Team Zabar-Shulkin | Swampscott Real Estate, Nahant Real Estate, Salem Real Estate


The homebuying journey may prove to be difficult, and assorted challenges may arise that make it tough to quickly find and buy your dream house. Whether it's encountering problems during a home inspection or negotiating a house price with a property seller, there is no telling what may happen during your pursuit of your dream home. However, if you know how to handle homebuying challenges that come your way, you'll be better equipped than ever before to enjoy a seamless homebuying experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you tackle various homebuying challenges.

1. Stay Patient

When you are faced with a homebuying hurdle, it is important to remember that every problem has a solution. Thus, if you take a calm, cool and collected approach to a homebuying issue, you can find the best way to alleviate this problem.

A patient homebuyer usually is a successful homebuyer, and for good reason. If you maintain patience as you navigate the homebuying journey, you can analyze problems that come your way and allocate the necessary time and resources to solve them. And as a result, you may be able to speed up the homebuying journey and acquire your dream residence in no time at all.

2. Consider Your Options Closely

As you encounter homebuying hurdles, you should consider your options closely. That way, you can weigh the pros and cons of potential homebuying decisions and make informed choices as you try to buy your ideal residence.

Sometimes, it may be beneficial to consult with family members and friends too. If you reach out to loved ones for support, they may be able to help you make the best-possible decisions throughout the homebuying journey.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to purchasing a home, you may require expert assistance. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals can help you overcome property buying issues.

A real estate agent is committed to your homebuying success, and as such, will work with you to make your homeownership dream come true. Therefore, if you want to acquire a city residence as quickly as possible, a real estate agent can help you do just that. On the other hand, if you want to purchase a small town home at an affordable price, a real estate agent will help you accomplish your desired result.

Let's not forget about the comprehensive guidance a real estate agent can provide as you search for your dream residence, either. A real estate agent can teach you everything you need to know about the housing market. By doing so, he or she can help you identify and resolve homebuying problems before they escalate.

For those who want to streamline the homebuying journey, it helps to prepare. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can reduce or eliminate homebuying hurdles and purchase your dream house without delay.


For a home seller, hosting an open house can be a double-edged sword.

On the one hand, an open house provides an opportunity to showcase your residence to large groups of prospective homebuyers. Conversely, hosting an open house also requires lots of preparation, and getting ready for an open house may prove to be overwhelming, time-consuming and costly.

Lucky for you, we're here to help host an unforgettable open house.

Now, let's take a look at three factors that a home seller needs to consider before an open house.

1. The Current Condition of Your Home

Although you might believe that your home is currently open house-ready, it may need some work. Fortunately, there are many ways to learn about the strengths and weaknesses of your residence and plan your open house accordingly.

For example, a home appraisal may prove to be exceedingly valuable. This appraisal enables a home inspector to review your residence both inside and out. Then, he or she can offer home improvement recommendations so that you can upgrade your residence as needed.

Take a home appraisal report seriously. By doing so, a home seller can transform an ordinary residence into one that matches or exceeds homebuyers' expectations during an open house.

2. The Home's Interior or Exterior

Homebuyers are drawn to residences that feature dazzling gardens, clutter-free interiors and other stunning features. Thus, a home seller who dedicates the necessary time and resources to bolster a house's interior and exterior can increase the likelihood of hosting a successful open house.

To improve a home's interior, a home seller can scrub the floors, clean the walls and ceilings and perform assorted home interior maintenance and improvements. In addition, a home seller should depersonalize and declutter a home's interior as much as possible.

Comparatively, to enhance a house's exterior, a home seller should mow the front lawn, clear debris and dust from exterior walkways and ensure the house looks great to passers-by. With simple home exterior improvements, a home seller can boost a house's curb appeal and help a home stand out from other available residences.

3. Your Real Estate Agent

Let's face it – prepping for an open house can be stressful. However, a real estate agent can help a home seller get ready for the best- and worst-case scenarios.

A real estate agent will help a home seller prepare his or her residence for an open house. Next, he or she will promote the open house to potential homebuyers and collect feedback from them throughout the event.

After an open house reaches its conclusion, a real estate agent will offer honest, unbiased insights into the event. He or she also will keep you up to date about any potential home offers and ensure you can make informed home selling decisions.

Take the guesswork out of preparing for an open house. Consider the aforementioned factors, and you can get your residence ready for an open house in no time at all.


Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Every yard needs a fun and functional picnic table. Your outdoor table may be used to hold food, plants, craft projects, beverages and more. But, regardless of its function, it needs to look nice, and it needs to fit into your outdoor decorating theme. We have tons of ideas on turning your plain-Jane picnic table into a functional focal point. 

Add a Drink Holder

One of the most popular projects on Pinterest, adding a trough to hold drinks and ice to your wooden picnic table is an easy weekend project you can do yourself. You may have to cut and move braces beneath the table, but basically, it's just a matter of taking out the center board of your tabletop and replacing it with a length of capped and sealed rain gutter. Once attached, you can use the trough to hold drinks and ice, or it can become a pretty planter down the length of your picnic table. 

Use Glow-in-the-Dark Paint

Every picnic table needs a little something to protect it from the elements, especially if yours is made of wood. Applying a few coats of paint is recommended, and if you use outdoor paint that glows in the dark, you'll add a fun functionality to an otherwise blah piece of outdoor furniture. When your table glows in the dark, it's the perfect centerpiece for your nighttime parties. 

Apply Art Resin

Art resin is a newly popular technique for turning surfaces, such as bar and picnic table tops, into slick and shiny surfaces. You'll need to brush up on this technique by watching an online tutorial, and you'll need supplies such as art resin, gloves, spreaders, and cardboard. You can even embed objects like coins into the crevices and knotholes of your picnic table beneath the shiny resin. 

Create a Mosaic

Did you know you could turn your existing picnic table into an exotic work of art simply by covering the top with a colorful mosaic? Plane the top of your wooden table first, to make it nice and smooth, then attach a sub-surface, such as plywood, to act as the base for your mosaic. Turn chipped and broken teacups, pottery and dinnerware into colorful tiles by breaking them carefully with a hammer inside a plastic bag (wear googles!). Use tile adhesive to adhere them to your tabletop in a pretty design, and grout and seal them afterward just like you would tile. The result is a colorful, eclectic tabletop that's fit for the home of an artist. 

Picnic tables don't have to be bland to serve their purpose. Use these tips and others like them to make every cookout much more enjoyable. 




Image by Autri Taheri from Unsplash

Keeping dogs well-groomed is an important part of helping them stay healthy and happy. The amount of grooming your dogs need depends on certain factors, such as the kind of coat they have or whether or not they tend to roll around in dirt or mud. The following grooming tips can help you keep your pups looking and feeling their best.

Brush Your Dogs Regularly

Dogs can end up with tangles or matted fur when it’s not brushed often enough. Brushing also helps distribute oils through their coat, which keeps their fur looking shiny rather than dull. Plan on brushing your dogs every couple of days or more often if they’re shedding. The kind of brush to use depends on their coat:

  • Long coats: For dogs with longer fur, a slicker brush can get rid of mats, and an undercoat rake can eliminate dead hair near the skin. 
  • Short coats: For dogs with short fur, pinhead or slicker brushes remove mats, and bristle brushes remove dirt and dead hair. 
  • Rough coats: For dogs with rougher or wiry coats, slicker brushes eliminate mats, while stripping combs help prevent tangles from forming.
  • Smooth coats: For dogs with smoother coats, rubber brushes pull dirt and debris up from the skin, and bristle brushes help remove it. 

Give an Occasional Bath

Dogs don’t need baths as often as people do. In fact, bathing them too often can dry their skin and remove natural oils that keep their coat shiny. You can bathe your dogs every few months or whenever they’re muddy or dirty after playing outside. You should use a shampoo made for dogs, since shampoos for people are too rough on their skin. Before bathing, brush your dogs to remove dead hair and mats. 

Keep Nails Trimmed

Long nails make it harder and more uncomfortable for dogs to walk around. They can also get caught on rugs or furniture and tear off. Dog nails should be trimmed when they’re long enough to reach the floor while they walk around. You can use scissors style or guillotine style trimmers, depending on how thick the nails are. Scissors style trimmers tend to work better on thick nails and dewclaws, while guillotine style trimmers work better on thinner nails. 

For light nails, stop trimming before reaching the pink area, known as the quick. For dark nails, stop trimming when you see a pinkish or grayish color inside the nail. Keep a styptic pencil with you in case you do cut into the quick accidentally and bleeding occurs. This pencil, which contains silver nitrate, helps stop bleeding form occurring. 


Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

You don’t have to worry about putting on a pot of coffee after dinner when you use these recipes. Make coffee part of your dessert for a delicious treat with just a touch of caffeine.

Coffee & Whipped Cream Brownies

A bit of instant coffee and some heavy whipping cream can spruce up regular brownies. Give this recipe a try for creamy brownies with a caffeine kick. To make this, you’ll need to gather the following ingredients:

  • 3 oz chopped unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1 tsp instant coffee
  • 3 tbsps heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsps softened butter
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Start making this tasty brownie recipe by melting the unsweetened chocolate and butter in the microwave. Stir the chocolate and butter, and let this mixture cool a little. Beat eggs, vanilla and sugar in a small bowl, then add the chocolate mixture. Add flour and baking soda to the mixture, then stir. Grease an 8-inch baking pan, and add the brownie mix. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees, then remove the pan from the oven and let it cool.

    To make the coffee and cream layer, add the coffee to the heavy whipping cream. Let the coffee dissolve, then add the butter and confectioners’ sugar. Beat this mixture until it’s light, then spread it over the brownies. Place the brownies in the fridge until the coffee and cream layer sets.

    To make glaze for your brownies, cook the chocolate chips and heavy whipping cream in a small pot on low heat. Let the melted chocolate mix cool, then spread it over the coffee and cream layer on the brownies. Let the glaze set for about 30 minutes before cutting and serving the brownies.

    Coffee Ice Cream Cheesecake Pie

    When you can’t decide between ice cream and cheesecake, combine both with this simple recipe. All you need to make it are the following ingredients:

  • 2 8-oz packages of softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 pint of softened coffee ice cream
  • 1 pre-packaged graham cracker pie crust
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • To make this recipe, beat the softened cream cheese with an electric mixer until it’s smooth. Add the milk, vanilla and sugar to the cream cheese, then beat until it’s creamy. Add the softened ice cream to this mix, then beat until it has a smooth texture. Add this ice cream and cream cheese mix to the graham cracker pie crust, then place in the freezer for up to 4 hours. Once the pie is firm, it will be ready to eat. Melt the chocolate chips in a saucepan on the stove or in the microwave, then pour the chocolate mix onto the pie before serving.




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