Judy Kuhtreiber, Realtor | Shrewsbury Real Estate, Marlborough Real Estate, Southborough Real Estate


Tackling projects around the house allows you to boost your skills, saves you money and ensures your home stays in peak condition -- usually. While DIY projects can be safe, successful and rewarding, there are some instances where you're better off leaving the work to a pro. From jobs that are dangerous to those that require specialty tools for success, the following projects can turn your DIY dreams into nightmares: 

Don't DIY these Home Projects: 

Roof Repairs and Heavy Tree Work

Both of these tasks take place off the ground and pose a significant risk of injury, even to those who have experience and are working with full teams. Taking down a large tree puts you and your home in jeopardy, while roof work is one of the leading causes of injuries for construction workers. Avoid these high-risk jobs and hire a pro with the equipment to work safely and well, even off the ground. 

Big Electric Projects

Most of us can swap out a light bulb or the fixture it belongs in, but more extensive and complicated repairs and upgrades require a pro. In some larger projects, you'll need to have the work approved and ensure that it is up to code (particularly true if you are repairing or readying a rental property). In others, the risk of injuring yourself is just too great. Even if you avoid injury, a single mistake in your work can lead to a fire hazard and put your home and family at risk. If you need specialized tools, have a job that requires a full inspection or that could result in a fire hazard, leave the work to a professional. 

Hazardous Material Mitigation

You may be able to scrape away that mold, remove smoke odors or strip the lead paint in your home, but it is generally a bad idea. Any project that exposes you or your home to environmental hazards needs to be done by a pro. You could injure yourself during the process -- and even if you escape injury, you could end up missing part of the pieces you intend to remove. In this case, you'll actually increase your family's exposure to dangerous mold, lead or asbestos. Leave these hazards to a pro for your own safety and well-being. 

Skip these projects and use your time, talent and tools to tackle just about anything else around the house -- you'll stay safe, save money and get the results you want. too. 

 

 


If you plan to buy a house, it helps to take an honest approach to the homebuying journey. In fact, there are many reasons to remain open and honest throughout the homebuying journey, including:

1. You can set realistic expectations for the homebuying cycle.

If you're honest with yourself, you can determine exactly how much that you can spend on a residence. Then, you can tailor your home search accordingly.

Furthermore, an honest approach is ideal to ensure you can maintain realistic expectations as you pursue houses. No house is perfect, but an honest homebuyer will realize this before he or she embarks on a home search. As a result, this homebuyer may be better equipped than others to discover a terrific house that matches his or her expectations.

2. You can resist the temptation to spend beyond your means.

Oftentimes, it helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you enter the housing market. If you pursue houses with a mortgage in hand, you can establish a price range for your home search, thereby reducing the risk of spending too much on a house.

When it comes to getting a mortgage, you'll need to be honest with prospective lenders. These financial institutions will perform their due diligence to ensure you are qualified to receive a mortgage. And if you are dishonest with lenders, you are unlikely to get the mortgage you need to acquire your ideal house.

3. You can speed up the homebuying journey.

The homebuying journey may prove to be a long, drawn-out process if you're not careful. Fortunately, with an honest approach to buying a house, you can limit the risk of encountering time-consuming homebuying hurdles.

For example, if you are honest with yourself about where you want to live, you can refine your home search to particular cities or towns. This will enable you to keep track of available houses in certain areas, resulting in a fast, efficient home search.

The aforementioned list highlights some of the key reasons to be honest with yourself and others as you pursue a house. Of course, if you need extra assistance as you search for your dream home, you may want to hire a real estate agent too.

A real estate agent is a homebuying expert who will be direct and forthright with you throughout the homebuying journey. As such, a real estate agent can help you take the guesswork out of purchasing a house.

Usually, a real estate agent will meet with you and learn about your homebuying criteria. This housing market professional then can tailor a home search to help you identify your dream residence. And if you have any homebuying questions, a real estate agent can respond to these queries immediately.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will provide honest, unbiased recommendations as you proceed along the homebuying journey. This housing market professional will simplify the homebuying process, ensuring you can acquire a top-notch house that you can enjoy for years to come.


Once you’re ready to buy a home, you probably have a pretty good idea of what you want. Should you buy a new construction home, or look for an existing one? Builders may refer to existing homes as “used.” This term makes them sound much less appealing. Truthfully, there are many advantages to both new and existing houses. 


Benefits Of New Homes


One of the most visible benefits of buying a new home is that it is untouched. The home is clean, and everything is sparkly new. You know that nothing in the house needs to be repaired. That is one of the most significant incentives to buy a new construction home. Having no repairs offsets some of the typical costs that homeowners incur once they buy. 


Latest Technology And Amenities


One of the other benefits of new homes is that they are not dated. You’ll have access to all of the latest technologies and amenities in a new construction home. The home will be energy efficient which will save you some money on utilities. You’ll have all of the technological comforts that you need in order to keep your devices charged and your in-home entertainment on point.


You May Be Able To Select Features


If you do buy a new construction, often, you’ll have the option to choose the details of the home. Some key features, colors, and styles will be in your control, so you can’t complain about them once you move in! 


Less Competition


There may be less competition for a new home. This is because most new homes are present in neighborhoods that are just being built. All the home on the street are most likely vacant, so people looking for new construction have a lot to choose from in one area.  


The Cons To New Construction 


Although buying new construction sounds fantastic, there are a few drawbacks. First, you’re pretty much relegated to one location- wherever the new homes are being built which is generally on a new street full of new homes. The area is essential especially when it comes to your home’s value increasing over time. Many times, new construction homes are built by the same construction company. All of the houses on the street look the same, and there may be little differentiation between them other than the color. If you’re someone who likes variety, this is something to consider.


Keep in mind that you can always buy an existing home that may be less expensive than new construction and do whatever it takes to make it your own. This is a practical option for many people. Your options may be a bit fewer if you do decide to look for new construction homes, so it’s good to go into the home buying process with an open mind as to all the possibilities that are available.         


For homebuyers who want to do everything possible to discover their dream residences, it generally is a good idea to attend open houses. These events make it simple to analyze residences and determine whether they match or surpass your expectations.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to attend an open house, and these include:

1. You can get a first-hand look at a home.

A home listing often provides a great starting point for homebuyers. However, a listing alone fails to empower buyers with the information that they need to fully analyze a house.

By attending an open house, you can get an up-close look at a residence. An open house allows you to walk around a home and view each section of a residence at your convenience. Plus, an open house usually is stress-free, and if you don't like a residence after the event, you can simply continue your search for your dream home.

2. You can receive comprehensive home insights.

During an open house, you can gain home insights that you may struggle to obtain in a home listing. Therefore, homebuyers may want to prepare a list of questions before they attend an open house to ensure they can obtain deep insights into a home's condition.

Moreover, an open house may help you determine whether there is substantial or minimal interest in a residence. If an open house is attended by dozens of potential buyers, you may need to act quickly to submit an offer to secure this residence. Comparatively, if you are the only person to attend an open house, you may be better equipped than ever before to negotiate a home's price with a seller.

3. You can envision what life might be like if you purchase a residence.

When it comes to deciding whether a home is right for you, attending an open house is paramount. In fact, an open house enables you to envision what life may be like if you purchase a residence. And if you feel comfortable with a home after you attend an open house, you can always submit an offer to help transform your homeownership dream into a reality.

If you plan to attend open houses in the foreseeable future, there is no reason to attend these events alone. Fortunately, real estate agents are available who can help you prepare for open houses and ensure you can discover your dream residence.

A real estate agent is a housing market expert who can teach you everything you need to know about buying a home. This housing market professional first will learn about your homebuying goals and craft a personalized homebuying strategy. Then, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about open houses, offer homebuying insights and do everything possible to help you find a home that you can enjoy for years to come.

Reach out to a real estate agent today. By doing so, you can start attending open houses and boost the likelihood of a successful homebuying experience.


Online courses are gaining popularity as a way to learn new skills and subjects without enrolling in expensive certificate or degree programs. They’re also great for working adults and parents who don’t have time to leave the house every night to go to a class after work. Better yet, many online courses are free (or come with a free trial), so you don’t have to worry about losing money if you don’t like the course.

You might be wondering, “What can I really learn from an online course that will benefit me as a homeowner?” There are a number of courses relevant to homeowners when it comes to things like the home buying process, budgeting, interior design, and more.

In this article, we’re going to introduce you to some of those courses in case you have some free hours in the evenings and want to learn something new. Read on for our list of the best free online courses for homeowners (or soon-to be homeowners).

Buying a home

Unfortunately, many of us go into the home-buying process knowing little about what to expect. This can be cause for stress and anxiety as you navigate the complicated steps of building credit, getting preapproved, and making an offer.

Udemy offers a one-hour course on home buying that can help you with this process. First, A Beginner’s Guide to Buying Your First Home will help you prepare for a down payment, understand the housing market, and teach you about things like home inspections and appraisals.

Personal finance

I often wish that kids were taught more practical finance and budgeting skills in high school so they have an idea of what to expect once they graduate and enter the workforce or apply to college.

Making financial decisions is stressful at any time of your life, whether it’s taking out student loans, buying your first home, or deciding when is the right time to retire. Fortunately, edX has you covered with this free personal finance course from Purdue University.

You’ll learn about retirement savings, the different types of investments, how insurance works, and the role credit plays in your ability to make healthy financial decisions.

Interior design

Decorating and designing the layout of your furniture is often something that we just guess at. Maybe you saw layouts and colors that you liked on Pinterest and tried to emulate them, or perhaps you just buy decorations and furniture just because you like them and not because they fit the style of your home.

If you want to gain a better understanding of basic interior design and decorating, this series of video lectures from Howcast is a great place to start. With 53 short videos you can watch whenever and wherever you want, you can browse and learn at your leisure, then try some of these methods in your own home.