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Posted by Bilazarian Group on 4/14/2019

 




 

The Reverend Ward Cotton House, built in 1800 and located in the Boylston Historic District, is currently available for purchase in Boylston, MA.  Located on a beautiful forested property in this charming town center, visitors will feel transported in time.  This could be your new home!


The land on which the house now stands was at one time included in the holdings of one of the town’s founding families – Eleazar Taylor—along with the nearby Old Burial Ground, the town common and the land where the library currently is located. In those days, the mid 1700’s, there may have been several homes along Cottonwood Place once the main route to the town center (then known as Cottonwood Lane).  The land was divided in 1792 and in 1800, Reverend Ward Cotton built his home attached to the original Taylor home.


The current owners, under the supervision of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, SPNEA (presently called Historic New England), lovingly restored the home updating the modern conveniences tastefully along side the antique features. 


The Reverend Ward Cotton House boasts three levels of comfortable living with 14 rooms, 9 fireplaces, 2 Dutch ovens, 5 bathrooms,wide pine floors, and a screened porch. The updated Cherry kitchen has a convenient eat-in area, granite counters and French doors to the screened porch. Potential craft room or workshop located off mudroom and kitchen. Dual staircases. 5 rooms with closets.Replacement windows, security system, central vac system, new septic. Click here to view the entire selection of photos of this beautiful home.


A covered walkway makes access to the Spacious 4 bay garage(25x50) very convenient.  The garage includes a second level, ready to be finished - endless possibilities! This magnificent estate sets on 14 plus wooded acres. You will be surrounded by history and nature!  Contact us with any questions or to arrange for a private viewing.





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Posted by Bilazarian Group on 4/11/2019

That great furniture sale filled the empty spaces in your home with a matching sofa and loveseat, coordinating side chairs and matching pillows. It looked great on that showroom floor, but now that it's in your living room it all seems a bit sterile and blah. The challenge with matching sets is that they lack depth and dimension. They don’t satisfy the sense of touch … they need texture. 

You can add texture with a few well-placed pieces, either modern or vintage (or even a mixture of both).

Vintage textiles

Textiles are any woven fabric or cloth, but informally include knitted or crocheted items as well. When shopping for textiles at flea markets and vintage shops, you'll find a plethora of designs, appliques, embroidery, dyes, and other hand textures applied to fabrics. Often made from wool, cotton, flax (linen) and other natural fibers, vintage textiles add that unique feel for which you're looking. For your home, interesting options include classic pillowcases, framed doilies, hand-knitted or crocheted afghans, hand-stitched quilts, and tapestries. 

You also may discover stacks of uncut cloth leftover from some long forgotten sewing project. Open every item to inspect it for damage. Knit and crochet may completely unravel if threads have broken or knot loosened. Discoloration from damp and pests might be hiding in the folds too.

If you genuinely want vintage, you'll find most contain imperfections or uneven stitching, indications of a hand-made product rather than machine made. Check the back too, since aged woven fabrics typically show patterns on both front and back. Beware of bulk materials. Most often, when a dealer has a large stock of one fabric (unless its provenance shows otherwise), it is not very old.

Modern textiles

Modern versions of vintage textiles include hand-loomed woolens, delicate embroidery and lace and other hand-made, small batch fabrics. But, if your budget runs more to the lean side, you can get the texture without the vintage or hand-made price. Look for plush knit throws made from chunky yarns, coarsely-woven pillow fabrics, or embellished fabrics to add the depth you seek. 

Even a cotton duck (canvas) pillow cover adds texture to a microfiber sofa. Create interest with a seagrass rug or faux fur blanket too. Drapes or curtains of loose-weave, gauzy fabrics let in light while adding the coveted dimension. Wander through the offcuts from upholstery fabrics. You might find a paisley pattern that, if framed or hung from a rod, mimics the look of an expensive tapestry.

Don’t be afraid of mixing textures. Vintage or modern, if you love it, buy it, and bring some life to your space. And if you need a new area, talk to your real estate agent.




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Posted by Bilazarian Group on 4/4/2019

While working from home and making your own schedule, either freelance or as a contract worker, allows for a particular type of freedom and control of schedules, a dress codes, income limitations, and your life, when it comes to qualifying for a mortgage, your 1099-MISC status comes with some drawbacks.

The so-called “gig-economy” places workers squarely in the “self-employed” column with its tax breaks that reduce the bottom line, letting you keep more of the money you work for. Unfortunately, the mortgage banking industry has not completely caught up to the new reality. The challenge is differing between “provable” income while retaining the tax advantages of self-employment.

Conventional Mortgage Lenders

Typically, the mortgage industry bases your credit-worthiness on provable income. Underwriters (the folks tasked with determining your creditworthiness) use W-2 forms and tax returns to qualify homebuyers for a conventional loan. Without these standard forms, proving your income is difficult for many self-employed would-be homeowners.

Conventional lenders follow a prescribed formula to prove income and credit-worthiness, so many mortgage underwriters merely look at your after-tax and post-deduction income. The result for 1099 workers is a lower provable income than the reality of most entrepreneurs or self-employed workers situation. Certain expenses such as one-time investments in equipment or product, and some depletions or deductions for your existing home, add back into your income on paper, but qualifying with 1099 income requires extra effort on your part. 

Unconventional Mortgage Lenders

Conventional lenders offer conventional loans. These are loans qualified for selling on to FreddieMac or FannieMae. Alternative loans—those provided by smaller lenders and investors that hope to realize a better return than a conventional loan offers—might be a more likely option for the self-employed. These loans are not without some added risk. To make them attractive to investors, the interest rate on non-conforming loans typically is higher, and down-payment requirements might be higher as well. Some alternative mortgages with lower interest rates or lower down-payments might be available to self-employed borrowers with exceptionally great credit or an extensive portfolio. 

Qualifying

Plan two years in advance: position yourself to qualify for a loan. Once you know where you stand, you can work to move into better condition to qualify. Organize your books and keep accurate financial records. You need to prove your income, so use an invoicing system to show receivables. Often, lenders want to look at two or more years of both tax returns and bank statements. They want to see an average over 24 months to determine your annual income and your ability to pay your mortgage. Keep profit and loss statements, expense reports and a balance sheet. If your accounting is complicated, get professional help. Utilizing a professional bookkeeper and CPA might just save you money and show you have solid business intent.

Save up a more substantial down payment: The more you put down, the less you need to borrow. Showing consistent savings also proves your ability to set money aside and prioritize savings and spending.

Improve your credit score: Sometimes it seems your credit score doesn’t make sense. After all, the calculations and formulas used remain a mystery. You can make significant strides in increasing your score though, by paying attention to two things: payment history and credit utilization. 

  • Payment history is just what it sounds like—the history of how you pay your bills. Avoid paying late and try to pay early. Your payment history makes up more than thirty-three percent of your total score.
  • Credit utilization—the ration of how much credit you have available to how much you’ve used—is another large chunk of your score. If you have a credit card with $2500 available, and you’ve only used $250 (on average) you are using just ten percent of your available credit. On the other hand, if your card only has $250 available and you’ve used just $125 you have used half of the available credit. The higher the percent of your combined usage to your combined credit (all credit cards, personal loans, vehicle loans, etc.) the lower your score.
  • The remaining parts of your credit score relate to the length of time you’ve had credit, how many accounts are new, how often you apply for credit and a mix of other bits of information. To help this area, avoid applying for credit cards, car loans or personal loans (furniture, appliances, etc.) for the two years leading up to when you apply for a mortgage. When you pay off a credit card, cut up the card or put it away, but avoid closing the account. Older accounts have a higher point value compared to newer ones, even if you aren’t currently using them.

Start now working on your credit and establishing the best accounting practices to prove your income. Speak with a mortgage lender for information on what it takes to pre-qualify for a loan in your situation.





Posted by Bilazarian Group on 3/28/2019

Whether you're trying to balance your household budget or save money to buy your first house, discount coupons can help.

Coupons alone are not a panacea that will cure budgetary woes or enable you to quickly save up for a real estate down payment, but they can play a role in achieving your financial goals.

Building up your financial nest egg or saving thousands for a down payment requires planning, organization, and motivation. While this may sound like a steep mountain to climb, the biggest challenge involves examining your values and overcoming self-limiting habits and beliefs. If you're convinced, for example, that it's impossible to save money and get ahead, then those beliefs will slow you down, if not sabotage your progress, completely.

There are a lot of reasons why discount coupons are not an effective money-saving strategy for many people, but it often boils down to three things:

  1. Disorganization: Although coupons are a marketing tool used by businesses to get consumers to buy more products and services, it's often a "win-win" situation. If a coupon happens to be for product that you need or would ordinarily buy, then it's like having extra money in your wallet. For some people, putting the coupons IN their wallet is a good way to make sure they have them when they're at the checkout counter or drive through.
  2. Pride: There's nothing undignified about using coupons, unless you have such a large stack of them that you're causing people behind you to roll their eyes, sigh loudly, or grumble under their breaths! And speaking of misplaced pride: If you're over 60, don't hesitate to claim your senior citizen discounts at restaurants, the theater, movies, public transportation, museums, car rental places, and hotels. Those savings can really add up!
  3. Lack of planning: When your trips to the grocery store are planned, rather than sponteous, you're a lot more likely to remember your coupons and your shopping list. By having your coupons with you and knowing what you need to buy, you'll be more focused and tend to spend less money on impulse items.
Effectively managing your household budget or saving money for a house down payment is usually the result of multiple strategies, rather than just using coupons or doing comparison shopping. One of the first steps to gaining control over your finances involves examining your cash flow situation. Itemizing your expenses and deducting them from your income will give you a clearer idea of where your money is going and how much you have left at the end of the month. By listing your expenses and disposable income, you can often identify "leaks" in your cash flow and find ways to stretch your dollar farther. When you assign yourself the job of "gatekeeper," you'll be surprised at the many ways there are to tighten your belt, without making major sacrifices in your lifestyle.





Posted by Bilazarian Group on 3/21/2019

Let's face it – after you buy or sell a home, moving can be a major hassle. Lucky for you, moving companies are available to help you streamline the process of transporting your personal belongings from Point A to Point B.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to hire a moving company to assist you with your upcoming move, including:

1. A moving company can help you transport heavy items to your new address.

When it comes time to move, there is no reason to put a strain on your body. Fortunately, a moving company employs moving professionals who are happy to take heavy items to your new address.

A moving company hires only the best moving professionals to provide day-to-day support. As such, these professionals will take care of your belongings to ensure they can reach your new home quickly and safely.

Furthermore, a moving company may even be able to help you pack your belongings. This will ensure you can speed up the process of getting your belongings ready to take to your new residence.

2. A moving company can help you save time.

The time it takes to pack up all of your belongings, place them in your car, drive them to your new address and unpack your items can add up quickly. However, with support from a moving company, you may be able to reduce the time it takes to get settled at a new location.

A moving company will go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure you can get your belongings to the right location, at the right time. In fact, this business will work with you to fulfill your moving requests without delay.

3. A moving company can help you alleviate stress.

Moving to a new residence may seem like a long, arduous and complex process at first. Conversely, a moving company can help you take the guesswork out of getting your belongings to your new house.

A moving company is available to help you transport your belongings to a new location at your convenience. This business will do whatever it takes to help you enjoy a fast, seamless move.

Typically, a moving company will offer tips to help you prep for moving day and will assist you as you get your items ready for your upcoming move. Moreover, this company employs friendly, knowledgeable moving professionals who are readily available to respond to your moving concerns and questions.

If you're unsure about whether a moving company is right for you, don't hesitate to consult with your real estate agent.

Your real estate agent is committed to helping you in any way possible. Therefore, he or she may be able to provide moving company recommendations to ensure you can work with the best professional movers in your area.

Ready to transport your belongings to your new address? Employ a moving company – you'll be happy you did. If you hire a moving company today, you can get plenty of support to help you complete a successful move.




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