Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger - RE/MAX Executive Realty

Posted by Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger on 3/21/2018

Buying a home should be simple. Unfortunately, purchasing a residence can become complicated quickly, especially if you fail to consider the immediate and long-term costs associated with a house.

Ultimately, there are many hidden expenses that a homebuyer needs to consider before he or she purchases a house, including:

1. Utilities

Heating and cooling costs, water fees, electricity expenses and other utility bills may prove to be overwhelming if you're not careful. Fortunately, if you learn about various utility costs now, you may be better equipped to keep your utility bills in check at your new residence.

Ask your real estate agent for information about a home seller's utility bills. By doing so, you can get a better idea about how much your utilities may cost if you decide to purchase a particular residence.

Also, if you plan ahead for your utility bills, you can budget accordingly. Keep in mind that utilities are essential in any home. As such, you'll need to account for these costs in addition to your monthly mortgage payments, regardless of the home you buy.

2. Commuting

If you're moving to a new city or town, you'll want to consider how your move may impact your daily commute to work, school or any other locations that you visit regularly.

Consider a home's proximity to highways. If you move to a house that is located near a major highway, you may encounter heavy traffic at various points throughout the day, resulting in a lengthy commute.

Also, find out whether public transportation is available near your new home. In some instances, you may be able to take advantage of buses, trains and other public transportation options to get where you need to go without delay.

3. Home Upgrades

Although a home may appear to be a dream come true, there are problems beneath a house's exterior that could bubble to the surface after you complete your purchase. Thus, you may want to put aside money for home upgrades that may be necessary in the near future.

For example, an older home may require a new hot water heater and furnace soon. And if you start saving for a new hot water heater and furnace today, you may be able to replace them before it's too late.

A home inspector can help you identify home problems. This professional will conduct an in-depth review of a residence and provide honest feedback about any problems that could escalate quickly.

After a home inspection, you can always ask the home seller to perform the necessary repairs, or you can walk away from a home offer. On the other hand, you can keep your current home offer, move forward with your home purchase and complete the upgrades on your own.

When it comes to planning ahead for hidden home expenses, a real estate agent can point you in the right direction. Your real estate agent is happy to respond to your homebuying concerns and questions and will do everything possible to ensure you are fully satisfied with any residence you purchase.

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Posted by Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger on 3/16/2018

Who does not Love a Cape? You will be amazed at this very open floor plan! Large combination living room and media room offers striking raised hearth fireplace. Entertainment size dining room complete with beadboard and located directly off the kitchen. Beautiful hardwood flooring. The kitchen is wonderful in size and functionality. Center island, stainless appliances. beams and awesome walk-in pantry which is so hard to find! Family room is located off the back of the home and has vaulted ceiling and large patio door with sidelights which lead to oversize deck. First floor full bath. Second floor has two extra large bedrooms, one with three closets and the other with two. Full bath on this floor as well. New septic 2005, Roof replaced, fireplace liner 2005, Patio door and sidelights 2017, 6 new windows 2018, Hot water tank 2017, ADT security syste m. Bose Home Entertainment system! Showings begin Saturday March 17th.

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts

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Posted by Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger on 3/14/2018

The age-old problem of trying to stretch your household budget is a challenge nearly everyone grapples with at one time or another. If you're confounded by the fact that your paycheck(s) seem to disappear within days of depositing them, it may be time to examine your spending habits.

Creating a written budget is often an eye-opening experience, especially if you haven't taken the time to do that recently -- or ever! Itemizing all your monthly and periodic expenses can not only help you realize where the money's going, but it can also give you a greater feeling of control over your life. As an added bonus, reviewing your household budget a couple times a year will also increase your awareness of your debts, your income, and your spending habits. Once you know how tight your budget is and whether you need to reduce expenses or increase income, you'll be in a stronger position to effectively manage your family's finances.

  • Creating a budget: Whether you prefer to use spreadsheets, software, or just a simple income-versus-expenses chart, setting up a budget will help put you in the driver's seat of your cash flow situation. While there are many distinctions between running a business and managing a household, there are probably more similarities than differences!
  • Identifying "money leaks": If your family's budget seems tighter than you'd like it to be, one possible reason is that you're spending more than you need to on some expenses. The perfect examples are homeowners' and automobile insurance. You've probably seen and heard countless ads for well-known insurance companies that say they can save you hundreds of dollars a year on your insurance policies. If you've been dismissing those claims as mere hype, consider the possibility that you may actually be paying more on your insurance premiums than necessary. It may be worth your while to have your insurance agent review your policy with you to make sure you're getting all the coverage you need and the discounts to which your entitled. The best way to remove any doubt is to get two or three quotes from other reputable insurance companies. You can often do this through email or online, so you shouldn't have to go to time-consuming office appointments just to get a few insurance quotes. To compare "apples to apples," make sure to use identical coverage amounts and deductibles for each estimate your seeking; hopefully the agents you deal with will remind you of that. It's also possible to save hundreds more dollars a year by contacting your cable TV company, Internet service provider, and cell phone service (It might be one company) to discuss ways your bill can be lowered. The first step would be to examine your latest invoice and determine whether you're paying for services you don't use or need. If you see charges that are excessive or confusing, don't hesitant to get on the phone and have those issues clarified. If inconsistent utility bills are a problem, then switching over to a monthly budget plan will make your expenses more predictable and manageable.
While there are many strategies for reducing your expenses and regaining control of your household budget, information and a healthy sense of skepticism can often be your most valuable resources.

Posted by Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger on 3/7/2018

Most of the time, we build homes to our taste rather than to their environment. And while itís important to have a home that you love to look at, itís also necessary to take your local climate and surroundings into account.

One of the best up-and-coming home architecture styles features something called ďpassive solarĒ design.

In todayís post, Iím going to introduce you to passive solar and talk about why so many homeowners are choosing passive solar homes in todayís age of rising energy costs.

What is a passive solar home?

Passive solar homes utilize four main things to ensure the lowest possible energy usage:

  • The building site

  • The areaís climate and weather

  • Strict building standards involving top quality materials and airtight construction

Letís talk a bit about how these three features help make passive solar homes the most energy efficient homes currently available.

Choosing a site for a passive home can be a complicated and scientific endeavor. In colder climates, this means allowing the home to utilize as much sunlight as possible. The building site, therefore, has to take into account the sunís path throughout the year to provide the home with the best angles for maximum sunlight.

Since sunlight travels lower on the horizon in the winter months and higher in summer months, roofs and overhangs are designed to let in maximum light in the winter time and block out light that would overheat your home in the summertime.

Airflow throughout your home is vital to maintaining comfortable temperatures year-round. Passive homes rely on a heat exchanger system that uses heat from warm areas of your home to heat air that is vented in from the outside.

This means that the air in your home is constantly being circulated and heated without relying on too many outside sources.

Building materials are another key part to passive solar homes. To make an airtight home, special types of sealing and insulation is used.

Furthermore, insulated areas of your home are designed to absorb sunlight throughout the day and slowly release heat after the sun goes down, providing a natural source of heat for the entire 24 hour cycle.

Can I convert my current house into a passive solar home?

While making a home adhere to passive house standards typically requires planning at the construction phase, there are some ways to utilize passive solar techniques in your current home.

Making your home airtight, using thermal mass to slowly heat your home overnight, and taking advantage of heat from the sun are all things that can be retrofitted to a home.

Making these improvements can take time, especially if you plan to change window locations or build an overhanging roof. However, you might find that the upgrades will save you money on energy costs and add to the resale value of your home.

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Posted by Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger on 2/28/2018

We all love to put off our household chores until the last minute. The secret to cleaning is to actually clean more often for less time. Just taking a few minutes out of each day can save your house form being a mess and save you hours of time scrubbing. Take a look at some of these cleaning tips that will become shortcuts for you to clean your home. Once you get into the habit, it will be much easy in the long term. 

Clean Up Spills Immediately

Waiting to clean up spills is simply creating a nightmare for yourself later in the week. Stains will be much tougher to remove the longer they sit there. Everywhere from kitchen countertops to the bathroom sink should be wiped down frequently, especially when something spills. Baking soda, vinegar and even simple dish soap are great tools to help lift various stains and return surfaces to like-new. 

Spot Clean

Without full on scrubbing everything down, from time to time you should spot clean areas of your home like refrigerator door handles, door knobs and cabinet doors. This way, when you go for a deeper cleaning, it will take less time.

Use Door Mats

This tip sounds oh so simple but can make a huge difference in how clean your home is. Getting a good doormat can help to clean up dirt and debris from the shoes of people who are entering your home. Keep a mat on both sides of the door at entryways, and this can help reduce the need for frequent vacuuming throughout the home. 

Start At The Entryway

A tidy entrance is so welcoming to guests. Aside from quick cleaning touch-ups, you can add a few things to the entryway to make it even more inviting. Make sure that the entry to your home is presentable. Add some plants to help improve the appeal of your home.  

Make Sure Thereís Clear Paths Throughout The Home

Inside of the house, make sure that you have clear paths everywhere with nothing in the way. You donít want a lot boxes, clothes, or furniture in the way of paths where people walk. Clutter can also pose a safety hazard, causing people to trip. 

Put Everything Away

Done right, everything in your home will have a place to go. If you donít have enough storage, your quick clean-ups are a good time to recognize this, so you can set aside a time for more serious organizing. The more things that you have out, the more clutter your home will accumulate. Each day, remember to put things away. Youíll need to accessorize with practical things like shoe racks, baskets for keys and containers for utensils in the kitchen.

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