Tag Archives: #downsize

How Buyers and Sellers Can Use Tax Refunds

Getting a tax refund for 2021? As a potential buyer or seller the money you receive can help you achieve your goals.

SmartAsset estimates the average American will receive a $2,897 tax refund this year. In Massachusetts that number is about the same at $2,834.00.

So, if you are getting a refund this year, here are a few tips to help with your home purchase or sale.

How Buyers Can Use Their Tax Refund

According to American Financing, there are multiple ways your refund check can help you as a homebuyer. A few include:

Growing your down payment fund – If you haven’t started saving for your down payment, let your tax refund kick off the process. And if you have a fund already, the money you get could put you closer to your goal.

Paying for your home inspection – Your home inspection can save you a lot of headaches down the road by helping determine the condition of the house. As a buyer, you’re responsible for paying for your inspection, and it’s definitely worth the investment.

Saving for closing costs – Closing costs are additional expenses you’ll need to pay once it’s time to close. They average  between 2-5% of the purchase price of your home.

This list is a great start, but it isn’t exhaustive of all the costs you may encounter as you set out on your homebuying journey. The best way to prepare is to be sure you understand what’s to come in the process.

How Sellers Can Use Their Tax Refund

If you own a home and are planning to sell this spring, your tax refund can help you make sure your home is ready to list. Here are a few ways current homeowners can put their tax refund to good use:

Making small upgrades – NerdWallet provides a list of great ways to use your tax refund, including tackling small projects or boosting your curb appeal to help your home stand out.

Making repairs – If there’s anything in your house that needs to be fixed, American Financing notes that completing repairs is another great use of that money. But, before doing any work, please check with us. We can tell you what improvements will be worth your investment and which ones aren’t worth the money.

Buying your next home – Whether you’re selling to move up or downsize, you can use your refund to help pay for any costs for the purchase of your next home.

Funding your home purchase or sale can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Your tax refund can help you reach your goals. Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate to discuss how you can start your journey.

It’s important that you have the right information to make educated and informed decisions.

If your children or grandchildren are home for school vacation, we hope you enjoy the time with them!

Mari and Hank

Does Your House Have What Buyers Want?

The rise in remote work is changing what countless Americans want in their homes. Many companies are choosing to delay reopening or go remote full-time, so today’s buyers are looking for homes with more space to support their work needs.

As a seller, if you no longer need the extra room that you have in your home, rest assured there are buyers who do.

Remote Work Is Here To Stay

Remote work remains a reality for many Americans. A recent poll from Garter, Inc. shows many organizations have not yet returned their offices: “..66% of organizations are delaying re-opening their offices due to Covid 19.”

And it’s not just companies that are choosing to remain remote for the time being – workers are seeking more flexibility. Research from PricewaterhouseCoopers found that nearly one-fifth of employees want to be fully remote in the future.

The study also discovered that many people are leaving their jobs to seek out remote work opportunities. According to the report, among employees looking for new jobs “nearly one 10 says it’s because they moved away from the office while working remotely and don’t want to go back on site.”

That’s leading today’s buyers to prioritize finding homes with more space, so they can comfortably work from home.

The 2021 Home Design Trends Survey from the American Institute of Architects finds that 69% of surveyed individuals still want at least one office at home. But, it also shows that more people are looking for multiple spaces in their home for remote work and virtual meetings.

What Does This Mean for You?

If your house has extra space that you no longer need, buyers are interested, and now may be the perfect time to sell. Maybe the kids are grown and have moved away or you find yourself alone and using only a few rooms following the passing of a spouse or partner.

Bottom Line

With the continued rise in remote work, more buyers are looking for homes that can support multiple home offices. If you have extra room you’re no longer using, consider selling. Let’s connect today at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com to discuss the unique features in your house and how you can capitalize on any extra space to appeal to today’s buyers. We’re happy to help.


By now, we hope everyone has their power back. We couldn’t have gotten through the storm without the tireless work of utility crews, public safety personnel and others. Please check out the video linked below.

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/_UdNRXApKEs

Enjoy your week…

Mari and Hank

Downsize and Win Big

Home values have been increasing for 93 consecutive months, according to the National Association of Realtors. If you’re a homeowner, particularly one looking to downsize your living space, that’s great news, as you’ve likely built significant equity in your home.

Here’s some more good news: mortgage rates are expected to remain low throughout 2020 at an average of 3.8% for a 30-year fixed-rate loan.

The combination of leveraging your growing equity and capitalizing on low rates could make a big difference in your housing plans this year.

How to Use Your Home Equity

For move-up buyers, the typical pattern for building financial stability and wealth through homeownership works this way: you buy a house and gain equity over several years of mortgage payments and price appreciation. You then take that equity from the sale of your house to make a down payment on your next home and repeat the process.

For homeowners ready to downsize, home equity can work in a slightly different way. What you choose to do depends in part upon your goals.

According to HousingWire.com, for some, the desire to downsize may be related to retirement plans or children aging out of the home. Others may be choosing to live in a smaller home to save money or simplify their lifestyle in a space that’s easier to clean and declutter. The reasons can vary greatly and by generation.

Those who choose to put their equity toward a new home have the opportunity to make a substantial down payment or maybe even to buy their next home in cash. This is incredibly valuable if your goal is to have a minimal mortgage payment or none at all.

As local real estate professionals with the knowledge and experience of working on Cape Cod, we can help you evaluate your equity and how to use it wisely. If you’re planning to downsize, keep in mind that home prices are anticipated to continue rising in 2020, which could influence your choices.

The Impact of Low Mortgage Rates

Low mortgage rates can offset price hikes, so locking in while rates are low will be key. For many downsizing homeowners, a loan with a shorter term is ideal, so the balance can be reduced more quickly.

Interest rates on 10, 15, and 20-year loans are lower than the rates on a 30-year fixed-rate loan. If you’re downsizing your housing costs, you may prefer a shorter-term loan to pay off your home faster. This way, you can save thousands in interest payments over time.

If you’re planning a transition into a smaller home, the twin trends of low mortgage rates and rising home equity can kick-start or boost your plans, especially if you’re anticipating retirement soon or just want to live in a smaller home that’s easier to maintain.

So, if you’re thinking about downsizing, we can to help. Contact us at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We can help you review your options; let you know what your home might be worth, and have some suggestions about where you could move.


We’ve started to archive our video postings at our YouTube channel, “Mari Sennott and Assoc“.  You can view samples of the promotional videos we produce for our listings; various informational pieces from KCM (Keeping Current Matters) and other industry resources, plus Hank’s IGTV program “Morning Coffee” and Mari’s series on our kitchen remodeling project.


Mari is in San Diego, CA this week attending the “Elite Retreat” event organized by the Tom Ferry organization.

Ferry is our industry’s leading coach and trainer. The retreat is an intense, two-day session with his top level clients from across the country.

We believe in continuing our professional education and using what we learn to help our clients. In March, we’ll both be attending a “Marketing Edge” conference to learn about the most up-to-date and effective methods to promote the homes and clients we represent.

Enjoy your week…

Mari and Hank