Northampton MA Real Estate | Carla Ness - Delap Real Estate


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Now that you decided to move into a luxury home, you need to determine whether you are going to build one or buy a luxury home that already exists. There are pros and cons to both sides of the coin. Also, in most cases, building is going to be more expensive. Still, you also get to choose materials and have the newest technology built-in instead of having to upgrade on top of the purchase of an existing home.

Buying a Luxury Home

The main benefit of buying a luxury home is that you can be in your home in as little as a couple of weeks if you are doing a cash transaction or in 30 to 60 days if you are getting financing. The cost of buying a home is also less than building in most cases. You might find some areas of the country where building is less expensive, but that would be rare.

The biggest con to buying a luxury home is that people rarely find a home that has everything they are looking for. Most people settle for a home that has almost everything and either do without or add the feature on later. That depends on the feature and whether the feature is a deal-breaker.

Building a Luxury Home

The best part of building a luxury home is that you can choose the location of the home. Find that perfect piece of property, whether you want a small lot or thousands of acres, and then find the perfect place on the property for your home. On larger properties, you might decide to put your home near a lake or pond on the property, or on top of a high hill with a gorgeous view.

Consider your floor plans carefully, and always find a builder that you are comfortable with. It’s easier to work with someone who is open to your suggestions and will do their best to make your dreams come true. When you are going over the plans for your new luxury home, give the builder a good overall picture. For example, if you like to entertain, tell the builder, so he can help you design a house that is good for entertaining.

You can add all of the newest materials to the build, plus have the best technology built into the house, such as a security system, hidden safes, a storm shelter, automation and top-notch appliances.

If you are looking for a smaller lot, be sure to find a lot large enough for landscaping you want, a pool and other outdoor amenities. If you are looking for acreage, space isn’t a factor, unless the piece of property sits on a mountain and the only home site is too small for the house you want. Keep in mind what you want to do with the property, including adding stables or other buildings – you’ll need room for those buildings.


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Buying a home, especially for the first time, might feel a little scary—notably if you've learned the home you’re considering for purchase is a zombie property. Even a pro at buying property may flinch when they initially hear this term.

No worries, a zombie property is not as frightening as it sounds. It’s a common term used in the housing industry, originating back to the 2007-08 housing crisis when tens of thousands of these homes were left behind because their owners couldn’t afford to make their mortgage payments.

What is a Zombie Property?

A zombie property creeps up when no one retains accountability for it. It usually occurs when homeowners leave their homes after receiving a foreclosure notice and incorrectly believe they must immediately vacate the property. They often don't realize there is an entire foreclosure process, one that doesn’t happen overnight. In most instances, they believe the lender that sent the notice will take over responsibility for the property, so they move out. In some cases, they do know they can stay but choose not to delay the inevitable and cut loose in search of greener pastures.

Meanwhile, the lender, for whatever reason, doesn’t complete the foreclosure process they initiated and the property stands abandoned. Since the homeowner has already walked away not realizing they still technically own the property, and the lender also doesn’t assume ownership, no one takes responsibility for the home. It essentially sits in a state of limbo—hence it being referred to as a “zombie.” Its ownership is not quite alive (abandoned), but not yet dead (foreclosed upon) either.

Pros of Purchasing a Zombie Property

The primary benefit of purchasing a zombie property is the price. Most of these properties are typically sold below market value, sometimes at rock bottom prices. Because some of them are eyesores, or have the potential to become attractive to squatters, municipalities and towns are eager to get these homes rehabbed and inhabited. This means buyers who are handy with repairs or who have the investment money available to fix up and flip the home for a profit can make out handsomely with this type of sale.

Cons of Purchasing a Zombie Property

While the financial benefits associated with zombie homes are lucrative, there are some potential pitfalls to be careful of when considering a purchase. In most instances, the original owner still retains the title to the home, so this legal detail will need to be addressed. Buyers also have to consider these homes may have deterioration, unsafe conditions or be unsanitary. This is especially a concern for properties that have been abandoned for a long period of time. Additionally, it takes more effort to navigate a zombie property purchase than a traditional foreclosure since no one is actively involved with the property.

Many potential buyers intentionally or inadvertently overlook zombie properties, but if you’re in the market, it’s not an option you should automatically discount. Don't let the zombie moniker fool you.  If you perform your due diligence and find ways to mitigate any drawbacks, you could potentially land yourself a great home, rental investment, or profitable house-flip.


For homebuyers, a home inspection is paramount. This inspection enables you to look closely at a house and identify any problem areas. It also may force you to rethink your decision to buy a house, particularly if you discover a wide range of problems during the inspection.

Ultimately, it pays to consider your options following a home inspection. In fact, if you take an in-depth approach to potential home repairs, you can determine whether to ask a seller to complete these repairs before you finalize a purchase agreement.

Before you ask a seller to perform home repairs, there are several questions that you should consider, and these are:

1. How much will it cost to complete assorted home repairs?

A damaged roof is much more expensive to repair than a defective light fixture. Fortunately, if you assess the costs of potential home repairs, you can differentiate major home repairs from minor ones and plan accordingly.

If a home requires thousands of dollars in repairs, it may be worthwhile to ask a seller to complete these repairs. Otherwise, you'll be responsible for allocating the necessary time and resources to perform costly home repairs after you finalize your house purchase.

On the other hand, minor home repairs may be easy to handle on your own. If you feel comfortable completing minor home repairs, you may want to avoid submitting a request to a seller to perform these repairs. Because if you ask a seller to complete myriad minor home repairs, he or she may walk away from a potential home sale.

2. Are there any required repairs that must be completed right away?

Required repairs, i.e. repairs that will address hazardous conditions in a house, sometimes will need to be completed following a home inspection. These repairs include water penetration issues and local code safety violations.

If required repairs go unaddressed, your lender is unlikely to provide you with the financing that you need to acquire a house. Thus, you should request a seller complete these repairs as soon as possible.

3. Is it worth my time to ask a seller to complete home repairs?

There is no right or wrong answer to the aforementioned question, as every homebuyer and home seller is different. If you are uncomfortable with a house following an inspection, you should examine the inspection report and determine the best course of action. And if you feel that asking a seller to perform home repairs is essential, it is important to do just that.

Lastly, if you need assistance throughout the homebuying journey, it helps to work with an expert real estate agent. This housing market professional usually will attend a home inspection and help you assess a house. Plus, an expert real estate agent is happy to provide recommendations and suggestions to ensure you can make an informed home purchase.

Take the guesswork out of evaluating a house following an inspection – consider the aforementioned questions, and you can determine whether to ask a seller to complete home repairs after an inspection.


If you plan to pursue a house, you likely want to enjoy a seamless homebuying experience. Although you may take extra steps to err on the side of caution as you explore myriad homes, there may be times when it helps to be an aggressive homebuyer.

Ultimately, there are many reasons why you may want to be aggressive and try to accelerate the homebuying journey, such as:

1. You're facing a tight deadline.

If you have only a certain amount of time to buy a house, it may be a good idea to be aggressive. That way, you can accelerate the homebuying journey and acquire your ideal residence before time runs out.

For those who are facing a tight deadline, you may want to stay on top of new houses as soon as they become available. Fortunately, if you work with an expert real estate agent, you can do just that.

An expert real estate agent can keep you up to date about houses that fall within your price range and are located in your preferred cities and towns. As a result, this housing market professional can help you secure your dream house faster than ever before.

2. You discover your dream home and don't want to risk losing it to a rival homebuyer.

If you find a house that fulfills all of your homebuying criteria, there is no need to wait to submit an offer. In fact, if you hesitate, you risk losing your ideal residence to a rival homebuyer.

Of course, when submitting an offer on a house, it pays to be realistic. If you analyze the housing market closely, you can understand a house's current value and submit a competitive proposal right away. As such, you can boost the likelihood of receiving an instant "Yes" from a seller, as well as improve your chances of enjoying a successful homebuying experience.

3. You possess the homebuying confidence and expertise that you need to succeed.

An informed homebuyer should have no trouble assessing the housing market and finding a residence that matches or exceeds his or her expectations. Thus, this homebuyer may be more likely than others to quickly discover a terrific house at a budget-friendly price.

To build your homebuying confidence and expertise, it may be beneficial to collaborate with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can teach you everything that you need to know about purchasing a house. By doing so, a real estate agent will ensure that you can achieve the best-possible results throughout the homebuying journey.

Let's not forget about the housing market insights that a real estate agent can provide, either. A real estate agent can help you differentiate between a buyer's and seller's market, submit a competitive offer on a home and much more. Therefore, with this housing market professional at your side, you can go from homebuyer to homeowner in no time at all.

Ready to start your search for your dream house? Become an informed homebuyer, and you can speed up the homebuying journey.


Ready to enjoy a successful homebuying experience? Ultimately, becoming a resourceful homebuyer will make it easy to transform your homeownership dream into a reality.

A resourceful homebuyer possesses the skills and know-how needed to streamline the property buying cycle. Plus, this homebuyer will be better equipped than others to maximize the time and resources at his or her disposal and speed up the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

Now, let's take a look at three tips that you can use to become a resourceful homebuyer.

1. Know What You Want from a Home

You know that you'd like to own a house, but what are you looking for in your dream residence? As a resourceful homebuyer, you'll know exactly what you'd like to find in the perfect home. That way, you can narrow your home search.

Creating a checklist of dream home "must-haves" usually is a great starting point for a resourceful homebuyer. This checklist will enable you to determine what features you want in your ideal residence.

In addition, keep in mind that every house has its pros and cons. And if you set realistic homebuying expectations from the get-go, you'll be able to boost your chances of finding a home that can serve you well for years to come.

2. Take Advantage of Housing Market Data

There is no shortage of housing market data available. With this information in hand, you should have no trouble entering the housing market with the resources that you need to succeed.

Examine the prices of available houses in cities or towns where you'd like to live. By doing so, you can better understand how much it will cost to acquire your dream residence.

Also, check out the prices of recently sold houses in areas that you're considering. This housing market data will help you differentiate between a buyer's market and a seller's one and ensure you can map out your homebuying journey accordingly.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Even a resourceful homebuyer knows his or her limitations. Luckily, real estate agents are available nationwide, and these housing market experts can help homebuyers fill in the gaps along the property buying journey.

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of purchasing a great home at an affordable price. This housing market professional will set up home showings for you, keep you up to date about new residences as they become available and negotiate with property sellers on your behalf. Furthermore, he or she is happy to respond to any homebuying concerns and questions at any time.

Let's not forget about the confidence that a real estate agent provides to a homebuyer, either. A real estate agent will help you seamlessly navigate the property buying journey. Thus, he or she will simplify the process of acquiring a top-notch residence that matches or exceeds your expectations.

Start your homebuying journey today – use these tips, and you can become a resourceful property buyer.




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