Darryln Leikauskas - Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Commonwealth Real Estate



Posted by Darryln Leikauskas on 2/15/2019

The rent vs buy dilemma is something that Americans have been facing for decades. Both options have their benefits, and itís really a matter of timing and preferences when it comes to choosing which is best for you.

However, there are a lot of things to consider before making this decision. So, in todayís post weíre going to break down some of the benefits of renting an apartment and of buying a home. That way you can make your decision with a clearer picture of what each situation looks like.

One thing to note first, however, is that it isnít always as simple as buy vs rent. Some living situations draw on the pros of each type of living. For example, living in a condo might be a good option for people who want the privacy and independence of owning their own home, but who also donít have the time or desire to keep up with maintenance.

So, as we compare buying and renting, keep in mind that the features of each are not mutually exclusive.

Renting an apartment

Most people who are living on their own for the first time start off renting. For younger people just out of school, renting offers the first taste of independence without the prerequisites of homeownership.

When you rent your first apartment, youíll learn the skills associated with budgeting for your monthly expenses, making your rent payments on time, and will start learning some of the skills that it takes to run a household.

In terms of monthly costs, apartments can vary greatly. Depending on where you live (and how luxurious the apartment is) you could end up having rent and utility payments that are much lower or much higher than mortgage payments for a house.

However, apartment leases often come with the benefit of utilities, trash removal, and other expenses built in. They also typically require the landlord to maintain the apartment and the land it sits on.

Live in the northern part of the country and hate shoveling snow? Make sure your lease specifies that your landlord will provide snow removal.

One technique that many renters take is to find an apartment that is small and affordable while they save up for a home. In this case, itís worth living with fewer amenities if your end goal is saving for a down payment.

But, what if you want to own a home someday but havenít quite decided where you want to settle down? Maybe your work keeps you moving from place to place or youíve always wanted to move away to somewhere new.

Renting is typically a better option for those who arenít quite sure what their plans are for the next coming years. They can have a stable place to live while they figure things out and plan their next move.

Buying a home

Once youíve rented a home for a while, you might become increasingly aware that you want more space and more control over your home.

Youíre also likely noticing how much money you spend on rent each month that is essentially a net loss.

When you buy a home, your mortgage payments might be going to the bank, but someday the money youíve paid toward that home will be yours in the form of equity. You can then use this as a down payment for another home.

This financial benefit cannot be understated. Since house values dependably increase over time, owning a home is a great investment toward your future.

So, those are the main pros and cons of renting vs buying a home. Think about your circumstances and determine which one makes the most sense for you right now. Then, start planning for the future.




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Posted by Darryln Leikauskas on 2/14/2019

A single family house is the best way to rent! Have your own space, enjoy the grape vines/patio in the back and 2 off street (tandem) parking spaces. This 2 bedroom house has nice hardwood floors throughout, a somewhat updated galley kitchen, newer gas heating system (2016), washer & dryer in finished basement. The master bedroom consists of two small adjoining rooms with one access to hall and two closets. Tenant pays for gas heat, gas cooking and electric.Tenant to provide recent credit report and prior landlord reference (not current landlord). First month rent, full month security deposit and 1/2 month rent agency fee due at lease signing. Location is close to downtown Peabody and bus route. Small pet allowed. House is occupied. Group showings planned for Saturday February 9. Call for Appt.

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts




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Posted by Darryln Leikauskas on 2/8/2019

If you are thinking of refinancing your mortgage, there are so many options available to you that address your needs. Whether you want to do some home improvement projects or provide a down payment for another property refinancing can be a good option for you. There are many different options when it comes to home loans and refinancing. Below, youíll find some of the most popular choices and what they mean for your mortgage and your finances. 


Standard Refinance


A standard refinances requires that you have a certain amount of equity in your home. If you want to avoid Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI on the refinance, you need 20% equity in the home. Different lenders have different requirements for the amount of equity that you need in order to do this primary refinancing of your home loan. Keep in mind that a good credit score is also a requirement to do this type of loan.


Refinancing With Cash Out


This option is great when you need to take some of the equity out of your home. This way, you can get some of the equity out of your home without selling the house. This way, youíre able to refinance the mortgage, get a good loan term thatís affordable, and borrow a part of the equity you have built up in your home.


You can use the cash that you take out for just about anything you need including college, home renovations, business start-up costs, or to consolidate other debt you have. The only drawback is that youíre not able to borrow 100% of your equity. Usually, the highest percentage youíre eligible to borrow is 80%. The amount is based on both the equity you have built up in your home along with your income. Also, keep in mind that after you take out one of these loans, the amount of equity you have in your home decreases.  


Short Refinance


Short refinances may not be offered by all lenders. If you donít qualify for a HARP loan or standard, refinance this could be a good option for you. If you hope to avoid foreclosure and are struggling to pay your mortgage each month, your lender may agree to the terms of this type of loan. The loan is in effect is a combination of a short sale and a refinance. The lender agrees to pay the existing mortgage off. The loan s replaced with a new mortgage. Beware that if you choose this option, your credit score may go down significantly. If youíre able to keep up with the new mortgage payments, youíll be able to repair your credit score over time.         





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Posted by Darryln Leikauskas on 2/1/2019

As a home seller, you'll want to do whatever you can to prepare your residence for an open house. By doing so, you can transform your ordinary home into an exceptional one, thereby increasing the likelihood of making an unforgettable first impression on large groups of open house guests.

What does it take to get a residence ready for an open house? Here are three tips to help you update your home, and ultimately, host a memorable open house.

1. Declutter Your Home as Much as Possible

If your hallways, bedrooms and other home areas are loaded with clutter, now is the perfect time to get rid of various unnecessary items. That way, you can show off the true size and beauty of your living space.

For those who have antiques, photographs and other items they want to keep, it may be worthwhile to rent a storage unit. Or, friends and family members may be able to hold on to some of your belongings until you sell your house.

On the other hand, if there are items you need to eliminate immediately, you can always host a yard sale or list items online. You may be able to donate items that are in good condition to local charities as well.

2. Perform Home Exterior Maintenance

Let's face it Ė no one wants to buy a home with a messy front lawn or cracked siding. However, a home seller who allocates the necessary time and resources to identify home exterior issues can resolve such problems without delay.

Spend some time evaluating your house's exterior Ė you'll be glad you did. With a close look at your home's exterior, you can establish home maintenance priorities.

Then, get to work. Perform all necessary home exterior repairs, and you can boost your home's chances of making a positive first impression on homebuyers who visit during an open house.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to preparing for an open house, there's a lot to consider. Fortunately, a real estate agent can help you keep things in perspective and ensure your open house is an instant success.

A real estate agent will teach you everything you need to know about an open house. He or she will offer expert tips to help you get your residence ready for an open house, along with provide insights into what you should expect following the event's completion.

Of course, a real estate agent is happy to help you at each stage of the home selling journey too. This housing market professional will do whatever it takes to help you list a home, price it accordingly and promote it to the right groups of homebuyers consistently.

Make your open house a joyous occasion for both you and potential homebuyers. Use the aforementioned tips, and a home seller can revamp a house's interior and exterior and ensure a residence makes a long-lasting impression on homebuyers.




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Posted by Darryln Leikauskas on 1/25/2019

If summer is your favorite season of the year, then you probably wouldn't mind having your home smell like summer all through the year, seeing as most people wait all year to breathe in summer's scent. Follow simple tips to keep your home smelling fresh and summery all through the year.

  1. Make a Gel Freshener Yourself. Making a gel freshener isn't hard at all. All you need are a couple essential oils like citrus and grapeseed, depending on the exact scent you want to reproduce, and some other natural ingredients in your kitchen such as gelatin, salt, and lemons; mix them, and you have an excellent freshener for your home. Check the internet for more detailed instructions and proportions.
  2. Secret Jars. It is simple to do, and the results last for even longer. Pick up some stone jars and fill them up with a mixture of baking soda and any essential oils you have around. Put them up in different corners of your house and watch the walls of your home begin to give out the scents by themselves seemingly. However, you might need to keep the jars out of sight, as they are not the most perfect decorative accessories.
  3. Use Cleaning Products with Natural Ingredients and Flavors. Don't just buy any cleaning liquid. You should go for the ones that incorporate natural elements into their contents. Many cleaning products are plant-based and infused with the scents of ingredients like citrus, cedar, and lavender. Constant use of such products for cleaning the floors, windows and even clothes will all add up to give every room in the house a distinct pleasant fruity smell.
  4. Scent of Potpourri. Add any food items with pleasant smells onto a pan. You can use apple cider, lemons, vanilla extract, etc.; they all work perfectly. Add a few cups of water to the pan and then heat very slowly over the cooker. The hot mixture will begin to give off a warm and welcoming scent for anyone that comes into the home. These work best at night as they're sure to make dinner look enticing.
  5. DIY Lavender Air Freshener. Add dried lavender leaves and baking soda into a small jar and shake the mixture thoroughly. Add drops of lavender oil too and seal, then punch a few holes into the jar cover so the scent can escape into the house.

Try out all these ideas and watch your home smell like summer all day, every day. If you need more options for essential oils, visit any apothecary shop that is close to you.




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