Lisa Caron - REALTOR® GRI, ABR,LMC,CDPE - Exit Real Estate Executives


Image by Nattanan Kanchanaprat from Pixabay

Preparing to purchase a home? It’s time to get your finances in order. Although this is an exciting time, you’d be surprised to learn how much a new home purchase can leave you strapped for cash. Saving for your home can get you prepared to have money for your down payment and a discretionary fund to cover any additional expenses that may come up you haven’t anticipated. Here are a few tips for saving for your new home:

  • Budget
  • Creating a monthly budget will help you see what you spend money on and where you can cut unnecessary expenses out.

  • Stash your savings
  • Put every penny you save in an account that is hard to withdraw money from. You can use another savings account for other things, but this one should be off-limits.

  • Automate it
  • Your savings should automatically come out of your paycheck or withdraw from your checking account. By doing this, you’ll get used to not having that money while building your nest egg.

  • Bank any excess
  • If you got a refund from a rebate or something else unexpected, take the time and send that money to the savings stash.

  • Downsize
  • In order to get fully ready to move into a home, you may have to downsize your place to save money. Saving 20% of your rent to go towards the home fund is helpful and commendable.

  • Additional work
  • Taking on side jobs while you’re saving will help you get the amount you are trying to save in your pocket a little bit faster. This extra money can help pay down bills and save at the same time.

  • Cut retirement giving
  • Until you save the amount you would like to use for your down payment and other incidentals, cut the automatic payments into your retirement account. Once you have achieved the amount you would like to save, restart your automatic withdrawal.

    This can be a tedious process, especially if you aren’t used to saving. Confide in someone close to you to keep you accountable. This person is someone who won’t tempt you with going out to eat or meeting to catch the latest sales. You can also make it a goal you share with everyone, and they all start saving for something special too. It’s a process so cut yourself some slack when you’re feeling as if you could be saving a lot more, or you slipped up. If eating out was your thing, buy the ingredients at the store and cook a gourmet meal, or if you went to the movies, subscribe to a streaming service instead.

    You’ll put yourself in the position to get your home sooner than you think while adopting habits you can continue to use throughout the year.


    Photo by Andy Dean Photography via Shutterstock

    The phrase “the joys of homeownership” is a staple in most households. But sometimes, you think you hear a snicker behind the smile. Now that you’re finally ready to become an owner, you might be wondering if that term is truthful or sarcastic. The answer is “Both.”

    How can it be both?

    No doubt about it, buying a home and making it yours is a fantastic achievement. Taking on part of the American dream builds your confidence, creates community stability and sets your household’s future on a positive trajectory. However, a home can also become an albatross. That could be what happens when you blindly purchase a home without an upfront and thorough inspection. Even a home that a relative or friend sells to you needs a professional home inspector to give you a baseline of what maintenance and repairs it may need.

    How do you stay "joyful?"

    • Insist on a home inspection. As mentioned earlier, even if someone you know sells you the home, paying for an inspector to report on what’s up with the home’s major systems means you can plan for your future. If the inspection says the roof needs replacing in five years, you can factor that into your budget and not be surprised or upset when, in five years, you need a new roof.
    • Ask for a warranty. As part of the negotiations, have your agent request a home warranty for at least a year. You may even opt for renewal after that year. Get a warranty that covers problems with major systems such as the electrical panel and wiring, plumbing, water heater, HVAC and sprinkler systems. The cost to the seller is typically low, and helps maintain peace of mind when things start to get a little worn.
    • Stay on top of maintenance. If you’re handy, this is your moment to shine. Get a list of the most common maintenance issues in a home and schedule it into your free time. These include monitoring for water leaks, changing air conditioning and furnace filters and clearing out the gutters and downspouts before the winter weather wreaks havoc. If you’re not the do-it-yourself type, then ask your agent to recommend someone to keep an eye on things for you so that they don’t turn into major problems.

    Is homeownership a reason for joy? Of course. But don’t let unexpected expenses and maintenance issues dim your happiness. Ask your agent about home inspections, warranties and repair contractor referrals.


    Image by Kaitong Yepoon from Shutterstock

    Rain in its due time is every gardener's dream. Saving and reusing rainwater is a great way to save resources for the garden. One way to collect rainwater and store it for future use is to install a rain chain. 

    A decorative rain chain can be used in place of a downspout to collect water from the roof. It can be made from a typical chain or series of objects that lead from the roofline into a water storage container. As the rain falls, the chain guides water into the storage container so that it does not immediately soak into the ground. The water can then be used around the garden when the weather is fair. 

    Rain chain: a decorative detail

    The rain chain is not just a functional addition to your garden, it can be built from decorative elements that add detail to your outdoor space. 

    Chains can be built from a single metal chain or several containers that are strung together. Some rain chains are comprised of metal elements, small watering cans, china pieces or bells. For something more unique, you may consider a chain that is built from recycled glass bottles. Constructing rain chains using shapes that hold water, may also attract more birds into your garden.

    Rain chains attach to the gutters of your home to collect water during rainfall. A rain chain is smaller than a downpipe so it cannot handle the same volume of water. If you experience heavy rain in your area, keep downspouts in place and use a rain chain as a decorative addition to your space.


    WATERFRONT 4 bedroom home on North Pond. This home sits on a triple lot with the most gorgeous views. There is a heated inground salt water pool on the side measuring 16x32x9 fully fenced in, HUGE deck strategically placed at the end of the lot overlooking the lake. This home was built in 1930's with gleaming hardwood floors throughout most rooms and captivating millwork details yet totally updated. Large eat in kitchen with stainless appliances, oversized island and granite countertops. Formal dining room with built-in shelving. Living room is massive with hardwood floors, arched doorways, wood fireplace, Harmon pellet stove and wall of windows overlooking the water letting in lots of natural lighting. Home has all new replacement windows. There is also a finished room in the basement not included in the square footage. Generac generator included. 1 car garage

    More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts

    WATERFRONT 4 bedroom home on North Pond. This home sits on a triple lot with the most gorgeous views. There is a heated inground salt water pool on the side measuring 16x32x9 fully fenced in, HUGE deck strategically placed at the end of the lot overlooking the lake. This home was built in 1930's with gleaming hardwood floors throughout most rooms and captivating millwork details yet totally updated. Large eat in kitchen with stainless appliances, oversized island and granite countertops. Formal dining room with built-in shelving. Living room is massive with hardwood floors, arched doorways, wood fireplace, Harmon pellet stove and wall of windows overlooking the water letting in lots of natural lighting. Home has all new replacement windows. There is also a finished room in the basement not included in the square footage. Generac generator included. 1 car garage

    More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts



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