Low

Your mortgage lender requires an appraisal on the home to figure out its value. They then compare this appraisal with the listing price. If the appraisal comes back lower than the price of the home, you might have to negotiate with the seller to make up the difference. This can cause delays even if the buyer or seller can come to a quick agreement. The lender might require certain repairs to the property or a second appraisal done.

The Inspection Found Something Serious

Even if you take care of home inspections well in advance, there’s always the chance something will come up in a final walkthrough. You may also face a situation where the initial inspection found something serious, but the repairs are causing the delay. There are also some specific types of inspection (termite, mold or radon, to name a few) that lenders might require before granting final approval for the mortgage. Any delays in checking these boxes will push back your closing date.

There’s a Claim on the Title

You must acquire a title report as part of the escrow process. If the report shows anything negative on the title — either true or in error—the issues must be resolved before the sale can move forward. It’s common for homeowners to be completely unaware of title issues until they sell, which can cause delays and frustration. Getting a title insurance policy will help you in case there are any liens or claims to the property, but correcting the issue can still take time.

The Buyer Backs Out

Sometimes people simply change their minds. Unfortunately, this can mean a sudden cancellation of the entire transaction in the event a buyer walks away. A common part of real estate contracts is to have the buyer put down a deposit known as earnest money that shows their intent to follow through with the purchase. This gives the seller some extra monetary protection if the buyer leaves. However, it won’t make up for any lost time or effort.

Not every problem can be prevented but the more you know about potential issues before they arise, the better. Always go over contracts carefully and do things like appraisals and inspections as early as possible to prevent the more common.





Posted by John Colby on 8/1/2021


Property is an increasingly valuable asset no matter where you live, making real estate investment more popular than ever. While it can be a big commitment, investing in real estate is quite accessible and affordable depending on the level of involvement you are interested in. It doesn’t require being an expert in the stock market, but there are many real estate investment opportunities available.

Here are some of the simplest ways to invest in real estate today:

Home Ownership

Buying and owning property is one of the best investments you can make. The more time and energy you spend in improving and upgrading that property over time, the more potential value you can add to it. In some highly desirable areas, even just simple upkeep of your property can be enough to keep its value climbing. If you own your home, investing can benefit you in the short term just as much as in the long term: by upgrading your living space, you’re improving your own quality of life and adding value. Renovation, replacement and updating of key features in the home are popular ways to invest.

Rental Property

Owning rental property will generate income and give you a great asset to maintain and develop. If you have great DIY skills and will manage tenants, rental investment can be incredibly lucrative and easy. One very common way to generate rental income is by purchasing a multi-unit property and living in one unit yourself. By renting out the others, you can easily cover your own bills and create extra pocket money for yourself. This also means you are close by if any issues arise — if you own the property, it’s your responsibility, even if somebody else is living in it. Therefore, a willingness to do maintenance work yourself is crucial, otherwise you might spend all of your would-be profits hiring outside help when something needs fixing or updating.

Flipping

Flipping a house means purchasing a low-value property and improving it intending to sell at a profit. It’s a shorter-term strategy, which requires all the upgrades to be done quickly and within budget. When successful, flipping can be incredibly profitable. However, it requires significant knowledge of the real estate market and considerable capital to to cover any losses if you can’t sell the property quickly enough. Working with a real estate agent or anybody with industry savvy is key to making flipping homes a worthy investment.

Real Estate Crowdfunding

For people who want to invest with no handiwork, investing through an online real estate investment platform might be a good fit. These online platforms connect investors to companies or specific projects so that individuals can pool their money to invest in larger commercial or residential deals all over the world. Compared to purchasing a property, it requires less startup capital, but you’ll only be buying a portion of the profits. This can be a risky but easy way to invest, especially since you can diversify your investments across multiple properties or projects no matter where they are.

Investing in real estate is unique because it provides many different ways to participate. However, as with any investment, make sure you carefully consider the risks involved in order to determine which type is right for you.







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