RE/MAX Executive Realty



Posted by RE/MAX Executive Realty on 2/3/2019

If you’re finding that your finances are a bit tighter these days, you might need to adjust your budget a bit. Have you ever thought about alternatives in helping you to pay your mortgage? There’s a few things that you might be able to do in your home to save a few bucks and be more comfortable with your budget and finances. 


Share The Space


This might sound crazy, but it works for many people. If you’re willing to share your living space with others, it could help you to make a dent in your mortgage. This works especially well if you have a home with a separate entrance like an in-law apartment or something similar. 


Make Adjustments To Your Expenses


There are many different costs that come along with owning a home. If you reduce some of these expenses, you’ll be able to cut your overall spending. You don’t need to completely adjust your entire way of living to do this. Some ideas:


  • Cut the cord on cable and install streaming devices
  • Go on a family cell phone plan
  • Skip the gym membership
  • Use public transportation
  • Cook at home instead of eating out
  • Use coupons


Put Tax Refunds To Good Use


If you normally get a tax refund, you can apply that money to your mortgage instead of using it to buy something else. You could also adjust your withholdings. This would allow you to get a bit more money in your paycheck each week. You’ll get less of a refund during tax time, but the extra money may help you to pay down bills throughout the year. 


Pay More Towards The Principal 


To make the most of your hard-earned savings, use your money wisely and pay down the mortgage faster. Just be sure that there’s no penalty for a prepayment of the loan. You can either make an extra loan payment each month or you can pay a bit over what you owe on the mortgage each month. If you pay the mortgage faster, you’ll save potentially thousands of dollars in interest over the life of the loan. You’ll need to check with your mortgage company to see what their process is for paying more towards the principal of the loan. Keep in mind that the first few years‘ worth of your mortgage payments will be going towards interest unless you specify extra payments to go elsewhere.


Whether you’d like a little more of a financial cushion or are just looking to get rid of all those pesky monthly bills, it’s never a bad idea to focus on paying your mortgage down as quickly as possible.




Tags: mortgage   finances  
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Posted by RE/MAX Executive Realty on 1/27/2019

Household clutter is an insidious problem in many homes because it happens gradually and you may not notice it until it actually infringes on your living space and begins degrading your quality of life. As is the case with many problems, the first step to solving it is to recognize that you need to do something about it.

Clutter can assume many different forms in your house, but the effects are always negative. Whether you need to eliminate clutter in one room or your entire house, tackling the problem always results in a feeling of relief and accomplishment. By taking it one step at a time and focusing on the benefits of reducing clutter, you'll be able to create a positive "ripple effect" in your mind, your family relationships, personal productivity, and other aspects of your life.

Improved efficiency: Everyone knows the frustration of not being able to find something you're looking for. It's problem that may happen with increasing frequency when you're surrounded by clutter. By taking the time to sort through a cluttered closet, cabinet, garage, basement, or bedroom, you'll be able to eliminate junk, regain lost storage space, and find useful things that you forgot you even owned! When you discover belongings that your family has outgrown or stopped using, you can free up valuable space by either selling, donating, or throwing away unwanted items.

Psychological benefits: A room or home that feels cramped, cluttered, or disorganized is not at all conducive to relaxation, smooth family relationships, and feelings of contentment. If you're even a little embarrassed about the way your home looks, for example, you'll be less likely to invite family and friends over to your house. One of the benefits of actually planning a family gathering or dinner party at your home is that you'll be motivated to organize, clean, and straighten up many areas of your home -- everything from your kitchen and bathrooms to your living room and family room. Also on the plus side: Having a feeling of pride about the appearance and decor of your home is not only personally satisfying, but it can also benefit your social life!

Inspiration: Once you've reorganized your furniture, where needed, and created a more spacious feeling in your home, you'll often feel more motivated to apply a fresh coat of paint to scuffed walls, organize bookshelves, or replace old draperies with new window treatments. One thing leads to another. When you see what a difference a few household improvements can make to the look and feel of your home, you'll be inspired to find more ways to enhance your living space. With any luck, other members of your family will also be inspired to help keep the house looking neat, well organized, and clutter free. While you shouldn't expect any miracles or sudden transformations, remember: Rome wasn't built in a day!





Posted by RE/MAX Executive Realty on 1/27/2019

New place, new town, new everything. Now, where to find the grocery store and the parks. Additionally, think about all those places you will have to visit at least once to complete your move like the DMV and school district administration offices. Your map app on your phone can get you places but are they the places with precisely what you want and the quality you expect? That is where you need the insider's perspective to get the scoop on your new neighborhood. 

Not Your Mom’s Phone Book

Researching online can give you current reviews from actual customers and some insight into the services you are wanting. Chamber of Commerce website or the Better Business Bureau are also resources to use. What can help you is talking to people like your neighbors. If you are a pet owner, you can strike up a conversation with someone you see waking their dog about who they recommend for grooming services, pet supplies or even veterinarian services. 

Social Networking 

Maybe your online social network has connections in your new area, and they can direct you. Leverage any social clubs or civic groups you are part of, like college alumni or professional associations. You will be surprised how helpful having a network of people to ask can be. Everyone seems to have their favorite coffee place or corner bakery so don't be shy about asking for recommendations. 

People All Around You

New coworkers and your children's schoolmates and their families are excellent resources for discovering things about your new locale. Since you will be spending a goodly amount of time together, it should be relativity easy to ask about services like auto repair and maintenance or lawn care. You can get the scoop on the best pizza in town and where to go to get a deal on furniture. People you interact with during your day are easily accessible and an excellent source for insider information. While grabbing a bite to eat, ask your server about local entertainment or personal services. It helps to keep a list of any recommendations you receive, so you don't forget. You surely do not want to miss any sweet local places that may become your new favorite place to frequent. Moving is stressful enough, no need to blindly stumbling through services and products in your new neighborhood. Go ahead and make that personal connection, that will not only get you what you need but will help you quickly become part of the new community. 

Ask your realtor for their recommendations for living in your new neighborhood.




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Posted by RE/MAX Executive Realty on 1/20/2019

Do you live in a house that has hard water? You know, where you get those white rings on the counters and the faucets have this grungy, crusty build up. While you’re at the DIY store, you see this free water testing kit and decide its time to learn what is going on. You get the results, and the company asks to come out and give you a further evaluation as well as introduce you to a solution. The time this takes is well worth the process because it gives you valuable information about your water and how to fix it. Unfortunately, the typical solution is a $6,000 to $8,000 fix. Now maybe that is in your budget, and that is great, but most of the time that solution still involves the use of salt.

There is another way 

Alternatives exist where the installation cost may be way less—although it might be the same depending on how large of a system you get. But more importantly, it is a solution that doesn’t involve the constant purchase of salt. 

A recent addition to the water treatment lineup includes many different brands on salt-free water conditioners or de-scalers. Typically, a non-salt system consists of a large particle filter and a multiple-part canister. The system works by neutralizing minerals such as magnesium and calcium by changing their ionic makeup so that these minerals do not stick to pipes and other surfaces. They do remain in the water, though, so if you allow a pool of water to dry, the minerals will form a powdery residue that easily brushes off.

DIY Installation?

Installation is not complicated, but if you have little to no experience plumbing, you should hire a local plumber or certified installer to do the project. It is essential to put it in-line with the water going the correct direction (into the water heater, for example), so you’ll need to know which way the pipe is flowing where you add the joint.

Does it work?

The results are different from a water softener. You’ll see a reduction of the calcium in the water. Your skin will feel less dried out, and dish soap will create larger amounts of suds. You will not have that slippery feel of salt-softened water though. Most importantly, you can drink the water and water your plants with the water directly from the tap. 

Is it green?

The environment gains because there is no back-washing of the system like with traditional salt-based softeners, so you are not dumping salt water into the drainage system, and you are not using a bunch of extra water. 

What does it cost to maintain?

The cost to operate it once it after installation is very low. There is no salt to purchase every month. You only have to change the large particle filter every 6 to 12 months, depending on your water source. You may even receive extra filters with your installation, so check with the dealer.

The cost to DIY the project includes the purchase of the system and a few fittings to make the connection into your water pipes. Check with your real estate professional to see if adding a water conditioner system will increase the value of your home for resale.




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Posted by RE/MAX Executive Realty on 1/20/2019

It’s not always easy to move up to that dream home. Finding that special place that meets all your needs AND fulfills all your desires requires clarity on your part and diligence on the part of your real estate professional. After all, if you don’t know what you both need and what you want, your agent certainly won’t know what to look for.

The “I’ll know it when I see it” concept of house-hunting is rarely fruitful unless you define “it” clearly.

Make a list

Grab a notebook or use your smartphone to keep a list of what you need and what you want. The list will grow and even change over time, so keep the notebook with you. You'll find inspiration in something you see on the television while you wait in the dentist's office, and you need to write it down immediately.

Take a shot

You’ll walk through a store display and see "just the thing" that goes with the design in your head. Snap a picture of what you like with your phone so you have it on hand. 

If while walking through an open house, a certain style connects with you, but you don’t know how to describe it, take a photo so you can show your agent. Even if that house doesn’t have ALL the things you want, some house might.

Have an open mind

If a property has most of what you want, be open to the possibility of a limited renovation to get the rest. The important thing is its bones; it’s basic structure. Some designs lend themselves to easy add-ons, but most don’t, so if the home you choose has a complicated roofline, make sure it also has the room inside to make your layout changes since adding on is more difficult. On the other hand, simple structures such as ranch-style or mid-century modern might more easily accommodate the addition you envision.

Keep options open

Consider pairing up a renovation contractor with your real estate agent to determine if your changes work with an available listing. Similar to what you see on home-buying television shows, getting a contractor’s expert eye on the property could mean the difference between finding the home with the right structure or missing out entirely getting what you really want.

Find out if your agent can suggest a reputable contractor or find one through a friend or verified listing service. Even if your dream home isn’t already out there … it can be.




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