Brenda Cahoon - Burlington Ma Real Estate, Billerica MA Real Estate, Woburn MA Real Estate


Today's work culture allows for many jobs and positions to work from home full or part-time. Creating a freelance business for yourself is possible more now than ever. It can give you the opportunity you need to take charge of your career or support your efforts to start a new company. But, if you haven't worked from home before you may not have experience in setting your own schedule, managing clients directly and maintaining a comfortable work-life balance. Here are some suggestions to help you set yourself up for success.

Set a schedule and stick to it

.One of the joys of freelance work is being able to determine your schedule. Once you gain experience working for yourself you will able to change your plan when something comes up, a client needs something on the fly, or there's a social activity you want to attend. When you first embark on your new work-lifestyle, it is essential to stick to a schedule to help you create the best habits to support your business. Determine what your office hours will be and spend the first 6-months sticking to those hours. During that time take notes of your busiest times of day, when you receive calls or emails the most and how the schedule you initially set up fits with the typical deadlines of your clients. After you've tried working from home for some time, you can examine your notes and adjust your schedule accordingly. You'll see where you can be flexible, when you need to send calls to voicemail and when you have the best time and mental space to allow for maintaining client relationships. 

Get up each day like you’re going to an office.

It might feel luxurious at first but rolling out of bed and immediately starting to work in your pajamas can very quickly have a negative impact on your motivation and productivity. It becomes comfortable to sleep and push your start time because you don't have to get ready. You might not get out of the house to meet clients because you aren't dressed to go out. As with your new schedule, every morning get up, shower and get dressed just like you would for an office job. Taking this time in the morning helps you mentally prepare for the day and get into work mode. Bonus — you can save a bit on hair product or makeup. A fresh shower and clean face will help you be bright and bushy tailed to start the day, finishing touches on hair or makeup can wait until you know you’ll need to meet with a client that day. 

Find your best place to work. 

Depending on your situation you may not have a designated home office or space for one. Try working in different areas of your home, the dining table, kitchen counter or living room. If you find distraction in any of these spots, you may need to locate space in your home to designate for your home office to keep you focused. Even in small interiors, there are creative ways to design your home office space. You might find that although your skillset and personality function well-doing freelance, you don't enjoy working at home or have a difficult time motivating yourself when completely alone at your house. Try working at a coffee shop or joining a co-work space. Working around other freelancers and entrepreneurs can increase your motivation and create opportunities for you to network and meet new clients or partners. Many freelancers work well designating some hours of work from home and some from a community space.

To make the most of your new work-life take the steps above to set yourself up for success. If you're moving into a new area or looking at new homes work with your agent to find a perfect place that allows you to create a home office for yourself. Speak with them about communal working environments near the neighborhoods you’re considering to build in opportunities for you to engage with other freelancers like you.


If you have plans to buy a house as quickly as possible, it is important to maintain flexibility. That way, you can adjust your homebuying timeline at a moment's notice.

Ultimately, there are many instances where you may need to modify your homebuying timeline, and these include:

1. You are struggling to identify your dream home.

It generally is beneficial to enter the housing market with homebuying criteria. These criteria can help you hone your house search and may be modified as you attend home showings and open house events.

Also, think about where you want to purchase a house. If you would prefer to own a home in a big city, you can tailor your house search accordingly. Or, if you want to live in a small town, you can focus exclusively on residences in areas that match or exceed your expectations.

Even with homebuying criteria in hand, however, changes to your homebuying timeline may be required. But if you remain patient and persistent throughout the homebuying journey, you can eventually discover your dream house.

2. Home sellers are rejecting your offers to purchase.

Once you find your dream residence, you may submit an offer to purchase it. Yet if your offer fails to hit the mark with a home seller, you are unlikely to receive an instant "Yes."

If you find that your offers to purchase houses are rejected time and time again, you may need to adjust your homebuying timeline. Furthermore, you may want to rethink your homebuying strategy.

To submit a competitive homebuying proposal, you should consider a house's condition and age, as well as the current state of the real estate market. This information can help you craft an offer to purchase that accounts for a variety of factors and likely will meet the needs of both you and a home seller.

If a home seller rejects your offer to purchase a house, there is no need to worry. Remember, the real estate market offers many opportunities, and homebuyers who are diligent can continue to search for the right house at the right price.

3. You have yet to find the right real estate agent.

A real estate agent may hold the key to a successful homebuying journey. He or she can help you set realistic homebuying expectations and ensure you can achieve the optimal results.

If you need to adjust your homebuying timeline, a real estate agent can help you do just that. Plus, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about new houses that become available in your preferred cities and towns and set up home showings. And if you decide to submit an offer to purchase a home, a real estate agent will help you put together an aggressive homebuying proposal.

Ready to streamline your home search? Reach out to a local real estate agent today, and you can get the help you need to pursue your ideal residence.


Your kitchen floor is what makes a statement in your home. The floor of the kitchen sets the design tone for the entire room. The choices for your kitchen floor are seemingly endless with tile to hardwood to everything in between. While the kitchen floor may not be on the top of the list during your kitchen remodel, it should be. These floors take quite a beating due to food being dropped, entertaining, foot traffic, and just overall frequent use. The flooring of the kitchen will help to pull the look of a room together and help to add value to your home. The floors should help accent the counters, appliances, and cabinets. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the most common kitchen flooring materials with some advice on how to choose what’s right for you

   


Stone Or Tile


These choices are perfect especially if your kitchen is a heavily traveled area. Let’s face it, most kitchens are where people come in and out, looking for food! Your decision will depend on where your kitchen is to the relationships of the main entrance to your home. 


Cork


This is a durable material that’s quite versatile and available in a variety of colors to suit your style. The great thing about cork is that it is water-resistant and it reduces noise from impact. This could be a great choice if you have children who love to run around and you also have a need for a quiet space upstairs. 


Wood Floors


Wood is to kitchen flooring what granite is to kitchen countertops. Wood just makes a kitchen feel classy. It’s great under your feet and durable at the same time. Wood can withstand heavy traffic, water stains, food spills, and more. You can even go for a less expensive alternative that gives the same look and benefits of wood for less.


Vinyl Flooring


If you’re on a budget, vinyl kitchen flooring is the way to go. these floors offer a variety of styles and color choices. The material can be purchased either in tile or sheet form.


Laying Down The Flooring


One of the biggest mistakes that homeowners make is not hiring professional help when needed to install things in the home. This applies to flooring as well. If you don’t feel comfortable laying down tile, or whatever type of flooring you choose, call the people who know how to do it best. Improperly installed flooring can lead to bumps, cracks, and the need for yet another new floor much sooner. It could be worth the extra investment to hire professional help to install your new kitchen floor.


For homebuyers who want to do everything possible to discover their dream residences, it generally is a good idea to attend open houses. These events make it simple to analyze residences and determine whether they match or surpass your expectations.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to attend an open house, and these include:

1. You can get a first-hand look at a home.

A home listing often provides a great starting point for homebuyers. However, a listing alone fails to empower buyers with the information that they need to fully analyze a house.

By attending an open house, you can get an up-close look at a residence. An open house allows you to walk around a home and view each section of a residence at your convenience. Plus, an open house usually is stress-free, and if you don't like a residence after the event, you can simply continue your search for your dream home.

2. You can receive comprehensive home insights.

During an open house, you can gain home insights that you may struggle to obtain in a home listing. Therefore, homebuyers may want to prepare a list of questions before they attend an open house to ensure they can obtain deep insights into a home's condition.

Moreover, an open house may help you determine whether there is substantial or minimal interest in a residence. If an open house is attended by dozens of potential buyers, you may need to act quickly to submit an offer to secure this residence. Comparatively, if you are the only person to attend an open house, you may be better equipped than ever before to negotiate a home's price with a seller.

3. You can envision what life might be like if you purchase a residence.

When it comes to deciding whether a home is right for you, attending an open house is paramount. In fact, an open house enables you to envision what life may be like if you purchase a residence. And if you feel comfortable with a home after you attend an open house, you can always submit an offer to help transform your homeownership dream into a reality.

If you plan to attend open houses in the foreseeable future, there is no reason to attend these events alone. Fortunately, real estate agents are available who can help you prepare for open houses and ensure you can discover your dream residence.

A real estate agent is a housing market expert who can teach you everything you need to know about buying a home. This housing market professional first will learn about your homebuying goals and craft a personalized homebuying strategy. Then, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about open houses, offer homebuying insights and do everything possible to help you find a home that you can enjoy for years to come.

Reach out to a real estate agent today. By doing so, you can start attending open houses and boost the likelihood of a successful homebuying experience.


With all the fixing, renovating, and flipping showing on television, your standard builder grade home seems sadly lacking. When you bought it, you intended to plant yourself here for a while, to moving to a farm to get the farmhouse look isn’t in the cards. Luckily, builder-grade makes the perfect canvas to boost your basic look without busting the budget. 

Get the [Farmhouse] Look for Less

  • Beadboard: Adding beadboard along breakfast nook and dining room walls bring instant country charm. Instead of expensive solid oak beadboard, choose four-foot by eight-foot faux pressed beadboard panels from your local DIY store. Cut them in half width-wise to get two four-foot by four-foot sheets. Attached them side by side to your walls with a nail gun and glue for best results. Top it off with flat pine board and paint it all a glossy white.
  • Board and batten: This wall-treatment works best for mudrooms or hallways and adds character and charm to a plain stairway wall too. Get the look by nailing flat four to six-inch pine boards evenly spaced vertically along the wall. Leave measured room at the top and bottom for baseboard and chair rail or crown molding. Paint the boards and the wall between in a satin or semi-gloss paint in farmhouse blue, mint green or another color that speaks to you.
  • Faux shiplap: While you sometimes can find real pieces of shiplap in outlets that handle reclaimed wood, you can get a similar look using pine planks. Similar to the board and batten treatment, nail the boards onto the walls, but horizontally, with about a three-quarter inch space between them. For easier installation create a couple of spaces from scrap wood to hold your boards in place. Choose an accent wall or niche for your installation area, then paint the boards with chalk paint to give you that aged country look.
  • Butcher’s block countertops: If your budget lends itself to replacing the countertops, replace that Formica with natural butcher’s block. If solid butcher’s block is out of the question, stores like Ikea carry a bamboo version for less and Wilsonart has laminate versions with coordinated edges that are hard to tell from the real thing.
  • Fixtures and finishes: Even if you can’t afford the farmhouse-style sink, you can change out the fixtures to give you the look. Opt for bronze or coppery finished for cream or white sinks and go for brushed satin nickel to complement your stainless steel. Change out light fixtures, drawer pulls, and knobs from the “that’s-so-90s” brass ones and consider chalk-paint to give your cabinets a stress-free new look.
  • Timely trims: Finally, trim the doorways with—you guessed it—more flat pine boards. Use four-inch boards on the sides but add some drama to the top with six or eight-inch boards and a little bit of half-round to cap it off.

If you love the farmhouse style, try one or several of these steps to get a look that sets your builder-grade home apart from all the rest when it comes time to sell. For an estimate on what your re-imagined farmhouse will fetch on the market, talk to your realtor.




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