Cape Cod Real Estate, Marie Souza


Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

A land contract and a mortgage have a number of similarities. For example, you can use either option to purchase a home Both loans must be repaid on a monthly basis.

Understanding the Differences 

A land contract is a legal agreement between a buyer and a seller. Rather than a traditional mortgage scenario with a bank, the seller becomes the lender. The buyer and seller agree on a price for the home then negotiate terms and a payment schedule. 

In many cases, these repayment terms follow a schedule of monthly payments much like a mortgage. However, a balloon payment for the remaining balance is often due within three to five years. At that time, you would then obtain a traditional mortgage to fund the remainder that's due. 

Land Contract Risks

While it can seem like a land contract would be an ideal way to secure a home, it does involve risks you need to know about. A land contract can be a way for you to close on a home if you aren't able to qualify for a mortgage that covers the full cost right away. The three to five years that a typical land contract lasts can give you time to improve your credit and increase your financial soundness. 

Before you agree to a land contract, though, be aware that the property is not yours until you make the final (balloon) payment. This means that if you make any improvements to the property during that time, you could potentially be out of your investment. You are also not building up any equity in the home during the time that the land contract is in effect. 

At any point during the land contract, your position as the buyer could be compromised. For example, the seller is the legal owner of the property until the contract has been fully paid. If they experience financial problems and lose the property, you would have no claim to it and would forfeit your payments. 

As the buyer, you are obligated to meet your payment agreement. If you don't do so at any time during a land contract, the deal ends. The property stays with the seller and you are out the money you've invested. 

Advantages of a Mortgage

With a mortgage, you must pay property taxes and honor your obligations to the lender. As long as you do so -- and avoid liens -- you have legal recognition as the property owner. 

A land contract can seem like an attractive alternative if you don't think you qualify for a traditional mortgage. Before agreeing to one, though, be sure you understand the pitfalls that could be involved. 


If you intend to add your residence to the real estate market, you should try to differentiate your house's weaknesses and strengths. That way, you can plan ahead for the home selling journey and make myriad house improvements before you list your residence.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you identify your house's weaknesses.

1. Analyze Your Home from a Buyer's Perspective

Oftentimes, it helps to take an objective view of your house and consider why a buyer may choose to purchase your residence over others. At the same time, you may want to think about why a buyer may shy away from your residence too.

By analyzing your house from a buyer's perspective, you may be better equipped than ever before to identify potential home problems. Then, you can take the necessary steps to address these issues. And as a result, you can boost the likelihood of enjoying a fast, profitable home selling experience.

2. Perform a Home Inspection

A home inspection may be worthwhile for a home seller, and for good reason. Conducting a house inspection enables you to receive in-depth insights into your home's condition that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere. And with a house inspection report in hand, you can prioritize home improvement projects accordingly.

Of course, if you decide to conduct a house inspection, you should hire a qualified home inspector. Perform a comprehensive search for home inspectors in your area, and you're sure to find plenty of great options. If you choose a home inspector who possesses lots of industry experience and a sterling reputation, you can conduct a house inspection and gain the insights you need to upgrade your house.

3. Employ a Real Estate Agent

If you are unsure about how to promote your residence to prospective buyers, there is no need to panic. Because if you hire a real estate agent, you can get the help you need to showcase your residence to the right groups of potential buyers.

A real estate agent is a home selling expert who is unafraid to be honest. Thus, he or she can provide unbiased home selling recommendations and suggestions and ensure you can upgrade your residence in no time at all.

Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent can provide throughout the home selling journey, either. A real estate agent will help you craft an effective home listing, set up home showings and open house events and keep you up to date about any offers to purchase your residence. Plus, if you have concerns or questions as you navigate the home selling journey, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them.

For those who want to achieve the best-possible results during the home selling journey, it helps to identify a house's weaknesses as quickly as possible. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can immediately identify any home weaknesses and address such problems early in the home selling process.


Photo by Edgardo Lagmay on Unsplash

Nothing dates a bathroom like an old toilet. Not only have toilets advanced significantly in the past 10-15 years. Older toilets often develop hard water stains and porcelain scratches that show their age.

Fortunately, replacing a toilet is one of the most straightforward home improvement projects you can do. And it's relatively inexpensive for a DIY toilet replacement. Here's how it's done.

What You'll Need

  • A new toilet. *Pro tip* Read reviews and find one with the feature you like. Toilets are similar sizes, but you should measure from the wall to the bolt to ensure the bolts are in the right place for your new toilet.
  • Rubber work gloves
  • Putty knife
  • Sponge
  • Hacksaw 
  • Wrenches
  • Towel
  • Nuts/Bolts
  • Closet flange
  • Washers
  • Wax ring
  • Garbage bag
  • Some of these items will come with a toilet. So see what's in the box before you buy separately.

    Remove the Old Toilet

    Before you do, turn off the water supply on the wall behind the toilet. Flush the toilet to empty the remaining water. Then while wearing gloves, use your sponge and towel to sop up any liquid left behind in the bowl and the tank behind the bowl.

    If the toilet's tank can separate from the bowl, remove it first for a lighter lift. You only need the hack saw if the bolts are rusted solid. Otherwise, you just need a wrench. 

    Put the dirty toilet in a big plastic bag and take it outside for now.

    Remove Old Wax

    Stick an old hand towel gently into the mouth of the hole left behind to block sewer gasses floating into your house. *Pro tip* Don't use a washcloth. You may lose it. If it falls down your drain, you may need a plumber to get it out.

    Next, use your putty knife to carve out the old wax around the hole in the floor. It's soft, so this is easy on the hands, but it may take a little while to dig it all out.

    Remove the old closet bolts and the flange if needed. They're cheap to replace.

    Install the New Flange, Bolts & Wax Ring

    Lay down your new flange and place your bolts pointing up. These will secure the base of your toilet. Tightening down washers over the bolts holds the bolts in place, so it will be easier to slide your toilet over the top.

    Next, soften the wax ring with warm water. And then fit it around the drain on the underside of the toilet. Don't forget to remove the towel from the pipe before going further.

    Lower Your Toilet into Place

    Carefully lower the bowl of the toilet over the bolts. Press down firmly to strengthen the wax seal. Then fasten the bolts on the bowl and tank. Hook up the water, tighten, and watch as the tank fills ready to shut it off the hose leaks. Tighten it.

    And you've just replaced your toilet. Don't forget to follow our blog for more helpful home tips.



    134 Strawberry Hill Road , Barnstable, MA 02632

    Centerville

    Single-Family

    $324,900
    Price

    3
    Beds
    6
    Total Rooms
    1
    Baths
    South of route 28 & close to beaches you'll find this whimsy 3 bedroom Cape offering beamed ceilings, hardwood floors (under carpets on 1st floor), a vaulted kitchen with skylight, dining area & access to the 1st floor laundry room. Formal dining room or home office, plus a bedroom on the 1st floor and two bedrooms on the 2nd floor. Built-ins, good storage, charm & some newer windows. New furnace (2018) and hot water heater (less than 5 years old), New title V septic going in. Level, corner lot. Desirable Centerville location!
    Open House
    No scheduled Open Houses

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    76 Baxter Ave, Yarmouth, MA 02673

    West Yarmouth

    Single-Family

    $339,900
    Price

    7
    Rooms
    2
    Beds
    1
    Baths
    Adorable Ranch located south of Rte. 28 in a true walk to the beach location! Sunny 2B/1BA with TWO enclosed porches, living room, dining room with custom built-ins, galley kitchen, some newer laminate flooring and loads of charming details! Manicured, level lot with privacy, nice plantings, patio, garden shed, covered swing & sprinkler system. Short distance to the sandy, expansive beach at the end of the street & surrounded by higher priced homes. New boiler & water expander (2018).
    Open House
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    March 14 at 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
    Just listed! Southside Ranch with a true, walk to the beach location!
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    Location: 76 Baxter Ave, Yarmouth, MA 02673    Get Directions

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