Lea Cohen | Brookline Real Estate, Newton Real Estate, West Roxbury Real Estate


When buying a new house, you’re not just buying a roof to keep over your head. You’re buying a home to build your life in. To create a refuge from the outside world, to create memories within, and to grow your family in.

A home is a reflection of who you are, the things you fill your life with and your values. And this is true for the neighborhood your home resides in as well. Whether you are a young family or planning to start one in the near future choosing the perfect neighborhood for your lifestyle will bring you years of good memories to come.

The perfect place to start when choosing a neighborhood is by asking your agent! So many factors go into selecting a home and we know the importance of the various factors you need to consider for settling a young family. We can choose houses for showing that fit your unique family needs as it grows.

When scouting out local neighborhoods visit their community center and library. Both will be able to provide you with a list of local groups and activities that are available. You’ll most likely be able to find a local paper or newsletter here as well to get a feel the neighborhood’s culture and community involvement.

Most couples start by researching the schools in the neighborhoods on their list. Things to consider are budget and the available extracurricular activities that are available. It’s easy to focus on preschools and kindergartens when searching but remember to look at the middle and high schools as well.

Search for meetups for parent groups that meet regularly to have play dates. This is also a great way to find and meet locals to ask them questions about their experiences with the community. Reach out to the group organizer with a friendly message and they will be more than likely happy to answer and all of your questions.

Take a drive around the area to get a lay of the land. Are there nearby playgrounds and parks you could walk or take a short drive to? Visiting at different times of the day can give you an idea of the neighborhoods general routine. Are there lots of young children getting on the bus in the morning or teenagers riding their bikes around in the afternoons?

You’ll also want to carefully consider costs of homes in that neighborhood and if they fit your budget. If you’re planning a family you’ll want to have an idea of future costs while creating this budget so you don’t find yourself strapped between your mortgage and childcare.

Planning your family’s future is an exciting time and choosing the neighborhood you’ll raise your children in is pivotal. As your family grows over the years their needs will change too. The perfect neighborhood is the one that will have a positive environment for your child whether they’re 18 months or 17 years old.


Once you have bought a new house, you may feel lost as to where to start. There’s a long checklist of things that you should do to get yourself established in a new space. Here, you'll find a plan on what to do next. 


Get Recommendations On Local People You Can Work With 


Your realtor is a good place to start in asking who they recommend for many types of workers including plumbers, electricians, contractors, and more. You may even want to talk to your next door neighbors and see who they have used in the past for these types of handy work jobs. Even if you don’t need any kind of work done immediately, it’s a good idea to have some names and numbers on hand for future reference.


Don’t Paint Right Away


Although it seems much more practical to paint an empty house, once you live in your new home for awhile, you’ll get a sense of where the light hits and what colors will complement your furniture. When you pick colors in a rush, you run the risk of choosing shades that you may not love in the long term. Focus on properly lighting your rooms before you even start to paint.


Don’t Forget The Housewarming Party!


If you plan a housewarming party for a date that’s not too far after you move in, it will give you motivation to get things done in the house. The housewarming party is your accountability partner to get you to unpack those boxes and get decorating. Try to plan the party somewhere between one and two months after your planned move-in date. This will give you time to get things done, just not too much time!  


Meet The Neighbors


You should take some time very soon after you move in to meet your new neighbors. They can be a great resource for you as to what happens in your new neighborhood. Find out if any of your new neighbors have dogs that your own dog could meet for a friendly walk. Your new friends will even give you information about a neighborhood watch or important community activities as well.


Safety First


You’ll want to check all of your smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and alarm systems. Be sure that they work. Then, change the batteries in each system to start fresh. You should also equip your house with a fire extinguisher or two. You can never be too prepared for an emergency. 


Next, you should check all of the door and window locks. Replace anything that used a key. You never know who had keys to the home before it was sold.

When you start small in a new home, things will begin to come together slowly but surely just like puzzle pieces.


If you recently sold your house, you will need to move quickly to pack up your belongings and relocate to a new address. In addition, you probably will want to clean your house as much as possible prior to a homebuyer's final walk-through.

Fortunately, there are many quick, easy ways to clean a home before you move, including:

1. Straighten Up Your Home While You Pack

Home cleaning can be a long, arduous process, particularly for those who wait until the last minute to perform various home cleaning tasks. If you clean up after yourself while you prepare for your upcoming move, you can avoid the stress of completing extensive home cleaning right before moving day.

Wiping down home countertops, walls and ceilings usually is a great idea. By doing so, you can keep these spots clean while you plan for your move.

Also, don't forget to empty the attic and basement and remove dirt, dust and debris from these areas. This will ensure you can clean these areas once and for all before moving day arrives.

2. Remove All Clutter from Your Home

There is no reason to let clutter slow you down as you prepare for an upcoming move. Instead, clear out clutter immediately, and you can clean your home and reduce the number of items that you'll need to move to your new address.

Today, there are several ways to get rid of clutter. In many instances, you can sell excess items as part of a yard sale or online. Or, you can always donate these items to local charities or give them to friends or family members.

Regardless of what you decide to do with clutter, it is essential to remove clutter from your house as soon as you can. That way, you can cut down on clutter and increase the likelihood of a quick, seamless moving day experience.

3. Hire a Cleaning Company

Cleaning a home from top to bottom can be a lot of work. Plus, if you're already allocating significant amounts of time to packing for an upcoming move, you may lack the necessary time and energy to improve your house's interior and exterior.

Many home cleaning companies are available in cities and towns nationwide. These businesses employ friendly, highly trained professionals who are happy to help you clean your residence prior to moving day.

If you plan to hire a home cleaning company, don't wait to contact this business. Because the longer you wait to book a home cleaning company, the more likely it becomes that this business won't be able to accommodate your cleaning needs before you move.

Lastly, if you need help finding a cleaning company in your area, you can always consult with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you sell a home, as well as connect you with first-rate cleaning companies in any area, at any time.

Use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble cleaning your house in the days leading up to your move.


If you plan to sell your home, it may be helpful to prepare for a difficult negotiation with a homebuyer.

Although your home may be in great shape and you've set a fair price for it, there are no guarantees that you'll be able to avoid a long, complex home selling negotiation. However, a home seller who prepares for a difficult negotiation now may be better equipped than others to remain calm, cool and collected throughout the home selling journey.

Now, let's take a look at three tips that home sellers can use to get ready for a difficult negotiation.

1. Assess the Housing Market Closely

A home seller who sets a competitive price for his or her residence may be able to avoid a complicated home selling negotiation entirely.

To determine a fair price for your house, a property appraisal is ideal. During this appraisal, a property inspector will evaluate your home's interior and exterior and help you identify any problem areas. Then, you can complete assorted home improvement projects and price your house accordingly.

Furthermore, it is important to assess the prices of comparable houses in your area. With this housing market information at your disposal, you can enter a home selling negotiation with data to support your arguments.

2. Understand Your Home Selling Goals

How a home seller approaches a negotiation may vary based on his or her goals.

For example, a home seller who needs to move out of a house as soon as possible may be willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to satisfy a property buyer's requests. By doing so, this home seller can speed up the property selling cycle.

On the other hand, a home seller who can afford to be patient may be unwilling to budge on various homebuyer requests.

Consider your home selling goals closely before you enter a negotiation with a homebuyer. And if you feel uncomfortable, you can always walk away from a negotiation and reenter the housing market.

3. Focus on the End Results

A home selling negotiation can become contentious, but it is important to remember the end goals of this negotiation.

Ultimately, a successful negotiation will meet the needs of both a property seller and buyer. If a negotiation heavily favors a homebuyer, a home seller should be ready to exit the negotiation.

A home selling negotiation can be stressful, and you should be ready to take breaks as needed. For example, spending a few minutes meditating or walking outdoors may help you clear your head and reenter a home selling negotiation with a fresh perspective.

Lastly, if you want additional support, real estate agents are happy to help you. A real estate agent knows what it takes to negotiate with homebuyers and will do everything possible to ensure all parties involved in a negotiation get the best results.

Take the guesswork out of a home selling negotiation – use these tips, and you can prepare for a difficult negotiation before you add your house to the real estate market.


If you’re hunting for a new home, it can be tempting to make an appointment to view as many as possible. However, it can be a better use of your time to narrow down the search beforehand and eliminate houses from your list based on some at-home research. That way you can use those extra hours for fine-tuning your home search and make sure you visit only the houses that will suit your every need.

In this article, we’ll teach you some ways to research a home, neighborhood and town before you take the time to visit.

Things to Research about Your Potential New Neighborhood

So you’ve found a listing that looks nice. Your next step should be to find out as much as possible about the area the home is in to make sure it suits your needs.

A good first step is to head over to Google Maps to find out which amenities are in the area. Schools, banks, grocery stores, restaurants, hospitals, parks… the list goes on. This is also a good time to map out how long it will take you on average to drive to work from this house and to see if it will lead you through any high-traffic areas that might affect your daily schedule.

You can also research other homes in the area to see if the house is selling higher or lower than average. This will give you a question to ask the real estate agent if you choose to reach out for further information.

Town statistics

Another step to take on Google for this home is to look up statistics for things like neighborhood crime, ratings for the school district, and the state of local businesses.

Is the area up-and-coming with healthy businesses and low crime? If so, it could be worth pursuing further.

If you’re planning on having children or already do, the quality of the education could be of importance to you.

Finally, get an idea of the local tax rates so you know how much you’ll owe the government for your property and excise taxes.

Researching the house itself

If you’re comfortable with the town and neighborhood, there’s still some research you can do online before you schedule a showing.

See if you can find out if the house belongs to a homeowner’s association. Look up their rules and fees to see if they’re agreeable to you and your family’s lifestyle and plans for the future.

Look up the sale history for the home. If there are several recent sales, this could be a sign of problems with the home or neighborhood. Similarly, if the price has increased or decreased dramatically more than nearby houses, consider asking the real estate agent why this is.

Finally, see if you can view the number of days the home has been on on the market, commonly abbreviated as “DOM.” This will give you some insight as to how desirable the home and neighborhood are.


Once you have all of the information at your disposal, you’ll be in a position to decide whether or not to schedule an appointment to view the home.




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