Lynn MA Real Estate | Paul Stonkus - EXIT ELITE REALTY


You've sold your home, and moving day is almost here. As such, now may be the perfect time to pack an overnight bag; that way, you're ready to survive with only limited supplies until you get settled into your new house.

Ultimately, there are several essential items to include in an overnight bag, such as:

1. Clothing

It is important to pack enough clothing to ensure that you can dress comfortably until you get unpacked. Thus, you'll want to consider how long that it will take you to get settled into a new house as you prep your overnight bag.

For example, if you plan to take several days to unpack, you'll want to pack your overnight bag clothing accordingly. In this scenario, you'll likely need work clothes for the days that you're in the office, along with pajamas and other comfortable clothing that you can wear around the house.

2. Cash

If you know that you're going to be living outside a traditional home environment for a few days, it never hurts to pack cash in your overnight bag. By doing so, you'll have money available to buy food, beverages and other items as needed.

Consider how much money that you'll need to survive even a few days outside of a traditional home setting. Also, be sure to keep extra cash close to reduce the risk of losing this money while you relocate to a new address.

3. Toiletries

Shampoo, toothpaste and other toiletries should be included in your overnight bag. These items ensure that you can maintain a clean, neat appearance, regardless of where you're staying.

Many convenience stores and supermarkets sell travel-size versions of popular toiletries. Therefore, you may want to purchase travel-size toiletries to limit the chance that assorted toiletries will take up too much space in your overnight bag.

Furthermore, you can pack only the toiletries that you know you'll need for a set period of time to conserve additional space in your overnight bag.

4. Smartphone Charger

Let's face it – no one want to lose access to his or her smartphone for any length of time. Fortunately, if you pack a smartphone charger in your overnight bag, you can recharge your smartphone at any time.

Include a smartphone charger and any smartphone cords or wires in your overnight bag. In addition, don't forget to test your smartphone charger and accessories to ensure they work properly.

Packing an overnight bag can be quick and simple, particularly for those who plan ahead. And if you include the aforementioned items in your overnight bag, you should have no trouble surviving outside a traditional home setting.

Lastly, if you need help as you get ready to vacate your house, a real estate agent may be able to provide assistance. A real estate agent serves as an expert guide along the home selling journey and will do everything possible to guarantee that you are fully prepared for an upcoming move.


When considering becoming a homeowner, one of the decisions you can make that will be beneficial to you is to deposit a down payment. However, the question is how do save up that hefty down payment?

One of the biggest roadblocks for prospective home buyers is securing a down payment. Fortunately, though, technology seems to be playing a huge factor in shrinking the burden of down payment. The whole saving process has become quite a bit less rigorous.

Below is a list of how you can overcome the down payment hurdle and ensure you have enough money when it’s time for you to buy.

Save A Fixed Amount Every Month

Saving a fixed amount is the simplest and most convenient way to save money. Open a savings account and discipline yourself to pay in a certain sum into the account every month. Discipline yourself not to use the money for any other purpose aside for your down payment.

Reduce Expenses

Save a lot more than you spend, review your expenses and cut down on items that are not necessary. Whatever money generated as a result of this should be added to your down payment account.

Skip Vacations for A Year

I know going for a vacation during the year is something you are looking forward to and you have it all planned out. However, if you are looking to save up enough money for your down payment, then you should consider scrapping out vacation until you have enough money for your down payment.

Reduce Your Debt

Having a credit card with a high interest rate can limit your ability to save. Pay off your interest debt starting with the highest; after that, you can close off that card while you proceed to pay off the next.

Borrow from Your Retirement Plan

You can ask human resources or your payroll officer if it’s possible to borrow against your savings to buy a home. Many profit sharing setups make provisions for employees to loan a certain amount from their retirement plan to become a homeowner.

Borrow from A Relative

When it comes to getting a home of your own, most family members and relatives would be willing to help; they can grant you loans without interest, gifts and other non-monetary items that will help you in your down payment quest.

Get Another Source of Income

Getting a second job would mean you would probably be working round the clock, but in the long run, it would pay off. Getting another job means another source of income and more money to save into your down payment accounting.


The real estate market offers no guarantees for house sellers. Thus, even if your home boasts lots of great features and is available at an appealing price, there is no guarantee that your residence will sell quickly.

Ultimately, a home seller must act aggressively to promote his or her residence to the right groups of buyers. With an aggressive approach to the home selling journey, an individual can boost the likelihood of enjoying a quick, profitable house selling experience.

There are many things that you can do to stay aggressive as you strive to sell your home, and these include:

1. Study the Local Housing Market

The local housing market may fluctuate. Fortunately, a home seller who analyzes the local real estate sector closely can gain the insights that he or she needs to speed up the house selling cycle.

Take a look at houses as they are added to the real estate market in your city or town. By doing so, you can see how comparable houses stack up against your residence. And if you find that your home pales in comparison to similar residences, you can perform myriad house upgrades.

Furthermore, if you find that the price of your home is much higher than the prices of comparable houses in your area, you may want to lower your residence's price. This may help you stir up lots of interest in your home from buyers, as well as accelerate the home selling journey.

2. Maintain Your Home's Appearance

You may have already dedicated substantial time and resources to upgrade your house's interior and exterior. However, if you fail to keep your house looking great, it may be tough to achieve your desired home selling results.

Perform regular house cleaning both inside and outside your residence. This will ensure that your house boasts amazing curb appeal. Also, once buyers enter your residence, they may fall in love with your residence's interior.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent usually has a simple goal: to help a seller seamlessly navigate the house selling journey. Therefore, if you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can work with a diligent housing market professional who will do everything possible to help you succeed.

Oftentimes, a real estate agent will meet with a home seller and craft a personalized house selling strategy. He or she then will put this plan into action and promote a seller's residence to prospective buyers. Plus, if a seller receives an offer to purchase his or her house, a real estate agent will help this individual review the homebuying proposal. And if a seller decides to accept the offer to purchase, a real estate agent will make it easy for this individual to finalize his or her home sale.

Ready to add your residence to the housing market? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can take an aggressive approach to streamline the home selling journey.


Contingencies on a contract to buy a home are there to protect both the buyer and the seller. The contingencies give the buyer the right to back out of the contract if any of these contingencies aren’t met. There are many reasons that buyers back out of deals including financial issues and problems with the home. Below, you’ll find a break down of some of the most common contingencies and what they mean for you as a buyer or a seller.   


Financing Contingency


Most home contracts come with what’s called a financing contingency. This gives you the ability to walk away from a deal if the financing falls through when trying to buy a home. Usually this is due to a credit reason or some other financial reason. You can’t rely on financial cracks to help you to back out of a deal on a home. Lenders will only deny a loan for real financial reasons. There’s no way to ask a lender to lie for you so you can get out of buying a home! This is why you need to make your decision about a home purchase wisely.   



Inspection Contingency


This gives the buyer the right to have an inspection on the home within a certain time frame which is usually 5-7 days. If something is really off with the inspection that you as a buyer don’t feel comfortable with, you have the right to back out of a deal without repercussions. While seller disclosures are important, the seller can’t disclose what they don’t know about. That’s why the home inspection is so important. The seller’s disclosure cannot protect you from hidden damages that may cost half of a home’s worth to repair.   


Appraisal Contingency


If homes are selling fast and you want some secure way to back out of a deal you should consider an appraisal contingency. If the home you want to purchase doesn’t appraise at a price high enough to meet your mortgage requirements, you have a legal way to back out of the deal. For example, if you put down 20 percent of the purchase price of a home and the home doesn't appraise for the value of that purchase price, you’d need to come up with the remainder of the money in cash. An appraisal contingency protects you from having to face this. You’ll still need to have a home inspection done on the home to search for any problems, but an appraisal contingency protects you from any problems with financing and your own disposable amount of cash that could arise due to a home appraising low. 


While contingencies aren’t necessary as a homebuyer, they’re highly recommended. Without contingencies, you could be left with a number of expenses such as damages that are extremely costly to fix.


AI (artificial intelligence) is moving in on the homefront. And at the head of the pack is Amazon’s Echo with its assistant, Alexa. Echo comes in 3 options: a minimal hockey-puck-shaped device, a sleek tube in fashionable shades that make it a natural addition to your home decor, and a square-shaped device with a video screen, camera and mic capabilities.

Many are eager to bring home Alexa and make it the newest addition to their home but are left wondering what exactly does it do?

First, you need to teach Alexa which commands to recognize and perform. These commands are called “skills” And there is a whole library jam-packed with them. So where to start?

Create a Flash Briefing. Create your own daily update feed with the Flash Briefing option. You choose which sources you want Alexa to pull from and which time to report in. Get the weather, news and other updated while you get ready every day.

Use as an alarm in the morning - wake up to music, a radio station, the news, etc. If it’s available via Amazon Music it’s fair game.

Order a ride via Lyft or Uber. You can ask how much the trip will be and have it automatically billed to your account. Speed up getting ready to go out by coordinating your ride while you put on your final touches.

With multiple devices, you can sync music to play throughout your house. The app allows you to group all of your devices together into one cohesive house-wide system. Whether you want to listen to music, the news, a podcast or an audible book you can hear it no matter where you go - perfect for cleaning days.

Order pizza from Domino’s or Pizza Hut. Who doesn’t want pizza to arrive at their beck and call?  

Tune your guitar. With this skill, Alexa plays a song for you to match and listens in until you match up perfectly. Which means you don’t need another device, app or website to keep track of.

Sync up to your Fitbit to ask for updates on your latest activity and step progress for the day. In fact, you can even get more steps in while you ask since you don’t have to sit down at the computer.

With a Wemo Smart Plug, you can enable Alexa to turn devices on and off with a simple voice command. And with their light switches, you can turn lights on, off and change the brightness to match your mood.  

If you have a Hyundai, Mercedes or Ford with the right capabilities you can have Alexa start your car for you. Giving you five more minutes to grab breakfast for once.

Meditate with the Stop, Breathe, & Think meditation skill for Alexa. Just say how long you want to meditate for and settle in to clear your mind. Who said technology keeps us distracted?

And then there is always the option to ask Alexa which skills to enable. So meta!




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