May 16, 2019

Save Money, Cut the Cord

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When you move, you have a lot on your mind, but getting cable service transferred over doesn’t need to be one of them. For most people, when it comes to cable TV, they feel like they pay a lot and get a bunch of channels they never watch. An alternative, then, is to pay for what you want and ditch the cable packages. With these ideas, you can simplify and save money just by replacing your paid TV subscriptions with free or cheaper alternatives.

Cutting the cord is a great option to save money! If you’re thinking about a move and want to find a great value on a new home – I’m here to help. Give me a call, text or reply to this email to talk about your move. 

 

Posted in Home Improvement
Jan. 17, 2019

Do You Have a Resolution For Your Home?

Happy New Year! I hope you had a restful holiday season. Now it’s resolution season; have you created your goals for 2019? Many of us have vowed to start using the gym more often or start saving more money, but it’s also a great time to think about how you want to improve your home this year. Need a little inspiration for a home resolution for 2019? Here’s a checklist of project ideas, ranging from small to large, to get your wheels turning.

​If you’re considering buying a new home this year rather than fixing up your current house, please reach out; I’d love to help you start this process.

Posted in Home Improvement
Oct. 18, 2018

4 Apps to Save You Money

 

It’s hard to believe that we’re in the middle of October already. Before we know it, the holidays will be here and the shopping season will be in full swing. Whether you’re gearing up for holiday shopping or just looking for some ways to cut down on spending, I wanted to share some apps that can help. Two will help you replenish your savings, and the other two help you save when you shop and eat.

Digit is an app that makes it painless to save money.

You link it to your bank account and it will analyze your spending and determine the perfect amount to automatically set aside each day. It aims to divert an amount small enough that you won’t even notice it, but over time, the savings can add up drastically.

This nifty app allows you to roll your spare change into an investment account that has the potential to grow much faster than a savings account.

You can link it to your debit card, and when you spend less than a whole dollar amount, it will round up and automatically reinvest the remainder into your account (for example, if you spend $4.75, it would invest 25 cents). You can also add money on a one-off basis.

This trusty shopping app offers promo codes and discounts to save you money at some of the most popular stores and eateries around the country.

It offers both in-store coupons and online promo codes. There’s an option to turn on location services, which allows you to view deals at shops, malls, and restaurants near you.

Never pay full price on clothes or shoes again with this app.

You’ll save big bucks by buying pre-owned (sometimes brand new) items from other users. On top of that, you can sell your own gently used clothes, shoes, and accessories like jewelry and sunglasses to make some extra bucks. 

These are just a few ways to save money this holiday season. If a new home is on your shopping list, I’d be happy to help you. Please give me a call at your convenience.

 

Have a great day!

Posted in Saving Money
Sept. 21, 2018

Should I buy or sell a home in the Fall?

Silver medal. Runner-up. Fall. These are all considered to be the second choice, but there are so many benefits to buying or selling a home in fall that we can’t help but push back on any thoughts that the season should be dismissed as subpar. After all, vanilla is the top-selling brand of ice cream, but does that make it better than other frozen treats? We think not! Consider these seven reasons to buy or sell this fall.

Reasons to Sell Your Home in the Fall

Spring may have higher demand, but it also comes with higher inventory. Your home listing in the fall means less “competition” for you and possibly a better offer. Make sure you have done a great job of addressing curb appeal, staging, and cleaning to help your home really shine.

Buyers who are shopping for a new home in the fall or even in the winter usually have a strong reason to do so. Their motivations could include a recent job transfer, a desire to have their kids in a new school prior to mid-year breaks (or, if it’s early enough in the season, before school starts), or wanting to celebrate the holidays in a new space.

With more families wanting and needing multi-generational living spaces (think of the sandwich generation with both teens and aging parents sharing a home), the search for a home could be a longer process, pushing the process beyond spring’s peak.

Reasons to Buy Your Home in the Fall

Often times, sellers will be encouraged to pull their home off the market for the winter holidays. This means inventory will drop and then surge again in the spring. Shopping for a home in the fall will allow you to see houses before the flood of showings after the holidays.

Sellers who keep their listings active in the fall usually have a motivating factor behind their decision, which can benefit you. While it isn’t fully a buyer’s market, because they likely have less showings, they may be more open to accepting your offer.

Buying a home in the fall has several time-sensitive benefits. Your first mortgage payment won’t likely hit until the new year, and you may celebrate the winter holidays in your new space. 

In an analysis of over 30 million home sales spanning 15 years, RealtyTrac(r), found that home buyers who purchased in October paid nearly 3% less than in other months. You can also get into your new home right in time for the end-of-year sales on appliances and electronics - bonus!

If summer was for home repairs and vacations and you are now ready to buy or sell, give me a call for a market analysis and information to get moving this fall!

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Posted in Selling your home
Aug. 17, 2018

3 DIY Projects To Do Before Fall

Home improvement projects can be fun and add value, whether you’re making your home space more usable, more attractive, or more comfortable. Here are three projects to get your creativity flowing based on your skillset.

Painting your front door can increase your curb appeal and give a feeling of newness to your entryway. Choose your color in a glossy exterior paint – a quart should be enough. You may want to test a few colors in various lighting before you make your final decision.


Be sure you paint on a dry day with moderate temperature so the paint can dry and not blister. Start by either removing the door and any hardware or by taping off the areas that aren’t receiving paint. Scrape off any chipping paint, sanding the door if needed. Brush off any dust, dirt, or debris and apply paint with primer, or prime first and then paint it once dry.


Other ideas: freshen up the look of a room with a new paint color, accent wall, or cleanly painted trim.

Pavers come in all shapes and sizes and can create a flat parking space for an RV, more design and aesthetic to your entry, or even a whimsical path to outdoor space. Quickly spruce up an area, such as a garden, with a border. Or, dig a 5” deep trench set with compacted class V gravel and sand to create a long-lasting foundation for decorative pavers.


Other ideas: consider adding outdoor lighting along your new path or end it with a patio. An outdoor fireplace and seating area will make the space perfect for entertaining.

Kitchen and bathrooms are where we spend most of our time, and a mini-makeover can create a more beautiful or usable space. Replace hardware, add a tile backsplash, or install a new counter or sink to instantly transform your space. Install drawer roll-outs to increase storage and reduce clutter.

 

Local hardware stores and online tutorials are sure to inspire and instruct you on your makeover. And all these projects can be completed over a weekend.


Other ideas: consider installing shelving and/or organizers in a closet, laundry, or mudroom.

Don’t have the time or skill to do it yourself? Contact me about in-home services from a great handyman, plumber, or electrician.

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Posted in Home Improvement
Aug. 8, 2018

2018 Mid-Year Market Update

 
 

Mid Year Market Update 

This year has been a great year in real estate. Both sales and prices have seen some modest increases. One thing that we do have to worry about though is an upcoming recession as most experts believe is on the horizon. 

 

Watch the video to see the details.

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Posted in Market Update
June 21, 2018

Home Inspection Checklist

Buying or Selling? The Importance of Understanding the Inspection Process

 

 

 

Unless it’s a glaring flaw or you’re a trained professional, you probably can’t tell if your home needs repairs. The home inspection is one of the most critical pieces of the buying and selling process. It’s good to know what to look for before any inspection. If you’re buying, you’ll have a better idea of what the inspector is looking for and if he or she misses anything. If you’re selling, you can have an idea of what to fix before your home goes on the market. It will take away the chance of surprises. 

Here are a few things to look for:
Are there visible cracks?
Are your appliances all working well?
Do you hear any unusual noises?

I’ve been through many, many home inspections in the area. I can help you understand this checklist and how to negotiate after the home inspection. Give me a call for all of your real estate needs. 

 

Posted in
Feb. 16, 2018

Market Update February 2018

I wanted to share some valuable information about the real estate market. Even if you’re not thinking about buying or selling this year, the real estate market can affect the value of your home.

Now, I understand that we are only one month into the new year, but there are few market trends that we’ve seen in the first month: 

Home prices and values are on the rise! The average sales price of a home nationally went up in December by 5.6 percent, and it doesn’t appear that they’ll be changing direction any time soon. If you’ve been thinking about selling, it’s an incredible time to act.

One of the leading factors of home values increasing is the lack of homes for sale on the market. December saw the amount of homes on the market fall again - that’s 31 months in a row across the nation. Sometimes this can be a motivator for making a housing change, but sometimes it’s nice just to know where your home falls. I can run those numbers for you any time. Send me a note if you’d like to do this.

I’m also watching interest rates. Industry experts are predicting that rates will creep up as the year goes on; they won’t jump up to historic levels, but expect an uptick throughout the year. We don’t have a crystal ball, so the exact numbers are tough to come by. If you’re buying, thinking about refinancing, or considering an equity loan this year, I’d suggest acting early.

If you are thinking about selling and want to know exactly how your home will stand up in this market, I would love to go into more detail and offer a free comparative market analysis. Click the button below to register today.

Best,
Steven and Gloria

 

Posted in Market Update
Dec. 8, 2017

Christmas light displays

Local Christmas Light Displays

Here is a list I put together of some local Christmas light displays for you to hopefully 

enjoy with your family as much as I enjoy them with mine. 

 

If you have any light displays that you like that I haven't noted on this list please let me know. I would love to add them to the list. 

 

Wonderland at Roseville—Fairfield
November 23, 2017 - January 1, 2018
We went on a drive down Roseville Terrace on our Thanksgiving Break. This house was basically Disneyland for my three year old. Take a walk around the property and enjoy the model trains or take a ride in Santa’s sleigh! 

 

That House in Milford—Milford
November  24, 2017 - January 1, 2018
Everyone knows "that house" in the neighborhood, the one with the best lights, that everyone gathers around year after year to spread glad tidings and holiday cheer? This house on Meadows End Road in Milford is *that* house. Stop by to enjoy over 50,000 lights (and show your appreciation with a donation to the Connecticut Food Bank).

 

Hawleyville Volunteer Fire Department—Newtown
November  24, 2017 - January 8, 2018
This 2nd Annual Holiday Light Show at the Firehouse in Newtown is choreographed to over 100 songs. The show features over 40,000 lights and covers the area on and around the firehouse. New for this year is their "Winter Village" an interactive area where children can walk through buildings, take pictures with "face cutout" props, play games, or donate items for Toys for Tots.

 

House of Lights—Stamford
November 23, 2017- January 7, 2018
Firefighter Tony Pampena affixes more than 50,000 colored lights to his two-story home, which has earned him the nickname "Tony Christmas" and a spot on ABC's "Great Christmas Light Fight" which airs December 12th. See them in person for yourself!

 

Shoreline Trolley Museum —East Haven
Saturdays and Sundays, November 23, 2017 - December 17, 2017
Come and enjoy holiday lights on a real antique trolley. You can meet Santa, and enjoy complimentary cookie and hot chocolate.  

 

Fantasy of Lights—New Haven
November 17, 2017 - December 31, 2017
Held at Lighthouse Park, unique lit displays includes 100,000 lights and 80 displays for people to enjoy. They even offer 3-d glasses so you can enjoy some of the lights in a different way!

 

Posted in Happy Holiday
Nov. 24, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Posted in Happy Holiday