Jay Allen - REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West | Framingham, MA Real Estate, Natick, MA Real Estate


No two vacation residences are alike. As such, it pays to take a thoughtful approach as you conduct a search for your optimal vacation home. 

Here are some tips to get you started:

1. Establish Vacation Home Must-Haves

Think about the features you want in your vacation home. By doing so, you can hone your vacation house search to residences that offer the features you want.

For example, is direct beach access important to you?  How about a refreshing in-ground swimming pool?  Maybe ensuring your vacation home has a state-of-the-art cooling system is important.  Whatever your requirements are, make a list to help narrow down the options.

Don't forget to make a list of preferred cities and towns for your vacation home, too. With this list in hand, you can check out residences in cities and towns that meet your expectations.

2. Create a Homebuying Budget

A homebuying budget is crucial.  It is important not to be distracted by the "fully loaded" offerings that are just out of your financial reach. Not only can this be a waste of your valuable time...but it can interfere with your ability to be happy with the options that do meet your budget!

To establish a homebuying budget, it often helps to meet with banks and credit unions. These financial institutions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists who can help you evaluate different mortgage options for a vacation home. Plus, if you have any mortgage concerns or questions, these specialists are happy to respond to them.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to searching for a vacation home, it can be helpful to work with an agent who understands the seasonal fluctuations that influence your local market.  This is certainly valuable knowledge for helping you determine the correct offer price to acquire your vacation home.  But also, if you intend to rent the house during periods of non-use, your agent can offer insight on the logistics of such an arrangement.  Some agents in vacation communities offer both homebuying and rental services...so if this is something that interests you, it is recommended to select an agent who is qualified to handle both tasks.

Happy hunting!


Ready to acquire your dream home? While you might have already identified your ideal residence, some negotiations may be necessary before you enter into a formal agreement with the seller.  In some markets, it may be possible to acquire your new home at a more favorable purchase...while in other markets, you may find yourself negotiating terms that favor the seller in order to make your offer stand out against competing buyers.  

Common negotiating points are the purchase price, deposit amounts, deadlines for inspection/financing contingencies, the closing date, appliances, and repairs.  Needless to say, negotiating with a seller is a delicate dance that requires some finesse...and if you fail to keep your cool throughout a negotiation, you may miss out on the opportunity to purchase your dream residence.

So what does it take to remain calm during a negotiation? Here are three tips to help you do just that.

1. Take Your Emotions Out of the Equation

Don't take it personally if a home seller wants to negotiate. Instead, view it as an opportunity to ensure all parties involved in the transaction get the best results possible.

In many instances, it's easy for buyers and sellers to let their emotions get the best of them. But if you feel overwhelmed by stress and frustration, it is essential to take a step back and assess the situation. That way, you can avoid making any rash decisions that could put your chance to purchase a top-notch house in danger.

Try to maintain a positive outlook throughout the negotiation. 

2. Know Your Options

You may invest many hours in a negotiation, and you might even make various concessions along the way. But despite your best efforts, there are no guarantees that your negotiation will be successful.  Know when to walk away.  If you come to the realization that a "meeting of the minds" is not possible, it may be best to focus your efforts elsewhere.

3. Consult with Your Real Estate Agent

Your real estate agent brings a wealth of experience to the conversation and can be a valuable resource when navigating the sometimes complex process of negotiating with a seller. This real estate expert can respond to any concerns or questions you may have throughout a negotiation and act as a buffer between you and the seller when things get heated. In addition, he or she will provide honest, unbiased recommendations to help you make an informed purchase decision.


A prepared homebuyer understands the ins and outs of the real estate market. As such, this individual may be better equipped than others to purchase a top-notch residence at a budget-friendly price.

Becoming prepared homebuyer may be easier than you think – here are three tips to get you ready for your house hunt.

1. Narrow Your Home Search

Consider your day-to-day activities as you kick off your home search. If you regularly take the bus or train to work, you may want to consider homes that provide quick, easy access to public transportation.  Or if you are a commuter, look for a location in close proximity to the highway.  Interested in a particular school for your kids?  Make sure to focus on the part of town that feeds into that school.  

2. Establish a Price Range

Although you know that you want to buy a home, you may have no idea what it will cost to obtain your dream home. However, if you enter the housing market with a home price range in hand, you'll be off to a good start!

Meet with banks and credit unions in your area. That way, you can learn about myriad home financing options and choose a mortgage that complements your finances.  Most importantly, these banks and credit unions can help you estimate your monthly payments at different purchase prices, which is valuable knowledge when creating your budget.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a homebuying expert who will do everything possible to help you optimize your productivity. If you collaborate with a real estate agent throughout the homebuying process, you can increase the likelihood of getting the best possible results.

A real estate agent will set up home showings, negotiate with a home seller's agent on your behalf and help you get the best price on a home. By doing so, this housing market professional will ensure that you can enjoy a seamless homebuying experience.

Become a prepared homebuyer today – use the aforementioned tips, and you can maximize your readiness to reap the benefits of a quick, efficient homebuying journey.


After you complete a home showing, the question on your mind will be "Is this the one?" Sometimes it's a clear yes.  Other times, you may want to set up a follow-up showing before deciding to move forward with an offer. Or, if you are dissatisfied with the results of a showing, you will want to continue your house search without looking back.

It helps to know what to expect after you attend a showing. Because if you have a plan, you may be able to speed up the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you make the best-possible decision about a house following a showing.

1. Assess the Pros and Cons of a House

Performing a comprehensive home analysis is a must after a showing. That way, you can weigh the pros and cons of a residence and decide whether a house is right for you.

Think about how you felt as you walked through each room of a house. If you can envision yourself as the owner of a home, you may want to move sooner rather than later to submit an offer to purchase.

Conversely, if you find a house is in need of major repairs or simply does not suit your lifestyle, you should not hesitate to continue your search. 

2. Consider the Next Step in Your Homebuying Journey

Sometimes, the house that you are considering gets snatched up before you have a chance to prepare an offer. No sense dwelling on the one that got away.  Keep your eye on the other options in front of you and don't get discouraged.  

More importantly, think of this as a learning experience. The next time you find a good fit, you'll be able to identify it sooner...which will position you to be more decisive.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you are unsure about the best course of action at a showing's conclusion, you may want to consult with a real estate agent. This will enable you to gain expert insights into the housing market and make an informed decision about how to proceed with a particular residence.

A real estate agent is happy to teach you about all aspects of the housing market. Following a showing, a real estate agent can meet with you and help you review all of the options at your disposal. And if you decide to submit an offer to purchase a house, a real estate agent will make it easy to put together a competitive homebuying proposal.


Purchasing a home should be fun, memorable process. However, many homebuyers struggle with fears as they embark on the process of acquiring their dream home.

Some of the most common homebuying fears include:

1. I will pay too much for a house.

Overspending on a house is a common fear among homebuyers.

If you pay too much for a house, you may struggle to afford the monthly payments for the duration of your mortgage. This is a legitimate fear and one should be careful not to put themselves in a precarious financial position.

2. I'll wait too long to submit an offer on a residence.

When you identify a property that meets your needs, it is worth noting the risks of waiting to place an offer.  If the home is well presented and priced correctly, chances are good that other buyers will also take note.  If a competing buyer places the home under agreement before you make your decision...well, the decision will be made for you.  And that can be heartbreaking.  

In an appreciating market it can be costly to delay in make a timely purchase decision.  The implications of a lengthy home search when prices are on the rise means you may end up spending more in the end if you pass on good opportunities at the beginning of your search.  With interest rates trending upwards, that -combined with a higher purchase price - can translate to a higher monthly payment.  

Don't forget to submit a competitive offer, i.e. one that accounts for the needs of both a homebuyer and home seller, as well. A competitive offer will stand out from other proposals and increase a buyer's chances of securing his or her dream residence.

3. I'll buy a home that will fail to maintain its long-term value.

What you pay for a home today is unlikely to remain the same over the course of several weeks, months or years. But a homebuyer who employs an expert home inspector can learn about a house's strengths and weaknesses to ensure a property is a strong long-term investment.

A home inspector will conduct an assessment of a house after a seller accepts a buyer's proposal. The inspector will examine a home's interior and exterior and identify any potential issues. Equally important to obtaining this knowledge, the buyer can also learn some helpful maintenance tips from their home inspector, which should be followed to ensure the home stays in good condition for years to come.

Working with an experienced real estate agent may benefit a homebuyer too. With a top-notch real estate agent at your side, you can get the support you need to acquire a first-rate home that will maintain its value both now and in the future.