Tag Archive: home seller

Down Payment Tips

Many people dream of owning a home but don’t think it’s possible because they lack the resources for a down payment and closing costs. Here are tips for securing that down payment.

1) Borrow from your retirement account: Many people have been investing in a 401(k) plan or traditional IRA for years and first-time homebuyers may borrow up to $10,000 for their down payment without incurring a penalty. For those self-employed or if your employer allows it, you also can borrow up to $50,000 from your current 401(k) and pay yourself back over five years at a low interest rate.

2) Ask family: Sure, you may be too proud to ask for money, but if relatives can help you and your family move into that dream home, isn’t it worth it? If you do get help from a family member, the lender will ask you to sign a gift-letter form, attesting to the relationship. The lender may also require your relatives to explain where they got the money and prove that they are financially able to make such a gift.

3) Look for down payment assistance grants: Down payment assistance and community redevelopment programs offer affordable housing opportunities to first-time homebuyers, low-income and moderate-income individuals and families who wish to own a home.

4) Come to a lease/purchase agreement: Homeowners who can’t sell their homes in this market may consider a lease/purchase agreement, where you rent the home you want to buy and a percentage of your rent is applied toward the down payment. If you go this route, make sure you get a contract outlining all the details so both parties are protected.

5) Add it to the wedding registry: Several mortgage companies allow those getting married to set up a down payment registry. This is a great way to celebrate the joining of two people in matrimony.

6) Cut back and save: If none of the other ways will work for you, there’s always the old-fashioned “saving for a rainy day.” Try putting aside 10% of each paycheck and make your meals instead of going out for them. If you’re married, save the money you would spend on birthday, anniversary and Christmas presents and put it toward your house. You also may need to forget that vacation this year.

These sacrifices may seem significant but they will be worth it once you’re inside your own home.

Prudential Showcase Properties is an independently owned and operated member of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., a Prudential company. Equal Housing Opportunity.

Staging in Spring

Any home stager will tell you that “staging is staging” and the principles remain the same throughout the year—keep things clean, clutter free and colorful. But each season comes with its own brand of staging magic!

For spring, there are a number of things you can do both inside and outside to take advantage of the beautiful weather.

Barb Schwarz, creator of Homes Staging® and CEO of Stagedhomes.com, suggests adding splashes of color to your porch with potted flowers. She favors larger pots placed on each side of the front door bearing tulips or daisies with greenery in the middle.

Bringing spring colors into a home is just as easy, especially with accessories like throw pillows, area rugs, artwork, towels and bedspreads.

“Change accessories and the whole house changes,” Schwarz said. Swap-out decorative pillows on a sofa for a fresh, new look. “This year nature colors are really in; green is really big and hot orange is an accent that is strong.”

Designers recommend using other knickknacks that speak of spring, such as pears, eggs, sea shells, nature, leaf patterns in fabrics, wicker, real leather and rust metal as contrast.

Schwarz said it’s also a good idea to replace the drapery panels in a home or office. She recently changed a den from a daisy pattern in blue to cream plain panels that went from ceiling to the floor “and the whole room looked bigger and more elegant,” she said.

Of course, all rooms in the house are important and there are ways to liven up each one as the spring season blooms. You want the buyer to buy the whole house, not just one or two rooms staged, so it’s important to create a cohesive design.

Yet don’t forget your “great outdoors.” Clean up your yards, remove fallen leaves and dead plants, and trim bushes and hedges.

Indeed, spring brings more buyers so take advantage of all that the season has to offer.

Prudential Showcase Properties is an independently owned and operated broker member of BRER Affiliates, Inc. Prudential, the Prudential logo and the Rock symbol are registered service marks of Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Used under license with no other affiliation with Prudential. Equal Housing Opportunity.

Christina Kauffman, Realty Times Feature Writer 02/03/2014

From the society to the runway, there are many factors that influence what’s “in” when it comes to Interior Design. In 2014 you can expect an overall collected look- mixing vintage with modern, masculine with feminine and natural elements with bold color and patterns. Here are a few of my favorite trends for the New Year!

In today’s society we are living longer which has allowed for a stronger relationship between grandparents and grandchildren, bringing forth a clean but collected look at home. Vintage, hand-me-down furnishings are modernized using bold color finishes and heirloom items are repurposed for functional use. Handmade crafts are making a comeback! Beautiful calligraphy art and cozy knitted throws will make you wish you had nifty craft skills like Grandma!

Due to today’s level of gender equality, men are spending more time at home and are now participating in design decisions. Therefore, we will see a more masculine influence in the upcoming years. The use of more strong and sturdy materials such as solid concrete in the kitchen and will become more popular.

This also means comfort will become the highest priority. Don’t panic ladies, that definitely does not mean big, bubbly recliners are back in style! Think of masculine design as a fine tailored suit, emulating both comfort and luxury.

Recently, on the runway a new Pantone color palate made it’s debut. Bold colors such as Yellow and Cobalt are trending for women next spring, and they will also become popular at home.


Whimsical accessories, vibrant art and patterned upholstery will sit against a neutral white background. Organic earth tones will also be used along with natural rounded elements like raw metal, wood and stone to keep interiors feeling classic. Color to watch – Pantone Freesia.

Trend For Thought…

Just because something is “in” doesn’t mean you have to like it. If you are intrigued by a new trend, adopt it. If it isn’t love at first sight, forget it.

Don’t be afraid to express yourself at home- if you fall in love with an emerald armchair that a nearby shopper claims is “so 2013”, get it anyway. Not everything in your home needs to match the Jones’. What’s most important is that you are inspired! The best and most comfortable homes reflect the personalities of those who live in them. So naturally, if your guests love you, they are sure to love what you’ve done with the place!


Christina Kauffman, Founder of Jameson Lane. Jameson Lane Interiors serves clients in the Boston and Greater Boston areas.By mixing patterns, colors and styles, we are able to form unique spaces for each client. Our signature style is Eclectic- incorporating both modern and vintage elements in a space creates a comfortable and collected feel.
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