By Janet Stoica
“The first real estate experience I ever had was with a condemned home — and it was mine,” said Maureen O’Connor, local realtor for RE/MAX Advantage I.
“My husband and I moved into the home we purchased for $40,000 in Oxford 30 years ago. To say it was a fixer-upper would’ve been an understatement. Everything had to be done over from top to bottom. It took us three years to finish everything but we did it. My husband, Tom, did most of the interior work.
“Because of this project, whenever I walk into a lumber supply warehouse, the scent of lumber brings me back to our first home and makes me feel like something new and good is about to happen. Helping people find and be happy with a new home is like that too. A new beginning and, hopefully, all the goodness that comes with it.”
Ms. O’Connor’s first real estate trainer was Jo-Ann Szymczak, another local realtor. “She was very informative and thorough in helping me learn the business. She was the kind of person who would roll up her sleeves and get to work for her clients. That was a great introduction and excellent training for me.”
According to Ms. O’Connor, who now lives in Dudley, the latest trends in home layouts really depend upon the client’s age bracket. Many of the TV real estate shows feature the open-concept design with the kitchen being open to the living space, but with the older homes in New England, you really won’t find too much of that, she says.
Walls can certainly be opened up, but a builder should be brought in to determine which walls are load-bearing. Lots of wall space will be lost with an open-concept design as well.
Buyers are now trending to privacy and having a kitchen set-up that is apart from the living room seems to be the new vogue.
“If interest rates rise, homeowners might want to renew what they have,” she suggested, “though the younger generation still wants their own home.”
Ms. O’Connor is a proponent of home ownership. “It’s important to build your own equity through home ownership. Many times a mortgage payment is not much more than an apartment rent. The most important people a prospective homebuyer should consult are a realtor, attorney, home inspector, and a lending institution.
“I work with a four-person real estate team, but we are all individual agents. We do cover for each other, which is great. If I have another home showing and your home inspection needs to be done, we’ll make sure you have coverage. No problem. I’m proud to say that I’ll be with you every step of the way. My strong customer service skills ensure that I will keep you informed of what’s happening. If a problem arises, I’ll find a solution to satisfy all parties involved so everyone gets to their goal.”
Buying and selling a home is a very emotional experience and Ms. O’Connor says that she will “keep the roller coaster steady. I do enjoy what I do. When I see a transaction finalized, I see all my client’s stress disappear. It makes it all worthwhile to see the happiness and relief of my clients once everything has been finalized.”
Contact Maureen O’Connor at 508-981-4902. Southern Worcester County is her main selling area and she is licensed for all Massachusetts’ residential real estate sales. Maureen O’Connor, REALTOR ®, SRES, CMRS. RE/MAX Advantage I, 179 Shrewsbury Street, Worcester. Email [email protected]