Elena Langlois - Compass Massachusetts, LLC



Posted by Elena Langlois on 9/12/2019

Indoor plants bring an air of freshness and vitality to every home, if you live in a neighborhood that doesn't have a lot of vegetation, then having plants at home is something that you should consider, giving their ability to detoxify the air and give off oxygen. These are some of the best indoor plants that you should consider having, they are low maintenance, but the value they add is worth it a thousand times over.

  1. Aloe Vera Plant. The aloe plant is known for the many healing properties of its gel, which helps to soothe burns and cuts on the body. That aside, the aloe plant is a good monitor of the quality of air within a home Ė once you see its leaves giving off brown spots, then you know there are quite a number of toxins in the air.
  2. Chinese Evergreen. This plant can survive in environments that have either natural or artificial lights. It can also grow in both low and high humidity, making it the best option for people who live in apartment buildings that donít get to see a lot of sunlight.
  3. Snake Plants. Snake plants require only a little amount of care and attention from you. Ideally watered sparingly, only when the soil water has thoroughly dried should more be added. They also grow well in indirect light and release oxygen during the night, unlike most plants that do so in the day time so it might be a good addition for your bedroom.
  4. Golden Pothos. Scientists have long identified the golden pothos as one plant that can remove formaldehyde from the atmosphere. They grow very well in low temperatures and donít require a high amount of sunlight to thrive. You can place them as a hanging plant in your den or living area.
  5. Weeping Fig. The weeping fig does well with bright sunlight, but itís better if itís indirect. Itís rather common to have it in the living room. It requires just a little water every other day to keep the soil moist.
  6. Cacti. The cactus plant is very well known for its ability to thrive in low water conditions, so it requires only a little amount of intense care and attention in your home. You should, however, water it at least once a week.

Having any of these plants is definitely sure to improve the quality of air in your home for good.




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Posted by Elena Langlois on 9/5/2019

If you have ever seen where a controllable fire incidence brings down a house, then you will know the importance of fire alarms. One type of fire alarm system is the smoke detector, a standard safety device that should be in every home. Unlike the heat detector which relies on heat to reach a defined threshold before triggering the alarm, smoke detectors rely on the smoke to turn off the signal.

It is no news that many fires in the home start with smoldering smoke. This puts smoke detectors at the forefront of fire alarm systems. The traditional smoke detector relies on an acoustic alarm to raise a signal, so it defeats the purpose of smoke detectors if the homeowners are not around. It is important to note that full-fledged smart smoke detectors exist. However, they are quite expensive. Check out four inexpensive ways to make your smoke detector smart: 

Use a Wyze Cam

One way to make smoke detectors smarter is by using the Wyze Cam. This device is a trendy budget-friendly surveillance camera used in the house. This surveillance camera comes packed with a lot of features. Two useful features this camera comes with are the smoke and CO alarm monitoring. This device serves as both a surveillance camera and a safety gadget. 

The way this device works is simple. It listens to the sound produced in the room waiting for any that matches the smoke alarm pattern. When the device detects such sounds, it gets triggered and pushes a notification to your device.

Roost Smart Battery

Just like the Wyze Cam, the Roost Smart Battery also listens to sound around. If the smart battery picks any sound with a pattern like that of a smoke alarm, it gets triggered and sends a push notification to your device.

How this differs from the Wyze Cam is in the place where positioned. Unlike the Wyze Cam, this battery serves as a replacement of the smoke detector battery and lives inside the smoke detector making it more reliable. It, however, does not have other functionality and unlike the Wyze Cam where a single battery will be sufficient, you need one battery per detector. 

Install the Amazon Alexa Guard

The Amazon Alexa Guard is a device still in the making. This device, according to Alexa, listens and upon picking any suspicious sound like smoke alarm sounds and glass breaking, sends a push notification to your device.

DIY Approach

The Do-It-Yourself is for the tech-savvy readers who have experience with micro-controllers and Arduino. There are different ways to do this yourself. You can find the procedures on YouTube.

Having a full-fledged smart smoke detector in your home is important. However, if you have a little budget, you can follow the steps above to turn your smoke detectors into smart ones that send a push notification to your phone even when you are away from home.





Posted by Elena Langlois on 8/29/2019

If you find your dream house, there is no need to leave anything to chance. But if you submit a "lowball" homebuying proposal, you risk missing out on the opportunity to acquire your ideal residence.

Putting together a competitive offer to purchase can be easy. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you craft an aggressive homebuying proposal.

1. Study the Housing Market

The housing market fluctuates constantly. If the real estate market favors buyers today, it may shift into sellers' favor tomorrow, or vice-versa. As such, you should study the housing market, determine whether it favors buyers or sellers and craft a homebuying proposal accordingly.

Oftentimes, it helps to look at the prices of recently sold houses in your area, as well as how long these homes were listed before they sold. With this housing market data in hand, you may be better equipped than ever before to differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market. And as a result, you can boost the likelihood of submitting a competitive homebuying proposal.

2. Know Your Budget

If you know how much you can spend on a house, you can minimize the risk of submitting an offer to purchase that stretches beyond your financial limits.

To establish a homebuying budget, it generally is a good idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Banks and credit unions can teach you everything you need to know about different mortgage options and help you select the right mortgage. Plus, if you have any questions as you evaluate your mortgage options, banks and credit unions are happy to respond to your home financing queries.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you hire a real estate agent, you can submit a competitive offer to purchase on any house. In fact, a real estate agent can offer in-depth housing market insights to help you put together an aggressive homebuying proposal that may receive an instant "Yes" from a seller.

A real estate agent is a homebuying expert who understands what it takes to purchase a home in any housing market. He or she first will meet with you, learn about you and your homebuying goals and create a personalized property buying strategy. Next, a real estate agent will help you pursue houses in your preferred cities and towns until you find one that matches your expectations. And after you discover your ideal residence, a real estate agent will make it simple for you to submit an offer to purchase that fulfills the needs of all parties involved.

Of course, if your offer to purchase your dream home is accepted, a real estate agent will guide you through the final steps of the homebuying process. Or, if your homebuying proposal is rejected, a real estate agent will help you reenter the housing market.

Avoid the danger of submitting a lowball offer to purchase your dream house Ė use the aforementioned tips, and you can craft a competitive homebuying proposal and move one step closer to acquiring your ideal home.





Posted by Elena Langlois on 8/22/2019

Buying a house should be a fast, simple process. However, problems sometimes can arise that prevent a homebuyer from discovering his or her dream residence.

Ultimately, there are many factors to consider before you purchase a house to ensure you can avoid myriad homebuying hurdles, and these factors include:

1. Your Home Needs

No two houses are identical, and much in the same vein, no two homebuyers have the same definition of the perfect residence. As such, a homebuyer should consider his or her dream home demands prior to kicking off a home search.

Making a checklist of home "must-haves" and "wants" is paramount. With this checklist in hand, a homebuyer will be able to refine his or her home search and map out the property buying journey accordingly.

It may be helpful to consider your day-to-day activities as you evaluate where you want to live too.

For example, if you work in the city, you may want to find a house that is located near public transportation. Comparatively, if you have kids, you may want to consider houses that are located close to top schools.

2. Your Budget

You know that you want to buy a house. On the other hand, you still have no idea how much money is available to ensure you can make your homeownership dreams come true.

When it comes to buying a house, it pays to meet with banks and credit unions. With pre-approval for a mortgage, you'll know precisely how much you can spend on a house.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, set up consultations with several potential lenders. Then, you can learn about all of your mortgage options and select a mortgage lender that matches or surpasses your expectations.

3. Your Homebuying Timeline

Are you looking to buy a home as soon as possible? Or, can you afford to take a wait-and-see approach throughout the homebuying journey?

Examine your homebuying timeline and plan ahead as much as possible. By doing so, you can boost your chances of finding a terrific house and minimize stress as you browse the real estate market.

Regardless of your homebuying timeline, it always helps to work with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can take the guesswork out of searching for a residence and ensure you can discover a stellar house at a budget-friendly price.

Typically, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about new residences as they become available. He or she also will provide honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations and respond to any homebuying concerns and questions.

Let's not forget about the support that a real estate agent can provide during homebuying negotiations, either.

A real estate agent is happy to negotiate with a home seller on your behalf. That way, he or she can help you secure a great house without having to worry about paying too much.

Streamline the process of acquiring your ideal residence. Consider the aforementioned factors, and you can keep things simple as you proceed along the homebuying journey.




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Posted by Elena Langlois on 8/15/2019

If you ride through the suburbs of America, youíll likely notice that the houses just seem to get bigger and bigger. Like our taste for large trucks and SUVs, Americans tend towards the idea that bigger is better.

On the opposite end of the spectrum are people who feel quite the opposite. From this minimalist mindset has emerged the ďtiny house.Ē What exactly is a tiny house?

There is no exact definition. However, most tiny houses are built on wheels--to adhere to local building code--and typically donít exceed 500 square feet in size.

You might be thinking thatís a bit extreme. And you wouldnít be alone--Americans have taken advantage of small homes in the form of modular homes, and cottage-style houses for decades.

With the cost of heating and powering a home rising year after year, itís beginning to make sense to downsize.

So, in this article weíll talk about what it means to live in a smaller home to help you decide whether itís a good choice for you.

Barriers to building small houses

If itís your dream to someday build a small house on a hilltop in your hometown, you might have to face-off with the local zoning committee first. Some of the biggest barriers to building smaller houses are local regulations involving minimum house sizes.

This isnít a new problem, with towns struggling with the idea of minimum square footage as far back as the 1970s. In spite of this barrier, small house and tiny house proponents have been finding loopholes.

One such workaround involves simply building your house on wheels. However, that isnít easy to do and it doesnít always look great either.

Living simply

Depending on your hobbies and philosophy, living in a small house can be a good or a bad thing. Those who seek to become more minimal in their belongings often find that small houses help them achieve this.

The more things we own the more we have to worry about storing and maintaining them. However, if you value experiences more than objects, living in a small house could save you money and therefore leave you with more funds for traveling and other experiences.

Family is another thing to consider when living in a small house. If you have a large family or pets, living in a small house can be difficult. However, there is something to be said about growing up in a small house (it makes it harder for kids to avoid their parents by playing video games in their room or the basement!).

How to decide if you can manage living in a small house

If youíre downsizing from a larger home it can be scary to lose all of that extra space you were used to. There are a few ways to see if you can adapt to a smaller home, however.

You could rent a small apartment while you search for a new home. This will allow you to acclimate yourself to living in a smaller environment.

If you donít want to go through the trouble of signing a lease, thereís always renting a small property through AirBnB or a camping cottage for a few weeks. Then youíll have time to notice what you like and dislike about the smaller space and will be able to plan for how to want to deal with those changes if you decide to move into a smaller house.




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