Blog :: 01-2016

Tuesday Tip - Use This Tool to Remove Popcorn Ceilings

Last year we posted instructions for removing popcorn ceiling texture with water and a paint scraper.  Turns out there's a faster way to get it done!  This post by Lighter Side of Real Estate shows a video, posted to Facebook, of someone using a drywall sander to remove the texture, eliminating an entire row in less than a minute!  The man in the video does caution that the tool that he uses is rather expensive at $1,500 and a bit heavy when holding over your head for a long period of time, but the post goes on to reference a version of the sander that was found online for $459, as well as an instructional video for how to operate the machine.  Efficiency is critical when taking on a DIY project, so if there's an easier, faster way to get it done without comprimising the quality of the job, then it's definitely worth a try!  

For more real estate and home improvement tips, always feel free to contact our experts at The Charles Realty, 617-236-0353.


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    Tuesday Tip - A Breakdown of Closing Costs

    Closing costs are not always factored in to a buyers budget when they begin looking for a home, but they should be since, according to Zillow, "buyers will pay between 2 and 5 percent of the purchase price of their new home in closing fees.  So, for example, if you're purchasing a $500,000 home, you can expect to pay somewhere between $10,000-$25,000 in closing costs. A sizeable chunk of change for sure!

    Lenders are required by law to provide you with a good faith estimate (GFE) of what your closing costs will be within 3 days of when you apply for a loan, but it is an estimate afterall, and the fees can change, so it's a good idea to have an understanding of all that's included so you know what to expect when you see your HUD-1 settlement statement.  Closing costs vary based on where you live and the home you buy, but here's a list of what's often included, also courtesy of Zillow:

    - A fee for running your credit report

    - A loan origination fee

    - Attorney's fees

    - Charges for any inspection required or requested by the lender or you

    - Discount points, which are fees you pay in exchange for a lower interest rate

    - Appraisal fee

    - Survey fee, which covers the cost of verifying property lines

    - Title insurance, which protects the lender in case the title isn't clean

    - Title search fees, which pay for a background check on the title to make sure there aren't things such as unpaid mortgage or tax liens on the property

    - Escrow deposit, which may pay for a couple of months property taxes and private mortgage insurance

    - Pest inspection fee

    - Recording fee, which is paid to a city or county in exchange for recording the new land records

    - Underwriting fee, which covers the cost of evaluating a mortgage loan application

    As a buyer, you should feel very comfortable with your level of understanding of your estimated closing costs.  Your lender should offer a thorough explanation, but your agent is also a great resource for this information.  For more information about closing costs, and for general real estate advice, feel free to reach out to our experts at 617-236-0353 or through our website at  


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