Sally Malsch, CRS, GRI, ABR, SRES, ePRO
Five College REALTORS ® | 413-519-4465 |

Posted by Sally Malsch on 3/21/2018

The American home is rapidly changing. New technologies like rooftop solar and smart home security systems are quickly becoming the norm in neighborhoods across the country.

If you’re thinking of taking on some new home improvement projects, it’s a good idea to be forward-thinking and choose projects that will be sought after into the future.

In this article, we’ll talk about some trending home improvements you can make that will help bring your home into the future.


Smart home technologies make life easier, and they’re not going out of style anytime soon. Being able to lock and unlock doors, adjust the temperature, and turn off lights all from an app on your phone has never been easier. If you plan on selling your home in the coming years, having these perks could be a selling point for potential buyers.

Green energy

When it comes to energy prices, you can count on them continuing to rise. As a result, many homeowners have installed money-saving features like rooftop solar, connecting to off-site green energy grids (such as solar or wind), and utilizing less expensive heating alternatives like pellet stoves.

Energy-efficient appliances are another up-and-coming trend that buyers are likely to be looking for. They tend to come with the latest technologies and styles, but also save money in the process.

You don’t have to take on a big project to make your home greener. You can also perform small tasks like replacing all of your light bulbs with newer, energy-efficient bulbs.

These projects will attract two types of buyers: those who are environmentally-minded, and those who are looking to save on utilities.

In-duct purifiers

As people become more concerned with the effects of pollution on the human body, many homeowners will see air purifiers as a necessity. An in-duct purifier requires little maintenance and improves air quality throughout your entire house.

Temperature-controlled shower head

You would think that in this time of amazing scientific and technological advancements that we would be able to get into the shower without fiddling with the controls for ten minutes. With a temperature controlled, digital display shower head, you can set the temperature and let the faucet do the work for you.

This one will save you time in the shower, help you avoid getting scorched, and will pique the interest of potential future buyers.

Materials that last

Home advancements haven’t just been made in the area of electronics. New building materials have made some objects last much longer than they did just a few years ago.

New roofing materials have exponentially increased the lifespan of roofs. New metal roofs can be made to look like traditional shingled or tiled roofs. Similarly, there are currently roofs being developed that have hidden solar panels built-in. Those too will be available in different traditional styles.

Aside from roofs, siding and decks are also being made with materials that last much longer than was previously possible. Having a durable house is something that any potential homebuyer would want to see.

Posted by Sally Malsch on 3/14/2018

Want to sell your small town home? You're in luck, as many homebuyers are interested in relocating to residences in small towns across the nation.

As a home seller, it is important to do everything possible to differentiate your small town house from the competition. By doing so, you'll be able to streamline the process of adding your small town residence to the real estate market and stirring up plenty of interest from homebuyers.

Get the best results out of the home selling journey – here are three tips that you can use to simplify the process of selling your small town residence.

1. Understand Your Home's Strengths and Weaknesses

Complete a home appraisal – you'll be glad you did. This assessment will enable you to learn about your home's strengths and weaknesses and act accordingly.

After a home appraisal, you can set priorities for home improvement projects. That way, you can enhance your small town house both inside and out.

Also, be sure to review comparable homes that are available in your town. With this housing market data at your disposal, you can find out how your house stacks up against the competition.

2. Establish a Competitive Price

Ultimately, you'll want to establish a "fair" price for your small town house. To accomplish this feat, you'll want to examine the local real estate market closely.

Check out the prices of houses that recently sold in your small town. This will enable you to determine whether you're operating in a buyer's or seller's market.

In addition, set realistic expectations as you consider how to price your home.

What you paid for your small town home a few years ago is unlikely to match what your house is worth today. However, if you assess your house from a homebuyer's perspective, you may be better equipped than ever before to price your home appropriately.

3. Collaborate with an Expert Real Estate Agent

For a home seller, it can be difficult to navigate the home selling journey on your own. Fortunately, you can hire an expert real estate agent who can help you overcome any potential home selling roadblocks.

An expert real estate agent understands the challenges commonly associated with selling a small town home and will do everything possible to eliminate these hurdles. He or she will promote your residence to the right groups of homebuyers, set up home showings and open houses and negotiate with homebuyers on your behalf. As such, this real estate professional will take the guesswork out of selling a small town residence.

Perhaps best of all, an expert real estate agent is happy to provide honest, unbiased home selling recommendations. And if you ever have concerns or questions about selling your small town house, this real estate professional is available to assist you at any time.

Add your small town residence to the local real estate market today – take advantage of these home selling tips, and you should have no trouble maximizing the value of your small town house.

Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Sally Malsch on 3/7/2018

"Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home!" That saying (and old song) has been around for generations, but it's as true today as it was a century ago. Almost everyone would agree that your home should be a refuge from the calamity and dangers of the outside world.

A related saying which has been repeated for even longer is "A man's home is his castle." That age-old concept not only emphasizes that fact that we all deserve to be safe and secure in our own homes, but it's also the basis for certain legal principles. Unfortunately, the mere existence of our rights as homeowners does not prevent burglaries, break-ins, and criminal intrusions from happening, so it's necessary to take steps to help protect your home and family from crime.

The good news is that there are literally dozens of things you can do to make your home a safer, more secure place. While it can be costly (but often worth it) to implement an elaborate, high-tech home security system, there are plenty of inexpensive measures you can take to discourage burglars. Here are a few crime-prevention tactics which can greatly reduce the chances of a break-in or intrusion taking place at your home.

Be security minded: If you live in a low-crime area, it's easy to let your guard down and become complacent. When it comes to keeping your property, family, and possessions secure, though, it's much better to "err on the side of caution." One regrettable mistake many people make is to leave their doors unlocked when they go out to "run a few quick errands." Not only can errands take longer than originally planned, but experienced burglars can be in and out of your home in minutes. By being consistent with locking doors and securing your home before you leave, you'll significantly reduce the chances of becoming a crime statistic. Instilling that awareness and those habits in your children is also an important element of any effective home security strategy.

Simple security solutions: Although glass panels alongside a front door can be an attractive design touch, it can provide potential intruders with a glimpse of the inside of your home -- including its layout, a view of valuables left out in the open, and whether your security system is activated. There are several ways you can obscure the view people have of your home's interior, including frosting the glass using a special spray, temporarily attaching a decorative window film, or installing etched glass. Customized window blinds may also do the trick.

Innovative ideas: Burglars generally tend to target homes that appear vacant or unsecured. Half the battle is creating the impression that someone is home, even if you're not. While you've undoubtedly heard about the technique of hooking up timers to your lights to make them go on and off at designated times, here's an interesting variation on the theme: You can purchase a device for $20 or $30 that simulates the flickering light that a TV gives off when it's being watched. While this is not a standalone or foolproof technique, it can be a low-cost part of an overall home security strategy.

Posted by Sally Malsch on 2/28/2018

When you’re gearing up to make the largest purchase of your entire life, you have a lot to think about. There’s also a lot of emotion involved in the entire process. You don’t want those emotions to get in the way, causing you unnecessary regret in your purchase. A home is not like a sweater that you can head to the store and return. What do current homeowners wish that they did differently in their home purchase? Below, you’ll find some of the most common regrets of homeowners. If you know what to look out for, you can avoid the same kind of buyer’s remorse in your own home purchase. 

Not Doing Research First

In hot markets, it can be hard to find the time to do the research and secure the home you want. Before you even begin searching one thing you should have a handle on is location. You probably have a general idea of where you’d like to live. You can research these neighborhoods ahead of time in order to understand the makeup of the area. You should take a look at everything form schools to safety to the amenities close to the location of choice. Do this for a few different areas so that you’re completely prepared before you even head out on the house hunt. Even if you end up in an area you never pictured, if you have a general idea of the spots you’re looking at, it will be much easier to tell what a neighborhood will be like to live in ahead of time. The best advice is not to pin yourself down to searching in one area. 

Not Knowing Anything About The House

If you failed to pay attention during the home inspection, didn’t ask a lot of questions, or were just blind to some of the issues that were apparent in the home you bought, you could be in for quite a surprise. Understanding the problems a home has is one thing but knowing how much those repairs are going to cost is another. If you are trying to beat the competition by skipping the home inspection or waiving contingencies, you may end up being pretty unhappy in your new home with an empty wallet. Some repairs cost more than you know and it’s important to be aware of what needs to be done in the home before you sign on the dotted line.   

Missing Out On A Big Downpayment

Sometimes that little extra bit of savings can really help. Even though many first time homeowners are simply eager to get into a home, waiting a bit and saving more for a downpayment can significantly lower the longterm costs of homeownership. This includes things like fees, interest rates, and PMI (private mortgage insurance). Also, having a larger downpayment can help you to get a house that you really want when the market is highly competitive. You’ll appear more reliable to sellers. Remember that the higher your downpayment, the lower your monthly payment will be.     


Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Sally Malsch on 2/21/2018

Curb appeal is paramount for a home seller. Because if you allocate time and resources to enhance your house's curb appeal, you may be better equipped than ever before to enjoy a successful home selling experience.

There are many reasons for a home seller to improve his or her house's curb appeal, and these are:

1. You can differentiate your house from the competition.

The real estate market is fierce, and as a home seller, it is important to look for any competitive advantage. Fortunately, upgrading your house's curb appeal may help you differentiate your residence from the competition.

Remember, a home with a beautiful front lawn, flawless siding and other dazzling exterior features is more likely than other houses to make a positive first impression on buyers. If you improve your house's curb appeal, you can make your residence an attractive choice to homebuyers. And as a result, homebuyers may be drawn to your residence as soon as it becomes available.

2. You can boost the likelihood of maximizing your home sale earnings.

Optimizing the value of your home sometimes can be difficult, particularly for a seller who is unsure about how to list a residence and promote it to potential buyers. If you enhance your house's curb appeal, however, you may be able to maximize your home sale earnings.

A home with great curb appeal is likely to stand out to potential buyers, and as such, lead to many home showings. Meanwhile, if buyers like what they see, there could be lots of competition to acquire this residence. And if a seller receives multiple offers to purchase his or her home, this individual could reap the benefits of a profitable home selling experience.

3. You can speed up the house selling process.

The home selling process may be long and challenging, especially if a seller enters the real estate market without a strategy in place. Thankfully, a seller who improves his or her house's curb appeal can speed up the home selling cycle.

A house that makes a memorable first impression on buyers may prove to be a popular choice, regardless of the current real estate market's conditions. If a seller enhances a home's curb appeal, this individual can make it simple for buyers to fall in love with his or her house right away.

If you need assistance as you get ready to list your home, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent as well. This housing market professional can offer tips to help you improve your residence's curb appeal. Plus, as you proceed along the home selling cycle, a real estate agent will help you determine the best course of action.

Prioritize your home's curb appeal – you'll be glad you did. If you dedicate time and resources to improve your house's curb appeal today, you could bolster your home's appearance and make your residence a top choice in a competitive real estate market.