American Eagle Realty | Derry Real Estate, Londonderry Real Estate, Salem Real Estate


Photo by Fotocraft via Shutterstock

Many homeowners spend thousands of dollars on improvements and upgrades only to find out that the return on their investment (ROI) is less than $1 to $1. That means that for every dollar spent, the selling price of their home does not go up a corresponding dollar. In fact, very few home improvements offer a dollar for dollar increase in price.

What some improvements accomplish, however, is a reduction of time that your home spends on the market. When calculating overall costs, a quicker sale can save you several additional mortgage payments on your home.

In-Home Improvements

If you intend to live in the house for some time, make the improvements that give you pleasure in your home. Renovate the house to meet your needs and improve your life. If you’re renovating just to sell, unless you bought the home as the lowest-priced house in a highly desirable market, redoing the kitchen and bath won’t always pay for themselves. However, they will make the home more attractive to buyers and give you a leg up on the competition.

Adding a room and increasing square-footage usually improves the home’s value. This means converting an attic or basement might be a better use of your funds. Adding a second bathroom also garners a buyer’s attention. But turning a garage into a family room could backfire on you if buyers treasure a garage more than the extra space. Before undertaking a garage conversion, speak with a knowledgeable real estate agent in that area to see which option buyers most often request.

Curb appeal Improvements

When choosing improvements for resale, adding to the curb appeal gives you the most bang for your buck. Replace street-view garage doors with carriage-house style or modern minimalist options and update the front door to match. Clean out flower beds, replant them, and trim them with stone edging. Keep bushes and hedges trimmed and prune trees to keep them healthy.

Circulation Improvements

Old homes in areas where air conditioning was an afterthought benefit from adding attic fans and insulation to improve the cooling properties. Also, when possible, install a whole house fan (different from an attic fan) as it offers superior circulation for a small investment and makes the lack of central air conditioning less noticeable.

Your professional real estate agent is your best resource to learn what’s selling in homes in your neighborhood.


Let's face it – a first-time home seller may encounter many problems as he or she tries to navigate the home selling journey. Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline the process of listing your residence and ensuring you can maximize your house's value.

Now, let's take a look at three common challenges that first-time home sellers might face:

1. You don't know what your home is worth.

What you paid for your house several years ago is unlikely to match your home's value today. Fortunately, a property appraisal can help you gain the insights you need to better understand your house's current value.

During a property appraisal, a home inspector will evaluate your residence from top to bottom. Then, this inspector will provide you with a report that highlights your house's strengths and weaknesses so you can plan potential home improvement projects accordingly.

When it comes to figuring out what your home is worth, don't forget to assess the prices of homes that are currently available too. With this housing market data in hand, you can find out how your residence stacks up against comparable houses.

2. You don't know how to enhance your residence's interior and exterior.

Consider the homebuyer's perspective as you examine your house's interior and exterior – you'll be glad you did. This will enable you to think about the best ways to enhance your house and ensure it will dazzle homebuyers consistently.

Remember, your home only gets one chance to make a positive first impression on property buyers. And if you allocate the necessary time to mow the front lawn, trim the hedges and remove dust and debris from walkways, you may be able to boost your house's chances of generating substantial interest from property buyers.

Don't forget to declutter your home's interior, either. By doing so, you can make it simple for property buyers to envision what life would be like if they purchase your residence.

3. You have no idea what it takes to add your house to the real estate market.

Adding a house to the real estate market should be simple, but myriad problems may arise that prevent you from listing your residence and getting the best price for it. However, if you work with a real estate agent, you can avoid any potential pitfalls throughout the home selling journey.

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of selling a house. As such, he or she can serve as an expert guide through each stage of the home selling cycle.

Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings and open houses, market your house to potential homebuyers and negotiate with property buyers on your behalf. This housing market professional also will be happy to respond to your home selling concerns and queries at any time.

For first-time home sellers, there's no need to panic. Use these tips, and you should have no trouble getting the optimal results during the home selling journey.


 If you're in the process of searching for the ideal home for you and your family, there are many things to think about and evaluate.

While factors like the quality of neighborhoods and school districts may top your list, another important feature worth prioritizing is convenience. Since life is already complicated enough, it makes sense to simplify your daily routines whenever possible! The perfect time to set the stage for a simpler, easier lifestyle is when you're shopping for your next home. Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind when looking for ways to help make life easier

Short commutes: When you consider all the advantages of living close to your job or business, the benefits are undeniable! A relatively short daily commute not only helps you manage your stress level, but it also enables you to spend more time with your family... and less time dealing with rush hour traffic! A shorter commute can also save you money on gasoline, wear and tear on your car, and highway tolls.

A first-floor laundry: Unless you find ways to streamline and simplify your weekly laundry tasks, it quickly becomes a burdensome chore! Having to carry loads of laundry up and down basement stairs can definitely be tiring -- both physically and mentally. (It can be even more unpleasant if you buy a house with an unfinished basement.) The solution, of course, is to tell your real estate agent that you'd strongly prefer a home with first floor (or even second-floor) laundry hookups. Persuading your family to cooperate with organizing and sorting their own laundry items is also a good goal, but is easier said than done!

Two-car garage with remote control: After a hectic day at the office (or wherever you happen to work), there's nothing like the convenience of an automatic garage door and a spacious, private parking area waiting for you at home. In addition to the convenience, it's nice knowing your cars will be much more secure in an enclosed garage. It's also a great way to stay dry and warm when unpleasant weather is around.

Proximity to stores: The ideal location for your next home is close to grocery stores, pharmacies, and other services you and your family use on a regular basis. As is the case with job commuting distances, if you can live within a half an hour of places you need to drive to frequently, it makes day-to-day life much easier. While few neighborhoods are "a stone's throw" from everywhere you'll want to go, being close to supermarkets and other essential conveniences can save you time and provide you with a quick solution to having no milk, bread, or dinner food in the house!

So if you are getting ready to buy, or currently in the market, connect with your agent on the essentials you would like in your new home today.


Photo by Alexander Stein via Pixabay

If a home is in foreclosure, you can buy it for less. Great deal, right? It can be, but there are pitfalls, and you need even more caution than in a regular real estate transaction.

Stages of Foreclosure

Foreclosure can take months or even years depending on the regulations of the specific state, but the stages are the same:

  1. Pre-foreclosure. The owner has been given notice of pending foreclosure but for now still owns the home. In this case you negotiate with the owner.

  2. Bank-owner. The former owner has been evicted. If the bank doesn’t find a buyer the house will be put up for auction.

  3. Real-estate Owned (REO). The home did not sell at auction. A misleading name because the bank still owns it. And needs to get rid of it.

How do I find a Foreclosure?

If you haven't bought one before, your best bet is to work with a real estate agent who specializes in foreclosures. Some may have credentials: the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) or the Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR) designation. Foreclosures are listed on the same platforms as other homes, plus they may be found through banks, local city halls and courts.

Do I need cash?

Not necessarily. But if you'll use a mortgage, get it pre-approved. You’re likely to be competing with cash buyers.

What should I watch out for?

Many foreclosed properties are in poor shape. If they haven’t been inhabited, and maintenance has been neglected and air conditioning hasn’t been running, there could be mold, debris and internal damage. Distraught homeowners sometimes make off with appliances and the copper. There may be liens in addition to the defaulted mortgage. Get an inspection, have the title checked out and assume there’s going to be work to make it livable.

How much should I pay?

Your agent can run a comparative market analysis (CMA). You should pay significantly less than for an unencumbered property to make up for the risk. Professional foreclosure buyers sometimes use a formula of 80 percent of a comparable standard property less cost of known repairs. For example, a $300,000 house that needs $50,000 in repairs should be (80% * $300,000) – $50,000 or $190,000. A skilled agent can help you be competitive without putting yourself in a bind.

Is a foreclosed property right for me?

It will take more time and effort than a regular purchase but can save a pile of money. A DIYer or a person comfortable managing major rehab projects has a head start. If you have strong nerves, high risk tolerance and the ability to be flexible, a foreclosure might be the best deal you can make.


A home inspection is a crucial part of the homebuying process. At this point, a home inspector will walk through a house with you and examine the property inside and out. If a home inspector identifies underlying problems with a residence, these issues could put your purchase in jeopardy. On the other hand, if a home inspection reveals that there are no major problems with a residence, you may feel comfortable proceeding with a purchase.

Ultimately, how a homebuyer approaches a property inspection can have far-flung effects. For those who want to achieve the best-possible home inspection results, we're here to help you get ready for a house inspection.

Let's take a look at three tips to ensure you know exactly how to approach a house inspection.

1. Prepare for the Best- and Worst-Case Scenarios

Regardless of how a home inspection turns out, you need to be ready. That way, you'll have a plan in place to act quickly, even in the worst-case scenario.

In the best-case scenario after a house inspection, you likely will take a step forward in your quest to complete a home purchase. Conversely, in the worst-case scenario following a home inspection, you may rescind your offer to purchase a house and reenter the real estate market.

It also is important to remember that you can always walk away from a house sale if an inspection reveals there are significant problems with a residence. For a homebuyer, it is paramount to feel comfortable with a house after an inspection. If a home raises lots of red flags during an inspection, a buyer should have no trouble removing his or her offer to purchase a house.

2. Ask Plenty of Questions

A home inspector is a property expert who can provide insights into the condition of a residence. Thus, you should rely on this property expert as much as possible.

Don't hesitate to discuss a home with an inspector. Because if you ask lots of questions during a home inspection, you may be able to receive comprehensive property insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.

3. Analyze the Inspection Results Closely

Following a home inspection, you'll receive a report that details a property inspector's findings. Review this report closely, and if you have follow-up questions about it, reach out to the inspector that provided the report.

Lastly, as you look for ways to streamline the homebuying journey, you should work with a knowledgeable real estate agent. This housing market professional can put you in touch with the top home inspectors in your city or town. Plus, if you want to request home repairs or a reduced price on a house after an inspection, a real estate agent will negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf.

Let's not forget about the support that a real estate agent provides at other points in the homebuying journey, either. If you ever have concerns or questions during the homebuying journey, a real estate agent will respond to them at your convenience.

Prepare for a home inspection, and you can use this evaluation to gain the insights you need to make an informed homebuying decision.




Loading