Olde Village Realty LLC - Olde Village Realty LLC | Brimfield, MA Real Estate, Holland, MA


When people hear the term "modular" a few things come to mind. Standardized, easy to assemble, minimalist, and modern. When you hear the words "modular furniture" there's probably only one thing that comes to mind: Ikea. There are, however, a wide selection of stores (online and brick & mortar) that offer furniture to fit your minimalist lifestyle.

Reasons to go modular

Form follows function. This statement should be as true in the world of decorating as it is throughout the sciences. However, many times we buy items that are large and bulky; mistaking quantity for quality. In the world of modular furniture, form is everything. Here are some reasons you may want to start buying minimal furniture:
  • If you move often. Do you relocate for work every few years? Are you a student or young professional who does a lot of jumping around apartments? In a workforce that is increasingly freelance and online in nature, there are fewer bindings holding us back from moving.
  • If you like low-maintenance. Modular furniture is perfect the the person who likes to set something up easily out of the box. You won't have to worry about complicated maintenance or difficulty finding parts because modular furniture tends to be highly standardized.
  • If you're a space-saver. Are you the type to try to take advantage of every inch of free space in your home? Alternatively, do you like to give your home a spacious atmosphere through smart decorating? Modular furniture is intelligently designed to take advantage of space. Modular furniture pieces like sofas are often able to be reconfigured or rearranged in different pieces so you can place them in corners or sparsely around the room to open up space. Similarly, they often contain interior storage space for things like blankets and pillows.
  • If you have a refined taste for space. Modular furniture is at the cutting edge of home technology. Therefore it often boasts visually-appealing, minimalist form and modern color schemes. Like any industry, style varies between makers. But generally modular furniture companies tend to stay current with trends.

The biggest names, the best prices

Since modular furniture is an up-and-coming industry, there are a number of stores to choose from, some even with brick & mortal locations. Here are some of our favorites.
ikea
Not much needs to be said about IKEA. They started with one man in Sweden and now have locations in over 40 countries. IKEA is the standard by which all other modern furniture stores are weighed against.
vitsoe
Vitsoe keeps it simple with three basic modular "systems." Chairs, tables, and shelves. One of each system could easily fill a room. Their designs are minimalist and space-saving, which is evident by the "nesting" tables which fit into one another.
way basics
If you're looking for simple, lightweight and affordable storage and shelving, Way Basics is where you should start your search. They specialize in storage cubes and they take the humanitarian and environmentalist approach to doing business.
urban outfitters
They may seem like a strange addition to this list, but Urban Outfitters--the paragon of urban hipsterdom--has a surprisingly great selection of modular furniture items in their online shop. They do an excellent job of fusing vintage style with modern function.  

Most homeowners would love to be able to pay off their mortgage early. However, few see it as a possibility when they take into account their earnings and other bills.

 There are, however, a few ways to pay down your mortgage earlier than planned. But first, let’s talk about when it makes sense to try and pay off your mortgage.

 When to consider paying off your mortgage early

If you recently got a promotion, have someone move in with you who contributes to paying the bills, or recently got a secondary form of income, you might want to consider making extra payments on your mortgage.

However, having extra money doesn’t always mean you should spend it immediately on your home loan.

First, consider if you have a large enough emergency savings fund. It might be tempting to try and throw any extra money at your mortgage as soon as possible, but there are other financial commitments you should plan for as well.

If you have kids who will be applying to college soon, remember that student aid takes into account their parents’ finances. If your children plan on applying to institutions with high tuition, then your equity will be counted against you.

Refinancing to pay your mortgage early

Refinancing your home loan is one option if you’re considering increasing the payments on your mortgage. If you can refinance a 30-year loan to a 15-year loan with a lower interest rate, you’ll save money in two ways--your lower interest rate and the fact that you’ll be accruing interest for less time.

There is a downside to refinancing. Once you refinance, you’re locked into your new payment amount. So, if your higher income isn’t dependable, it might not make sense to commit to a higher monthly payment that you aren’t sure you’re going to be able to keep paying.

There’s also the matter of refinancing costs. Just like the costs associated with signing on your mortgage, you’ll have to pay closing costs on refinancing. You’ll need to weigh the cost of refinancing against the amount you’ll save on interest over the term of your mortgage to see if it truly makes sense to go through the refinancing process.

Paying more on your current loan

Even if you aren’t sure that refinancing is the best option, there are other ways you can make payments on your mortgage to pay it off years sooner than your term length.

One of the common methods is to simply make thirteen payments each year instead of twelve. To do this, homeowners often use their tax returns or savings to make the thirteenth payment. Over a thirty year mortgage, this could save you over full two years of added interest.

A second option is to make two bi-weekly payments rather than one monthly payment. By making biweekly payments you have the ability to make 26 payments in a year. If you were to just make two payments per month then you would make 24 total payments. Over time, those two extra payments per year add up.


Do your mornings go like this? You get out of bed, find your way to the bathroom and watch the sink water slowly rise as you wash your face and brush your teeth. After you turn the water off, it takes a long time for the water to go down the bathroom sink drain that it steals valuable moments from your day.

Pay attention to these plumbing problems

Plumbing problems show up in the bathroom, kitchen and basement. Because plumbing problems start slowly, it's tempting to over look them until they become a major issue. By that time, your bathroom, kitchen or basement sinks and tubs might be:

  • Leaking - Puddles may form each time you run bath or sink water. You may also notice leaks in pipes. If pipes have developed holes, the pipes will have to be replaced.
  • Running water - Despite how much you tighten faucets, water continues to drip in tubs and sinks. Not only could this cause puddles to form and water to potentially drip off counter edges, it raises your water bill.
  • Noises - Let your sump pump start to go and you may hear grinding noises. A dying sump pump can also cause the motor to make a light humming sound. Over time, the pump could stop working altogether.
  • Cold water - Let your water heater break down and you may have to turn the temperature up just to get warm water to come out of the shower or tub. After awhile, only cold or cool water may come out of the faucet.
  • Reemerging water - Reemerging or resurfacing water happens when you flush the toilet and some or all of the waste pushes back up.
  • Over flowing water - More signs that your septic tank may be failing include water over flowing when you flush the toilet or run water in the sink.
  • Moisture - Mildew, mold and cool, moist air are additional signs that there may be plumbing problems at your house. Although you can clean and get a humidifier, contact a plumber if signs of plumbing problems persist.

Stay at least two steps ahead of major plumbing problems

Unlike some other housing issues, plumbing problems can be sneaky. Plumbing problems can start off slowly, then suddenly build to a seemingly unmanageable crescendo. If that happens, it could cost several hundred dollars to fix the problems. That or plumbing problems could resurface every three to four months, again costing you hundreds of dollars a year.

Although it might not be possible to prevent all plumbing problems, it is possible to reduce the numbers of times that your plumbing needs fixing. It starts with honesty. When you notice that water is taking longer to go down the drain in the morning while you wash your face and brush your teeth, take steps to unclog pipes. If the problem reoccurs, reach out to a licensed plumber. It could save you headaches and money down the road.


Looking to add your house to the real estate market? Ultimately, becoming the "perfect" home seller can make a world of difference, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.

The perfect home seller understands what it takes to list a home in a buyer's or seller's market. As such, this home seller will be able to promote his or her residence to the right groups of property buyers at any time. Plus, the perfect home seller will know how to get the best price for his or her residence – without exception.

Believe it or not, becoming the perfect home seller can be simple – here are three tips to help you do just that.

1. Learn About the Real Estate Market

Although many home sellers have a "basic" understanding of how the housing market works, the perfect home seller will go above and beyond the call of duty to get the ideal results. Therefore, he or she will learn about the intricacies of the real estate sector and map out the home selling journey accordingly.

To learn about the real estate market, it often helps to look at some of the homes that are currently available in your city or town. This will enable you to establish a price range for homes that are similar to your own.

Also, don't forget to look at the prices of recently sold houses in your area. With this housing market data at your disposal, you may be able to determine whether you're preparing to operate in a buyer's or seller's market.

2. Understand Your Home's Strengths and Weaknesses

Your home may seem great, but it never hurts to get a second opinion from a property expert. Fortunately, if you complete a home appraisal, you can learn about your home's strengths and weaknesses and take steps to enhance your residence before you add it to the housing market.

A home appraisal usually requires just a few hours to complete, but the evaluation's benefits may last a lifetime.

After a home appraisal, you'll receive an in-depth report that describes any problem areas in your home. Then, you can allocate the necessary time and resources to transform any weaknesses into strengths and perform assorted home improvements as needed.

3. Work with an Real Estate Agent

The perfect home seller understands the importance of getting plenty of support at each stage of the home selling journey. As a result, this home seller is likely to work with a real estate agent who can help simplify the process of listing and promoting a house.

A real estate agent can help you take the guesswork out of selling a residence. He or she will set up home showings and open houses and negotiate with property buyers on your behalf. Plus, a real estate agent will provide honest, unbiased home selling recommendations to help you make informed decisions.

Streamline the home selling journey – use the aforementioned tips, and you can become the perfect home seller in no time at all.


If you've recently sold your house or are preparing to list your residence, now may be the perfect time to cut down on clutter. That way, you can remove excess items from your home and earn extra cash before you move into a new residence.

Of course, selling excess items may prove to be difficult, particularly for those with limited time and resources at their disposal. But individuals who use the web to their advantage should have no trouble selling excess items.

What does it take to effectively promote a wide range of items online to prospective buyers? Here are three tips to help you do just that.

1. Take Excellent Photos

Regardless of whether you're looking to sell an old tennis racquet or a rarely used refrigerator, it is important to take outstanding photos of your items. This will enable potential buyers to get a look at what an item has to offer and decide if it is right for them.

Before you photograph an item, clean this item thoroughly. By doing so, you can ensure the item will look pristine before you post photographs of it online.

Furthermore, take pictures of an item from multiple angles. And be sure there is sufficient lighting when you capture photographs, as this will allow you to showcase the true beauty of any item, at any time.

2. Provide Relevant Information

When it comes to selling excess items online, it pays to be honest. If you provide accurate, relevant information about an item to prospective buyers, you can increase the likelihood of connecting with the right audience.

Also, don't forget to include an engaging headline in your item description. This will help your item listing stand out from others, thereby improving your chances of stirring up substantial interest from dozens of potential buyers.

3. Respond to Buyer Concerns and Questions Immediately

An alert online seller usually is a profitable one. As such, if a buyer has a concern or question about an item listing, it is important to respond as quickly as possible to boost your chances of getting the best possible results.

For example, if you publish an item listing on Craigslist and a potential buyer sends you an email, you should try to respond within the first few hours. This will allow you to connect with the buyer and reduce the risk that the buyer will become impatient and look elsewhere for the same item.

If you need help decluttering your house and listing excess items online, your real estate agent may be able to lend a helping hand. This housing market professional understands the complexities of selling a house and moving into a new residence. Therefore, he or she can help you find innovative ways to declutter and streamline the moving process.

Take advantage of the aforementioned pre-moving tips – you'll be happy you did. Thanks to these tips, anyone can declutter a residence, sell excess items online and earn extra cash at the same time.




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