Maria Acuna Real Estate

Posted by Maria Acuna Real Estate on 11/26/2020

Photo by Tumisu via Pixabay

Maybe you’ve thought about buying rental property. Wouldn’t it be great, you think, to own something that someone else pays for? It can work out that way, with your property increasing in value while you pocket money every month. But with the wrong home, the wrong tenants or the wrong management, it can go horrendously sour. Here are eight ways to make your first venture as a landlord a successful one.

  1. Start small. Buy a single house, townhouse or condo rather than an entire apartment building.

  2. Decide how much work you’ll take on. Are you a DIYer? Can you make minor repairs yourself? Are you willing and able to recruit tenants and deal with them on an ongoing basis? If this isn’t you, you’ll be wise to hire a property management company to handle these items.

  3. Really, really, understand your income and expenses. Project them forward 5 to 10 years and make sure you have a margin. There’s more than mortgage, taxes, insurance and utilities. There also can be landscaping, pest control, landlord insurance and minor repairs. Be especially aware of big ticket items. If you’ll need a new roof eight years from now, set aside for it. Be aware of property tax trends so you won’t be caught be surprise. Consider what will happen if a tenant leaves and your property is vacant for several months.

  4. Arrange financing in advance. Most mortgage lenders will pre-qualify your loan. It helps close the deal if you can show this to a buyer.

  5. Know the neighborhood. If you’re not familiar with it, drive around. Talk to people. Research it online.

  6. Learn how to be a landlord. Talk to other landlords. Join a landlord’s association. Familiarize yourself with tenant rights and local regulations.

  7. Know your tenants. The right tenants can make your experience a joy and the wrong ones can make you rue the day you got into this business. Use a screening service. Have a written lease ready to go and specify exactly what is expected: when the rent is due, what the grace period is, what’s the penalty for being late, who pays utilities, what - if any - maintenance the renters are required to do. Insist on prompt rent payment right from the get-go. No matter how much you like your tenants, it's imperative to keep the relationship professional. Visit your property from time to time. You’re not permitted to barge in, but a drive-by can tell you a lot.

  8. Keep business and personal finances separated. Maintain separate bank accounts and credit cards. Be clear on which is which for record keeping and tax accounting.

People have put children through college and financed their retirement through rental property while also working at paycheck jobs. But being a landlord is not for the timid, the inflexible or the careless planners. Think before you make the leap, and if you decide to go for it, all the best!

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Posted by Maria Acuna Real Estate on 11/24/2020

This Single-Family in Springfield, MA recently sold for $205,500. This Ranch style home was sold by - Maria Acuna Real Estate.

123 Clearbrook Dr, Springfield, MA 01118

East Forest Park


Sale Price

Tucked away on this lovely corner lot highlights this Adorable Ranch featuring great bones!, Kitchen offers all appliances, opening to sun drenched living room w/ brick hearth fireplace & hardwood floors allowing for some nice entertaining space. Just down the hall features three bedrooms all with hardwood floors. Heated porch area adds great additional living space. LOWER level has potential living area space when needed! Outdoor entertainment starts here with the wonderful flat back yard offering some nice privacy, perfect for gatherings. Seller states upgrades include: vinyl siding, replacement windows, roof (2002) Give this property some TLC and it can be amazing!! Come SEE.. Come BUY!

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Categories: Sold Homes  

Posted by Maria Acuna Real Estate on 11/19/2020

Photo by David McBee from Pexels

For most homeowners, the last thing they’re worried about is the physical roof over their heads. That is until their roof starts leaking after a storm. Once the water is pouring down and you’re forced to bring out buckets, you’re likely to curse yourself for not thinking about roof maintenance sooner. So, how can you prevent this scenario from taking place? The best way to prevent a roofing disaster is to pay close attention to early warning signs and invest in proper roofing maintenance. Keep reading to learn more about the signs of an aging roof and what you can do to improve your property value with a well-maintained roof.

Check the Paper Trail

Unsure of how long ago your roof was replaced? Follow the paper trail to find important information regarding your roof installation, current lifetime expectancy and any warranties that may still be in place. Typically, a traditional asphalt shingle roof should be good for about 20 to 25 years.

Inspect Shingles

Take the time to look up at your roof now and then to check on the condition of your shingles. This is an especially important habit to get into following a big storm or other inclement weather conditions. Your roof shingles should always appear to be laying flat against the roof, if they appear to be buckling, cracked or damaged, then you should reach out to a professional to discuss repair options.

Avoid Roof Rot

Not only does a drooping, saggy roof look terrible, but it can also cause extensive damage to your home if it’s not repaired quickly. Beware of trapped moisture, sagging spots and rotting boards when inspecting a droopy roof. A droopy or sagging roof should be replaced as soon as possible to help boost your curb appeal and improve your overall property value.

Furry Roof

Moss can make for a beautiful feature to your garden or dry-stacked wall but it’s not something you want to see growing in the corner of your roof. Moss almost always spells big trouble for a roof, often indicating a sign of trapped moisture. Moss that grows in shady corners of a roof can be cleaned with a stiff brush and the area should also be inspected for additional problems.

Look Inside

If you think it may be time for a new roof, it’s a good idea to look inside the home as well. Head up into the attic armed with a flashlight and take the time to carefully inspect your eaves. You should be on the lookout for any light beams coming through the top of your home or possible water stains and streaks. These can be signs of a leaky roof and indicate it’s time to call in the professionals.

While replacing a roof is no small feat, it can help protect your home from additional damages and boost your property value as well. Avoid falling into the “fixer-upper” category when listing your home and stay on top of regular roof maintenance.

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Posted by Maria Acuna Real Estate on 11/17/2020

This Condo in Chicopee, MA recently sold for $166,800. This Townhouse style home was sold by - Maria Acuna Real Estate.

61 Abbey Memorial Dr, Chicopee, MA 01020


Sale Price

Full/Half Baths
Truly a hidden gem! Great location for this almost 1300 sqft townhouse in Chicopee. Welcoming entryway with tile floor, custom lighting and easy access to a 1/2 bath. Tile continues into dining area and galley kitchen with wood cabinets and plenty of counter space. Large living room with engineered wood floors and a glass slider looking out to the deck. Upper level features master bedroom with wall to wall carpet, tons of closet space and direct access to the full bath. Second bedroom has wall to wall carpet and a large closet. Additional space and laundry available in the full private basement. Covered parking space available. Easy access to Szot Park, shopping, restaurants, highway, hospitals and more!

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Tags: Chicopee   Real Estate   01020   condo  
Categories: Sold Homes  

Posted by Maria Acuna Real Estate on 11/12/2020

Photo by Shveyn Irina via Shutterstock

As fall sets in and youíve prepared the outside of your home for winter, itís time to move indoors. The cooling days of fall are the perfect time for you to tackle some of those projects you have been putting off. Here are a few helpful tips to get started on your pre-winter checklist:

  • Clean out the kitchen cabinets and pantry. Take everything out and set it on the counter. Get rid of expired food boxes and cans. Then, wipe down the shelves with a mild kitchen cleaner and a soft cloth. Organize your food containers. Move older food items to the front for easier access. Once everything's back in place, wipe down the door and drawer faces too.
  • Do a freezer purge. Remove everything out of your freezer. Toss anything with freezer burn. While foods stored below 0įF will keep indefinitely, long-term freezing may reduce their quality. If you have not dated your frozen foods, now would be a perfect time to start.
  • Gather all your old magazines, books, and newspapers. Recycle newspapers. Pass magazines and books along to a shelter, senior center, or free library.
  • Toss piled up envelopes and junk mail that you may have gathered. File away paid bills, essential papers, and other miscellaneous paperwork.
  • Clear the clutter from your refrigerator, making room for new artwork, school schedules, and appointment reminders.
  • Clear out your closets. Now is a great time to remove any excess from your closets. Donating, recycling or just throwing away anything you may not need anymore is a great way to get rid of anything that may hinder you this winter.

Prep for the Cold

If you have a wood-burning fireplace, make sure all creosote is gone from the chimney since it can cause house fires. Store fresh kindling and approved fireplace wood, ready for that first cold day. Then, move on to the HVAC system. Change the filters. Even though temperatures havenít hit frigid, itís best to test the furnace to make sure it works.

When you've readied your home for cold weather, you can decide if fall is the right time to put it on the market. To help you with that decision, give your real estate professional a call.

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