Caroleann Ohannessian - Coco, Early & Associates The Andovers | Andover, MA Real Estate


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When it comes to homeowner’s associations, you need to know what type yours is before you determine whether to “join” it. There are two types of associations, covenant-based and voluntary. When homeowners ask about requirements to join a homeowner’s association, they may believe it is optional, but if our association is covenant-based, you have automatic membership by virtue of being a property owner.

Here’s How They Work

A voluntary association is a group of property owners that collectively decide how to improve their neighborhood. By the time you move into the neighborhood, the HOA may be well-established, so you’re not aware of how it started. Such HOAs are more similar to neighborhood improvement clubs, local sports team sponsors and other folks that join in order to develop a sense of community.

A covenant-based HOA is a contract that is part of the land purchase agreement within a development. That means that all property owners automatically must retain membership and that agreement is binding on all future owners within the specified development.

Future Owners

You might question how a contract is binding on future owners, but in the case of a covenant-based homeowner’s association, the covenant “runs with” the property as recorded in the county land records office. The document that spells out the covenants attaches to the property deed. When you buy a lot or home in the development, the original deed and any liens or covenants that attach to it become your responsibility.

Often, the original developer set up and controlled the association until the last piece of land sold or a sufficient number of homes sold so that the running of the association could transfer to the owners. Typically, these determinations are part of the original covenant documents filed with the county records. HOAs run by a board of elected owners from within the development. Unlike a voluntary association, renters or leaseholders cannot become members even though they are bound by the rules and conditions of the association.

Know Which Type It Is

Before you choose to purchase a home in a neighborhood with an association, learn whether it is voluntary or covenant-based. Ask to see copies of the covenants, conditions and rules (CC&Rs) before you commit to purchasing in that development. Your real estate agent can write a contingency into your purchase contract to require approval of the CC&Rs if you’re concerned about living within the HOA.


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Most buyers understand the importance of getting a home inspection before purchasing a property. But did you know that some sellers are also opting to invest in a pre-inspection? These savvy homeowners realize that a pre-inspection can be a very helpful tool when it comes time to market their houses. If you're thinking about putting your property on the market, you might want to consider following their lead. The following are four ways that a pre-home inspection could benefit you during the sale of your house.

To Avoid Surprises

Imagine this scenario: You thought that your house was as good as sold, but then the buyer's home inspection reveals a major defect. The problem is worrisome enough that your buyer decides to back out of their sales contract. Now, you're having to put your house back on the market. If you had opted for a pre-inspection, chances are high that your inspector would have discovered the defect and you could have addressed it before listing your property.

Could Help with Your Sales Budget

Getting a pre-inspection report can also help you determine the best way to spend your money while readying your house for the market. For example, you may be thinking of paying to professionally stage your home. But if a pre-inspection turns up several defects that could impede the sale of your house, it would make more sense to channel your money towards necessary repairs.

To Save Money on Repairs

Buyers often add a clause in their sales contract that requires any issues discovered during their home inspection -- even minor ones -- to be repaired by a professional contractor. This can often be unnecessarily expensive. A running toilet, for instance, discovered during a pre-inspection can usually be fixed easily, cheaply and satisfactorily to code by a handyman or even by the homeowner. But a buyer may require the seller to use a plumbing contractor to fix the very same problem if it is written up in their home inspector's report.

Help You Determine Your Sales Price

A pre-inspection report can also provide you and your agent with important information that can help you to accurately price your property. If, for example, your house has some minor issues, such as an aging roof, that you don't want to fix, you can decide to price your home accordingly.

Cons

While there are many positive reasons for having a pre-inspection performed on your home, there are some cons, too, including:

  • A pre-inspection typically costs several hundred dollars
  • You may be obligated to disclose any defects discovered during the pre-inspection to potential buyers

If you're thinking about selling or buying a home, contact me. I would love to talk to you about my services and how I can help you better navigate the home buying or selling process.


If you recently bought or sold a house, you likely will need to pack up your electronics and transport them to a new location in the near future. As such, it is important to pack your electronics correctly to reduce the risk of damage.

Now, let's take a look at three best practices for packing electronics.

1. Follow the Manufacturer's Instructions

In many instances, electronics manufacturers will offer tips and recommendations that you can use to pack your video game consoles, TVs and other electronics properly. Review any electronics product manuals at your disposal, and you can gain deep insights into how to pack these items.

If you lost an electronics product manual, there is no need to worry. Most manufacturers will post information on their respective websites about how to pack various electronics. Or, you can always contact the manufacturer directly or consult with an electronics retailer.

In addition, if you still have the original electronics box, you may want to use this box on moving day. The original box is the perfect size for your electronics, and as a result, will make it simple for you to pack and store your electronics safely until you complete your move.

2. Pick Up the Right Packing Materials

Tape, bubble wrap and other packing materials are essential, particularly for those who want to protect their electronics.

Visit a local convenience store or supermarket to pick up a wide range of packing materials. By doing so, you can purchase the packing items you need to properly secure your electronics.

Furthermore, if you need moving boxes for your electronics, a convenience store or supermarket may be able to help you out. Contact local convenience stores and supermarkets, and these businesses may be able to supply you with free boxes that they no longer need to store a variety of electronics.

3. Proceed with Caution

Most electronics consist of glass and other sensitive materials, so you'll want to do everything possible to protect these items.

It usually helps to wrap electronics in moving pads, sheets or light blankets. You also should wrap electronics in linen or clean paper to minimize the risk of dust damage.

For those who want expert help with packing electronics, you may want to hire a professional moving company. With this business at your disposal, you can receive comprehensive assistance as you prepare your electronics and other belongings for moving day.

Lastly, if you need extra help as you search for a moving company or try to buy or sell a house, you should work with a real estate agent.

Real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide. These housing market professionals can connect you with local moving experts, along with provide plenty of support throughout the homebuying or home selling process.

Ready to pack up your electronics? Use the aforementioned best practices, and you can keep your electronics safe as you get ready to relocate to a new address.


Selling a house may prove to be a long, complex and stressful process. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to increase your chances of enjoying a seamless house selling experience, such as:

1. Craft an Engaging Home Listing

A home listing allows you to make a positive first impression on prospective buyers. Thus, you should spend some time crafting a house listing that will hit the mark with buyers.

There is no need to stretch the truth in your home listing. Instead, provide clear, concise and relevant details about your home. This ensures a buyer can make an informed decision about whether to pursue your residence.

Also, it often helps to include high-resolution photographs of your home in your listing. These images can help a buyer envision what life may be like if he or she purchases your house.

2. Upgrade Your Home's Interior and Exterior

If your home is filled with assorted knick-knacks, antiques, and photographs, you should remove these items for the time being. By doing so, you can minimize the risk that clutter will negatively affect a buyer's perception of your house when he or she sees it in person.

Don't forget to enhance your home's curb appeal, too. If you mow the lawn, trim the hedges and perform other lawn care tasks, you will help buyers fall in love with your house. Also, be sure to repair any damaged windows or siding to further boost your house's curb appeal.

3. Establish a Competitive Initial Asking Price for Your Home

The housing market is competitive, and failing to price your home aggressively from the get-go may make it tough to enjoy a seamless property selling experience. If you learn about your home and the local housing sector, you can establish a competitive initial asking price for your listing.

Oftentimes, it helps to conduct a home appraisal. This allows you to receive a home valuation from a property expert.

You also may want to assess the local housing sector. Review the prices of available homes in your area that are similar to your residence. Then, you can use this housing market data to help you determine the optimal initial asking price for your home.

For sellers who want to streamline the home selling journey, you will want to employ a real estate agent. If you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive comprehensive assistance at each stage of the process.

A real estate agent is committed to your success, and he or she will work with you to help you achieve the best possible results. This housing market professional will learn about your home selling goals and help you plan accordingly. In addition, a real estate agent is happy to respond to your home selling concerns and questions at any time.

Want to enjoy a seamless home selling journey? Use these tips, and you could reap the benefits of a fast, profitable house selling experience.


There is no one-size-fits-all approach to craft an effective property listing. Instead, a seller needs to allocate the necessary time and resources to ensure a house listing hits the mark with buyers. In fact, failure to do so may make it tough for a seller to generate interest in his or her home. Perhaps even worse, an ineffective home listing may make it virtually impossible for a seller to enjoy a fast, profitable house selling experience.

Ultimately, there are many things a seller can do to create an effective home listing. These include:

1. Provide Accurate Information About Your Home

Include pertinent information about your home in your property listing – you'll be glad you did. If you can provide lots of relevant information about your home to prospective buyers, you may increase the likelihood that buyers will set up showings to view your residence in-person.

There is no need to stretch the truth in your home listing, either. Conversely, if you strive to include accurate information in your home listing, you can help a buyer make an informed decision to determine if your home meets his or her expectations.

2. Avoid Jargon

Although you want your home listing to capture buyers' attention, you should try to avoid jargon. Otherwise, a buyer may be turned off by your home listing shortly after he or she starts to read it.

When it comes to crafting an effective home listing, keeping things concise and precise is ideal. If you use your home listing to engage and inform buyers, you may be able to differentiate your listing from others.

3. Add High-Resolution Images

Including high-resolution images of your home's interior and exterior may make a world of difference in your listing. These images allow you to highlight the size and beauty of your residence. As a result, they may lead to many property showings in the near future.

Of course, before you take pictures of your home, you may want to clean both inside and outside. Remove clutter from inside your home and ensure each room looks pristine prior to taking photographs for a property listing. Meanwhile, you should take photographs that show off your house's dazzling front lawn, spacious driveway and other stunning exterior features too.

For those who want to craft a home listing that garners buyers' attention, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent as well. This housing market professional can offer tips and recommendations to help you prepare an effective property listing. Plus, he or she can help you promote your residence to dozens of prospective buyers and ensure you can streamline the property selling journey. Best of all, a real estate agent is ready to respond to your house selling concerns and questions at any time.

Ready to create an effective home listing? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can craft a house listing that will help you distinguish your residence from the competition.




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